FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Are We Tired of ‘Winning’ Yet?

Can we stop pretending that leading Republicans care about anything beyond winning and power?

To be sure, there are some in the party who are guided by conservative “principles.” House Speaker Paul Ryan said he’s been “dreaming” of gutting Medicaid — the program that provides health care to the poorest Americans — since his college days.

No doubt that goal came from some ideological notion of cutting government programs in order to lower taxes on the wealthiest Americans, presumably because the poor are “lazy” or “undeserving.”

Trump, for his part, just wants to win. Remember how he promised we’d all be “tired of winning” if he became president?

He didn’t mean we’d “win” by having the best, most comprehensive health care system in the world. Or the best education system in the world. (If he cared one bit about education, he would’ve picked a secretary of education who had any qualifications to hold that job at all. But he didn’t.)

Trump isn’t interested in policy. Trump is interested in Trump.

At every step, his record proves he doesn’t know or care much about the particulars of any health care bill Republicans in Congress write. He cares simply about getting it passed. He just wants to declare a “win” by repealing Obamacare. He wants to make the Democrats “lose.”

If 22 million Americans lose their health care in the process, as the Congressional Budget Office predicts, so what? If people with cancer literally die when their health insurance is yanked out from under them, so what?

Case in point: After the House passed its version of the health care bill, Trump held an event in the Rose Garden for it. Normally such a ceremony is reserved for when a president signs a bill.

In this case, the Senate hadn’t even considered it yet. Trump just wanted the optics of having a win.

Remember, this is the very same bill he later called “mean.”

Trump gets a high from holding rallies where he speaks off the cuff to crowds that cheer and chant his name. It makes him feel loved and important. Plus, he doesn’t have to prepare that much, always a plus.

Yet he’s never learned that much about policy. He just promises that everything he does will be “tremendous” without giving any details, because he doesn’t have any. If he gets a big cheer for something, like building a border wall, he’ll keep it in his repertoire and ham it up even more.

No wonder he came to believe that solving the most difficult problems on earth — North Korea, health care, terrorism — would be easy.

There are two problems with Trump’s win-at-all-cost ideology.

One is a practical problem for Republicans. Congressional Republicans have enough principles (if you count cutting programs for the poor as a principle) that it’s near impossible to pass a health care bill that unites all of them.

The bigger problem is for Americans. We don’t win when Republicans or Donald Trump crush the Democrats for the sake of looking like winners. We win when our leaders carefully analyze the nation’s problems and craft legislation that solves them.

Republicans don’t want to lose face by keeping Obamacare, or even by reforming its shortcomings, after promising to repeal it for years. Even though their proposals to replace it are unpopular and awful, they’re willing to push them through out of fear their base — or their donors — will turn on them.

Republicans in Congress would rather millions of Americans lose health insurance than risk losing their own jobs. Apparently that’s what “winning” looks like to them.

Americans won’t win unless their leaders’ goal is to help the American people instead of only helping themselves. Otherwise, Trump’s right: I am tired of winning.

Distributed by OtherWords.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
August 16, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
“Don’t Be Stupid, Be a Smarty”: Why Anti-Authoritarian Doctors Are So Rare
W. T. Whitney
New Facebook Alliance Endangers Access to News about Latin America
Sam Husseini
The Trump-Media Logrolling
Ramzy Baroud
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break the Siege
Larry Atkins
Why Parkland Students, Not Trump, Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize
William Hartung
Donald Trump, Gunrunner for Hire
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Morality Tales in US Public Life?
Yves Engler
Will Trudeau Stand Up to Mohammad bin Salman?
Vijay Prashad
Samir Amin: Death of a Marxist
Binoy Kampmark
Boris Johnson and the Exploding Burka
Eric Toussaint
Nicaragua: The Evolution of the Government of President Daniel Ortega Since 2007 
Adolf Alzuphar
Days of Sagebrush, Nights of Jasmine in LA
Robert J. Burrowes
A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival
August 15, 2018
Jason Hirthler
Russiagate and the Men with Glass Eyes
Paul Street
Omarosa’s Book Tour vs. Forty More Murdered Yemeni Children
Charles Pierson
Is Bankruptcy in Your Future?
George Ochenski
The Absolute Futility of ‘Global Dominance’ in the 21st Century
Gary Olson
Are We Governed by Secondary Psychopaths
Fred Guerin
On News, Fake News and Donald Trump
Arshad Khan
A Rip Van Winkle President Sleeps as Proof of Man’s Hand in Climate Change Multiplies and Disasters Strike
P. Sainath
The Unsung Heroism of Hausabai
Georgina Downs
Landmark Glyphosate Cancer Ruling Sets a Precedent for All Those Affected by Crop Poisons
Rev. William Alberts
United We Kneel, Divided We Stand
Chris Gilbert
How to Reactivate Chavismo
Kim C. Domenico
A Coffeehouse Hallucination: The Anti-American Dream Dream
August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail