So, I’m sure everyone has been listening all weekend to the discussion of the recent attempt at an Obamacare repeal and how it didn’t happen, along with Devin Nunes’ announcement of more information showing that Trump insiders’ communications were being intercepted and their names unmasked and distributed, and Adam Schiff’s assertion that there was more than circumstantial evidence that the Trump campaign was working with the Russians, so I just wanted to take a moment to say something:
- Calm down.
- Grow up.
- Get a grip.
Those of you who follow me on Facebook will recall that I have said this rather more colorfully, profanely, and emphatically a couple of times in the last few months. Feel free to add my emphatic profanity to these recommendations in your heads.
The anti-Trump forces associated both with conservative positions and with liberal positions have been visibly excited over the recent news, like Schiff’s assertion of “more than circumstantial” evidence of collaboration with the Russians. In fact, I’ve gotten a copy of a document purporting to document Trump’s relationship with Russia, which is a long list of assertions that someone Trump knows did business with someone in Russia. Or knows someone in Russia. Or knows someone who knows someone in Russia.
Folks, doing business with Russia isn’t illegal.
Being a lobbyist who lobbied for Russia in the past isn’t illegal. For Democrat NeverTrumpers: You don’t want to push this, since John Podesta did quite a lot of lobbying with Russians, and the Clinton Foundation did a lot of business with the Russians. It’s not illegal to talk to Julian Assange. It’s not illegal, it’s not even cooperation, to say: “Hey Russia, why don’t you release Hillary’s emails?” And frankly, it would take a complete nincompoop to think that Trump was illicitly coordinating with the Russians by saying something in a press conference.
Republican NeverTrumpers, you’re not being any better. See above: no one has shown any evidence beyond the circumstantial for any illicit collusion. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no criminal investigation of Trump or the Trump campaign. And the conspiracy theories have gotten very, well, conspiratorial. For a good time, go read Louise Mensch’s twitter timeline. I’m old enough to remember McCarthy and the John Birch Society, and I haven’t seen the Rooosians getting blamed for more random stuff since “Impeach Earl Warren.”
Folks, do you remember the bit about Hillary having Vince Foster killed, and Roger Stone’s ongoing insistence that Chelsea is actually Foster’s daughter? Remember how far that got you?
I hate to crush your hopes, but before Trump can be impeached, you’ve got to have a high crime and misdemeanor, and there’s not one here. Even if you firmly believe Trump and the Russians were cooperating. (Go ahead, name me the statute that says a campaign can’t use opposition research from the Russians.) Even if you firmly believe everything in “the Dossier” is true.
As far as the “health care debacle,” I’d like to remind you of two things: as I write this, there are 1394 days until Trump leaves office, absent the fever dream of Trump’s impeachment. He’s only been in office for 66 days as I write this.
I’ve heard a fair number of people today arguing, like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, that everything is under control, there’s nothing to see here. And I want to say to you “Nonsense.”
Well, really that’s not what I want to say. Again, feel free to amend this in your heads to what I’m really thinking and you know what I mean.
Like it or not, this was a defeat for Trump: he went all in on this. Blaming Paul Ryan won’t help — Trump did a full Lyndon Johnson arm-twisting on this and came up short. It has cost him, and you could see from his talk to the press after pulling the bill that he was chastened.
Now we come to the “grow up” part: health care is hard, and harder still when a lot of the people involved don’t understand it. There are a lot of knobs that can be fiddled with, and a lot of people with different motivations, like: “I want to be re-elected.” And: “I don’t want to go do town halls where grannies and seven-year-olds say ‘you took my insulin.'”
Everyone who is saying “just repeal it” and “where’s the bill from last year” has to remember that. Trump understands it’s a negotiation, and a couple of days after he said “take it or leave it” he said “I’m willing to negotiate with the Democrats if I have to.”
So everyone, including the Freedom Caucus, everyone who is a Republican and not in the Freedom Caucus, and Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump, need to put on their big boy pants and figure out what they really want. And remember, Trump partisans, that Trump has no commitment and no loyalty to the Republican Party.
So now, why doesn’t everyone take a day off, a few deep breaths, close your eyes and go to your Happy Place until you calm down. None of this is helping anybody.