*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
As this column has stated on more than one occasion, it is increasingly difficult to keep up with the mountain of outrages issuing forth from Trump; and that is not including the absurdly amateurish practice of keeping tabs on his stinking stupid Twitter activities. That kind of job is better left to parents of troubled preteens who should be monitoring what their kids are “tweeting.” But however “chaotic” and outrageous Trump or his administration appears to be, and it is both, there is method to Trump “madness” and it is a method Republicans in Congress are excited to use as a distraction from their already insane dismantling of the government while lavishing gifts on their wealthy campaign donors; no matter what industry those donors represent.
ThinkProgress is keeping track of the atrocities coming out of the Trump on a weekly basis, and they took a minute to explain Trump’s method of using “spread” to swamp the media and keep the American people confused about what the lunatic in the White House is going to do next. Anyone familiar with debate strategy is familiar with the concept known as “spread;” throw out as many arguments whether they are valid, dishonest, or batshit insane as possible to overwhelm your opponent. Trump’s administrations is pure spread with mountains of lies, dishonesty and incompetence but there is so much of it that no-one can possibly keep track of all of it. It is a brilliant distraction Republicans in Congress are taking advantage of to pass horrendous legislation the people never hear about until they are law.
The good folks over at Social Security Works noted that Paul Ryan is one taking great advantage of the Trump and his “spread” administration by advancing his plans to “phase out Medicare this year,” a highly unpopular move and stealthily work on a means of dismantling Medicaid and Social Security. They noted that Ryan is not spineless in refusing to condemn Trump and is instead he is and “evil opportunist” using Trump’s ‘spread’ chaos to destroy Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. As Linda Benesch wrote in the Huffington Post, Ryan isn’t bothered with Trump’s religious ban against Islam, or a racist as attorney general, or a Russian oil company director as Secretary of State because while the nation is focused on the “Bannon White House’s disgusting policies and actions,” Ryan is thriving on Trump’s chaos to “slip in his own deplorable but more mundane agenda” without anyone noticing.
Even though the Koch Congress hasn’t yet passed a budget necessary to eviscerate social programs and dismantle the government as part of their typical job-killing agenda, they have used Trump’s distraction to pass some seriously hateful legislation as remuneration to special interests responsible for keeping them in office. What is noteworthy about three pieces of legislation in particular, is that they are naked gifts to corporations and blatant attacks on the people they are elected to serve. It is nearly certain that if the people knew what kind of abominable laws Republicans were trying to pass, even their racist and religious supporters would be in the streets protesting. This is particularly true because the legislation will negatively impact nearly every American on some level which, although a travesty, is very typical for Republicans who have not, in recent memory, passed one law that actually benefits the population; that is, unfortunately, the normal purview of the party doomed to stay in the minority because they are Democrats.
One law that makes no sense to anyone except the Koch brothers, mining and dirty energy industry is making it legal to dump toxic coal waste into streams and waterways. Seriously, even though America is now a second-rate banana republic with a two-bit fascist dictator, it is highly doubtful that any citizen, including stupid Trump supporters, actually believes it is a good idea to dump poison into the water, much less to pass legislation making it legal. It is also doubtful that any citizen thinks the legislation was the Republican way of helping Americans or making America great by poisoning its water supply legally. Apparently, the Koch brothers are still angry that one of their subsidiaries was “scolded” for dumping coal waste chemicals into West Virginians’ water supply; so they bought Congress for Republicans who promptly repaid them with the legal right to dump coal waste chemicals into everyone’s water.
So as not to leave out the National Rifle Association from the gift-giving, Republicans actually passed legislation allowing the severely mentally ill easier access to firearms; all while Americans were mesmerized by the avalanche of chaos and crazy coming out of the White House. This is a particularly egregious, even for Republicans terrified of the NRA because they are cheerleaders for the argument that guns are not the problem, crazy people are the problem and they need legislation giving them help. So instead of legislation to help the mentally ill, Republicans decided what better way to repay the NRA than allow the severely mentally ill easier access to guns and make America even greater. There is little doubt that even NRA members and the preponderance of gun owners do not think it is a good idea to allow schizophrenics and people with severe anxiety disorder to have more readily-available guns; especially after a mentally disturbed person the FBI said shouldn’t have a firearm just took his firearm and shot up a Florida airport.
The third atrocity Republicans passed while everyone was too busy panting over the next Trump Twitter tantrum is a gift to all industries and likely the most damaging to all Americans. The “REINS Act” requires any and all safety rules or regulations, like a toxic chemical or prescription warning, be approved by a “special resolution” in each Republican-controlled House of Congress within 70 days in order to take effect. What that means if, say, there is a restriction on predatory lending, or selling prescription drugs deemed unsafe for human consumption, Republicans beholden to the chemical or pharmaceutical industry will have to give their approval or the restriction never goes into effect. The legislation offers absolutely no benefit whatsoever to the population, but of course that was not its intent; it is allowing the special interests controlling Congress to have purview, and veto power, over rules and regulations that exist solely to protect the people. Most Americans are still unaware that the REINGS Act was even passed because they have been too focused on the barrage of chaos coming from the Trump.
Look, there’s no doubt the Trump is a colossal disaster for America and the world, and he needs to be closely monitored – by mental health professionals. The people or Democrats in Congress can do little but complain and try to resist. But while they’re all throwing fits about the latest Trump atrocity, their time would be better spent monitoring what Congress is doing. As Americans have started to discover, finally, when they flood their congressional representatives with phone calls and messages of sheer outrage, it has an effect that complaining about Trump’s latest tweet will never approach. Their time would be better spent focusing on Republicans in Congress because although Trump is a nasty character who thinks his authority is limitless, he cannot pass, or even vote on Republican legislation raping the people. It is important to keep track of what the lunatic in the Oval Office is doing, but not at the expense of ignoring what the malicious malcontents in the Republican Congress are doing.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.