Did Senate Dems trade ACA for Russia sanctions?

Senate Democrats reportedly made a deal to allow Republicans to gut Obamacare in return for their support of tougher sanctions against Russia.

The Republicans have a 52 to 48 majority, so they have the power to force through their plan.   We the public don’t know what it is going to be, but, in order to be reconcilable with the House bill, it will include denying government health care benefits to millions of people in order to enable tax cuts for the very rich.

There are procedural tactics that the Democrats could use to delay action until public opposition has time to build, but they reportedly have agreed not to do this.

So the public loses a program that, despite its many flaws, has saved lives in return for the increased possibility of war with Russia.

Reports of a deal may be false or exaggerated and, if there is a deal, not all Democrats may be on board with it.

But it is an indisputable fact that the Democratic leadership in Congress is putting much more energy into investigation, so far fruitless, of Trump’s ties with Russia than into opposing the Republican political agenda.

It is bizarre that Democrats are staking their political future on leaked information from secret intelligence agencies—the same agencies and in some cases the same individuals who leaked the fake news of Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction or Muammar Qaddafi’s non-existent Viagra-enabled rape gangs.

During the 2016 election campaign, Hillary Clinton and her supporters based their campaign against Donald Trump on stupid and offensive things that he had said, rather than putting forth a positive program of their own.  [1]

Now the Democratic leaders are trying to bring down the Trump presidency based on alleged ties to Russia, despite lack of any hard evidence to the contrary, still without putting forth a positive program of their own.

There reason is that top Democrats are caught between trying to please voters and trying to please campaign donors.   This is true of all politicians, but more true of Democrats because they are the ones who claim to be the party that defends working people against abuses of corporations and the ultra-rich.  So it is to their interest to find issues that aren’t vital to the rich and powerful.

Trump and his supporters have ties with corrupt business people and government officials, and some of them may be Russians.   But if Congress and federal prosecutors dug too deeply into these hidden relationships, they might find things embarrassing to other people besides Trump.

Much safer to focus on the Russian aspect than the corruption aspect!  That way you don’t challenge the status quo.


Red Alert:  Russian Focus Might Save Trump’s Hide by Chris Floyd for Counterpunch.   Excellent.

The Big Fat Compendium of Russiagate Debunkery by Caitlin Johnstone for Medium.

There’s so much more about Trump to investigate than just Russia by Matthew Yglesias for Vox news.

The Worst of Donald Trump’s Toxic Agenda Is Lying in Wait – A Major U.S. Crisis Will Unleash It by Naomi Klein for The Intercept.   A good guide to the issues and dangers that are being overlooked.

[1]  I’m aware that Hillary Clinton, like the other presidential candidates, had an extensive list of policy proposals on her website.  But these weren’t what she campaigned on.



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