While I think those of us actively resisting the Age of Trump can for a brief respite pat ourselves on our collective backs for last night’s failure to pass the “Skinny Health Care Bill”, we must remain aware that we have won a skirmish in what is to be a long war that goes far beyond the illegitimate fraud currently occupying the White House. As I wrote yesterday in Majority Rules…..But Not In The Minds of Those Funding the Conservative Movement
the greatest threat to the idea of a government that works for the majority of the people comes from a philosophy adopted by many of America’s richest oligarchical families, such as the Koch’s, Mercer’s and Walton’s. They believe in an outlying branch of economics championed by the likes of Ludwig Von Mises, James M. Buchanan and Murray Rothbard all of whom appear to idolize wealth. This mangy crew even has a simulacrum of a literary champion in the person of a pretentious writer of bodice ripping romantic novels, the atrociously bad writer Ayn Rand. This proto-“School” of Economics is premised upon a fundamental misreading of Adam Smith and centered upon an unwarranted belief that those with wealth should be accorded special status in society, because they are the ones who make it run. To this group “private property” in the form of wealth or real estate is sacrosanct.
This “logic” seems to be most attractive to people like the current crop of Koch’s, Mercer’s and Walton’s, all of whom have shown their “great capacity to lead” based on being born obscenely wealthy. They now have a President whose greatest successes in life have been making money out of going bankrupt; running a fraudulent “University”; starring in a scripted ‘Reality TV Show” where he “played a business genius”; and most importantly being born to and inheriting from, a very wealthy real estate entrepreneur. While these more genteel types of inherited wealth, like the Koch’s, Mercer’s and Walton’s may privately and sometimes publicly, chastise Trump for his declasse boorishness, they are totally on board with his Administration of Billionaires and millionaires. This cabal of Billionaire Oligarchs staunchly believes in a Federal Government that is chiefly concerned with Defense, Foreign Policy and Criminal Justice. They further believe that the tax burden should fall heaviest upon the backs of the lower 99% of Americans. They are opposed to any regulation of business or industry and they lust after complete privatization of all government services.
So here is the bottom line. Our Congress is now controlled by a passel of Republican Legislators who have for the most part been bought and paid for by this cabal of Billionaire Oligarchs. Add to that, the leading figure in our Congress is a pretentious “pseudo Wonk” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Ryan has had the unwarranted mantle of “intellectual” projected upon him and given the dimness of most of whom he leads, he might be seen as the “smartest” of a dull lot. Ryan is, however, another “To the Manor Born” Republican, whose greatest intellectual achievement probably was reading through the turgid 1,168 pages of Atlas Shrugged, which is considered Ayn Rand’s masterpiece. Perhaps the most important aspect of understanding the Health Care “philosophy” of Paul Ryan is this from his interview with long-time acquaintance, National Review editor Rich Lowry “We’ve been dreaming of this [cutting Medicaid] since I’ve been around—since you and I were drinking at a kegger”. That “kegger” was 20 years ago when Ryan, who as an adult has never held a job outside of politics, was a Congressional Aide.
So picture this, the leading figure in the movement to do away with the Affordable Care Act, beyond our mentally unstable President, is someone who fundamentally doesn’t believe in government being involved in Health Care. Though they pretend that this past election provided Republicans with a “mandate” to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, this is belied by the fact that their leader Trump promised a Health Care Program that would cover more people, at a lower cost and would retain the more popular features of the ACA, such as insuring that people with pre-existing conditions would receive affordable coverage. This past election’s mandate wasn’t to eliminate Federal involvement in Health Care it was to improve the Federal Health Care Program. Most Republicans in Congress believe in eliminating a Federal Health Care program, as do the Oligarchs that back them. However, as politicians they also understand that the overwhelming majority of Americans are in favor of the Federal Government providing a good Health Care program for all of us. This is why with a Republican controlled Congress, with a dim President willing to sign anything that he can call a victory, Republicans, are impotent when it comes to repealing and replacing Obamacare.
What this means to those of us committed to resisting this illegitimate President and the rest of the oligarch-funded Republican Party, is that in the power of the numbers we can mobilize, comes the strength to oppose and possibly defeat those who would return our country to the days of the “Robber Barons“.