There were two major stories out of D.C. this week that left no one with any sense of joy whatsoever. And guess whose fault that is?
The first story is the story of the spending bill, one that gets us through the summer and well into September. This spending bill includes an increase in defense spending while continuing to fund Planned Parenthood, among other Democrat pet projects. It was signed into law on Friday by Trump after sliding through Congress with bipartisan support.
But, no one is happy about it. Liberals are upset at the increased defense spending while conservatives are upset at the Planned Parenthood spending. Trump supporters, meanwhile, are devastated that The Wall isn’t being funded.
The second story is the story of the American Health Care Act, which narrowly passed in the House of Representatives despite major unpopularity from the left, right, and center. It does nothing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, angering conservative voters, while getting rid of pre-existing condition spending, angering liberal voters.
In fact, it seems that there is only one group of people happy about this week, and that would be the Establishment Republicans.
Oh, and Donald Trump.
See, this is exactly the thing we knew would happen. We knew that when Donald Trump got to Washington, there would be no swamp draining. He would fully immerse himself into the swamp. He backed and touted the AHCA, as well as supported the bill to fund the government. Only when things became controversial did he waver on the spending bill (and suggested the government needed to be shut down) and try to get conservatives to support the AHCA.
How did we know this would happen? Because these are all things Donald Trump has supported in the past. He was a supporter of the Affordable Care Act before he became a speaker at CPAC. He was a supporter of Planned Parenthood. He is a big government liberal and longtime Democrat.
This seems to be surprising some people – Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh come to mind, actually – who thought that Trump was exactly the type of conservative America needed to be Great Again. But, things are not getting great. We’ve had an unimpressive first 100 days and no legislative victories that have moved the country into a brighter future.
It is almost as though the loudest voices for Trump had a financial interest in his continued success. Ann Coulter wrote and released a book on him, and Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have managed to stay relevant hedging their bets on a longtime Democrat and Democrat donor. They’ve all made money on Trump being a thing that continues to happen to us, despite the fact that Trump happening to us is pretty bad.
But, here we are now more than 100 days into the Trump Administration and every possible failure that could have been stopped was not only allowed but encouraged because all of these people – the Establishment Republicans and the Radio Republicans – knew that they could make the most of the situation for themselves.
But, Trumpism is unsustainable as an American political movement. Much in the way that late night comedians will ultimately lose out by making Trump their all-consuming purpose, the Establishment and Radio wings of the Republican Party are going to lose out because Trump is set to harm not only the party, but the conservative movement and the country as a whole.
We cannot, however, leave the Democrats blameless in this, either. They had opportunities to stop this, and instead chose to coronate a tremendously flawed candidate in Hillary Clinton because it was her turn/she was a woman. The last Democratic president, Barack Obama, left his party in shambles and with no bench at all, so they turned to Hillary Clinton and ignored the popular support among the youth for Bernie Sanders.
Could Bernie have beaten Trump? There is no way to know, but Clinton sure as hell screwed the pooch on beating him to the point that it’s likely a grilled cheese sandwich could have done better.
There is a reason no one is happy after this week. It’s because we all lost in November and now have to sit through someone who brings out the absolute worst of Washington D.C. The swamp isn’t drained. It’s growing and it’s going to consume the rest of us.