* While we’ve all been focused on the disaster of the Republican failure to repeal Obamacare and what that means for tax reform, a deadline is fast approaching. Last December, Congress passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. The trouble is, it runs out on April 28th. That means that Congress has exactly one month to figure out a budget, pass another continuing resolution, or face a government shutdown. The timing is interesting. Trump’s 100th day in office hits the very next day – April 29th.
From James Comey’s artfully cloaked shiv in last Monday’s congressional testimony to the head-for-the-lifeboats abandonment of Trumpcare on Friday, it is hard to recall a president who has had a worse week without someone being indicted.
* Similarly, as we head towards Trump’s 100th day in office and a possible government shutdown, here’s how a Republican strategist summed things up.
“No administration has ever been off to a worse 100-day start,” said Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist who served as a counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney.
* For an exclamation point on all that, here’s Gallup today:
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) March 27, 2017
Perhaps the White House had planned all along for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make an appearance at today’s press briefing to rail against sanctuary cities. But the timing is consistent with what I’ve long feared will be the impulse for the Trump administration: When the going gets rough (failed Obamacare repeal, low poll numbers, etc), it will fall back on appeals to racism and xenophobia to regain political footing.
With so much incompetence taking root, it’s not difficult to envision a scenario where those base appeals must become more amped up, extreme, and scurrilous to be “effective.” It threatens to turn into a vicious cycle the likes of which we’ve never seen in this country.
* The story about Devin Nunes’ revelation last Wednesday got even more bizarre today.
The day before he announced to reporters that Donald Trump may have been incidentally monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies during the transition, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes met with the source of that information at the White House, a Nunes spokesman told NBC News.
* Let’s hope this is one of several to come.
The ACA is the law of the land and it’s here to stay. I’m proposing a budget amdt to move forward with Medicaid expansion by Oct 1. pic.twitter.com/3ZWzcVayPN
— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) March 27, 2017
* Finally, earlier today I suggested that the flip side of Trump’s failures will be the persistence of Obama’s legacy. Back in January, Jonathan Chait published a book titled, “Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail.” After the election Chait took some heat for this focus that went against conventional wisdom, which had solidified around the idea that Obama’s legacy was toast. But he defended himself by titling an excerpt: “Barack Obama’s Legacy Is More Secure Than You, or the GOP, Think.” Right now Chait is looking a bit more prescient.
Trump may very well destroy the underpinnings of a system of government put in place more than two and a quarter centuries ago, and if he does, it will be not only Obama’s legacy that is repealed but the legacies of every president from Washington onward. But the future is not predetermined. It depends upon our actions and choices. Protecting, fulfilling, and, in some cases, restoring Obama’s legacy will require mustering the political will to rally around it. If Obama’s supporters defend the pillars of his legacy, rather than fatalistically accept their destruction, they stand a good chance of warding off the most frontal attacks. And where they fail, and Obama’s achievements are repealed, then they can set out to repeal the repeal when the opportunity presents itself.
And it will. Previous generations of Americans knew times when it seemed impossible to imagine slavery might be abolished, women given the right to vote, business subject to any government regulation. Progress tends to come in great dramatic bursts of action and then recede. Barack Obama’s presidency represented one of those great bursts. His was a vision and incarnation of an American future. His enemies long to restore a past of rigid social hierarchy, with a threadbare state that yields to the economically powerful. He, not they, represents the values of the youngest Americans and the world they will one day inhabit.