First things first, we’ve got to talk about this opening line from the video.
And the evidence continues to mount that President Trump actively tried to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation. But even as Trump scandals pile up, he’s still capable of doing immense damage as we saw when Trump released his first full budget yesterday.
That’s the place we’re at now. We’re all just waiting for an independent investigation to prove the crimes to which the sitting President of the United States has already confessed. This is some weird shit.
But onto more pressing matters. The Russia investigation will, for better or worse, mostly take care of itself. What we should be concentrating on are things like the healthcare bill being put together in the Senate, Session’s recent rollback of Obama’s criminal justice reform, and, of course, Trump’s terrible, terrible budget. It’s important to note that Trump’s proposed budget, like the last, infamous Meals on Wheels proposal, doesn’t really do anything. It lays out a plan for Congress, but ultimately they’re the ones designing, building, and passing the real budget.
Which is why it’s wrong to refer to Mick Mulvaney’s double counting of tax-cut proceeds as an “error.” An “error” is a good faith mistake made while undertaking a large project. Mulvaney shoved as much bullshit as would fit into this thing as he could, and called it a day. We know this because Mulvaney walked into the Oval Office with a list of literally everything that could possibly be cut, and scratched off anything Trump wouldn’t agree to. Mulvaney was able to put together a budget that satisfied his Tea Party/Rich Bastard base by giving billionaires tax cuts, and met the bare minimum definition of “budget” despite the fact that his accounting “error” would have justified flunking Mulvaney in an intro econ class.
This isn’t a mistake, this is by design. This is how Trump will lead his administration for the next … however long he remains in office. He’ll make sweeping statements about what he wants done, and then leave it up to other people to figure out the details. When those plans go wrong, he’ll blame it on the people he tasked with completing his vision. When (we have to imagine it will happen once) things go right, he’ll get to claim credit. After all, he’s the guy who gets people to bring him a Diet Coke whenever he wants one! Because he’s a visionary! (Or dining at a low- to mid-price restaurant which carries Coke and not Pepsi products.)
I know it seems like a small quibble, but it’s important to understand that we are in no way dealing with people who are interested in governing. People who want to govern develop well-constructed, well-researched, competent economic plans that include alternatives at-the-ready for easy compromises. People who want to govern show up to do their fucking jobs. People who want power make demands, and blame their staff when it goes wrong. And people who are craven ideologues are the ones who are letting it happen.
Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Randy Hultgren …