Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Presidential Pledge To Make America Worse

Jim Harbaugh, head football coach for the University of Michigan Wolverines, also is associated withf the Legal Services Council, which provides legal aid in civil cases to poor people. He recently tweeted “I hope reports that White House trying to defund Legal Services Corp aren't true. LSC is CRUCIAL to making justice system fair. #LSCmatters."

Interviewed recently for Politico Magazine, Harbaugh (brother of John) denied that his involvement is either political or as a football coach, instead insisting "I'm saying this as an American. I'm for America first."  He wasn't even aware that "America First" is frequentlycited by Donald Trump.

Harbaugh may be excused because the term was dragged is not original to the real estate tycoon turned politician, but was introduced into the lexicon by William Randolph Hearst.  Before the USA entered World War I, the publichsing magnate argued

[K]eep every dollar and every man and every weapon and all our supplies and stores AT HOME, for the defense of our own land, our own people, our own freedom, until that defense has been made ABSOLUTELY secure. After that we can think of other nations’ troubles. But till then, America first!

In the runup to the second world war, "America first" was popularized by isolationist, anti-Semite, amateur eugenicist and famous aviator Charles Lindbergh.  The term had meaning- however noxious- for Lindbergh, unlike for Donald Trump.

It does not apply to the domestic steel required for U.S. pipelines, which does not include those already under construction, which conveniently include Keystone XL. It does not apply to the Donald J. Trump Collection of shirts, suits, ties, and accessories, some of them made in mainland China.  Nor does it apply to Trump son Eric, whose Trump Winery in Virginia is eager to import workers from abroad through the H-2A visa program.  And all that is apart from the undeniable Trump-Russia connection and the possible Trump-Kremlin connection.

And it is dramatically inapplicable to health care reform.   After defeat of the GOP's Let Them Die bill, the President, who is doing his best to undermine the Affordable Care Act, stated

I've been saying for the last year-and-a-half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode. It is exploding right now. Many states have big problems, almost all states have big problems...

Now the Democrats own Obamacare 100 per cent. They own it. It's exploding now and it's going to be a very bad year. There are going to be explosive premium increases.

It's going to get worse, more people will suffer, and ain't it great! The strategy of the "America First" pol now is transparent.  "Make America Great Again" turns into "Make America Even Worse,"as Trump undermines the ACA.  Striving to make of Obamacare a failure, people will, he calculates, beg for his right-wing agenda.   It's the same Trump as "We’re gonna win so much, you may even get tired of winning. And you’ll say, “Please, please. It’s too much winning. We can’t take it anymore. Mr. President, it’s too much.” And I’ll say, “No, it isn’t!”  (It's also part of the classic GOP strategy of running government so poorly that voters turn to the anti-government party.)

So Jim Harbaugh- like many Americans- is not fully and consciously aware of Donald Trump's "America First" slogan. But he'd remember it if, to capture its essence, "first" were replaced with "last."

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