Trump’s Biggest Healthcare Lie

“Since he began running for president, Donald Trump has been lying about health care in general, and protections for patients with preexisting conditions in particular. Trump’s long-standing lie is that he has a plan to help people with preexisting conditions afford insurance, or will shortly unveil such a plan. His most recent version of this lie goes even farther. Trump is now saying that he actually created the protection for preexisting conditions, and that Democrats are trying to take it away. … This is the literal polar opposite of reality.”

Jonathan Chait

Trump’s Corruption and Criminality Coming to the Fore

“From the perspective of President Trump’s frustrated critics, the attempts to subject him to legal accountability have amounted to a long string of failures. Robert Mueller failed to produce a clear indictment of his dealings with Russia, and impeachment appears headed toward a partisan stalemate that will leave him in office. … But as Trump’s constant boil of rage attests, those efforts have hardly failed. The legal ring surrounding him is collectively producing a historic indictment of his endemic corruption and criminality.”

— Jonathan Chait

Propaganda: The Real Source of Trump’s Power

“Conservative media could take its cues from the party’s congressional leadership, but its most influential figures have personal ties to the president. As Gabriel Sherman has reported, Trump communicates so frequently with Fox News he is serving in some sense as its de facto editorial director. To the extent Trump deserves credit for his takeover of the party, it is through his canny playing of the inside media game, wooing powerful insiders in the right-wing media to make him (rather than Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell) the protagonist of their drama.”

Jonathan Chait

GOP Healthcare Bill Is Not Getting Better with Time

“The Republicans have spent eight years insisting that they could produce a better health-care-reform plan if they had the chance. They have come to realize that this promise was false. The only thing they can do is rip away the benefits Obamacare has given millions of Americans. Their sole objective now is to do so with the minimum level of transparency or accountability.”

Jonathan Chait

The Resistance Is Ascendant

If Trump has a plan to crush his adversaries, he has not yet revealed it. His authoritarian rage thus far is mostly impotent, the president as angry Fox-News-watching grandfather screaming threats at his television that he never carries out. The danger to the republic may come later, or never. In the first month of Trump’s presidency, the resistance has the upper hand.

Jonathan Chait

Donald’s Team of Rivals, er, Racists

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign bludgeoned modern norms about the acceptability of racism. The candidate proposed a religious test for immigrants, and called a federal judge unfit on the grounds of his heritage. Trump could have decided to put the racial demagoguery of the campaign behind him, and it could have been remembered as a divisive ploy to win that did not define his administration, like George Bush’s manipulation of white racial panic to defeat Michael Dukakis in 1988. But Trump, perhaps predictably, is making a different choice. His early staffing choices are redefining the boundaries of acceptable racial discourse in Republican politics.

Jonathan Chait

Republicans Didn’t Win a Mandate

Last night, Paul Ryan, jubilant with the prospect that his long dream of dismantling the state may be finally at hand, called the election ‘a repudiation of the status quo of failed liberal progressive policies.’ This morning, going further, he insisted Trump ‘just earned a mandate.’ The rule of law entitles Ryan and his party to exercise the power they have won. But Ryan is seeking something more — the deference of a party that is seen as embodying the will of the people. He is not entitled to that. … Trump’s election cannot be called a decision by the voters to repudiate the liberal status quo because, for one thing, it was not a decision by the voters at all. The voters supported Clinton over Trump. The decision was made by the Electoral College, which as a matter of opinion can be called archaic, and as a matter of objective fact can be called anti-democratic. Again, the rules are the rules. But it remains the case that Ryan and his party have power not because of the will of the voters but despite it.

Jonathan Chait

Debate Showed Trump at His Worst

If you’re a Republican who has been clinging to the wan hope that Donald Trump might somehow, in his eighth decade on Earth, develop into a plausibly competent president of the United States, the first debate should have been your moment to abandon ship. Trump displayed the factual command of a small child, the emotional stability of a hormonal teen, and the stamina of an old man, staggering and losing the thread as the 90 minutes wore on.

Jonathan Chait

Trump’s Hitlerian Rise Is Attributable to Mainstream GOPers

Like Hitler, Trump is a radical, authoritarian figure who lies outside the normal parameters of his country’s conservative governing class. Thus, there is a parallel between the two men’s unexpected rise to power that is worth considering: Why would traditional conservatives willingly hand power to a figure so dangerous that he threatened their own political and economic interests? Why, having failed in their halfhearted efforts to nominate an alternative candidate during the primaries, don’t they throw themselves behind a convention coup, a third-party candidacy, or defect outright to Hillary Clinton? Why do so many of them consider Trump the lesser rather than the greater evil?

— Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine/h2>