It may be a little late in the game, at age 70, to finally make a friend, but Donald Trump needs a friend. A real friend. This is becoming a priority. I’m not volunteering, but I would at least try if no one else is available.
It is obvious that our current president has never had a friend. He has never learned the importance or value in real friendship. Instead his relationships, with people or the truth, have been of convenience. He is transactional and of the moment. In the last few weeks he has demoted Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort. The president now claims that these three men, previously among his closest advisors, played small, insignificant rolls in his campaign. Let’s be clear. Removing Bannon, Flynn, and Manafort from the executive branch of our government is a good thing. The issue is how it happened and what that means for other areas affected by President Trump’s leadership “process”.
Let’s look at healthcare. Candidate Trump campaigned in superlatives. He was going to replace Obamacare with something BETTER. It was going to be GREAT. Only Mr. Trump’s biggest fans believe that he ever had any plan or knows anything about our healthcare system. The less charitable might also point out that he probably doesn’t give a damn about any of the details. His relationship with the healthcare issue is strictly one of convenience. All of the details are negotiable since the only, I do mean only, goal is the opportunity to declare victory. This was supposed to be a series of transactions.
- He told the American people what they wanted to hear – He got votes
- He tells Congress to give him a bill, any bill – He signs it
- He then declares victory and claims to have killed Obamacare – He then moves on to the next victory
The issues are not relevant to him. And whether you are accusing the Chinese of currency manipulation or bargaining away coverage for preexisting conditions, details matter. Bluff and bluster might work in the real estate market where it may be assumed that little of what he said was true or relevant. Governing is different. At some point they either call his bluff (see Freedom Caucus) or just ignore him.
Monitoring the rumors swirling around Washington could become a fulltime job. One day President Trump is all in on the American Health Care Act, the hastily assembled Republican healthcare bill. It quickly devolved into Trumpcare, a collection of disparate bargaining chips unloved by even its creators. The AHCA didn’t have a champion, just Trump offering one more deal to find a vote or two. The AHCA died without a vote. And who was the first to kick dirt on the grave? Donald Trump!
I’m a little surprised, to be honest with you. We really had it. It was pretty much there within grasp. But I’ll tell you what’s going to come out of it is a better bill — I really believe a better bill. Because there were things in this bill I didn’t particularly love. And I think it’s a better bill.
The big rumor today is that Trump is threatening to undermine the tax credit subsidies in an effort to torpedo The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The other alternative is that this is a bluff to force Democrats, legislators that have exhibited a certain level of seriousness on the healthcare issue, to come to the table. This would not be to discuss improving the way we pay for healthcare. No, this would be about the dismantling of Obamacare. It is important to remember that repealing Obamacare does not get one more patient admitted to a hospital nor does it guarantee the payment of a single doctor’s fee. Repealing Obamacare is the political exercise of the intellectually flabby.
Jeffrey Lord has represented Donald Trump on CNN for the last year. Today he declared Trump to be the Martin Luther King, Jr. of healthcare. Honest. I can’t make this stuff up. Two days ago Sean Spicer lauded Adolph Hitler’s restraint with poison gas as compared to Assad in Syria. Why appropriate other people’s heroes or minimize other people’s suffering unless they are simply means to an end. Why shift positions on ALL issues unless no position has any value save as a stepping stone to a deal, regardless of the terms. And why pledge loyalty to someone who places no value in relationships that fail to yield results.
Loyalty. Truth. The ability to look someone in the eye and tell him when he is wrong and demand a heartfelt apology. Friend, the person that brings out the very best in each of us. American needs Donald Trump to find a friend.