The relentless Republican effort to see you die

October 3, 2017 Originally published on SFGate

Lindsay Graham (R-SC), one of the few in Congress who seemed to exhibit occasional moments of grown-up lucidity and common sense WRT pushing back, ever so slightly, on Trump’s more appalling revulsions, just went on Breitbart Radio, part of the white nationalist fake news site run by Steve Bannon, to urge its army of racists to “melt down” the phones lines of their state reps in order to help him pass the Graham-Cassidy bill, AKA what might be the nastiest, most hurtful, hail-Mary version of Trumpcare yet, because the GOP hates you.

Is there another explanation? As to why Republicans like Graham keep trying, over and over and in openly pitiless ways, to shiv the American experiment, gut the environment, reject the poor, hate on women, shoot down minorities and hurt as many humans as possible as quickly as possible, morality and compassion be damned?

Graham-Cassidy, rest assured, is one of the most frightening versions of Trumpcare yet. It would again strip basic health care from millions, erase all protections for pre-existing conditions, halt all Medicare expansion, give enormous power back to insurance industry and, in so doing, very much let thousands die and Trump’s base high-five each other in their lonely little basements. So again, why else but hate would Graham implore a bunch of white supremacists to help him destroy the smart black guy’s legacy? What is the true goal here?

Will it matter? It might not matter. Even if this awful bill fails, Trump is doing everything in his nefarious power to choke off funding for Obamacare, eliminate signups and destabilize the insurance markets. Obamacare is far too successful, popular and helpful to millions to fall on its own. They’ll kill it – and you (or your sick child, your cancer-stricken friend, your ailing mother) – one way or another.

What about EPA chief Scott Pruitt, “reviewing” the Obama-era rules limiting poisonous coal ash, the various residues left over after burning? “A toxic mix of mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals, coal ash can pollute waterways, poison wildlife and cause respiratory illness among those living near the massive storage pits plant operators use to contain it,” says WaPo.  Yeah, let’s keep more of that stuff around. What’s more heart disease, emphysema and lung cancer when already-collapsing coal profits are at stake?

And don’t forget the savage work of billionaire Education Secretary and noted despiser of public education Betsy DeVos, working not merely to screw over millions of grads suffering from crushing college loan debt, but also working diligently to roll back still more Obama-era rules designed to safeguard women from sexual assault and rape on college campuses, and instead re-empower the accused (AKA college boys)? As everyone knows, entitled college bros are just terribly disempowered when it comes to assaulting and raping women these days.

Know this now: Thanks to DeVos, if you have a college-aged daughter, her risk factors for abuse, rape, sexual assault and general loss of dignity are about to leap by a factor of Trump. This on top of the recent survey from the American Association of Universities, revealing that more than one in fourwomen said they had been sexually assaulted by force or when they were incapacitated while in college

Meanwhile, the president just re-tweeted a fake meme from a neo-Nazi site showing him smashing Hillary Clinton in the head with a golf ball. So funny, that casual sexist assault. Got a good laugh from the inbred base, to be sure. I mean, to hell with women and their dumb complaints and their Planned Parenthood, right? What are they gonna do, hold a march?

There is, we are consistently reassured, no low too low for the Trump administration to plunge, no insult to human life and common decency too grossly derogatory. Anything you think they’d couldn’t, wouldn’t possibly do, they will absolutely do. And do again.

And why not? Why should they care about repercussions? Behold Sean Spicer, milquetoast accomplice to – and foul purveyor of – some of the most intentionally deceptive, hurtful lies in recent White House spokesperson history. Spicer was just hired by Harvard, and enjoyed a cute little cameo on the Emmy Awards, “making fun of himself,” AKA his “hair-tossing by Jimmy Fallon” moment, because violent misrepresentation of facts and policy is so adorable! And lo, Spicer’s gutterball reputation has been resurrected by the machinations of pop culture. Is there no shame? There is no shame.

Curious thing. During a night when women and minorities dominated the Emmy’s, when it was made potently, wonderfully evident that American culture and its social fabric are indeed far more diverse, colorful and (erratically, but powerfully) evolving than the Trump-mauled headlines let on, it’s almost as though Spicer rolled onstage as a cruel reminder of who, right now anyway, still holds the real power, and what flavor of gloating death his clan of supremacist-supporting, immigrant-hating, women-bashing Republicans wish upon everyone attending.

Don’t get too pleased with yourself, educated, progressive, multicultural America. The old racist reality TV game show host and his vile clown car still have their finger on the button. And lo, they wish you ill.

Mark Morford

About Mark Morford