Won’t somebody think of the children? Not in this Congress.
The GOP dropped any pretense that they want to protect children. They took children hostage — the uninsured and DACA kids –and made Democrats “buy them back” to get a short-term budget extension.
Predictably, the Dems have caved on DACA to get CHIP; but it’s worth noting what the GOP gave up to make that happen. There’s a reason why CHIP was a bipartisan bill — back in the day (2007); why a DACA fix had overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate — back in the day (2013). These are tremendously sympathetic groups of people. How can you be so monstrous that you’d deport kids that are as American as you and me? How could you take away a kid’s ability to see a doctor?
We’re beyond the point that the GOP cares about that simple type of decency. But I’m pretty sure that their position is horrible politics. And we’ll have to see if there is indeed a heavy political price to pay for this obvious meanness.
But we’re beyond the point that Congressional GOP members seem to care about even political repercussions. Perhaps it’s the Fox-freebasing primary voters that they fear most. Perhaps they feel insulated from public accountability, knowing they’re protected by gerrymandering with dark money billions to bail them out as needed.
At some level there’s some recognition that taking children hostage, thereby ceding their constituencies to the Democrats to save them, is a terrible, terrible look. There was some desperate I’m-the-rubber/You’re-the-glue whinging from Paul Ryan’s peanut gallery in the House. You can almost smell the flop-sweat in Rep. Tom Garrett’s filibustering on NPR’s Morning Edition.
I have to think that Trumpism, which creates new enemies on a daily basis, is a strange and ultimately unsuccessful way of doing politics. What do I know? Maybe it doesn’t work that way. Accountability only comes in November. They’re triple-dog-daring the electorate to say this is over the edge, morally.
There are only 287 days left.