by William Skink
If the “resistance” can avoid outrage fatigue, there is going to be another problem to figure out: what do they stand for?
Moving nearly as fast as the waves of surging anger, the co-opters quickly position themselves to redirect this emotional currency into the political graveyard where the anti-war movement and equality camps of the 99% are buried.
So what do you stand for? Will you stand for Cory Booker sucking up some oxygen for the resistance?
Leave it to Cory Booker to find a way to anger both liberals and conservatives within just a few hours.
The New Jersey senator’s unprecedented decision to testify against attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions earlier this month infuriated the right. That evening, it was the left’s turn to rip him after he joined mostly Republicans to vote down a symbolic amendment aimed at importing prescription drugs.
To Booker’s critics, the high-wire moves are all part of his positioning for 2020, when there’s likely to be a crowded Democratic primary. His emergence as a face of the Democratic resistance to Donald Trump while the party is desperately searching for new leadership is not lost on his fellow senators, party strategists or Washington’s chattering classes, even if Booker himself insists he’s not itching to take on Trump in 2020.
If the resistance doesn’t define itself, others will. Do you stand for letting politicians like Cory Booker and Jon Tester send their little signals of fealty to Big Pharma?
Resistance to the hatchet Trump is aiming at the ACA is another problematic area. I’ve been reading a lot about what losing insurance will mean, lots of personal stories tugging at your heart strings. And while these are important stories, it’s not the whole story.
The ACA is failing, but stories highlighting this reality are politically inconvenient for Democrats. It’s not perfect, they’ll say, but THOUSANDS WILL DIE BECAUSE TRUMP!!!
Medicaid in Montana is a perfect example. Democrats worked hard to get Medicaid expanded in Montana, and it’s had a positive impact for thousands who gained access. So what is there to complain about?
I’ve been learning a lot recently about Medicaid, and what I’ve learned is this: if you’re not poor enough to be eligible, the desperate need to become eligible for Medicaid will make you poor, fast. This reality is impacting older Montanans significantly every day.
Here’s the deal: Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term, in-home services that keep people living in their home instead of throwing in the towel and entering a nursing home. If a person can’t afford to pay out of pocket, then Medicaid is one of the few options available.
And here’s the problem: if you make more than around $640 dollars a month, and/or have more than 2,000 in savings, you aren’t eligible for Medicaid. To become eligible, you must do what’s called a Medicaid “spend down” which essentially means making yourself poor enough to qualify.
What does the resistance have to say about this? I hear murmurs of Medicare for all, but it’s not loud enough to keep the Cory Bookers and Jon Testers from acting like Pharma dollars are more important than American victims of the legal drug cartel paying these corrupt politicians off.
Finally, the wars. What does the resistance have to say about the wars? About drone strikes? Of course The Intercept isn’t going to be shy about pointing out that Trump has taken on Obama’s legacy of murdering the children of a US citizen also executed without due process, but I don’t consider The Intercept part of the resistance.
The wars are a big blind spot for the resistance because there is no way for them to swim through the dark sea of cognitive dissonance to the realization that if Hillary had been elected, wars wouldn’t be that big of an issue (until we all died from the third and final installment). It will be, of course, an immense issue when Trump’s Twitter tirades spark trade wars and probably a hot war or three.
Will anti-war resistance resurrect itself from the graveyard? Or will inconvenient Democrat complicity in a war machine that works overtime to make obscene profits and lots of refugees keep the issue of war largely off the table of resistance-worthy outrages?
I know, it’s a lot to absorb. Might as well just wait for the next Trump tweet to dominate the next 24hr news cycle.