Lorie Shaull / Flickr Rep Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck...
Lorie Shaull / Flickr

You may remember, back in September, there was a little meeting held in the White House among five adversaries. The participants were Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi. The meeting was supposed to be little more than a meet-and-greet, a chance to try to lay out some parameters and ground work for a continuing resolution to keep the government open.That was before Trump opened his mouth. The “worlds greatest negotiator” came out looking like a 17 year old in his first trip to Spikes Used Car lot. McConnell and Ryan were aghast when the Inglorious Basterd basically gave away el rancho for free, giving the Democrats everything they wanted for a lousy 3 month extension. McConnell and Ryan had been counting on an 18 month extension to get them through the midterms, but Pelosi and Schumer knew better. 

And now, thanks to Der Gropinfuror’s political malpractice, Pelosi and Schumer have another chance to give His Lowness and the GOP another negotiating wedgie. And in doing so, they can ensure that Trump and the GOP monopoly on government goes down in history as the most ineffective first year administration in history. There’s gonna be a GOP futility reunion tour with all of the usual suspects in the White House on Tuesday to do the same thing they did in September.

McConnell and Ryan have different priorities than Trump. Trump lives for face time and adulation, and he feels he can create that for himself. McConnell and Ryan need accomplishments for their members to run on next year. And the accomplishment they need the most is huge, top heavy tax cuts. The word has already gone out from the big donors, no tax cuts, no donations next year. Tis is why the GOP leadership is so hell bent for leather to get them done soonest. They’ll figure out how to shill the constituent straights later, without donations they’re sunk.

Here’s how Chuck and Nancy can sink taxes in one fell swoop. The GOP has a ceiling that they have to work under in the Senate. A tax bill that expands the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion doesn’t qualify for a simple majority vote, and no Democrats will support this bill. Hold the government hostage with a shutdown, God knows the Republicans damned near wrote that playbook. The ransom? A guarantee of no legislative action to terminate the ACA’s individual mandate for the duration of the continuing resolution to keep the government running. Why that? Simple, Mes Ami. The GOP is planning on using the savings gained by no longer having to pay premium assistance for people getting insurance. If the individual mandate is scrapped, healthy people won’t get insurance, and the GOP will use those savings to help pay for the tax cuts. Without those savings to add to the kitty, it will be almost impossible for the GOP to keep the deficit increase under $1.5 trillion, And without that, the GOP will need 60 votes in the Senate for cloture on the bill, which they’re n ever gonna get.

Trump is so adept at throwing vast quantities of nice, shiny new stupid at us that it is natural to forget what came before. But “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, and Trump’s negotiating skills are about to go into reruns. But this could well be one show I don’t mind seeing a second time.

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