Only billionaires — from Sheldon Adelson to King Salman of Saudi Arabia — can count on Trump
You’ve probably heard that this week Paul Ryan convinced Sheldon Adelson to give Republicans $30 million to save the party’s House majority. This unholy act of corruption was only “legal” because Paul Ryan left the room for the literal money shot.
For the price of 5 percent of his company’s tax cuts from JUST THIS QUARTER, the casino billionaire put the GOP a lot closer to preserving their rule, preventing any actual oversight of the Trump Administration (or the Census) and making a mockery of the rule of law.
And if that $30 million isn’t enough…
The tax cut — the one that Adelson didn’t need — is the ultimate kept promise for Trump’s rich donors. But this particular billionaire was likely celebrating another Trump promise kept: Breaking the Iran deal.
Adelson, who is most likely the reason we now have John Bolton as our National Security Advisor, has has supported negotiating with Iran — if by negotiating you mean “attacking the country with an atomic bomb” and waiting for Iran to beg for mercy briefly before destroying Tehran and killing, presumably, millions.
Moving us perilously closer with Iran — while tacitly admitting that the Iran Deal is working by demanding Iran continue the international inspections that only exist because of the deal — is a promise that Trump can keep. Because it’s a promise Mike Pence would keep.
It’s the GOP promise.
A policy that necessitates regime change in Iran is the only conceivable endpoint of a demand that Iran not even pursue a nuclear power program, which was all it was doing before the deal. (We know this because even the amazing trove of intelligence found by the Israeli Mossad confirmed that Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been dormant for longer than Trump has been a Republican.) Strangely enough, this policy just happens to be similar if not identical to the wishes of the King of Saudi Arabia, another of Trump’s billionaire patrons.
On the campaign trail, Trump did make a few very non-GOP promises.
Most notably he said he would negotiate with drug companies to get lower prices for Medicare. This week he broke this promise. This surprised no one. The New York Times covered it on page A18.
Because Trump is the worst liar to ever participate in public life, this betrayal — like Trump’s broken promise to not call for cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid — garners little-to-no blowback. Trump and his staff are rarely asked to even justify these massive reversals that helped the self-proclaimed billionaire spin himself as a non-traditional Republican.
We on the left who have a hard time sympathizing with those who bought into obvious racism rarely focus on it, but Trump’s betrayals of the aging white people who backed in massive numbers are endless.
Here are some other notable slights to the voters that counted on him most:
- It took him more a year to present a plan for the opioid crisis that contained nothing new but vagaries
- Under Trump, coal’s rate of collapse to be ‘more than twice’ what analysts previously projected
- Huge health insurance premiums are coming for Americans who don’t receive subsidies; these Americans are mostly likely to be older, whiter Americans and the worst increases are expected in red states
- Older Americans up to age 59 would see new work requirements for food stamps that could lock them out the benefit for up to three years
If were actually suffering from “economic anxiety” because of actual economic issues, the prospect of a shredding safety net and massive new burdens on the poor may not thrill you.
Still, Trump’s base hasn’t abandoned him. They’ve only grown more loyal as his moral failings become more transparent. This is because they understand Trump’s appeal — the power to punish your enemies unrepentantly.
This is why racism is a scam: it brutalizes everyone but the richest, who are making out like Midas in this administration.
Whether its fecklessly smiting Iran for honoring a deal with us, punishing kids at our border, tormenting trans Americans, abandoning those burdened with student loan debt by profiteers or transmuting our courts into the Christian white male bastion that America will never be again, Trump keeps promises that please his big donors.
But the sadistic vows Trump keeps are paid for by the far more consequential ones he breaks.
Sheldon Adelson doesn’t need Medicaid or lower Medicare drug prices. He needs bodies willing to die in a war he desperately wants. He’s got that now. And as long as he’s got Trump in office, unchecked by Congress, he’s got us.
[Photo by Bectrigger]