In an effort to convince voters that his 2020 strategy revolves around something other than leveraging military aid to bully foreign countries into digging up dirt on Joe Biden, Donald Trump traveled to Florida on Thursday to give a speech about healthcare.
The event was set to include an executive order called – and we kid you not – “Protecting Medicare from Socialist Destruction”. Ultimately, someone at the White House thought better of the name. It was eventually rebranded to a much saner “Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors”.
Asked out the name change by Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, policy aide Joe Grogan said “I don’t know that we did change the name to be honest with you”. Unfortunately for Joe, Jennifer has this:
Anyway, Trump’s remarks at the event were characteristically unhinged. At this point, the president clearly feels like he might as well just say whatever he feels like saying, whenever he feels like saying it, demonstrating even less regard for decorum than he did prior to the impeachment inquiry.
A day after telling reporters (and the president of Finland) how big Mike Pompeo’s “jockstrap” is, Trump told a room full of seniors that he’s going to launch a state-sponsored television network because the media “hates your country”.
Move over Fox – arm’s length state television isn’t good enough anymore. Trump wants the real thing.
He also called the ACA “Obummercare”, and then got frustrated that not enough people caught the joke. “Obamacare – I didn’t say ‘Obummercare'”, a delirious Trump remarked.
Apropos of nothing in the context of healthcare, Trump told the audience that if anybody other than him becomes president, “the stock market’s going to hell”, along with the entire country.
You’re reminded that, as of right now, the stock market hasn’t gone anywhere since January of 2018 (as in, the S&P 500 is flat over that period). Moreover, stocks have demonstrated a remarkable tendency to “go to hell” whenever Trump escalates the trade war or otherwise acts crazy on Twitter, which is now an hourly occurrence.
As far as an actual, detailed healthcare plan is concerned, Trump parroted a familiar refrain – namely that he has a wonderful plan just waiting to be rolled out, and he’ll be more than happy to tell you all about it – just as soon as Republicans take back the House, retain the Senate and he’s reelected.
He also made sure to malign John McCain again for good measure. “Middle of the night, it’s just thumbs down”, Trump said, mocking the dead senator’s arms.
Shenanigans – that’s all this is. It’s a show.
There are no policies and there are no plans (on healthcare or anything else). Really, there isn’t even an administration to speak of. There is just Trump playing president.