Donald Trump’s new favorite attack line is that Hillary Clinton has been in public service for 30+ years, and hasn’t accomplished anything. Trump suggested in the latest debate that if Hillary Clinton and Democrats really wanted to do everything they campaign about, they would have done it already.
This sounds like an effective criticism, but only if one entirely disregards the concurrent existence of the Republican Party.
Trump has blamed Clinton for voters’ problems throughout the election, especially the problems Clinton has been attempting to solve her entire career, but this runs against the reality that the Republican Party has been infamously obstructionist since Ronald Reagan declared that government is America’s problem.
Healthcare is the perfect example. Hillary Clinton worked for healthcare reform with Bill Clinton in the 90s, and Republicans killed it. Then Obama finally passed a healthcare bill, but despite united Republican obstruction.
Since Obamacare’s enactment, Republicans have blamed Obamacare for problems that are certainly a result of Republican apathy and their Congressional sabotage. The bill that became Obamacare was watered down and liberally compromised in many areas by Republican committee men and women, and yet they STILL voted against the bill en masse. The Republican Party simply does not compromise in good faith, and does not govern with political integrity.
Nowhere is this more evident than the GOP’s incitement of the faux-populist demagoguery that Donald Trump is currently exploiting, and Trump is just repeating the same Republican strategy by blaming Clinton for the effects of Republican politicians’ political zealotry.
It is a recurring Republican strategy in most areas of governance:
- Step 1—Become the reason why government does not function properly.
- Step 2—Blame Democrats because the government does not function properly.
It is minority-party hyper-partisanship, and it is bullshit politics. Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to repeal Obamacare entirely, and his only idea of a replacement is to (ironically) tear down the health insurance walls between states. Trump doesn’t mind the continuing destructive commoditization of healthcare, and, rather than have the public government nationalize healthcare as a human right, Trump’s national competition plan would likely result in the privatized Walmart-ization of the healthcare industry. And presumably Trump would not stop them from going back to refusing healthcare to people with pre-existing conditions.
Trump’s healthcare policy (singular, mind you) is a skim, superficial fix for real Obamacare problems, especially as repealing Obamacare will remove regulations that most Americans enthusiastically approve of, such as kids being able to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans until 26 and the illegality of lifetime healthcare caps.
Obamacare has certainly been weaker than it could have been, but this is due largely to Republicans’ party-first commitment to making Obama look bad. The fixes that Hillary Clinton is proposing now are the same ideas she was fighting for back in the 90s, when Republicans backstabbed Democrats’ attempt to improve Americans’ lives. It has been a thankless effort because Republicans have lyingly smeared Democrats’ good intentions as a government take-over or other nefarious, allegedly communist schemes.
Donald Trump can blame Clinton and Democrats for healthcare woes all he wants, but Democrats have not been the party trying to kill healthcare reform legislative efforts since Harry Truman.