News About Old People - 11 January 2017
The Long, Slow Winding Down of Old Age

How Trump Will Get Anything He Wants From Congress

I believe this is important enough to publish on what is usually an “off day” for Time Goes by.


If you have been following the Republican/Democratic discussion over repealing Obamacare, it has become obvious that it is way too complex to replace the ACA than can be done in a week or two.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday that is what Donald Trump demanded: that Congress repeal Obamacare and replace it “within weeks,” as The New York Times reported.

Further from The Times [emphasis is mine]:

"...[Trump] threatened Democrats who might stand in his way, saying he would campaign against them, especially in states that he won in November.

“'I feel that repeal and replace have to be together,” said Trump “for very simply, I think that the Democrats should want to fix Obamacare. They cannot live with it, and they have to go together...'

“'It may not get approved the first time, and it may not get approved the second time, but the Democrats who will try not to approve it will be at risk, warning that 'they have 10 people coming up' for re-election in 2018. That alluded to Democratic senators in states he won.

“'I won some of those states by numbers that nobody has seen. I will be out there campaigning,' he said.”

That is, campaigning against any Democrat who does not vote in line with Trump.

Is there any precedent for this from a president? Dear god, what have we wrought.


I think his press "conference" yesterday set the tone for what we can expect in the next (shudder) four years. There'll be a smug time in the old town tonight.

The Republicans were the majority in Congress last 4 years, but yet they blame President Obama for every negative thing.

The news media keep showing the elevator at Trump tower, heads of major corporations are going up kiss the hand of the king on the throne. I am waiting for one of them to say "the emperor has no clothes."

Linda C...
"Kiss the HAND of the king"? I think you have misidentified the body part.

First a general word of thanks for the contents of this blog. My work for many years has focused on gender and age generally from a critical perspectives (recent book Women in Late Life: Critical Perspectives on Gender and Age develops many of the themes addressed in TGB). The political commentary of the most recent posting is "right on" and reflects the coarsening of American politics and its dominance by an insidious neoliberal narrative that supports the relative disdain for government and the essential role it plays in sustaining those the market cannot serve. Carry on: the battles that lie ahead will need all the resistance we can muster
Martha Holstein

Again, thank you for keeping us up to date. I think the smug look on Trump's face as he goes about the business of dismantling everything Obama stood for says it all.

Remember his promise to act more presidential if he was elected? I can't imagine a U.S. leader who represents the office by tweeting out insults as soon as someone fails to tell him how great he is.

I have actual fear for what our country has and may become. And the word "great" isn't what comes to mind.

Thanks Ronni for all your work and time!

He resembles a carnival barker at the press conference, and insulting (pointing rather than knowing the reporters' names) and calling them 'You!', which he believes puts him above others and feeds his deepest desires and insecurities to be a winner, always the winner. So he needs conflict.

He, Ryan and other Republicans are showing their sliminess and how insensitive beings they are by beginning the Obamacare repeal before the change in government, like kicking garbage to the curb. They are sending a message of their pathetic power, not gracefully either.

What a stark contrast to President Obama's heartfelt, intelligent farewell address, with family and bro Biden making his exit all the more painful.

But I celebrate our having and his giving us more than any President in my history.

For the first time in my life, I am sick to my stomach when I watch the news. (And I've switched from ABC, where if it bleeds it leads, to the BBC.)

During George Bush's Presidency I was often angry, but never sickened or afraid for our country. I am now.

It's quickly proving to be as bad as many of us feared. I cannot imagine on what basis some people thought he would be different nearing or after the inauguration. As a commentator on one program yesterday said, it may not be far down the road before we're longing for the "salad days" of the transition period.

A friend of mine was able to attend President Obama's farewell address in Chicago with her family. Her excitement and awe were, I'm sure, in stark contrast to the feelings of those present at the president-elect's press conference yesterday. I can hardly stand to even think about watching the inauguration. In the words of DJT, "So sad."

Frankly I suggest the best strategy for the Dems (and us) is to fight but in the end just let them have what they want. If we fight (and win) they will just blame the obstructionist Democrats that they could not get anything done or fixed. Leading possibly a larger Republican majority after 2018.

If we let * and company get what they want it will probably piss off enough people that the Democrats could reap a majority after 2018. And then maybe fix some of what got screwed up.

I really want to just stop reading the news but it's like watching a YouTube video of car crashes - you can't stop watching only to see if the next one will be worse than the last.

As Jean said above, I too am sick to my stomach when watching the news these days. And what scares me is that I am still paralyzed by fear and disbelief, and I have the feeling that there's nothing we can do to stop DJT and his cronies from destroying this country, both morally and economically. They are blatantly violating laws left and right without shame. I read your wonderful article "Things To Do Now to Resist and Protect," and am trying so hard to find my will to fight! But I still can't adjust to this insane alternate reality they've created. I'm like a deer in the headlights, I suppose.

Thank you so much, Ronni, for being a strong voice in the Resistance.

Same bullying tactics he's always used - applies threats and distorts truth - and he's not going to change. His type of personality is difficult to deal with and it will be a challenge for all of us, including all members of Congress.

OK, I absolutely am opposed to Trump and what he stands for and how he talks. But I watched the first two confirmation hearings and heard some thing by those candidates that sounded okay. For instance, Sessions said he would follow the laws of the land including LGBTQ laws, Rowe vs Wade, and another one I cared about but forget the name of. And some of what Tillerson agreed with my own opinions. Not everything, but some. I thought his outline of what he would have done about Russia taking the Crimea was pretty good, actually.

I don't want to be like some Trump supporters and Republicans were by opposing absolutely everything Obama put foward. For fairness I want to find SOMETHING good. And for my own mental health. It's likely these people will be approved and I can't stand thinking of all of them as 100% evil or wrong.

I am calling my congressmen and telling them what concerns me about the candidates. Rich Education Lady, for instance. Also, does anyone find it the tiniest bit hopeful that Trump is saying it won't be just termination for ACA but will include another plan to (possibly) add an improvement?

It will be interesting to see what happens when the Republican Congress insists on repealing the ACA before offering any alternatives, while Trump insists the action must be both repeal and replace. I see a wee bit of hope in that. Not a lot, but maybe, just maybe, they won't throw the baby out with the bath water.

I'm trying to temper my fear. This does not help. :-(

This guy did not campaign. He tweeted and held rallies. Because of his long running TV show, polls got his attention.

Wait til January 21.

I don't have words to express how thoroughly disgusted I am with the president-elect. The next four years are going to be stomach turning.

Thank you Ronni for all you do. And a thank you to your readers & commenters, who are also appalled at what is happening to our great nation. It is gratifying to come here to find others who are also concerned & worried, as I am. I don't feel so alone when I read how others feel about what is happening. When I read some of the comments in the local newspaper, or the New York Times, or the Washington Post, where people gloat that * won the election, and how awful the last eight years have been, then I wonder why they feel that way. What world do they live in? Why are they so filled with hate? I am 72 years old, and have disagreed with elected officials before, but have never felt like I do about this last election, where I am worried that by the end of the next four years, our country as I have know it will have disappeared, and a virtual dictatorship will have taken its place. I sincerely hope I am wrong, & am being overly pessimistic. (And I am known as being an optimist!) Well, I will take pen in hand & try to do my part. I hear the pen is mightier than the sword.

The press conference was a MacGuffin as explained (in Wikipedia) by Alfred Hitchcock as the object around which the plot revolves, but as to what that object specifically is, he declared, "The audience don't care"

And while the press was covering the bogus news conference, where is full coverage of the confirmation hearings? Nowhere. The Times has a short briefing with 10 insignificant bites.

One commenter to Gail Collins’ column yesterday wrote “while your paper is busy covering Trump's "news" conference, I cannot find online all the stunning testimony and responses from the heads of the NAACP and the ACLU today at Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing. Trump's timing of his "news" prevented Americans from easily seeing and hearing these riveting accounts of Sessions' record and tolerance for voter suppression.”

His excellence is a chump, actually the minion of everyone kissing his “misidentified…body part.” (yes, Ronni, you made me laugh out loud!) They all know how he can be used from the Russians to Congress to his appointees. And they can’t be his actual chosen appointees, because he is clueless.

There is no point watching him do and say the same things repeatedly and expecting something different. There is only hope in activism and in continuing to lean on elected officials at all levels and on the press.

I for one cannot let them just have what they want . I want them exposed for who they are, and I want the people who are very vulnerable protected.

Just got an email that says * and his fellow shysters are already laying the foundation for repealing Medicare...

Simone, I am SO glad to see someone else describe The Orange Apparition as a carnival barker. That he is. That's his major talent: he got a whole lot of gullible people to walk through the curtains to see the show. He did so without having a clue as to what the show (i.e., actually being President of the U.S.) was all about. He didn't know then and doesn't know now--9 days before his inauguration. I've watched every inauguration since 1960, but I won't be watching next week. This one feels like a requiem for the country I thought I knew.

I also agree totally with your comments about President Obama. He and Michelle represent "true class" as opposed to the ersatz, gilt-and-glitter variety put forth by The Orange Apparition. The Obamas brought intelligence, kindness, concern for the country and its people, steadfastness, strength and dignity to the office. All those qualities will walk out the White House door with them, although I'm confident that they will continue contributing their many talents to our country.

Looking to 2018, Bob may have a point about the Repugnicans "winning" some initial battles--over our protests, of course. If they manage to repeal the ACA (with no reasonable replacement in sight) and begin trying to privatize Medicare, it will probably begin to hit home in early 2018 for voters who have lost their health insurance or for elders faced with paying more out of pocket for healthcare. About that time some * voters may realize that while their tax cut would amount to maybe $120/year, those in the 1% would save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There may be a tiny sliver of incremental hope for 2018 out there. . .

As always I am so thankful for TGB ......knowing that others share a deep love for our world and a sense of alarm about where we are at this time. Speaking out, emailing and/or phoning legislators, signing petitions are so much more satisfying than ranting and gnashing my teeth!

Thank you Ronni We DO live in interesting times!


I'm watching this carnival via European news coverage. Friends tell me what's unfolding won't make America great again. I'm getting an Irish passport because I'm sickened.

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