The Flight 93 Presidency

Remember “The Flight 93 Election“?  This was the (in)famous essay in which “Publius Decius Mus” (now ensconced in Pres. Trump’s NSC) essentially posited the 2016 vote was between Trump and The Death of America.

What people tend to forget about the essay is that (like most of its genre) it was far more an attack on conservatives than an argument for Trump.  Publius mostly contended that if conservatives were sincere in their concerns, they must believe that America is headed off a cliff, and their failure to embrace Trump as the only viable alternative to the End Times revealed their insincerity and their lack of faith in their own philosophy.

Well, the GOP stormed the cockpit and put Trump in the pilot’s chair.  One of his first major acts as Pilot-in-Chief is throwing his weight behind the House GOP’s draft American Healthcare Act, also known as “please don’t call it Trumpcare, even though we’re calling it terrific.”

Even if it’s unfair to call it Obamacare 2.0 (there are, for example, some things to like in the Medicaid reform piece of the bill), Trumpcare is the legislation of pale pastels, not bold colors.  It does not even restore the pre-Obamacare status quo, which already had too much government distortion of the healthcare sector.

Trumpcare is nowhere near a proposal that reforms the healthcare and insurance industries in the way Republicans and conservatives have been arguing for years (even if they also argued about the details).  I also seriously doubt that “phase three” of the GOP healthcare agenda will significantly advance those goals, even if they manage to get it through the Senate.

Trumpcare is a classic case of the conservative critique of the Congressional GOP.  For years, the GOP has declared Obamacare a major step toward the death of the Republic (not an unfair point), but now has underdelived again, breeding more of the mistrust and cynicism that fueled Trump’s ascent to the White House.

The difference this time is that Trump is fully supporting this miquetoast mish-mosh.  Given his past statements that “[w]e’re going to have insurance for everybody” and “the government’s gonna pay for it,” that’s not surprising.

Trump’s endorsement of marginal tinkering, however, does put the lie to the so-called argument of Publius and those echoing his attacks.  For the Ever Trumpers, it appears that as the ground rushes upward toward the plane, pulling up five or ten degrees is perfectly acceptable, so long as Trump is in the pilot’s chair.

In fact, it’s worse than that.  Trump reportedly told leaders of conservative groups that if Trumpcare fails, his strategy will be to allow Obamacare to fail and let Democrats take the blame.  He’s apparently considered letting the plane crash, to the extent that he can get some political gain out of it.

The Ever Trumpers won’t object, because their apocalyptic pose is every bit as phony as their postmodern nihilism.  Flight 93 passengers they ain’t.

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