Day 56: Quietly, Republicans have had a really bad week

The country was not rocked by a huge headline or scandal this week, but it has been rough going for Republicans.

Initially, for the first time, a Republican in the House indicated that they would not support the odious health care reform bill supported by Donald Trump.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who has represented South Florida for 28 years, said:

While Ros-Lehtinen indicated she still opposes Obamacare, she noted how many people are enrolled in plans under the act and wants a better alternative before scrapping it.

Then, Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price tried to defend the bill that he clearly did not understand, and perhaps hadn’t even read.

Next, Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a man fighting off perjury allegations at the moment — nearly equated heroin and marijuana.

According to a recent Quinnipac Poll, most people, including Republicans, strongly disagree with Sessions’ stance on this issue.

Voters support 93–6 percent legalized marijuana for medical purposes if prescribed by a doctor.
The government should not enforce federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana use, voters say 71–23 percent. Voters in every listed group support this position.

The current administration’s hypocrisy on “states’ rights” issues couldn’t be more apparent. For example, they tout “states’ rights” for things like environmental decisions (as EPA chief Scott Pruitt recently did) or immunizations (as HHS Sec. Tom Price recently did), but pollution and disease don’t care at all about man-made state lines. Yet for something like marijuana, states’ rights are trumped by personal desire of an attorney general who is basing decisions on his gut over science and the will of the voters.

Republicans are also attacking each other on the Senate floor and national television, with John McCain (R-AZ) accusing Rand Paul (R-KY) of “working for Vladimir Putin.”

They continue to distance themselves from the time a sitting president baselessly accused a former president of numerous felonies, including wiretapping.

Finally, United States District Judge Derrick Watson — previously confirmed 94–0 by the Senate — issued a nationwide injunction halting the new travel ban/Muslim ban just before it was to be put into effect.

This will be a long fight that is overwhelmingly likely going to be settled by the Supreme Court. But Trump and his team’s own words are a huge strike against them, no matter how many iterations of the executive order are signed.

Health care bill defections, hypocrisy, in-fighting within branches, in-fighting between branches and the temporary strike down of a travel ban: it’s been a tough week for Republicans.

56 days in, 1406 to go

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