View from the Left: Reeling on health care, Republicans double down on anti-immigrant racism
In several tweets on Thursday, Donald Trump gave up Republicans' greatest weaknesses heading into the midterms: their biggest Achilles heel is how unpopular what they tried to do on health care was, in part, because what they did do on taxes turned out to be such a complete loser.
«All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions,» Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon, «and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them. I am in total support. Also, Democrats will destroy your Medicare, and I will keep it healthy and well!»
What Republicans actually attempted to do and are still gunning for is gutting pre-existing condition coverage. It was not only a centerpiece of the Trumpcare bill they celebrated passing through the House in a Rose Garden ceremony, it's also the very same provision Trump's Justice Department declared unconstitutional in a 180 degree reversal for the agency. In other words, Trump lied. But he didn't stop there. He then projected Mitch McConnell's stated goal—cutting Medicare—onto Democrats, who are in fact fighting to save the critical program.
That deceptive midday tweet was a tell: Hey, forget about all this health care stuff, it's killing us!
What Trump wants everyone to focus on was what he began his day with, devoting three tweets to racist anti-immigrant fear-mongering about a caravan of thousands of Honduran refugees walking toward Mexico, with the ultimate goal of reaching the U.S.
«I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S.,» Trump wrote. «The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA.»
Along with warning he might «call up the U.S. military» to stop the refugees from entering the U.S., Trump is now threatening to renege on his warmed over NAFTA trade deal with Mexico and Canada (i.e. USMCA) if Mexico doesn't stop the caravan. In other words, he's willing to kill the trade deals many Americans, including struggling farmers, have been praying for in order to wield immigration as an election issue.
Certainly, immigration is the fight Trump's been longing for—he's convinced it's the silver bullet for Republicans even though every GOP candidate in a high-profile race who has made nativism the centerpiece of their campaign over the past two years has lost. Think GOP Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie last year, or Republican Rick Saccone who lost the PA-18 special election last spring to Democrat Conor Lamb in a district Trump had carried by 20 points.