Donald Trump

Trump Declares War on the Freedom Caucus

"We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018," the president tweets.

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What's the old saw? They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton, the president would declare war against the House Freedom Caucus. And he did! (Though I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton….) Anyway, here's your moment of Trump:

Eagle-eyed observers might note that the president has a problem with math here. Namely, if you subtract the 32 or so members of the House Freedom Caucus, that wipes out nearly all of the Republican Party's current 34-seat majority (which will likely swell back up to 37 once vacated seats are filled) in the House of Representatives. A handful of GOP senators—most notably Rand Paul and Mike Lee, occasionally Ted Cruz and Jeff Flake—could be seen as HFC co-conspirators, and WHOOPS there goes your 52-48 whip-count. A party looking to pass legislation can "fight" against the Freedom Caucus or fight against the Democrats; but until there is any sign of a centrist-Dem flight toward a historically unpopular Republican president, you really do have to pick just one.

Some of Trumpworld's pressure on the group is working; as mentioned here before, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) resigned from the Freedom Caucus in the wake of the Ryancare debacle, and now his fellow Texan Brian Babin might follow suit. Other members are expressing their anxiety about the conflict, as expressed in this Politico article from today:

"Here will be the test: My hope is the president will be inclined to allow the negotiations to go forward and we will be allowed to get a better bill than we did before," said group member Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) in a brief interview Tuesday. "If we do, the Freedom Caucus will have a great equity in that conclusion. If we don't, if we see the thing fail completely — nothing but shards around us — then we probably saw the Freedom Caucus overplay their hand… and I say that as a grateful member of the Freedom Caucus."

As I noted in a presciently headlined Friday post "Having Co-Opted the Tea Party Nationwide, Trump Tries to Stamp out its Remnants in Congress," there's a tremendous paradox here: "The very establishment he once railed against for being power-hungry sellouts have now sold themselves out to Donald Trump in order to retain power. And now both sides have joined up in trying to stamp out the last remaining principled deviants." On Tuesday, House Freedom Caucus friend (though not quite member) Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) confessed to me his "great fear" about Trump going native in D.C.:

You know, Donald Trump campaigned on draining the swamp. If he gets up here and hops in and thinks it's a hot tub, like the rest of these guys, we're going to be in trouble….I think when people looked at 16 candidates on the [presidential primary] stage, they said "That's the guy that doesn't owe anybody in Washington, D.C., anything, and that's the guy least likely to fall in league with the rest of them when he gets there, and the guy most likely to get us some change." And that's why they voted for him.

The biggest risk of this is going to be if he comes here and he doesn't do what he said, and if he becomes establishment, then the next revolution is not going to be at the ballot box. I mean they are literally going to be here with pitchforks and torches if electing Donald Trump didn't change anything. What the hell is going to change anything? That's what I think may be the next step.

Speaking of Massie:

UPDATE: Now comes key Freedom Caucus figure Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.):

So will Democrats now strategically reach out to the libertarian-leaners across the aisle? Ha ha, fat chance. But we did tell you that they'll eventually come to selectively appreciate their efforts:

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161 responses to “Trump Declares War on the Freedom Caucus

  1. Welch and the Fifth Column are going to be eating lunch on that admittedly good Massie interview for a while. Laurels have an expiration date. Do more Fifth Column interviews. And get them in studio. (Although Massie’s audio level was arguably better than Moynihan’s.)

    All the Freedom Caucus has to do is send a few fawning twitters Trump’s way. He’ll reverse course.

    1. I assume these will be wet lunches.

  2. (Although Massie’s audio level was arguably better than Moynihan’s.)

    Yes, well, his sobriety level was objectively better, so there you go.

    1. Moynihan at times sounded like a heckler in the back row. No Kmele Foster Brooks this time, either, and that was a shame.

      1. I find Kmele’s voice quite soothing, and Moynihan’s voice a little grating at times, so listening to the latest Fifth Column put my body through several cycles of hormesis. I feel rejuvenated.

        1. How do you feel about Moynihan’s Jesse Jackson impression? There is a correct answer to this question.

          1. I like all of Moynihan’s impressions, of course.

          2. I would pay good money to watch a debate between Moynihan-Jackson and Moynihan-Napolitano.

            1. “Watch”? So are we talking blackface? And wopface?

  3. (Though I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton?.)

    THOUGH DOTHEST PROTEST TOO MUCH

    1. Is that how they talked back in Shakespeare days? What a bunch of weirdos.

  4. They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton, the president would declare war against the House Freedom Caucus. And he did!

    A-ha! He finally admits it! Leftist scum Reason was in the tank for Hillary all along! I KNEW IT!!!!!

    (Though I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton?.)

    Now I don’t know what to believe.

    1. If you can’t believe The Donald, who can you believe?

      1. Harold Camping?

      2. Hitler?

      3. The Baron von Munchausen?

    2. I have it on good authority that 100% of Reason writers voted for Democrats in the last 3 presidential elections.

      1. Oh FFS, this again? Go back and read their testimonials. It hovers around 80% Democrats, 20% establishment LINOs, -10% MAGA.

        1. But that only adds up to 90%.

          I hope you know I was joking. It really is getting hard to do parody.

          1. Look, Zeb. This is the Age of Trump. This is no time to be sitting around joking. America is being torn apart by radical Nazi racist hicks and you think you can make a joke? You ought to be ashamed of yourself. This is the Internet where serious people come up with serious solutions to serious problems. If you want to be Mr Funny Man, go do your bit at the local comedy club.

            1. Oh, right. Excuse me while I go find a Nazi to punch.

          1. I’m pretty sure we are all just attempting to be funny.

            1. Let’s just say I’ve read a lot of comments on the topic over the years, and created those links for a reason. I’ll err on the side of malfunctioning sarcasmdar.

              1. Matt, be honest now. You all voted for Jill Stein because that would mean you would get invited to the *really awesome* Manhattan cocktail parties. You can tell me, I can keep a secret.

              2. The fact that you throw the commenters a bone once in a while, by stooping to our level and getting your brocaded silks a little muddy in the comment section, is why we love you so. You are like our Margaery Tyrell.

                1. Does that make Sikha our king Joffrey?

              3. Sarcasmdar? Is this some special device issued to the Reason staff? Us lowly folks down here gotta deal with sarcasmometers or sarcasmeters.

                1. “Sarcasmdar” is obviously something Matt picked up at one of the DC cocktail parties he and the rest of the Reason staff habitually attend.

                  “Sarcasmometers” or “sarcasmeters” are only used by us true libertarians.

                  1. The new fashion accessory is the sarcasmonocle. [sniff]

                    1. Speaking of which, in the interest of political correctness, I will now refer to my orphans as foundlings.

                2. Shit, I’ve been on the sarcasmatron since Reagan.

              4. I applaud your effort, but those of us in the trenches know: my comment above often comes after someone posts those links.

                1. Well, obviously the ones who said they voted libertarian or didn’t vote were lying.

          2. I think this is the second or third instance my lame sarcasm has prompted you to waste your time responding. I apologize, and I hope I have not distracted you too much from being at-large.

            Also, we all know you’re lying in those. Especially Suderman, who voted for Obama and Clinton in at least 2 states.

          3. Ha! Look at Matt trying to prove he is not a cuckaschmuck.

        2. How is Trump not a RINO?
          He’s like the ultimate RINO. He backed a healthcare plan that is essentially a total Republican cave on the ACA.

          1. Merica fuck yeah tits. Chicken wings.

            1. Pretty much.

          2. He doesn’t even know what is in the ACA or the the latest replacement plan.

          3. “How is Trump not a RINO?”

            Well it depends on what you think it means to be a Republican.

            If you think being a “true Republican” means espousing a generally conservative ideology and worldview, then yeah, Trump is a RINO. His conservatism is superficial at best.

            But if you think being a “true Republican” means being a SJW of the Right, always picking fights with the Left and engaged in an endless cultural war in a fight for the Soul of America, between the Real Muricans and the Treasonous Proggies, then Trump is definitely a Republican.

            1. Excellent observation.

          4. John will be here shortly to explain why Trump is the conservativest conservative ever.

          5. RINO? I don’t know. It seems to me that caving is very Republican.

  5. “The very establishment he once railed against for being power-hungry sellouts have now sold themselves out to Donald Trump in order to retain power. And now both sides have joined up in trying to stamp out the last remaining principled deviants.”

    It’s Lord of the Flies over there.

  6. My hope is the president will be inclined to allow the negotiations to go forward and we will be allowed to get a better bill than we did before

    Legislators need the president’s permission to draft legislation?

    Fucking useless cunts. What the fuck does it matter what the president wants? You’re the ones who write the bills. You don’t have to follow your servant’s timetable.

    1. Exactly. Trump will sign whatever gets passed.

      He has a laundry list of “winning” that has a box that needs checking.

    2. Maybe they’re afraid they’ll need his approval to win reelection. I think they’re mistaken. Trump lost most of his appeal the moment he stopped being an outside wrecking ball and became an incumbent.

      1. That’s true. The same forces that put him in can take him out. The little people now sense their power.

  7. I still think we should get rid of the Republican and Democrat parties and replace them with the Progressive and Conservative parties.

    1. So there will still be no parties for people interested in liberty?

    2. Wouldn’t that just be renaming…?

      1. No. You’d need to make a 3d party, “the spineless party”, so that most Republicans would have a place to go.

        1. Heh. I don’t know a thing about your political leanings so don’t think I’m saying this about you necessarily, but I’m beginning to suspect that every person who counts themselves as a member of one of two major parties thinks, at some level, that their party is “spineless, feckless, and ineffectual,” and the other party is “evil, united, and relentless.”

          The irony of course is that each side thinks it of the other. A group of politicians can essentially be described in antonyms depending on the observer.

  8. This is going to confuse the shit out of tony and weigel

  9. As one of your emissaries from the left, I’ll let you know when Trump starts becoming the nonideologue that Barack Obama and others held their flimsy hopes on.

    It’s not actually that he is an ideologue, it’s that he’s a fucking dumbass moron, apparently willing to be the puppet of anyone who flatters him enough, who has ideologues pulling his strings. As such a cipher, he is perfectly capable of being persuaded to turn off Morning Tits on Fox News and being led around by some other faction.

    1. Morning Tits on Fox News

      Misogynist!

    2. Ideologue Proposes Judging Ideologuishness Of Others; No Film At 11

      1. He did get it almost half right, I think.

        1. One eyed squirrel with a half blind good eye?

    3. As one of your emissaries from the left

      Can we send you back and get someone actually competent at the job?

      1. What makes you think Tony isn’t the left’s nearest analogue to a competent ambassador?

        1. He hasn’t got a pair of breasts? (or if he does they’re unwanted?)

          1. Thanks. Now I am imagining Tony with a pair of nice, supple breasts. How will I be able to hate him now?

            1. See, told you. The path to a fine ambassadorship is a stonking great pair of tits.

            2. Picture Chuck Schumer with implants.

              1. Chuck Schumer doesn’t need implants. He needs support.

      2. We could ay least find a well to kick him into.

    4. ideologue

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      1. It’s someone who thinks about stuff more than Trump but not enough to be rational about it.

        1. No, it means ‘someone you disagree with.’ Which kind of renders use of the word pointless, since it’s just a way of trying to explain away the fact that not everyone shares your own views.

    5. So you say he’s an ideologue, then the very next sentence say he isn’t an ideologue, but rather a shameless opportunist. Well which is it?

      This is kind of like how you can’t decide if he’s a fascist or an ancap.

      You have to learn that everything you hate can’t be embodied in the same entity.

  10. But, he says bad things about Social Justice Warriors!!!!
    That makes him our guy, right? RIGHT?

  11. Trump’s totally right. The Republican Party doesn’t need people who are actually interested in keeping campaign promises. #DrainTheSwamp

    /derp

  12. we probably saw the Freedom Caucus overplay their hand

    So you recognize the analogy to playing cards and ……..? It’s called a bluff you moron, you don’t tell the other player you’re bluffing and you’re pretty sure he’s not. You “hope” Trump comes back to the table and you “hope” you can get a better deal? That tells Trump you’re willing to compromise and that you’re not so sure he is willing to compromise. That puts Trump in the driver’s seat. If I were sitting at that table I’d be loudly crowing about what a shitty poker player Trump is, that it’s obvious he’s bluffing about walking away from the table or that he can make a better deal with the Dems and that the vote proves I’m the one holding the aces.

    Keep hitting that refrain about being elected to repeal Obamacare, not tinker around with it just enough that you now own the whole sack of shit, keep hitting the refrain about how the GOP being eager to bend over and compromise their principles is exactly what got Trump elected in the first place. Trump’s whole campaign was about how weak and spineless and gutless the GOP was – and now he’s demanding you keep right on being weak and spineless and gutless.

    1. Maybe it was a Bridge analogy. There are other card games besides poker, you know?

      1. From the looks of things, it’s more like a Go Fish analogy.

        1. I would have guessed 52 Card Pickup.

      2. Can’t be Bridge… one of its terms is “No Trump”.

    2. It’s funny because all last year I kept hearing Trumptards using words like ‘cuckservative’ to describe Republicans that would just cave in and let the Democrats have what they wanted.
      Who’s being cucked now?

      1. Oh I’m sure those same people will have some Scott Adams-esque 9-dimensional-chess explanation on how negotiating with Democrats in order to “fix” ObamaCare, instead of repealing it along the lines of what the Freedom Caucus wants, is some grand strategic move to “stick it to the left”.

        1. I don’t think they’re that sophisticated. They will actually swallow the line that the ACA was “repealed”. Then they will tell everyone how great TrumpCare is and yell ‘cuckservative’ a lot.

  13. In Soviet Amerika, swamp drains you! Not really surprising considering Drumpf has been a fucking life-long New York liberal Democrat “until recently”. Welcome to the new boss same as the old boss…..

      1. He succeeded Black Hussein Obumbler.

        Though he deserves more respect probably because he hand-rapes women.

        1. You’ve been here long enough to know the preferred retarded nickname is Block Insane Yomomma.

          1. When, in nearly a decade of shitcommenting, has Tony ever given the slightest indication of being able to learn or even pay attention?

          2. Hey, can we stop calling people racist just because they tell racist jokes and call Obama racist nicknames?

            1. In fairness I don’t think it’s John who came up with the “Block Insane Yomomma” nickname. As far as offense goes, it seems to me more a parody on the guy’s name, rather than some sort of racial epithet. There’s a lot more outrageous things out there about Obama (and Trump, and Bush, and Romney, and Hillary, etc.) than this particular gem.

              1. Any time you see a retarded nickname, you can thank Mike M aka Domestic Dissident. Retarded nicknames are his special way of dealing with the special world he lives in.

            2. I think we should just call everyone racists.

              1. It’s Domestic Dissident, despite being constantly mocked for being a moron for using it and thinking it’s even remotely clever.

            3. I don’t think “Block Insane Yomomma” is racist so much as it is just retarded. Or were you talking about Tony?

              1. It’s totally racist.
                Both ‘Block’ and ‘Yomomma’ attempt to link Obama to steroetypes of lower-class urban blacks. Despite the fact that’s he’s an upper class guy raised in a white family.

                1. You’re a racist! You’re a racist! This whole commentariat is racist!

                  1. I call it like I see it. Block Insane Yomomma is racist.

                    1. I don’t really care. Drumpf is racist too, as it suggests there’s something bad about Trump’s German ethnicity. And who gives a shit? I don’t see what’s gained by jumping on the ‘that’s raycisssss!!!’ Bandwagon.

                      I mean, I think holocaust jokes are funny. I’m not gonna worry about what Abe Foxman thinks about that.

            4. Hey can we start calling people racist because they have childish, hysterical freakouts about evil white guys?

              1. Because the mature adult thing to do when a national socialist takes over the Republican party is JOIN HIM, because he hates SJWs, just like you!

                1. Because the mature adult thing to do when a national socialist takes over the Republican party

                  SEE! AGE. OF. TRUMP!

                  1. Never mind that the idiot came up with that nickname eight years ago.

                2. Hazel, if you are looking for a “mature adult thing,” you are in the wrong place.

                3. So the mature adult thing to accuse everyone of being Nazis and throw constant hissy fits about some arbitrary collective group based off of race and gender, then lecture everyone else on how collectivism and racism is wrong like the scumbag self-righteous hypocrite you are?

                  1. Maybe it’s an act. Maybe Hazel is pulling a fast one on us and having a great laugh about it. Maybe she’s not just visiting while she takes a break from humorlesscunt.com.

                    PS, John, that’s humourlesscunt.com in Canadia.

                    1. You were so close, it’s actually humourlesscunt.ca, and it’s just a picture of Naomi Klein.

                    2. ^Now that’s good comedy.

        2. he hand-rapes women.

          One cannot rape the willing.

          1. Nobody has ever fucked Donald Trump because they wanted to fuck him.

            1. If you don’t count glibertarians.

            2. Blue John once again demonstrates that he shares Red Tony’s mindreading abilities.

              1. Didn’t mean to offend you.

                1. I’m not offended, Tony. It’s just weird that you’re claiming to know the mindset of everyone who’s ever slept with Donald Trump.

                  1. Call it an educated guess.

                    1. Call it an educated guess

                      And don’t you dare question the certified smartypants.

                    2. So you’re saying you were “educated” by Donald Trump?

                    3. If by “educated,” you mean re-enacting The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.

                    4. Well, it’s a guess, anyway.

            3. Spoken like someone who’s never been moved on like a bitch.

            4. Sure they do. He’s rich and famous. That means he could look like Jabba the Hut (and share his personality) and women would still be lining up to blow him. That’s kinda how the world works.

            5. It’s possible the Freedom Caucus wanted to fuck him…just sayin.

        1. But, but, John Oliver.

        2. Drumb is even better.

        3. I don’t even understand why this is a thing. My great-grandfather’s last name was Edvardson. My grandfather’s last name was Edwards, because in the 1920s, Edvardson was considered weird and foreign.

          Even if “Fred Drumpf” changed his name to “Fred Trump,” why in heaven’s name is this a topic of discussion that’s interesting to anyone at all?

          Other, of course, than the obviously and shamelessly racist impulse to repeatedly point out that his ancestry is German and imply that he’s trying to hide that, because it’s shameful to be German.

  14. This is the problem when you elect someone who fights to win but is very vague on what he is winning.

    Of course, the Freedom Caucus mat have made the good the enemy of the less atrocious but acheivable.

    1. Or when the winning is more important than what is being won.

    2. Yup. The right lost all leave of their senses and voted for the guy who gave them good feelz. They just wanted a guy who would *beat the left!* They just wanted a *victory!* Of course it was a victory FOR the left, as far as health care is concerned, but whatevs, because the winner had the R label, it was a win for Team Red! Woohoo!!

      1. Eh. I doubt the situation would be much different if Cruz or Bush or whoever had won. You still have the people who want repeal vs. the ones who are too scared to do it. Cruz/Bush/et al does not change that.

        1. I doubt the situation would be much different if Cruz or Bush or whoever had won

          oh I think that’s some definite revisionism there.

          If Cruz or Rand Paul had won, would Congress have been just as spineless? Sure.

          But I really doubt Cruz or Paul would have been leaning on the Freedom Caucus to just “go along” with Obamacare Lite the way Trump has done and is doing.

          1. Maybe they do. Maybe they lean on the other side. Does it matter? The issue here is not really the President.

        2. Presumably Cruz or Bush would have spent more than an afternoon on a strategy to repeal and replace, if that’s what they wanted to do.

  15. My hope is the president will be inclined to allow the negotiations to go forward and we will be allowed to get a better bill than we did before.”

    Dear Mr Congressman,

    Allowed? What the hell are you talking about? You don’t need the President’s permission to hammer out and negotiate a bill. It’s up to you folks to craft a bill that 1) gets the votes needed for passage and 2) is likely to be signed by the executive. What would really be nice is a bill that’s worth a damn, not only that pleases his Orangeness.

  16. So will Democrats now strategically reach out to the libertarian-leaners across the aisle?

    And if they do, will those leaners storm off and make their own blog?

    1. Still mad they won’t let you comment, huh?

      1. Couldn’t stand the mirror held up to his face there.

      2. Sometimes i almost feel bad for DanO/dajjal/AM, and then i stop.

        1. This is why Citizen X has so many cats.

          1. Only five!

      3. It’s nice to have such dedicated, obsessive readers however.

  17. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!

    We will fight them on the twittersphere, we will fight them on the wall (which Mexico will pay for), we will fight them at Mar-A-Lago…

    1. Shut up Melissa!

  18. Of course they’ll return to health care, but they don’t have to do it this minute. Wait until it cools off while working on other things that are easier & in which progress can be more quickly made. Then it’ll be like, we’ll fix this the same way we fixed those other things.

  19. Just another negotiating position from Team Donald.

  20. Trump may well move to the center — or even to the LEFT of center — as did Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s conservative turned liberal state governor. Arnold’s primary interest (I suspect Trump has similar motivation) was that he wanted to “get things done.” The LEGACY aspect drives a lot of politicians who lack grounding in economic or political philosophy.

    Remember, Trump was more liberal than conservative until he started his run for President in the GOP. It will be easy for him as a populist to shift positions to “get things done.”

    Such flexibility is a major advantage — contributing to a politician’s “success” — they are not hampered by any principles.

    Remember, the public and the MSM define a successful politician as one who PASSES legislation. No one extols the one who BLOCKS legislation, though often that’s even more valuable than passing laws.

    Conservatives may yet rue the day they elected Donald Trump — though I still hold out some hope — based on his cabinet and advisers. But advisers can easily be changed. And may very well BE changed, under Trump’s approach.

    1. As long as he nominates guys like Gorsuch for the Supremes, he can bumblefuck around for 4 years and I’m OK with it.

  21. A follower of Ayn Rand is not a lover of freedom. In my experience, Ayn Randites are marginally above the median in smarts, assets and prospects, but believe themselves to be elite in all three. They believe an anti-egalitarian anarchy to work in their favor, unlikely, and they believe it is a vision consistent with the American Constitution, wildly untrue. Many of them also believe themselves to be Christians, which is lunatic.

    An authoritarian is not a lover of freedom. In my experience, these people are generally schnooks, in their own estimation superior to the mob in all respects. They are losers who fall for the promise that there are losers more contemptible than themselves and this is a good thing. Stomping them in their supposed gutter will make the authoritarian better off, and the Leader will do this for them. Inane in all respects.

    These two groups are the base of the present Republican Party. They are its foundational vote, and they are base.

    There is no coherent set of policies which serves them both, let alone America, or freedom, or economic growth, or… They are opposed to each other, and their interests are not those of the rest of us, nor of the ideals on which America is built.

  22. Not that Trump thinks strategically, but at some point he’s going to realize that the coalition that’s uniquely his is separate from the people who voted for him simply because he wasn’t Hillary Clinton. And the latter is larger than the former.

  23. “The very establishment he once railed against for being power-hungry sellouts have now sold themselves out to Donald Trump in order to retain power. And now both sides have joined up in trying to stamp out the last remaining principled deviants.”

    The Freedom Caucus may project themselves as having opposed the Ryan plan on principle, but whatever else the Ryan plan didn’t do, it got rid of the individual mandate and phased out the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion.

    They opposed getting rid of the individual mandate on principle?

    They opposed rolling back an expansion of Medicaid on principle?

    If that’s what standing on principle means, color me unimpressed. We may not get another opportunity to roll back Medicaid eligibility in our lifetimes. When this libertarian is talking about principle, putting a stake through the heart of the individual mandate and rolling back the Medicaid expansion under ACA is mostly what I’m talking about.

    Remember when the Sanhedrin stoned Stephen to death? It was for telling them that they’d murdered the messiah. Capitalists, supply-siders, and fiscal conservatives in the Republican party have been praying for a bill that would roll back Medicaid since before Ronald Reagan was President, and when it finally arrived, the so called “Freedom caucus” killed it on principle?

    Fuck the “Freedom caucus”. They might as well be progressives on this issue.

    1. I understood the bill to expand medicare.

      1. Why?

        It killed the ACA Medicaid expansion after 2019.

    2. It kills the individual mandate but not the penaltax. If you didn’t have continuous coverage and tried to buy healthcare at the last minute the insurance company could charge you more.

      It was just a bit too muddled to gain momentum from anywhere. The FC said they were willing to let most tax credits / subsidy stand. The “age tax” probably scared them off too.

      I think its time Rand Paul and someone from the libertarianish side to come up with another alternative and force Trump’s hands.

      1. “If you didn’t have continuous coverage and tried to buy healthcare at the last minute the insurance company could charge you more.”

        Requiring people to to pay their premiums in order to get insurance is not a penaltax. If anything, they shouldn’t require the insurance company to take high risk people back at all if they miss a premium.

        Requiring people to pay premiums in order to qualify for insurance isn’t an individual mandate either–no matter what the media says.

        And too muddled? What’d you expect? It got rid of the individual mandate. It got rid of the Medicaid expansion.

        They might as well have voted for the individual mandate. They might as well have voted for the Medicaid expansion. Fuck that, and fuck the Freedom Caucus. They might as well be taking orders from Elizabeth Warren on healthcare.

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  25. >So will Democrats now strategically reach out to the libertarian-leaners across the aisle? Ha ha, fat chance.

    I’m a progressive libertarian running for state office as a Democrat in rural Virginia. Thanks to Trump, we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to introduce real libertarian ideas into the Democratic Party platform. Democrats are as powerless as we’ve been in a century and desperate for a winning message. My genuine belief is that most rank and file Democrats have much more in common with basic live-and-let-live libertarianism than they realize, but the party establishment with its abuse of wedge issues has taught distrust of anyone not towing the party line. Now that the establishment has essentially lost all credibility, curled up, and died, local Democrats are open to new ideas.

    I’m running on civil liberties, deregulation, and strong market-based social safety nets like negative income tax (hence progressive libertarianism; see my website benhixon.com for more). At least to my untrained political eye, Democrats afraid of Trump find a freedom-focused message refreshing and seem more receptive to reducing government overreach. For example, I’m getting a lot of traction with the ridiculous anti-Airbnb bill that the Nanny Republicans in the Virginia statehouse just passed.

    Libertarians can find common ground with Democrats, but we’ve got to start at the local level and we’ve got to start now.

  26. really thought power only corrupted some people! But trump basically brags about having been on the receiving end of govt handouts, so I guess its not super surprising an 80 year o!d didn’t all of a sudden transform into a less ethically challenged person because of a new job. I’d like to think, president-wise, that we have nowhere to go but up, but I have been wrong before.

  27. The reason for Poe and those other folks to leave the “Freedom” Caucus and join RyanWorld is that Ryan has the more promising way of destroying Obamneycare.

    This is the opposite of what Trump thinks he is getting from Ryan. This is because Trump doesn’t have the first clue what he is doing. Surprise!

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