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News & Analysis > All
News & analysis from Proletarian Internationalist Notes—news, reviews and analysis from a global perspective
Obamacare, huge Pentagon budget remain: Nice going, DemoKKKrats
March 26, 2017
Republicans couldn’t agree on how to replace Obamacare. They are talking about moving on at least for now.(1) It is surprising in that some Republicans seem to be saying Obamacare is here to say, that nothing can be done at all to change it. On the other hand, the idea of trying to please everyone, while replacing Obamacare, was always a difficult proposition.
Republican failure made the front page of several “progressive” or liberal websites, opposing Republican attempts to blame the whole debacle on Democrats. (Democrats are thinking about how to get votes from Obamacare critics.) The real news is that Democrats have egg on their face. They supported Obama despite Obama’s destructive international actions and effect on global opinion and anti-war movements, and despite the possibility that Obamacare and other accomplishments could easily be undone.(2) Then, they supported Russia conspiracy theories and jingoism as a way to oppose Trump, because Obamacare even by itself or preserving the myth of Amerikkka’s leadership on climate change was just so much more important than avoiding planet-wrecking nuclear war. But Republicans didn’t replace Obamacare. So far what Amerikans have been left with is Obamacare – something many Republicans had preferred to a single-payer system in the past– plus all of that jingoism, warmongering, and militarism. Whether Trump’s proposed budget passes or not, it seems unlikely the 2018 U.S. military budget will be less than US$600 billion.
Maybe Trump couldn’t cut both Meals on Wheels/development block grants and reverse Obama’s health care changes. According to Democrats themselves, though, Trump never tried to work with Democratic leadership on health care.(3) This may be too obvious now for some to see it, but not working with Democrats could be a way of working with them. Say what you want, Obamacare is still there, and now there is talk of single-payer being more likely because of Republican division and an inability to pass what some Republican critics called “Obamacare-lite.” Democrats and some Republicans are talking about “Freedom Caucus” Republicans now controlling things, because of the Obamacare replacement failure, but that actually suggests collusion.
The Democrats got something. The Tea Party, supporting a long-term, more-comprehensive campaign against Obamacare, got something. The question arises, what did others get. The answer could be support for war.
Many Democrats already supported war, if not shifting money from “Meals on Wheels” to Pentagon budgets. Some of those in the Freedom Caucus or the Tea Party may have supported military spending cuts more than some Democrats did. What various Republicans and Democrats have in common, though, is caring about the Obamacare issue more than they oppose any war.
There are already multiple wars in the Middle East and neighboring areas, that the United States either started, is the primary cause of, or is perpetuating.
Right now, Syria’s sole legitimate government is saying the United States is using ISIS as a pretext to invade Syria.(4) It isn’t really new for the United States to do that, of course, but the AP reported “Syria’s UN ambassador said hundreds of US personnel are ‘invading my country’ and insisted any effort to liberate the city should be done in coordination with the Damascus government.”
According to AFP, the United States is considering deploying hundreds of more troops to Syria.(5) “Airwars, a London-based collective of journalists and researchers, said on Friday it had become so overwhelmed tracking civilian deaths allegedly caused by US and coalition planes that it has stopped tracking Russian strikes.” After the recent U.S. airstrike atrocity in Iraq, this is one manifestation of which country is really more dangerous.
Continued U.$. obstruction of the Israel/Palestine two-state solution is leading to more violence. True, Democrats are putting on a show of supporting the two-state solution.(6) How convenient, when they are in the opposition now and are thinking about the 2018 elections. Everyone can see Democrats did nothing for the two-state solution in the eight years of Obama’s presidency and when Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate for four years starting in 2007. Now the United States is back to doing what it did for almost the entirety of Obama’s presidency: actively obstructing the two-state solution by opposing global efforts against occupation and settlement building, at the UN.(7) Arab and EU leaders are still supporting the two-state solution.(8)
Last year, NPR published an article with the title “North Korea linked to $81 million Bangladesh bank heist.”(9) NPR was united with others in raising the idea among the public. Now the Huffington Post and the New York Times, among others, are reporting the United $tates is preparing a case.(10) This is occurring in the midst of U.S. mock bombing runs in the Korean Peninsula.
The Ankara-based Anadolu Agency reported two weeks ago that Sudan and the United States resumed military relations.(11) Now, stories about South Sudan and rape are all over the Internet. An AP article titled “Rape reaches ‘epic proportions’ in war-torn South Sudan” refers to former-President Barack Obama seemingly favorably as the namesake of a Sudanese baby.(12)
Also, the Kuwait News Agency reported that NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller discussed concerns about alleged Russian interference in Libya.(13)
Despite appearing to disagree with those pushing for a more hawkish stance on Russia, Trump was never against increasing the Pentagon’s budget. Hillary Clinton wasn’t either. Trump threatened to withdraw from NATO and is still pushing for NATO members to increase their military budgets.(14) Lest anyone forget, Obama also encouraged NATO members to increase their military spending to meet targets.(15) Trump and Obama will eventually get what they wanted. The difference is that Trump was bluffing eir way to larger NATO member military budgets whereas Obama had emphasized alleged Russian threats.
Whether the crisis-related bailouts and stimulus should be counted as an Obama achievement is debatable. Obama’s so-called legacy is smaller than some may think. With an environmental rollback in the works, it’s clear that much of Obama’s legacy is in danger, but the Democrats are getting to keep some things. Democrats need to ask themselves: Was all of the war, ruining the anti-war movement, and election and post-election Russia jingoism and militarism endangering non-Russians as well, worth it? In one area, all Democrats seem to have accomplished is getting more Amerikans to favorably associate health care with jingoism, warmongering, and military buildup. That was with all of the talk about how supposed Russia agent Trump was going to take away people’s insurance, and now Amerikans are going to have both Obamacare and a military budget about ten times the size of Russia’s. ◊
• “There is still no massive U.S. anti-war movement, thanks to Democrats,” 2017 March. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2017-03-20-news-US-antiwar-movement-Democrats-Korea-Russia.md
• “American anti-Russian struggle today is reactionary, period,” 2017 February. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2017-02-20-news-Flynngate-fascism.md
• “Climate for anti-Americanism versus anti-fascism: Only 2% of Americans named the environment as most important issue, right before election,” 2016 November. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-11-21-news-climate-change-Saudi-Arabia.md
1. “Trump, after stinging defeat, promises a ‘great’ health plan,” 2017 March 26. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/trump-vows-great-plan-to-replace-obamacare/3625800.html
“Paul Ryan: ‘Obamacare is the law of the land’,” 2017 March 24. http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ryan-ahca-vote-obamacare-repeal-2017-3
2. “Many anti-Trump Amerikans ignore the real foreign policy legacy of Obama as MLK Jr. Day and inauguration near,” 2017 January. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2017-01-16-news-MLK-Day-Obama-legacy.md “Here’s the thing about many of the amerikans objecting to Trump in particular while defending Obama’s legacy: many of them just didn’t care about what Obama was doing internationally outside the country, or they prioritized domestic issues more, and now they perceive even some of Obama’s achievements in domestic affairs to be in danger of disappearing. That is, some of the excuses made for supporting Obama are in danger of being ruined – an unstated reason for opposing Trump so specifically and energetically. As long as they got more jobs, higher wages, cheaper college education, health insurance, weed, appointments of certain people to positions in government, tax relief, more benefits, or equality or consideration in some area, many were willing to tolerate or support various things in u.$. foreign policy. Nevermind that some of the domestic change could be reversed quickly. Maybe it would be too hard to somehow negate the Obama economic stimulus of 2009 and the auto industry bailout, but parts of Obamacare – considered one of Obama’s biggest accomplishments, yet in danger of being repealed – could easily be changed.”
3. “Trump blames Obamacare defeat on Democrats whom he never asked for help,” 2017 March 24. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-obamacare_us_58d59300e4b02a2eaab43e03?mwjxcet1t6agu8fr&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
4. “Raqqa offensive to begin in days despite Syria’s UN ambassador warning against ‘invasion’,” 2017 March 24. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/raqqa-syria-battle-civil-war-isis-coalition-rebels-un-ambassador-french-a7648986.html
5. “Pentagon enjoying greater leeway under Trump,” 2017 March 26. http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/iraq/pentagon-enjoying-greater-leeway-under-trump-1.2000461
6. “Overwhelming majority of House Democrats urge Trump to preserve ‘two states’,” 2017 March 25. http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Overwhelming-majority-of-House-Democrats-urge-Trump-to-preserve-two-states-485147
7. “U.S. diplomat accuses U.N. of bias against Israel,” 2017 March 24. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-condemns-what-it-calls-anti-israel-bias-at-un/2017/03/24/e8e76ef8-10d3-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html
See: “AmeriKKKa is still the dominant power in the world and needs to be opposed as such,” 2016 December. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-12-28-news-US-hegemony-UNSC-settlements-resolution.md
See: “Obama uses UN abstention to bolster reputation while the longstanding American-Palestinian conflict comes into focus for some,” 2016 December. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-12-31-news-American-Palestinian-conflict.md
8. “Merkel reiterates commitment to two-state solution,” 2017 March 24. http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2597956&language=en
9. “North Korea linked to $81 million Bangladesh bank heist,” http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/27/479760450/north-korea-linked-to-81-million-bangladesh-bank-heist
10. “North Korea said to be target of inquiry over $81 million cyberheist,” 2017 March 22. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/business/dealbook/north-korea-said-to-be-target-of-inquiry-over-81-million-cyberheist.html?_r=0
“U.S. preparing case accusing North Korea in 2016 theft at N.Y. Fed,” 2017 March 22. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/north-korea-bank-fed_us_58d2e55be4b02d33b74850ca
11. “US, Sudan resume military ties after 24-year hiatus,” 2017 March 16. http://aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-sudan-resume-military-ties-after-24-year-hiatus/773284
12. “Rape reaches ‘epic proportions’ in war-torn South Sudan,” 2017 March 25. http://globalnews.ca/news/3334586/rape-reaches-epic-proportions-in-war-torn-south-sudan/
13. “NATO voices concern over Russian interference in Libya,” 2017 March 25. http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2598129&language=en
14. “How does Germany contribute to NATO?” 2017 March 20. http://www.dw.com/en/how-does-germany-contribute-to-nato/a-38033967
15. “Strengthening the NATO alliance: article by David Cameron and Barack Obama,” 2014 September 4. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/strengthening-the-nato-alliance-article-by-david-cameron-and-barack-obama “Britain and America are two of only four NATO members to meet the target of spending 2% of our GDP on defence and other states must urgently step up their efforts to meet this too.” “Ultimately by working together we are stronger, whether in standing up to Russia or confronting ISIL.”
“Obama tells ‘complacent’ Europe to hike military spending,” 2016 April 25. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/25/obama-tells-complacent-europe-to-hike-military-spending/
“Defence spending by European NATO allies inches up in 2016,” 2017 March 13. http://www.reuters.com/article/nato-spending-idUSL5N1GQ25E