We knew Donald Trump has a cruel streak and always puts his own interests first, but it’s still shocking to hear him brag about the harm he is planning to do to millions of Americans — and how he hopes to benefit from it politically.
After Senate Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump said:
I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us.
Jonathan Bernstein writes at Bloomberg View that none of Trump’s predecessors was willing to trade the welfare of the American people for their own (perceived) political gain:
Imagine if Ronald Reagan had said after Congress prohibited him from aiding anti-communists in Nicaragua: “Fine. I’ll just surrender to the USSR today. That’ll show ’em!” Or if Franklin Roosevelt, faced with sharp congressional resistance from isolationists, decided to disarm and allow the Axis to proceed at will. Or if George W. Bush had reacted to the first defeat of the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008 by publicly rooting for a worldwide economic meltdown.
Trump’s behavior is not only morally repugnant; it’s bad politics.
Hardcore conservatives may blame Democrats if Obamacare collapses. They already do. The majority of voters will blame Trump:
We could argue all day about who voters should hold responsible if they don’t like their health insurance, but the evidence says they will blame the incumbent president and his party.
Not for the first time, Trump looks like a terrible person as well as a political dilettante.