ICYMI – WP (Greg Sargent): Democrats must unmask Trump’s populist scam. Here’s a place to start.

Bridge Project launched a new digital ad campaign today holding Republican members of Congress accountable for supporting Trumpcare, a reckless plan that would kick 26 million Americans off of their health insurance, gut coverage for preexisting conditions, and take $880 billion from Medicaid – all to cut taxes for the rich. The ads will target:

  • AZ-02 – McSally, Martha
  • CA-10 – Denham, Jeff
  • CA-21 – Valadao, David
  • CA-25 – Knight, Steve
  • CA-39 – Royce, Ed
  • CA-45 – Walters, Mimi
  • CA-48 Rohrabacher, Dana
  • CA-49 – Issa, Darrell
  • FL-25 – Diaz-Balart, Mario
  • FL-26 – Curbelo, Carlos
  • IA-01 – Blum, Rod
  • IA-03 – Young, David
  • IL-06 – Roskam, Peter
  • IL-13 – Davis, Rodney
  • IL-14 – Hultgren, Randy
  • KS-03 – Yoder, Kevin
  • MI-11 – Trott, Dave
  • MN-02 – Lewis, Jason
  • MN-03 – Paulsen, Erik
  • NE-02 – Bacon, Don
  • NJ-11 – Frelinghuysen, Rodney
  • TX-07 – Culberson, John
  • TX-32 – Sessions, Pete
  • VA-02 – Taylor, Scott


Washington Post: Democrats must unmask Trump’s populist scam. Here’s a place to start.

By Greg Sargent May 9 at 10:06 AM


Now that Senate Republicans are plunging into a protracted, divisive debate over the monstrous House GOP health bill, top Democratic strategists are consumed with a question: How can the party seize on this moment to hold GOP lawmakehttps://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/05/09/democrats-must-unmask-trumps-populist-scam-heres-a-place-to-start/?utm_term=.fc0d29cd2878rs accountable in 2018, keep the grassroots engaged, and, more broadly, to bring about a moment of Democratic renewal?

In a new memo to fellow Democrats,

​two senior Democratic strategists are
arguing that the party must highlight the fact that the GOP health bill would not only leave many millions of people stranded without coverage — but, crucially, that it would do this while delivering an enormous tax cut to the rich.

By highlighting this, the memo argues, Democrats can take advantage of a unique opportunity presented by the GOP health bill. The measure should allow Dems to unmask Trump’s alleged economic populism as a total scam, and to show that in reality, Trump is furthering a conventionally plutocratic GOP agenda. The memo, which was authored by Dem strategist James Carville and Bridge Project founder David Brock, advises:

Trump was elected because he convinced demoralized Americans he would help their circumstances … Trump lied to all of them …

The Republican tax agenda — big cuts for the wealthiest — has never been less popular with voters. But by combining their desires to cut taxes for the wealthiest of Americans in the name of stripping health care away from 26 million Americans, what’s left is toxic for anyone who is facing voters next year. Democrats cannot shy away from bringing that message home, and it has to be made consistently and repeatedly between now and next November…

For every single person who stands to lose their health insurance, and every person who is going to pay higher health care bills moving forward, the public needs to know those are direct results of Trumpcare. Simultaneously, we must never lose sight of the contrast at the crux of this legislation — Republicans inflicted all these terrible policies on Americans solely in the name of cutting taxes for millionaires to the tune of nearly $144 billion.

As this blog has reported, top Democrats have researched the so-called “Obama-Trump voters” — people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and switched to Trump in 2016 — and have determined that many of them believe the Democratic Party is in thrall to the wealthy, and Trump isn’t. Thus, driving home the realities of the Trump agenda is an urgent matter, heading into 2018.

The GOP health bill provides an opening to do that, the Carville-Brock memo argues. “Many of the Americans who are likely to suffer most at the hands of the Republican health care bill are the same people who had previously supported Democrats as recently as 2012,” it says. The memo also argues that Democrats “must explain how our party will do better,” though it doesn’t outline any specific policies Democrats should embrace, instead emphasizing that Dems need to present themselves as a check on the Trump/GOP plutocratic agenda. “In the coming weeks, we must make sure Americans are fully aware of the disastrous consequences of the Republican bill,” it notes.

Bridge Project is also launching digital ads targeting 24 vulnerable House Republicans who voted for the health bill — ads that should be seen as an early effort to establish a template for 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te29AdFCdSk

Note that the ad’s leading attack is that Trumpcare would gut coverage for millions while cutting taxes for the rich — and that Trump has broken his promise to “take care of everybody.” It points out that Trumpcare would gut protections for people with preexisting conditions — but also that Trumpcare would cut $800 billion from Medicaid.

The GOP bill’s provision allowing states to waive the ban on jacked up premiums for people with preexisting conditions has sucked up much attention. But the bill’s $800 billion in cuts to health spending on the poor, via the phaseout of the Medicaid expansion, combined with its enormous tax cut to the rich, is also a very stark illustration of the true priorities of the Republican Party — and, it turns out, of Trump, too. Throughout the campaign, Trump repeatedly suggested that he supported a robust government role in expanding health care to the poor and sick, and — combined with his vows not to touch Medicare and Medicaid — used this to achieve a patina of ideological heterodoxy that distanced him from Paul Ryan’s GOP, likely helping him win working class voters.

Trump’s embrace of the House GOP bill blows up that scam. But the GOP bill also should blow up the Republican Party’s ongoing scam on this issue. Republicans have employed all sorts of lies and distortions to hide their cruelly regressive health care designs behind vague suggestions that they actually want everybody to have “access” to coverage, and continue to do so. But the realities of the House GOP bill plainly reveal their true intentions for all to see.

Indeed, it’s a key political tell that Senate Republicans, in their health bill, are expected to soften not just the House GOP’s efforts to gut protections for preexisting conditions, but also its massive gutting of the Medicaid expansion to fund a huge tax break for millionaires. Undoubtedly, though, the GOP bill that emerges at the end of this process will retain a good deal of awful, regressive policy. The question is whether Democrats can drive that home to voters, and make sure they remember what House Republicans tried to pull off — and if so, how much all that will matter, given the realities of the tough Senate map and the difficulties in taking back the House.