Today’s column is in the form of a multiple choice test. Here’s the bad news, no matter how well you score, we all lose.
Question 1: Which of these scenarios is the worst?
A) A man who hires Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders to mislead a nation and attacks credible news sources as being fake news.
B) A man who claims everyone except for FOX and Friends is “Fake News” has at least a half dozen framed copies of a fake TIME magazine cover hanging in his properties around the world.
C) The fact that they are both the same person and somehow he was elected to serve as president.
I know, that one was pretty easy.
Question 2: Which of these scenarios is the worst?
A) A president who has had to fire two people for illegal or unethical ties to Russia, claims there is nothing to his campaign and administration’s ties to Russia.
B) A president’s lawyer saying the president is not under investigation after the president himself tweeted that he was under investigation.
C) That same lawyer used his ties to Christian radio broadcasts to ask poor people who have more faith than money to send in a sacrificial gift to his “legal ministry” when he is working for the leader of the free world who claims to be a billionaire even though he won’t release his taxes.
Question 3: Which one of these scenarios is the worst:
A) House Speaker Paul Ryan says the 23 million people his health care plan will cause to become uninsured will merely be free to not have Obamacare even though the Senate plan includes a fee for people who don’t keep insurance continuously. (I guess that is one freedom that really isn’t free.)
B) Kellyanne Conway says the people who have their insurance taken away by the postponed Senate health care plan can just get a job even though most of the people who will lose that insurance literally can’t.
C) The Republicans campaigned for 7 years on repealing and replacing Obamacare and now that they have control of all three branches of government, they don’t even have a bill that reduces premiums or addresses the fact that when healthy people opt out of insurance premiums the entire health insurance industry falls apart.
Can you imagine saying something as ridiculous as Conway did — and does every time she is interviewed — and expecting people not to laugh in your face? Seriously, if you said that at any respectable coffee shop or barbershop, you would be justifiably laughed out of the establishment.
Sean Spicer — Tokyo Rose’s long lost child — is no better. He tweeted a meme this week saying that 28 million people are still uninsured despite Obamacare being the law of the land. He said they are “still waiting” for a solution. Unfortunately, Congress has put out two solutions and both of those raise that number of uninsured to more than 50 million people. I don’t think that’s the answer they are waiting for.
I know it is a popular GOP pastime to denigrate those who aren’t millionaires, but when Conway, Ryan and Spicer think of Medicaid and people who benefit, they imagine people who are taking advantage of the system to bring in extra cash. That is so far from the truth. The people on Medicaid getting a job would look a lot more like Happy Gilmore’s grandmother working in a quilting sweatshop in her nursing home.
The president’s attacks on the press are an obvious defensive response by a man who has plenty of skeletons in his closets — and with hotels across the world, he has a lot of closets.
If he had nothing to hide, we would already have seen his tax returns, there wouldn’t be special prosecutors investigating his campaign and administration and multiple appointees wouldn’t have lost their jobs.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. The president knows where the embers are still burning and all of his “boy that cried fake news” routines are merely a lame attempt to discredit the messengers whom he fears will one day tell the story.
— Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.