Backtracking on Campaign Promises

In my 51 years on this planet, in the US of A, I have become used to the sight of politicians walking back their campaign promises. Hell, it is expected regardless of your ideology, politicians make promises that we know they can’t keep.

Here we are, 4 days post 2016 presidential election, and the backtracking has begun in earnest.

  • First, and foremost is that the Trump administration may not repeal the PPACA (AKA – Obamacare) on day 1. Of course, it was impossible to just repeal it by executive fiat (although I am not sure the Donald Trump really understood then, or understands now) the true mechanics of how the US government works).

    But it appears that after a brief conference with outgoing president Obama, he has softened his stance. He plans on keeping the two most crucial aspects, the elimination of “Pre-existing conditions” as a reason to deny coverage, and the ability to keep adult children covered until age 26.

    However, the promise to reduce costs while keeping these two conditions will be nearly impossible. I suspect that since the election, he had a chance to talk to a couple of the giant insurer’s CEO’s who educated him on the business model, and the market dynamics. Hence the change of heart.

    But you have to think that the multitudes who latched onto the repeal Obamacare on day 1 voters (a not insignificant cohort) will be completely dejected.

  • The Iran deal. President Elect Trump has also indicated that perhaps he won’t invalidate immediately the Iran nuclear deal. Turns out that it isn’t such a bad situation. Here, I have to guess that someone in the intelligence briefings laid out how absolutely reckless this course would be, and how unilaterally revoking it will piss off a lot of our allies that we need in our corner.
  • Deportation of undocumented immigrants. It also appears that he is softening his stance on immigration. Perhaps the wall will be more of a fence, or an improvement of the existing fence, and that we really won’t get Mexico to pay for it. I guess he was for it until he was against it. Still, this will likely really rile up the nativists, and alt-right activists.
  • Muslim ban. He was already walking this back before the election, and as expected, his rhetoric continues to be softening. Not sure when or where his mind was changed, but this was one of the early, and most polarizing policies that he touted during the primary season.

Of course, his transition team, lead by Mike Pence, a religious nutter will offer up some nightmare fodder, and the early names in the hat for the cabinet positions have some truly atrocious people. Former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio for Secretary of Homeland Security should scare any rational person.

But, it appears that Trump will not be as radical of a change agent hoped for by his thronging supporters. I will just sit here in my corner and watch the fireworks.

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