From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
Back when the Affordable Care Act was new, and Republican governors were turning down the FREE MONEY! being offered to their states for the purposes of expanding Medicaid, I remember thinking that everything I’d learned about politics in the Massachusetts State House had been thrown in the hopper forever. One of the first things I learned was that, regardless of the source, you simply never turn down FREE MONEY! And, of course, FREE MONEY! from the Feds is extra-double-good because, relative to other sources, it’s fairly clean. But, as it turns out, times have changed and stretching poor people on the rack to entertain your base and to own the libs now take precedence over other, more traditional political incentives, god help us all.
We’re seeing the same kind of thing going on now that El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago is diverting $3.6 billion in military funding to pay for construction of his big, stupid, and largely imaginary wall along the southern border. This diversion includes $48 million from Texas, where Republican Senator John Cornyn is standing for re-election next year, $80 million from North Carolina, where Republican Senator Thom Tillis is standing for re-election next year, and eight-million from Colorado, where Republican Senator Cory Gardner is standing for re-election. There was a time, and not so long ago, where senators would fight like rabid bats to keep their states from losing this kind of FREE MONEY!
Can you imagine trying to pry $48 million in military spending, money earmarked for child-care and new schools, away from Texas when Lyndon Johnson was the senator there? They’d need dental records to identify what was left of your presidency. But this is a new world and nothing is more important than indulging a batty president* and his big, stupid, and largely imaginary wall. And, of course, owning the libs.