This week on Squawking Heads, Tom Price, with a song in his heart and a bounce in his step, leads the entire nation over a cliff; the ramifications of TappTweetttGatttte are still being assessed; and even if they don’t agree, everyone is still pleased as punch that the president has moved on health care reform like a bitch. How contorted can conservatives make themselves to try to seem like they agree with the president on everything before they snap their own necks? Let’s all find out together!
Everyone is very busy pretending they agree
Watching Ted Cruz support Donald Trump in interviews is like watching the scene in The Da Vinci Code where that monk cries and self-flagellates before going to murder people for Jesus. This man has truly swallowed all of his own personal pride and possibly the pride of all of his family members and friends. He is a pride black hole. How else can you possibly explain his ability to stump for the man that implied there were naughty and nefarious secrets about his wife?
John Dickerson pressed him on the topic of Trumpp’s wiretapp tweetts, asking, “You in the campaign went back and forth with the president about the question of veracity—he had told stories about your father and JFK’s assassination. There seemed to be as much evidence for that as there is for this wiretapping claim—can people trust this president?”
Now, briefly, let’s recall what exactly Trump said about Ted Cruz’s father and JFK. I, personally, feel that referring to the incident as “telling stories” is a bit of quaint understatement.
“His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being—you know, shot,” Trump told whined to Fox News in May. “That was reported, and nobody talks about it. I mean, what was he doing—what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.”
That’s not “telling stories,” that’s implying that Ted Cruz’s father helped assassinate John F. Kennedy. Telling stories is what happens when an old grandpa is sipping mint juleps on the porch on a summer day and starts musing about his feats of derring-do during the Great War. That is not a presidential candidate suggesting your father murdered the president.
Ted Cruz, newly appointed Tea Party Reek, did nothing more than chuckle gently at this reminder. Ah yes, Ted Cruz’s laugh says, what japes ole Trumpy boy tells. What a good laugh we all had way back when, this summer. Bygones, my good man, bygones.
“You know, I will point out, this is not necessarily as outlandish as everyone in the press suggests,” Cruz said. “We do know that the Obama administration targeted their political enemies. We do know that the IRS, for example, targeted citizens groups who spoke out in defense of the Constitution, who spoke out against Obama.”
The contortions these Never Trump Conservatives are capable of is a source of constant astonishment for me. Ted Cruz is not a dumb man. Ted Cruz doesn’t for one goddamn second believe Obama tappppped Trump’s phones. He is, however, willing to sell out his own father to squirrel his way into the inner circle. Any inner circle. Ted Cruz is not picky which circle includes him, he just wants to be in one. And apparently, so long as he properly denigrates himself, he has found that circle in Mar-A-Lago.
“Just yesterday, I spent three hours at Mar-a-Lago with Mike Lee and with Mark Meadows negotiating with the president’s team, trying to fix this bill,” Cruz said, affirming that even though he doesn’t support the healthcare bill in its current form, he’s definitely on the same side as Team Trump.
Twisting his old man body in the opposite direction of Cruz, Tom Price and his remarkably dewy complexion stopped by most of the shows to bloviate about how this bill is both incredible and also just one part of the plan so don’t worry that it sort of sucks!
“You can’t put the kind of flexibility that’s necessary for them to be able to fashion their program for their vulnerable population in the way that they see fit in the first piece of legislation,” Price explained to Jake Tapper. “Which is why it’s this three-phase or three-part or three-legs-of-a-stool plan.”
Now me personally, I’m not a fan of three-legged stools. Those dumb Ikea nonsense three-legged stools collapse all the time and if you tip them just a little bit too much, you flip over and look like a nincompoop. Seems like a more apt metaphor than Price intended.
Mick Mulvaney was also making the rounds to support the healthcare bill from a financial standpoint and said absolutely the whitest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
John Dickerson asked the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, “How’s he [Trump] going to take care of his people without fundamentally changing the bill?” To which Mulvaney responded, “The same way that we’ve taken care of people for a long time in this country, which is through competition.”
The only people who have ever, in the history of this country, been “taken care of” through unfettered competition, are white men. That is an indisputable fact. It is also an indisputable fact that this bill is going to benefit that exact same subsection of humanity. Mulvaney is right. With this bill, the government is going to go back to taking care of who it has always taken care of and who the fuck cares about minorities, women, single parents, old people, sick people, babies and basically everyone who doesn’t look and talk and act exactly like Mick Mulvaney.
If that’s what’s in this bucket, I can’t wait to see what’s in the next two!
— “I think the president’s intent here—and I really give him an incredible amount of credit for tackling this issue. Most politicians would run away from this issue, because it’s such a hot potato. And he decided to move on it first.” Would you, Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, personal friend of Donald Trump, say that he moved on healthcare more or less like a bitch?
— Nancy Pelosi had a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moment on Face the Nation: “Twenty-four million people kicked off of health insurance, which the speaker calls an act of mercy. And then, at the same time, they have put out a budget which the OMB director, Mulvaney, says is compassionate, to take money from Meals on Wheels and give it to the Defense Department. We all want to support—we take an oath to protect and defend our country. But our strength is measured in more ways than just taking money from the health, education and well-being of the American people, which is a source of our strength. So, compassionate acts of mercy? I don’t know what faith that is.”
— ”Well, I spent nine-and-a-half years as an undercover officer. I was the dude in the back alleys at 4:00 in the morning collecting intelligence to protect our homeland. And you have professional intelligence folks. And then you have the political intelligence folks.” I know nothing about Representative Will Hurd (R-TX), but what a surprisingly fascinating fact to drop casually on a Sunday morning show!
Understatement of the Week
Tom Price rounded out his jovial appearances by going briefly dead in the eyes during this exchange with George Stephanapolous:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, sir, on another subject, Pro Publica reported this week that Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, before he was fired, was said to have been investigating your stock trades when you were a member of Congress. Have you and your lawyers gotten any indication that you’re the subject or target of an investigation?
PRICE: No, I have—know nothing about that whatsoever.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you for clearing it up. Dr. Price, thanks for joining us today.
Yeah, sure, Tom. Whatever.
Lots of buckets and stools, substantially less wood-based than last week.
What’s the Next Thing We Should Be Afraid Of?
Have you been paying attention to this healthcare bill? It’s literally the worst and all that is keeping it from passing is nutjobs like Ted Cruz who don’t think it’s mean enough…
Next week on Squawking Heads…