Government by Threat

Trump is reportedly threatening Alaska, hoping to garner enough votes to pass something health-care related. No matter how bad the bill might be, no matter how it may impact *his* voters, no matter how much money it will end up costing everyone (great, I save 20$ in taxes but I’m spending 20k on insurance each year instead of 6k).

A president looking to influence legislative decisions is certainly not new, but I question the legality and ethics of this technique. What is the point of “checks and balances” if the party that implements the policy and uses the budget uses their responsibilities to force legislative direction? Or threatens to abdicate their responsibilities to the same end?

I’m reminded of every bad mafia don show ever made — that’s a really nice building you got there, be a shame if something happened to it. The president has become this caricature! That’s some really lucrative mining we’re planning to approve for your area. Be a shame if someone lost this approval form.

Goofiness aside, this (if true) is the most frightening report to come out of the nascent Trump presidency. Well, maybe not the most frightening. That dubious honor, thus far, goes to Michael Lewis’s nuclear threat piece in Vanity Fair. I have to categorize the potential for nuclear destruction due to administrative ineptitude and malfeasance as worse than the breakdown of the entire system of American governance. Despite coming in a close second to nuclear annihilation … why in the world is there not an investigation into Trump’s strong-arming of Alaska for votes?

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