We have been duped, hoodwinked, bamboozled. We have fallen victim to a well-orchestrated con game the scope of which has never been seen before.
Who is perpetrating this colossal con on us? Guess what -- it is not Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. Our con artist is our member of Congress, Tom Reed (R-NY 23rd district), and his swindling of the people is not over; it has only just begun.
To be sure, Trump and Bannon are criminally corrupt, but they have done exactly what they promised to do in the campaign. In the brief period since their inauguration, the new administration has violated the U.S. constitution on multiple fronts, fulfilling campaign promises such as:
- Imposing a religious litmus test for entry for immigrants and refugees.
- Threatening the first amendment freedom of news organizations.
- Putting a political operative above military leaders in the security council.
While Trump, Bannon and the rest of his inner circle are directly to blame for their acts of treason and the impending constitutional crisis they are instigating, the responsibility for allowing Trump to enact this agenda sits right at the feet of Tom Reed.
Let's explore just one specific example of Reed's con. Reed was an early an ardent supporter of the corrupt billionaire's campaign, sidling up to candidate Trump in an effort to gain entry into his good graces. As Trump made one anti-American campaign promise after another, Reed wholeheartedly stuck with his man, and the con worked. He landed a position in Trump's team. Reed unabashedly supported Trump and everything he promised to do as candidate, including repealing the Affordable Care Act. Don’t worry, he told us, we have a plan to fix heath care. A great plan. A really great, great plan.
But Reed does not have the faintest clue how to improve access to affordable, reliable health care. When President Obama was in office, Reed voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act dozens of times, hiding behind the fact that Obama would reliably veto such an effort. Now that Reed's president is in power and is fulfilling his promise to abandon the ACA by executive order, Reed acknowledges that perhaps some aspects of the ACA are a bit "popular." Y'know, pesky little features like being able to stay on your parents plan until you're 26, and providing coverage for pre-existing conditions.
In a recent press phone call, Reed meekly asked his constituents for some "ideas" on how to help. Oh, really -- in 2017, Mr. Reed asks for ideas? Only now, after Trump has taken office does Reed acknowledge that the ACA helps people. He wonders if perhaps Medicaid "block grants" -- his preferred code phrase for spending cuts -- could help. "There is a lot of anxiety" he concedes. Apparently, this brazen opportunism is what passes for leadership in the Congress these days. I await the upcoming display of "leadership" when he will blame Obama after the ACA is totally repealed, when 2,700,000 people in New York State lose their health care, 60,000 in our district alone.
No, Mr. Reed, their loss would be your fault.
Like the office of the president, members of Congress take an oath swearing to protect and defend our constitution. But Reed has entirely abandoned the constitution. Reed sold us out to Trump, simultaneously selling his own soul, aligning perfectly with Trump's indefensible moves against the people. Every word he speaks, every hand he shakes, and every vote he makes in congress betrays Reed's ethical vacancy.
What other votes has he made that betray the people? Just recently, Reed has voted:
- to repeal the Stream Protection Rule
- to make it more difficult for women to obtain legal and safe abortions
- to nullify the Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers rule, the effect of which allows companies to hide payments they make to the foreign governments or the US government when they extract oil and gas
He's not working to help the people. He's helping himself to the perks of office.
Reed says "We have to do better." Yes, we certainly do. That means getting rid of the outright corruption being foisted on the people by Trump/Reed. The time has come oust the ethically bankrupt Tom Reed from our Congress and stop this con game once and for all.