Congress executes the ‘bait, promise, reassure and switch’ strategy

Trump and Republicans want you to believe that no one will lose health care in any manner, and it will be replaced with expanded coverage, increased benefits, lower insurance premiums, with easy access — with hundreds of billions in funding removed.


One half of the Kentucky Senate Duo, Sen. Mitch McConnell, demands that party loyalty trump all constituent issues, while Senator and doctor Rand Paul says he’d like to legalize inexpensive insurance for $1 a day; exactly how?

Sound too good to be true? It is.

If it wasn’t, then why not just keep all the Obamacare coverage that Republicans say must remain, add the new fixes, take the funding away, lower everybody’s bills as promised, and call it something else so Republicans can take credit.

Because none of that really is the plan.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and John McCain knew the real agenda — the repeal without replacement subterfuge.

But Sen. Dan Sullivan tried to turn it into a promotional opportunity. He said, “So, from my perspective, the sooner we can get back to that kind of cooperation between the administration and the chairman of the (energy) committee, the better for Alaska and the better for the country.”

“Pick me, pick me”, as the Committee head — like Donkey from Shrek.

The Senate’s attempt to pass a bill they say they don’t want, so it could go to a conference committee to “work” on it more; and now Trump’s continued insistence on going at repeal again, are merely a ruse to get repeal without replacement.

Everyone in Congress knows that no one is legally bound to commit to anything in that process. Ethics and morals have nothing to do with it. A few meetings, and, “oh gosh”, we can’t agree; repeal it is. It would be a shame to waste all the money freed up. Let’s use it to give massive tax cuts to corporations and mostly the already wealthy.

This same strategy — hype an “immediate emergency” which in reality it is not, and then watch the ruse of “Committee” work on new possible retirement plans that would really never be put into effect, was used to institute the replacement Defined Contribution Plans in Alaska PERS and TRS; and oust the member elected Boards. The Administration spent lots of Plan money on this — diversion tactics are not cheap.

But it was important to make the PERS/TRS members believe there was a serious review at the highest level so they wouldn’t get too involved until it was too late and the new law was crammed into the last days of the session. With the help of key legislators who were always in the loop.

Both are illustrative of a time honored strategy used by many leaders, in all organizations, private and public. Bait, promise, reassure, and switch.

Very similar to the “Velociraptor attack approach” — look at the birdie in front, while getting blindsided. Sounds funny, but a highly effective strategy when you have target-focus-blind-loyalty followers who will accept glowing but unsupported claims.

Don’t think, don’t question, listen to only those “in authority” (they’ll decide who). Don’t stress yourself, think sheep. Both parties use it, Democrats and Republicans.

Keep the public’s eye on a well propagandized phony “emergency” agenda, while you set up the steps to make sure your real alternative agenda is the one that eventually results. Trump and Congress are counting on you to think they’re all too stupid to concoct something like this. But it happens all the time.

Aww shucks, it didn’t turn out as we “hoped.” But “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

Sens. Murkowski and Collins knew the game but decided to put the public first. McCain alluded to it, but he needed to consider if he was ever going to run again.

Trump, Pence, McConnell, and Ryan always knew. Most of the rest of Congress are party loyalists first. Actual public needs were never really a major factor. Oh gee, politicians lied — that’s new.

Two very important rules: “Follow the money, connect the dots” and “The one who has the gold, rules.”

“If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing”; Napoleon Bonaparte. (And follow him to ruin.)

• Anselm Staack is a retired CPA and attorney with an extensive working background in auditing, fraud and forensic investigation, IT, personal finance, governmental budgeting and politics at the executive and legislative level. He lives in Juneau.


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