Trump the Merciless

Elizabeth Bruenig writes:

Whatever virtues Trump and his administration are aiming for, mercy isn’t among them. Mercy, after all, is a quality of the strong; in his repeated attacks on those with the very least, Trump is most obviously weak.

While many of us were absorbed in the holidays, the Trump administration relaxed Medicare’s penalty protocols by “scaling back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury.” In other words, nursing homes that neglect, abuse or even cause the death of residents may be protected from or entitled to lighter fines than they would have been under Obama-era rules.

Then there’s the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health-care coverage for roughly 9 million children. For the first time since the program’s inception in 1997, Congress has failed to reauthorize funding for the program, aside from a short-term cash injection passed in late December. As a result, several states have begun closing enrollment in their programs, or warning families that their children will likely lose their health insurance in the coming months….

The elderly, children, the sick, the poor: All of these are biblical categories of people who are deserving not just of justice — as all people are — but of mercy, as they are especially unable to advocate for themselves and press their interests in the public sphere….But instead of making certain that the weakest people in American society are able to not only exist but thrive, Trump is attacking the relatively meager support they have.