There’s a lively debate on Twitter right now between people who think President Trump’s hateful, idiotic ban on transgender service people is a distraction from the anti-health care bill, and people who say human rights shouldn’t be dismissed as a distraction.
Both sides are right.
Trump’s media strategy has always been to discombobulate opponents by throwing too many simultaneous outrages our way for us to cognitively accept what’s happening. It’s a war on coherence. He wants us to be so overwhelmed that we get distracted and turn on each other.
But this is the rare case where the priorities are starkly clear.
We have no idea how long the transgender ban might take. Judging by Trump’s hilariously inept rollout of the Muslim ban (one case in which I’m grateful for his incompetence), the certainty of lawsuits and how many Republican senators recognize the transgender military ban’s stupidity, he simply isn’t capable of enacting an immediate ban.
What is immediate is the threat to health care. GOP leadership want to take health care from 22 million people — not eventually, but this week. They’ve already held one vote, which failed, but are planning many more attempts between now and Friday.
I’ve honestly lost track of how many times the anti-health care legislation has died and risen from the dead. But anyone who knows Mitch McConnell, its secretive, dishonest architect, knows that he will try to lull opponents into a sense of safety before slipping something through while they’re distracted. It’s how the bill has gotten as far as it has.
If you’re spending today tweeting over priorities, you’re playing into his hands.
And by the way: If all you’re doing is tweeting, you’re doing nothing. There are real things you can do.
There are also real things you can do to fight the transgender ban. And you should. Even many of the people in Trump’s own party think you should.
But from now until Friday, Americans sickened by the Trump agenda need to focus on health care.
The transgender heroes who want to serve will have their day — and that day is Saturday.