Dem Congressman to Mediaite‘s Ziegler: Franken’s Resignation ‘Not the Answer’


Mediaite columnist John Ziegler interviewed John Yarmuth (D-KY) for his latest podcast, and the congressman gave a broad-range talk about everything from health care to the latest developments on the Russia investigations.

The two began by discussing the GOP’s success in getting a tax bill passed into law. Ziegler wasn’t particularly impressed, saying that Republicans were floating on a temporary legislative win that will end up increasing the national debt without creating enough incentive for economic investment.

Yarmuth agreed that the bill was “horrendous” because it relies on a misguided belief that the corporate tax breaks will ensure increased economic growth.

“If you’re going to incur additional debt,” Yarmuth said, “make it so there is a return on that investment later on. I don’t think there will be any return on this, or minimal return anyway.”

This led to a question where Yarmuth was asked whether there was anyone in the congressional GOP who admitted that they were supporting the bill despite the fact that it doesn’t align with conservative ideals. The congressman said he saw “a lot of angst” about the bill, and he also invoked Marco Rubio’s recent statement about how he regrets supporting certain aspects about it.

The two moved on to talk about the tax bill’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Due to the sizable effect this would have on the health care system, Ziegler found it interesting that the repeal didn’t come up more often in the political and media discussions surrounding the bill.

Yarmuth said that the single-payer health insurance market will collapse since the only consumers left will be the ones who are most at risk. He also argued that President Donald Trump ironically set the country on a course for a single-payer system since the effects on health care will necessitate increased government intervention.

When the conversation arrived at Trump’s extensive, rambling interview with The New York Times, Ziegler and Yarmuth agreed that the connotations of Trump’s remarks about the Justice Department were disturbing to say the least.

Even though they both agreed that the interview reflects how people are growing desensitized to the president’s remarks, Yarmuth said the worst thing was that Trump has “so little understanding of the job he’s actually supposed to be doing.”

The interview proceeded to touch on subjects ranging from Trump’s media elevation to possible Democratic strategies for the 2020 election. Much of the discussion on the latter revolved around whether the Left should go with a politically experienced candidate or try to outdo Trump’s celebrity appeal.

Ziegler thought Al Franken might’ve been the best of both worlds before the Minnesota senator was forced to resign over his sexual misconduct scandals. Yarmuth seemed to agree saying Franken’s greatest misfortune was that his actions came to light while the country was still being shaken up by harassment scandals. In that sense, it was the worst possible timing for Franken since he was got caught up in the universal condemnation.

“Resignation is not the answer to these things, that’s just a measure of your tolerance for shame,” Yarmuth said. He also said there needs to be a more effective, expedient process for judging alleged misconduct and deciding on appropriate action.

The last topic that came up was collusion between Trump and Russia, which evoked skepticism from Ziegler since most of the revelations from Robert Mueller’s investigation have dealt with events after the 2016 election, rather than before it.

Yarmuth agreed that Trump’s connection to Russia might have more to do with his team’s incompetence than any criminal conspiracy, though there are outstanding questions about obstruction of justice.

Listen above.

[Image via screengrab]

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