As of this writing, Donald Trump’s chances of being re-elected are pretty good. Nobody, including Michael Cohen, has disclosed anything new about him. Everyone knows that he’s ethically bankrupt, a liar, a serial philanderer and runs his business right on the edge of legality. None of that bothers his supporters.
A big part of the election result will depend on the economy and Trump is doing everything he can to goose it. There may be hell to pay down the road, but he will be out of office by then. Caring about the long term isn’t his style (except when it comes to his family).
Given a decent economy and Trump’s supporters’ ambivalence about his character flaws, it is hard to see how a Democrat can defeat him. Even if Robert Mueller finds that Trump colluded with the Russians, his supporters won’t care. They like Trump because he fights to win – of course he would take help from the Russians. Besides, the Russians weren’t the enemy, Hillary was.
It will take something much more egregious to shake Trump’s supporters confidence and make them stay home on election day. Something like Trump knowingly laundering drug or human trafficking money for the Russian mafia. Or him cavorting with underage girls with his friend Jeffery Epstein. Or pardoning Epstein.
Those are all longshots, as are the chances of a Democrat being elected president.
What if Attorney General Bob Barr decides not to release all of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report? The Democrats in Congress could try to subpoena it, but that will take forever in court challenges.
Instead, they should channel their inner Donald Trump.
When Trump was a candidate and Hillary Clinton’s emails went missing, Trump asked for help in finding them: “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
So if the Mueller report can’t be found in the public domain, maybe the Democrats should ask if anyone can help locate it. The WikiLeaks and the Russians probably won’t assist, but others might.
Who should do the asking? Why Hillary Clinton, of course!
Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not go exactly to plan. Trump didn’t get the photo op or press he wanted and walked out. Even worse, he admitted that the summit was a failure.
Well, not quite in so many words. Trump never admits failure or mistakes. So he had to blame the failure on others. In this case, the Democrats. It was “a new low” that they had the audacity to schedule a hearing with Michael Cohen at the same time as the summit. They stole the media’s mind-share from him, an unforgivable sin.
During the two years that the Republicans controlled Congress, Trump had no problem blaming them for his legislative failures. Now that the Democrats control the House, there will be even more blame shift. The thing to remember though, is that every time Trump blames someone else for a failure, it is still a failure. He is probably going to rack up a lot more of them.
During his campaign for president, Donald Trump famously employed tactics learned as a WWE wrestling personality. For example, he tried to unnerve Hillary Clinton by stalking her during their first debate.
So far in his presidency, Trump has appeared in public alongside fawning staff and sympathetic Republican politicians. But things will be different during his upcoming State of the Union speech.
Sitting right behind his lectern will be the person who just bested him politically, Nancy Pelosi. The cameras will be watching her like a hawk for any reaction to Trump’s speech: a frown, a smirk, a frozen smile, anything.
Trump will do his WWE best to goad her into a reaction that makes her look bad. Without a doubt he will turn around and fire a comment directly at her. The only question is how many times he does this. (The over/under is two.)
The bigger issue is whether Pelosi will be ready for it. One certainly hopes so, because a one-sided WWE match is really boring.
Donald Trump wants $5 billion for his wall along the Mexican border. The Democrats have balked on giving it to him.
They should re-consider. Give him the $5 billion, but attach some conditions.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Dreamers become legal
- Obamacare gets properly supported
- Robert Mueller can’t be fired
- Trump has to publish his tax returns
To pay for the wall, the Democrats should close some of the new “tax reform” loopholes for the wealthy, particularly wealthy real estate investors.
Why not give it a try?
Donald Trump announced that he was pulling US troops out of Syria last week. Senator Lindsey Graham, normally a Trump cheerleader, criticized the move, noting that it “put our allies . . . at risk.”
Graham might be right, but he should know better than to use that argument on Trump. The man doesn’t understand the concept of ‘allies’. He hasn’t really had any his whole life. He’s had business associates but not allies. The closest thing Trump has to an ally in business is Jared Kushner’s company, but Kushner is both family and an employee (advisor to the president), not an ally.
Trump sees the world in hierarchical terms: what matters is who is on top of who. In his view, ‘allies’ are there only to help him get what he wants. But there is no quid pro quo. When those ‘allies’ need something back, Trump feels no obligation to help out. It is all transactional to him and the deal always has to be tilted in his favor.
So while Senator Graham still expects Trump to support allies, the rest of the world has figured out that he isn’t a reliable partner. They know that when Trump talks about allies, it is really all lies.
Unfortunately, most everyone knows what it is like to have a jerk boss. A boss that never supports you, changes their mind all the time, berates you in public, fires people on a whim and so on. In other words, a boss like Donald Trump.
Until now, many smart folks have been willing to overlook Trump’s poor management abilities. For one thing, they were getting to work for the most powerful office in the world. As for the holder of that office, they thought they could work around him, or change him, or it wouldn’t be as bad as it seemed or the famous “it won’t happen to me“.
They were wrong. Working for Trump is like playing Russian Roulette will all six bullets loaded. Eventually you will be whacked. People are starting to figure that out.
Two months ago Nikki Haley resigned as UN ambassador. Haley is pretty smart, and she really didn’t see any upside to working for Trump anymore. It probably didn’t help that the UN laughed in her boss’s face a few weeks before.
Trump whacked John Kelly figuring he had a replacement chief of staff lined up. But the replacement decided he didn’t want to work for a jerk and bowed out. Trump spent a panicked week looking for another
sucker person to fill in, with a bunch of high profile names turning him down until he finally found someone.
Is this just a speed bump in the Donald Trump reality show presidency? More likely, the smart rats are starting to sense a sinking ship.