Trump And The KKK

For some strange reason, people keep expecting Donald Trump to turn on his base. Trump has no support from the press, has alienated mainstream Republicans by firing Reince Priebus and has insulted the Republican leaders of Congress. He has even flamed members of his own cabinet. The only meaningful support that Trump has left is his base.

Why would he ever do anything to upset these supporters? They are primarily white, so Trump will never rush to condemn ‘white rights’ advocates. They are primary middle class and traditionally valued, so Trump will never go our of his way to support gay rights, immigration, etc. Whether or not Trump agrees with them, it just smart politics not to piss off your supporters.

The exception is when the condemnation of Trump gets so intense that he has to do something, like the situation with the white supremacist murder-by-car recently. Trump finally issued a condemnation, but his supporters know that he did it only under extreme pressure and as part of playing the game.

It kind of makes one nostalgic for George W. Bush. At least he had principles. Trump will embrace whatever keeps him in power, even if it is the KKK.


Trump Won’t Be Impeached

As the Special Counsel’s investigation heats up and Donald Trump’s relationship with Congress continues to cool down, some are speculating about impeachment.

In the history of the United States, only two presidents have been impeached, i.e., charged by the House Of Representatives with serious offenses. Both presidents went to trial in the Senate, and both won their trials when the Senate declined to convict either of them of the crimes the House charged them with.

The presidents were Andrew Jackson, nicknamed “Old Hickory” for his fortitude, and Bill “Big Dog” Clinton. There is no way that Donald Trump is going to let himself be bested by either of these presidents by getting convicted. Especially Clinton.

Trump’s pattern in legal matters is fight, fight, fight, settle. It is more likely that Trump will follow Richard Nixon’s path and resign before it gets to impeachment, although there is a chance there resignation will happen after the House votes to impeach.

Assuming the potential charges against Trump include conflicts of interest, bribery or worse related to the financing of his businesses, the resignation will probably be part of a ‘settlement’ deal that lets Trump and his family stay out of jail and keep most of their assets.

The threat of impeachment may work, but it is unlikely that it will actually happen.

The Best Defense . . .

Donald Trump does not play defense. He is a true believer in the adage that the best defense is a strong offense. If attacked, he fights back harder, like when hit by the “grabbing” charges during the campaign. His ‘apology’ was an attack on Bill Clinton.

So his Tweet the other day that his base is “is far bigger & stronger than ever before” was completely out of character.  Normally Trump would not even be responding to media reports that his base was shrinking. For him to take to Twitter to contradict this can only mean one thing:

Trump himself believes he is loosing supporters.

Good time to go on vacation.

Et Tu, Boris?

Donald Trump is the master of the Taunting Tweet. Whether he is taking on the Democrats, Republicans or even members of his own cabinet like Jeff Sessions, he is pretty handy with the snarky, cutting comment.

To be sure, there have been plenty of Tweets tweaking Trump, but none of them are from anyone he cares about.

So it must have been particularly galling for Trump to read the Russian prime minister’s Tweet that his administration is showing “total weakness” in the “most humiliating way.” To have his buddies the Russians publicly proclaim him as “an incompetent player” (Facebook post) has to be the ultimate insult for smart, tough guy Trump. Truly humiliating.

Of course, there may be more to it behind the scenes. The best way to gauge Trump’s relations with the Russians is to follow the money. Is Russian financing still flowing to the Trump family of companies? Is Trump Inc. doing any new real estate development in Russia? We might have to wait until Robert Mueller speaks before we find out.

Kommander Kelly To The Rescue

Donald Trump’s appointment of John Kelly as his Chief of Staff will probably work. Kelly is retired military, and Trump spent five of his most formative years in a military academy under a tight command structure. If anyone can inject some discipline into Trump and his administration, it would be a four star general.

For a while.

Until Trump starts remembering what he didn’t like about the academy and the military life. Like how his command was taken away from him when he was ‘promoted’ into an administrative position. And how he chaffed at the rules (but got away with breaking them).

That’s when he will fall back on the fact that as commander in chief he actually outranks a four star general. He’ll go back to shooting himself and his administration in the foot. At which point Kelly might quit. Because if there’s one thing that really annoys a military man, it is friendly fire.

Loyalty Is A One Way Street

Richard Nixon’s enemies list was secret but Donald Trump’s is right out there for everyone to see. If Trump does not like what you are doing, he will let everyone know in a tweet. Or fire you. Or both.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether or not the person is a Trump supporter. If Trump is upset with you, be prepared to be called on the carpet. Jeff Sessions was the first US Senator to support Trump, but he is now the subject of major presidential Twitter sniping. Reince Priebus supported Trump through the primaries to the dismay of the Republican establishment, which wanted any nominee but Trump. Priebus now has the distinction of losing his job faster than any Chief of Staff in history.

Both of these men were among the most solid Trump loyalists. But their experiences have shown that while Trump knows how to appreciate loyalty to himself, he has no loyalty to anyone else. It is all about “what have you done for me lately?”

Republican Washington is picking up on this. It will only get worse for Trump’s agenda as members of congress realize that he will sell them down the river in a New York minute if he doesn’t like something. Not exactly the Dale Carnegie approach, and it will likely fail sooner rather than later.