Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, October 9, 2017

What is Trump's Game?

I am asking that with all seriousness. What is he trying to do?

I don't think he realizes that sitting U.S. senators are not the sort of people that a president can easily bully. Especially when the president's party has a two-vote margin in the Senate. Especially when the senator that Trump is trying to bully is both in a powerful position and is not running for re-election.
Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President* Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something.”

“He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”
If you read through the rest of the article, you'll get the impression that Trump is little more than a toddler with a gun: His staff has to talk him down before he does something stupid. And this, mind you, is coming from a Republican with close ties to the much of the senior executive branch appointees

Legislatively, Sen. Corker is in a pretty good position to fuck with Trump, if he chooses to. And it would seem to me that he's signaling that he's going to so choose. Corker is not the only senator that Trump has gone out of his way to antagonize.

The proof is in the legislative pudding. What, legislatively, has Trump been able to accomplish? As much as he bitches and moans about the filibuster, he can't even reach 50 on legislative senate votes that only require a simple majority. He doesn't negotiate deals or exchange favors, all he does is try to bully people. It's not working. Even negotiating, at this date, probably won't work, as everyone in Washington knows that Trump's word is worthless. He simply doesn't know how the presidency works. Neither do his close supporters.

So why does Trump seemingly go out of his way to make enemies? Why does he antagonize the people that he can't buy off or fire? Why does he persist in pissing off the people that he needs to have on his side if he's going to accomplish anything that can't be done by a rule change or an executive order?

Why does he pick fights with senators and with other people who are in places where they can nudge the needle on public opinion? Trumplethinskin doesn't seem to understand that the equal-time doctrine doesn't apply to comedians and entertainers.[1]

It's getting to the point that the senators and congressmen are going to start saying, out loud and before microphones, the things that they are saying in private: Trump is out of control. Trump is nuts. Trump is not fit to be president.

The hard thing will be for them to stop being "good little Germans Americans" and work up the stones to actually then do something about it. But they had better do it before Trump sinks the GOP as well as the rest of the nation. For it is becoming clear that he is indeed capable of ordering a nuclear war if his ego is sufficiently wounded.
[1] The point that Trump is ignoring is that the late-night hosts' comments on Trump have been hugely popular with the viewers. Jimmy Kimmel topped the ratings ratings when he went after the latest iteration of TrumpNoCare. Stephen Colbert has been doing well in the demographic that the advertisers want to reach.


Tod Germanica said...

Don't forget Sturmbannführer Bannon was the chief Trump-don't-care arm-twister and bully to the United States House of Representatives. How'd that work out?

Comrade Misfit said...

Not so well. Remember what one congressman told Bannon?

“You know, the last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn't listen to him, either.”

Frank Wilhoit said...

What he is trying to do is get certain media outlets to praise him, and to amp up the enthusiasm at his rallies. Nothing else matters to him. He really thinks those two constituencies are the whole world.

Thomas Ten Bears said...


3383 said...

Frankly, this is what I expected when I voted for him.

Thomas Ten Bears said...

Proud of that, aeh?

Borepatch said...

Late to the game here, but I think he's trying to shift the Overton Window back to something closer to what it was in the 1990s. It's a cultural thing.

I think he's also trying to shift power from Washington D.C. to the rest of the country. This is the biggest source of the pushback he's getting, particularly from his own party. They like Big Government as long as they're in government.

Whether he will be successful or not remains to be seen, but I do think this is his game. If he fails, what comes next will no doubt be worse - but maybe I just have too much of a case of the Weimar Blues.