Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trump's Big CON: The Supreme Leader is a Failure

UPDATE V:  "More than just the health care collapse, Donald Trump has so far failed to bring the “Art of the Deal” to the White House."

Read BuzzFeed, Trump Is Showing The World What A Weak American Presidency Looks Like.

UPDATE IV:  "The cheap talk of Trump’s rhetoric is the one thing that unites his domestic and international failures. Trump is great at insulting the status quo and lousy at coming up with alternatives to the status quo. The New York Times’ Emily Badger and Kevin Quealy note that the president is far better at insults than policy promotion . . .

This failure to reconcile grandiose political promises and grubby political realities on Brexit sounds awfully familiar on this side of the Atlantic. Indeed, there are issues where Trump’s bargaining strategy is so bad that he’s isolated from his own hand-picked Cabinet. For example, while the Trump administration certified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, the New York Times’ Peter Baker reported that Trump thinks that there is a better deal to be had:

    At an hourlong meeting last Wednesday, all of the president’s major security advisers recommended he preserve the Iran deal for now. Among those who spoke out were Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson; Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser; and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to an official who described internal discussions on the condition of anonymity. The official said Mr. Trump had spent 55 minutes of the meeting telling them he did not want to.

Nowhere in Baker’s story is there any sense of how Trump thinks he can get a better deal than what exists now. This is likely because Trump has no idea how to get a better deal except to tell his national security and foreign policy advisers, 'get a better deal.' But just issuing an order like that does not lead to good bargaining outcomes. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Nothing we have seen to date suggests that Trump is knowing what he’s doing on foreign policy. His bargains with other countries have either stalled out or never came to fruition in the first place. Because the president continues to be Donald Trump, none of these bargains will work out."

Read the Washington Post, The harbingers of doom for the Trump administration.

UPDATE III:  The failure to pass health care legislation is "a reminder that even when a party controls both Congress and the White House, success in passing meaningful legislation is anything but guaranteed. It also serves to highlight what an extraordinary job President Barack Obama, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did in the first two years of Obama’s first term, when they passed a set of hugely consequential bills including a stimulus package, Wall Street reform, health-care reform, the auto bailout, FDA oversight of tobacco, an expansion of CHIP and many other things that most of us have forgotten.

It turns out that legislating is hard — who knew! — and in order to be successful at it, you need a number of things: an understanding of the process, skill at wrangling your members, a relatively unified caucus in both houses, a president who can intervene successfully at key moments and the support of the public for the substance of what you’re trying to do. Republicans’ failure so far to pass any major legislation is a result of their lack of some or all of those requirements. And there’s little reason to think they’re going to have an easier time from this point on." [Emphasis added.]

Read the Washington Post, The GOP failure on health care is just a hint of what’s to come, which discusses upcoming legislation to increase the debt ceiling, and pass a budget and tax reform.

This is only going to get more interesting -- ha, ha, ha! :)

UPDATE II:  "It's Monday evening. A second version of the Republicans' bill is in danger of flatlining. Two GOP senators are opposed to it, almost a dozen have expressed serious concerns with it, and if just one more Republican opposes it, it's game over for an Obamacare overhaul.

Trump is having dinner at the White House with seven Republican senators to talk health care. Of the seven, only Steve Daines (Mont.) had publicly expressed concerns about the bill.

As they dined, fellow Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) were crafting statements that would implode the GOP's attempts to unravel Obamacare for the foreseeable future.

That Trump was completely blindsided by the news that the bill was effectively dead shows, despite his rhetoric on Twitter and in public appearances, how unable or unwilling Trump has been to influence the outcome of the health-care debate. . .

Republicans in Washington were dumbfounded that, with the GOP health-care bill on the line, Trump decided to spend his time eating with allies rather than trying to win over adversaries. And it blew up in his face in the most spectacular way.

'The senators who announced their opposition last night were two that have been most vocal about their hesitation to McConnell’s efforts for weeks,' said a Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity to speak candidly about the president's strategy. 'It hasn’t been a secret who those people are, and those are who the president should be wining and dining. To be spending valuable time with reliable ‘yes’ votes doesn’t seem to make much sense.' . .

Read the Washington Post, A White House dinner as a case study for Trump’s inability to close a health-care deal, which also noted that Trump nevertheless tried "to spin the bill's loss as a personal win. . . 'for winning over most Republicans: 'would have been 48-4. impressive by any standard''.

He's so pretty!

UPDATE:  "It’s not just that Donald Trump ran for president with a lack of interest in the details of policy or legislating, though both of those things were apparent from the outset of his campaign. Standing next to his helicopter near the Iowa State Fairgrounds in August 2015, Trump dismissed policy statements as something the press cared more about than voters. When asked how he would get legislation passed in Congress, a much different task than running a company, he waved away such pedestrian concerns. He’d twist their arms the way he forced permits through the New York City Council.

But, again, it wasn’t just that he was uninterested in the traditional systems by which laws were passed in Washington. It was that he embraced that disinterest as a solution. He was an Outsider, coming to D.C. without the encumbrances of having done this before. This was framed by his supporters as though he was the new sheriff in town, prepared to think outside the box. Others framed it less generously, as though a tourist had wandered onto an aircraft carrier and decided he was going to shoot down some MiGs.

Trump’s central pitch, redistilled and redistributed on a near-daily basis over the course of 2016, was a simple one: I am a dealmaker, and I will make deals. It was a simple premise and his core campaign argument, simpler and more important than 'make America great again.' Once you bought into the idea that Trump’s business acumen would translate into handshake agreements solidifying the future of our country, you were bought into the idea that he could do anything. Which is what he promised. He made sweeping assertions of what he could do, powered — not inhibited — by the objections of realists.

'Health care that covers everyone for less cost and with better options!' Trump would promise. But that’s impossible!, the realists would respond. 'That’s because you don’t know how to make deals,' Trump would reply. If you bought into the idea that Trump could close the deal, you bought into the idea that the naysayers simply didn’t get it.

Trump can’t close the deals. . .

During the 2016 Republican convention, one year ago this week, Trump promised that only he could fix what was wrong in Washington. That it was he who could go to Washington, crack skulls and make change. A year later, that’s not how it has played out. As some might have predicted, Trump’s lack of familiarity with the process of legislating and his over-the-top promises on what he could deliver didn’t pan out. He came to Washington pledging to be the ultimate dealmaker, who would make all of your dreams come true.

Turns out Donald Trump was just another politician, making promises he couldn’t keep."

Read the Washington Post, Trump has repeatedly broken his core campaign promise.

"This is the legislative bargain that Republicans have struck, and it's looking like a predictable mess. In exchange for supporting Trump and turning a blind eye to his controversial behavior, the GOP hoped to reap the benefits of a negotiator in the Oval Office who could help them get things done while they controlled the presidency and both chambers of Congress. Instead, they got a highly inconsistent partner with a fleeting set of priorities and apparently very little interest in policy details. They also got a president who occasionally talks about exacting retribution against those who vote against him, but has also had several bluffs called and doesn't seem to be striking fear in the hearts of many Republicans in Congress.

And the size of the mess is difficult to overstate."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s erratic leadership is killing the GOP’s agenda.

Read also:

Trump's Big CON: Thank You Dear Leader (AKA Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (Cont., Part 4)), and

Trump's Big CON: He Fancies Himself the Unquestionable Supreme Leader.

Trump's Big CON: I'll Get Tough With Iran, CONt. (NOT)

"The administration has decided for the second time since January to certify Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement that President Trump has called a 'disastrous' deal, according to U.S. and foreign officials. . .

As a candidate and president, Trump said he would reexamine and possibly kill the Iran nuclear deal signed under President Barack Obama. The historic agreement shut down Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, in some cases for decades, in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.

The administration first certified Iranian compliance in April."

Read the Washington Post, Trump administration plans to certify Iranian compliance with nuclear agreement.

Read also Trump's Big CON: I'll Get Tough With Iran.

Trump's Big CON: Ha Ha Ha, the Repeal Obamacare Joke's On You , CONt.

"The whole thing was a scam all along — Republicans promised to repeal the ACA and replace it with something that did all the good things in it (the coverage expansion; the consumer protections) without the bad (the taxes; the mandates), but they never had any way of doing anything like that."

Read the Washington Post, Raging over the health bill’s failure, Trump will soon make an even crueler move.

And read Politico, Trump blindsided by implosion of GOP health care bill, which noted that:

"To Trump, the Obamacare fight has always been about scoring a win. He doesn’t care nearly as much about the specifics . .

He [even] praised the conservative version of the law passed through the House in a Rose Garden fĂȘte before trashing it as 'mean' in a meeting with moderate senators."

Read also Trump's Big CON: Ha Ha Ha, the Repeal Obamacare Joke's On You.