Monday, August 28, 2017

Trump's Big CON: What Goes Around, Comes Around

UPDATE II:  Read also the Washington Post:

Trump attacks Republicans on Twitter, but Democrats? Not so much, and

Trump has over-promised to his base. That makes a terrible outcome more likely.

UPDATE:  "Donald Trump is not a strategic thinker. He’s impulsive and reactive, sometimes to his benefit, but often to his detriment. And right now, he’s reacting to his political troubles by lashing out at his own party in Congress. This doubtless makes him feel good — it’s obvious that he never feels more alive than when he’s fighting with somebody.

But it also poses a serious threat to his entire presidency. That’s because you could hardly come up with a better way to depress Republican turnout in the 2018 midterm elections than what he’s doing right now."

Read the Washington Post, Trump is making life a lot harder for the GOP in 2018.

After whipping them into a frenzy for years (as former House Speaker John Boehner said), what goes around comes around! :)

"President Trump is now openly attacking the GOP leaders of both the House and the Senate. In tweets Thursday morning, he blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for having 'failed' to replace Obamacare, and he said both McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) created the current debt ceiling 'mess' by using the wrong tactics. . .

The tweets lay bare tensions that both the White House and McConnell’s office have sought to play down in recent days, after an extensive New York Times piece detailed a strained relationship between the president and the GOP Senate leader, including Trump berating McConnell in a phone call two weeks ago. Although Trump has been known to attack pretty much anybody and this could just as soon blow over, the tweets suggest a looming showdown between Trump and his own party in Congress if it doesn’t deliver on his agenda to his satisfaction.

Congressional Republicans should be very worried. Trump could tear them apart — and he’s already starting to do so.

Despite Trump’s broad and unprecedented unpopularity early in his presidency, he retains a pretty strong hold on his base, with around 75 to 80 percent still approving of him. There are signs that his hold on that base is cracking, yes, but the vast majority of Republicans remain loyal and are following Trump’s lead.

What’s more, a growing body of polling evidence suggests real peril in Republicans being seen as failing or undermining Trump."

Read the Washington Post, Trump is starting to tear the GOP apart.

Go Donald, Go!!

Trump's Big CON: When Criticized or Cornered, He Responds With Lies and Threats

"As with so much about President Trump, his Phoenix rally on Tuesday night was two contradictory things: both shocking and completely predictable.

Shocking because it was the most sustained attack any president has made on the news media. . .

And predictable because this is exactly what Trump does when he’s in trouble. He finds an enemy and punches as hard as he can.

Make no mistake, he is in trouble. With a special prosecutor breathing down his neck and even once-loyal Breitbart News turning on him, Trump is, according to one new poll, at the lowest point of his presidency. . .

Never one to examine his own conscience, or look for self-improvement, Trump apparently consulted his tried-and-true playbook.

'Go for the jugular,' Trump advised in his 2009 book 'Think Big.'

Always get even: 'You need to screw them back 15 times harder. You do it not only to get the person who messed with you but also to show the others who are watching what will happen to them if they mess with you.'

It is a philosophy learned decades ago from his mentor, the ruthless lawyer Roy Cohn. In a recent Vanity Fair article on Trump and Cohn, Marie Brenner quotes lawyer Victor Kovner: 'You knew when you were in Cohn’s presence you were in the presence of pure evil.'

She writes: 'Cohn’s power derived largely from his ability to scare potential adversaries with hollow threats and spurious lawsuits. And the fee he demanded for his services? Ironclad loyalty.' Sounds familiar.

Trump lapped up this advice. No target is sacrosanct.

Even if the person or organization that 'screwed him' is a Gold Star parent like Khizr Khan, in the Trump philosophy, you must counterpunch.

If it’s one of the cornerstones of American democracy like the independent news media, that’s fair game, too.

The president may be able to convince his die-hard supporters, like the ones at the Phoenix rally, that he was misquoted or misrepresented, but that’s simply not true. Anyone who was paying attention knows that.

What happens next? Under siege, Trump needs a foil more than ever, so these media attacks are only going to grow in intensity.

It will be journalists’ continued challenge not to take the bait, to refuse to play the assigned role of presidential enemy. Leave the revenge to the expert.

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s vicious attack on the media shows one thing clearly: He’s running scared.