Friday, September 8, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Eventually Truth Trumps the Lies

"It could not be more fitting that only 24 hours after scrapping protections for 800,000 young immigrants brought here illegally as children, President Trump is set to deliver a big speech extolling the need to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations. The juxtaposition captures the massive lie at the very heart of Trumpism as perfectly as anyone could ask for.

Two of Trump’s new tweets neatly bracket this big lie. In one tweet, Trump announced he will give a speech today in North Dakota calling for “tax reform and tax cuts,” arguing that “we are the highest taxed nation in the world.” This is itself a repeatedly debunked falsehood that Trump employs to push an agenda in tune with the trickle-down GOP economic orthodoxy he used as a foil during a campaign in which he portrayed himself as an economic populist.

In the other tweet, Trump asserted that Congress has six months to act to protect the “dreamers” via legislation and hinted that if Congress fails, he might renew the executive protections he just rescinded. But Trump has not told us what legislation along these lines he’d be willing to sign. There’s a reason for all this vagueness: Trump cannot come out squarely for protecting the dreamers, because that would reveal another side of his alleged economic populism — the demagoguing about immigrants threatening U.S. workers — to be hollow. . .

[L]et’s be clear on what this conflict is really about. Trump isn’t wrestling with a dilemma made difficult by two valid competing moral imperatives. He’s torn between (on one side) the reality of what it actually means to scrap protections for hundreds of thousands of people who know no other country, are thoroughly American, and just want to contribute positively to American life, and (on the other) the need to continue propping up his campaign lies about how deporting these people will boost American workers. The conflict is between the inescapably awful truth about the real life consequences of ending DACA, and the imagined need to continue making empty gestures to his core supporters."

Read the Washington Post, Trump is exposing the big lie at the core of Trumpism.

Trump's Big CON: (Said With Surprise -->) OMG! He's a CON Man After All!

UPDATE V:  "Chuck and Nancy and Donald and Ivanka seemed to thoroughly enjoy their meeting at the White House the other day. Mitch and Paul, not so much. . .

One thing that should be blindingly obvious by now is that political loyalty, for the president, is a one-way street. Yes, McConnell and Ryan embarrassed themselves and squandered precious political capital in a long, fruitless attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Yes, the Republican leaders have held their tongues time and again when Trump has manifested his unfitness for office. Yes, they have pretended not to notice the glaring conflicts of interest between Trump’s private business affairs and his public responsibilities.

Still, there was something brazen about the way events unfolded Wednesday. First, Ryan tells reporters that a short-term, three-month extension on the debt ceiling, tied to relief funds for Hurricane Harvey — an idea supported by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — was “ridiculous and disgraceful.” Then, in the Oval Office meeting, Trump stuns everyone by endorsing the Schumer-Pelosi plan — and agrees to work with the Democrats on repealing the debt ceiling altogether, according to The Post. Later, on Air Force One, Trump goes on about what a productive meeting he had with “Chuck and Nancy,” not bothering to mention the GOP congressional leaders by name. Ouch. . .

Ryan and McConnell have no one to blame but themselves.

Trump is many things, but he is not, nor has he ever been, a committed Republican. He seized control of the party in a hostile takeover. His campaign positions on trade, health care, entitlements and other issues bore no resemblance to GOP orthodoxy. He has instincts — some of them odious, from what we can intuit about his views on race and culture — but his worldview is transactional and situational, not ideological. . .

[After Congressional failures on Obamacare and DACA, w]hat Trump clearly has already revisited is his belief in the ability of the conservative GOP congressional majorities to get anything meaningful done. He seems to be at least flirting with the idea of working instead with Democrats and GOP moderates — working not with but around the House and Senate leadership.

I just hope Schumer and Pelosi know not to trust him the way Ryan and McConnell did."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s betrayal of the Republican leaders should surprise no one.

UPDATE IV:  "One of the most cynical quotations in history is also one of the most widely attributed. Let’s ponder the version associated with Groucho Marx: 'Sincerity is the key to success. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.'

From the moment Donald Trump opened his quest for the presidency, this idea has defined him and served as an organizing principle of his politics.

He presented himself as the guy who said whatever was on his mind, who didn’t talk like a politician, who didn’t care what others thought and who railed against “political correctness.”

In fact, just about everything that comes out of his mouth or appears on his Twitter feed is calculated for its political and dramatic effect. Trump is the exact opposite of what he tries to project: The thing he cares about is what others think of him. So he’ll adjust his views again and again to serve his ends as circumstances change. He’s not Mr.?Fearless. He’s Mr. Insecure.

Putting aside the catastrophe of his presidency, this approach has worked remarkably well for Trump. But when the input on which he bases his calculations is garbled or contradictory, he doesn’t know which way to go. Lacking any deep instincts or convictions, he tries to move in several directions at once, an awkward maneuver even for an especially gifted politician. In these situations, Trump offers us a glimpse behind the curtain, and we see there is nothing there.

This is the most straightforward explanation for the fiasco created by the president’s mean-spirited decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. . .

There is no strategic vision of what a Trump administration should look like because he doesn’t have any clear objectives of his own. On some days, he buys into the Sessions-Steve Bannon-Stephen Miller nationalist worldview. On others, he goes with his practical generals or his business-friendly Wall Street advisers. He doesn’t resolve the philosophical tensions because they don’t matter to him.

All this underscores what a waste this presidency is.

Read the Washington Post, Trump offers us a glimpse behind the curtain. There’s nothing there.

UPDATE III: "Donald Trump’s total lack of ideological moorings, combined with his nonexistent sense of responsibility to others (which, disconcertingly, comes packaged with an insatiable demand for loyalty to him), has long led Republicans and conservatives to fear he would eventually sell them out when the moment seemed opportune.

Judging by the noise out there this morning, they now apparently believe that the moment is upon them. . .

[But] a number of big issues that really matter right now, there are no indications of any meaningful change coming on Trump’s part.

It is true, as many have pointed out, that Trump may have handed Democrats more leverage to play with in the next round of talks. . .

But what does this signal about the long-term direction of Trump’s actual governing policies and priorities, such as they are? The New York Times speculates that this might foreshadow 'a more sustained shift in strategy' in which Trump might “seek common cause” with Democrats 'on areas of mutual interest.'

Okay. But let’s go through the actual issues", including Obamacare, DACA, infrastructure spending and taxes.

 Read the Washington Post, Trump just sided with Pelosi and Schumer. Will he systematically sell out the GOP?

UPDATE II:  Remember when I asked "what might have been"? And asked again?

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s triangulation shows what might have been.

And now remember, deal with a man with no guiding principles at your own risk.

UPDATE:  "House Speaker Paul Ryan could not have been more clear.

After meeting with his Republican caucus Wednesday morning on the first day back from their long summer break, he declared at a news conference that Democrats’ call for a three-month extension of the government’s borrowing limit was “ridiculous.”

“That’s ridiculous and disgraceful, that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment,” he repeated. He called it “unworkable,” said it would jeopardize hurricane response and called out Democratic leaders by name for promoting what “I don’t think is a good idea.”

About an hour later, Ryan and other GOP leaders sat in the White House with President Trump, who told them he wants .?.?. a three-month increase of the debt ceiling, just as Democrats proposed.

Such chaos and confusion at the highest level of American government hadn’t been seen since, well, the day before."

Read the Washington Post, Nobody knows what Trump is doing. Not even Trump., which noted in the context of The Donald's flip-flops on DACA (but it could be almost any issue:

"But what does Trump support? . .

What does the president want? Nobody knows — not his advisers, not his fellow Republicans in Congress, and probably not Trump himself."

Not long after the election, I suggested people 'climb off the ledge, it will get better, Trump is a fraud, call the Republi-CON bluff, his delusional supporters can't avoid reality forever, he can't keep the con up forever'.

Many times I've noted that The Donald was a psycho-narcissistic con man.

And his weakness is his narcissism.

So is this really any surprise?

Read the Washington Post:

Trump sides with Democrats on fiscal issues, throwing Republican plans into chaos,

Trump didn’t solve the debt ceiling crisis. He just delayed it,

Trump’s deal with Democrats bewilders his biggest fans — House conservatives, and

Freedom Caucus leaders vent to Paul Ryan after talks with Steve Bannon.

And the icing on the CON job cake, and a reminder that no one should trust The Donald: "on Thursday morning, in an odd case of some pretty unfortunate timing, Trump's campaign launched an ad deriding Chuck and Nancy as 'career politicians' standing in Trump's way."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s new campaign ad features some truly unfortunate timing, which noted:

"By several accounts, he took the first deal Democrats put on the table for a short-term extension of the debt ceiling. . .

[And] apparently Trump's unpredictability is giving even his own ad-makers a tough time. With Trump, every alliance and adversarial relationship is subject to change at a moment's notice."

So how can he be so unpredictable, The Donald has no guiding principles, except flattery.