Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Flip-Flopping Is Part of the Strategy (AKA It's All About the Show, Explained, CONt. Part 5)

"Before we begin, a brief current events quiz: What is President Trump’s position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to live and work here under certain conditions?

A. He wants to end it because it leads to crime.
B. He wants to keep it because he loves the participants.
C. He wants Congress to decide what to do with it.
D. He will decide what to do with it in six months.

The correct answer, of course, is E, all of the above.

On Tuesday, the Trump White House, in one form or another, embraced each of those options. . .

We’ve seen this dance before. On the campaign trail, Trump pledged sweeping, inexpensive health-care coverage for everybody. When Republican leaders in Congress started to put together a plan to overhaul Obamacare, that’s not what it looked like, but Trump went along with it anyway. As debate over a replacement unfolded, Trump vacillated on what he claimed to want, celebrating a House-passed bill and then deriding it as 'mean' and, in a matter of hours, flipping back and forth on whether he wanted to simply repeal the bill or to repeal and replace it or both.

Part of the problem is that Trump’s grasp of the nuance of these policies appears to be limited. . .

More broadly, though, this is very much in keeping with what we have come to expect from Trump. There are certain core principles to which he adheres, like that taxes are too high or that there should be a wall. Then there are things that he recognized as winners on the stump and which morphed into informal policy positions: replace Obamacare, no more amnesty for immigrants here illegally, drain the swamp. Those were things that got crazy amounts of applause at rallies, so he kept saying them.

In the White House, though, not everything that got applause on the trail earns that same reaction. Since Trump is highly motivated by the response he gets, he would rather have his positions exist in a state of uncertainty than finalize a plan and be criticized for it. . .

There are some contexts in which Trump has explicitly praised this strategy as deliberate. In foreign policy, for example, Trump has embraced the idea that he’ll never tip his hand as being smart and strategic in keeping our enemies off-balance. It was also an effective argument during the 2016 election when he could wave away questions about his strategy for dealing with the Islamic State by saying he didn’t want to give them a heads up (as though interviewers were requesting dates and times of particular operations). This strategy itself derives from one of the tenets he espoused in his dealmaking books: Maximize the options, and it’s easier to come out a winner.

While he’s not explicitly citing that strategy in the case of DACA, it seems pretty clear that he’s doing the same thing. If you can’t say for certain what Trump’s plan is, then you can’t get mad at him, right? . .

In recent years, politicians whose records are blank slates have seen a lot of success because it allows people to project onto them whatever they want to see. . .

Above all else, it seems, Trump wants to be liked. He wants his base to like him, so he axes DACA; he wants everyone else to like him so he pretends he didn’t. He’s happy as Schrodinger’s cat in that box (maybe), existing at one time in all possible states of public opinion — as long as one of them is approval."

Trump's Big CON: Is God Trying to Tell Us Something?

UPDATE:  Read the Washington Post, Earth’s revenge and demons in the wind: the most baffling theories about Hurricane Irma.

First, the (biblical?) floods in Houston.

Now read:

CNN, There are now three hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, and

The Washington Post, Hurricane Irma just slammed into Trump’s Caribbean estate — and is headed toward his Florida properties.

Of course not, but if this was Obama, the fundamentalist Christians would be spinning all types of claims.