Did Trump Get Thumped … or Supporters Get Dumped?
Trump’s supporters are increasingly alarmed, outspoken and feeling betrayed as their champion rolls over and plays lap dog for the political establishment. Even Rush Limbaugh, Trump’s golfing buddy and longtime advocate, said this week that what is happening with Trump and the Republicans is a “sellout” and “betrayal.”
With the US economy sinking in the first quarter toward the netherlands of recession (GDP growth of 0.7%), my prediction that the the economy will really start to fall apart in the early summer — in spite of Trump’s victory and the Trump Rally in stocks — looks increasingly likely with each passing week. Meanwhile my warning last year that Trump would likely prove to be a Trojan horse for the establishment is, as of this week, finally proven. Consider the following analysis of Trump’s acquiescence to every failure of his purported agenda:
Trump gets thumped on Obamacare and spending bill
Trump’s Obamacare Repeal 2.0 is teetering on the edge of defeat. Even if it gets approved, it has already retreated on Trump’s promises about things like pre-existing conditions, which he swore repeatedly during his campaign would remain as they are. If Trump was ever serious about making sure certain provisions of Obamacare that the majority of Americans like remain, why doesn’t he tell Republicans now that, if the bill passes without his campaign promises safeguarded, he will veto it? He is making no attempt at strong-arming in the safeguards he swore he’d protect. No attempt.
Trump talked tough like that in the Repeal 1.0 round, saying it would be the Republicans one and only chance to do this right, and then he caved in by starting Repeal 2.0. In this round, he’s not talking at all. The veto threat is notably absent. While that’s a win for arch conservatives, it is still a breach of Trump’s promise, which he doesn’t seem to hold very dear at this point.
On all other matters, conservatives lose, and Trump still doesn’t defend his promises. The 2017 spending bill looks like it will give Trump a big fat goose egg. If it passes as is, Trump gets nothing he wanted (nothing he promised anyway), and he already appears to be willing to accept that as he has Mike Pence dressing the present draft up as a great victory. Here is a list of the campaign promises broken in this bill:
- No money for a border wall, and no apparent withholding of funds from Mexico so they can pay for the wall either. So, no wall this year.
- No funding of a “special deportation task force” that Trump promised would remove millions of illegal immigrants right away as an immediate security threat.
- No elimination of funding for Planned Parenthood.
- No reduction in government spending or in funding for agencies like the EPA that Trump has said he wants to pare down. Even non-defense spending rises by billions.
- No apparent reduction of funding for sanctuary cities to help pay for his other increases.
- 160 Republican riders were flushed by the Democrats, including those that were part of Trump’s promised deregulation.
It’s no different than if Hillary was elected; it’s a huge loss, and I’m livid. Paul Ryan’s House is a not conservative House. (McClatchy)
Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler says,
This bill reflects little more than a desire to kick the can down the road with the promise of a real fight — a winning fight — in September.
While conservatives are writhing over the promise that “we’ll start trying to win in September,” Democrats are celebrating and using their victory to give Trump a good drubbing for his complete failure to get anything out of this deal. Lead Democrat Chuck Schumer felt exuberant over the results and used them to taunt Trump over his losses:
I think we had a strategy and it worked. Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate were closer to one another than Republicans were to Donald Trump.
Of course, they are closer to one another! As I’ve said countless times, Republicans and Democrats are Frick and Frack. When will people learn that the Republicrats and Demicans are both “the establishment?” They work for the moneyed interests in our economy. Clearly, Democrats got far more out of Republicans than Trump, who got nothing! And he’s just rolling over and accepting that! This ought to tell you all you need to know about the establishment owning both parties — being both parties. Meanwhile, all Trump does about it is make more empty tweets, threatening bolder actions far down the road, which ought to tell you all you need to know about Trump. It’s all mouth.
His lack of actual battle against this plan shows that he stands with the establishment. Trump will spend an inordinate amount of time fighting for his reputation in the press — for his ego — but he isn’t spending much time or effort fighting this spending bill. If he were, he would threaten a veto and government shutdown now, not just tweet about the possibility of doing that in September. (September will come and go with its own ready-made excuses. Even now, he doesn’t say he will go that far in September, just that congress may deserve it.)
It’s not only Democrats who see Trump as a total loser on this one. Rush Limbaugh spent his program on Tuesday lamenting how the losses are stacking up and how Trump seems to be simply rolling over and accepting those losses, in spite of the fact that Republicans own all branches of government:
I’m just coming up with new ways to explain what a sellout, disaster, betrayal — whatever you want to call this — it is.
“Sellout” and “betrayal” — pretty rough language that is not likely to get Limbaugh another invitation to golf at Mar-A-Lago. If Republicans ever really intended to change things, they would do so now. The fact is, they just talked bold action when they new Obama would veto them anyway.
In an interview with Vice President Pence, Limbaugh asked,
What is the point of voting Republican if the Democrats are gonna continue to win practically 95% of their objectives, such as in this last budget deal?
The fact that the Democrats are celebrating tells you clearly who won. The only answer that Pence could give repeatedly as to what Trump’s supporters got in this deal was that they got a $21 billion increase in military spending. (Trump had sought $30 billion.) Limbaugh didn’t accept that answer and responded,
If I’m the Democrats, $21 billion, 15 billion for defense that was not originally authorized, that’s a small price to pay for continuing to fund refugee resettlement, continuing to fund Planned Parenthood, continuing to fund sanctuary cities, continuing to fund the EPA, and not build the wall. The Democrats clearly think this is a big win, and they’re confident they can block Trump’s agenda after this spending bill for the rest of Trump’s term. There isn’t anything of the president’s agenda in this budget, and people are beginning to ask, when’s that gonna happen? If you’re gonna shut it down in September, why not now?
Why not now? That’s exactly the question that popped into my mind when I heard Trump threaten big action down the road. Pence had no answer for “why not now?” Rush repeated the question and still got no answer. Like a typical politician, Pence just kept prevaricating to other ground and applying window dressing to this bill that accomplished none of Trump’s objectives. Not a one, and that’s with owning both branches of congress! Reagan did better than that even when he faced Democrat control of congress. Trump’s complete capitulation to Democrats in this bill is astounding proof that Trump isn’t willing to fight for any of his campaign promises.
The bill still has to be voted on by the full House and Senate, or the government will shut down on Friday, but Trump isn’t putting out any apparent effort to stop the spending bill from going forward as is, just as he is making no effort to stop the Obamacare Repeal in its present form, in spite of his guarantees that the provisions for pre-existing conditions will be better than under Obamacare, not worse.
Because conservatives are enraged by the spending bill, it will have to pass with Democrat votes, which it is sure to get since even Schumer celebrates it as a great victory for the Democrats, saying it embodies their principles. This is reminiscent of the kinds of deals struck by House Speaker Boehner that joined cause with Democrats and enraged conservatives, causing Boehner to lose his place in the House. Even though this spending bill is a solid win for the establishment …
Former GOP Chairman Michael Steele didn’t think Ryan will face the conservative revolt that Boehner did because “he’s got the blessing of the White House…. A lot of core things the party has promoted, and the administration promoted, just aren’t happening.” (McClatchy)
Kicking the can down the road … again.
Indeed, Trump’s outrage looked pretend when he tweeted that it looks like congress needs to be whacked with a government shutdown in September. Really? September? Why not now? If Trump truly believes congress needs to be whacked and if he really has the guts and desire to fight the establishment, he’d do something now when he needs a victory more than ever! He’d do what Ronald Reagan was excellent at doing and veto the present spending bill so that government shuts down this Friday, not on some far distant horizon, which will present its own opportune excuses.
In fact, threatening that he might shut down government in September actually telegraphs to congress that Trump has no intention of vetoing the bill and shutting down government now. Given that he desperately needs a win for his supporters now after so many fails with congress and so many flip-flops on his promises, why should any of his supporters believe he’ll have the combination of boldness and desire and political capital needed to do it later?
And, indeed, Speaker Paul Ryan has the blessings of the White House. Trump’s immediate cozying up to Paul Ryan, after all their campaign battles, was a tell-tale sign I pointed to in my earlier warnings last year about where all of this is headed and how those battles were just hot air — a coliseum show for the masses.
If Trump’s a Trojan horse, as I said was likely well before the election, his September threat is just one more way to keep his supporters on board a little longer (to forestall the mutiny that he deserves). When even his good friend Rush Limbaugh judges it as a “betrayal,” the conclusion must be considered as good as proven. Trump’s own friends and biggest supporters deem this plan a betrayal and a disaster.
As I’ve warned many times, Trump is a buffoon who is all talk. Have you seen him actually proposing anything that will strip money away from Mexico so they wind up reimbursing us for the cost of the wall? No. Just big talk. Trump is aptly named for loving to blow his own horn, but he’s not sounding a battle cry on your behalf. He’s just sounding off. In fact, it sounds like he’s playing “Taps” on your behalf.
Remember that Trump has less than two years before the next big election. If he doesn’t accomplish most of what he wants to in these two years, it’s not likely he’s going to be handed the keys to congress again. He’ll lose his ownership of congress and his mandate. And two years after that, he’ll be playing “Taps” on his own behalf and for the entire Republican party.
The Republicans are squandering the one rare moment when they have solid control over all of congress and the executive branch. On this bill, they sold out to Democrats, rather than supported their president. (The truth is they never intended to change anything for your betterment. Dems, Repubs, and Trump all serve the wealthy establishment — that top ten-percent club — for whom Trump’s Tax Plan is the most enormous gift they’ve ever seen.)
And, no, Hillary is not ever going to be locked up. She never was going to be! That was just more big mouth to wind up the crowd. What Trump really delivered for her was an immediate gold star as “good people” and a public sympathy card, signed by Trump, himself, who said she had suffered enough, and he didn’t want to hurt her. As a prize he appointment an AG who shows no signs of going after her — probably part of the deal before Trump appointed him. She’s effectively been pardoned.
Is Trump dumping his supporters?
It seems to me, there are only two possible conclusions from this “disaster,” as Limbaugh described it: One is that Trump is actually a terrible negotiator — I mean bad beyond belief — because his party controls congress, and yet he still can’t negotiate a single thing he really wants! Nada. Because that truly is bad beyond belief, I’m much more inclined to believe the other forced conclusion — Trump has no intention of fulfilling his campaign promises. He can’t possibly have made it as far as he did in real estate deals by being this bad as a negotiator. He didn’t even raise such basic and obvious tools of resistance as a veto threat to steer congress in the direction of his campaign promises. Reagan pulled hard on those reins all the time. Trump just tweets and twitters about how hard things are!
According to the Donald, being president is really, really hard — a lot harder than he ever thought it would be — and negotiating Obamacare’s repeal is a lot harder than he ever thought. I see a couple of obvious conclusions from that observation, too: Either 1) Trump is far more naive than the average voter who knows that negotiating anything through congress is extremely difficult, especially in these years when our nation is so sharply divided; or 2) Trump is a 240-pound weakling who is totally inept at negotiating with his own party. Either he was naive about how hard the job is, or he overstated his ability to negotiate.
I’m sure the rest of us have all noticed that presidents typically enter the office with hair the color of their youth, and leave gray. How could Trump not have realized how hard the most important job in the world is? So, there is a third possible conclusion, which is the one that is unfortunately the hardest on those who hoped there was a small chance of overturning the globalist establishment: Trump never planned to deliver in the first place, and when he talks about how hard it is, he is just attempting to exit those promises without stirring a peasant revolt.
Trump also said this week that he is “a nationalist and a globalist.” Notice how he is beginning to shift the rhetoric now that he has secured the power of the presidency and its prestige (which is what he really wanted as the feather in his narcissistic cap). He is a Trojan horse — whether wittingly or unwittingly — and is just coaxing his supporters along for the ride by trying to convince them he’s really trying, but it’s just really, really hard.
Cry me a puddle of soup.
He also made a Freudian slip when pressed by CBS reporter John Dickerson this week about his claims that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower. Asked whether he stood by his claims that the former president was “bad” and “sick,” Trump barked, “I don’t stand by anything,” and walked briskly away.
There is more truth in that than Trump really intended to admit. It’s a statement that should encapsulate everything that is happening this week and that happened in the last two weeks, which I wrote about extensively.
What is an anti-globalist to do now that Trump is a let-down?
If you are willing to believe Trump will do in September what he didn’t lift a finger to do right now, ask yourself if it really makes sense to think Trump is going to have more strength and more resolve in September than he has exhibited with congress so far when he is already whining about how hard the job has turned out to be?
The swamp’s solution is always to kick the can down the road (put the hard and undesirable work off for later), as Boehner always did and then complained that it was getting kicked down the road, even as he voted for the kick. Trump will protest and then sign the bills anyway. I’m saying it in advance so you can watch it happen. Mark my words.
I think it doesn’t make sense to believe September Trump is going to be stronger than Spring Trump, given that he’s already sounding like he’s exhausted. If he was ever serious about being a swamp drainer, Trump must have thought being president meant he’d simply raise his kingly finger to issue dictates while being wined and dined and eating chocolate cake.
When his new tax plan hands the final crumbs of wealth over to the Top-Ten-Percent Club (where Trump has been a lifetime member) while his supporters complain that they can no longer afford bread, Trump will look up from his cake with brown lips, dusted in crumbs and white sugar. He will pause, as did President Xi Jinping, and then shrug and say, ala Marie Antoinette, “Then let them eat cake.” The wine will again be passed around the table at Marie-A-Lago and Trump will go back to gorging himself.
If you voted for Trump to be your champion in overthrowing the globalist establishment, you had better shout out now or forever accept your losses under Trump as being your own fault for continuing to believe he will fight for you in the face of clear proof that he is not fighting for you. We’re at the point where continuing in that hope is starting to look like classic denial now that even Limbaugh can see how bad this looks. Trump is not even using his most basic presidential tool, the veto, on his own party to herd the cats into place. Unless citizens revolt now, they will get to sit and watch the biggest tax gifts to the wealthy in US history take shape as the new reality.
If you want to speak out, pass this article around to as many Trump supporters as you can. I can’t fault anyone for voting for an anti-establishment candidate. I hoped Trump would turn out to be better than I thought he would and all that he claimed he was, but he is not. Our economy is stuck in a rut because we denied the serious problems of debt and corruption that needed to be fixed. Clearly Trump is not going to fix any of that.
It’s time to realize we have to fight for ourselves. The billionaire is not going to do it for us unless you roast the corns off his feet. Trump thrives on the adulation of his fans. He will feel the pain if they revolt and let him know that they expect him to do exactly as he said he would in all of his promises and now, not later! Don’t give him that latitude. It’s time to press hard. No more kicking the can down the road. Later never comes, so it’s now or never.
You can start pushing him by sharing this article to help create the realization that Trump’s supporters need to fight hard now if they want their candidate to carry out his promises. He’s going to have to feel the heat of their rage on the back of his neck before he’ll start to fight for them. Even then, I’m not sure he will. He needs to know that his promises are expected to be serious business and that there is no waffling on them. He has a huge mouth; so, he has a lot of fulfilling to do. Make that his problem. Keep the onus on him to be the one to make change happen and make America great again.
Don’t let him cop out with, “Gee, this is a lot tougher than I thought, and we’ll get done what we can.” No, he told you it would be “easy” and it would be “great” — that you’d be “amazed” at how fast it happened and at “what a thing of beauty” the results would be. Force him to own those promises every day for the next four years. If he’s going to disappoint you by not living up to his big mouth, he deserves to feel intense pressure the whole time he disappoints. It was his big mouth, not yours, that put him in this spot.