Trump’s Art Of The Deal

Thoughts from Jonah Goldberg, with which I completely agree:

I am coming around to the position that the vast bulk of punditry in defense of Donald Trump is little different from hepatoscopy, chiromancy, tasseography, and other “sciences” that imbue essentially random phenomena with deep and prophetic significance (this is not to say that orbistry, the practice of explaining everything weird in this crazy world, is not 100 percent correct).

Let’s just look at the past week. On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to “immediately terminate” the DACA program if elected. In June, he flipped and said it would stay in place. Going into this week, the White House signaled that it would get rid of the program. On Tuesday, Trump’s attorney general came out and declared that the program was unconstitutional. And, in a move I praised, Trump said that he would give the task of dealing with the issue to Congress. But, after watching negative TV coverage and bristling at Barack Obama’s criticism, Trump flopped. In a tweet, Trump suggested he wants Congress to legalize the program, not get rid of it. And if Congress failed, he might have to “revisit” the issue, implying that Trump might use the same unconstitutional measures Obama used.

Now, in fairness to Trump, he’s always been torn on the issue, and rightly so. Deporting the “Dreamers” is a terrible idea. But the position of most immigration hawks has always been that we should trade some form of amnesty in exchange for serious border-security measures and/or implementation of E-verify or similar steps.

So, let’s consider instead the other big news this week. President Trump threw Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the House Freedom Caucus under the bus to cut a deal with “Chuck and Nancy” on a short-term extension of the debt ceiling. Wait, scratch that. He didn’t “cut a deal” with the Democrats, he simply took their first offer in exchange for . . . nothing. He took a “deal” to get Harvey relief passed despite the fact that Harvey relief would have passed anyway. This was not The Art of the Deal. It was — to borrow a phrase from Seth Mandel — The Art of the Kneel.

Trump kicked the can to December, when his leverage will be weaker, apparently in a glandular act of spite against McConnell and Ryan. John Boehner was hounded out of office by tea-party types for even considering cutting far better debt-ceiling deals with Barack Obama. In both of these cases, the response from legions of Trumpers was rapturous approval of his genius and/or his willingness to punish McConnell and Ryan.

It’s almost as though his vaunted ability to do deals is highly overrated.

Also, read on for a devastating critique of Rachel Maddow’s misleading history of the Wilson administration.

15 thoughts on “Trump’s Art Of The Deal”

  1. in exchange for… nothing … spite against McConnell and Ryan.

    Kicking intransigent GOP leadership in the teeth is not nothing and we see that by the result. They now have the choice of getting in line or getting kicked again. They’ve talk of getting in line. We’ll see the eventual result.

  2. As usual, I see the Trump critics as falling over themselves to make a big deal out of every little nothing.
    He sent DACA back to Congress. Good; that’s where it belongs. He expressed an opinion on what Congress should do. Fine, thank you – now let Congress do whatever it wants and let him deal with it. Not a problem.
    He passed the debt ceiling. Good – it is a stupid idea to fight over paying debts that we already incurred. Stupid and it hurts USA credit. The place to fight is on the budget. Which is – again – Congress’s job. Good.
    Conservatives are so used to losing that they think that they need to fight for every inch of land. “we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
    That’s so yesterday. Today we control Congress and the Presidency. Make major changes instead. This isn’t hard – get your act together and pass a budget that makes the cuts you want. If the Republican Congress acts, the Democrats have no way to stop them.

    1. get your act together

      They’d rather whine about losing and be loved by the media. The difference between McCain and the rest of the GOPe is McCain doesn’t really know how to fool anyone.

      They’ve absolutely wasted 8 months.How many more times will the leader of the party have to kick them in the teeth to get them in line?

      They’re probably hoping they lose 2018 so they can continue to do nothing but with cover.

      1. Obama had the same issues in his first mandate. They basically wasted a lot of time doing nothing at all with a Democratic majority. Then the mid-term elections came up and Congress was turned around into a Republican majority.

  3. Just read Trump’s U.N. speech. He thanked Russia and China for going along with N.K. sanctions while also putting them on notice for bad actions.

    We have a Trump doctrine. Each nation should put their own nation and people first while working with other nations. This is exactly right.

    Godzilla, Trump’s polls are moving up and I believe the midterms will reflect this contrary to historical precedent.

    Nikki has been absolutely great in supporting the president.

  4. Now, in fairness to Trump, he’s always been torn on the issue, and rightly so.

    This negates his entire premise but I guess when you have to produce consistent output, the production rate takes precedence over content. Goldberg likes to spin things to be as negative as possible, but to be fair, he unintentionally admitted it. Trump is sooo horrible for having the same view as Goldberg on the issue.

    He didn’t “cut a deal” with the Democrats, he simply took their first offer in exchange for . . . nothing.

    According to the constitution, how many votes does Trump get in congress?

    It’s almost as though his vaunted ability to do deals is highly overrated.

    I agree here. Trump has to make deals with a GOPe that hates him as much as the Democrats do, which is no easy task. It is a problem the might be unprecedented. The Republicans also don’t have majorities that allow them to pass whatever they want. They are a fractured party with GOPe, Freedom Caucus, and Trump supporters. They need to win over Democrats, who are currently trying to lynch Republicans in the street from coast to coast.

    He has had some minor victories but he hasn’t got rid of Obamacare or got the wall going. The GOPe and the Democrats are united against both.

  5. I see Jonah finally got around to writing about Obamacare yesterday. He’s been awfully silent about the GOP Congress inability to pass a bill they passed many times when it didn’t mean anything. Except, now we have a bill that doesn’t do what the GOP campaigned on. Instead, it caves to people like Jim, who said you can’t Repeal without a plan to Replace [because then your party owns the problem it created]. What does Jonah have to say about this garbage from the GOP Congress? [paraphrased] “It’s less extreme than Bernie Sanders“.

    There you have it. Jonah Goldberg supports people just slightly to the right of Bernie Sanders.

    1. He was talking about extremity, not about the position on the absurd one-dimensional political scale. The Republicans are pushing something slightly less worse than ObamaCare. Sanders is pushing socialism.

      1. The Republicans are pushing something slightly less worse than ObamaCare.

        This is infuriating. Trump doesn’t care what they pass and our true conservatives in congress, who are supposed to keep Trump from lurching to the left, have decided they like big government command and control over the health care industry.

      2. The Republicans are pushing something slightly less worse than ObamaCare.

        Thus I stand by my statement, as it is seems confirmed.

  6. Goldberg has some bad TDS.

    Good news is not defining his term, though. Trump’s off-the-cuff claim that President Obama “wiretapped” him ate up a third of his first 100 days and hurt his standing with allies and voters alike. If you believe that this was some brilliant 4-D chess gambit hatched at Mar-a-Lago, you must believe that plummeting to 35 percent approval was part of the plan, too.

    This one is more accurate,

    I am coming around to the position that the vast bulk of punditry in defense criticism of Donald Trump is little different from hepatoscopy, chiromancy, tasseography, and other “sciences” that imbue essentially random phenomena with deep and prophetic significance

    A lot of people said this during the campaign, but we really need journalists and pundits to conduct themselves better. We aren’t getting good news or analysis. The same people in the media claiming Trump is a dumpster fire of an idiot are not showing they have the credibility to make such claims, other than it takes one to know one.

    1. I suggested someone had TDS once, and he got very offended. I asked why he was so affronted. He informed me that TDS stands for “Tiny D— Syndrome”. I laughed and laughed.

  7. Sebastian Gorka: When they came for dinner and they came to the Oval, he wasn’t firing a shot over the bow of the GOP establishment. He was firing a torpedo into the hull of the GOP establishment. He’s sending a message, You want to fail me again? You don’t understand who won on November 8th? Guess what, there are other people I can work with and hopefully, hopefully those people who are mired in their own establishment dreck, like Paul Ryan, will wake up and understand who won the election last November.

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