The Media May not Get it But Democrats Do
The media always talks as if Trump may change and are hypersensitive to any signs no matter how tangenital. Not so the Democrats according to a new Politico piece and I’m very glad to hear it.
“Democrats couldn’t be less interested in the whole Jared Kushner versus Steve Bannon drama, and they have given up on the idea that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law will push him to work across the aisle on tax reform or anything else.”
“The crisis of confidence they felt after Trump’s shocking win has faded and his record-low poll numbers have killed any incentive in their minds to suck it up and compromise with him.”
“There is zero chance of any of this working out that way, and it doesn’t matter who you’re changing,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), who notes that many of his colleagues who once decried his absolute opposition to Trump now agree with him. “At the end of the day,” he added, “this is Donald Trump, and we don’t want to work with him.”
“As far as Democrats are concerned, the idea of a moderate, post-partisan staff rising to guide Trump into building bridges with them—even for the sake of building actual bridges as part of infrastructure investments Trump talks about and they agree are needed—has now entered the realm of complete fantasy.”
“This notion of the battle between Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon and who prevails is irrelevant in many ways to the policies,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), one of the chairs of the House Democratic Policy & Communications Committee, about the discord among Trump’s most senior advisers. “What Democrats are responding to is the substance of the policies—it doesn’t matter who wins the internal battles in the White House.”
Regarding Jared Kushner, no one knows a thing about what his actual views are on any actual specific issue. You have Tom Price at HHS and Mickey Mulvaney at the budget office. This notion that Trump is interested in any real infrastructure project-with any meaningful government component-is the political equivalent of fool’s gold.
The media ignores Russia collusion to focus on ‘He might change any day now’ for now, though at some point they’ll get back to Russia as the Twitter hash tag demands.
This is media logic: Trump bombs Syria-which is the opposite of what he said he’d do for five years-and then there’s talk of Bannon and Kushner fighting-and Bannon losing-so clearly Trump has changed.
But like Rachel Maddow always says-and the Congressional Dems seem to get-pay attention to what the Trump WH is doing.
“Though many are still nervous—there remains deep anxiety about being pulled into a government shutdown fight over border security—party leaders are in a much different place than they were in December and their success in defeating the Obamacare repeal made them feel like political order had been restored after a year of feeling like they didn’t understand anything anymore.”
“In the Democratic debate about how to deal with Trump, total obstruction—similar to the Republican approach during Obama’s presidency, with hopes it’ll produce the same results in elections—is winning, and selective principled compromise is starting to seem like a fever dream, despite the anxiousness in some quarters that they’ll be blamed for more gridlock in Washington that voters clearly don’t want.”
I mean it’s very easy: if Trump proposes a $1 trillion dollar infrastructure plan tomorrow-and not a privatization plan-the Dems would be interested.
But despite the talk about Trump being a different kind of Republican, he’s if anything more partisan than past GOP Presidents. Just look at his cabinet: no Democrats and a very Right wing group starting with a legit segregationist at Justice, a climate denier at the EPA, and the foreclosure king at Treasury.
And we’ve previously talked about the fiction that Trump’s ‘been a Democrat most of his life’ as Morning Joe has erroneously repeated. Trump’s actually been a Republican most of his life. He was for Reagan. Despite his seeming defense of Bill Clinton during Lewinskygate, according to Roger Stone after Trump and Stone played around with the Reform party primary in 2000-thereby destroying a viable challenge from the Right in Pat Buchanan-Trump went back to being a Republican.
He supported W in 2000 though his seeming defense of Clinton during impeachment gave a contrary view. He then went into his one apparent Democratic period in 2004. Even that is kind of couched. He had said in a 2004 interview that ‘I probably identify more as a Democrat’ but if so this was a new development.
The occasion was he and Roger Stone bankrolling Al Sharpton whose job was to call Howard Dean a racist and destroy Deans candidacy-who W and friends believed was their real challenge as Dean unlike Kerry didn’t have the baggage of voting for Iraq.
Nate Silver on how Trump ‘Isn’t a normal Republican.’
“Trump campaigned as a populist (in rhetoric if not always in policy). He railed against undocumented immigrants, “job-killing trade deals” and “elites” of all stripes. He promised to bring back jobs, avoid foreign entanglements and to “drain the swamp” in Washington.”
“Trump hasn’t exactly governed as a populist, however. He repeatedly turned to Goldman Sachs and its alumni network for top advisers. He made nice with China, rolled back financial regulations and just this week proposed a huge tax cut for businesses and the wealthy. His health care bill would have reduced insurance subsidies for many of his rural supporters.”
“Yet Trump also hasn’t become a “normal Republican,” as some pundits thought (or perhaps hoped) he might once in office. He has broken with Republicans’ free-trade orthodoxy by slapping tariffs on Canadian lumber imports and (briefly) threatening to pull out of NAFTA. He wants to limit legal as well as illegal immigration, worrying big businesses that depend on immigrant labor. And his tax plan would blow a multitrillion-dollar hole in the federal budget.”
For the most part, the ways in which he’s allegedly different from a normal Republican make him worse. Going after legal immigration is not a feature but a bug. It’s dubious that slapping tariffs on Canadian lumber does more good than harm.
He’s like a normal Republican except worse in some areas. Maybe-you could speculate-from a Dem point of view he’s better as he’s perhaps more ineffective than a normal Republican would have been, though it’s clear that even then the GOP would have no idea how to abolish ACA without paying a huge price for it.
As for Democrats, they’re doing the right thing: listening to their voters.
Hill Democrats feel a hardened “no” is exactly what their constituents have come to demand.
“Initially people didn’t have a full appreciation of how he would conduct himself. They thought, ‘He won, he wasn’t our choice, but he is our president.’ What I’m hearing from my constituents, even some who’ve been more ambivalent,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), one of the chairs of the House Democratic Policy & Communications Committee. “It’s really important to stand up and resist and try to mitigate the damage that he’s likely to cause.”
Honestly, we’ve got our foot on his neck. Why would you take it off? That you would is pure Chris Cillizza logic.
If you want the government to function properly and actually do some good, we need more Democrats in Congress and the WH.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.