Trump, Painted in a Corner

Greg Sargent writes that Trump supporters are in meltdown mode:

With the chatter intensifying about the possibility of President Trump cutting a deal to protect the “dreamers,” The Post reports today that his loudest supporters are in a fury. They are warning that “the base” will desert him if he commits such a massive betrayal.  …

…The most vocal immigration hard-liners who backed Trump in the media and Congress — people such as Ann Coulter, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), and Stephen K. Bannon and his merry Breitbart warriors — are warning Trump that his voters won’t tolerate it if he agrees to legislative protections for hundreds of thousands of people brought here illegally as children, as part of a deal with Dems.

However, Sargent goes on to argue that what they’re really afraid of is not that Trump’s base will turn against him, but that it won’t. Robert Costa and Michael Scherer write,

Yet the lasting political cost of Trump’s engagement with top Democrats on immigration remained ambiguous. While Coulter and others vented, several conservative leaders Thursday remained hesitant about breaking with the president publicly given his continued grass-roots support and their desire to focus Republican ire on the leadership in Congress.

“The jury is still out on whether the base starts to leave him. And I’m not sure what the truth is,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said in an interview. “If this stands and we end up with amnesty, the base that was pulled together because of immigration will start to peel off in significant ways.”

But, King added, “No one is quite sure about how this will play out and whether it’s truly what we worry it’ll be.”

Since there actually is no deal on DACA — and I’m skeptical there ever will be — I doubt the base is that perturbed. Many of them probably aren’t aware of any of this. We’re not talking high-information voters here. It’s also the case that a recent poll showed that only 15 percent of Americans favored deporting dreamers. This suggests that at least some Trump supporters are at least ambiguous about it. However, Huffpost reports a few are burning their MAGA hats.

Elsewhere in WaPo, we read that Republicans on the Hill don’t know what to do with themselves.

Despite their control of both chambers and with a GOP partner in the White House, congressional Republicans are laboring, sometimes awkwardly, to project leverage over efforts to rewrite the nation’s tax laws and craft a bill to decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants.

Some are privately fuming over the valuable political cover Trump is giving to centrist Democratic senators who are top targets in the 2018 midterms in states the president won. By negotiating with them and appearing at events together, the president is potentially easing their challenge of winning conservative voters.

I think a lot of people in media are making way too much of the “new,” supposedly bipartisan Trump. Along with being a bigot and a grifter, Trump is also a sucking black hole of emotional neediness. If Nancy and Chuck figure out how to exploit that to get some concessions here and there, grand. But nobody can be Trump’s friend, or at least not for long, without completely capitulating to the needs of his ego. So the Donald, Nancy and Chuck show can’t possibly last forever.

My impression is that Trump just wants to succeed at something, and he’s been thrashing around trying to find the magic formula that will enable him to do that. And he’s noticed that the Republican Congress isn’t getting anything done that he can sign and claim as an accomplishment so that he will be praised in the New York Times. He doesn’t know why, but it isn’t.  Maybe this bipartisan thing will work.

But his problem is that if he does something that pleases most Americans, the Right will turn on him like a rabid skunk. If he caters to the Right, he’s stuck with dealing with the whackjob Freedom Caucus in the House, and nothing gets done. He’s in a completely untenable place.

8 thoughts on “Trump, Painted in a Corner

  1. There’s fantastic stagecraft in Nancy & Chuck claiming they were betrayed by Trump in a deal they negotiated in good faith. There’s fantastic stagecraft in watching the GOP Congress paralyzed, divided and impotent. Trump has made DACA the problem for the majority in Congress, the republicans, to solve – or fail at. There’s fantastic stagecraft in thousands of young people, members of local communities being dragged off in the middle of the night by Trump’s gestapo.

    These are people who grew up here, got married to Americans, have children who are US citizens. They will be deported and either have to be split from their families of the family will have to sell everything to move to a third-world country. The brutality of the Trump’s great america will be on ugly display, month after month just in time for mid-terms. But there is a problem.

    These are real people, not actors. The drama is real, the tragedy real. It’s not a Shakespearean play with costumes. I don’t know if it’s possible to save these people from Trump and Sessions – but democrats in Congress need to promote the issue as a humanitarian crisis AT HOME in every district – the stories of who these people are locally needs to be front and center in local media BEFORE the deportations start.

    I’d like to see the public outcry reach such a volume that Trump flees from the decision regardless of cost. This is when real local Christian churches need to stand up and offer sanctuary to these families. Hiding these people in churches has no legal foundation but it is incredibly bad optics to arrest pastor, priest rabbi nuns and deacons to get to a young refugee who has committed NO crime.

    We should not play politics with these hostages – the attempts to save them must be real and passionate, not faux protests with the hope of theatrics that will benefit the democratic party.

  2. This actually gives me some hope.

    See: the Republicans at the national level are simply not competent. We know this. We’ve seen this, over and over. The problem is, their failures are often hidden. “Oh, we deregulated X_Industry, and nothing bad happened. Sure, a bunch of “people” claim that they got “cancer” from some “industrial toxin” but they’re probably a bunch of lazy layabouts looking for a big score in a personal injury lawsuit!”

    But unified control of the government – we know they’re going to muff things, especially with a complete incompetent like Trump leading the executive.

    Okay, but, they haven’t collapsed in a heap yet. And the media still reports “trump made a speech, and said (quotes)” rather than “Trump once again made huge promises of extraordinary success, while demonstrating no knowledge of the subject, or any sense that he understood what actually needed to happen.”

    And even if Trump went down in green flames, Fox and the right wing media would still be there to explain why he was never a *real* conservative anyway.

    But a splintering of the base – bitter disappointment that not even the SCROTUS DJT could boot out these furriners coupled with possible splits in the GOP caucus could break up the whole coalition of crazy, and possibly break the back of the movement.

    Mind you, I’m not ready to place any bets yet. But that Trump found himself unable to do something nasty, mean, and visibly so – and come on, we know it’s the “visible” part that hurts him! – gives me hope. He, personally, would look bad; and I don’t think he’s got what it takes to do that.

    Other Republicans can – many of them don’t give a damn what anybody left of Ronald Reagan thinks of them. But not Trump. That’s probably the big danger of a narcissist in his position.

  3. My impression is that Trump just wants to succeed at something, and he’s been thrashing around trying to find the magic formula that will enable him to do that.

    That’s my impression also..He’s desperate to achieve any kind of accomplishment. He has minions putting out statement about how he has accomplished more in 8 months than Obama had accomplished in 8 years. It’s such a bizarre statement that only goes to shows just how much he’s trying project an air of success and achievement.
    I think he did make a deal with Pelosi and Schumer, but when the press got hold of the approximate details they made such an issue out of how Trump got bested in the agreement that he just impulsively flipped off the agreement to make himself appear as a supreme negotiator who has everything under control. Trump’s biggest enemy is his fragile ego. He’s tormented with insecurity and navigating without direction. He just wants his ego stroked without having to do the intellectual footwork necessary to achieve that goal.
    He’s a lazy pampered bag of shit! It’s a shame that his father and mother left him so emotionally scarred and starved for love, but after 70 years on this planet with plenty of time to repair the damage, Trump has to own the result of what a fucking mess he his. I’ve seen people come through some horrific childhood experiences and manage to put their lives in order to become decent individuals of good character….But Trump ain’t one of them!
    The magic formula for success that Trump is searching wishing for is: “Get out of Yourself “. Do for others.

  4. Poor, poor t-RUMPLE-THIN-sKKKin:
    He finds himself between his devil’s, and ‘The Deep Å”ed Tea’ (“Party”)!

  5. An interesting article in Washington Monthly by David Atkins poses a question which DACA brings to the forefront. If Trump makes a deal that allows them to stay, what will his base do? IF Trump supporters are a cult of personality they won’t care. Trump is god and can do no wrong. OR Trump’s followers are ideologically based and will turn on Trump for heresy. We’d actually have to put something on Trump’s desk for his signature, but if it happens, the question of what drives Trump’s base may be clear.

  6. I have seen this behavior before. In the late eighties I set up equipment for a trade show in the Grand Hyatt. The hotel unions in NYC were in strike against all of the NYC hotels so the trade show attendees could not get in. I am not sure how I got in except that nobody stopped me.

    Trump broke ranks with his fellow hotel owners and settled ahead of them. The trade show went on. I remember that his fellow hotel owners were said to be furious.

    Donald Trump is still in the hotel business.

  7. Martin Longman has been writing for months that Republicans, would be forced by circumstance, (rather than bi-partisanship,) to seek Democrat support as the budget approaches. Boehnor had to do it, So will Ryan. So will Trump. The GOP is too split to carry policy on their own. Have been for years. Trump isn’t being clever. He’s not pivoting. He has no choice. That he might be actually learning that fact is probably giving him too much credit. Because of the GOP’s advanced ideological “prion disease” as Charles Pierce calls, it, Democrats are where Republican majorities in DC have to go to pass laws right now. This gives Dems some power to demand concessions if they decide to use it. Both sides of the media and pundit landscape are overreacting to these so-called bi-partisan deals whether it’s bigots burning their MAGA hats or someone on NPR proclaiming that Trump is somehow, maybe becoming more rational.

  8. “Sucking black hole of emotional neediness”—I think that’s how the DSM describes narcissism. Perhaps Trump calls them “Chuck and Nancy” because he doesn’t know their last names or can’t pronounce them. Anyway, it reminds me of the first grade reader: Dick and Jane. Does he read anything more complicated?

Comments are closed.