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Destiny

Trump 40: Donald Trump and the Chamber of Incompetence

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Dizzy
Destiny

I am out of pithy things to say, so, just, ONWARD.

Continued from here:

 

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GreyhoundFan

Great thread title!

Because of course: "Trump’s emerging reelection strategy: Double down on failure and lies"

Spoiler

Earlier this year, top Republican donors sounded a loud, clanging alarm about President Trump’s reelection strategy. They leaked word to Politico that Trump has not absorbed the lessons of the GOP’s 2018 bloodbath and has lost major ground in the “blue wall” states that are crucial to reelection.

“There’s a lot of anxiety,” one GOP donor said, largely due to Trump’s evident inability to grasp how deeply his relentless focus on his base has alienated moderates and independents.

We are now learning new details about Trump’s reelection strategy, and there is zero indication that his team is taking these concerns seriously. It looks as if Trump’s operation is only leaning harder into that base-only strategy — in no small part because this strategy is being set by Trump himself.

This week, Trump will launch a fresh effort to secure an additional $8.6 billion in funding for his border wall — $5 billion in straight funding, and $3.6 billion in new military construction funds that he’s redirecting via his declaration of a national emergency. Democrats have vowed to oppose the funding, which means the possibility of another government shutdown over the wall could soon loom again.

Meanwhile, with the Senate expected to vote to terminate that emergency — because of GOP defections from Trump — he is set to veto that measure. In other words, Trump, by all indications, will continue to flood the political zone with scorched-earth fights over his wall.

A new report in The Washington Post suggests that Trump views this as a positive, or even as an imperative, as he gears up for reelection. Trump’s strategy will turn heavily on his economic nationalism — his alleged “America First” trade policies and xenophobic anti-immigration agenda.

A risky and narrow path to reelection

As The Post notes, this “relies on a risky and relatively narrow path” to reelection, one geared toward “juicing turnout among his most avid supporters,” largely in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Continuing the battle over the wall is central to this: The campaign has instructed supporters to chant “Finish the wall,” instead of “Build the wall,” to bolster the lie that Trump is getting it built.

It’s hard to see how this will win back voters that GOP donors fear Trump has alienated. Polls have shown that large majorities of independents and college-educated whites oppose the wall, disapprove of the national emergency, and crucially, don’t believe there’s an emergency on the border in the first place. Among college-educated white women in particular, opposition to the emergency is overwhelming.

Indeed, The Post reports that some in Trump’s orbit acknowledge this is a serious problem: “Some advisers are particularly concerned about the president’s persistent unpopularity among female and suburban voters.”

Yet Team Trump has an answer to this: His advisers believe the Democratic embrace of policies such as Medicare-for-all will allow them to falsely and absurdly paint the nominee as a socialist and an extremist. That remains to be seen. But we know right now that Trump’s campaign is counting on this to reverse the stampede away from the Trump-era GOP among independents, moderates and college-educated whites. It thus feels freed up to focus it all on base mobilization.

And what’s the root of the Trump campaign’s confidence in this approach? The Post report offers an answer: “Campaign officials said they follow Trump’s lead on messaging.”

The big difference between now and 2016

It is not my purpose here to predict that Trump will lose. He very well could win reelection. Trump will retain some advantages of incumbency, and as David Byler notes, it might not take that much to nudge his approval into reelection territory, particularly if the economy remains relatively good.

Instead, I want to highlight a crucial difference between 2016 and 2020 in light of Trump’s vow to run again on his virulent nationalism. The difference this time is that the American electorate has seen what this means in practice and has recoiled.

In 2016, one could squint at Trump’s nationalist immigration and trade policies and see a different kind of Republican, one who wasn’t in thrall to conventional GOP economic orthodoxy. This was surely helped by Trump’s vows to bring health-care coverage to everybody, to protect social insurance for the elderly and to take on economic elites.

But now the horrors of Trump’s immigration agenda have been vividly illustrated for all to see. The results: Immigrant children in cages, families broken up by deportations, mass protests over his thinly veiled Muslim ban and a wall obsession that’s nothing short of pathological. All this surely drove away swing voters in the midterms — Trump made those elections all about his immigration agenda — yet Trump appears unable to grasp that this rejection happened.

Beyond this, though, Trump’s economic nationalism is failing. Asylum-seeking families have spiked, unmasking cruel deterrence as an unnecessary and ineffective disaster. This is also true on trade: The trade deficit in goods has ballooned, a huge pratfall by his own (demented) metric. Trade wars have not proved “good and easy to win” because the issue turns out to be far more complicated than he ever allowed. Now he’ll probably make a face-saving deal with China, getting few concessions even as all the damage this has done is unlikely to be forgotten.

On top of all that, Trump went all in with GOP economic orthodoxy, trying to strip health care from millions and signing an enormous tax giveaway to corporations, both of which have proved deeply unpopular, and also helped fuel the GOP loss in the midterms.

In short, Trump’s economic nationalist agenda has proved to be both a failure and a fraud. This is the prism through which swing voters will likely judge his promise of four more years of the same. Yet Trump appears certain that for those voters, he can make 2020 all about the Democrats’ alleged “socialism,” and not about his own disastrous presidency.

 

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Sad
47of74

 

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Dizzy
Destiny
6 minutes ago, Audrey2 said:

@Destiny, I love this thread title!

I can't take credit. After the election, we consoled ourselves by coming up with a pile of titles. I've been working through them ever since. Unfortunately, past me was a moron and didn't save the suggester's names. 

I saw this one on my list and laughed so I figured it was perfect. 

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onekidanddone
3 minutes ago, Destiny said:

I can't take credit. After the election, we consoled ourselves by coming up with a pile of titles. I've been working through them ever since. Unfortunately, past me was a moron and didn't save the suggester's names. 

I saw this one on my list and laughed so I figured it was perfect. 

What happens when we get to 45?

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Dizzy
Destiny
Just now, onekidanddone said:

What happens when we get to 45?

Destiny cries and the politics section implodes. 

Seriously, I have a title saved for that. 

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AmazonGrace

Promised made, promises kept 

 

The Chinese can't steal American innovations if there aren't any 

 

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AmazonGrace

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AmazonGrace

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CTRLZero

I get that Trump is probably trying to address the recent airplane crashes, but this sounds like he is advising Boeing how to get their stock back on track.  I wonder if the Secretary of Defense (who has a Boeing connection, right?), is in talks with him on this.  Questions! 

And as I understand it, the pilots on those planes were great flying professionals.  RIP. 

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Depressed
formergothardite
11 minutes ago, CTRLZero said:

I get that Trump is probably trying to address the recent airplane crashes,

He is doing it in the most Trump way ever. 

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AnywhereButHere

He's a fucking moron. Is this what he has in mind?

 

504881804_Flyingbicycle.jpg.09195cf3fafd689b6e1b22f88a38aea3.jpg

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AmazonGrace

But you know, for once I agree with Donald Trump. Einstein died in 1955, I don't want him to be my pilot either.

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GreyhoundFan

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GreyhoundFan

 

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Tired
Audrey2
5 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

 

Hmmm...I wonder if he's thinking Giuliani...or Hannity?

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onekidanddone
14 minutes ago, Audrey2 said:

Hmmm...I wonder if he's thinking Giuliani...or Hannity?

OfIvanka only he is just for show. The real VP would be Princess Treason.

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GreyhoundFan

Op-ed from Reagan's daughter: "Presidents’ young children should be left alone. That rule doesn’t apply to Ivanka and Don Jr."

Spoiler

Patti Davis is the author, most recently, of the novel “The Wrong Side of Night” and is the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

In some ways, it was the same for all of us. As your parent is campaigning for the highest office in the land, your mind wanders to how it might be if he or she wins. You know factually that you will suddenly be followed 24/7 by a group of heavily armed Secret Service agents. You know that the media will have you in its sights. You try to tell yourself that you’re prepared.

But that last part proves to be wrong once your parent actually wins the election. There is no preparation for suddenly being required to tell agents where you’re going and with whom. For the agents trailing you every day, every night. Nor can it ever really feel normal to have your life scrutinized and written about in stunning detail. In short, it’s a shock to the system.

Some of us were still children or adolescents when an election changed our lives forever. Some of us were adults, already in our 20s. Regardless, we were still referred to in infantilizing ways. We were “first daughters” or “first sons” or simply “the children.” Those who were younger — Chelsea Clinton, Malia and Sasha Obama, Barron Trump — have been for the most part graced with an unwritten rule that young children of a president should be left alone. That isn’t always honored, however.

There were snarky comments about Chelsea Clinton’s appearance early on in Bill Clinton’s presidency. Her parents, in effect, said, “Back off our child,” and the press did. Then there was the woman who publicly blasted Sasha and Malia Obama in November 2014 for their casual mode of dress for the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon at the White House. I wrote a piece on my website standing up for them; it got the attention of Michelle Obama, who sent me a beautiful note. And to be clear, no matter what I think of President Trump, if anyone attacked Barron publicly, I would do the same.

Jenna and Barbara Bush were 19 when they were busted for underage drinking, which of course was splashed across the news. Maybe the viewpoint was that they fell into a sort of no-man’s-land between childhood and adulthood, so they were fair game. Once again, they were only 19. They were publicly excoriated for pretty typical teenage behavior.

I was 28 when my father was elected president. I chose to be part of the antinuclear movement in the most strident and public way — at rallies and demonstrations. I put myself on the front lines, and the media had a field day. I have no one to blame but myself. I could have supported that movement in a more dignified way, but I didn’t.

We are now, however, in uncharted territory. The adult children of the current president have put themselves on the front lines in a different way — one the Founding Fathers would never have endorsed. By taking a formal position in the White House as an adviser to her father, Ivanka Trump has flouted long-standing tradition against nepotism. Donald Trump Jr.’s role as an informal adviser to the president and as a surrogate for him on television and social media erases the line that once set presidents apart from their family members.

Now we are beginning to see how wise it was for past administrations to observe those conventions, and how a White House can be damaged by the decision to flout them. The Trumps are sinking into the consequences of their choices.

Dubious decisions to provide security clearances for Ivanka Trump and her husband and fellow White House adviser, Jared Kushner, are being revealed. And The Post reported last week that House Democrats are contemplating an investigation into the possible intersection of Ivanka Trump’s private financial interests and her White House service. Democrats are wary of pursuing this legitimate line of inquiry, though, because the “optics” of grilling a president’s daughter on Capitol Hill might not be good.

The president has reportedly made clear that questioning his children would be “crossing a line.” But he’s the one who moved the line. Investigating the president’s adult children, or even criticizing them, might risk enabling the Trumps to play the victim card. But the real victim in this is America. Dictatorships rely in part on family-rule; democracies do not.

Hopefully a new occupant of the Oval Office will restore the informal protocols regarding the children of presidents. This administration has been selectively chipping away at our democracy and the ways in which we have, traditionally, kept it intact. The only way they succeed in that is if no one stops them.

 

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AmazonGrace

There is a non-zero chance that the president's corruption could endanger actual human lives. 

 

Also Trump: people will quit their jobs and sell their homes because they feel sorry for me 

 

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Meh
Dandruff
15 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

Also Trump: people will quit their jobs and sell their homes because they feel sorry for me 

Yeah, right.  I think there's maybe one person who believes this...or wants to.

9 hours ago, AmazonGrace said:

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Complexity is a problem?  How about letting us see those tax returns.

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Howl

Oh, no.  New Yorkers are buying popcorn in bulk, as they await Trump's ultimate comeuppance.  They've known forever that he's a mobbed up crook and a con man.  Aaaand my favorite tweet today, for those who loved Phil Hartman as Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer on SNL: 

 

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AmazonGrace

 

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GreyhoundFan

 

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AmazonGrace

Nice country you got there, be a shame if something happened to it 

 

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