Once elected, it’s a rare politician who doesn’t want a second term.That is especially true of our president-to be because winning another go-around would help to erase the many signs that his recent election was tainted: He lost the popular vote by a wide margin, was helped by FBI Director’s Comey’s letter to Congress about more HRC e-mails, and the Russian hacking that resulted in the Wikileaks release of “colorful” inter-office communiques among HRC and her campaign staff.
Getting to 2020
What is fast emerging is a synergy between Primadonald and the GOP-controlled to make good on boastful campaign promises and to do so as expeditiously as possible. Two prime examples fit here: First, Congressional Republicans are all set to “repeal” Obamacare by defunding it. That will involve the elimination of the subsidies that make healthcare affordable for millions of Americans who subscribed to the ACA. Of course, with a midterm election just two years away, conservatives don’t want those voters importuned so the ending of the subsidies will be set for a later, to-be-determined date when the GOP will coincidentally step forward with their replacement for Obamacare, something they have failed to come up with throughout the past six years. All along, the subsidy recipients will be told “Trust us”.
Second, the same Congressional Republicans are looking to insert into an appropriations bill, the cost of promptly building Primadonald’s great wall all along the US/Mexico border. The money for same is to come from US taxpayers with the assurance that Mexico will reimburse us, never mind that a number of Mexican officials, including President Nieto, have said. in essence, “GFY”. Needless to say, if our southern neighbor refuses to comply, how will Trump and/or the Congress force the issue? That question presently hangs unanswered by the very elected representatives who owe us one. (1)
Beyond the strategy set forth above, there is this: Primadonald is contriving to establish himself as an error-free president. Huh??? How does one do that? By de-legitimizing all sources of criticism such as the Intelligence community, the news media, and fact-checkers. The message from Trump to his supporters comes down to this: “Believe no one but me. Facts and evidence are to be ignored; only I speak the Truth”. This ought not to be viewed through the narrow lens of “pushback”. More broadly, this strategy is a product of the president-elect’s need to avoid at all costs, the appearance of being wrong, ever !! His flimsy ego, an “edifice” built of oboe reeds and scotch tape, just can’t handle such a scenario, and his behavior over the last 17+ months has proven that again and again.
If the contents of the preceding paragraph seem farfetched, look at what Primadonald began doing months’ ago and has continued right up to the present: He has disparaged the news media as “crooked…dishonest (and as) lying”. And, he has thus far refused to accept the judgment of the entire Intelligence community that the Russians tried to influence our recent election, perhaps tipping the scales in his favor, thus calling into question, the legitimacy of his election. This two-part gambit is deeply troubling because a free and credible press is one of the foundations of our democracy, and a credible intelligence community is critical to our national defense and safety.
Members of the news media will have to find new and more effective ways to counter the assault against their veracity that has been mounted against them. (2) If that does not happen, the illusion will arise that President Primadonald has done no wrong and ably fulfilled his campaign promises like repealing Obamacare and building the wall. In that case, we can all hold our breath again come 2020.
- Congress could try to force Mexico to pay up by imposing on that country, a tariff on their imports to us. The last time such punitive action was taken was way back at the time of the Great Depression. The result was that he Smoot-Hawley Act only made our severe economic downturn even worse.
- Readers are referred back to the recent blog posted here that referred to “best reads”.