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The President Is Toast
From The New York Times, a devastating critique of where the President’s re-election chances stand now that the Democrats are more emboldened in Congress:
At midterm, the once-dazzling political momentum… has stalled. In the year ahead, the President faces what his allies and advisers see as the most critical tests of his Presidency both at home and abroad.
”Historically, the third year is the one that makes or breaks a Presidency,” said one GOP pollster.
”It’s the year when people will judge the President not only by the goals he articulated in the campaign or the legislation he has passed, but how his program has affected their lives,” he continued. ”It’s also a year in which foreign policy will be given a more severe test.”
On the major issues, some of the President’s White House aides and Cabinet associates see similar forks in the political road. They prefer not to be identified in speaking. But privately, some acknowledge their concern that his presidency faces serious difficulties.
Their brimming optimism of 2016 has been tempered by losses in the November elections as well as by stunning defeats in the recent session of Congress. They concede… a perceptible shift in power from the White House toward Congress since November, and open splits and uneasiness among Republicans, especially while there is uncertainty whether the President intends to run in 2020. On Capitol Hill, Republicans grumble that the White House is not being well run but is hobbled by factional tensions.
”If the President doesn’t like the word ‘compromise,’ ” one aide said, ”well then, let’s say he’s got to make some adjustments in the original course. There’s a problem with people who think there’s so much mileage in being right all the time, I don’t care who it is, even the President of the United States.”
”You can’t govern this country when it’s polarized,” said the Republican moderate Senator from Maine. ”I think the President has got to compromise on most issues…”
Political realities have changed dramatically since 2016. The loss of Republican seats in the House has buried the coalition that passed his big tax cuts and has given Democrats control of the House.
Beyond that, White House strategists acknowledge that the elections showed an erosion of public support; many minority, blue collar and elderly voters who supported him in his election went back to the Democratic Party.
They also concede that the election mood will affect the legislative debate. Some of the 19 Republican senators up for re-election are acutely sensitive to avoiding (associating with the President) as they approach the new Congressional session.
In sum, the President’s political impact has diminished. He is not the feared figure of 18 months ago.
In reality, this is from The Times in December of 1982. (Read the original here.) The President was Reagan, not Trump. All I did was mask a few names and change the dates. Trump is not Reagan, but the conventional wisdom is not necessarily wise either. The tires are stuck in the same mud they’ve always been in and they just spin and spin and spin.Published in Journalism
Yep, and at that time Reagan’s popularity stood at an all-time low of 35%.
The Democrats, media, and NeverTrumpers have the historical perspective of a gnat.
…a former newspaper…
Well played, sir.
Here is the response I wrote to the post on the Main Feed (reference to @fredcole was to his statement that this agreement seems “more like a surrender”):
I just hope the President does not go down the road which got us one of the sleaziest Presidencies in history, Bill Clinton and the soiling of the Oval Office and American society in general; obviously, none of us know what he does, but these are some of the slimiest people in the world, Schumer and Pelosi and Durbin, et al., and I just heard him say he was sure they would negotiate in good faith for the next 3 weeks. They don’t know the meaning of the phrase “good faith”; never have and never will. If, after 3 weeks, he caves, welcome President Kamala Harris in 2020; a true nightmare.
I won’t go as far as @fredcole did (no surprise there, for sure!) as he has given them 3 works to come to terms about funding the wall, but if he doesn’t hold firm at the end of that grace period (truly an oxymoron, using the word “grace” in connection with this group of fine citizens) and, somehow, get his funding for a wall, I’m afraid that will be the end of the Trump era.
God Bless America!
Well played indeed. And think … how many times has this headline been written … for real … by former newspapers … about President Trump and been wrong every single time?!
source: EJ Hill
Humans are just plain bad about predictions. Especially about the future.
When I was reading the original all I could think was, “Holy crap. Has there ever been a time when Republicans on the Hill weren’t ready to cower and/or run at the slightest breeze of the political winds?
They remind me of Churchill’s description of Ramsay McDonald, “I remember when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum’s Circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the programme which I most desired to see was the one described as “The Boneless Wonder”. My parents judged that the spectacle would be too demoralising and revolting for my youthful eye and I have waited fifty years, to see the The Boneless Wonder sitting on the Treasury Bench.“
Who needs journalists when you can cut and paste from 40 years ago? The president is stubborn, he thinks he’s right all the time, the White House is poorly run, Republicans on the Hill are nervous, there needs to be compromises with the Democrats, the polls are bad…
Times are bad, children disobey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.
I still remember picking up the first WSJ of 1983, where the editorial page editors said something along the lines of, “Now the tax cuts go into effect and now the economy takes off.” And it did.
Maybe that’s why a bunch of them were laid off this week?
Then you have nothing to worry about.
What are the chances this makes the main feed? Meanwhile that – %$#$# – burying the president did.
Trump is a lucky guy. Since his future hangs on uncontrollable and unforeseen events, he always stands a puncher’s chance. If there are enough patriots to offset the deep-state coup and Brexit goes smoothly and the GOP brings up a workaround on the wall and the DNC picks a loser, he wins. 3 of 4 might be good enough.
I think there’s a high probability that Trump gets re-elected (should he choose to run again).
I think there’s a very low probability that Trump will ever get a wall built (or any other legislation passed that can meaningfully reduce immigration over the long term).
And I think there’s a 100% probability that the GOP base will find some other scapegoat to blame when Trump leaves office without having made any progress on immigration.
I heard the part about a conference committee to negotiate over the next three weeks, and I thought, ‘Here we go again.’
I recall a time when there was some sort of impasse (details escape me) and the big deal was to set up such a committee to address it. Problem: it was headed by Patty Murray (not too bright but D-partisan as he[[, and Paul Ryan (bright but R-squishy). How’d it go?
Well, of course, it went absolutely nowhere because in the Democrats’ lexicon, “compromise” means the GOP surrenders and does what Dems want.
Deja vu all over again.
Excellent post @ejhill.
The polls can’t be relied on and the pundits can’t be trusted where Trump is concerned.
Will he be re-elected? Lord only knows, but I recall that it was said with great certainty by all the DC luminaries and all those clever people in Hollywood that Trump had no chance in the election of 2016.
I was wondering who the heck thought Trump had dazzling political momentum. Ha ha. Still it will he interesting what deals he can make over the next two years.
And in other news, scientists discover that water is wet, and politicians want more money. Film at 11:00.
Humans? I thought this was from the NY Times.
FWIW this is from ZH
Update 3 (2:20 pm ET): Trump has announced a tentative deal to reopen the government for 3 weeks until Feb. 15.
Trump is leaving his options open to call a national emergency to build the wall if no deal is reached. He also said he would look at border technology including drones. Furthermore, the wall won’t be a “medieval” wall but will be a “see-through steel” “smart wall” built in “preidentified strategic areas” with features like see-through visibility.
“If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on Feb. 15 again, or I will use the emergency powers…to address this emergency. We will have great security,” Trump said.
If I had a nickel for every time Trump has been declared politically dead…..he would probably be calling me for campaign contributions.
If I had a nickel for every time Trump has declared that he had solved a problem that hadn’t actually been solved… Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be trying to raise my marginal tax rate to 70%.
The three weeks legislative product should be considered a big deal. It certainly should reveal whether the leadership of the two houses can do something called compromise. We’ll see. If that doesn’t happen then Trump must act for the good of the country.
Good of the Country what is that? The reason we are in the deadlock we have is because no one can agree what is for the good of the country. Trump and his devotees think one thing, the Democrats and Progressives think another. And everyone suspects the other guys are really just cynically saying good of the country as a mask for their own grab at power for personal gain.
You forget one important difference, though. We’re right and they are wrong.
Ordered civil society, law and order, rule of law. Our federal legal and intelligence apparatus is operating in secrecy comparable to Germany in the 1930’s. Very little oversight is observable in the federal law enforcement and the court system. You may state your disagreement if you think these are operating as they should.
Unfortunately for Trump, he’s at the tail end of the debt binge, while Reagan was at the start of it. From 1982 to 1984, our debt went from $1.1 trillion/34% of GDP to $1.5 trillion/38% of GDP. All that extra money jacks up the economy and helps a President get re-elected. Today the debt is $22 trillion/100% of GDP – historically Third World type numbers. Trump can’t pull the same trick Reagan, and every President since him, has pulled. That game has run its course. Trump still has a chance if the debt bomb doesn’t actually blow up before 2020. That is, if he wants to stick around for the catastrophe.