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Presidential Pivot or The Art of the Clean Deal?

By  |  September 9, 2017, 08:30am  |  @wpatrickf


“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The one standard with the Never-Trumpers is their ability to consistently blame the President day in and day out without a shred of objectivity or intellectual honesty. Here are some snippets from an article this morning: (Red State)

‘Make no mistake. Donald Trump got played like a grand piano by the political duo of Salieri Schumer and Pelosi The Great’…’Naturally, it’s not as though people weren’t warned of what would happen. People say Trump is “transactional” and that he’ll make the best deal at that time. That’s only partially right. He’s going to make whatever deal makes him look good at the time’..’I’ve argued more times than I can count that Trump has no ideological core. He’s not a conservative. He is an opportunist.’

The author’s primary objection? (Red State)

He’s going to make whatever deal makes him look good at the time. Reports say Trump was thrilled with the press coverage the deal was getting despite many conservatives saying it gave too much leverage to Pelosi and Schumer come December. The critics are right.

“Reports say”? “Many conservatives saying”? This article is as thinly sourced as your average Politico piece. The author’s conclusion? Those unnamed critics are right. This is the journalistic equivalent of “yeah, what he said”.

What is left unsaid is just as many conservatives are saying the exact opposite. Contrary to that article, here is the source: (Wash Examiner)

‘President Trump shocked and angered Republicans on Wednesday by agreeing with Democrats on a bill to suspend the debt ceiling for three months, but by Thursday, Republican lawmakers and aides were acknowledging that Trump’s plan was better for Republicans than the plan put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.’…’RSC member Tom Cole, R-Okla., said Wednesday that he preferred Trump’s plan over Ryan’s. “I think a short-term deal is much easier to vote for than an 18-month or two-year extension with no offsets,” he said on MSNBC. “I think a much worse deal would have been to extend the debt ceiling with no spending cuts,” he added. “So we live to fight another day.”

The Spokesman for the Republican Study Committee was even more explicit: (Wash Examiner)

But a spokesman for the group agreed that Ryan’s plan was worse since it would have removed the GOP’s leverage for spending cuts for an even longer period of time. “What we are hoping with a three-month deal is we will have a chance to have a bite at the apple,” said spokesman Alexei Woltornist. “Yes, it is bad, but it is less bad than 18 months.”

It is well and good to be strictly partisan on some legislative issues, policy and philosophical differences between the two parties are just far too great. But, it is very difficult to see how a clean Harvey disaster bill coupled with a clean short-term debt ceiling bill could be so offensively traitorous.

Concerning this issue, the President’s decision doesn’t need defending. Proclaiming this deal gives Schumer and Pelosi extraordinary negotiating leverage come December/January is speculative at best. Also, just because MSNBC and CNN want to ring the victory bell for the Democrats doesn’t mean it’s reality.

To be fair, this isn’t a genius move by the President either. It just is what it is. A move to clear the debt ceiling off the table for the fall session of Congress, and also achieve immediate disaster relief funding. If it weren’t for the liberal press insisting on spiking the ball, and the Never-Trumper’s consistent “I told you so”; this is a yawner.

I’m inclined to give the President the benefit of the doubt. Hurricane Harvey is estimated to cost over $175 billion. Hurricane Irma was just days away from slamming into Florida, and Hurricane Jose is hot on her heels. Too many Gulf Coast citizens are suffering right now today. Irma is going to magnify the natural disaster pain and suffering exponentially. ‘

It is a stone cold lock every person who needs assistance on the Gulf Coast is more concerned about immediate funding than the optics of how that funding was achieved. Only those who foolishly and consistently react in a knee-jerk fashion against the President can’t see that.