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We’re Not Really Winning

By  |  August 8, 2017, 05:00am  |  @ewerickson




I try to be as supportive as I can, when I can, of the President’s agenda, but I don’t really think he, we, or the nation are winning. “Beat the left” has become the mantra of much of the right, but right now it seems Trump supporters are not really beating except off — if you’ll excuse the bluntness. The Trump Train has an orgasm every time the President tweets out an attack at someone and wastes vast amounts of emotional energy telling the President his poop does not stink. A vast amount of money is now being spent on cheaply produced television to tell the President’s supporters all is well and reassure the President he is awesome. But the Emperor’s clothes seem mighty see through these days.

The man told us that only he could clean up Washington and instead it seems Washington is cleaning up on him. Scott Garrett is in line to be the head of the Em-Im Bank and, if you have not noticed, the crony capitalists in Washington are about to scuttle his nomination because Garrett really would drain that swamp.

The Justice Department has not actually aggressively rolled back the social experimentation of the Obama Administration inside public schools. And as of this morning the Obamacare abortion mandates are still in place.

Meanwhile, the Russians are using American propagandists to try to ruin H.R. McMaster, and Trump supporters have decided McMaster is a bad guy, despite the President himself defending McMaster. It would seem many of the President’s supporters believe Putin more than Trump. In fact, only 30% of Americans say President Trump is someone they admire, and most Americans have concluded they believe nothing coming from the White House. But none of that is very troubling if the President’s base is holding on. Sadly, white voters without a college degree — a core component of the President’s coalition — show only a 39% strong approval rating for the President. He is still being defined as “better than Hillary” instead of as a good President in his own right.

The best Republicans can do is say “but judges,” which though a valid point becomes much less a valid point if the public rejects the President in four years. It seems more likely that not that Supreme Court Justices have decided to wait the man out. In 2021, we could see Ginsberg and Kennedy both bail if a Democrat gets elected, which is very possible given blue collar white voters now starting to distance themselves from the President.

And what of the President’s agenda? There is no Obamacare repeal. The Senate is now talking about a bailout. The President has not drained the swamp. Instead, the swamp is draining and distracting the President’s energies. The wall looks to be in jeopardy. Congress likewise appears on the cusp of rejecting any real meaningful tax reform.

In short, President Trump is playing at daily tactics while his opponents have comprehensive strategies to block him and wait him out. Making matters worse, there are few honest voices who can cut through the propaganda. The President and his supporters do not trust any voices in the media, and the only voices they want to listen to are sycophants who would tell the President the sky is green and grass is blue if they thought it would make him feel better.

President Trump and his team are not making the sort of progress the President promised. He has scored points with the low hanging fruit of regulatory rollbacks and judicial nominations, but then those were easy. The hard stuff and the deeply, long term meaningful stuff have yet to be accomplished.

We are 200 days into the Trump Administration, and his supporters have concluded that being an asshole on twitter is victory in and of itself. But Russia, China, North Korea, and the rest of our geopolitical adversaries see through the bluster and recognize confusion, chaos, and discord. They know we are ripe for the taking because all the President’s yes men have painted a Potemkin Village in the President’s mind and cannot see past the facade to the emptiness of his policies.

Right now, President Trump’s 2016 victory is starting to look more and more pyrrhic, and the real danger comes in 2019 if the GOP is lucky enough to hold on to Congress despite their staggering incompetence. Then the GOP will make the same fatal mistake the Democrats previously made. They’ll view the election as an endorsement of themselves instead of a rejection of the other, making their 2020 strategy completely different from what they will actually need for success.

Republicans have been so busy trying to beat the left, they have ceded the international field to Russia and China and have domestically run out of ideas and policy victories to justify their continued hold on power. But never fear. Today, President Trump will hear that nothing is wrong, all is well, and no one is yet tired of winning. His supporters are so invested in the lie, the truth will eventually be a painful discovery.