Donald Trump

Trump Launches a Suicidal War on His Own Party

Instead of striving to ingratiate himself with those who hold his fate in their hands, the president seems determined to antagonize them.

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Shawn T Moore/ZUMA Press/Newscom

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump often told the story of the kind woman who found a half-frozen snake and took it in and nursed it back to health—only to be repaid with a cruel bite. What Republicans didn't know is that in this story, they're the woman and Trump is the reptile.

With his approval rating sinking, Trump has decided his problem is that he has too many allies. So he set out to rid of himself of an important one: Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

The taciturn Kentuckian managed to inspire rage by suggesting that, being new to Washington, Trump had "excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process." The president responded by tweeting angrily, "Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!"

As if that weren't enough, Trump followed up in an interview by indicating he might favor McConnell's resignation as Republican leader if he couldn't get Trump's agenda enacted.

McConnell looks as worried as a poker player holding four aces. He is accountable only to the voters back home, who elected him to his sixth term by a 15-point margin in 2014, and to Senate Republicans, who installed him as their leader 10 years ago and appear to be perfectly content with him.

Upon reading Trump's tweets, Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, we can assume, immediately fell to their knees to rejoice at this sudden windfall.

As commanders of an outnumbered force, their best hope is that their adversaries will devour themselves, and Trump is doing his best to make their wish come true. He has proved himself the supreme master of the unforced error.

There are many things Trump does not seem to comprehend about the presidency. One is that on a wide range of important issues, he can't do much without the help of Congress. Another is that the legislative branch is equal to the executive branch, not subordinate.

He also fails to grasp that he has no more of a popular mandate than every single member of Congress, none of whom came in second in the popular vote. He didn't install any of them. The voters did. Every representative and senator knows—far better than Trump does—what he or she needs to do to win re-election.

Most of them were in office long before he arrived and will be there after he's gone. They don't owe him and don't fear him.

A president, of course, can sometimes compel even unfriendly members of Congress to going along with his legislative agenda. In 1981, Republican Ronald Reagan got his signature tax cut approved even though his party was in the House minority. No fewer than 48 Democrats (and all but one Republican) felt obliged to support it. In the Senate, only 10 Democrats dared to vote no.

But at the time, Reagan had an approval rating of 55 percent. Having been a two-term governor of California, he also had some knowledge of how to work with lawmakers. Trump, by contrast, boasts an approval rating of 38 percent and a bottomless ignorance of the legislative process.

It didn't occur to him that if an unpopular president wants anything passed, he needs to offer ideas that are practical and politically salable (see: Reagan tax cut). Trump was unable to get Congress to vote for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare partly because he didn't know anything about policy details and therefore was ill-suited to negotiate with people who do.

He was also handicapped, as congressional Republicans were, by the unexpected surge of public sentiment for the status quo. Getting any major change through Congress demands careful craftsmanship and shrewd compromises. Neither requirement played to Trump's strengths.

His missteps go beyond consigning himself to legislative impotence. They also put his presidency in jeopardy.

A president under investigation by a special counsel has to consider the prospect of impeachment. All Trump has to do to avoid it is keep Republicans aligned with him. But instead of striving to ingratiate himself with those who hold his fate in their hands, he seems determined to antagonize them.

Someone might want to tell Trump the story of the dying sinner whose priest asked if he was prepared to renounce Satan. The man replied, "This is no time to be making new enemies."

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  1. TDS much Chapman?

    Suddenly Congressmen are the good guys in this fairy tale? Nope. Congress is a cesspool of corruption and Congressmen don’t like Trump. That should tell you Trump is doing something that corrupt politicians don’t want- therefore it’s probably good for Americans.

    Sessions and foreign interventions are the only presidential actions that I don’t like what Trump has done. The rest of it is clearly some good stuff since lefties like you, Chapman, are freaking out.

    1. Do you really think Trump is scared of impeachment, so he will cave to corrupt Congressmen not repealing ObamaCare and simplifying the tax code?

      I would bet that Trump is fine with doing what he can to dismantle as much of the federal government as he can. If he does not get re-elected or Congressmen try and impeach him, he tried. Impeachment would probably result in civil war, as some people would see their elected president as a target by corrupt Democrats and RINOs.

      Chapman is actually arguing that not working with Congress is bad.

      1. Are you actually suggesting that “dismantling as much of the federal government as he can” is something Trump gives the slightest semblance of a shit about, compared to holding on to power and preeminence?

        He’s only going about this deregulation business because somebody told him it would play well to his base. That is ALL he cares about: scoring points. “Winning”, not in terms of actual accomplishments, but in terms of how the public sees him. Looking “strong”.

        If somebody told Trump he could guarantee himself victory in 2020 by requiring a federal regulator to sign off on every item sold, dog walked, movie watched and ass wiped in the United States, he wouldn’t hesitate for a New York minute.

        1. Presuming this was true, even though Chapman’s idiotic piece actually suggests it isn’t, I’ll take a president who dismantles the government because he’s stupid over one that expands the government because he’s smart.

          1. The *effects* of Trump’s policies are not the point of this thread.

            My point was simply that lc1789’s assertion- that Trump is willing to risk impeachment or being a 1-term president in order to pass his agenda- is absurd.

            The truth is the opposite of that: he is willing to risk his agenda, in order to avoid being impeached or made into a 1-term president. All of his “ideals” are sandbags, to be thrown off the side of the balloon the second he feels he needs a boost. He will cut a deal with Pelosi or Schumer for single-payer or tax increases before he surrenders his precious ego.

            Whatever faith you put in him, that’s how much he’ll turn on you in the end. He will betray libertarian principles more and more in the coming years.

            1. Trump already won. He’s probably the most unlikely president in 100 years.

              He has issues that he ran on because he feels that politicians tend to screw Americans over. Why else would he get grey hair faster by being president by fighting Washington than just going along and being a limousine liberal?

              He actually has implemented very specific government cutting items and is trying to get Congress to do others.

              Trump will never do single payer. Trump has done more to cut government than most presidents in the last 40 years and he’s not libertarian.

              1. Trump has not cut shit. An actual cut in real dollars would be the Budget Control Act of 2011 (aka Sequester which cut $910 billion over 10 years)

                1. Which B.O. had to be extorted to sign.

                  1. Obama negotiated the Budget Control Act with Boehner and fulfilled a campaign promise of cutting the deficit by two-thirds.

                    1. When he was forced to by Congress’ refusal to raise the debt ceiling. Had the Dems held the House in 2010 that never would have happened.

                      campaign promise of cutting the deficit by two-thirds.

                      Yeah, the trick where you jack up prices by 50% and then immediately announce a 33% off sale.

                    2. Nope. Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit and cut it 2/3.

                    3. He was president for the $1.2T deficit.

                    4. Actually that’s not quite right. His first year in office was over 1.4T deficit.

                      Deficits in billions
                      2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
                      $161 $458 $1,413 $1,294 $1,295 $1,087 $679 $485 $438 $585

                    5. Wrong. The CBO scored the deficit at $1.2 trillion BEFORE Obama was sworn in.

                      http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/0…..t_outlook/

                      He cut it 2/3 through tax hikes, spending cuts, and an improved economy.

                    6. And who controlled both houses of congress in 2008 and 2009, shit for brains?

                      Don’t bother answering, I already know that you’ll just be slobbering all over Obama and the democrats cocks.

                    7. Don’t bother. The demfag is impervious to facts.

                    8. and 20 trillion in debt proves what about this act?

                2. He has drastically cut regulations. He can’t control the budget on his own.

            2. There is no way he is getting reelected. 1-term president is the best he can do.

            3. Lol.

              This is clearly what YOU hope is going on. To this point he’s done almost nothing that would show he cares more about himself than his agenda. He’s stuck his neck out to repeal/alter our shitty healthcare law more than once, and criticized all who have stood in the way even when they were correct in the early stages.

              He still is pushing everything that’s unpopular with liberals, like the wall, tax cuts, and restricting immigration.

              These are the main tenants of his campaign and they’re all still going strong. Where’s he selling out again?

              1. On NAFTA, on Syria and the Koreas, and on the Wall’s funding. He easily and unthinkingly broke his promises on these things, and why? Because he knew the blowback would’ve hit him worse than the broken promise did.

                This guy has spent 30 YEARS railing against free trade: it is basically the only consistent position he has ever held. And yet what does he do? Pressures a few state governments to give massive subsidies to Carrier and Foxconn, throws a few desultory sanctions on freakin’ Canada, and calls it a day. Principles, shminciples.

                Moreover, he loves plenty of big government things (military spending, police, asset forfeiture, incarceration, infrastructure), he doesn’t give a shit about the national debt, and appoints people like *Jeff Sessions* (emphasis required) to positions of power. He isn’t a “stealth libertarian”, infiltrating the system to tear it down: just a generic Republican on steroids.

                And if the Dems win the House in 2018 or 2020, he has praised Australia and Canada’s healthcare enough that it seems certain he will put us one further step down the Long March to SP. And he’ll probably pass a no-fly list law for gun purchases, or worse. He’ll do whatever he has to do to survive 2020.

                1. Yep. Nothing more to add.

          2. Government won’t be shrunk by dumb luck or stupidity. All the powerful forces in government are there to perpetuate it.

        2. Are you actually suggesting that “dismantling as much of the federal government as he can” is something Trump gives the slightest semblance of a shit about, compared to holding on to power and preeminence?

          SJWs Always Project

          1. I have now been accused of being a Confederate sympathizer, an Alt-Righter, AND a Social Justice Warrior… In just the last 24 hours!

            I was never saying Hillary was the better option, B2-D2. Just that the current one doesn’t care about libertarianism, small government, or indeed anything but his own reflection, any more than his base requires him to.

      2. Democrats don’t want to impeach Trump. He’s the greatest heel they’ve had in decades.

    2. Congressmen also presumably don’t like moldy food, traffic jams, stds or body odor. That doesn’t mean that any of those things are making congress less corrupt.

      I understand the hope, when Trump was first elected, that he would be a shock to the system that would ultimately push back government overreach, trim the bureaucracy, restore balance between the branches of government, etc. Maybe he’ll even end up doing some of that. But can you point to specific things he’s done that’s actually accomplished any of that? I can see the argument that a lot of his non-military appointments are skeptics of the agencies they’re running, and he did knock down some regulations through executive order (though pretty much only late Obama-era regulations). Is there anything else?

      Also, Chapman basically said that congress is an equal branch of government that Trump has to work with to pass legislation. Do you disagree with that? Do you think we’d be better off without a separation of powers?

      1. The SCOTUS nomination of Gorsuch is one. Also the regulatory decimation can continue with no help from Congress. Plus, simply having blocked Hillary from having the enormous power of the presidency is a win even if he accomplishes nothing on his own.

        Also, Chapman basically said that congress is an equal branch of government that Trump has to work with to pass legislation. Do you disagree with that? Do you think we’d be better off without a separation of powers?

        Which was a complete red herring. Trump isn’t trying to end the separation of powers. Look to Chapman’s mancrush Obama if you want to make that accusation. All Trump is doing is pointing out the dishonesty and hypocrisy of the GOP Senate that campaigned for 7 years on repealing Obamacare and then decided they didn’t want to do it after all.

  2. “What Republicans didn’t know is that in this story, (the voters are) the woman and (they’re) is the reptile.

    “The (lying piece of shit) managed to inspire rage by suggesting that, being new to Washington, Trump had “(any) expectations about (Republicans ever living up to the promises made to their constituents.)

    “Trump, by contrast, boasts an approval rating of 38 percent and a bottomless ignorance of the obfuscation process.”

    There, fixed that for you.. I would keep fixing but it’s too much work to replace everything, quicker just to scrap it and start over

    1. forgot one:

      “He was also handicapped, as congressional Republicans were, by the unexpected surge of public sentiment for (free stuff).”

      1. The Con Man PROMISED the plebes even more free stuff – more entitlements and the greatest health care for everyone without paying for it.

        1. Obama is gone from office. You don’t have to kiss his ass anymore.

        2. You’re calling Obama a Con Man?

          We knew you’d come around eventually.

  3. Lol. Yes, Trump desperately needs the help of a Republican establishment that opposed his nomination at every turn in favor of Jeb Bush – the “smart candidate”, collaborated with Democrats to distribute oppo on his campaign, insulted his voters, reneged on all of their platform promises, has no legislative agenda, and is despised by the vast majority of the American public.

    1. Trump desperately needs the help of a Republican establishment that opposed his nomination at every turn

      You might want to familiarize yourself with how the concepts of “branches of government” and “federalism” work under the US Constitution. There are a tremendous number of things a President needs, at minimum, acquiescence, if not outright support, on from other governmental power centers to actually be able to get accomplished, especially anything that he might hope will outlast his administration.

  4. Another is that the legislative branch is equal to the executive branch, not subordinate.

    He’s got a pen and a phone, that was enough for Obama – to the cheers and cocksucking of Chapman and the Reason staff.

    1. “to the cheers and cocksucking of Chapman and the Reason staff.”

      Links?

  5. Der Trumpen-fuhrer must cleanse his party of the impure.

    1. It worked for der-Obama-fuhrer.

      1. Technically I think the voters did that in 2010 and 2014. There are only a couple of moderate Dems left in Congress.

    2. Drain the Deep State, in government and party

  6. Trump Launches A Suicidal War On His Own Party

    First, it’s not his party – Trump spent as much time attacking the GOP as spineless shitweasels in his campaign as he did the Dems. The fact that this was a winning strategy suggests that A), a lot of right-wing(ish) voters agree with that assessment and B) that Trump and the voters are correct in that assessment. You got a fat-headed loud-mouth pussy-assed cry-baby goomba talking shit about you and you don’t punch the fucker in the mouth? Yeah, you’re a spineless shitweasel.

    And secondly – as a libertarian, suicidal attacks look good on a politician and I just hope he takes a lot of them with him when he blows up. Mitch McConnell’s right at the top of the list.

  7. 1. Trump is right. 7 years of campaigning on ‘repeal and replace’ and when the opportunity comes up they aren’t organized enough to do anything with it.

    2. Who the feth does Trump think he is? Congress doesn’t work for him. Its not there to ‘implement his agenda’. This is the problem we had with ‘a pen and a phone’ Obama – why won’t these people just do what they’re told!!11!!

    1. It’s absurd. At the same time, it’s not the case that the republicans didn’t have any plan to repeal and replace, it’s that they didn’t have a plan that was acceptable to 50 senators. If you’re a republican senator in 2015, you could reasonably see ironing out the differences between your preferred plans and your colleagues preferred plans as a waste of time, since you’d expect a republican president to have campaigned on something with at least some degree of detail, and you’d expect the exact composition of the senate (and thus the balance between moderates and conservatives) to change with the election.

      It’s worth remembering how much trouble the democrats had getting all 60 democratic senators on board with Obamacare, despite having an extraordinarily popular president, and despite the democratic primary focusing heavily on a debate between three slightly different versions of the same basic approach to health care reform.

      1. Except the GOP’s task was much simpler — just repeal a bill. They don’t have to craft shit. Much easier to destroy than create.

        Problem is, some GOPers are in favor of at least part of Obamacare and want to protect those parts. That’s the narrative that Trump is pushing and he’s right.

        1. Proof that Trump is a shitty deal maker and negotiator then. All he had to do was cut a deal with his own party.

          He Conned the Idiocracy.

          1. The usual way of “cutting deals” in Congress is to tack on more spending in the recalcitrant member’s district or state (this is exactly what was done to ensure 0-care’s passage). Given that we’re out of fucking money, that isn’t an option anymore.

          2. I’ve been assured that Trump is a 8th-level wizard chessmaster or some such and this is just part of the long con game. Trump’s mad deal-making skillz are beyond your ken and he meant to make Congress look bad by not hammering out a deal a majority could live with. He totally could have if he wanted to, he just didn’t want to because that would have been a bad move. You’ll see, believe me, this is all part of his plan, it’ll be great, you’ll love it. By the time this is all over, we’ll all have so much healthcare we’ll be sick of it, everybody will be covered, it’ll be much cheaper and much better than what we have now. It’ not complicated.

            1. It’s the Madman Strategy – only YUUUGE!!1!

            2. The failure of the Republican Congress to pass legislation is worse in 2018 for establishment Republicans than for insurgent Trump Republicans.

              Trump to fight the establishment dead enders in the Republican party as much as the Dems, the media, and academe. 2018 is the time to make inroads on that fight.

      2. The thing is they’ve had 7 years to figure something out that would appeal to 50 senators. Instead they sat on their asses, flinging poop around, and didn’t start working on something supposedly *this important to them* until Trump got into office?

      3. Same thing in the 1990s. Wofford’s election convinced Dems in Congress that then was finally the time for socialized medicine. They couldn’t decide what kind they wanted, though, and although a Canadian-style single-payer plan was simple enough & pretty popular, they knew it’d be the easiest to attack as socialized medicine, which of course it was. So how could they get what people simultaneously wanted & anti-wanted? Various ideas were floated & were still around after Clinton got elected & Hillarycare came forth, a product of heavy logrolling & buying off of special interests, a Rube-Goldbergish plan of monopsonies that nobody could explain easily, & Bill sounded scary explaining as regional “giant health alliance”s?what ever made him think anything “giant” would sound good? It was still competing in Congress vs, other ideas, including “incremental reforms”, which apparently meant socializing medicine a piece at a time. All the opposition had to do was sow doubt about sweeping change, including Bob Dole concern-trolling for “incremental reforms” just stated as such, & the Democrats could never unite on a plan.

    2. The GOP in general (with a few scattered exceptions like Rand Paul) never wanted to actually repeal Obamacare, just campaign against it.

      Of course the flip side of that is that the Dems don’t really want to impeach Trump either — they want to keep him around to campaign against.

    3. Who the feth does Trump think he is?

      Someone with a lot more notoriety and press coverage than your average Congressman. And someone with an approval rating twice as high as that of Congress.

      No, Congress doesn’t work for him. But they ignore him at their own peril.

  8. It’s eleventieth degree chess. He’s arting the fucking deal. Can’t you see that?

    1. Shut up Buttplug.

  9. In bird culture that is considered a dick move.

    1. Hihn must be doing something right if he is pissing off the H&R conservatives.

      1. John pisses off just about everyone at HnR.

        1. *Hihn. Stupid phone autocorrect.

      2. Shut up Tony

  10. Mitchell is an “ally?” Citation needed. The truth is that the Republican establishment is a more potent enemy to DJT than the Democrats.

  11. What are the odds Chapman typed this with one hand down his pants?

    There will be no impeachment, and potus telling the majority leader to get shit done or get out of the way is not really grounds for impeachment.

    1. There will be no impeachment, and potus telling the majority leader to get shit done or get out of the way is not really grounds for impeachment.

      In fact, I suspect the Republican base rather approves.

  12. Well, at this part of ‘outside the beltway’, we expect all of the republicans to do what they promised. And they are not doing it. In fact, they are looking pretty incapable of doing it. They can’t even get it together long enough to TALK about it!! Really? Can’t even get it to the floor!!??
    (disclosure; I did not vote for the republicans, they no longer represent my values. But since they were elected, they have to represent me along with the others in their district / state)

    So my expectation is that come next November, the republicans you say are only responsible to their own electorate will find that that electorate will quite happily vote for ANYBODY who runs against them in the primary. And may very well either vote against them if they win the primary; or at least stay home and let the democrats back in. Either way, they are heading for a future of selling books on “What went wrong”, and giving speeches for pay. So actually, yes, they do need to be responsible to Trump, because they were in fact elected to implement his agenda.

  13. Hmm? I didn’t hear anybody talking “repeal and replace” for any “seven years”. It was all just “repeal” (dishonestly in the case of several RINOs, but anybody who wasn’t an idiot would have known that). “Repeal and replace” was Trump’s slogan. He even denounced simple repeal in the primary debates. So where, exactly, is his replacement plan?

    1. Actually, before Trump, the slogan started out as “Repeal and Replace” and then morphed into “Repeal”. They were slogans…nothing more. When you actually pressed most Republicans, the former was always more of what they had in mind, precisely because it was more politically palatable. But since simple “Repeal” was easier to win over Republicans with, it got shortened.

  14. The gist of this article is that Trump needs to learn how to play politics. I’m not sure how that’s controversial. Winning a presidential election over Hillary Clinton may make you president, but it doesn’t do much else for you. The game remains the game, and he can criticize them all he wants, but most of them will be there after he’s a memory, so he needs them more than the other way around.

    1. Some of them will be there after he is gone, because they do not have legal term limits.

      However, many of them will learn that the electorate can impose term limits every other November, They ran for years on one point, and then created the most impressive, epic fail of all times by not even allowing i to the floor for debate.

      I would vote for ANYONE running against an incumbent republican in any federal primary. Including Bernie Sanders running as a republican. (Why not, he is no more ‘not a republican’ as he is ‘not a democrat’)

    2. The game remains the game, and he can criticize them all he wants, but most of them will be there after he’s a memory, so he needs them more than the other way around.

      Don’t bet on it. The same people who got pissed off at the horrible candidates the Republican establishment was pushing can just as easily push out the Republican establishment itself. And they can do it in the primaries, without switching to the Democratic party.

  15. ***R.O.T.F.L.M.A.O.***
    Someone chooses to actually bet that @realDonaldTrump will loose against @JohnMcCain and the Rockefellers, enough to entitel the effort as ‘suicide’? They must have their heads in the sand and still think we are in 1996, and Ross is still running…
    ***S.R.O.T.F.L.M.A.O.***
    They are choosing to fail to understand the significance of social media as it relates to irresistibly terminating #DistrictofColumbia’s power. Moreover, how @realDonaldTrump has already shown he neither needs the Rockefeller’s money or their connections to plebeians… which is basically everyone outside of District of Columbia.

    Beyond the humor itself. Grateful for you sharing your Gravity, am I. May you ask the Goddess to eternally alight your self-determined path.

  16. What Republicans didn’t know is that in this story, they’re the woman and Trump is the reptile.

    Anyone who thought the fight for control of the Republican Party ended when Trump won their nomination for President is a retard. What part of “never” in NeverTrump didn’t you understand?

    As long as much the Republican establishment continues to fight Trump, expect Trump to fight back.

    I suppose it’s hard to blame the Left’s confusion when someone on the Right actually *fights back* instead of bending over because “muh principles”, but who couldn’t see that Trump’s campaign was an insurgency that was far from over?

    2016 Fight for control of the government
    2018 Fight for control of the party
    2020 Fight for control of the government
    2022 Fight for control of the party

  17. Well, Chapman’s concern trolling is truly touching.

  18. Trump has always lashed out at anyone who irritates him. It is not a sign of “war” and anyone with any intelligence knows that. Besides Congress does more than enough to irritate anyone.

  19. Actually calling out McConnell and the Senate is one thing I can support. If you ran on repealing Obamacare and all the republicans in congress and senate ran on repealing Obamacare, he is correct in calling out their failure to do so. They not only failed by lied and are not an ally.

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