the National Review... Sia☺giah
The Neophyte, tRUMP is a complete failure sayeth
Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:53am

The Neophyte

By Michael Brendan Dougherty

January 29, 2019 2:32 PM

Overpromising and underdelivering

Donald Trump’s political inexperience turned out to be a political strength in the 2016 election. Unlike so many of his competitors, he had not been trying to discipline himself into the role of president since adolescence. For good and ill, he had fewer inhibitions about what he’d say. His verbal incontinence leads him to lie and mislead. But it also led him to be candid in a way that some voters clearly enjoyed. The campaign playbook can be rewritten every election cycle by the winners. Barack Obama’s digital outreach was hailed as genius, because he won. Trump’s ability to command free media and his repetitive sloganeering from the podium at his rallies were credited for his success.

American governance is less amenable to this kind of revision. And in office, Trump’s inexperience is more and more exposed. Was anyone surprised that in a battle of political will with Nancy Pelosi, a political lifer and the daughter of a Baltimore mayor, Trump got the short end? You shouldn’t be. This inexperience, combined with unusual and disruptive staff turnover at the White House and slow hiring throughout the executive branch, means that Trump has had trouble imposing his will on the political process. He’s had trouble even grasping the political dynamics at work.

Some Republicans should be grateful for Trump’s inability to impose his will. He’s depended on the Federalist Society to help him choose and vet judicial picks that keep his electoral coalition intact. In his first years in office, the Republican-led Congress worked on its own preexisting agenda. It spent time trying and failing to do a direct repeal and replace of Obamacare. Then it moved on to tax cuts. Trump’s contribution to that debate was to set targets for the overall corporate tax rate. This was hardly the “worker’s party” that he promised.

Now, as Democrats take control of the House and gear up for their 2020 primary, Trump has been left in a desperate scramble. His signature campaign promise was a “big beautiful wall” along the southern border. As Ann Coulter can’t help but remind him, not a single brick has been laid. By wasting two years of unified control of the government, he leaves himself in a very weak position when a future opponent points out that he is unable to make a deal.

Donald Trump invited the public to see him as responsible for the longest government shutdown in history. He threw a gauntlet down and asked Democrats to battle him in a test of will. But when New York airports started turning away flights, he caved and promised another future test of political will — that he is also likely to lose.

His lack of discipline also allows established interests to run around him. Trump called for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. (They had no congressional mandate to be there.) But America’s leading policymakers did not want to give up the American mission in Syria, and so have delayed, or even redesigned, it so that the same mission can be carried out with only a technical conformity to the president’s wishes. Trump announced a policy, but diplomats are telling allies and other actors in the region that the policy is still being formed. In this way, Trump’s presidency isn’t just unsuccessful, but risky. His lack of personal discipline results in a lack of leadership, inviting an on-the-ground emergency that could potentially spill over into a legitimacy crisis for the U.S. government.

On a policy level, Trump’s presidency is now firing blanks: Lots of noise, but nothing targeted falls down when shot. If he doesn’t up his game soon, many Republican voters who preferred Trump to Hillary Clinton, or who enjoyed the way he shook up the 2016 campaign, will conclude that he’s just not up to the job.

    • He was always firing blanksgreenman, Thu Jan 31 2:14pm
      ...America's least-qualified candidate for President, ever. It's as if Sarah Palin had won the White House instead of sinking John McCain's candidacy.
      • I don't see Palin as an immoral traitor, just an ignorant moron.
        • Yes, Palin was passively...HeavyHemi, Thu Jan 31 11:37pm
          ignorant and not maliciously stupid as Trump is.
          • Tend to agreegreenman, Fri Feb 1 3:16pm
            But look how badly the GOP has declined in just a couple of election cycles...they ran Palin as VP and torpedoed McCain's chances of winning, then found someone WORSE, Trump, to run for President -... more
            • Just not as appealing to slightly more than half. However, Palin absolutely began the downfall of the GOP with the rise of the Tea Party, where the more level headed of the GOP all lost their way... more
              • Agreed, it happened in stagesgreenman, Sun Feb 3 4:57pm
                Back in the '60s, when I was growing up, wasn't much difference between them. Watergate seemed to enrage them, though, and as Dems turned left, Repubs turned right. First Reagan and the Religious... more
          • WRONG about a great many things, but I just don't see her as someone who'd embrace dictators or sell out the country for profit, power, ego, or knowingly doing so. Unlike tRUMP, I think she'd crack & ... more
    • Spot onwondering, Thu Jan 31 7:59am
      I think the novelty that Trumpers have enjoyed will begin to wear off, even for many of those who don't even follow the issues or keep abreast of 'real news' that much. In any case, he is a lame duck ... more
    • about tRUMP ??
      • What shocks me, BenjySJW, Thu Jan 31 10:37am
        is that they haven't all been institutionalized.
        • Was this supposed to be to SES ?? (nm)Sia☺giah, Thu Jan 31 10:39pm
          • Yes, it was.SJW, Fri Feb 1 11:34am
            Don't know how the Hell that happened. I'd swear I looked once and it was where it should be. I still think you have a junior board monitor who consider it life's goal to play nursemaid to Benjy.
      • ...don't agree with everything he says and does? Why does that still shock you? Haven't you been told enough times that supporters of the President don't agree with everything he says and does? How... more
        • Not sure where my post wentgreenman, Fri Feb 1 3:21pm
          ...but Trumpers do indeed agree with most everything he says AND does, to the point of idiocy. As he himself noted, he could shoot someone in the middle of NYC and his supporters would still be there ... more
          • Spot on. Sia☺giah, Fri Feb 1 4:51pm
            I don't know where it went either ?? I didn't remove it.
        • Uhh, actually, they most certainly DON'T support himSia☺giah, Thu Jan 31 10:41pm
          and you'd know that IF you ever bothered to read what's posted first. Seems like that's a tRUMPian epidemic around these here parts …
        • Supporters only in the sense that Trump was elected and they and we are stuck with him so let's make the best of it. Defend him when he is in the right, criticize him when he is wrong. There are but... more
      • who rarely have anything good to say about Pelosi or Schumer et al, but also tell it like it is about Trump and let the chips fall where they the spirit think of their founder: Nevertheless... more
      • Michael Steele has been saying this all along...HeavyHemi, Wed Jan 30 8:26pm
        Maybe it is more disinterest and my impression they are trying to distance themselves from Trump like Trump does from his associates.
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