Wednesday, January 09, 2019

So What Exactly the Hell Happened With trump's Bad Address?

The reviews for last night's brouhaha have been less than exemplary. To quote from Frum at the Atlantic:

Well, that was the shortest, most easily resolved national emergency in U.S. history. Twelve hours ago, the president was preparing to set aside the regular process of law. By 9 p.m. eastern time? Not so much...
...But Trump has never wanted a solution. He has wanted a divisive issue and a personal monument. Futile though that monument may be, he could have gotten it, too, had he been willing to trade something attractive to Democrats. But Trump was never willing to bargain. Senate Republicans would not let him: They saw no point in the border wall, and were unwilling to barter for it.
More fatefully, though, Trump’s vision of leadership allows no room for bartering. He imagines the presidency to operate on the principle, “I command; you obey.” More even than his wall, he wanted to coerce the Democrats into a surrender by the sheer force of his mighty will. Except Trump did not have the clout to achieve that...

That was essentially the whole point of trump's performance. By going up onto the national stage - bullying the media into doing so - and then using the moment spreading his usual anti-immigrant fearmongering to call out the Democrats like Pelosi and Schumer and make them succumb to his mere existence as Loser of the Popular Vote leader of the Free World.

trump had promised a serious Address to the nation about the "humanitarian and border security crisis" as a lead-up to likely assuming emergency powers to do whatever the hell he wanted without Congress having a say. There had been reports Monday about how he'd ordered his staffers and lawyers that weekend to look into trump reaching into the Emergency Powers bad of tricks to see what he could pull out.

They apparently told trump anything he tried would immediately get held up in courts and overridden by both wings of Congress (with an open Republican Senate revolt) to where he'd never get to use a single line of Executive Orders.

Without that particular hammer, trump's entire performance was just for show. It wouldn't have intimidated anyone who wasn't already so.

So what happens now is that the #trumpShutdown continues. What happens now is that trump resumes his bluster and bullying - just this morning he went back to the argument he can "assume emergency powers at any time" - while the Democrats in the House press more levers to get government working again.

I'd argue for everyone to remain vigilant, however. trump isn't done with his power grab. he'll try something else next. he'll get worse, he has no other direction but down to go...

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

"Except Trump did not have the clout to achieve that..."

Interesting choice of words. Remember back to his association with Roy Cohn: clout is the one thing that he desires above all else, and he's angry and confused that the presidency didn't afford him more of it.

And from Taegan Goddard:

“President Trump sought to go over the heads of Congress to enlist public support for his long-promised border wall on Tuesday night, raising the stakes of an ideological and political conflict that has left the doors of many federal agencies shuttered for 18 days,” the New York Times reports.

“Yet privately, Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless. In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisers.”

Said Trump: “It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it.”

-Doug in Oakland