Sound And Fury From The White House
By: RK Coffey
Except for his promise to “drain the swamp,” President Trump is doing exactly what he said he would during his initial days in office. And while he is a bit short on the details, such as exactly who is going to pay for his Mexican wall, Trump is rapidly proceeding through his first 100 days checklist. This should not come as a surprise because, in contrast to other Oval Office newcomers, Trump really has no ties to any political party. Whatever has floated to the top of his orange coiffed head during the campaign is his ideology and that’s what got him elected. Trump doesn’t particularly care how it plays in the papers or Congress.
Trump and his underlings have made clear their contempt for the mainstream media and it would be an understatement to call his relationship with the Republican controlled Congress “strained.” He is never going to forgive their leadership for treating him like Voldermort and believes his “victory” gives him the mandate to push them around like one of his construction site sub-contractors. This plays well with his voter base who agrees that the media is unfair and that Congress is basically useless. One does get the sense the Republicans are waiting hyena-like for a constitutional misstep. But until that occurs, they are going to pretty much stand aside while he issues decrees and edicts.
This means that all the marches, protests, petitions, press breast beating, lawsuits and other such shenanigans will have fundamentally no impact upon the Trump White House. The rust belt voters who broke down the blue wall pay scant attention to the plight of refugees trapped in an airport legal limbo. Planned Parenthood, climate change, oilmen running Cabinet offices, incompetents appointed to the National Security Council and sanctuary cities are terrific press fodder but the Trump base couldn’t care less.
They voted for Trump because he promised to give them a better personal economic future. He said that Congress, CNN and the rest of the elites were the problem and his supporters still believe that to be true. They nod in agreement when Trump says we have a problem with Muslims, we need a wall and we need to rethink our relationship with Russia. They haven’t studied these issues any more than Melania but they are willing to give him the benefit of time in the belief that he will do what no other politician has ever done….fulfill his promises. Seeing Trump tick off his agenda items in rapid succession is a sign of assurance to his base that he will do the same for them.
The sad truth is that there is little chance that Trump is going to be able to get these people the jobs they need. Eventually they will perceive that his populist/protectionist persona is nothing more than sound and fury…signifying nothing. For the Democrats the short-term play is to oppose these draconian proclamations while making it clear that their efforts are on behalf of every American and not just immigrants and Muslims. It is unlikely that this will have any effect on Trump’s current popularity but it will begin to chip away at his support.
For the long-term, specifically the mid-term elections and beyond, the Democrats have to hold Trump accountable for these failed promises while tying the Republicans to his every misstep. Point out that he is a serial liar and that he has taken advantage of their good faith to enrich himself and his cronies. Making these the primary characteristic the voting public associates both with his “brand” and the Republican Congress will assure Democrats will triumph over Trumpism.