How ‘Trump Trauma’ could hand the Democrats a victory in 2020
There were more red warning flags flapping around the Oval Office last week than on the Atlantic beaches of Florida.
Hurricane Dorian may have given the Sunshine State a miss, but Typhoon Trump is still huffing and puffing to blow his electoral chances out to sea.
Back during the Bubba era, there was something known as “Clinton Fatigue,” occasioned by an endless parade of tawdry scandals, so many it was hard to keep track of them: sex, money, foreign influence and even the occasional mysterious demise or two — not to mention impeachment.
Clinton Fatigue, however, took eight years to fully flower: Trump Trauma has taken less than three. In the daily tweetstorms, the president has come to resemble King Lear, flailing at his enemies among the duplicitous Democrats, perfidious Republicans, arrogant federal judges, the ineffable St. James Comey, the bogus Russia “collusion” investigation and whatever else triggers him in the wee small hours of the morning.
The result: consistently mediocre approval numbers, with around 45 percent at the high end.
Many on the right credit Trump’s promiscuous tweeting with helping him speak directly to the public and over the heads of the nakedly partisan national media. But Twitter has long since outlived its usefulness; the media now pounces on every habitual exaggeration, misspelling, infelicitous phrase and politically incorrect retweet, reframing each through its current favored prisms of racism/white supremacy and apocalyptic climate change.
All this attention feeds Trump’s enormous ego but wearies an electorate that would like to just enjoy the good economy while it lasts (part of the daily barrage is an imminent recession) and think about politics a year from now.
But the president won’t let them. As a playboy businessman in Manhattan during the go-go Eighties, Trump had the media eating out of his hand. When the press turned on him after his inauguration, he continued to try to woo them to no avail. Biting the hand that provides them copy is proof of their independence.
Worse is his demoralizing penchant for pulling the rug out from under his supporters with policy initiatives and personnel appointments that are announced and then almost immediately yanked back: tariffs on “Christmas items” from China, the deportation of sick “migrants,” conservative congressman John Ratcliffe’s short-lived float as director of national intelligence, ineffectual, court-blocked threats to end the so-called “Dreamers” protection for illegal immigrants who arrived as children and to close the Mexican border, and to build the wall. Follow-through has never been Trump’s strong suit.
Worst of all are the appointments and policy prescriptions that no conservative could ever endorse: lawyer Christopher Wray as head of a tarnished FBI, now tracking border groups opposed to US immigration policy as “extremist organizations”; and his bruiting of “red flag” laws to preemptively disarm Americans without due process on suspicion of mental illness — including using home-espionage equipment such as Amazon Echo and Apple Watch to collect data on individuals. All of which makes Trump eminently beatable next year.
That’s the bad news.
‘The American people didn’t elect him to be the star of a round-the-clock reality show’
The good news is that the Democrats are hell-bent on nominating one of an eccentric collection of geriatric socialists (Sanders), gibbering lunatics (Biden), mendacious college professors (Warren), gay small-town mayors with no other apparent qualifications (Buttigieg) and, God help us, Mayor de Blasio.
The one candidate who could handily whip Trump next year, Tulsi Gabbard, was kicked out of the next round of debates presumably for her on-stage gutting of party fave Kamala Harris last month.
Trump can turn all this around by shutting up and simply doing his job. The American people didn’t elect him to be the star of a round-the-clock reality show. Nor did they designate him to be the boss of us, in the manner to which he’s been accustomed to running the Trump Organization. They elected him to be a leader. As JFK used to say, “Never complain, never explain.”
All those red flags? They have nothing to do with Russia, mental illness nor even the big storm that just bypassed Mar-a-Lago. They’re right there, in the White House mirror.
Michael Walsh is an author, political commentator, and screenwriter. His latest book, “Fiery Angel,” is out now.
Source: Read Full Article