Pass or fail, what bigly alt-right ploys don’t boomerang?
The enduring question, for an outraged majority beginning to flex its muscles, isn’t whether the Trump presidency is an unqualified disaster but the range, depth and duration of the cyclonic wreckage. Not to mention, the urgency of key reparations that can’t start soon enough. The shorter-term, election-driven question is what dire Trump GOP moves (laced with mayhem, bigotry, and tin-ear bluster) don’t set up lose-lose outcomes?
Though Trump badmouths “losers” as if his nastiest insult, his presidency for nine months is a model of losing. The fiasco over repealing Obamacare not only cemented GOP incompetence but reinforced the worse scenario if successful: stripping health care for millions, Trump voters and not. Ditto, this week’s horrendous tax scam (welfare for the rich) whether it fails (more proof of malfeasance) or passes (severe fallout from stealing from the middle class, Trump voters and not). How about cruel, needless upheavals over DACA, Muslim bans, the unbuildable Wall, or assaults on minority voters? Which of these don’t make Republicans less electable next year?
What savvy politician eviscerates the popular Consumer Protection Agency, slandered as a “total disaster”? Where, other than backwater Alabama, does standing by disgraced Roy Moore not drive countless independents from Trump’s rank opportunism? Do irrational, mean-spirited attacks on both Native Americans and Sen. Warren (“Pocahontas” again) not mortify the presidency without any positive offset (unless lying to “the aggrieved” counts)? Gee, why not Birtherism redux or indicting the Access Hollywood tape as fake? I know, I know, inducing a federal debt default – that’s another real winner without upside.
Desperately seeking wins
I struggle to identify what domestic (or foreign) policy ploys don’t threaten the Republican fortress, especially by alienating independents. That’s why rotting Trumpery earns 60%+ disapproval rates. Polling also tracks more disgust from ex-Trump voters who realize how badly suckered they were. No working class populist here, only a rabid economic royalist. Please, nominate any major Trump GOP scheme that, passed or failed, would amount to an electoral win, let alone popular support? Notwithstanding, looming outcomes from the inevitable Mueller inquiry: I anticipate scathing indictments (legal and political) on Russian complicity, obstruction of justice (Comey firing), or unchecked profiteering before and during this presidency.
So, as we slog through the first year of Trumpery, I see ultimate redemption as His Deviancy crashes and burns, plowing into his own self-made bog of quicksand. Tick, tock: for how long will 60%+ stand for nothing less than a minority coup d’état? For this dark optimist, it’s when, not if, a surging backlash revolts against this reeling invasion of our government body snatchers. Time for an angry majority, not an aggrieved Tea Party minority, to demand “our country back”!
Beyond Trump’s nonstop, buffoonish media antics, oozing the politics of slime, his cabinet remains an unmitigated horror show. The most telling, if chilling “defense” emerges when some allege only this noxious cabinet checks President Runamuck. Eventually, the question du jour for progressives, “who and what elected this crooked clown,” shifts to “what triggers the offset against the immense damage done?” Yes, for cynical readers, there are irreparable, irreversible wounds: our national honor is permanently stained by electing our first vulgar, corrupt, inept, racist con man. Good job, aggrieved losers.
Worse to come?
And who thinks more self-destruction is not coming? When will vulnerable Republicans get fed up with Trump colluding with Putin (or Saudi Arabia, Turkey, even China) while scorning the State Dept. or our intelligence agencies? Or not defy Trump’s distortions of the Mueller investigation as hoax-filled witch hunt? A turncoat Mike Flynn could mortify this presidency for 1) indefensibly hiring, then being loyal to a criminal/foreign operative and 2) exposing impeachable schemes that could upend Trumpery. Anybody ready to nominate any Trump “foreign policy” wins – North Korea? Iran? Syria? China? NAFTA? World leadership defaults to China or Russia?
If Trump ever unilaterally assaults North Korea, does one more unwinnable conflict make him a more popular “war president”? When Trump’s belligerent rhetoric withers into mere bluster, the American paper tiger inflates. Even Trump’s crude culture war manias (attacking black athletes, mindlessly badmouthing the media, even resurrecting the ever tedious “war against Christmas”) make him a pathetically artless, graceless “counterpuncher.”
Finally, after tax cuts for the rich balloon the deficit, brace for new cuts proposed against Obamacare, Medicare or Social Security. So, how does that keep un-gerrymandered House Republicans in power? Ditto for crushing net neutrality, even now refusing federal aid for fire-ravaged Northern California – for what, petty partisan revenge? How about verbally abusing top Democrats as soft on crime or opening floodgates to illegal immigration? Real smart.
Clearly, whatever his media schtick, the Trump learning curve is aggressively negative: not only do egregious blunders not register, the knee-jerk doubling down confirms his deranged, jerky character. Finding new ways to be unpresidential signals a full-speed dash into his own wall. Having the laughable Sarah Sanders defend him only worsens his status as irremediably damaged.
Anything but four more years
The longer Trump lasts, with more damaging miscalculations informing his soap opera spectacle, the worse for the GOP. That badness eventually, indeed more quickly, offers the country an opportunity for redemption. The Virginia election reversals signal a beginning of the end for Trumpery. After all, the best thing about the Trump-Bannon-Moore farce is how its downward momentum goes from bad to worse. What’s more damaging than defending white nationalist racists as “decent people”? Or embracing the Senate candidacy of a know-nothing/racist/pedophile now threatened, if he wins, with removal by his own (hardly virtuous) party fat cats?
If you agree the reactive, out of touch Democratic leadership will resist talking up real-world, change deliverables (except senators like Sanders, Warren, Brown) until Republicans implode, then self-destructive Trump-Bannon-Moore wedge politics provides once-a-generation opportunities. No wrecking crew triad more potently testifies to the bad faith driving the Republican descent. Governance by one fabricated crisis after another jeopardizes rightwing electability, and that augurs two welcome party earthquakes. Can’t progressives and independents access torches and pitchforks against disruptive, deranged unfitness?