Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

heads and tails

Bannon mounts last-ditch effort to save the House for Trump: A new pro-Trump operation will frame the midterms as an up-or-down vote on the president’s impeachment.

Oooooookay. But what if a majority of voters decide that impeachment would be fine and dandy with them?

They have a plan for that!

‘If they take the House, he wins big’: Trump loyalists see upside in impeachment: Why some Trump allies think his path to reelection runs through an effort to kick him out of the Oval Office.

But Seriously, Folks

Many of the talking heads make two assumptions.

A, they assume that Trump, like any other president, wants to see his legislative agenda enacted and, to that end, would prefer to have a majority in the next Congress, or at least to minimize losses.

B, they think that much of Trump’s behavior seems counterproductive in relation to his assumed desiderata.

How to explain this anomaly?

There would seem to be four possibilities.

One, Trump’s poor grasp of reality is such that he does not understand how his behavior is affecting his party’s prospects in the next election. In short, he has a weak understanding of the relation between cause and effect.

Two, Trump does generally understand that his behavior is counterproductive, but is, nevertheless, unable to restrain himself. He is, in other words, in the grip of an irresistible impulse.

Three, contrary to assumption A, supra, Trump does not much care, one way or the other, whether the Republicans retain control of Congress. (If the Democrats control Congress, his vicious tweets will shoe ’em who’s boss.)

Four, contrary to assumption A, supra, Trump affirmatively desires—for whatever reason—that Democrats should retake the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate.

These four hypotheses are not mutually exclusive, at least not one hundred percent mutually exclusive, given the disorder in Trump’s brain.

All that said, I think there is much to be said for hypothesis four—he’s deliberately sabotaging the Republicans.

Remember Michael Wolff’s thesis, as laid out, for example, in Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President: One year ago: the plan to lose, and the administration’s shocked first days.

According to Wolff, back in 2016 Trump didn’t want to win. He didn’t want to be the Mad King. He wanted to be King of the Mad.

Having nearly achieved his goal in 2016, Trump may be trying to remedy his tactical errors so that he can, in perpetuity, reign supreme over the gullible 35 percent.

 

 

Just Another Day in the Asylum

asylum

In a new poll, half of Republicans say they would support postponing the 2020 election if Trump proposed it

Ryan Zinke refuses to acknowledge climate change as major factor in California wildfires, blames ‘environmental terrorist groups’

Paul Manfort’s attorneys claim the prosecution cherry picked the evidence against him.

Yes, and the cherries they picked would be the evidence of greatest relevance to the case: the documents that prove Manafort’s guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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Welcome to my reader in Bangladesh. শুভ বিকাল

Hope things are going better in your country.

Goofus Trounces Wimpy Gallant, Who Opposes Grabbing Girls by the Pussy

Greg Sargent explores The new GOP litmus test: Defending Trump at his absolute worst:

Reflecting on Pawlenty’s loss, Post reporter Robert Costa noted that it signals the degree to which Trump has “transformed” the GOP, with the result that above all, GOP voters want “solidarity in grievance.” In a way, you can square this with the idea that deserting Trump in the face of the “Access Hollywood” tape has emerged in some quarters of today’s GOP as a badge of shame. When Trump is under fire in moments like this, the important fact about it is not what Trump did. It’s the liberal media establishment’s agenda in victimizing him for it as part of the broader project of trying to destroy conservatism. …

Such trying circumstances separate the weak from those with true mettle and bravery. As the triumphant Jeff Johnson put it, the true conservative does not panic when it matters most.

g and g

The Unspeakable in Pursuit of the Inexplicable

unspeakable

The unspeakable Marc Thiessen poses this question: “How can a president as successful as Donald Trump be so unpopular?”

Mr. Thiessen, apparently, is not speaking ironically or with tongue in cheek. For him, the unpopularity of the highly successful Donald Trump is almost an unfathomable mystery.

Almost unfathomable, but not quite.

Thiessen writes,

[U]ltimately, what makes it impossible for many Americans who approve of Trump’s policies to also approve of Trump’s presidency is his failure to definitively reject and ostracize the bigots who inhabit the fever swamps of the alt-right. …

Trump’s failure to reject the bigots of the alt-right not only tars his presidency, it also tars his supporters. The overwhelming majority of people who voted for Trump are not racists. They are good, decent, patriotic Americans who were sick and tired of being ignored by the political establishments of both parties in Washington. They had legitimate grievances that were not being addressed, from the opioid crisis to an economy that was not giving them the chance to work and pursue lives of dignity. Trump’s election finally gave them a voice. But his failure to condemn the alt-right allows his critics to dismiss his supporters’ valid concerns and lump them in with the tiny minority of bigots who have embraced the president.

His failure to condemn the alt-right has also prevented him from expanding his support beyond his core supporters. With his record, he should be winning over millions of Americans who did not vote for him in 2016 but whose circumstances have markedly improved under his presidency. Instead, his support is stagnant and his disapproval numbers are growing. He would gain far more supporters by rejecting alt-right bigots than he would lose.

Thiessen is absolutely wrong in failing to recognize racism as key to Trump support. (And he’s wrong on other things as well.) But he’s absolutely right in recognizing that Trump’s extremism is self-destructive—mainly because it forces people like Thiessen, who would love to look the other way and ignore the overt racists in their party, to risk their place at the country club if they continue to support Trump.

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