25 pivotal days will tell the tale. | THE POLITICUS

25 pivotal days will tell the tale.

     In a short Presidential career already filled with firsts, I think Trump has just added another first to his list of accomplishments. His Lowness has to be the first President in history who was glad to see summer vacation come to an end. His summer break was similar to someone who is visually impaired taking a tour of the Chicago Cutlery plant without a guide. And, somehow or other I think congress itself is rather happy to come back, since their summer break was pretty well ruined by reporters hounding them standing in the serpentine lines at Disney World, wanting comments and reaction to Der Gropinfuror’s latest outrage. Better to be back in session where their own buffoonery can hopefully at least partially mute the noise from his daily 40 car pile ups in the media.

     But this is not a normal year, this is not a normal congress, and this is not a normal Presidency. Congress is normally busy when they come back from their summer break. The fiscal year expires on September 30th, and the Herculean effort to craft a new budget is quite a task considering the different approaches the two parties take to fiscal matters, regardless of which party is in power. The debt ceiling almost always seems to expire at the same time, That one tends more to be all-hat-but-no-cattle, since while the GOP has recently decided to go with the tactic of holding the fiscal reputation of the United States hostage, they have yet to take the politically suicidal step od actually recreating the last scene of “Thelma and Louise” on a global financial screen. And isn’t it just a little bit funny how now that there’s a GOP majority, and a GOP President in charge, both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are swearing that the debt ceiling will be raised without a whimper from them?

     But this congress is different. Wrapped around the two above In a “normal” first year of a Presidency, in addition to the above stated landmines, and the necessity of funding the military, congress tries to wrap up the last honey-do’s of the President’s first year agenda, attempting to give him a shiny apple to go into year two on.

     But, as we are all aware, this is not a normal Presidency. Hair Furor hasn’t managed to get a goddamn thing done legislatively, and he’s not happy about it.With a lazy Paul Ryan who set the House work schedule with fewer hours than the average part time employee in the US, and the holidays squeezing the schedule even more, the Republicans sudeenly find themselves at a seminal moment going into the 2018 midterms, a year before the actual event, and it could be consequential.

     Trump wants a win. And he wants it on his agenda, and he wants it on his terms. In the last couple of weeks he has railed in public that he wants his tax cuts (reforem no longer applies), he wants his infrastructure boondoggle, and he want’s them to take another whack at healthcare, and he wants it in this year. This is like walking up to an editors desk at 4:30 and telling him or her that you want them to proofread “War and Peace”, and have it ready to push to the publisher at 5:00. And now he wants to hold 800,000 DREAMERS over their heads as hostages, and of course he wants any immigration legislation to include money for his stupid”fucking wall”. To say that he’s setting them up for failure is the understatement of the year.The Orange

     This is the problem for the GOP. Trump has been very vocal and public in blaming congress for the failure of every program he proposed without taking the time to think it true, And he’s going to keep right on doing it.The Democrat’s are not going to make either the debt ceiling nor the budget CR easy on them, which will infuriate Trump. As for the rest of it, you can pretty much forget it, the GOP bills will be self serving, and there is no reason for the Democrats to make them look good. One possible source of compromise will be DREAMER reform, but there isn’t going to be any border wall money in it. Trump just stupidly took ownership of the immiration issue in an unforced error, and the GOP may well pay for it.

     Here’s the McGuffin in all of this. The Republican congress has stood silently by for almost every one of Trump’s outrages in fear of losing his base if they defied him. But Trump has already set his own congress up as the fall guys when nothing big gets done this year. And when it doesn’t, he’ll use the media as his bullhorn to blame his own party for their ineptitude. And here lies the double play danger for the GOP in 2018.

     After pandering their asses off to appease Trump to keep his base in their corner, Trump may well pull them away from them in a pique of fury over failures of his own making. Trump has already slammed Dean Heller in Nevada with attack ads, and is already showing a willingness to back a primary challenger for Jeff Flake in Arizona. If he tells the base to stay home in 2018 in vengeance, believe me, they will, these are the congressional slugs that are keeping Trump from enacting his nationalist, racist agenda. And no sane politician puts up with all of Trump’s shit if he doesn’t think he needs those votes to survive. And Trump can turn them off with a tweet.

     But here’s the pivot for the second to first putout. There were a lot of disgruntled Democrats and independents who didn’t buy into Trump’s wacky shit, but wanted change. These are the ones who are tanking his poll numbers because he hasn’t gotten a damn thing done. But unlike Trombies, who were basically inert in the electoral process until Trump activated them, these people are more active voters. If Trump can’t deliver that change, and if the Democrats can get their act together and find a message that motivates them, they won’t just stay home in 2018, they’ll show up and vote for another change, this time back to sanity.

     And like most things in this goofy through-the-looking-glass world we find ourselves in, it’s all Trump’s fault. If he had led with an honest infrastructure program, with a few cookies to the Democrats, he likely would have gotten his big win right off of the bat. Then he could have swung to tax reform with momentum behind him, and if he got that he could pivot to healthcare with his base behind him in lockstep. But he didn’t, he went for the base knockout with healthcare, fractured not only his caucus, but the American public with the rockheaded bills, and now he’s stuck seeming permanently in neutral. And, being the petulant two year old that he is, he laid the blame solely at the feet of his congressional caucus, weakening their stature with the voters they’ll need next November. When you want to bring down a wall, first you make a crack, and Trump himself has already done that. But to bring down the wall, you need a sledge and a chisel, and that’s where we have to come in. Buy more popcorn gang, this is going to get interesting quickly, and the success or failure of the GOP caucus in the next 25 days may well be pivotal in what happens 14 months from now. Don’t touch that dial.

    

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