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Trump in a Panic on All Fronts

4 min read

Trump has been counting on four things to get him re-elected:

  • The economy
  • Winning the trade war he started with China
  • Building the wall he promised his base
  • Russian hacking and GOP voter suppression

Right now he's panicking on all 4.

The economy is heading toward a recession. Trump and his echo chamber are denying it, of course, but even to themselves their denials are sounding hollow.

A recent survey of economists showed nearly 3 out of 4 of them expect the U.S. to enter into a recession by 2021. Adding to the gloomy forecast for the U.S.: nine major economies around the globe are said to be on the cusp of recession or already contracting. Forbes

(Caveat: Others are saying consumer spending is still high, which could soften a recession. But a softer recession is still bad news for Trump’s election prospects, not to mention his ego.)

On the trade war, Xi Jinping is clearly playing the long game. WaPo’s Gene Robinson suggested in his column today that XI knows he controls Trump’s political fate, and the likelihood is that China would much rather have someone in the Oval Office who is more predictable. (Not mentioned, but which also has to be a factor, is that Trump controls the nuclear weapons pointed at China.) Farmers who voted for Trump in 2016 are starting to complain openly that Trump’s trade war is hurting them now and will have long-term impact even if it is settled now.…

Building the wall has been going so badly Trump is now reported to be ordering his aides to break the law to get it done. Trump Tells Aides ‘Take the Land’ as Impatience Grows on Border Wall

President Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a wall along the southwestern border is far behind schedule. So he has told his aides to get the job done by whatever means necessary, including by seizing land on the Mexican frontier. …

Now, as he faces a jittery stock market, battles the Federal Reserve over interest rates and refuses to back down from his trade war with China, Mr. Trump is impatient to showcase a success story to his supporters ahead of the 2020 election.

That leaves Russian hacking and voter suppression. But for those to work, the election has to be close, close enough that hacking can be brushed off as polling errors, and accusations of voter suppression can be countered by pointing to the close numbers. But Trump is falling so far behind that he doesn’t have that margin to protect him either. What should have been a safe House seat — NC-9 — has become a tense battleground:…

Republicans want a win in North Carolina to launch a national comeback campaign for the House, which they lost to Democrats last year. Harris decided not to run again and their current candidate, conservative state senator Dan Bishop, has embraced Trump and his policies.

Democrats would consider a victory by McCready, a small businessman and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, a powerful signal that they can make further inroads into “Trump country.”

   The voting could also be a barometer of Trump's political standing in the battleground state, analysts say. The president has tweeted his backing for Bishop and heads to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to rally the Republican base on Sept. 9.

There’s an old saying about wounded lions. Trump is no lion — jackal, maybe — but he’s wounded and bleeding, and he knows it. At first he was out to destroy the institutions of our country in order to protect himself. Soon he may be looking at destroying them so there’ll be nothing left to come after him when he loses in 2020. And that makes him even more dangerous than before.

And that’s without factoring in his increasingly obvious mental health issues.

Somewhere in all this there will be an intervention. Whether it comes from impeachment, or the Secret Service bodily escorting him off the premises on Jan. 20, 2021, it’s going to happen. The other alternatives are worse: military coup, invasion or other action by the other major powers of the world, Putin sending an agent with an umbrella, CALexit (because California can only take so much abuse before we decide we’ve had enough). Your imagination can come up with others (please remember the Secret Service is watching), but whatever it is, the country will be worse off (though not as bad as if he stays).

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