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Sat Jul 22, 2017, 09:42 AM

Donald Trump's lost opportunity

Source: WaPo, by Fareed Zakaria

*****

There have been two cardinal features of the Trump presidency so far. The first is that, far from being a populist breakout, it has followed a fairly traditional Republican agenda — repeal Obamacare, weaken Dodd-Frank, cut taxes, deregulate industry. Trump’s anemic infrastructure plan is little more than tax credits for private investors. The only real break with Republican tradition has been on foreign policy, where Trump is pursuing a truly bizarre and mercurial agenda that seems to be inspired by his own personal passions and peeves — instituting the travel ban, demanding payment from allies, embracing autocrats who flatter him and his family.

The second defining feature of the Trump administration has been incompetence. As many have pointed out, had Trump chosen to begin his presidency with a large infrastructure bill, he would have put the Democrats in a terrible bind. They would have had to support him, even though this would have enraged the party’s base. Instead, Trump chose health care, a complicated, difficult issue sure to unite his opposition and divide Republicans. Consequently, very little has actually been done. Obamacare has not been repealed, no money has been appropriated for the border wall, NAFTA is still standing, and there is no tax reform bill, nor an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. Even in deregulation, an area of broad presidential authority, little of substance has been accomplished. Many of Trump’s executive actions have been to “review” various measures. An environmental activist told me that he has tried to cheer up his staff by pointing out that the Trump administration’s words have rarely been followed by successful deeds.

Trump could have quickly begun reshaping American politics. He discerned voices that others didn’t, understood what those people wanted to hear and articulated much of it. But when it came time to deliver, it turned out that he had no serious idea or policies, nor even the desire to search for them. He just wanted to be president, meeting world leaders, having Oval Office photo ops and flying on Air Force One, while delegating the actual public policy to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) or Vice President Pence. So far, Trump has turned out to be something far less revolutionary than expected — a standard-issue, big-business Republican, albeit an incompetent one, wrapped in populist clothing.

Read it all at: Washington Post Opinions


"What do you call this, Mike?"

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Reply Donald Trump's lost opportunity (Original post)
yallerdawg Jul 2017 OP
tblue37 Jul 2017 #1
Nitram Jul 2017 #2
Yonnie3 Jul 2017 #3
BigmanPigman Jul 2017 #4

Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jul 22, 2017, 10:31 AM

1. K&R for visibility. nt

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sat Jul 22, 2017, 12:27 PM

2. Good piece. I think Trump was sure repealing and replacing Obamacare was low-hanging fruit.

After all, he had a majority in both Houses of Congress, and he believes his own version of reality. He thought it would be easy for Republicans to fashion a better health bill, that was cheaper and provided better coverage. He believed the GOP talking points of the last 7 years.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 22, 2017, 05:42 PM

3. "He believed the GOP talking points of the last 7 years."

He is rather gullible. Most GOP politicians don't truly believe those talking points.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Sun Jul 23, 2017, 12:41 AM

4. A big part of the problem is Bannon and Miller.

They are the two nuts that even Repub can't deal with.

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