I would like first to express my sincere thoughts and prayers to all of those who have been in the path of destruction of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We have seen the best of America through these natural disasters.
Recently, President Donald Trump made a “deal” with Capitol Hill Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. I have listened to the pundits and analysis. There have been many who have praised President Trump for getting something done. And there are others who have evidenced utter shock. I would advise President Trump to remember the story of Faust and his deal with the devil. It created the metaphor that is termed Faustian, meaning the ill conceived and ambitious surrender of moral integrity and character in exchange for short-term power and success. Faust gave up his soul, an eternal quality, for something that was temporal. And so it will be that in three months, December, we will have another debt ceiling debate.
And ask yourself, who of you can raise your own debt ceiling allowing you to borrow more money to pay bills? Certainly, it is not possible for the common American to print money in order to maintain their economic viability. We were going to fund the disaster relief for Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. So truly, there was not real big policy win for President Trump, just a temporary perceived success, but what will be the lasting consequences?
The real issue that no one is assessing is that President Donald Trump finds himself on an ideological island. Sure, perhaps making the deal with Pelosi and Schumer was an endeavor to shame and embarrass Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. These two Capitol Hill GOP “leaders” certainly could use some shaming since their level of incompetence and cowardice make the Scarecrow and Lion from the Wizard of Oz look like Einstein and Spartan King Leonidas, respectively.
But in truth, President Trump finds himself in a certain no man's land of political ideology and principle of governance. Yes, the Trump agenda has stalled, but President Trump has done a grand job blaming everyone, conservatives, liberal progressives (Democrats), moderate Republicans, the media, and everyone else. Perhaps President Trump should take a lesson from former President Harry Truman who had a sign on his desk stating, “the buck stops here.” And just as a reminder, I didn’t like it when Obama blamed everyone else either.
The problem for President Trump is that populism works best when you are popular. Now there are those who will chastise me and say that President Trump is very popular, but based upon the following objective assessment, that can be questioned. President Trump said he would be the law and order president and that he would drain the swamp. I commend him for his work on criminal illegal immigrants, but we still have these cities, counties, and states declaring themselves “sanctuaries” for illegals. Their funding should have been cut off immediately. But what is most disconcerting is the past Friday announcement from the Department of Justice that nothing further will be pursued reference the IRS targeting of conservative groups scandal. Lois Lerner is off the hook, with her six-figure taxpayer-funded pension. The IRS itself is still headed up by Obama appointee, John Koskinen, not the most reputable character to head this organization. Hillary Clinton is still walking free and peddling her book - so much for those chants of “lock her up.” There seems to be no investigation into Benghazi or Operation Fast and Furious…heck, Susan Rice gets to keep her security clearance.
President Trump said DACA has ended but gave Congress 90 days to develop a policy, then admitted that he may just keep it in place. And remember those rally cries of “build the wall” and who is going to pay for it? Well, I must admit, this doesn’t seem likely to happen either. Case in point, they are trying to include the border wall into our federal budget, and I thought Mexico was going to pay for it?
President Trump said the Iran nuclear deal was the worst deal ever, but it is still in place. Mr. Trump said Obama was weak on Islamic terrorism, but President Trump has yet to denounce the Muslim Brotherhood as an Islamic terrorist organization. We were supposed to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, but it seems that will not materialize. The Trump administration has approved sending $300M to Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, who we all know uses aid monies to provide stipends to families of terrorists. And reports are that the Trump administration State Department is requesting Israel to abide by an Obama administration Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and return $75M.
President Trump pressured the House GOP to pass something on healthcare reform, and when they did he had a big shindig photo op at the White House. Then President Trump called the House GOP healthcare reform bill “mean” when pressured by the media…that surely builds confidence. And when have we ever heard President Trump address the twenty taxes that are Obamacare, I mean he should at least care about the infamous tanning tax. We must ask, ideologically, does President Trump agree that an expansion of Medicaid is a viable healthcare policy solution for America?
Yes, ok, so President Trump is trying, but without an ideological foundation he appears to be the proverbial hamster on a wheel, expending energy, tweeting a lot, but not going anywhere. President Trump must realize that the ideological progressive socialist left hates him, and any collusion with Pelosi and Schumer may result in a perceived short term gain, but long term pain.
Of course, I want President Trump to be successful, but that means he needs an ideological core, a foundation, in order to manipulate the D.C. swamp of politics, policy, and procedure. Just telling folks to give me something to sign or seeking to just get something done is not reflective of a principled, focused, and resolute leader that inspires…such as Ronald Reagan did with Tip O’Neill.
President Trump must decide to swim off his own ideologically isolated island, and stop shooting off signal flares for attention.