Trump Thoughts

January 12, 2017

My record as a pundit is pretty poor as I didn’t think Trump would get this far (but then, I reckoned without the Russian / Wikileaks / FBI interventions). But, for what it’s worth, here’s my reading of the situation and a prediction for how things will pan out.

The current revelations / scandal surrounding what he may or may not have got up to in a Russian hotel will not derail Trump. Usually, politicians realise that their position has become untenable and quit, but Trump has no concept of his position being untenable, so this does not apply to him (this was obvious in the primaries). He’s like Wile E. Coyote dangling in mid-air, except that he never makes the mistake of looking down and discovering this, and is therefore able to evade the clutches of gravity forever.

The Republicans are in an interesting position. My suspicion is that they’re torn between wanting revenge on the man who made so many of them look like chumps during the primaries, and the realisation that Trump will be happy to sign-off on pretty much anything they put before him. Suddenly, they face the prospect of all their dreams (scrapping Obamacare, tax cuts for the rich, dismantling the social safety net) coming true, but having as their President a man who isn’t really “one of them” and might make them look bad. What a dilemma!

So, how I think things will go is roughly as follows. Trump will enjoy great support from the Republicans at first, who will happily ignore the obvious conflicts of interest etc. because he’s going to give them everything they want in terms of enacting legislation. He will get carte blanche to do what he likes, and it will be embarrassingly obvious that this includes things that would have resulted in the impeachment of Hillary. If we’re lucky, there will be some grim satisfaction to be had when one of the dumber Republicans gives the game away and admits that their pretense of concern for the constitution, deficits etc. really only applies when the president is a Democrat (and particularly if he / she is a funny colour).

The Republicans surely know that their agenda will be pretty unpopular, not least with their own supporters (e.g. those who will lose their healthcare when Obamacare goes), so it’s a reasonable bet they’ll do their utmost to pin the blame on Democrats / Obama. It will be interesting to see how brazen these attempts are.

Once Trump has given them what they want, they’ll then want to make themselves electable (Trump’s approval ratings are likely to be quite low, and they won’t want any further tarnishing of the GOP “brand”). Therefore, there will suddenly be a good reason to impeach Trump, and they’ll take it. Thus will their lust for revenge be sated. With some deft maneuvering, they might even be able to come out of it looking as if they have both dignity and principled! Pence (or similar “safe pair of hands”) will replace Trump and will smell of roses in comparison, and may even go on to win another term in office.