Eight years? Seriously? Are you kidding? Not a chance!
Four years? Well, maybe, but don’t count on it. (No, I’m not talking impeachment, not unless that rumored Russian dossier again making the tabloids actually turns out to be for real, and to show some impeachable offenses, which is not likely.)
Two years. That’s my bet, unless this leopard changes its spots, no easy feat for any leopard, but especially for this one, The Donald.
Two years? What am I smoking you ask? (You did, didn’t you? All those who read the advance reviewer copy of this blog did.)
Well, I’m not smoking anything. It’s just this simple: If The Donald doesn’t clean up his act, big time, virtually every Republican up for election in 2018 will be sent packing, no matter how legit they might be, guilt by association, and the best way to stop The Donald at the earliest possible moment. He will lose his majority in both Houses so badly he won’t be able to successfully sponsor legislation confirming that our flag is red, white and blue.
So, he’ll just have to rule by executive order, right? Wrong! How far did that get Obama? Not very. It certainly hasn’t helped that “legacy” Obama’s so preoccupied with. And how has that executive order thingy worked so far for the Donald, considering the outcome so far on his first judicially tested executive order in barely three weeks in office? You know, the one imposing the travel ban? It didn’t take the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal very long to unanimously—and legally unsoundly—reject The Donald’s travel ban. Surprise, surprise, Mr. President; you don’t always get the last word. To be sure, the travel ban wasn’t rolled out very smoothly, but was it really unconstitutional? See Jeffrey Toobin’s piece in the February 10 edition of the New Yorker. Toobin and I don’t generally see ear to ear; he’s too liberal for me. But even Toobin knows a bad ruling when he sees it.
Here’s the problem. The Donald can’t just keep mouthing off, calling everyone who disagrees with him “so called.” Where did that get him with the 9th Circuit, even when he has the stronger legal arguments, law, as Toobin notes, and as I agree? The problem: When you gratuitously and tastelessly criticize someone who is not accountable or vulnerable to you, that person can be expected to tell you to shove it, exactly as the 9th Circuit did, including the GOP appointed member of the panel. Hey, even The Donald’s Supreme Court nominee said he has been “disheartened” by The Donald’s remarks about sitting judges. The Donald can try to re-spin what his nominee said any way he wants, but “disheartened” is hardly an endorsement of The Donald’s behavior.
Toobin thinks The U.S. Supreme Court may bail The Donald out. Not a chance. There are four liberals on the Supreme Court who won’t agree with The Donald on how to spell Trump. Try mentioning The Donald’s name in the presence of Ginsburg! She’s already publicly denounced The Donald so badly that even her most ardent supporters persuaded her to apologize, which, begrudgingly, she did, but that won’t cause her to vote objectively on any issue involving him. (Frankly, given her publicly admitted bias toward Trump, she should recuse herself from any case testing his authority, but she won’t because that would all but assure him of a victory in the Supreme Court on this matter. Nor will her colleagues pressure her to do so. Rather, they will close ranks around her. They always do.) So, with one vacancy still to be appointed, the best The Donald can achieve on his travel ban is a four to four tie, meaning that the 9th Circuit’s rebuke of The Donald will stand.
Toobin thinks the Supreme Court will look for a way to avoid a vote. Good thinking, if this was for anyone other than The Donald. However, read my lips: The Donald can’t behave the way he’s been behaving and not expect serious blowback, certainly from anyone and perhaps everyone who didn’t vote for him.
To be perfectly clear about this: I believe the 9th Circuit upholding of the stay of the travel ban is legally indefensible. Unfortunately, however, in this day and age, it is simply not enough to be legally correct. You also need to be politically correct; and in this regard, The Donald is his own worst enemy. And there’s still another reason why the Supreme Court won’t be able to bail The Donald out. They’re not likely to act quickly enough for his 90-day travel ban. Maybe if five of the Justices were on his side, but that’s simply not the case.
Here’s another example of The Donald unnecessarily and unwisely backing himself into a corner: California authorities, who The Donald has been threatening right and left, is already raising Cain over The Donald’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation activities in California, even though, so far, The Donald’s ICE is not really doing anything more than what Obama did during his Presidency, with no criticism out of California then! Instead of strategically wooing those who did not support his candidacy (without unduly compromising his core objectives), The Donald is simply making himself a target that so many just love to hate.
So, for those of you keeping score, let’s look at what The Donald has managed to do so far in his first few weeks in office:
He’s ineptly rolled out his travel ban. The ban may have merit, but The Donald failed to first responsibly vet it, explain it or sell it. There was no reason not to, even though The Donald claims otherwise, falsely. His poor roll out created havoc, chaos and panic, unnecessarily and unwisely.
He’s unnecessarily and unwisely insulted the leaders of two of America’s strongest allies, first Mexico and then Australia.
He has also threatened unnecessarily and unwisely, or at least prematurely, to cut off every state who doesn’t support his immigration positions. Has the man not heard of diplomacy, using sugar before moving to vinegar?
He castigates unnecessarily and unwisely everyone who disagrees with him, and I mean everyone. They’re all “so called” this and thats. And he does the best he can to dredge up every piece of irrelevant dirty linen about them. What will that get him? Nothing, other than disrespected and outright hated. That’s simply no way to build a consensus, as opposed to generating cheers from his supporters. And that just isn’t enough.
And, with a little less attention, he has unnecessarily and unwisely insulted China and Iran. They’re not exactly our allies, but it would have been well for him to consult with his experts before acting, to look before leaping.
Do you not see the common threads in how The Donald behaves: unnecessarily and unwisely, prematurely, gratuitously mean spirited, from the bully pulpit that he thinks is his alone?
The Donald desperately needs to appoint an omnipotent White House Censor to manage and muzzle Bannon (responsible for the poorly written travel ban and his absurd self-appointment to the National Security Council), Conway (for manufacturing non-existent terrorist “massacres,” the real ones are bad enough, and then promoting Ivanka Trump’s retail line from the White House), Spicer (Google Melissa McCarthy’s SNL parody, I couldn’t top that) and . . . The Donald himself. I don’t know about you, but I nominate Reince Priebus. He’s White House Chief of Staff and he’s already there. He has a handle on the facts except when The Donald shuts him out. Pence is another possibility, but his credibility in terms of standing up to The Donald is already highly suspect.
But, just maybe, there’s hope, even for The Donald. Look what he’s done in the last week or so:
He’s told China he will honor “one China.” (Taiwan is a nice little country, but, c’mon, we have to pick our battles.) The Donald seems to now accept that he cannot refer to China as “so called” China.
The Donald’s also softened his earlier aggressive stance with Iran. I’m with the conservatives when it comes to Iran, but The Donald has some homework to do here first, and a consensus to build, both here in the U.S. and internationally. He has to be careful not to turn Iran into a martyr.
And, hey, have you noticed? The Donald hasn’t mentioned building a wall that he will make Mexico pay for in the last week.
Oh yeah, there’s another benefit The Donald will gain by appointing a credible White House Censor and sending Bannon, Conway and Spicer packing. And after last Sunday’s appearances on two of the weekly political talk shows, we ought to add Steve Miller to that list. He makes Hitler look like a softie. It will provide The Donald with cover and a good excuse for all of his mistakes in the past few weeks.
So, how do you feel about whether our Leopard in Chief can change his spots, and soon enough to build an approval rating that is north of . . . for now, how about 50%? Wouldn’t it be refreshing if The Donald can actually conduct himself in a way to garner the support of at least some who didn’t vote for him? I think that The Donald should make that one of his New Year’s resolutions. Better late than never.
Editor’s Note: Happy Valentine’s Day to all my subscribers of the fairer sex, including, of course, The Wife. I went online to the White House website and bought her a little bauble from the Ivanka collection. Shipping was included on Air Trump. Or was is it Air Force One? And I got miles on my White House credit card. The one with the picture of The Donald on it.
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