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Calling Trump’s Bluff

Republicans demanded changes to US border policies before they would pass any aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Which is crazy, since the two things aren’t related. In fact, Senate Minority Leader Match McConnell (R-KY) only reluctantly tied the two because of House right-wing radicals.

I guess Donald Trump couldn’t imagine our gridlocked Congress would be able to solve all these problems. However, a group of Senate negotiators managed to close in on a deal last week, largely because Democrats removed their demands for a path to legalization for millions of undocumented immigrants. So what does Donald Trump do? He fires up social media and demands that the deal be killed. Why? Because Trump refuses to give Biden any win, even if it is a bipartisan win. Trump wants the credit for solving the border crisis.

Even Republicans are furious. Senator James Lankford (R-OK), who is the lead negotiator said, “There are some people that oppose the bill, based on the presidential politics issue, rather than the crisis that’s actually occurring at the border.”

Another GOP Senator said that efforts to disrupt the ongoing negotiations are “tragic” and “I hope no one is trying to take this away for campaign purposes”.

And another Republican Senator, who refused to be named for fear of retaliation from Trump, said, “This proposal would have had almost unanimous Republican support if it weren’t for Donald Trump.”

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) said “I think the border is a very important issue for Donald Trump. And the fact that he would communicate to Republican senators and congresspeople that he doesn’t want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it is really appalling. But the reality is that, that we have a crisis at the border, the American people are suffering as a result of what’s happening at the border. And someone running for president not to try and get the problem solved. as opposed to saying, ‘hey, save that problem. Don’t solve it. Let me take credit for solving it later’.”

Or who knows? Maybe Putin asked Trump to kill the aid to Ukraine for him. I wouldn’t put it past Trump. And in fact, endangering our country for political reasons is just as bad. There’s a name for that, and it starts with “traitor”.

UPDATE: Electoral Vote points out that Trump is using the same playbook as Richard Nixon. When Nixon was running for president in 1968 against then VP Hubert Humphrey, Nixon sabotaged LBJ’s peace talks in Vietnam, to make it appear that the Democrats were incapable of ending the unpopular war. The treachery worked and Nixon won, and we all know what happened after that.

There are a couple of ways in which Trump’s treachery differs from Nixon’s. First of all, Trump’s belief that he can solve the border crisis is nonsense. Trump had four (long) years to solve the border crisis and he not only failed, his plan — to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it — was doomed from the start because Mexico never agreed to it, and the few walls that were built were easily subverted by simple ladders and underground tunnels.

Second of all, Nixon’s treachery succeeded because there was no proof that Nixon ordered it. In fact, it took 50 years before Nixon’s Presidential Library finally opened papers proving what happened. In Trump’s case, it took only a few hours for everyone to know that blowhard idiot Trump sabotaged the bill, and did it for his own benefit. Which pissed off many Republicans and gave strong evidence for the Democrats to use against Trump. And if Republicans capitulate to Trump and sink the bill (which is likely), it will also provide strong evidence for the Democrats to use against those GOP politicians who are running for re-election.

© Kal, The Economist


  1. ebdoug wrote:

    When Trump was young, His Grandmother Elisabeth who lived with them insisted they all speak German. One night at the dinner table, Per Niece Mary’s book, brother Freddie got so angered at the brat, Freddie picked up the mashed potatoes and dumped them on brat’s head. Now he is the same generation (Donnie boy) and would know the song and dance “mashed potatoes” Each rally there should be people just far enough away that he could hear the singing and dancing. He’d have a stroke and solve all our woes; although after his first day in office, I doubt he hears much.

    Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 7:58 am | Permalink
  2. Ray wrote:

    I could not help but notice that Reagan (Saint Ronald the Mendacious) did not make it into your examples of Republican treachery.
    Reagan sabotaged Carter’s talks with Iran on the hostages, which was about to bear fruit (i.e., Hostages released), until St. Ronny stepped in and asked the Mullahs to wait until the election was over.
    Treason runs deep in the GOP.
    Want to solve the border “crisis”? Send all sitting Republicans down there to stop the “invasion”.

    Monday, January 29, 2024 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  3. 7mnpsb

    Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

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  1. […] a win.   Iron Knee at Political Irony sees a replay of a Richard Nixon move in 1968, except Nixon was smarter about it. […]

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