Trump and Dems

Democrats scored an impressive victory in the House in the mid-term election. Once more they won 54 percent of the vote for Congressional candidates. Given the gerrymandering in some states, the full potential of such a vote was not fully realized. But to downplay the achievement, as did that political irritant James Carville on election night calling it a “blue trickle,” is absurd.

The “allies” of the Democratic cause such as George Will, Bret Stephens and other disillusioned Republicans wanted a repudiation of Donald Trump, not the GOP. Indeed, their “advice” to the Democrats is simply to become in tune and tenor heirs to George W. Bush. Given the track record of so-called moderates such as Lindsay Graham, Corey Gardner and Susan Collins, Dems should be wary of making common cause with such mountebanks. They simply cannot be trusted and any attempt to forge an alliance with GOP “moderates” should be abandoned.

If anything, Democrats would be well advised to pit Trump against his Republican enemies. He certainly cannot be pleased that Republicans are more than willing to abandon him when the establishment alternative emerges. Again, after Cleveland, the GOP tried to maneuver Trump into a position of simply being their puppet. If he trusts this bunch, he is truly as foolish as his opponents claim he is. Democrats might be positioned to help him out, and by extension, themselves.

Take the example of Newt Gingrich who, after 1994, eschewed the temptation to declare war on Bill Clinton. Instead, he worked with Clinton, getting concessions from the Democrat in exchange for not questioning his legitimacy. There has always been a “Democratic” Trump, eager to become another Robert Moses, that great purveyor of public projects in 1950s New York City. Indeed, if they try hard enough, Democrats might gain a public health system.

Despite Trump’s horrid behavior after the election, Dems might be able to appeal to his practical side. To be too predictable is to play into the hand of the disappointed Republicans, which are a minority. Clumsy as Trump is, politically he is pursuing policies cooked up in the establishment GOP kitchen.

Remember Dwight Eisenhower did not become a successful president until Democrats took over Congress in 1954. Lyndon B. Johnson and Sam Rayburn made sure that the horrors of Joseph McCarthy would not re-emerge. Yet they worked with Eisenhower and created the National Highway Act of 1956 which gave us interstates. Indeed, in his first two years, Ike complained incessantly –albeit privately — that the GOP was “stupid” in its approach to government. A little sugar, in the form of cooperation, might make the medicine go down.

But Trump has much to learn about broadening his “base.” He is miserable, it seems, that part of that is due to the machinations of Republicans in Congress. He is dealing with as cynical a group of miscreants that can be found. Smart Democrats would be advised to exploit these lesions.

Compromise is not easy, but Trump and the Dems might get along. Certainly, it would be more interesting in dealing with the nihilists of the GOP.

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