His own worst enemy
Well, there he goes again. Donald Trump, fresh off what he thinks is a vindication, promptly shot himself in the political foot. With the highly partisan William Barr summary giving the president some breathing room, he blasted Obamacare and once more revives the ridiculous border issue. As they say, he cannot help himself in the slightest.
None of his actions post-Barr made sense. Republicans having been pasted in the House races because of voter’s concerns about health care are reluctant to revisit the so-called repeal and replace. Trump, who continues to pedal the notion that he has a health care plan when it is clear he does not, makes himself vulnerable. His actions on the border are incomprehensible. Trump singles out Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for criticism, leaving out Nicaragua, which his foreign policy duo John Bolton and Mike Pompeo desire to destabilize. Not to mention a fracturing of the anti-Maduro front in Venezuela.
Trump sounds like a curmudgeon who paces around Mar-a-Largo muttering how the world has lost all meaning — offering nothing in the way of reform accept to dial things back. Trump has become a reactionary with little vision for the future. His resentments are legion and his shrinking group of advisors feed him the political swill of the aging tea party.
Certainly, he showed this tendency when he listened to his chief of staff, the malevolent Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney not only wanted to ditch the Affordable Care Act, he also wanted to defund Special Olympics. Trump, smelling bad publicity, backed off quickly but the damage was done. So much for Trump, who once correctly accused Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio of wanting “to throw people out in the streets” regarding hospital care, now seemed in the same category.
If he continues on this path, Trump will mark himself as a greedy, boastful lout who is an eliminationist when he comes to the poor. He gives the impression that he simply wants them to disappear. This is probably not his true feelings, but he often leaves his critics to draw no other possible conclusion. He enters the 2020 campaign sounding more like a bitter member of an elite class rather than a leader who desires to make America great again.
Trump must reshuffle the deck in his government. Not since Lyndon Johnson harbored Walt Rostow, his hard-nosed security chief, Marvin Watson, his parochial Texas political advisors and John P. Roche, has a president seemed determined to sabotage his own re-election. There is nothing left in the cupboard. He has failed to redirect U.S. foreign policy in any meaningful way. He listens to and empowers characters like Elliot Abrams, who is a full-throated advocate of war anywhere in the world. And, his domestic policy is pure Tea Party. Some change.
If Trump does not reverse his policies he will be defeated. Stale policies and blinkered advisors will continue Trump on a destructive path.
For Democrats, Mueller’s report or not, at present the election presents great possibilities.