Friday, December 23, 2016

Donald Trump's First 100 Days: "Democrats aim to launch comeback with Cabinet showdown"

An opposition strategy for January confirmation hearings is emerging: To expose Trump's campaign platform as a 'scam.'

Senate Democrats are approaching the January confirmation battle over Donald Trump’s Cabinet as a chance to launch their political comeback and expose the president-elect as a fraud.

Lawmakers know they’re unlikely, at best, to stop any of Trump’s Cabinet picks from being installed. But they still see major opportunity in the confirmation hearings. The goal, according to lawmakers and aides: to depict Trump’s chosen inner circle of billionaires and conservative hard-liners as directly at odds with the working-class Americans he vowed to help.

“His campaign, based on his nominations, was a charade. [H]e sold the American public on a story that is a false story. It is a scam,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who was recently promoted to chief deputy whip. “He said: ‘I’m for working people and for taking on Wall Street, I’m for draining the swamp.’ And his nominees say the exact opposite.”

Senate Democrats want to force Trump’s picks to lay down markers on specific policies that can be used to build a case against the incumbent as his administration unfolds and the next election approaches, insiders said. More immediately, they want to begin to make the case to Trump voters that what they voted for is a far cry from what they’ll be getting with the next president. Read More
At this stage I do not believe that the Democrats are going to reach Trump supporters with this strategy. During the election campaign they dismissed or minimized any criticism of their candidate, now the president-elect. They had an emotional investment in Trump's candidacy and that investment colored their judgment. If the post-election polls are correct, they are not likely to blame Trump if he fails to fulfill his campaign promises but rather Congress. Trump also made conflicting promises during his campaign, a strong indication that he had no intention of keeping all of them. Trump supporters explained away these contradictions if they gave them any attention at all. They bought into Trump's basic message: Elect me and I will make America great again. Some understood this message to mean that he would make their lives better. For others it had a different meaning. No one really knew what Trump meant and even Trump at times appears to not know what he meant. Like "drain the swamp," it was a great slogan, one which Trump found useful in winning the election. For Trump supporters to conclude that he let them down, they must feel betrayed by him. I do not know what that will take. But if Trump is true to his colors, he will betray them in many ways in coming days. What the next four years will be is a test of the capacity of Trump supporters to overlook these betrayals. Trump has proven himself adept at misleading and manipulating his supporters and retaining their goodwill toward him.

At the same time I believe that the members of the Senate have a responsibility to the American people to thoroughly investigate each of Trump's nominees for posts for which Senate confirmation is required. It is an important check in the system of checks and balances that are integral part of our nation's government.
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Trump's tweets like the nuke tweet grab attention which I am convinced is their primary purpose. They keep attention focused on Trump and what he says. As for figuring out what Trump means in a tweet, I do not believe that Trump himself always knows what he means when he makes a tweet. They are apt to be made off the top of his head. Trump's tweets also serve another purpose. They keep people off balance and Trump has boasted that he likes to keep people off balance with his unpredictability. To what extent his unpredictability is deliberate is debatable. Trump has shown himself to be erratic. Describing himself as unpredictable may in part be a way of covering up his own erraticness: he changes with his mood. When he is angry, he says one thing. When he is calm, he says something else. Trump's anger may not be a reaction to a stimulus in his immediate environment. It may be a reaction to something that occurred earlier and over which Trump has been ruminating. 
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Trump seems to be using one of his favorite negotiating tactics on Lockheed Martin and Boeing

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