Donald Trump Fumbles Into Christmas
Some suggest that 2018 may be Donald Trump’s last Christmas as President, that the numbers are starting to stack against him. He’s fumbled pretty much everything he has touched, and there is a quiet rebellion building that may see enough Republicans cross over to impeach this bully of a President.
Where to start? Obviously, the partial government shutdown is entirely Trump’s fault. He won’t sign a spending bill unless it includes 5 billion for his beloved border wall (you know, the one Mexico was going to pay for). The Senate has refused, while the lame duck House passed it in a meaningless gesture. Control of the House moves to the Democrats in a couple of weeks, and this spending proviso will certainly be removed and done away with. Republicans don’t have a big enough majority in the Senate to pass the spending bill (they have only a few past 50 and they need 60, no matter if it’s before or after the new Senators get in), so it’s a dead issue unless some Democrats go rouge and sign it – which is unlikely. Trump first stated that he would take the mantle and own the shutdown if it came, but when it came, he immediately started (and has continued to) blame the Democrats. This guy is special! Oh, and the reason he did this? Conservative media and Fox News. They got upset that he was going to sign a spending bill that didn’t have money for the wall, and called Trump out on it. Trump got so mad about it, that he shut down 25% of the government just to please his base and to make the TV talk nicely about him.
Did I mention that reports have Trump spending more and more of his day watching Fox News and tweeting, and less and less actually at work? Reports are that some days he doesn’t even show up or spends at best a couple of hours.
Unilaterally pulling troops out of Syria, which effectively gives Russia and Turkey control of the area, is another issue. General Mattis, his Defence Secretary, has taken retirement of this and other choices made by Trump. In a rare move for someone in this sort of position, he issued a public letter to explain why he is leaving, and pretty much pointed out that in Foreign policy issues, Trump is a Chump. Russia and China are pretty much eating his lunch. Changes in policy towards Iran, Afghanistan, and other military situations has really riled up the Republicans who prefer tough stand up action, not folding like a cheap bed sheet.
Trump’s biggest and best know foreign policy success is also (and very predictably) falling apart. After a big summit and an agreement with North Korea to get rid of their nuclear weapons, Trump was touted as the President that gets things done. However, as the year ends, President Kim is back doing what North Korean leaders always do, reneging on the deal, and threatening with the nuclear weapons unless all sanctions are lifted. Trump got played so hard here, and has shown himself to be a total noob when it comes to dealing with crafty world leader. There is little doubt that the Russians are laughing hard at this!
Speaking of the Russians, the Meuller probe continues to rack up convictions, collecting millions of dollars of ill gotten gains, and appears to be circling in directly on Trump and his immediate family. State AGs are also on the case, and prettu m,uch every one of Trump’s business dealings are under the microscope. His now shuttered Charitable foundation is under investigation for basically being a private piggy bank to promote political issues, pay his family, and basically stiff the public out of tax money. Even his inauguration is getting checked into, there appears to be illegal payments, illegal funding from foreign nations / individuals, and perhaps even random overbilling or even fake billing from Trump owned companies. There is potential and open discussion here that the Trump owned hotel that hosted much of the event massively overcharged the public.
We haven’t even discussed how compliant Trump has been with the Russians, nor how many of this business dealings with them have been hidden or straight out lied about. We haven’t touched on payments to pornstars and others to hush them about affairs the President had while his wife was pregnant and then taking care of their child. Even the National Enquirer has plead guilty to setting up and catch and capture process to get one of those women to give them an exclusive story, which they promptly buried to keep it from getting out in public. More and more of the people around Trump are getting caught in their web of lies, misrepresentations, and outright illegal actions.
So very quietly, Trump is being looked at by Republicans. Some are even suggesting that, even if he survives the next two years without impeachment, that he isn’t a lock to be the party’s candidate in the next election. After the pretty solid rout in the mid term elections, Republicans are starting to realize that if they anchor themselves to Trump, they may sink as well. If the problems continue, they may want to get him out of office as soon as possible so they can build up Mike Pence as their next candidate. Trump may be enjoying his last Christmas in the White House, and that won’t be a bad thing for the rest of us.