It would be nice if, just once, one of President Trump’s fervid supporters would admit just how stupendously incompetent he is proving to be.
The latest example is perhaps the most egregious. The very fact that this president is trying to use dubious executive authority to solve a spurious “national emergency,” to finance a wall he said Mexico would pay for, to make an end-run around a Congress that had offered him more wall money than he eventually settled for, after costing taxpayers billions of dollars and a nightmare of lost services in a government “shutdown” he deliberately engineered while having no idea how to “win” it, should make it blindingly obvious that he is as feeble a negotiator as the Oval Office has ever seen.
Toto has pulled back the curtain. The wizard is a blowhard and a fraud.
Trump was the one who elevated the “wall” from a moderately important need to a symbol of totemic importance. Trump was the one who said he could make it happen, and that it would be easy. It was Trump who said he would make Democrats bend to his will on the issue, thus turning a give-and-take negotiating scenario into a test of testosterone. How ironic that he lost that particular test to the nation’s first female speaker of the House.
Trump was effectively the head of a party that held both houses of Congress, yet could not pass the healthcare reform he so loudly promised. Trump could have insisted that Congress take another bite at that apple in 2018, but didn’t, thus demoralizing the Republican economic “base.” Trump, having been told Democrats were making mincemeat of Republicans on the campaign trail specifically on healthcare, could have countered with a message talking about Republicans’ own healthcare successes: Lower premiums. More options. No unwanted “mandate.” An end to a potential “death panel.”
Or, he could have taken the copious advice he received to the effect that he should make the 2018 campaign all about the apparently booming economy.
But no: Trump insisted this was a race about “the wall.” In event after event, he may as well have been Pink Floyd, insisting his imaginary wall was the be-all and end-all, not only keeping criminals out of the country but keeping Democrats out of power.
In short, he put all his eggs in a lopsided basket resting on the wall and dozens of Humpty Dumpty Republicans then lost their seats. All of Trump’s billions and all of Trump’s blather couldn’t put Trump’s majority back together again.
When Trump’s own miscalculations cost his party control of the House, Trump lost his bet on the wall right then. Trump chose the issue, Trump chose the message, and Trump chose the high-noon showdown. Result: The Democrats played Trump like a chump. To repeat: Trump ended up with less wall money than Democrats had offered him several different times before the government shutdown began.
So now Trump has declared an “emergency” for a project he himself said he “ didn’t need to do” right away. He has set a precedent that future Democratic presidents will gladly exploit. He has obliterated the spirit and design of the Constitution’s intention that only Congress can appropriate taxpayer money. And he has invited a major rebuke from courts across the land, including, I predict, from a unanimous Supreme Court — including two of his own appointees.
Trump promised the best deals, but now has delivered the biggest “fail.” At the border, the lone and level sands stretch far away.