There’s been a lot of debate following Donald Trump’s debt ceiling deal he struck with Democrats that left many members within his own party seething. While many have speculated as to why Trump made the surprising move (my own personal thoughts on that can be found here), the success of such a deal, and the praise it got in most of the media, could have potentially created a “Trump crisis” many Republicans never saw coming.
The truth is, as unpredictable as Trump’s behavior is, the one thing that we can always count on is that everything he does is about himself, what he thinks makes him look good, and what’s in his best interests.
Well, striking a rare bipartisan deal with Democrats on a spending bill that raised the debt ceiling and provided help to victims of Hurricane Harvey most definitely earned him praise in the media and even from some of his harshest critics.
Reports quickly surfaced indicating that Trump was so pleased with all the positive attention he received following this deal, he called both Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi to rave about the feedback he had received.
If I were a Republican, I’d be somewhat worried.
As they say, the great thing about reality is that it’s real whether or not somebody wants to believe it. Well, right now the reality is that the problem with our government is the GOP. I’m not saying Democrats are flawless — far from it — but it’s a testament to how incompetent the Republican Party is that, despite controlling majorities in both the House and the Senate, the biggest piece of legislation their “president” has signed to date came after he worked out a deal with Democrats against many of their wishes.
A deal that earned him the sort of praise his fragile, insecure ego desperately needs.
What Republicans should fear is Trump realizing that his legacy as “president” may very well be better served working with Democrats than it would be his own party.
Think about it, wouldn’t that make the most sense? After all, what seems like a more realistic goal:
- Get moderate Republicans to compromise and work with Democrats, creating a “bipartisan majority” in both the House and Senate that could actually get positive legislation passed.
- Continue pushing for hard-right legislation that’s too extreme for any Democrat, and even some of the moderate Republicans, to support, setting up future battles (and probable failures) like we saw when they embarrassed themselves trying to repeal Obamacare.
Look, I’m not saying Trump has changed — not at all. All I’m saying is that I know that, above all else, Trump cares about doing what he feels is in his best interests. That could very well mean striking future deals with Democrats when — not only to spite the Republicans whom he feels haven’t been “loyal enough” to him, or to try to force members of his party to do what he wants “or else” — he feels doing so will bring him the praise and attention he desperately seeks.
What Republicans should fear even more is that if Trump were to actually do this (which is possible, but still very unlikely), it would work. As many of his critics have seen, most of Trump’s supporters don’t hold him accountable for anything he says or does. He can say one thing one moment, completely contradict himself the next, and most of them will support him no matter what. If he tells them some of these deals he’s making with Democrats are “good deals,” his supporters will most likely trust him.
Meanwhile, any Republicans who try standing up to him, or accuse him of selling the party out, will face the same Trump supporter backlash anyone who’s ever tried criticizing him has felt. And Republicans should know trying to go after him won’t work considering that’s what they tried doing during the GOP presidential primaries — and failed miserably.
Again, I’m not saying Trump’s changed, or that anything I’ve said here is definitely going to happen. These are just my thoughts about a situation based on what I’ve seen, what I know about this “president,” how his supporters behave, and the incompetence of the Republican Party.
Nevertheless, I’m curious to see how this all plays out going forward.
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