Some Reflections on the Latest Casualty of the Trump Administration
So after just six months, Reince Priebus is out as Trump’s Chief of Staff . When you think about it, it is not a huge surprise. He and Trump were not well suited for one another. Priebus is not a “red meat” kind of guy. And Trump is a raw red meat sort of dude. And Priebus was part of the gang that pushed Trump to play ball with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to make health care reform a priority in Trump’s first year Using hindsight, that was a really, really bad political move. There will be political fallout from that, and I will get back to that point in a minute.
Before I do, we might wonder, who would want the Chief of Staff job anyway? The Chief of Staff is supposed to keep things in order. But “in order” is a phrase that doesn’t resonate with Trump unless it is everyone else obeying his orders — no matter how silly they may be. In a political system of checks and balances based on the rule of law, Trump is a bull in a china shop with lit dynamite sticks strapped to its horns. Would you want to be riding that bull? Not me, thank you.
So what next? My guess is that Trump will play ball less with the GOP and play to his hard right base. He may have no other political options. That may have been the “thinking” behind his latest weird speech where he suggested that police rough up detainees more. HeeHeee! And you thought his speech to the boy scouts was weird! Here is an excerpt from his latest deep thinking
“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over. Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody. Don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”
If that is indeed the way things will go, Republicans in Congress will have to scratch their heads. The midterm elections are a little over one year away. And what will be the main issue? I am not a genius, but I would guess the health care fiasco will be on the agenda. Someone will have to take the blame for thinking that taking away health insurance from millions of Americans. was a good idea.
If he stays true to form — and there is no reason to believe this pony knows any other tricks — Trump will blame Congress for the failure. He will pretend that he had nothing to do with it, and actually wanted to do other “great” things. But he was held back. Indeed, he is disguetsed by Washington’s corrupt, even criminal ways. You get the idea. Amd of course, he will want to investigate Hillary Clinton.
So who will take the blame for the health care fiasco? Congressional Republicans will. Of Course, they deserve it. But deserving it will not stop them from trying to figure out how to blame someone else or to change the subject. There is no one else to blame. That means changing the subject might have some strategic value. Hmmm … by taking the Russia investigations more seriously? Whether they take this step or not, I am confident that they are considering it. Or they may be considering some other way to capitalize on Trump’s lack of populatity with the mainstream. Conflicts of interest? Lying? Obstruciton of justice? Bad judgment? Poor leadership? Bad hair?
The problem is that changing course in this way would require a modicum of courage. Looking at that bunch, I do not detect that particular character trait in abundance.
The plot thickens.