May 29, 2016

Backward Man Walking

A while back, I talked about the 'Trexit' - the thing that will help Donald Trump get out of being President, under the thinking that he's just been messing with us this whole time and that, as one of his former key advisers mentioned, he just wanted to shake things up a little.

And we've also talked the concept of having a businessman in the White House, and how someone with a solid business and managerial background could be beneficial to the country.

 miamiherald.com photo
Well, it might be too late for the Trexit, and we might end up with a businessman in the White House.

Last week, the Associated Press advised us that, by their count, Donald Trump has reached the magic number, giving him the nomination on the first ballot and making it impossible for any of the former candidates, or any 'white knight' candidates yet undeclared, to wrest the nomination from Trump's very manly and very large hands.

Trump's rabid supporters, the angry whomevers who have gotten us to this point, have long mentioned his outsider status, his politically incorrect musings, his no pussy-footing approach to everything as his strong points.  He's stopped just short of committing the worst offenses, such as using the N-word, but I get the sense that if he did that at a rally, the cheers would be heard around the world.

He may have fooled his supporters, but don't let him fool you. He is absolutely a politician through and through. He's already become a master at the art of walking backwards, that thing they all do when they say something outrageous, or even something reasonable, but when it doesn't fit the mold, they do the 'walk back' thing.  You know, like when Rep. Kevin McCarthy had to walk back his comments about the Benghazi hearings, or when Crying John Boehner mocked his own party then had to walk that back. Joe Biden had to walk back his comments on lame duck presidents and Supreme Court nominees. Even Hillary Clinton (can you imagine?) has had to walk back comments (and I'm not talking about her email scandal).

Trump is walking backwards on several fronts.

First there was the one about paying creditors less than they are owed, which I had already touched on in the businessman post.  Then there was his tax plan, which he rolled out as one that would give 'major relief' to the middle class. When folks got looking at it, seems many benefits - 40% even - would go to top earners and not the middle class. Well, that's no big deal, right? Because
When you put out a tax plan, you are going to stat negotiating. You're not going to say "OK this is our tax plan, lots of love, folks." There's going to be a negotiation back and forth. I can see that (the middle class part) going up, to be honest with you. I could see that going up and I think that probably will happen. 
Or this one: back in November during a debate, Trump said this about the minimum wage when asked if he was 'sympathetic' to protesters looking for $15 an hour:
I can't be...and the reason I can't be is that we are a country that is being beaten on every front economically, militarily. There is nothing that we do now to win. We don't win anymore...But taxes too high, wages too high, we're not going to be able to complete against the world. I hate to say it but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratosphere We can not do this if we are going to compete. We just can't do it. I would not do it. 
A few weeks ago, he told CNN that he was "looking at" raising the minimum wage, that he was "open to doing it" and that he was "actually very different from most Republicans" in that regard.

Supreme Court nominees? Trump released a list of eleven people as 'potential' nominees, in an effort to show his conservative cred, and it was jumped on as the group from which his replacement for Antonin Scalia would be drawn.  Well, maybe not exactly from that list.
I thought what I would do is put this forward and this would be list that I would either choose from or pick people very close in terms of the spirit and the meaning of what they represent. We're either going to choose from this list or people very close to it. At a minimum we will keep people from this general realm.
Punishing women who have abortions?  Walked back.   Talking with North Korea's leader? Walked back. Blaming George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks?  Walked back. Banning Muslims?  You remember this, right?
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. (emphasis added)
Yeah, walked back.  He didn't mean a total and complete shutdown, silly.
We have a serious problem, it's a temporary ban, it hasn't been called for yet, nobody's done it, this is just a suggestion until we find out what's going on.  
North Carolina's bathroom bill? Walked back.  The states should handle it and hopefully do the right thing, he said. Except he also said he doesn't know that the right thing is. But the party you know, they believe a person is born with a bathroom identity, Caitlyn Jenner's staunch Republican support notwithstanding.)

Military personnel and leaders obeying a Trump order to torture prisoners, or to murder their families, as was discussed back when he had opponents? Walked back.

After initially saying that they wouldn't refuse his order, Trump offered a remarkable clarification, noting
I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advise on such matters. I will not order a military officer to disobey the law.  
It is clear that, as president I will be bound by laws just like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities. 
I swear, it's almost as if he just remembered that last part.

I read a quote the other day, one I found when researching a whitepaper I was writing for work. It was about us always getting exactly what we deserve, in that we have the ability to influence outcomes. If we fail to use our influence, well, you get the drift.

I believe Trump supporters are getting exactly the candidate they deserve: a man who doesn't have a clue how to govern, doesn't have a clue what being president is all about, a man who has lied from day one in a sham campaign. A man who had to issue a statement that "it's clear" he will have to obey the law if elected. The GOP, too, is getting exactly the candidate they deserve, as they line up in support of their own continued employment as senators and representatives, and jump on the Trump bandwagon.

The rest of us will get the candidate we deserve as well, if we fail to exert appropriate influence on the outcome.