Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
“How come you’re always right about Trump?” a friend asked me after he’d seen today’s news that the President had pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord wealth redistribution scheme. He was referring to my recent Forbes.com piece titled “For President Trump, Pulling Out Of Paris Is The Only Logical Move.”, which I wrote a week ago.
Well, first of all, I’m not always “right about Trump”. I’ve been wrong about plenty of Trump-related things since he announced his candidacy two years ago, and will continue being wrong about some things in the future.
Conceding that, I have had a pretty strong track record of being right about Trump-related predictions, certainly far better than the record possessed by those inside-the-Beltway “experts” who form what is held to be the “conventional wisdom” in the nation’s capital. I told readers as early as October of 2015 that Trump was at that point pretty much a shoe-in to become the GOP nominee, due to historic trends in the GOP nominating process. That was at a time when the George Wills, David Axelrods and every other DC pundit was writing him off because Ben Carson had assumed a temporary polling lead in the race. I went into great detail as early as March 2016 about why Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in the general election, and held firm on that prediction through election day.
Since the election, I’ve also had a strong and very public record of predicting the things Mr. Trump would do and why he would succeed in doing them. I still unashamedly predict he will serve a full first term and probably be elected to serve a full second term despite all the media-generated fake news hysteria surrounding his presidency thus far. In fact, later in this piece, I’m going to tell you why that hysteria is most likely going to actually help him accomplish his major legislative policy goals.
But first: why have I been mostly right about Mr. Trump where other, famous pundits have been almost unerringly wrong? I’m afraid there’s no magic to it, no great genius on my part that accounts for it, and that the answer is really pretty simple: I evaluate President Trump from the standpoint that he is an actual, fairly normal person, and I am old enough to be able to view first his candidacy and now his presidency through a lens of historical context.
In other words, it’s not exactly rocket science. In fact, it’s very simple.
Dehumanizing a Person Clouds Judgment
Think about it: the establishment, inside-the-beltway political class punditry have alternatively viewed Mr. Trump as either a) a clown (George Will, Charles Krauthammer, all the useful idiots in the NeverTrump crowd) or b) a monster (any liberal/progressive pundit/anchor/fake journalist you care to name). To a person, regardless of their ideology, they view the current President as a freak, a complete outlier in the American political system, an illegitimate holder of the office whose every move is either stupid or outright evil.
They all immediately dehumanized Trump on the day he announced his candidacy, and by doing that, even the oldsters among them, like Will and Krauthammer, lost all ability to analyze his actions through the historical lens that they ordinarily bring to their public pronouncements. Put simply, it is impossible to correctly predict the actions and potential of a man if you start by rejecting his humanity at the outset.
Now, the President does have a very mercurial personality, which makes it pretty much impossible to predict, for example, what he might decide to say on Twitter at 3:00 on any given morning, as with the whole “covfefe” thing. On the other hand, when it comes to public policy, it’s actually very easy: If Mr. Trump has made it a point to say he is going to do something, then he is almost certainly going to make a strong effort to get it done. And if he makes a strong effort, his history shows he is very likely to win. If one has the ability to analyze the political situation through an historical context, and has an understanding of how the political process works in Washington, it becomes fairly easy to predict whether or not he’s going to be successful.
Paris as an Example
The Paris Climate Accords is a good example of his doing what he has consistently said he is going to do. If you read my Forbes piece, you know that my reasoning for believing he would pull the U.S. out of the Accords is due to the facts that a) he repeatedly promised to do so throughout his election campaign, and b) that he’s already gone about rescinding or rewriting pretty much every executive or regulatory action taken during the Obama years in their efforts to comply with the commitments Mr. Obama made on behalf of the country. Thus, if President Trump had decided to remain in the Accord, the question would have become how in the world would he plan to bring the country into compliance with its demands?
Now, if you view Mr. Trump as an inhuman clown or monster who does things for no logical reason, then you can’t engage in the logical analysis necessary to reach that conclusion. But if you view him as a human being – a pretty intelligent and wildly successful one, at that – then you already know that, where policy is concerned, he has shown a consistent bias towards acting in exactly this logical manner. But he is human and humans make mistakes and often act illogically. Paris could have turned out to be one such instance where Trump is concerned, but the smart money was always on his deciding to leave an agreement related to which he has already largely dismantled the country’s ability to comply.
Repeal and Replacement of ObamaCare
Repeal and replacement of Obamacare is another great example. The “smart people” in DC largely expressed surprise that, upon assuming office, President Trump didn’t forget his promise to make it his top legislative priority and instead focus on easier things. Why? Because they all believe he is an irrational clown or monster who doesn’t mean what he says. But anyone who took the time to read Trump’s book and study his history had to conclude that he has throughout his life been someone who does basically what he has said he was going to do. Yes, he’s open to negotiation over the details, but he has always worked to reach the overarching goals he has set.
Trump repeatedly promised during the campaign that repealing and replacing Obamacare would be his #1 legislative priority, and he has followed through on making it his #1 legislative priority. Not tax reform, not anything else – Obamacare. This should come as a surprise to…well, to no one.
When the first vote in the House failed, no one among the “smart people” in DC predicted that another, successful vote would take place less than a month later. But it did. Why? Because, right after the failed first vote, Trump issued a verbal “kill shot” at the members of the House Freedom Caucus, blaming them for the vote’s failure. Not wanting to take that blame, it was the Freedom Caucus members who worked hardest to make sure a deal ultimately got made.
Again, that was all very predictable to anyone who had taken the time to actually observe how Trump influences people.
Now, we have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already complaining that he can’t see how he could ever possibly cobble together 50 votes to get Obamacare repealed and replaced, or on comprehensive tax reform, even though he and every other senate Republican who was up for re-election last year campaigned strongly on both promises.
Trump has been distracted recently by his international trip – a predictably very successful trip, by the way, despite conventional wisdom in DC that it would be a huge failure – and is now focused on getting his White House staff in order. But it is a safe bet that, within the next couple of weeks, the President is going to begin to direct his kill shots and other means of persuasion on the Majority Leader, and that the Majority Leader’s rhetoric on those two big priorities will begin to “evolve.” In fact, he already began aiming tweets in McConnell’s direction on Tuesday.
The conventional wisdom in DC right now says that the President cannot hope to convince congress to act on major legislative priorities because of all of the leaks, impeachment talk and myriad other fake news that permeates the air waves. This is utter nonsense.
In fact, the President obviously thrives on chaos, and has always viewed it as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. Where congress is concerned, all of the sound and fury around Trump and the Democrats’ “Russia collusion” fantasy actually provides a great deal of cover for the legislative branch to get a ton of positive things done without attracting the main focus of a hostile press. Despite all the false negative reporting about the President’s first 100 days in office, the truth is that congress sent more bills to his desk during that time than during the first 100 days of any recent president, more than twice as many as the Democrat-dominated 2009 congress sent to then-President Obama.
Why Scandal Talk Actually Helps
Where all the scandal talk is concerned, anyone with actual historical perspective would know that both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton signed all sorts of major legislation during the periods of time when they were under threat of impeachment. Those congresses, controlled by opposition parties, actually used those situations as leverage. The reality today is that Republicans in congress have at least as much invested in both the Obamacare and tax reform issues as the president does. Really even more so on tax reform, to which Mr. Trump was actually a late-comer.
Right now, pretty much all of the “smart people” in DC are telling you that Mr. Trump and the congressional Republicans will not be able to reach success on either issue. They tell you this because their own de-humanization of the president clouds their judgment, and because of their lack of historical perspective.
I’m telling you today, June 1, 2017, that President Donald Trump will, less than a year from today, have signed bills that repeal and replace Obamacare with a better system, and that enact major personal and corporate tax reform. I’m also going to tell you that he will serve out his first term in office, be easily re-elected, and serve out his second term, unless the ongoing efforts by the Democrats and fake news media to de-humanize him and encourage violence against him and his supporters result in a successful assassination attempt, which is always a possibility.
But hey, who you gonna believe – me, or all those famous “smart people” who pop up on your TV each night?
This really is not rocket science. Really.