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The Three Failures of Trump's Speech - David Frum
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TrumpenFuehrer News Network
2017-03-01 16:37:14 UTC
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https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/the-three-
failures-of-trumps-speech/518253/



The Three Failures of Trump's Speech

Glowing reviews of the president’s first address to Congress
miss the crucial respects in which he fell short.
David Frum

President Donald Trump wore a non-sparkly tie last night. His
suit fit. He seems to have upgraded his haircut too. After some
initial hesitation, Trump found something positive to say about
Black History Month and something negative about anti-Semitic
hate crimes.

Better still, Trump worked his way through more than an hour of
television without insulting or demeaning anyone. He did not
mention his crowd sizes, argue about his vote margin, or attack
the press. Although he again trafficked in misleading or
deceptive statements, he eschewed outright lies.

Different people will have different reactions to Trump’s
spotlighting of a Navy SEAL’s widow to immunize himself against
accusations that he cavalierly and ignorantly ordered troops
into a poorly considered combat mission—but clearly, many TV
viewers found the moment inspiring and affecting.

(...)

The first failure: There’s still no coherent agenda.

The purpose of these joint-session speeches is not, actually,
to reassure the president’s base that the leader of the country
is mentally well. The purpose of the speeches is to mobilize
support in Congress and the country for the president’s
legislative plans. President George W. Bush’s 2001 address
argued for his tax cut. Barack Obama’s in 2009 defended and
advanced his recovery program.

Donald Trump omitted to do anything like that. On every one of
the issues dividing House from Senate Republicans—tax reform,
healthcare, immigration—Trump avoided so much as indicating a
preference, let alone leading the way. His line about Israel-
Palestine (“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like
the one that both parties like”) also seems to apply to the
issues before Congress: You guys sort it out.

Health care? If Obamacare is repealed, millions of people will
lose Medicaid coverage, including many Trump voters in states
like Ohio and Kentucky. What does the president propose to do
about that? His answer is contained in one single sentence: “We
should give our great state governors the resources and
flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left
out.”

Tax reform? Donald Trump endorsed “massive tax relief for the
middle class.” No such relief is offered by the various plans
circulating in House and Senate. House Speaker Paul Ryan in
fact is touting a “border adjustment tax” that (while an
elegant solution to inefficiencies created by the present
corporate income tax) would have the side effect of increasing
costs of everyday goods like clothing, shoes, and consumer
electronics.

Immigration? Senators Cotton and Purdue have introduced in the
Senate exactly the kind of immigration reform Trump supposedly
favors. It’s most important feature—lowering the absolute level
of immigration—went undiscussed.

Infrastructure? Trump said he would soon ask Congress for a $1
trillion public-private program. How would it work? What would
it do? Why should Americans support him? All went unargued.

As Paul Ryan told Today’s Matt Lauer on the morning of the
speech, Trump acts more like a chairman than a president,
assigning the real work of leadership to others. The trouble
is, the system cannot work that way. Without presidential
leadership, House and Senate Republicans cannot agree, laws
will not pass, and entropy will win. The February 28 speech
ominously indicated that leadership continues to be
unforthcoming.

The second failure: There’s still no plan to build a majority
coalition to support a Trump program.

Donald Trump’s fierce need for approval has disabled him from
acknowledging the strategic fact of majority disapproval.
Fifty-six percent disapproval is not an insurmountable
obstacle. But how can a leader surmount a difficulty that he
insists does not exist?

In 2001, President Bush—elected with a narrow popular vote
deficit—reckoned with the enduring popularity of the Clinton
economic program by promising that his tax cut would leave the
essentials of that program intact. In 1993, Bill Clinton—who
had won only a 43 percent plurality of the national popular
vote—responded by adopting Ross Perot’s concerns with debts and
deficits as his own.

Donald Trump’s political plan, by contrast, continues to be
premised on the idea that he commands a big latent pool of
public support, awaiting only activation and mobilization by
him. Unlike Bush’s No Child Left Behind program or Bill Clinton
and his support for NAFTA and the death penalty, Trump’s offer
to those who did not vote for him continues to be—like Michael
Corleone in The Godfather—“Nothing.”

Michael Corleone had the clout to compel acceptance of that
offer. Does Trump? A year from now, millions of Hillary Clinton
voters may face the imminent loss of Medicaid coverage. They
could be paying higher prices at Wal-Mart (thanks to Ryan’s
border-adjustment tax) in order to finance a tax cut for upper-
income America. If Trump’s hopes for rapid job and wage growth
have come true, he may get away with it. But if not, he will
have no answer at all to those voters’ grievances, especially
if they feel themselves to be on the receiving end of Trump’s
angry cultural politics. Numbers are not everything in American
democracy. Trump’s election by itself proves that. But numbers
do matter, and a lot. Trump’s plan to deal with the weight of
numbers against him remains a long-odds gamble that this
already seven-year-old economic expansion will now accelerate
rather than—as history suggests—soon come to an end.

The third failure: The scandals accumulate unanswered.

It may someday seem highly symbolic that Donald Trump delivered
his first joint session speech on the same evening that his
sons Don Jr. and Eric, and daughter Tiffany, had traveled out
of the country to open the Trump family’s newest hotel: a
project build and financed by the son of a Malaysian plutocrat
with a criminal record.

Suspicions of ethical violations and foreign-espionage
penetration overshadow the Trump presidency. On the Monday
before Trump’s big speech, Sean Spicer expressed angry
frustration at the refusal of the press to accept Trump’s
pledged word for it that there was “no there there” to the
Russia connection story. By now, of course, no self-respecting
journalist accepts Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated word for
anything—or Sean Spicer’s, either.

Last night would have been the perfect occasion to call for an
independent inquiry to vindicate Trump from unfair insinuations
that his team colluded with Russian espionage to sway the 2016
election. If Donald Trump were conscientious, last night would
have been a magnificent opportunity to review progress toward
disentangling himself from the Trump business and erecting the
ethical firewall his team again and again have promised to the
American people.

But here, too, the gamble is: Plunge ahead and hope that
nothing too damaging comes to light. Through his long business
career of big risks, big failures, and big recoveries, that
gambling instinct has propelled Donald Trump forward. It makes
sense that he manages his presidency the same way. But never
before has he faced such dangerous consequences if his gamble
goes wrong. And this time, the people who will pay such
consequences are not only Donald Trump’s unfortunate investors,
lenders, suppliers, and workers—but the whole of this great
nation and its truest friends abroad.
Jack G.
2017-03-01 16:42:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by TrumpenFuehrer News Network
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/the-three-
failures-of-trumps-speech/518253/
The Three Failures of Trump's Speech
Glowing reviews of the president’s first address to Congress
miss the crucial respects in which he fell short.
David Frum
President Donald Trump wore a non-sparkly tie last night. His
suit fit. He seems to have upgraded his haircut too. After some
initial hesitation, Trump found something positive to say about
Black History Month and something negative about anti-Semitic
hate crimes.
Better still, Trump worked his way through more than an hour of
television without insulting or demeaning anyone. He did not
mention his crowd sizes, argue about his vote margin, or attack
the press. Although he again trafficked in misleading or
deceptive statements, he eschewed outright lies.
Different people will have different reactions to Trump’s
spotlighting of a Navy SEAL’s widow to immunize himself against
accusations that he cavalierly and ignorantly ordered troops
into a poorly considered combat mission—but clearly, many TV
viewers found the moment inspiring and affecting.
(...)
The first failure: There’s still no coherent agenda.
The purpose of these joint-session speeches is not, actually,
to reassure the president’s base that the leader of the country
is mentally well. The purpose of the speeches is to mobilize
support in Congress and the country for the president’s
legislative plans. President George W. Bush’s 2001 address
argued for his tax cut. Barack Obama’s in 2009 defended and
advanced his recovery program.
Donald Trump omitted to do anything like that. On every one of
the issues dividing House from Senate Republicans—tax reform,
healthcare, immigration—Trump avoided so much as indicating a
preference, let alone leading the way. His line about Israel-
Palestine (“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like
the one that both parties like”) also seems to apply to the
issues before Congress: You guys sort it out.
Health care? If Obamacare is repealed, millions of people will
lose Medicaid coverage, including many Trump voters in states
like Ohio and Kentucky. What does the president propose to do
about that? His answer is contained in one single sentence: “We
should give our great state governors the resources and
flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left
out.”
Tax reform? Donald Trump endorsed “massive tax relief for the
middle class.” No such relief is offered by the various plans
circulating in House and Senate. House Speaker Paul Ryan in
fact is touting a “border adjustment tax” that (while an
elegant solution to inefficiencies created by the present
corporate income tax) would have the side effect of increasing
costs of everyday goods like clothing, shoes, and consumer
electronics.
Immigration? Senators Cotton and Purdue have introduced in the
Senate exactly the kind of immigration reform Trump supposedly
favors. It’s most important feature—lowering the absolute level
of immigration—went undiscussed.
Infrastructure? Trump said he would soon ask Congress for a $1
trillion public-private program. How would it work? What would
it do? Why should Americans support him? All went unargued.
As Paul Ryan told Today’s Matt Lauer on the morning of the
speech, Trump acts more like a chairman than a president,
assigning the real work of leadership to others. The trouble
is, the system cannot work that way. Without presidential
leadership, House and Senate Republicans cannot agree, laws
will not pass, and entropy will win. The February 28 speech
ominously indicated that leadership continues to be
unforthcoming.
The second failure: There’s still no plan to build a majority
coalition to support a Trump program.
Donald Trump’s fierce need for approval has disabled him from
acknowledging the strategic fact of majority disapproval.
Fifty-six percent disapproval is not an insurmountable
obstacle. But how can a leader surmount a difficulty that he
insists does not exist?
In 2001, President Bush—elected with a narrow popular vote
deficit—reckoned with the enduring popularity of the Clinton
economic program by promising that his tax cut would leave the
essentials of that program intact. In 1993, Bill Clinton—who
had won only a 43 percent plurality of the national popular
vote—responded by adopting Ross Perot’s concerns with debts and
deficits as his own.
Donald Trump’s political plan, by contrast, continues to be
premised on the idea that he commands a big latent pool of
public support, awaiting only activation and mobilization by
him. Unlike Bush’s No Child Left Behind program or Bill Clinton
and his support for NAFTA and the death penalty, Trump’s offer
to those who did not vote for him continues to be—like Michael
Corleone in The Godfather—“Nothing.”
Michael Corleone had the clout to compel acceptance of that
offer. Does Trump? A year from now, millions of Hillary Clinton
voters may face the imminent loss of Medicaid coverage. They
could be paying higher prices at Wal-Mart (thanks to Ryan’s
border-adjustment tax) in order to finance a tax cut for upper-
income America. If Trump’s hopes for rapid job and wage growth
have come true, he may get away with it. But if not, he will
have no answer at all to those voters’ grievances, especially
if they feel themselves to be on the receiving end of Trump’s
angry cultural politics. Numbers are not everything in American
democracy. Trump’s election by itself proves that. But numbers
do matter, and a lot. Trump’s plan to deal with the weight of
numbers against him remains a long-odds gamble that this
already seven-year-old economic expansion will now accelerate
rather than—as history suggests—soon come to an end.
The third failure: The scandals accumulate unanswered.
It may someday seem highly symbolic that Donald Trump delivered
his first joint session speech on the same evening that his
sons Don Jr. and Eric, and daughter Tiffany, had traveled out
of the country to open the Trump family’s newest hotel: a
project build and financed by the son of a Malaysian plutocrat
with a criminal record.
Suspicions of ethical violations and foreign-espionage
penetration overshadow the Trump presidency. On the Monday
before Trump’s big speech, Sean Spicer expressed angry
frustration at the refusal of the press to accept Trump’s
pledged word for it that there was “no there there” to the
Russia connection story. By now, of course, no self-respecting
journalist accepts Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated word for
anything—or Sean Spicer’s, either.
Last night would have been the perfect occasion to call for an
independent inquiry to vindicate Trump from unfair insinuations
that his team colluded with Russian espionage to sway the 2016
election. If Donald Trump were conscientious, last night would
have been a magnificent opportunity to review progress toward
disentangling himself from the Trump business and erecting the
ethical firewall his team again and again have promised to the
American people.
But here, too, the gamble is: Plunge ahead and hope that
nothing too damaging comes to light. Through his long business
career of big risks, big failures, and big recoveries, that
gambling instinct has propelled Donald Trump forward. It makes
sense that he manages his presidency the same way. But never
before has he faced such dangerous consequences if his gamble
goes wrong. And this time, the people who will pay such
consequences are not only Donald Trump’s unfortunate investors,
lenders, suppliers, and workers—but the whole of this great
nation and its truest friends abroad.
Paid for by the DNC and various ISIS support groups.
C***@anywhere.com
2017-03-01 23:33:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jack G.
Paid for by the DNC and various ISIS support groups.
Didn't GW Bush start ISIS?
Certainly Dubya wasn't a Democrat in his day. Although he is currently
closer to being a Dem rather than a Pug.
!Jones
2017-03-02 02:52:48 UTC
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Raw Message
x-no-idiots: yes
Post by C***@anywhere.com
Didn't GW Bush start ISIS?
Certainly Dubya wasn't a Democrat in his day. Although he is currently
closer to being a Dem rather than a Pug.
I didn't think he was a particularly bad president... besides not
being very smart.

Jones
C***@anywhere.com
2017-03-02 17:01:07 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by !Jones
Post by C***@anywhere.com
Didn't GW Bush start ISIS?
Certainly Dubya wasn't a Democrat in his day. Although he is currently
closer to being a Dem rather than a Pug.
I didn't think he was a particularly bad president... besides not
being very smart.
Jones
Dubya cut taxes while sending the country into a war that damn near ruined
us. Along the way, over 4000 of our troops, and 100,000 or more Iraqi
civilians, died.
That qualifies as being particularly bad in my book.
!Jones
2017-03-03 12:25:16 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
x-no-idiots: yes
Post by C***@anywhere.com
Dubya cut taxes while sending the country into a war that damn near ruined
us. Along the way, over 4000 of our troops, and 100,000 or more Iraqi
civilians, died.
That qualifies as being particularly bad in my book.
Well, one might say that Cheney did that and that GW was just a weak
president; however, your point is taken.

Jones
!Jones
2017-03-01 20:27:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
x-no-idiots: yes

On Wed, 1 Mar 2017 16:37:14 +0000 (UTC), in alt.war.vietnam
Post by TrumpenFuehrer News Network
Different people will have different reactions to Trump’s
spotlighting of a Navy SEAL’s widow to immunize himself against
accusations that he cavalierly and ignorantly ordered troops
into a poorly considered combat mission—but clearly, many TV
viewers found the moment inspiring and affecting.
Oh, it was a *great* photo op with the crying widow and all.

His issue is that he remains a draft dodger... put all of the lipstick
on the pig you want to and it's still a piggy.

Jones
NEMO (not forging jew kike Sheinie hymie pedophile Barry)
2017-03-01 23:59:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Wed, 1 Mar 2017 16:37:14 +0000 (UTC), TrumpenFuehrer News Network
Post by TrumpenFuehrer News Network
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/the-three-
failures-of-trumps-speech/518253/
The Three Failures of Trump's Speech
Glowing reviews of the president’s first address to Congress
miss the crucial respects in which he fell short.
David Frum
Obviously a jew asshole...DISMISSED.
The Peeler
2017-03-02 00:18:27 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Wed, 01 Mar 2017 15:59:23 -0800, serbian bitch Razovic, the resident
psychopath of sci and scj and Usenet's famous sexual cripple, IMPERSONATING
Post by NEMO (not forging jew kike Sheinie hymie pedophile Barry)
Post by TrumpenFuehrer News Network
The Three Failures of Trump's Speech
Glowing reviews of the president’s first address to Congress
miss the crucial respects in which he fell short.
David Frum
Obviously a jew asshole...DISMISSED.
Certainly not an asshole like you, dipshit!
--
Gray Guest about inferior Razovic: "You are a subhuman. You should not be
permitted to propagate your genes."
MID: <***@88.198.244.100>
NEMO (not forging jew kike Sheinie hymie pedophile Berry)
2017-03-03 15:37:10 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
IN MEMORIAM: poem for a dead limey nazoid
-----------------------------------------
Nazi Nicky sucked a dicky
and he surely wasn't picky
that is why the little sicky
lies under a filthy bricky!

--In puking memory of the cocksucking limey nazoid
Nicky Crane who, much to the joy of decent people
everywhere, died of AIDS.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicky_Crane

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