Saturday, July 29, 2017

Is Trump Really A Republican?

This article argues that The Donald moved further away from the Republican Establishment by firing his Chief of Staff who had been the head of the Republican National Committee.  This led many to ask whether The Donald is a Republican.  His primary campaign was really a hybrid campaign.  He accepted most of the cultural value issues that were initiated by Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy".  Nixon turned the Democratic South into the Republican South.  He also added a few of them himself.  He captured the anti-immigration and the anti-Muslim terrorist voters who were neither Republicans or Democrats.  He was also smart enough to realize that he could not win a general election without flipping some of the rust belt states that had voted for Obama.  He embraced labor leaders and claimed that he would bring back the manufacturing jobs that were given away by Democratic trade deals like NAFTA.  He also claimed to be a supporter of New Deal entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.  He even argued that Paul Ryan's attack on entitlement programs was the reason why Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election to Obama.

President Trump is not a Republican or a Democrat.  He is more accurately described as an opportunist.  He is dependent upon the Republican Congress for lots of reasons.  He needed the Republican Senate to approve his cabinet nominees and he needs the Republican Congress to approve his budget and pass legislation that he needs to declare victory.  His major campaign contributions did not come from the Country Club Republicans that have been the backbone of the Republican Party.  Major contributions to his campaign came from the far right fringe of GOP billionaires like the Mercer's, Devose's, and Sheldon Addleson.  The Republican Party also needed The Donald.  It believed that putting a Republican in the White House would enable the party to achieve many of its objectives.  That has not happened for a lot of reasons.  They discovered that taking away healthcare benefits from millions of Americans was not as easy as they believed.  Trump has also proven to be a dysfunctional president.  His popularity has been on a steady decline since he took office.  Now the Republican Party has to figure how to govern with a Republican president who cares more about himself than he does about the Republican Party or our national interest.  Trump has exacerbated tensions between moderates and conservatives in the party.  Conservatives feel empowered, but moderates learned that they could not pass a conservative healthcare bill.  Its also unlikely that they will have an easy time with the Trump budget and with tax reform.  It won't be long before many Republicans will have to face reelection.  That, of course, worries many of them more than they had anticipated when a Republican found himself in the White House.

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