Earlier this week, Trump went against his own party and sided with congressional Democrats on a plan to keep the government funded for the next three months. Pitting him against leaders in his own party, Trump worked with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to finalize a plan that bundled Hurricane Harvey relief funds, a three-month debt-limit increase, and a three-month continuing resolution to keep the government funded. The GOP called a three-month debt-limit increase “ridiculous” and accused the Democrats of trying to “play politics” for suggesting on tying in aid for Harvey relief. Aren’t our elected officials put into Congress to play politics? It seems rather idiotic to suggest doing or not doing something is playing politics when the modus operandi of Republicans and Democrats is to blame the other party. The result of this is a Congress ground to a halt mired in discussions, meetings, and refusals to yield to compromise. Trump working across the aisle slaps the face of status quo.
The shift in Trump’s strategy may be a sign that he’s in tune to more than most of think and poll ratings at record low levels of popularity finally have opened his eyes to how terrible and ineffective he’s been as president so far. Or could it be that he’s just grown immaturely impatient with Republican leadership trying, and failing, to execute on even one of his promises to the American people? After all, his relationship with Mitch McConnell has soured since the failed healthcare reform attempts. Trump working with Democrats, while openly backing primary challengers to congressional Republicans, could work in his favor when votes will be needed from across the aisle on key legislation. Key legislation that Trump needs to get passed in congress in order to have any hope of surviving another election and gaining another four years in the White House.
Appearances can be deceiving though in Washington and the game being played by seasoned politicians has Trump at a disadvantage. The lack of subterfuge or graceful politicking by Trump leaves all his cards on the table for anyone to read and effectively play against. Knowing your rival’s hand makes it significantly easier to know what fights to put all your efforts behind and what fights to back away from hoping they’ll go away. The clever ploy by Trump to work with congressional Democrats, while on the surface seeming smart, will most likely backfire in Trump’s face as he attempts to get something, anything, done in his first year as president. What is sad is that we have more than 3 years of these shenanigans in government while real people, real Americans, suffer through the crap flushed away from Capitol Hill. Trump working with Democrats is not a smart move and puts Trump at odds with the one group he absolutely needs on his side, but he’s making quick work of making everyone hate him. It’s only a matter of time before he does something that can’t be forgiven or brushed under the rug before quite literally, everyone hates him and finds a way invoke the 25th amendment.