On Monday, Trump in a series of public statements, made some incredible and totally dishonest claims. In other words, he lied. This article will focus on just one segment of his scurrilous lies, for there were far too many to cover in one article alone. Or rather, some deserve their own special attention because they were so horrendous.
During a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Trump praised Steve Bannon who is threatening to primary every Republican Senator except Ted Cruz.
“I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from, and I can understand, to be honest with you … I can understand where a lot of people are coming from, because I’m not happy about it. And a lot of people aren’t happy about it.”
Always watch out when Trump says “Believe me” or “to be honest with you.” He nearly always means the exact opposite of what he is saying.
And why does Trump “understand” where Steve Bannon is coming from? Because Trump has laid the blame for his failure to get any legislation passed squarely at the feet of where he thinks it belongs – Congress. It doesn’t matter that Republicans control both the House and the Senate. It doesn’t matter that Trump has sabotaged efforts to pass healthcare legislation. Or that the legislation itself is so terrible that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell could not even find 50 Republican Senators willing to support it. That’s not Trump’s fault. Nothing is ever Trump’s fault.
During the Cabinet meeting Trump also said:
“We’re not getting the job done. And I’m not going to blame myself. I’ll be honest” Again with the being honest part. He then stops saying “we” and goes over to “they.”
“They’re not getting the job done,” he said referring to Congress. It’s not enough for Trump or Bannon that Congress, and especially the Senate is controlled by Republicans. They want Trump toadies elected to office, who will do his bidding, no matter how ridiculous.
Some Senators have begun pushing back against Trump and his misguided ideology. Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska who lambasted Trump over his attack on the freedom of the press. Senator John McCain, who cast the deciding vote against the original Senate version of Obamacare lite. Now Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee, who has decided not to run for re-election next year, has come out swinging against both Trump and his enablers in the White House.
No doubt these are the men Trump, among others, who was referring to when he said “There are some Republicans frankly that should be ashamed of themselves.” Yes, there are, but not the ones Trump thinks. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan come to mind immediately. They are the leaders of the Senate and the House respectively, and have made a miserable muck up of it so far.
Instead of attacking Congress and supporting Bannon’s bid to primary vulnerable Senators, Trump should be offering support and encouragement. But as the most unpopular president at this point in his presidency in the history of political polls, it may turn out that his support instead becomes the “kiss of death” for potential candidates. His endorsement of Luther Strange in the Senate race in Alabama certainly didn’t help that candidate. Now he has endorsed Ed Gillespie for the governorship of Virginia. Vice President Pence recently attended a rally with Gillespie in the deeply red southwestern part of Virginia. The size of the crowd was estimated at a whopping 400 attendees.
The Trump brand may be losing traction, as more and more people realize what a fraud he is. Some might feel genuinely sorry for him, as someone who is way in over his head as president, but that sympathy is not going to translate into votes for Trump-supported candidates.
Americans respect a man or woman who is willing and able to own up to their mistakes. We all make them and understand when others do as well. But they don’t like someone who blames everyone but himself for any failures. That kind of behavior didn’t work out well on the schoolyard playground, and certainly doesn’t carry any weight in real life.
When you’re the one in charge then you take responsibility for not only your mistakes, but the mistakes of those under your command. The captain doesn’t necessarily have to go down with the ship, but he sure as hell shouldn’t leave it until all the passengers are safe.
Harry Truman understood his role as president all too well. He was the one who keep the sign “The Buck Stops Here” on his desk in the Oval Office. He may have been unpopular at times also during his presidency, but he was always respected.
Right now Trump is neither popular nor respected. And at the rate he is going, that is only going to get worse in the future.