Don’t kid yourself. This was a BIG month for the President — who is playing political and presidential chess at a level no one has approached since Reagan.
I’m in awe.
His control over a narrow strip down the center of the board on election night has turned into a full-fledged rout.
House Republicans (not Trump!, Genius) have released Obamacare-lite to the public this week, and negotiating has begun. The President has positioned himself perfectly here, by allowing the House leadership to position him (4D chess) into the catbirds seat. This is what I mean. After many hearings and much pushing and pulling on Capital Hill, which I unfortunately, will write about — the President will back a bill that 75% of the American people support, one that will do 3 things, two of which the public cares about, and 1 which Trump cares about.
The President’s new American Care Act, will keep Veteran Care, Medicaid and Medicare commitments, in the main, and will forbid denying coverage for preexisting conditions and will force companies to extend coverage for children up to 26. Trump will get the ability to negotiate drug and equipment prices with the pharmaceuticals.
The Insurers will get a lot of flexibility, which will create plan variety, a lot of happy customers, and eventually, some abuse.
All in all, this will be a huge improvement over a system, which had less than a year to go before imploding like the Death Star.
Even the crazy Freedom Caucus will not stand in the way of Trump’s final take on what emerges from this House plan – because that would be suicide. This is like Hot Potato, once you touch it, you have to hold it until someone else is stupid enough to touch it.
Translation: Trump is going to get America out of Obamacare in one year, with popular changes, and broad bipartisan support. Huge, crushing win.
Militarily we needed planes, more planes, and a price break on all those planes — and even though I don’t trust Lockheed Martin’s accounting, I think Trump has delivered a much needed boost exactly where it will deter our current enemies. I’ll believe LM is delivering an F-35 for less than 100M a copy, when the LM CEO announces to shareholders, that LM will be temporarily suspending their commitment to deliver 50% of cash flow to shareholders — because they lowered the price on some jets. Anything short of that is a shell game, and as anyone who has spent any time in the streets of NYC knows, you can never beat the guy moving the shells. LM aside, Trump wins big here and so does America.
Trump has maneuvered himself even more adroitly on Tax Reform. His Cabinet is slowly filling in and those confirmed pieces are out on the board, finding consensus on — what appetite exists — and for what combination of tax changes – are possible.
Trump is doing all this without lifting a finger so far, choosing instead to make a ceremony over how careful he was this time to roll out a ban on non-vetted refugees, that is not as likely to be overthrown.
Either way, attacked and found legal, or attacked and found illegal, Trump wins on this issue. Americans KNOW he is trying and most of them, even if only secretly, are grateful for that. I have Democratic friends (no kidding) who admit they thought Obama had let things get out of control on immigration — and who were secretly worried we were admitting terrorists into the country during his administration. If this group didn’t exist, Hillary wins, so I think it’s fair to say, they exist.
On the Russian hacking, election interference, Trump campaign influence, wire tapping whomever, this whole mess is in the hands of the Senate Intelligence Investigation committee with Tom Cotton, and cast, in pursuit of their prey. They have all the tools, staff, space, security clearances, to equal a 4-month head start — and will get to the bottom of this, and every related mess, by summer. I’m really looking forward to this because unless Trump is a lot dumber than I think, this net will ensnare many fish, hostile to the Trump agenda, but none touching close to him, or even his Cabinet.
Democrats will not be able to ignore the sweet wafting aroma of a Trillion dollar pork project. They’ll hate him — but will be hypnotized by the possibilities nevertheless, pushed by constituent contractors, eager to make contributions to pols, regardless of Party, that have any space at the feed trough.
Trump will move through this maze, like a maestro conducting a symphony orchestra — and use this leverage for it’s maximum benefit on less popular parts of his agenda — and he will be applauded for this log rolling — not attacked. Even Schumer will admit, that Trump turned out to be an effective “Horse Trader”.
Trump has taken over the center and both front corners of the board. His enemies are burning their own castles, further alienating: undereducated whites, Jews (except the J Streeters, who are suicidal over Trump), and the Law and Order Coalition; which was pro Trump anyway — but has a growing Hispanic and Black Middle Class portion that is turning pro Trump. Riots do not appeal to this business owning heavy group. LOL.
Sessions is a hoot. He’ll emerge as a star and Trump will look smart.
Tillerson is already a star — and as the American people grow to love him, Trump will look smart.
Trump is looking like a genius from the long and short end of this lens and unless I’m missing something, he’s got a productive session ahead, teed up nicely.