How Democrats Can Work With Trump

First, how not to work with Donald Trump:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced she will vote for 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.


This vote does not diminish how disturbed I am by what Republicans did to Judge Garland.

Yes, actually, it does. It says you are 100% fine with the craven Republican gamesmanship that denied the last Democratic president his Supreme Court pick. It tells Republicans there are no consequences, only rewards, for such despicable acts. No matter how much you explain that you are outraged by what Republicans did to Merrick Garland (and she goes on for an entire paragraph reaffirming this dismay) you are signaling your approval of that action. Because even though you say,

There isn’t a perfect judge.

… this isn’t about the judge. It’s about the process. The process cannot be allowed to be corrupted. So when you say,

Regardless of which party is in the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court should be above politics.

…. please understand, you are negating those very words by voting for this nominee, any nominee, save Merrick Garland.

So, that’s how not to work with Donald Trump. But is there a way Democrats can work with him? Maybe. Because there’s a whiff of desperation in the air. Stories like this one are appearing with increasing frequency. Trump’s approval ratings are lower than Obama’s ever were in 8 years. Trump wants — no, needs — a win. Not “needs” in the political sense, but “needs” in the psychological sense. His ego demands it. As Tony Robbins observed (correctly, in my opinion):

We were discussing false confidence, and you’ve sat down with Trump, so how would you characterize his level of narcissism? It does seem like its born out of deep insecurity.

It is. His entire life is “you win or you’re nobody.” You’re seen and known. Even if people don’t like you, though he’d prefer to be liked, people will know how you are and respect you. That mentality is a ‘40s/’50s subset that some people have that he was brought up with, and it is him. The level of obsession that he has about the media coverage he gets—if you go to his offices he’s got a room stacked with magazines of everything he’s ever done. I know it sounds absurd, but I feel for the guy in that at any moment, his entire identity can disappear if enough people are upset with him. I hope that he’ll eventually adjust to a CEO mentality and be in a position where he wants to succeed so badly that he’ll do something that’s worthwhile. We’ll see.

Trump needs a win. He started out siding with the extremist far right, but they’ve given him nothing but losses. Trump is now attacking the Tea Party “Freedom Caucus” publicly on Twitter. He’s pissed off. He blames them for his epic losing streak. And he’s sucking up to Democrats right now because if he couldn’t get his win from the right, he’ll try to get it from the left.

I know that makes a lot of people uneasy but please remember: Trump has no principles, no political ideology of any kind. His ideology is “Trump must win.” It’s really no more complicated or deep than that. I firmly believe that. This is a guy who has supported Planned Parenthood in the past. He once supported climate change action. He once supported salary caps on executives receiving bailout funds. He even once supported impeaching George W. Bush.

Trump is the quintessential fair weather president. He has no deeply held beliefs, no adherence to any ideology. He’ll attach himself to whichever side gives him a win. Can Democrats use this to get some wins of their own? Maybe. It’s worth a try. Hell, if things get bad enough, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump didn’t come on board for single payer healthcare, as long as they called it TrumpCare! Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but the point is, Trump is desperate for a win, holds no political allegiances, and will work with whomever can give him a win. I can easily see Trump ditching the far-right policies Paul Ryan foisted on him and swinging back left. Not only do I see it happening, I could almost bank on it.

Even better, if Trump started working with the Democrats, how fast would House Republicans move to impeach him? The mind boggles.

Something to think about it and discuss.


Filed under Democratic Party, Donald Trump

39 responses to “How Democrats Can Work With Trump

  1. Jim in Memphis

    How would the Democrats get legislation passed in the House and Senate?

    • I think there are definitely enough moderates in the Senate to get something done. House might be more difficult but I think people are sick and tired of the obstructionism and are only too ready to kick the Tea Party to the curb. Paul Ryan needs a win as badly as Trump does, but Ryan’s need is political, not ego. I see some potential here on some issues, such as infrastructure. Dems might be able to make sure infrastructure is direct-spending, not all tax incentives as the plan currently is. Enough Republicans want that money in their home districts. So I see potential there.

      • Jim in Memphis

        Well as far as the budget goes I can see Congress and Senate passing way more spending than Trump wants because they all want their pork projects to keep the people at home happy. That would not be Trump working with Democrats though, that would be congress working inspite of Trump. They would probably have enough votes to overturn a veto on the budget as well I would guess. Then that may lead to an interesting situation. If Congress budgets money for a program does that mean the Executive branch has to spend that money? For instance, could Trump order spending cuts to federal education programs even if Congress budgets the money for them? I don’t know who has the last say on actually spending the money that Congress allocates.

  2. democommie

    For a start Jimbo(B), they could put out a mailer to the Trumplegiturds that a brand new Shoney’s just opened up in rural Virginia and the first 180 congrifters that show up get free tickets for the all you can eat buffet. Then do it for pitpass NASCAR tickets @ Talladega and other tracks–same deal. After that they’ll have to wing it.

    Did you cut your employee health plan, yet?

    • Jim in Memphis

      Why would I cut my employee health plan when it is also my health plan? I can’t afford to buy insurance on the exchanges because that is even more expensive than the group rate I can get from BCBS.

      • Jim in Memphis

        Forgot to mention that premiums did go up about 26% for the group this year.

      • Of course they did. GOP has been undermining the law to make sure it failed. I don’t know what kind of plan you have but it’s likely your premium increase is a result of Marco Rubio 2015 bill to kill off the risk corridor financing mechanism, which was supposed to help insurance companies who suddenly found themselves with a lot more sick people on their roles. Higher premiums and insurers leaving the marketplace was the point of the Republican legislation. They wanted the ACA to fail, they wanted people to hate it, and they did everything they could to make that happen.

        I’ve always said we don’t need less Obamacare, we need more Obamacare. The law was never fully implemented for many reasons (Supreme Court, Republican governors, pre-vote negotiating that killed off the public option, etc.)

      • democommie

        Gollywhillikers, Jimmer! You afraid that gutting Obamacare might not happen on the Trumpligulan Timetable? I mean they’re gonna shitcan the penalties so why not just give your employees like, say, $25.00 a month extra to pay for whatever kind of healthcare they want to buy?

        You are pretty much on record as not giving a shit about anybody that isn’t you or your family, so why continue to fund those loooozerz health insurance?

      • Jim in Memphis

        DC – The only way I can qualify for group coverage is to actually have a group. I can’t set up a group insurance plan where only the owner and his family is on the policy. So kicking the employees off the insurance plan is not a workable solution. On top of that, I have actually skilled people working for me that could easily leave for a better job if the pay and benefits here did not keep up and they would be hard to replace. I understand that my employees have to want to work for me so I keep them happy.

      • The thing is, Jim, from all of our conversations about this, it always sounds like you are talking about health insurance as an employer. But everyone else is talking about it as an individual. Those are completely different set-ups in the insurance market. If you’re an employer and trying to get insurance for your employees, their families, and yourself and your family, then that’s an apples and oranges conversation from someone who’s trying to get individual coverage because they’re self-employed or an independent contractor or whatever.

        Am I correct that you approach this topic as an employer? Or are you an employee and your company doesn’t provide health insurance benefits?

      • Jim in Memphis

        Yes SB – I am an employer and paying the insurance premiums for my employees and myself. The ACA definitely had an impact on group insurance policies as well as the individual market. I would have to say that one unintentional (I assume) consequence of the law was to drive individual policy prices so high that it probably locked some people into jobs they would rather quit except they have affordable health insurance provided for them. I would be in favor of letting any group of people choose to band together to form an insurance group outside of the workforce or to simply do away with group insurance all together such that all those insured by a company are the “group.” I am not totally against a single payer system if it could be funded fairly.

      • Well, you’re coming at it from a completely different angle from others. I will say, having discussed this with my husband, who is responsible for the group insurance at his workplace, he did not have the same experience with high prices. Yes group prices went up but far less than pre-Obamacare. Of course, we have really great insurance policy, maybe you’re offering crappy insurance to your employees?

        And I can tell you that the intention was NOT to lock people into their jobs — that’s what happened under the old system. This system helped actually unhook people from their servitude. But as I pointed out earlier, Senate Republicans undermined key financing mechanisms, which forced some insurers out of the exchanges and forced them to raise rates. And we never got the public option, which would have provided competition to keep prices low. People in power wanted it to fail so they made sure it did.

        But since you’re an employer, why wouldn’t you favor a single-payer system like Medicare For All that would basically make sure you don’t have this headache?

  3. May Weathers

    The fact that you don’t realize yet when Trump is fucking with you is hilarious. Losses .. ha ! You think he’s lost many voters in the area he needs to win again ? Shit .. you idiots can pile it up in Los Angeles county and it’s not going to mask the fact that the only way you folks can win elections is by importing voters.

    That’s also why scotus has you so frosted. You *know * you’re going against the will of the people and need the courts.

  4. Thomas

    Part of his win came from promising jobs for coal miners, which isn’t likely to happen because those days and those jobs are gone, so unless he pulls in some legislative votes, he will continue to lose favor exponentially. In this political climate, it could be impossible to achieve anything because everything is apposed by so many for one reason or another or just because the other side is for it. Like deciding on where to have lunch. 🙂

    • Speaking of coal miners, have you seen this?

      “The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s”

      Sigh. But the entire coal industry makes such a good political prop, right?

      • democommie

        And what’s really ironic is that the dems basically MADE coal mining a reasonably survivable occupation by setting up OSHA and MSHA to keep the workers from getting killed–because their employers didn’t give a rat’s ass.

      • Well, Dems have pandered to coal country as bad as Republicans. Alison Grimes was the worst, trying to tell Kentucky coal voters that she was going to save them. Nobody believed it and they shouldn’t. The only one who was honest with coal people was, ironically, Hillary. She actually had a transition plan for them.

        These folks aren’t stupid, they know the market forces are against them. But when someone tells you what you want to hear, and the other side isn’t really selling their ideas, it’s awfully easy to do the comfortable thing, not the sensible thing.

      • Thomas

        From that article: ” The other thing about coal is that unlike retail and other industries, coal is highly concentrated in certain regions. When coal mines shut down, towns go under. National media sends reporters and TV crews to those towns, and the resulting coverage can make coal’s impact on national employment levels feel much larger than it actually is.”

        I think of the sawmills that were shut down years ago; it had a huge impact on the towns that had grown around them. My first job, out of high school, was in logging. I was thinking about this yesterday because an acquaintance was starting a new job and had to take a test. There are less and less jobs that a person can do without having to learn “things”, When I graduated, I could go out to the woods and run a saw or set chokers and then move onto a machine, without having to take tests or study, I just had to pay attention on the job, and work my ass off. A lot of labor jobs, now require at least some computer work and even some courses and tests. There aren’t many jobs that you can live on, like, garbage pickup, which is done by one driver with a truck that picks the cans up and dumps. No three man crews on a truck dumping.. Even meter reading (was an entry level position) has gone from a team of walkers and drivers to one or two people with the meters sending the reads by wireless.

  5. democommie

    And Mike Flynn is lookin’ for a deal. The House is not happy, the Senate is, not either. I’m sure that the actual investigators at the FBI and other LE agencies are not really thrilled about having another Ollie North on their hands.

  6. Kathleen

    Oddly enough, my biggest concern is not Trump so much as it is the entire Rethuglican criminal cabal. I’m not sure a “Not Trump” scenario would improve anything unless the Rethuglicans were brought down with him (particularly the odious and repugnant McConnell and Blue Eyed Soulless himself Paul Ryan).
    But that doesn’t address your point. I can philosophically understand where you’re coming from, Ms. Beale. The two problems I see with negotiating with Trump is 1) antagonizing the Democratic base (though the alt-left/Slandernistas would love it) and 2) running risk that Trump will agree to something until a Neo-Nazi waves a shiny bauble in front of him and he reneges on agreements with Democrats.

    • You’re right about the BernieBros, I’m sure there’s a boiler room of sock puppets in a Moscow suburb somewhere who will try to exploit the far-left’s outrage and further splinter the party. But I don’t agree that these people are the Democratic base. The Democratic base are African Americans and, increasingly, Latinos. The base is not far-lefty Brocialists. Really getting tired of hearing that, too.

      I go back and forth on Pence. He’s pretty evil but I don’t think he’s mentally unstable or irrational. I don’t think he’d start a nuclear war with North Korea because his fee-fees got hurt on Twitter. I DO think he’d take away peoples’ civil rights. But I’m pretty sure that can be fixed later, right? RIGHT? I mean, nuclear holocaust is kinda forever, right?


      • Democommie

        The problem is that Pence believes in a “forever” where folks like him are the BIG GUY’s, “Officer of the Day”. Think David Spade’s character in “Coneheads”–but really malificient.

  7. democommie

    “Well, Dems have pandered to coal country as bad as Republicans. Alison Grimes was the worst, trying to tell Kentucky coal voters that she was going to save them.”

    Local politics will always be local politics, but nobody, afaia, done what Trumpligula did in making any specific industry’s jobs being restored a platform promise at the national level. Of course nobody has lied as blatantly or as continuously as him either.

    • Coal jobs have been part of the national platform for quite a while, though. I remember it being an issue in the 2008 race. I remember lots of people wearing “clean coal” caps at the McCain/Obama debate at Belmont University. It’s kinda shocking to see that it represents comparatively few jobs considering how much attention it gets.

      • democommie

        I defer to your superior knowledge in that regard. I don’t doubt that they were looking for the pander, but I’m pretty sure that they didn’t get much from Obama on that score. McStain would, has and does lie as it suits his daily agenda.

      • During the 2008 campaign Obama was a big proponent of “clean coal.” I don’t know if he was pandering or serious (I suspect serious, as Illinois was one of the states in the running for the FutureGen “clean coal” plant. If I’m not mistaken, Bush awarded the prize to Texas, big shocker. Don’t think it ever got built, either.) Anyway, it was one of the big issues that had liberals at odds with Obama about. Yet another thing to keep the far left Naderites and Berners pissed off at the Democratic Party for …

  8. glasat

    I love your efforts, SB, and subscribe to your blog. Still, we’re (mostly) preaching to the choir, here. There has to be a way to make more voters understand what they did, four months ago. In the days leading up to November 8th, CBS sent a reporter to a WV coal town. One older resident told him she’d be voting for Trump because he’d bring her town’s coal jobs back “in two months after he’s elected.” She then paused…and added, “maybe six months.” Bizarrely, she ended with, “…four years, tops.”

    The point is, this woman will follow Trump right over the cliff, ’til she splatters all over the rocks below. Reasoning with these people is like trying to talk a kamikaze pilot out of aiming for the carrier.

    • Right, well, those people are voting Republican no matter what, come hell or high water, pussy-grabbing, golden showers, you name it. It’s useless trying to reach those people.

      Trump won the electoral college thanks to a handful of precincts in a handful of strategic places. He didn’t win because of West Virginia coal miners. Trump lost the popular vote. He “won” because of voter ID laws and voter purges and Russian shenanigans splitting a unified Democratic Party. Bernie or Busters and Jill Stein voters were the useful tools of the Russian disinformation campaign. It’s the classic Sun Tzu tactic: “when my enemy is united against me, separate them.” While you will never hear Susan Sarandon, Nina Turner, Rosario Dawson, Killer Mike or any of the rest of the disrupters admit it, the Trump presidency is their fault because they allowed themselves to be exploited by a foreign government seeking to influence the election.

      So with all of that in mind, I don’t have much sympathy for those West Virginia coal miners. Nor can I worry about the Democratic Party’s future when elections are lost through trickery, not on the issues. You can’t lie to people forever.

    • democommie

      Kamikaze pilots had a far better idea of why they were willing to die–even the reailly stupid ones.

  9. Here is one way to work with Trump. Find about forty of the best bricklayers and masons. Set up a perimeter about one hundred feet square, somewhere near the international frontera between East San Diego County and Mexico. Tell Trump this is going to be a thirty-minute photo-op special piece on FOX News showing him personally beginning the exhausting work of building the wall. Give him a hardhat and a megaphone. Also give him a lapel mic and a drop-dead gorgeous FOX reportress to fawn over him and get him excited about himself..

    One of the guys, we’ll call him the foreman, coaches Trump on how to yell at the forty bricklayers and masons. Trump will think that we are watching him supervise the first mile of the wall. Make sure the location is in a convoluted location at the bottom of some foothills filled with arroyos secos. Gradually, the foreman will keep ordering the construction of right-hand corners along the fifty-foot tall. Before Trump notices, he will have ordered the construction of a sealed pen. As the last bricklayer and mason join the final wall with the original starting point, Trump may realize that something is wrong.

    Simply airlift out the workers, reporters and crew out while Trump is restrained and leave Trump to languish in an insurmountable prison yard of his own construction.

  10. CB

    If Trump were actually in charge in the WH, this idea might work, SB. However, I don’t think he is. I think he signs what Bannon puts in front of him, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he just does what Bannon tells him to do, with some occasional slip-ups when his brain isn’t fully engaged. Bannon, like other rwnj extremists, would love to see the world burn. He’s not the president, so it’s no skin off his nose, but he’ll get credit for it from others like him.

    I’d love it if conciliatory gestures and attempts at reconcilation had a hoot’s chance in hell, but I’m not at all sure that’s possible with the cabal assembled in the White House, none of whom care how government is supposed to work. They see their jobs as tearing it down and rebuilding it to their blueprints. Trump understands nothing about governing. Nothing. He doesn’t know how much he doesn’t know, either. All Bannon, et al., have to do is speak to him with authority, and he’ll do pretty much what they say. That, right there, is a formidable obstacle.

    • You are probably correct about Trump not being in charge and signing whatever Bannon puts in front of him (or forgets to sign, as happened last week!)

      Your comment reminded me of this week’s This Modern World comic strip. Did you see it? Hilarious. Also, sad.

      We’ve reached a true Constitutional crisis. In a few years when everyone dissects what really happened, I doubt the Republicans will realize that they are going to be the villains. Again.

      • democommie

        I’m pretty sure that they are okay with being the villains, really. I think that they are like most authoritarians; it’s all “kiss up, kick down”. They’re more emotionaly stunted than I can even think about being. And they enjoy the sickness like pyromaniacs enjoy a bonfire.

      • CB

        Thanks for pointing that one out. I hadn’t seen it. Hilarious and sad about sums it up.

  11. Glidwrith

    I think you named the problem right at the start. The man has no core. As we saw with the Don’tcare legislation, no core means no discipline when things get tough. We need someone as strong as Obama or Clinton to navigate the utter stupidity and greed the lives in the Thug Congress. Orangemandius will also turn on us in a heartbeat.