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.