Sunday, September 10, 2017

Why Trump’s Betrayal Won’t Matter: The President’s Base is Rooted in a Cult of Personality, Not Support for the Republican Party or Conservatism

Even in an administration that is always breaking new ground in terms of unorthodox presidential behavior, Wednesday’s Oval Office ambush was a shocker. At a meeting with congressional leaders that the Republicans thought was merely a photo op, President Trump abandoned his party and sided with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on a deal to temporarily extend the debt-ceiling limit. That enabled Trump to avoid any partisan squabble this month that might have interfered with funding hurricane relief. But it also demonstrated his complete indifference to Republican objectives, since it set up another confrontation with the Democrats at the end of the year over the debt ceiling and likely made it much harder to pass a tax-reform package.
Congressional Republicans were outraged. Some conservatives who have been warning GOP voters that Trump was a closet liberal said, “I told you so.” Some spoke of Trump’s burning his bridges with the party’s grass roots or of an open revolt. Even the Trumpist Breitbart proclaimed “Welcome to the Swamp,” over a picture of the president with Pelosi and Schumer.
But talk of dire consequences for Trump is wishful thinking on the part of resentful Republicans.
... the one issue that seems to really motivate the Trump base — damage him. If Congress doesn’t pass a solution to the DACA issue that will give legal status to illegal aliens brought here as children, Trump has already threatened to act on his own as Obama did. Or he might again cut a deal with Democrats on the issue — to exchange something his base would call amnesty if it were proposed by anyone else — for some border-security funding that he will pretend is a step toward the wall he wants but almost certainly will never get. If Trump is tough on the illegals, the faithful will cheer his toughness. If he helps them, his backers will cheer his compassion and ability to make deals. ...
Read Jonathon Tobin's full op-ed HERE.

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1 comment:

cimbri said...

Citizens connect with certain leaders, such as Reagan, Clinton, and now Trump. It's not cultish, it's just natural for people to like funny, engaging personalities. We're not robots.