Is Trump's Approval More Likely To Continue Collapsing Because He's Lazy And Ill-Prepared Or Because Of His Toxic Discombobulated Agenda?
Earlier today we looked at the blossoming civil war inside the White House. It's very much related to nothing much getting done-- and there is no issue besides repeal and replace where there is as much finger-pointing and fury. Trump may not care what's in the bill, but he certainly wants a "win." He blames different people daily, although Ryan and the Freedom Caucus seem get the bulk of it on various days. Jonathan Chait minced no words in his description: Republicans Tearing Each Other to Pieces Over Trumpcare Debacle. Trump is consumed with this because it gets talked about all the time on his favorite cable news shows. CNN reported that he wishes he hadn't been pushed-- presumably Ryan and Pence-- into trying to pass the next-to-impossible repeal and replace "before working on tax reform or an infrastructure package-- both areas in which he’s better versed than health care. (Trump does not actually understand infrastructure policy or tax policy well at all, but he believes he does, which is not the case with health-care reform.)"
Wednesday night Trump help another "intense" meeting with House Republicans at the White House with Pence insisting there would be "dire" consequences if they didn't mass a bill quickly. Trump has no credibility and his threats don't work anymore with most House members, and certainly not with most Freedom Caucus members. Several-- Sanford and Amash-- have found it politically expedient in their districts to lure Trump into attacking them by name-- which has made them heroes with most voters in each district.
At one point, according to three sources briefed on the meeting, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus suggested it could be detrimental to Ryan’s speakership if Republicans fail to pass a bill. Others disputed that characterization, saying the comments were not aimed specifically at Ryan’s but more broadly: As in, all Republican lawmakers’ jobs are in jeopardy if they don’t deliver.One source described the meeting as having ended "in total meltdown, total chaos mode." Could anyone who knows anything about how Trump runs his life have expected anything else. Meanwhile "Bannon is fighting back against his internal enemies. Bannon has lashed out at Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn, his internal rivals for Trump’s ear. Bannon is calling Cohn 'Globalist Gary,' according to CNN, an apparent reference to Cohn’s background at Goldman Sachs. (Bannon also worked at Goldman Sachs, but sees himself as less of a rootless cosmopolitan international-banking elitist.) Jonathan Swan reports, 'the hatred between the two wings is intense and irreconcilable,' and that 'the Bannonites believe the liberals'-- another Bannonite term for the conventional Republicans advising Trump, who are not liberal-- 'staged a coup and will turn Trump into a conventional squish who betrays the very voters who brought him to power. The Jared wing thinks the Bannonites are clinically nuts.' Evidence suggests both sides are correct. Team Bannon has been referring to Kushner-in-law as a "cuck" all week. And Bannon is mobilizing his forces against Jared. one of his closest allies " predicts that Bannon's close relationship with the al-right media-- after all, the Mercer's own it-- will result in "some bad press in [Jared’s] future." If Bannon has the transcript of the Jared's taped conservsation of the Russian spy/bankster, Trump's son-in-law's patina could be gone in one agonizing news cycle.
In Maggie Haberman's NY Times piece, Pence was demanding passage of something "before the House left for its spring recess on Thursday. Mr. Ryan, who is close to Mr. Priebus, rejected the idea, explaining that the Republican leadership needed more time to secure votes to pass anything."
Meanwhile Trump slinked off to his Palm Beach mansion for a meeting with the president of China and to showily order an utterly ineffective $30 million pin prick of a wrist slap against Syria. The next day Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) was on the Fernand Amandi Show on 610-WIOD in Miami, calling for the ouster of Bannon. She said his departure would be "welcome news for the nation" and that "his days are numbered in that administration... His views are not in line with our country... And I think profound changes will be coming" predicting "a shakeup in the White House in the coming months."