Disaffected Rust Belt voters aren’t the only people that gave us Trump. He also owes his office to people that should (and did) know better. “Socially liberal, economically conservative” suburban affluent Republicans. Educated, otherwise thoughtful people who ignored his stench, held their noses, and voted for “Team Republican.”
The bet they made? From recent NY Times piece “I Voted for Trump. And I Sorely Regret It.”
Those of us who supported Mr. Trump were never so naïve as to expect that he would transform himself into a model of presidential decorum upon taking office. But our calculation was that a few cringe-inducing tweets were an acceptable trade-off for a successful governing agenda.
Or if I might summarize.
“We handed our country over to a madman in return for
30 pieces of silvertax cuts. And now he’s stiffing us!?!”
This was always a cynical bet. It was also a dumb one. Their dumb fantasy wasn’t Trump. It was that today’s Republican Party actually HAD a “successful governing agenda.”
The health care debacle wasn’t Trump. The “tax reform” debacle isn’t Trump. The infrastructure debacle isn’t Trump. Those debacles are Ryan & McConnell rummaging in an incoherent grab bag of negativist sound bites masquerading as policy. Policy incoherence that was obvious long before Trump came along. Provided you wanted to see it.
So why didn’t “Team Republican” see it? Tribal loyalty? Yes, but to what? Its not the man, its the graven image, holy of holies, fetish totem underpinning that particular fantasy faith. Tax cuts! Because that’s what “successful governing agenda” really boils down to.
You gotta say “tax cut” to yourself in your best Gollum voice like “my precious my precious” to really get to the underlying emotions. Or read from the self-pitying Gospel according to Louise Linton (Ms Mnuchin).
“Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.”
The fantasy was/is that no real-world tax cut wasn’t/isn’t going to amount to much. The math didn’t add up, doesn’t add up, and never will add up. Maybe for Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, and Mr Mnuchin. But that affluent suburban voter was looking at maybe an extra few thousand bucks. That barely pays for the kid’s travel team fees.
Which makes the whole bet even dumber. Judas got 30 pieces of silver. These folks sold their country to a madman for 30 wooden nickels… Now? You broke it, you own it.