Monday, February 29, 2016

Is Trump really running for POTUS, or is he just "making a deal"?

"My party has gone bat shit crazy"
Sen. Lindsey Graham R-SC

How did he survive all this?... Hint: watch what happens next

What makes Donny run? 

He is known far and wide as a "deal-maker". 

To most American ears this term "deal-maker" is both familiar and at the same time a bit exotic. In the USA 90+% of Americans go innocently through life paying the price marked on the product they are buying or "shopping around" for a better price and if the price seems correct, this is considered a "good deal". However if you had spent some time haggling over every tomato you bought in the market places of countries like India or Morocco, or visited other cities famous for their "bazaar mentality" where you must even bargain with a pharmacist for the price of a tube of toothpaste, with "and if I buy two?" or "if I pay in dollars?",   you would have had to have learned how to make real deals or you would have been quickly skinned alive even by the street urchins, 

We might say that Donald Trump could hold his own in some of those places, but he wouldn't stand out all that much.

He even wrote a famous book about it, "The Art of the Deal".

Here is a review of that book, from the New York Times, by one of America's most prestigious literary critics:
He is proud to be at play in the fields of American free enterprise, looking for every loophole in the law and edge on his competitors he can possibly get.(...) He sounds disingenuous when he asserts that he never harassed the tenants of 100 Central Park South, but merely wanted to help the downtrodden when he threatened to move homeless people into the building's empty apartments. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt - NYT review of "The Art of the Deal"
Let Donald himself explain how it is done, which he did very thoroughly in his book:
“My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after.” (...) “The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you.”(...) “good publicity is preferable to bad, but from a bottom-line perspective, bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all. Controversy, in short, sells.”(...) The point is that you can't be too greedy.(...) “I discovered, for the first time but not the last, that politicians don’t care too much what things cost. It’s not their money"(emphasis mine) Donald Trump - Quotes from "The Art of the Deal"
Those are all quotes from his best selling book for the 1980s, The Republican Party are living those quotes in their own flesh at the moment.
U.S. Republicans in Washington are coming to grips with what many of them not long ago considered an unimaginable reality: Donald Trump is likely to be their presidential nominee and standard-bearer.(...) Trump has vowed to scrap U.S. trade deals, slap a tariff on imported goods and raise taxes on hedge-fund managers, as well as retain some sort of mandate to purchase health insurance - clashing with the free-market principles that have long underpinned Republican economic policy. Some Republicans in Congress, such as (...) Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said a Trump nomination would do enormous damage to the party and predicted a heavy election defeat in November to the eventual Democratic nominee. "I am like on the team that bought a ticket on the Titanic after we saw the movie,” said Graham, contending that Trump would be “slaughtered” in the general election. Money Market
Very big money is beginning to react:
A top adviser to the network of donors backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch is joining Republican Marco Rubio‘s presidential campaign, as the Florida senator seeks to rally establishment support.(...)The Kochs, who preside over a network of donors who plan to spend roughly $750 million influencing 2016 races, have said they don’t necessarily plan to endorse a candidate in the Republican primary race(...)a growing question for the Kochs is whether they will intervene to bolster the campaign of a Trump alternative. Mr. Rubio has addressed the network on several occasions. Wall Street Journal
Panic is setting in and Trump is ready and waiting for it.
The specter of Donald Trump as an elected nominee for president pushed his Republican opponents to desperate measures on Sunday, two days before a dozen states could vote to give the billionaire a huge lead in the 2016 contest.(...) Both Kasich and Rubio – who trails Trump in his Florida home – suggested their campaigns were ready for a brokered Republican convention in July, in order to keep the delegates Trump needs out of his hands. But that scenario would require a wholesale revolt against Trump by the Republican party, and the billionaire repeated hints that he is prepared to break his pledge not to run a third-party campaign.“If they have a problem, I’m going to have a big problem with that,” Trump said. “If they want to play that game, I can play it a lot better than they can.” (emphasis mineThe Guardian
Lets look at what's on the table.

The Republican Party controls both houses of Congress... for the moment, and a Supreme Court that could mark the ideological slant for a generation is up for grabs.

If Trump runs as either the Republican candidate or as an independent, all poll projections predict an Armageddon for the Republicans, with not only the loss of the presidency, but loss of majorities in both house of Congress, perhaps even in state houses too.

Has the moment finally come for doing a "deal"?

It seems to me that Donald Trump is now holding the family jewels of some of the most powerful people in the world in his tiny warm hands and is squeezing them rather hard. We are talking about a political party that now controls both houses of Congress and represents the interests of the top 0.01% of the American economy. What laws could they write for him (which I'm sure Obama, as a patriot, would be quick to sign)? Or how much would, say the Koch brothers, or all the conservative super-PACs, be willing to cough up to kiss him goodbye

The shape of a deal?

What are the Republicans still in a position to offer Donald Trump between now and the convention, something which would be more attractive for him than losing the presidential race by a historic margin and destroying the Republican Party in the process... in which case they could give him nothing?

To answer that question we would have to know things that, for the moment, only Trump himself and possibly his lawyers, accountants and tax "planners" know, but which might become public (IRS-FBI) knowledge in a foreseeable future?

Stay tuned. DS

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