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Thread: Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning.

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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning.

    Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning.

    By PETER BAKER
    OCT. 14, 2017

    WASHINGTON — President Trump leaves little doubt about what he thinks of his predecessor’s top domestic and international legacies. The health care program enacted by President Barack Obama is “outrageous” and “absolutely destroying everything in its wake.” The nuclear deal with Iran is “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”

    Yet as much as he has set his sights on them, Mr. Trump after nearly nine months in office has not actually gotten rid of either. Instead, in the past few days, he took partial steps to undercut both initiatives and then left it to Congress to figure out what to do next. Whether either will ultimately survive in some form has become a central suspense of Mr. Trump’s first year in office.

    In the case of health care, Mr. Trump is making a virtue of necessity. Having failed to push through legislation replacing the Affordable Care Act, he is taking more limited measures on his own authority aimed at chipping away at the law. On the other hand, when it comes to the Iran deal, he has the authority to walk away without anyone else’s consent but has been talked out of going that far by his national security team. Instead, by refusing to recertify the deal, he rhetorically disavows the pact without directly pulling out.

    These are not the only instances in which Mr. Trump’s expansive language has not been matched by his actions during this opening phase of his presidency. On immigration, diplomatic relations with Cuba and international accords like the North American Free Trade Agreement and a separate trade pact with South Korea, he has denounced decisions made by Mr. Obama or other previous presidents without fully reversing them.

    “Presidential campaigns are won with big, simple, directional promises that rarely align well with the complexity confronted in the Oval Office,” said Michael O. Leavitt, a Republican former governor of Utah and secretary of health and human services who advised Mr. Trump’s transition team. “So presidents do the best they can to stretch the fabric of incomplete outcomes to cover as much bare backside as possible and move on.”

    Mr. Trump’s advisers characterize that as the more pragmatic side of a businessman who takes maximalist positions in part to set the stage for negotiations but does not necessarily intend to go as far as he might give the impression. His critics said that the partial steps were still destructive, and that the president was effectively leaving initiatives like health care and the Iran deal wounded on the battlefield without allowing ambulances onto the scene.

    A question for the president is whether partial actions will satisfy supporters demanding a full repudiation of the Obama era. Mr. Trump promised to deal with such issues in some cases within his first days in office but has found that Washington resists quick action. Frustrated by Congress, he is increasingly turning to executive power and can point to the moves he has made as signs of his commitment to fulfilling his promises.

    “The gap between President Trump’s ambitious promises and actual policies is large and growing,” said William C. Inboden, a White House aide under President George W. Bush and now executive director of the William P. Clements Jr. Center on History, Strategy and Statecraft at the University of Texas. “This is weakening the institution of the presidency itself, which becomes diminished when presidents over promise and under deliver, or when responsibilities normally handled by the president become habitually shirked to Congress or other nations.”

    A cautionary tale is Mr. Obama himself, who made lofty and ambitious heal-the-planet, close-Guantánamo promises only to fall short in some instances, to the disappointment of his liberal supporters. The difference is that Mr. Trump often gives the impression with his public comments that he has gone further than he actually has.

    “It’s classic Trump: bluff and bombast substituting for actual deeds,” said Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest, a foreign policy magazine. “He’s the political equivalent of the Washington Nationals — a choke artist at critical moments.”

    Mr. Trump pronounced himself happy with the approach he is taking on health care, which has been the most consuming domestic issue of his presidency so far. “We’re going a little different route,” he told an audience of religious conservatives on Friday. “But you know what? In the end, it’s going to be just as effective, and maybe it’ll even be better.”

    Later in the day, he acknowledged that his new strategy on Iran would not actually scrap the nuclear deal but would allow Congress to come up with an alternative. Asked why he did not simply terminate the agreement, he said: “I may very well do that. But I like a two-step process much better.”

    Democrats said Mr. Trump’s actions were meant to sabotage the health care program and undermine the Iran deal even without full repeal. By cutting subsidies to insurance companies, “it’s clear the president is trying to sabotage the health care market and send costs soaring,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland denounced what he called “the president’s reckless, political decision and his subsequent threat to Congress” on the Iran agreement.

    Mr. Trump has taken partial steps on other campaign promises as well. He signed an order scrapping his predecessor’s program granting legal status to as many as 800,000 younger immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, but delayed the final effect for six months to give Congress a chance to restore it on a more solid legal foundation. Even then, he suggested that he would find another way to preserve the program if Congress did not meet his deadline.

    He has boasted that he was reversing Mr. Obama’s diplomatic opening to Cuba. But while he has pulled out many diplomats and restored some restrictions on contacts with the island, he has not cut off relations again, closed the embassy or shut down travel and other interactions. He has talked about throwing out Nafta, but has actually left it intact and has taken the route of negotiating to see if it can be retained with improved provisions.

    “I am not surprised because Donald Trump is not an ideologue, he’s a realist and a pragmatist,” said Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a friend of the president’s. “During the campaign, he staked out some very strong positions maybe as a negotiating start point, or in other cases they were based on the facts he had at the time.”

    “Trump is actually very open to feedback and criticism on his ideas,” Mr. Ruddy said. “Based on that he can easily adjust and change course.”

    Clifford Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm, said the president seemed to be trying to translate business negotiations to the political world. “Trump’s clearly got a theory of deal-making — demand the world, take the most you can, and then brag about it,” he said. “It’s actually a pretty good tack that’s often underestimated. But the bottom line, so far in his presidency, is that he’s been unable to deliver on overstated goals.”

    In the end, he may wind up taking the more sweeping actions — he may yet pull the United States out of Nafta or the Iran deal. He may yet let the program for younger immigrants expire early next year. He has repeatedly talked about “letting Obamacare fail,” which his latest steps may accelerate.

    “There is now a new and scary spring in his step,” Mr. Kupchan said. “He could be entering a new phase involving fuller takedowns of agreements and institutions. The Iran deal and Nafta are bellwether cases. What’s really interesting is that he fired his chief revolutionary, Steve Bannon, but seems on the verge of taking on that role himself.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/14/u...reckoning.html
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    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    “There is now a new and scary spring in his step,” Mr. Kupchan said. “He could be entering a new phase involving fuller takedowns of agreements and institutions. The Iran deal and Nafta are bellwether cases. What’s really interesting is that he fired his chief revolutionary, Steve Bannon, but seems on the verge of taking on that role himself.”
    I hope that he follows the white board 'to do' list from Steve Bannon. The establishment should be scared and stay that way. The unpredictability of President Trump scares a great many, even some of those who support him.

    If he stays on the side of the forgotten men and women, ignores swamp insiders, global and liberal special interests, recognizes those against citizen interests, and keeps 'America First', he will be continuing in the right direction.

    Sleepless nights for the establishment may be occurring. They have caused many sleepless nights for hardworking Americans who have been living under the terrible decisions by their representatives in Congress and other levels of government.
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 10-14-2017 at 04:00 PM.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    “There is now a new and scary spring in his step,” Mr. Kupchan said. “He could be entering a new phase involving fuller takedowns of agreements and institutions. The Iran deal and Nafta are bellwether cases. What’s really interesting is that he fired his chief revolutionary, Steve Bannon, but seems on the verge of taking on that role himself.”
    Trump is the restorative revolutionary. He always was. The Trump Agenda is Trump's. Always has been. There's really nothing new in the Trump Agenda. Republicans and most Americans throughout the years always supported protected trade. These "free traders" flew in from somewhere else on behalf of someone else. Republicans and most Americans throughout the years always supported secure borders and strong immigration laws to protect American Jobs, Wallets, Treasuries, Opportunities, Lives, Safety, Security and Domestic Tranquility. These "open borders" traitors flew in here from somewhere else on behalf of someone else. Republicans and most Americans do not support deals with terrorist sponsoring nations who yell in the streets "Death to America".

    I'm not sure why anyone ever thought otherwise.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
    I hope that he follows the white board 'to do' list from Steve Bannon. The establishment should be scared and stay that way. The unpredictability of President Trump scares a great many, even some of those who support him.

    If he stays on the side of the forgotten men and women, ignores swamp insiders, global and liberal special interests, recognizes those against citizen interests, and keeps 'America First', he will be continuing in the right direction.
    The people who hate Trump don't support his Agenda. The people who support Trump but fear he's letting them down in some way will see that they underestimated him. Fixing our country and correcting many decades of harmful but entrenched even codified by law policies isn't easy, it's like unraveling a nasty hair ball. The speed and manner in which Trump is doing this virtually all by himself is ... unbelievable.

    Every day of this Presidency has been a joy, to wake up every day and see the next bad deal he just whacked or disgusting problem he just solved. I feel sorry for the people who can't or won't see that because they're going to miss it, and what a personal loss to their role of our history that will be for them.

    Trump is doing the impossible, he is restoring our country to what it is supposed to be, a free, prosperous, strong and safe nation of citizens who work together and stand together for our mutual yet individual benefit and the security, solvency and sovereignty of our nation.

    The "white board" is not Bannon's. It's Trump's. Just because you have your Agenda on a board in someone's office who works for you does not make it theirs.
    Last edited by Judy; 10-14-2017 at 04:37 PM.
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    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    The white board in Steve Bannon's office was his to serve as the daily reminder of the promises made, the 'America First' agenda that was promoted by Donald Trump. It is good to keep your goals before you, a check off list of successes, even if you carry them within your heart and mind.

    Steve Bannon is following that white board on the outside now. He is applying pressure against opposing forces and people. President Trump needs that type of commitment and action on his behalf to be successful for the American people. He has too many near him that would scrap that agenda in a heartbeat.
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 10-14-2017 at 04:55 PM.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I can see we're splitting hairs. I don't know who owns the board, I would imagine it's White House property. The Agenda on the board is Trump's, was Trump's long before he even met Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon didn't even join the campaign until two months AFTER the primary election and Republican Convention. People are very confused about the role of Steve Bannon in the Trump campaign and the Trump White House. Every word anyone heard out of Trump's mouth from June 16, 2015 to this day is Trump's. Not sure why people seem obsessed with trying to say it was someone else. There is no one else, just Trump. Sure, he had staff and people to write it down and get it on to the internet and into speeches, but these policies and goals are all Trump, not Bannon. They may agree on some things, but they obviously didn't agree on everything which is why Bannon left the White House.

    On August 17, 2016, in the later months of the campaign, Bannon joined Trump's 2016 presidential bid, taking the position of chief executive officer.[7][8] Prior to taking a leave of absence in August 2016, he had been executive chair of Breitbart News, a far-right[i] news, opinion, and commentary website[18][19] which he described in 2016 as "the platform for the alt-right".[I] Bannon left his position in the Trump administration on August 18, 2017; he then rejoined Breitbart News.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Bannon
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    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Yes Judy, Splitting hairs needlessly. It is the agenda that matters whoever achieves it. That is what we want.

    Steve Bannon did not come on board the Trump train till when you say however he has been working on the 'America First' for success plan for years. President Trump has spoken of many of these ideas as well. He, however, has needed tutoring on matters of immigration and where to strike at illegal immigration. That is where the input from Stephen Miller, Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon and others has benefitted him and the nation.
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 10-14-2017 at 05:17 PM.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
    Yes Judy, Splitting hairs needlessly. It is the agenda that matters whoever achieves it. That is what we want.
    Yes, and there is only one person in DC who can and will do that for US. I hope everyone keeps that plain simple fact in mind.

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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Yes, and there is only one person in DC who can and will do that for US. I hope everyone keeps that plain simple fact in mind.

    We have three branches of government for a reason. No one man controls our country's destiny. It would be nice if Trump could walk on water and part the seas as some may think, but it just doesn't work that way.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    MW
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    “Trump is actually very open to feedback and criticism on his ideas,” Mr. Ruddy said. “Based on that he can easily adjust and change course.”
    Translation: Easily influenced.

    Personally, I'd rather have more of an ideologue that was concrete in the views he espoused during his campaign.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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