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January 02, 2019

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he’s willing to really negotiate in good faith with her,” said Rep. Mark Meadows

The Donald does not know the meaning of the phrase "negotiate in good faith".

He has no good faith in which to negotiate.

Charles Pierce aptly named POLITICO "Tiger Beat on the Potomac". It's neither serious nor credible; it's merely acceptable Republican discourse, and should never be honored by being cited or even discussed. For the last two years, Teen Vogue has had more insightful and accurate political coverage.

It seems far more likely that Trump looks at Pelosi, and the control she exercises over her caucus, and thinks he sees an autocrat. And he respects autocrats, be it Putin or Duarte or Erdogan or Kim.

Alternate possibility: he may think (know?) that subpoenas will give her the goods on him. So he's starting toadying now in the hopes that she, like Putin, will settle for blackmail. Won't work, of course, but is he bright enough to realize that? Or it could just be the only he's got left....

Alternate possibility: he may think (know?) that subpoenas will give her the goods on him. So he's starting toadying now in the hopes that she, like Putin, will settle for blackmail.

Yeah, I figure she's already got "pictures". Maybe not from sources she can acknowledge, but she knows where to send the subpoenas. We'll see how quickly he folds on the shutdown. I've got Jan 18 in the local betting pool.

It's hard to fathom what's going on in that reptilian brain. It seems to be a reaction to the most immediate circumstances, based on whatever is perceived as being in his narrow and relatively short-term self-interests at the time and under those circumstances (almost always including pleasing his base).

Get through the day, or even the hour, and deal with the next one when it comes.

I worry Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats will fall into the Get Things Done trap.

Our pious national mythology holds that The American People want Congress to "work together" and "compromise" in order to "get things done". Plenty of Democratic politicians, including Pelosi herself sometimes, contribute to this mindless pablum. I cringe when they talk about "focusing on" health care, or infrastructure, or any good "thing" instead of resisting, restraining, and
exposing the Mob in and around the White House.

I cringe because reality trumps mythology. Reality is that the Democratic majority in the House cannot, unilaterally, fix healthcare or build infrastructure or do anything else useful. Reality is that a Republican Senate which proved shameless enough to steal one SCOTUS seat and award a second one to a public lickspittle and perjurer will never be shamed into even voting on (never mind voting for) anything their Dear Leader opposes. If Dear Leader wants $5B for a lollipop, and Speaker Pelosi offers $5B for spinach, Yertl will not even allow "reasonable" GOP Senators to vote up or down on spinach.

The only thing Speaker Pelosi and the House Dems CAN do unilaterally is investigate and oversee. Promising to do anything else -- asking to be judged on their ability to do anything else -- is falling into a political trap. "The Democrats got nothing done," the Broderist media will be pronouncing in a couple of years, as the Koch brothers high-five each other off-camera.

Pelosi and the Dems should of course pass good bills in the House, and make a big stink about McConnell refusing to vote on them in the Senate. But they should not delude themselves: their only hope on that front is to pass Democratic bills, not to offer compromises like spinach-flavored lollipops.

Don't waste effort on "compromise". Investigate. Oversee. Expose. The American People may not agree about which "things" they want to "get done", but they all love a good show.

--TP

The only thing Speaker Pelosi and the House Dems CAN do unilaterally is investigate and oversee.

Well, not quite. They can also pass stuff, even knowing that the Senate (actually McConnell) won't even vote on it. That actually gives them standing to say "We've been trying to do stuff, but the Republicans in the Senate won't even ..." vote on it/hold hearings on it/etc.

Sometimes, you don't have to succeed in "doing something", if you can show that you aren't the reason things aren't getting done.

They can also pass stuff, even knowing that the Senate (actually McConnell) won't even vote on it. That actually gives them standing to say "We've been trying to do stuff, but the Republicans in the Senate won't even ..." vote on it/hold hearings on it/etc.

I think Tony covered that here (while I was nominating myself as mediator):

Pelosi and the Dems should of course pass good bills in the House, and make a big stink about McConnell refusing to vote on them in the Senate. But they should not delude themselves: their only hope on that front is to pass Democratic bills, not to offer compromises like spinach-flavored lollipops.

wj,

If I were a Republican, I would advise the GOP to keep hammering this talking point: "The Democrats are just grandstanding! They keep passing bills that they know we won't vote on!! They can't get anything done!!!"

If you think that GOP strategy won't work, explain Marty to me :)

--TP

Tony,
Yeah, it will probably work with the GOP's own voters. But they're not the ones that the Democrats need to show that they can govern. After all, they're not going to be convinced regardless.

And somehow I can't see that approach working on anyone who isn't already a true believer.

It didnt work for Ryan. They passed a ton of stuff the Senate never voted on, no credit even from GOP voters.

This has to be an ObWi first. Marty agrees with me: a House that passes "a ton of stuff the Senate never voted on" gets "no credit even from" its own voters.

Now I'm really worried.

--TP

"we will repeal Obamacare, here's our 85th vote on it!"

GOP base didn't like that?

They can also pass stuff

They can also not pass stuff.

Like funding for Trump's pet cruelties.

I imagine that it isn't really possible for the House to exercise the kind of detailed control that would allow them to refuse to pay any Trump organization because of the emoluments clause ... but wouldn't that be fun?

Or makes any income from the Federal government, or any of its parts, to any organization owned by Trump, taxable at 100% for as long as he is in office.** Whether it is paid to him, to his relatives, to anybody. Likewise any income from any foreign government or other body.

Nothing would infuriate Trump more than having to pay taxes like a normal person. And a high rate would just make it worse.

** To be fair, make it applicable to any president. (As I think on it, apply to all members of Congress as well.) Also avoids quibbles about Bills of Attainder.

For those here who habitually tar all Republicans with the same brush, consider the differences in behavior of the outgoing governors of Wisconsin and Michigan.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/there-is-at-least-one-republican-who-isnt-behaving-like-a-sore-loser/2019/01/02/a7a93b48-0ebe-11e9-831f-3aa2c2be4cbd_story.html

Not everyone is trying to salt the earth on the way out the door.

"There Is At Least One Republican Who Isn't Behaving Like a Sore Loser"

baby steps, i guess

Baby steps indeed. Down near the bottom of the article, we get this:

Mr. Snyder’s record is not spotless. He was complicit in a tricky GOP maneuver to dilute a popular minimum-wage hike and paid-sick-leave mandate behind the backs of voters.
But no mention of the Flint water supply disaster or the abolition of local democracy in several MI cities. For some reason, praise of Snyder for (finally) not acting like a dick reminds me of a line George Will once quoted:

"A horse that can count is a clever horse, not a clever mathematician."

--TP

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