Donald Trump does so want to appear to be in charge and more than that, even, he wants to staunch those terrible rumors that the game is over and he’s being consigned to the dust bin of irrelevancy. So even though he walked away from COVID-19 negotiations last week and went golfing, he needs to appear to be the eye of the hurricane, the only one who is calm and handling things, while chaos reigns all around him, as unemployment benefits and the Paycheck Protection Program end.
It’s not known if one of his aides persuaded him to interrupt his vacation and at least give the appearance of doing a spot of leadership but in any event, Trump decided to announce his executive orders Saturday night, in front of a live audience of wine drinking, uber wealthy Bedminster club members. He also bragged about how he’s been personally involved in negotiations all along — even though he contradicted himself and said that he was involved “through my representatives,” i.e. Mnuchin and Meadows. In any event, according to Trump, he’s so ferociously on top of the issue that the Democrats are in awe and dying to confer with him on details. The only problem with that allegation, is that nobody on that side of the aisle knows anything about it. Politico:
SHOT: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP said this Sunday evening about restarting Covid relief negotiations: “The Democrats have called. They’d like to get together. And we say if it’s not a waste of time, we’ll do it. … I hear that Nancy Pelosi wants to call, and she wants to see if she can do something. But they’re much more inclined to make a deal now than they would’ve been two days ago,” TRUMP said at the Morristown, N.J., airport. Video
CHASER: Two senior Democratic aides told us Sunday night Speaker NANCY PELOSI and Senate Minority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER have had no contact with the White House since the Friday meeting with MARK MEADOWS and STEVEN MNUCHIN. Unless it’s SCHUMER and PELOSI calling, it doesn’t matter — generally speaking.
Trump might be careful what he wishes for. The last time that Nancy Pelosi spoke to Trump was over a year ago, at the time of the last government shut down, where she humiliated him and he eventually was forced to cave in over the budget. That same scenario is likely to repeat, because his unilateral rewriting of the tax code may sound impressive to low information people, but it doesn’t work that way.
But what’s really going on is that it is Trump who is dying to speak to the Democrats. That’s evidenced by his plaintive tweet, “They know my phone number!”
So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it. Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were “hardliners”, and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
Well, at least he’s not calling them Chuck and Nancy, or Charlie and Lucy, or something else out of a cartoon about kids. That’s some improvement.
Plus, Trump’s irrelevancy is way beyond wishful thinking on the part of Democrats, as he would wish to characterize it. It’s very real. He’s done nothing but engineer it himself with his mind numbingly stupid and uninformed comments, most recently on the explosion in Beirut, which Trump characterized as a “terrible attack.” Washington Post:
More than 3½ years into his presidency, Trump increasingly finds himself minimized and ignored — as many of his more outlandish or false statements are briefly considered and then, just as quickly, dismissed. The slide into partial irrelevance could make it even more difficult for Trump as he seeks reelection as the nation’s leader amid a pandemic and economic collapse. […]
Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, a political consulting firm with a global emphasis, said that when Trump made his claim about the bomb in Lebanon, much of the global community intuitively understood that the president “is inclined to think that of course it must be terrorism because it’s the Middle East and people blow up stuff up there.”
“And so he said it, and it’s stupid, but after almost four years of Trump, we all kind of know that he doesn’t really listen to experts and briefings,” Bremmer said…. “They understand that a lot of stuff that Trump says does not remotely equate to policy and they’ve had enough experience with that to understand, most of them, when you can just tune it out,” he said.
This is Trump’s credibility in the world. This is where he has taken the United States in terms of its credibility as a nation. They just tune him out.