Healthcare seems to have ended up where Trump needs it to be. Pretty well everyone now knows there will have to be a bipartisan solution, even if they still pretend otherwise.
Of course people can keep pretending and blame Trump for trying and failing to make things worse, or not trying to make things better. But healthcare has now reached a joint House/Senate conference from where it can only be resolved with bipartisan support for proposals that actually make it better.
Any such measures will also require increased deficits that are also needed by Trump for economic conditions conducive to re-election.
Meanwhile both wings of the Democrats are converging towards Trumpist popularism – with even the “lite” version preparing for a two party system with both parties isolationist, and protectionist:
Before that consolidates I would expect a 4 way split in 2020 with Trump in the strongest position for a second term (from House of Representatives voting by States after Electoral College deadlock).
Other recent developments are easier to fit into the prevailing assumptions that Trump is blundering helplessly into oblivion.
(1) The appointment of Scarramucci certainly fits. Even a stopped clock gets it right a couple of times a day. I gave up trying to guess where Trump might go on international affairs after concluding that Mike Flynn was deranged. My guess is there is no better explanation than that this appointment was a total blunder:
(2) Trump’s campaign against Sessions also looks like a blunder and one less easily corrected and more plausibly indicative of the wheels falling off.
But I’m not convinced of the popular explanations:
- It isn’t preparation for sacking Mueller to stop the Russia inquiry by first getting an (acting) Attorney-General that isn’t recused from interfering. Trump wants the focus on Russia as explained in previous notes in this series. Conceivably Trump is worried that Mueller may need to be stopped from going outside Russia issues to look into Trump’s shady financial dealings generally. But that doesn’t explain an approach that irritates so many Trump supporters that he needs for his primary focus on mobilizing his base.
- General craziness, stupidity and thuggishness isn’t an adequate explanation for anything. He doesn’t mind being “misunderestimated” as George W Bush would say.
I don’t have a good explanation but strongly suspect it isn’t just another blunder.
Best I can tentatively come up with are:
1. Reminder to “movement” activists that he’s the boss and the base they organize is his, not theirs. Both Fox and Breitbart can grumble but they have just confirmed that they have no potential to rally behind some alernative leader.
This could become important as we get closer to an open fight around 2018 primaries. (Also for subsequent pivot to immigration reform that Sessions won’t support).
2. Now that Sessions is everybody’s hero could be a good opportunity for legal counter-attack against the fairly open coup-mongering by the deep state/Obama holdovers. Certainly if Sessions doesn’t start some prosecutions of leakers and investigations of Democrats “collusion” etc soon he would be confirming Trump’s complaint about “weakness”.
Could also be fun appointing a special counsel to investigate Democrat collusion with Ukrainian retaliation against US and Russia waging proxy wars in their elections. Comes just after hysteria that Donald Jr was willing to accept evidence of Clinton collusion with Russians from Russians!