Why Is Trump Tanking? Lies and an Unpopular Agenda

Greg Sargent - Why Is Trump Tanking? Lies and an Unpopular AgendaThe health bill, the travel ban, and the border wall are all either defeated or in deep trouble. As veteran Washington consultant David Gergen put it, Trump is “flailing because he doesn’t know where to find his natural allies.”

But if this is so, surely it is partly because the policies are so unpopular. Take health care: Many blame House conservatives for tanking the GOP bill. But more pragmatic GOP lawmakers also played a big role. They opposed it in large part because the policy was so regressive that even they could not abide by it. The plan would have cut over $800 billion in Medicaid spending — which would have left 14 million fewer on Medicaid, according to the Congressional Budget Office — while delivering an enormous tax cut for the rich.

A number of moderate House Republicans opposed the plan precisely because it would have taken coverage away from many of their poorer constituents. Moderates were also alienated in part because the plan was broadly unpopular: A recent poll found that only 17 percent of voters backed the plan, and core Trump voter groups opposed it. The Medicaid cuts were a key reason for that: 74 percent of voters, including 54 percent of Republicans, opposed its Medicaid cuts — revealing broad opposition to its most prominent mechanism for massively rolling back spending to cover poor people. …

Something similar is happening on the travel ban and border wall. The original travel ban, which was blocked by the courts, was the result of a laughably slapdash process that could not conceal its anti-Muslim animus. The new version was also put on hold, in part because Trump and his advisers themselves revealed that its true rationale and goals were very similar, thus making it just as vulnerable to legal challenges, even as its stated rationale has been undercut by Homeland Security’s own analysts. (The fact that there’s no serious rationale for it may help explain why it’s unpopular.) Meanwhile, the wall on the Mexican border may also stumble over one of Trump’s big lies. He claimed Mexico will pay for it, but now that Congress actually has to do so, Republicans are privately saying they don’t really want to fight for that spending. The fact that the wall is also very unpopular probably makes this easier for them. …

Why is Trump tanking? The bottom line is that the ongoing translation of Trump’s agenda into policy specifics is showing that major elements of it are unpopular, or unworkable because they are premised on lies, or both.

–Greg Sargent
Why Is Trump Flailing? Because Americans Hate His Agenda, and It’s Based on Lies.

3 thoughts on “Why Is Trump Tanking? Lies and an Unpopular Agenda

  1. “If you had a brain you’d be dangerous.” Common saying (at least, I’ve heard it often).

    Much of the worst of Trump’s agenda could have been achieved if he’d been a little smarter. Gain allies, take time to make the bills more in accordance to current laws, come up w/ better excuses, not tell so many obvious lies about trivial matters, etc.

    On more than one TV series, the hero lets the villain pursuing him live, saying something like, “If you die, they’d send someone else after me. And I know I can beat you.”

    My concern is this: If Trump resigns or is impeached, will his replacement (Pence, Ryan, whoever) be more competent, and therefore more dangerous?

    • “My concern is this: If Trump resigns or is impeached, will his replacement (Pence, Ryan, whoever) be more competent, and therefore more dangerous?”

      We said the same thing during the primaries: “I hope Trump wins the nomination, because one of the others might have a real chance of winning the general!” Let’s not make that mistake again.

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