Four Theories on Trump vs Sessions

My general thoughts and feelings on Trump’s constant attacking of Jeff Sessions is that it’s disgraceful and shows poor leadership to be attacking a loyal subordinate in such a passive aggressive (and sometimes not so passive) and very public way.  Sessions isn’t in some random cabinet post; he’s the Attorney General, and almost everything that Trump wants in domestic policy depends on Sessions.  That’s doubly true when you’re talking about issues like immigration.  Sessions is really the only “Trumpist” in the cabinet.  Everyone else could care less about Trump’s ideas.  So without Sessions; there is no logical replacement (or at least one that the Senate would confirm-Sorry Kris Kobach) to carry on Trump’s policies.  Regardless of what happened to the rest of Trump’s Presidency, Trumpism would be over.

So why would Trump be acting in such a crazy way?  CNN has beclowned itself trying to puzzle that one out, but going through the interwebs, I’ve seen 4 theories that might explain Trump’s attack on his only ally, Jeff Sessions.

One.  Trump’s a madman.

In this case, Trump is just as he appears to be.  He’s gone into a rage because of the Mueller investigation, and can’t stop himself from sniping at Sessions because he doesn’t really want to fire him but wants him gone and hopes if he is humiliated publicly often enough, Sessions will just resign.  Who Trump gets to replace him and how that takes care of his Mueller issue are just problems for another day.  The main thing is to get rid of someone who Trump feels failed him.  That this will damage him with a large section of the conservative base doesn’t matter.  Trump angry now!

Two.  Trump is Mr. Magoo.

This is the theory of the Lion of the Blogosphere.  According to the Lion, Trump is just bouncing around from situation to situation, but through sheer luck and happenstance; he winds up smelling like a rose. Trump’s speech in which he mentioned the effects of immigration in Sweden is a good example. After making a comment about the problems being caused in Sweden by immigrants, Trump was roundly mocked on social media and the weekend political shows, only to have immigrant riots break out in Sweden days later.  Was Trump a prescient social scientist, or did he get lucky on counting on Muslims being Muslim?  My magic 8 ball says “signs point to yes.”  In any case, Trump one; Media smart-asses zero.

Three.  Trump is pulling a professional wrestlingwork.” Having worked with professional wrestling before, Trump is well aware how wrestling is much more like a soap opera for dudes than an athletic contest.  There is a lot of drama in the wrestling story lines and sometimes a heel can get into a feud and then it turns out he has a secret alliance with the babyface!  Yeah!  The day is saved!  In this scenario, Trump and Sessions are working together to draw out and crystallize support for Sessions by having Trump attacking him.  Suddenly, every media person and Democrat (I know, same thing) who hated Sessions suddenly rush to his support. This gives Sessions freedom of action for things that will be unpopular to the Democrats/Media because if Trump is mad at Sessions, that must be good.

Four.  5D Chess. In the Scott Adams version, Trump is like Spock, if Spock were a New York real estate developer and hotel and casino owner.  Actually, that’s not a bad idea for a Star Trek spin off:  Star Trek: Las Vulcan.  Where pleasure is logical… In this scenario, Trump is running all of the various media scenarios through his mind palace, war gaming the responses of the various media networks and politicians to insulate Sessions from future criticism similar to theory three; set a public distance between Sessions and Trump to give Sessions a free hand.

Which do I think is the mostly likely?  Well I think we’ve seen signs of all four over the course of the Trump campaign and Presidency, although there could well be a lot of overlap.  When Trump tweeted the punching CNN gif, did he know what the media reaction would be and that it ultimately would make the media look extremely stupid, or did he Mr Magoo his way into that situation?  It’s hard to say.  There is a lot of overlap between theories one and two and theories three and four.  But when it comes to Sessions, I hope it’s a theory three & four scenario, but I fear it may be a theory one & two.

 

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Scott Walker Peaking Too Early?

Scott Walker’s “surprise” win of the Kansas Straw Poll may be a shock to the establishment, but its zero surprise to me. Walker’s win has generated a flurry of articles on Walker as well as an appearance on This Week. But as far back as a year ago, I predicted Walker would probably be the best all around choice for the 2016 Republican primary process. He’s a governor of a purple/blue State who rose to national prominence battling the budget, pension reform, and unions.  He is attractive to both establishment types for a solid record of actually winning, and grass roots types for the ability to take on and wrestle to the ground left leaning special interests; something that’s not seen much these days.Scott Walker

Walker’s national prominence came about with his fight with Wisconsin public sector unions.  I wrote about the skirmish back in 2011 and thought at the time that Walker’s victory could have spelled the beginning of the end for public sector unions.  Alas, so far that victory has remained just Walker’s.   But the enmity he earned from both local and national Democrats and the left in general lead to a recall election, which Walker won handily.

By Republican standards, Walker is a stand out success story.  He battled the left and rather than backing down under a barrage of negative press, which Republicans traditionally do, Walker stuck to his guns and won a pretty substantial victory. Compare that to Jeb Bush, who’s sat out the various political battles since the 1990’s and now expects to ride in on a golden, donor financed chariot to be crowned the nominee based on the divine right of Bushes.

The Republicans do have a deep bench, at least compared to the Democrats.  In fact the Democrat’s bench consists of one person, Hillary Clinton.  If she gets sick, the Dems are in trouble for 2016. But the Republican’s bench consists of establishment types that are anathema to the base of the party, like Jeb Bush, and social conservative types that are anathema to the establishment like Mike Huckabee. The converged area on the Venn diagram of candidates that both the base and establishment can live with is almost as limited as the Democrats presidential bench.

Walker’s major problem with the base is his immigration position.  Walker has tried to be cagey and hold every position on the issue at once.  He has both supported a path to citizenship and made vague comments about fixing the system.”  However the fixing doesn’t seem to include border security or a wall.  In other words, he’s a pro amnesty open borders type, which should please the establishment wing.  Although I would love to make amnesty a disqualifier, the fact is there are no, I mean zero commonly mentioned Republican potential 2016 candidates that oppose amnesty.

In any case if Walker does enter the race, he’ll have to quit being cagy about immigration and speak directly to the issue.

But immigration isn’t even his biggest problem yet.  When I made my prediction on Walker last year, it was based on the idea that the talking heads and establishment media wouldn’t pay any attention to Walker until at least the Iowa Caucuses. But the results of the Kansas straw poll show that plenty of other Republicans were thinking along the same lines as I was.  The media has rediscovered Walker this week and they will remember in short order that they despise him. Walker is like Sarah Palin and Allen West combined, with a little Tom DeLay sprinkled on top. It’s too bad he couldn’t have flown under the radar a while longer, but if there is one Republican who knows how to fight back, it’s Scott Walker.

 

Why Elites Love Low Skilled Immigration

Let me offer a hat tip to the Lion of the Blogosphere for alerting me to a year and a half old column written by the New York Time’s house conservative, David BrooksCalling Brooks a conservative is a bit of a stretch.  As a Columnist for the New York Times and regular contributor to PBS’s News Hour, referring to Brooks as a conservative is akin to describing the Commander in Chief Barrack Obama as a soldier.  It’s probably more apt to describe his politics as me-too Republicanism.  That basically describes the Republican Party from the FDR era up until the age of Reagan.  They were for whatever the Democrats were for, only not as much.  Democrats would propose a program, the Republicans would say, “OK, but that program is too big. We need to trim it down.”  The Democrats would say OK and they would work out a number, not as big as first proposed, but still big, and there you go, bipartisan compromise.

English: David Brooks

English: David Brooks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Me-too Republicanism.

As a commentator, Brooks seems to bring nothing to the table.  I’ve watched him many times over the years expound on the conventional wisdom of the day on The News Hour.  His opinions were banal and shared by everyone in his class.  He could have written the ‘Conventional Wisdom Watch’ column for Newsweek.  And of course, he was in love with Obama, famously deciding that Obama would make a great President after staring (too long I think) at the crease in Obama’s pants.

So it’s no surprise that Brooks is a supporter of amnesty and open borders immigration.  After all, everyone in his class is.  That’s the dominate view of the cocktail party set.  Brook’s column is loaded with a pablum of open borders clichés, and inaccuracies that have been debunked multiple times, but what got my attention was this comment:

 

“Thanks to the labor of low-skill immigrants, the cost of food, homes and child care comes down, living standards rise and more women can afford to work outside the home.”

 

That remark leapt out at me, so revealing as it was of the class that Brooks is a part of; wealthy, urban, liberal, and totally disconnected and unattached to the rest of the country.  Yes, food is cheaper.  But it’s cheaper because we are allowing growers to ignore actual agricultural visas and employ illegals far cheaper than they would have to pay foreign, but legal workers.  Child care, however, isn’t cheaper.  For the struggling middle class shopping for day care is as expensive as it’s ever been.  But Brooks doesn’t mean day care, he means nannies.  For that class, that’s what child care means.

Brooks is justifying a permanent underclass to keep him and his buddies in the cocktail party circuit awash in cheap nannies and arugula.  His cheap food and labor argument could have been used, and probably was used, by some southern senator in the 1850’s justifying slavery.  “Ahh say suh…(yes I’m imagining him as Foghorn Leghorn) the institution of slavery is needed to provide cheap and plentiful food and clothing for all, as well as mammies to raise ouah babies so we can pursue self actualizing careers…”  OK that last bit is more Brooks than Foghorn Leghorn, but you get the idea,

Putting it another way, Brooks could be saying, “Thanks to the labor of our slaves, the cost of food, homes and child care comes down…”Slaves, serfs, proles, no matter what you call them, a life dependent on keeping a permanent underclass so that you can live your dreams because you are crushing theirs is fundamentally un-American.  And unstable. The elites want a life of plentiful servants, just like they see on Downton Abbey, and to do that they are willing to crush wage rates among the native poor, working class, and middle class.

You can’t be an Eloi without the Morlocks, but eventually the Molocks will turn on you.