For the first time in my lifetime, Republicans have actually won a government shutdown fight. Granted, it was a Democratic shut down, but still, the media tried to present it as the Republicans fault. However pesky facts eventually ruined the narrative.
So how did the “stable genius” pull it off? I’ve written before about the four theories of Trump’s operating system:
- Trump is Insane
- Trump is Mr Magoo
- Trump is putting on a show
- Trump is a 4D Chess master
In the post Fire and Fury era, the media take on Trump’s behavior is that he’s a doddering old man with dementia, who constantly needed his staff to tell him what his position is. Meanwhile Trump is agreeing with every Democratic suggestion, nodding his head, and driving Anne Coulter to pull out every bit of her long blond hair.
The thing is, I’ve seen this show before.
Candidate Trump in August of 2016 had a televised Town Hall with Sean Hannity in which he seemed to backtrack on every single immigration campaign promise he had made, appearing to soften on amnesty and basically toss away the entire raison d’etre of his campaign. Supporters or at least supporters who were with Trump because of immigration were aghast. What was he thinking?
A week later, Trump announced a trip to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. While in Mexico Trump played nice with the Mexican President and pulled off the statesman act. Then he jetted off to Phoenix to deliver an immigration speech in which he double downed on every hardline immigration proposal he had proposed. His supporters? Cheering and back on board! The MSM? Stunned, confused, and angry after declaring that Trump was growing on immigration, and predicting the speech would reveal a new, softened pro amnesty Trump. Instead they got the opposite and they just couldn’t process. This is a cycle that has repeated itself multiple times since then and will no doubt continue.
So let’s break down what Trump did.
First, he performed preparation of the battlefield by doing a public softening of his immigration proposals. This made it easier to go to Mexico and pull off the statesman act without creating a confrontation with the Mexican President. This clearly has elements of a 4D Chess master.
Second, he swung back and fired up the base by standing firm on the immigration principles that had rocketed him to win the Republican primary in the first place. His supporters, after descending into the depths of despair, suddenly rebounded. This was the wrestling show aspect to the Trump show, or maybe it’s more like a Trump Opera; a Trumpera. That the media looked like idiots after their confident predictions was icing on the cake.
This basic structure has been repeated over and over. Overall, it’s theory three; Trump is pulling off a professional wrestling work, with a storyline that includes massive swings of emotion by the audience, fear and betrayal, and then a swing of reproachment and then glorious victory.
It’s basically the plotline of The Fate of the Furious.
And this is what Trump pulled off dealing DACA, and Chuck Schumer, off the table and into a total surrender. And as long as the media and the Democrats can’t view Trump as anything more than an emotional, childlike idiot with dementia, it should keep working.