The Thinker: Rich Galen


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It Ain't Over

Rich Galen

Monday January 28, 2018

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  • I am not, as you know by now, Donald J. Trump's biggest fan. Nevertheless, over the past month, he has done something I never thought possible.

  • Trump made me root for Nancy Pelosi.

  • I respect Nancy Pelosi, but I don't like her much. Actually, I don't know her, so "I don't like her politics and policies" would be a more meaningful statement.

  • In 2001 she became the first woman to be House Minority Whip - second in command of the Democrats. That, by the way, was the same post held by Newt Gingrich before he was elevated to Speaker following the election of 1994.

  • In January 2007 Pelosi was elected the first woman Speaker. In the 2006 mid-term elections Ds had picked up 30 seats (10 fewer than last November) and took control of the U.S. House.

  • She was born and raised in the East. Her father was a Congressman from Maryland and later Mayor of Baltimore. She served as an intern in the U.S. Senate before moving to San Francisco where she got into local and state Democratic politics. She rose to the post of Chair of the California Democratic Party and ran for, but lost, a race to be Chair of the National Democratic Party.

  • Pelosi was first elected to the House in a special election in 1987 and has been there ever since - 30 years.

  • I recount all that because someone who has been through the rough and tumble of local, state, and federal politics and come out on top way more often than not, isn't someone to be trifled with when it comes to counting votes and moving (or stopping) legislation.

  • Enter Donald J. Trump whose previous political activity was giving money to whomever he thought could be bought or, at a minimum, helpful if he needed a zoning variance or a favorable ruling on building a casino.

  • I am fully aware that Trump, in spite of not having anything resembling any meaningful political background, got himself elected President of the United States.

  • I get that.

  • But, as of Friday night (and after two years of having his way with a Republican-controlled Congress) he now understands better how the whole thing works: How a bill becomes law. He would be well-served to watch the Schoolhouse Rock version at least once a week during Fox & Friends commercial breaks until he becomes familiar with the process.

  • But …

  • For Donald Trump, the battle over The Wall is not over.

  • Someone pointed out recently that there is no such thing as a "win-win" outcome for Trump. He has to win. You have to lose. It is as constant as the laws of Keplerian celestial mechanics.

  • If an outcome is considered to have been a win-win that means Trump could have squeezed harder, filed more legal actions, told more lies, browbeat more reporters, had Michael Cohen threaten you, and/or have had Roger Stone threaten your dog.

  • One of the reasons Nancy Pelosi won this round of Wall Funding, is because she and her caucus had no downside risk. Every Democrat in the House and Senate has their staff checking the Constitution for requirements for being President.

  • The Constitution, for instance, puts 35 as a minimum age, but alas has no maximum age limit, something - as a 72-year-old - something, about which, I believe we should think seriously.

  • That being the case they are all driving through the corridors of the House and Senate with their left-hand blinkers on, heading to early primary and caucus states, like Southern Floridians heading out for the early bird meatloaf special.

  • So, we had the spectacle of Trump standing in the Rose Garden with senior aides and Cabinet officials who were not furloughed due to the shut-down standing off camera, cheering and applauding like schoolgirls at a … a … I don't know, a Bruno Mars concert.

  • Trump did not admit that, without the threats he has used his entire life to get his way, he is impotent - at least politically. In fact, he Tweeted "I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession."

  • Don't scoff. Trump has, like Steve Jobs had, a "reality distortion field" around him.

  • He's not faking the fact that he doesn't accept that he got creamed by Pelosi. As far has Trump is concerned, the funding/shutdown situation is exactly where it was back on December 22, 2018 when Rs still controlled the Senate and the House.

  • In Trump's mind, he didn't have to give up anything because everything is status quo ante, so what's all the hubbub about?

  • To quote Yogi Berra: "It ain't over 'til it's over."

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A video link to the Schoolhouse Rock "How a Bill Becomes Law," to Nancy Pelosi's bio, to Keplerian mechanics, to the Constitution's rules for being President, and to status quo ante.

    The Mullfoto caught my eye driving home from work Friday evening.

    -- END --

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