Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trump's short attention span

A couple of weeks ago, National Review editor-in-chief Rich Lowry gave a talk at Amherst College.  The audience was very respectful (this was in the wake of the Middlebury College incident) and Lowry gave a review of the past election and what Trump means for America.

One story I thought was interesting in hindsight.  Allegedly, Speaker Paul Ryan has a standard presentation to review policy and procedure in Congress but it's a half-hour long.  Concerned that the new President wouldn't be inclined to sit around that long, Ryan abridged the presentation to six minutes.  According to Lowry, Trump lasted all of 90 seconds into the stripped-down presentation and waved it away, saying "I get it, I get it."

That anecdote seems entirely plausible given this Politico report:
Donald Trump had heard enough about policy and process. It was Thursday afternoon and members of the House Freedom Caucus were peppering the president with wonkish concerns about the American Health Care Act—the language that would leave Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” in place, the community rating provision that limited what insurers could charge certain patients, and whether the next two steps of Speaker Paul Ryan’s master plan were even feasible—when Trump decided to cut them off.

"Forget about the little s---," Trump said, according to multiple sources in the room. "Let's focus on the big picture here."
This report confirms all the stereotypes and predictions made about Trump: he has no patience for the details of complicated legislation, he is dismissive of his peers, and alienates the very people he needs to advance his agenda.  The meeting with Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows is a perfect example: instead of listening to the Congressman's concerns, Trump indicated he expected his party's support so Meadows better get on board.

Meadows did not.


Anonymous said...

Trump is so lazy and politically ignorant that he didn't even know that by calling out Meadows in front of his political caucus, he was sealing his own doom. Good thing he has an excellent, talented staff to guide and advise him in these matters.

And talk about Trump's empty threat about "coming after" Meadows. Chances are excellent that a Congressman would remember what happened the last time Trump "came after" a Congressman, by backing Paul Ryan's primary challenger last August. On election day, the Trump Effect crippled Ryan's support, dropping it from 80% in polling all the way down to 84% of the vote.

Paul Sand said...

Also, don't forget: no core political principles.

Anonymous said...

Trump hires only the best people, the best.

Yesterday on Slate:
The New York Times reports that chief strategist Steve Bannon kept on pushing President Donald Trump to pressure the health care vote to move forward so that an “enemies list” could be compiled of all those who voted against the measure. The president’s legislative affairs director, Marc Short, was also pushing the same idea.

The Times story appears to confirm earlier reports from the Daily Beast that quoted an official saying that Bannon called on the president “to keep a shit list on this.” The unnamed official added: “Not sure if I’d call it an ‘enemies list,’ per se, but I wouldn’t want to be on it.” Another aide described it as a “hit list” for Republicans who were not loyal to the president.

Earlier, Bannon had basically told Republican lawmakers they had no choice but to vote for the bill. In Axios, Mike Allen writes that when members of the House Freedom Caucus visited the White House earlier this week, Bannon had a very undiplomatic opening line: “Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill,” Bannon said. Needless to say, the lawmakers were decidedly unimpressed. “The last time someone ordered me to something, I was 18 years old. And it was my daddy. And I didn't listen to him, either,” one lawmaker answered.

Twitter said...

Judd Legum on Twitter:
Trump has done everything possible to repeal Obamacare including 5 visits to Mar-a-lago, 9 trips to the golf course & sitting in a big truck