Thursday, March 16, 2017

Appeasement is Futile


Paul Ryan fucked up. Again. The leading Republican Congressman doesn't seem to comprehend a rule that any creature capable of basic pattern matching should understand by now: there is no benefit to appeasing the left. What good has ever come of it? What do so-called conservatives expect? Do they think the left will say, "oh look, they're acting in good faith....let's do the same" or "well we've gotten reasonable concessions, no need to demand more." Has that ever happened? Can someone provide any recent example?

Likewise, a conservative has never benefited for admitting wrongdoing. After a successful witchhunt do liberals ever say, "Well he's admitted to the transgression and apologized, that's the important thing." No, they always double down. Apologies are merely admissions of guilt. Once they get your confession, they go for your job. They hate that Trump (almost) never apologizes. And of course they do! He's depriving them of one of their most potent weapons. That's why he's in the White House, and lefty appeasers like McCain and Ryan handed Obama an easy re-election win.

Ryan catered to the left, giving them everything they could have hoped for in the Omnibus Bill. All of Obama's leftist agenda was well-funded. Ryan couldn't have appeased them more if he tried. The result? Well, the media left him alone, even praised him, for a while. That was great for his career...he was Washington's golden boy! But where is he now? He's pushing for a healthcare "reform" bill that keeps the major tenets of Obamacare in place. The left should love this bill. No, it's not ideal; they'd rather have liberals in office pushing for socialist state-run health care. But considering that both houses are Republican, the states are supermajority Republican, the Supreme Court will soon be fairly conservative again, and the President is a Republican who ran on the promise of repealing Obamacare, this is the best they could ever reasonably hope for. And yet they are shitting all over it and shitting all over him. It doesn't matter to them one little bit that he has twice now worked to get Democrats the best possible deal they could ask for.

Ryan and Trump are both screwing this up. Frankly, I'm surprised at Trump. His core business strategy is to always have leverage. You start with the conservative plan and negotiate from there. And you force all the RINOs in congress to take the stance of rejecting the conservative plan for all to see. Instead, they've started with the liberal plan. What do they hope to achieve? The conservatives hate it because it's the liberal plan, and the liberals hate it because they don't care what the plan is, they're not going to support any Republican-sponsored healthcare plan no matter what it is. We can understand Ryan's decision to push the healthcare plan. He appeases the left. That's what he does. I'm not saying he's an idiot, a wimp, or a traitor, but anonymous insider sources tell me that he is. Why does Trump support the plan? He knows the plan is a shit sandwich and fails his basic tenets of negotiation strategy. Why such warm support for it? Is he that desperate to score a legislative win? Many of his supporters believe he is playing the long con: that he is letting Ryan's plan die on its own. By appearing to openly support the proposal no establishment Republicans will be able to blame him for the bill's failure. The left will attack him for losing a legislative fight of course, but who cares, they'll attack him no matter what! That's the beauty of not appeasing the left: you don't have to worry about what they're going to think. Politically the best course for Trump is if the subpar legislation dies, nothing happens this year, and Obamacare continues to fail under its own weight until even liberals are begging him to do something. But he is adamant to get healthcare done first. His dedication to fix the worst things first is admirable, but he needs to play the political game right to extract the best long-term results.

Update: Rand Paul gets it

Tax Returns

The left has obsessed over Trump's tax returns for a year now, reaching fever pitch during the election when they seemed to categorize his decision to withhold them as a criminal act. Never mind that the whole thing is an idiotic tradition; they just wanted anything they might use to attack him. Trump's decision to withhold was a thing of beauty. Could anything be more affirming that he is the right guy? If he had released his taxes, they would have found something to promote as scandalous. And if he didn't, they'd attack him for that. So why appease them at all? What's the benefit?

Trump didn't appease. He chose not to give up his leverage in return for no benefit. It may have seemed peculiar at the time. "Why wouldn't he just give them the returns to shut them up?" says the RINO who only understands the strategy of appeasement. "And besides, what leverage could those returns possibly give him after the election?" Those people don't understand the power of leverage, whatever it is, and the stupidity of appeasement, whatever it is. Trump operated on those fundamental principles, and he just scored an enormous political windfall out of it. Instead of using his weapons in futile self-defense, he held on to them and used them to bait his enemies into an epic defeat. 

Appeasement: don't do it

Leverage: if you don't have some, get some


Finally, let's look at immigration. Trump originally crafted an immigration order in strict compliance with legal precedents and statutes. He didn't really have to; the president has authority in those areas. But it doesn't matter. The left found a judge to rule in their favor who didn't even bother to mention the relevant legal codes. Why should he? They don't care what the law says.

So Trump backed off, withdrew the order, and wrote another softer order. This all smells like appeasement. It has now been overturned by a federal judge in Hawaii. The reality seems to be that the president can't do anything so long as even one federal judge disagrees with him. How does Trump fight back against those judges without getting himself into legal trouble himself? That is the question. But there are tactics at his disposal. First, he needs to throw out red herrings to distract them. Attention getting orders that will occupy the left while the real orders pass through quietly. Sure the left will eat him up for scripting illegal orders. They're going to anyway. He'll just have to be careful that legally minded conservatives don't get too annoyed.

He'll have to pick up the dirty habits of his predecessors. Cite national security wherever possible so that orders can be classified. Establish clandestine backchannels. He always has the nuclear option of a temporary ban on all immigration, citing security concerns. Remember, When They Go Low, We Go Low. Yeah he'll get a little swampy in the process, but it's that or have his presidency completely steam-rolled by the 9th Short-Circuit Court. And finally he needs to be appointing judges with one primary criterion: that they will return the favor of judicial obstructionism when the next Democratic president is in power. (God forbid). We'll have to assume that Trump, who maintains leverage and recoils from appeasement, is working diligently to outmaneuver the tyrannical judiciary.

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