Saturday, March 24, 2018

Signing the Omnibus; Playing the long game.

Yesterday was March 23rd 2018. 

For many conservatives, libertarians, or just those who are fiscally inclined, it was a day of tragedy as President of the United States Donald J. Trump signed an Omnibus spending bill.  The Omnibus; apparently so named for it's inclusion of not just multiple smaller expenditure and fiscal request bills but also bills that had little to do with the budgetary matters; was described as a Christmas Gift for Liberals and Democrats. The entirety of the Bill's passage was a near repeat of the failing Affordable Care Act, with a ludicrously short period of time between the bill's introduction and it's vote on the House and Senate floors. The bill contained boondoggles such as a tunnel favored by Chuck Schumer; as well as continued federal funding of Planned Parenthood's Eugenics program against African Americans. 

In short; the Omnibus was little more than a Democrat's wet dream of spending proposals that flew in direct opposition to everything GOP candidates ran on in 2016. It was ramrodded through Congress by the GOP Establishment Swamp working hand in hand with Democrats to betray the American Voter.

It was also...

A Trap.

Just a few days before the Omnibus was set into motion there was a fundraiser held by the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2018 elections. President Donald J. Trump spoke at that fundraiser and explicitly told attendees what conservative's have been saying for years. The Republicans needed to move further to the right-wing on their policies; because the Democrat's were continuously moving further left. The Republican strategy of fielding "Middle Of the Road" candidates has not been, and will never be, a winning strategy. There has to be a visible ideological difference between candidates. 

Looking over history the most odd aspect of the Presidency of Donald J. Trump is the Republican Party itself. Traditionally once a President has been elected; that President becomes the Defacto Leader of that party. Throughout all of my life I've witnessed Obama, Clinton, both Bushes, and Reagan be the center of their political party.  Not so with President Donald J. Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have exhibited behavior that indicates they believe they are in charge of the Republican Party; not the President. This came to a point in a recent election when a Political Action Party attached to Paul Ryan crossed Party Lines and actively campaigned against a GOP Contender aligned with President Donald J. Trump. 

So it was without any surprise that the GOP Establishment Swamp quickly came up with a plan to get back at President Donald J. Trump for telling them to get out of the middle of the road. The plan was simple in it's implementation. The GOP Establishment Swamp would work with Democrat's to craft a budget bill stuffed with all the pork the Democrat's wanted; none of the funding that US Citizens voted for in 2016; and carrying numerous amendment riders that flew in direct violation of the ideologies already litigated upon and decided against in the 2016 elections. The Omnibus Bill would also be given an aggressively short time between introduction and voting to ensure that no members of Congress would be able to adequately examine or debate on the bill. To make the bill plausible though; it would also substantially fund the US Military. 

The GOP Establishment Swamp knew for a fact, in their own minds, that President Trump would never sign such a bill. President Trump would never sign a bill that ran contrary to everything that Candidate Trump had campaigned on. There were no conditions in which President Trump would risk the ire of his voting base. There were no circumstances in which the bill would not be vetoed. 

Thus; the trap was set.

As soon as President Trump vetoed the bill; which he would; the GOP Establishment Swamp would immediately use the Veto as Proof that President Trump was not willing to sign ANY bipartisan legislation; and thus that President Trump was LYING about making a deal on DACA or Self Defense Regulations. Furthermore; the GOP Establishment Swamp would then also be positioned to claim that President Trump was lying about supporting the Military.

Except... that didn't happen.

President Trump called the GOP Establishment Swamp's bluff.

Why Call The Bluff? National Security?

What the GOP Establishment Swamp hadn't counted on was two factors. 

The first factor was the replacement of GOP Establishment Swamp Ally McMaster with the WarHawk Ambassador John Bolton. With McMaster in place the GOP Establishment Swamp had a fairly reliable ally who would inform President Trump that the US was already in possession of the most advanced weaponry and that Military funding could wait. With Bolton; that distraction went down hard.

I realize that there are a significant number of people who have issues with Ambassador John Bolton; and I do have to admit that many of those issues are perhaps significant enough to warrant a separate discussion. That being said; I do believe that Ambassador Bolton has an accurate grasp of the reality of the National Security of the United States. I do believe that Ambassador Bolton has an accurate grasp of the reality of the National Security of the Allies and Trade Partners of the United States.

It is my opinion that Ambassador Bolton sees China as an increasingly aggressive world player that may be at the point of opening an attack against Taiwan. It is my opinion that Ambassador Bolton views North Korea as a ticking time bomb where the biggest danger isn't necessarily an attack by the North Koreans; but a distribution of North Korean resources to terrorists and dictatorships. So on down the list it goes to Russian and Iran. The Clinton and Obama pacification and appeasement has not been working. Case in point; Putin is now claiming that Russia has a hyper-sonic missile that can get past the Patriot Missile Defense Network. I don't believe Putin is crazy enough to actually throw the first punch... but traditional Russian Weapons Nation Customers such as Iran or Turkey? Yes. Oh so yes.

Just to drive this point home; we know for an established fact now that members of the Obama Administration were reaching out to leaders of nations and groups that Obama engaged in appeasement with after the 2016 election. We know for an established fact that these nations and groups were told to be patient and resist Trump. We also know for an established fact that the reason the Obama Administration members gave for resisting Trump is that those members of Obama Administration flat told the leaders of those nations and groups that Trump would be impeached within a calendar year.  

Think about that for a second. Some of the most unstable dictators and terrorists in the world have had Democrats shouting in their ears for over a calendar year to just wait until those Democrats had removed Trump from office. With the FBI's "Insurance Policy" crashing down; with the House Of Representative's Investigation finding zero collusion; with the wave of emails and texts clearly showing that the Obama Administration was the most corrupt Administration in the history of the United States... with all of that... does anybody really think that the collection of unstable dictators and terrorists appeased by the Obama Administration are just going to... sing KumBaYa... attach daisy flowers to their turbans... sit and smoke a peace pipe?  Really?  

It is with a realistic view of the threats arrayed against the United States; the allies of the United States; and the trading partners of the United States; that I believe Ambassador Bolton likely advised President Trump that funding the military couldn't wait. Research and Design programs needed to be cranked back up; facilities needed to be repaired; in-service equipment needed to be overhauled; and Soldiers needed to start being paid what they were worth for their service. 

Why Call the Buff? The Long Game?

The second factor that the GOP Establishment Swamp had not counted on is that President Trump is very good at playing a long game. The vast expanse of President Trump's real estate assets weren't built on short-tail economic practices. Winery's and Hotels are business's that have to be constructed to last decades; if not generations. 

When playing a long game it sometimes becomes required to, well, take one for the team. Vetoing the Omnibus bill would delight the vast majority of legally voting American Citizens for the moment. How would that veto play in the November elections though?

How would the GOP Establishment Swamp spin the veto? Would they, as already noted, use a veto to claim that President Trump was not actually open to bipartisan deals? Would they use the veto to indicate that President Trump was not actually willing to fund the military? 

More importantly; how would it affect the political party of the Democrats? With a vast majority of legal voting American Citizens against the Omnibus; sending the collection of bills rolled up into the Omnibus back to Congress would only give legal voters time to express their displeasure. Politicians who ride polls for each and every decision would undoubtedly abandon an attempt to force a 2/3 majority override of the veto. Various bills would be sent back to committee; and a number of the pork projects that Liberal Democrats want would likely never be able to pass a future congress. 

Who Would Those Liberal Democrat's Blame?

The obvious answer is: Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Both DNC leaders are currently fighting to maintain their control and grip over the various members of the DNC. A veto of the Omnibus would have only strengthened the positions of elected Democrat's like Conor Lamb who ran on Anti-Pelosi platforms. 

While disarray in the DNC might be seen as a good thing; the reality is that Pelosi and Schumer keep pushing the DNC further and further leftward. Removing their influence could, in theory, allow the Democratic Party to actually go through a resurgence and reclaim disenchanted and disillusioned voters. Which is a bad thing to have happen. 

That's the long game that I think President Trump had in mind.

Bait. Set. Hook. Game. Wait, Who Won?

By signing the Omnibus bill President Trump stepped square into the trap set by the GOP Establishment Swamp; performing the exact action the GOP Establishment Swamp had never considered President Trump could actually commit. President Trump ticked off his supporters.

Deliberately. 

The fallout was immediate across many of the sources I keep track of. Press Releases were cancelled, emergency meetings were called, and memos circulated like wildfires. Collectively; the winners of the Omnibus bill weren't acting like winners.

DNC Agitators had lost their public relations victory by the very act of President Trump signing an ostensibly bipartisan piece of legislation. Far from being able to present a President who was unwilling to deal; DNC Agitators found themselves once again called out for their own refusal to deal on subjects the DNC Agitators had previously said they were willing to fight for. Need I remind readers of how DNC Agitators turned and ran from DACA once it suddenly became a possibility that one of the most despised over-reaches of power in the Obama Administration could actually go through a proper legislative process? 

Active members of the DNC Resistance against Pelosi and Schumer were likewise engaged in twiddling their thumbs and looking morosely at each other. The sheer amount of pork brought home by the dynamic duo once again made the Pelosi and Schumer leadership ticket untouchable in the eyes of DNC donors. Far from fragmenting the DNC and creating an environment in which Anti-Pelosi tickets could attract big-donor-backers; the DNC has once against found itself in a position where donors will once again only back candidates who have the approval of Pelosi and Schumer. 

The GOP Establishment Swamp found their names inextricably tied to one of the worst fiscal bills in the history of the United States. They had placed all their eggs in the basket with a presidential veto. Like DNC Agitators the planned propaganda had vanished with the swish of a pen. Instead of planting a target on President Trump; the GOP Establishment Swamp found themselves directly in the path of outraged voters. 

From what I observed the DNC Agitators, Anti-Pelosi contingent, and GOP Establishment Swamp were at a complete loss of what to do in the wake of the Omnibus signing.

President Trump's supporters knew exactly what to do. 

Typically in election history the party that takes the Presidential Slot looses congressional seats in the subsequent 2 year elections. There are any number of theories as to why this is so; but the dominant factor is likely voter engagement. The loosing party in an election, if they intend to run again, typically take some time to figure out who they didn't appeal to, why they didn't appeal to those voters, and what can be done to be made appealing to those voters. Ergo the loosing party does not stop engaging with voters and thus keep a running momentum.

The winning party, however, doesn't really see a need to change their approach. They won. If things don't go so well in the years between elections; then the re-election campaign is all about blaming somebody else for things going bad. If things went well, the re-election campaign is all about keeping things at the status-quo. Ergo; the winning party can stop engaging with voters and the momentum of winning is lost.  

With a dramatically successful 2017 under President Trump's belt; it's very easy to imagine the Trump Supporter base sitting back on it's laurels. The economy is moving again; the Obama Era Regulations are biting the dust; taxes have been lowered; and paychecks are going up. Across 2015 and 2016 the Trump Supporters were fighting for their very livelihoods; fighting to take back control from an openly corrupt administration. 

In 2018? Everything's fine? What's to worry or panic about?

Then President Trump tossed a hand grenade into his supporter base.

As the day wore on I tracked a number of potential candidates for congressional seats nationwide taking stances on what they would repeal from the Omnibus if they were elected to office; taking stances on approving President Trump's request for Line-Item-Veto's of passed legislation; and openly committing to helping President Trump's aim to Make America Great Again by preventing such an abuse of legislative rail-roading by getting into office and forcing Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan out of their offices. 

Within hours of the signing of the Omnibus bill; the voting base that carried President Trump into office in the face of a hostile purchased media, a rigged election, and a mandated coronation was in a full-blooded red-tilt frenzy. From what I tracked donations to #MAGA candidates soared as legal US Voters dug into their pockets to help elect representatives who would fight against the DNC and GOP Establishment Swamp.

In Total

By signing the Omnibus bill President Trump managed to pull off an exceptional series of subsequent actions. 

President Trump managed to ensure that Pelosi and Schumer retained their top positions in DNC Leadership; ensuring that DNC candidates in November would be cut from the same cloth that Legal US Voters abhor. 

President Trump managed to nail the GOP Establishment Swamp into taking specific voting positions on everything from Gun Control to Planned Parenthood that are deeply unpopular with Legal US Voters. Now the GOP Establishment Swamp will have to answer for their votes at the election poll; instead of being let off the hook by a veto.

President Trump managed to reignite the fire and passion in his base. Some might argue the fire and passion never went away; but the ripples of candidates saying "Never another Omnibus" went from shore to shore. 

President Trump managed to fund the military. After years of being turned into a giant social experiment by an openly corrupt administration there is much work to be done to once again establish the US Military as the one force other nations can turn to for help and security. 

Was all that worth another round of deficit spending; ticked off voters; and fulfilling pork projects voters already said no to?

I'm thinking... Yes.

I do think President Trump made the right decision; both in the military aspect; and the aspect of what will happen come the November elections. 
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