Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Cunning


He's not as stupid as a lot of experts think. A political science professor:

There is no irony in it because, although President Trump didn't fight for a second stimulus, in September he

called on Congress to approve a fresh round of $1,200 stimulus checks for American families by reallocating $300 billion in unused coronavirus relief funds.

"We have $300 billion in an account that we didn't use. I would be willing to release it, subject to Congress, and use that as stimulus money and it would go right to the American people," Trump said Friday during a White House press briefing.

Although Trump said he considered redirecting the funds unilaterally, he was told he needed Congress' approval.

"It's money that we have — money that we built up and money that we haven’t spent, and I would love to give it to the American people as a very powerful stimulus," Trump said.

But McConnell didn't deliver. Steve M points to Axios' December 22 report that

President Trump lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday night for acknowledging Joe Biden won the election, sending a slide to Republican lawmakers taking credit for saving McConnell's career with a tweet and robocall....

"Sadly, Mitch forgot,” reads the top of the slide sent to Republican senators by Trump's personal assistant, written in red for emphasis. “He was the first one off the ship.”

... While both the message and its delivery targeted McConnell, they also carried a subtle warning to other Republicans who may follow suit as the president grasps at the last straws of his election-fraud claim.

Steve M notes that the day before this tweet, a liberal pollster had released a survey that showed incumbent McConnell twenty points ahead of Democratic challenger Amy McGrath. It's hard to believe that Trump was unaware of this finding when a mere day later, he would deliver an unequivocal and enthusiastic endorsement of McConnell.


Now that the election is over, the Senate Majority Leader helps craft a coronavirus bill framed as a stimulus to the economy, just in time to lift to victory David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and maintain a Senate majority. McConnell's deft legislative maneuver comes two weeks before the Senate runoff in Georgia- and seven weeks after the presidential election, when it could have lifted Trump to victory.

It is not surprising that Donald Trump would attack the Kentuckian, who after January 20 will become the most powerful Republican in the country and arguably its de facto leader. He is four weeks from becoming Trump's rival.

It's a crafty move, just as embracing candidate McConnell was crafty once Trump realized the former would surely win his race in Kentucky. It's also an illustration, however subtle, that for all of our suspicions that Donald Trump may be ignorant or ill, he may be the greatest example of the wisdom of  the phrase "crazy like a fox."



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