Despite all his bluster, President Donald Trump has failed to suitably frighten Republicans into doing his bidding — especially in regards to pushing his healthcare bill through the Senate, Mediaite reports. And a report from The New York Times highlights this.
Weirdly, however, one Republican Senator, speaking on conditions of anonymity, told NYT reporters Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush that “Trump scares no one in the Senate, not even the pages.” So, if that’s the case, why did he speak anonymously?
Rob Jesmer, the former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and a former aide for Texas Senator John Cornyn echoed the sentiment that few are scared of the big, bad, Trump, The Hill reports.
“Right now, no one’s afraid of Trump, and that’s a real problem. But the truth is that he hasn’t really tried.”
Jesmer added he didn’t know why the president wasn’t shmoozing talk show hosts, hitting the streets to get the word out to make his case.
“I don’t get why he hasn’t been more engaged.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) criticized Trump for his lack of experience, making it much more difficult for him to sell people on his healthcare plan. Durbin told NYT:
He has limited experience in government and politics, he lacks a deep and experienced team, and his poll numbers are disastrous. It’s more or less impossible to sell a program when you have those conditions.
Haberman and Thrush note that while fear is an effective factor in leveraging votes and keeping your party in line, it’s pretty much ineffective if your ratings are in the toilet — like Trump’s are:
Fear is perhaps the most powerful motivating force in politics, and fear of a powerful president is the surest lever to move a lawmaker from a ‘no’ to a ‘yes,’ But over the past month, Mr. Trump scared no one into supporting the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Specifically, they note that Trump has a 36 to 40 percent approval rating this week, and that’s “too weak in many senators’ home states, too erratic and too disengaged from the details of governing to harness his party, as other presidents have.”
Trump didn’t do much legwork to attract enough votes to get this enormous piece of legislation to pass, and a number of senators:
“have come to believe their constituents, even the most conservative ones, are more loyal to them than to Mr. Trump.”
While this may be a case of too little, too late, Trump is finally beginning to push his weight around, “joking” to Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) that if he wants to keep his job, he’d better support the next bill.
Heller, seated next to Trump, “blushed, laughed, and remained politely noncommittal,” the NYT reports.
But there are some signs the tide against the president is changing. Politico notes that on Tuesday Republicans voted to open debate on repealing Obamacare, so maybe they are starting to listen.
Maybe Trump just thinks he’s starring in another reality TV show, where he really doesn’t have to do much but yell and bluster to get everyone’s attention. With all his Twitter meltdowns he acts like he needs attention constantly, and isn’t that what people on reality shows do? Continually vie for attention?
It would be wonderful if this show could be canceled.
Featured image courtesy of Trump Nation/YouTube.