Home / General / The Skilled Leadership of Donald J. Trump

The Skilled Leadership of Donald J. Trump


It’s this kind of policy command that will allow Trump  to get the bill over the hump:

Until Tuesday’s meeting at the White House, Mr. Trump had spoken with only a few members of the Senate, according to an administration official. The pace was nothing like the dozens of calls he made to help pass the House’s health bill, aides said.

A senator who supports the bill left the meeting at the White House with a sense that the president did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan — and seemed especially confused when a moderate Republican complained that opponents of the bill would cast it as a massive tax break for the wealthy, according to an aide who received a detailed readout of the exchange.

Mr. Trump said he planned to tackle tax reform later, ignoring the repeal’s tax implications, the staff member added.

It’s pretty clear that Trump knows essentially nothing about the content of this legislation. If presidential leadership was as central to policymaking as a lot of people think the bill would be dead. It isn’t; this isn’t a major liability, but it doesn’t help them cobble a majority together, either.

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  • randomworker

    Good god. The doddering pussygrabber is totally out of it.

    • mongolia

      his sheer incompetence at management might be the only thing saving us from going back to the ’20’s welfare state instead of getting the whole teahadi agenda, so i’ll take this compared to a replacement level republican.

      now of course, replacement level republican probably doesn’t win, but if jeb! won fair and square we probably see similar to worse domestic policy enacted* by now

      * – enacted being the operative term because you’d have more competently evil people writing the executive orders and such, and less counterproductive tweets etc

      • Marlowe

        The ’20s? Hell, Der Drumpfenfuhrer’s incompetence is the only thing saving us from an America that (1) makes the Gilded Age look almost as good as the New Deal and the Great Society and (2) has the political freedom of Nazi Germany, except with guns (for white people only, of course).

        • It should be noted that Hitler wasn’t all that competent either. He just had the ability to attract the most mendaciously cunning people.

      • Derelict

        You would have many of the same agenda items with JEB!, but you would also have a thick layer of impending theocracy as JEB! foisted as many government functions as possible onto Christian organizations. Recall that JEB! instituted an early release program for violent felons in Florida if the prisoners were willing to sit through Jebus classes. He also pushed to convert many of the state’s social safety-net programs into Christian charities.

      • twbb

        He needs to be constantly pushed and trolled so he keeps saying stupid incoherent things publicly. Anytime it looks like he’s being quiet Dems need to make the talk show rounds mocking him for letting his advisors successfully tell him to shut up.

        Not that I trust the “we talked to Trump supporters in America’s heartland” stories as a rule, but if they are even slightly accurate the biggest problem a lot of his voters have with him is the idiotic tweets and stupid things he says publicly.

      • This must be causing all kinds of tossing and turning for the Koch brothers as they lie in their caskets.

  • jeer9

    His expert behind-the-scenes management of this bill would make for the bestest Time magazine cover evah.

  • Linnaeus

    a moderate Republican complained that opponents of the bill would cast it as a massive tax break for the wealthy

    Maybe that’s because that’s exactly what it is – but I guess pointing out that opponents of the bill would say that instead of pointing out that it is, in fact, a massive tax break for the wealthy is what passes for moderate Republicanism these days.

    • John Revolta

      I’m betting that he hasn’t figured out that the Senate version is different from the one the House passed, and doesn’t understand why this whole thing isn’t over and done with already. ” I thought Paul Ryan took care of all this!!”

      P.S. or, what JMP said downstairs.

      • He’s probably thinking right now that he should just fire Congress and hire a new one.

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    He Didn’t. Even. Try.®

  • It’s hilarious to me that Trump really is everything that wingnuts claimed Obama was: an arrogant neophyte with delusions of grandeur who gets by chiefly on charisma and celebrity, who is mostly a puppet of his handlers, and whose Christianity and patriotism are both fraudulent.

    • 1. It’s always projection.
      2. Cleek’s Law.
      3. IGMFY.

      As ever, these three observations explain basically the entire modern Republican Party.

    • JMP

      Hell, considering that everything Trump has accused either Obama or Hillary Clinton of has turned out to be true of him, I’m half suspecting now that he was actually born in that portion of the British East African Protectorate which is now Kenya.

      • wengler

        Trump’s mom was a damn dirty foreigner.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Trump’s birth certificate clearly established he’s Jamaican by birth, so a British colonial possession at any rate.

      • Karen24

        I wonder why no one ever accused Obama of being a Brit. /sarcasm

    • It would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so clear that the reason they see this person in Obama, and don’t see him in Trump, is entirely down to race.

      • Gareth

        Hey, Ben Carson isn’t far off that description either.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          Never discount the power of racism or misogyny, but remember the GOP’s hatred toward Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry. Party is the single most important factor here.

          • CP

            Agreed. But party is important because race is important. Obama and his family may be N-words, but Clinton, Gore and Kerry were N-word-lovers.

        • CP

          Yeah, and does anyone believe there’s any universe where Ben Carson is chosen as Republican candidate?

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      I actually don’t think that Trump is entirely a puppet of his handlers. He’s too narcissistic and incapable of self-control to be anyone’s puppet. Many of the problems this White House faces are a direct result of Trump’s unwillingness to listen to anyone.

      • BigHank53

        I don’t think Trump has any foreign handlers at all. I can’t imagine that any intelligence officer with any, well, intelligence, would think they’d get any reliable results out of a person as unreliable as Trump. Of course, if all they want is a weaker USA in general, and a distracted USA not watching eastern Europe in particular, then getting him into office is a wise investment, isn’t it?

    • Rob in CT

      I don’t find it hilarious. I would’ve found it kind of funny if he’d lost the election.

      Instead, it’s more of a LOLSOB response. He’s everything bad they falsely claimed Obama was, and he got elected anyway. It’s awful.

  • Quaker in a Basement

    Kinda makes me miss the intellectual curiosity of George W. Bush.

    • rea

      And the policy expertise of Ronald Reagan, and the honesty of Warren Harding.

      • At least Warren knew he sucked at the job.

      • twbb

        And the sense of fair play of Richard Nixon, and the compassion of Andrew Jackson.

    • Amadan

      Ah, the memories…
      Bush Regales Dinner Guests With Impromptu Oratory On Virgil’s Minor Works

      WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush delighted an intimate gathering of White House dinner guests Monday, regaling the coterie of dignitaries, artists, and friends with a spirited, off-the-cuff discussion of the Roman poet Virgil’s lesser-known works.
      “Most primarily associate Publius Vergilius Maro with The Aeneid,” Bush told guests. “Yet so much pleasure is to be found in his lesser-known works—The Eclogues, completed in 37 B.C., and The Georgics, in 30 B.C., both of which praise the idyllic rural life.”

      Good times.

      • twbb



        BATAVIA, IL–President Bush met with members of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory research team Monday to discuss a mathematical error he recently discovered in the famed laboratory’s “Improved Determination Of Tau Lepton Paths From Inclusive Semileptonic B-Meson Decays” report.
        “I’m somewhat out of my depth here,” said Bush, a longtime Fermilab follower who describes himself as “something of an armchair physicist.” “But it seems to me that, when reducing the perturbative uncertainty in the determination of Vub from semileptonic Beta decays, one must calculate the rate of Beta events with a standard dilepton invariant mass at a subleading order in the hybrid expansion. The Fermilab folks’ error, as I see it, was omitting that easily overlooked mathematical transformation and, therefore, acquiring incorrectly re-summed logarithmic corrections for the b-quark mass. Obviously, such a miscalculation will result in a precision of less than 25 percent in predicting the resulting path of the tau lepton once the value for any given decaying tau neutrino is determined.”

    • At least Bush could make it through My Pet Goat in one sitting.

  • JMP

    But he already held the big party after the health deform bill passed the House; didn’t that mean the work was done and it had become law?

  • efgoldman

    It’s pretty clear that Trump knows essentially nothing about the content of this legislation

    It’s pretty clear, and has been for quite a while, that “president” Peach Pit Pustule barely knows where his next meal is coming from.
    And he knows less every day.

    it doesn’t help them cobble a majority together, either.

    And the longer it takes, the more his popularity back in the home states craters, and the less likely wavering, craven politicians will be to take the fall.

    • Marlowe

      Now that’s a little unfair. I’m sure that Der Drumpfenfuhrer well knows that his next meal is coming from some servile loser in life and will contain plenty of ketchup and an extra scoop of ice cream.

  • LosGatosCA

    If Faux News ain’t reporting it, it can’t be true.

    Trump’s as fully informed as any 70 year old Faux News viewer. The difference is he’s watching it on a 70 inch 4K screen so it’s even more real.

    • Jackson87

      And that pretty much explains the state of politics in America, 2017.

  • Can’t tell whether this is stupidity or just Donald bullshitting because that’s what he does. Or maybe he doesn’t feel that this is something he needs to give a fuck about.
    Y’know, very little is getting done by Donald and his Congress — what is is awful, of course, just far less than expected. So maybe he’ll go down in history as what happens when too many voters are too let’s say uninformed to vote responsibly. Maybe enough people will finally be repulsed by the GOP and get a clue how awful the party and its policies are.
    That said, I don’t hope to live that long, but that’s another matter.

    • Steve LaBonne

      No, he really is that out of it. Just listen to the chopped word salad that comes out of his mouth.

  • Terok Nor

    The Abuser Party can’t even produce a competent Abuser anymore. Sad!

  • sibusisodan

    > “The pace was nothing like the dozens of calls he made to help pass the House’s health bill, aides said.”

    Woah, slow down there, Trump! Dozens of calls? How do you find the time?

  • smartone

    actually I think Trump ‘s mind view is
    that governing is easy and he can’t believe nothing has ever gotten done before. Obama was a complete failure.
    But his policy world view is entirely shaped by Fox & Friends , Info Wars and Breitbart.

    So Trump honestly thinks that ending Obamacare with this plan will fix healthcare – because Fox told him it would.

  • Derelict

    Hmmm . . . First Disqus comment here at LGM, and it’s working off my existing Disqus log-in.

    • twbb

      Second. Woohoo.

      • Noticed the sidebar listing the most recent comments doesn’t update.

        • Just logged out of LGM, but it’s letting me post under Disqus.

          Hmm…does the code tag work?

          Yes, yes it does.

          • petesh


            • petesh

              Disqus has not picked up my gravatar from my previously existing account (see Edroso, Drum etc). My history, before I hit post, is one comment, here. Not that I care, it’s just a curiosity.

              • sharculese

                Just figured out this one, too. Disqus is stacking on top of wordpress, so it’s using your wordpress account as if it was a disqus account. Just logout and then log in to disqus and everything will merge.

                • petesh

                  Thanks — it worked!

                • Duncan Watson

                  Looks like my gravatar is working

                • JSC2397

                  Not mine, though.

    • Looks like the same deal here.

      Edit: no, wait, no, looks like it’s using my LGM account. I wonder if it’s possible to merge it with my existing Disqus account.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Interesting — I have an existing Disqus account with a different username, but this automatically recognized me under my old LGM account.

      • Derelict

        Well, it’s not sending me notices of replies like II get from my “regular” Disqus account. And I’m still getting dragged to the fucking Autoplay ad every 30 seconds.

        • It looks like I got a reply notification, but I had to refresh the page to see it. Still better than the FYWP system of no notifications at all.

        • Robert Farley

          If you don’t send me the URL, I can’t help you.

          • Derelict

            Robert–what makes the Autoplay ads even more infuriating is that clicking on the things doesn’t take me to the site. So, I can’t give you the URLs. The first ad is for DXCTechnologies.com, if that helps.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          I got a notification of your reply to me, so maybe there’s something in your account settings here?

          • SatanicPanic

            Should be in account settings

        • sharculese

          Log out of wordpress and your regular disqus account takes over.

      • SatanicPanic

        Me too-

        EDIT- no nevermind, it’s my regular disqus account

    • efgoldman

      Me too.

  • Rob in CT

    Testing, testing…

    ah, it works. Lovely. And I have no Disqus account.

    • were-witch

      Page says 44 comments, I see like 5.

      I wonder whether the count is bugged or whether I’m not seeing a bunch of comments.

      • The 44 comments are from the old system. I assume a lot of stuff on the main site still hasn’t updated to Disqus yet.

        • Just a Rube

          The post below this one went from showing a couple hundred comments yesterday to 0 just now, so I assume there’s some weirdness with the migration. And it seems I can comment, even though I have no Disqus account (which is the main reason I’m really posting this).

          • I assume there’s a bunch of stuff that hasn’t been finalised with the migration yet. If the comments are missing in six hours, I’ll be more worried, but for now, I’ll just assume migrating what are probably millions of comments throughout the blog’s history will take awhile.

          • Another name for a bug girl ma

            I wonder about following replies and about thread depth. Reply pls.

          • Another name for a bug girl ma

            I wonder about following replies and about thread depth. Reply pls.

            • This is a reply

            • Another name for a bug girl ma

              Wait, I originally posted the above as GS, now it changed to ANFABGM. So no more nym play (ed: at least, any nym play will be ephemeral). Sad!

      • twbb

        I think the 44 is the pre-disqus count.

      • Bizarro Mike

        44 is also the number of the last decent president. Is it a coincidence?

        Yes, I checked, and it is.

        • Ithaqua

          I fail to see how it could be a coincidence… it’s all connected, man.

  • were-witch

    I love that his response to “this could be pilloried as a massive tax cut for the wealthy” isn’t even “nah” but “we’re doing that later.”

  • Since this now seems to be something of an open thread, author of Paddington Bear Michael Bond died this morning at 91. Didn’t read his books or get to watch the movie, but I loved the HBO series adaptation I watched as a kid.

    …and rewatching the BET Awards it seems I totally forgot that Al Jarreau and Cuba Gooding, Sr. died this year.

    • Denverite

      The movie was quite good. Maybe the best live action kids movie on the decade.

    • I loved those books as a kid. Didn’t see the film but it looks like they’re making a second one according to the BBC obituary. The first one got pretty good reviews IIRC.

    • N__B

      I dunno. If teddy bears could move and talk, what’s to stop them from going in the kitchen, getting knives, and taking care of us in our sleep?

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Paddington wasn’t a living teddy bear though; he was just a small bear capable of human speech, possessed of roughly human intelligence, and with more manual dexterity than an average bear.

        • A small (miscolored) spectacled bear, to be exact.

      • efgoldman

        If teddy bears could move and talk, what’s to stop them from going in
        the kitchen, getting knives, and taking care of us in our sleep?

        Wasn’t there a documentary or three about that?

        • bigby

          Yes, there were three, but one of them was too hot, and another too cold.

          • AdamPShort

            just right

  • Denverite

    Turn and face the strange…

  • Downpuppy

    Surely this piece from The Week will convince everyone that the Senate bill is the bees knees!

    • Gregor Sansa

      It has fewer spelling errors than the House bill. It’s like Bank Street Writer with Clippy, instead of being pure BSOD.

  • NewishLawyer

    Just logged in via LGM. It opens up a separate window. Is this a feature or a bug?

    • CaptainBringdown

      Same happened to me. I don’t really have anything to say about it, I’m just replying to you to see if this newfangled thingambob is working for me.

    • I seem to recall the Disqus login always opening in a separate window.

    • Domino

      Pretty sure it’s normal for that to happen.

  • Let’s hear it for the skilled leadership of DJTW!!! (But, man, the default Gravatar is much too assertive.)

  • sibusisodan

    Discus works. Hurrah!

    • N__B

      “Modified rapture.”

  • N__B

    I’m new to Disqus, so any help would be appreciated. I just tried to leave a reply to a comment and got this: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1d7604b66053f5e9350bbff1eb0e44f31080c3ffcb0cfd62201c5ad9885e6934.jpg

    Any ideas?

    • HowardBannister

      That usually means the comment you’re replying to got deleted. Refresh the page and check if it’s still there. (that’s true both for self-deleted comments and mod-deleted comments)

      • N__B

        (a) Thanks.

        (b) The nym and gravatar look awfully familiar from a Mammothy blog.

        • Howard_Bannister

          Hey, yes, that was one of my regular haunts for many years! Hail and well met, my dude.

      • dmsilev

        Well, it wasn’t self-deleted. Doesn’t seem to be there any more though; I doubt the mods killed it, so …gremlins?

        • HowardBannister

          Possibly a glitch in the migration? These are probably the least stable hours of commenting here. Hopefully. (fingers crossed!)

  • John F

    “and seemed especially confused when a moderate Republican complained that opponents of the bill would cast it as a massive tax break for the wealthy,”

    That’s because RW and Alt-R media have gone essentially radio silent on the issue- that’s the media he consumes.

  • Pete

    My profile shows my same Google avatar. It seems to be working?

  • Oblios_Cap

    I’m pretty sure that the list of things that Donnie Two Scoops understands anything about is pretty darned short.

  • Shantanu Saha

    So Disqus seems to have used a cookie (probably from Mother Jones, as I sometimes comment on Kevin Drum’s posts) to automatically log me in here. Now let’s test the functionality. Let’s try some HTML:

    It’s pretty clear that Trump knows essentially nothing about the content of this legislation anything.


    ETA: Wow, it works!

    Ok, now the sarcasm tag:

    Mr. Trump said he planned to tackle tax reform later, ignoring the repeal’s tax implications, the staff member added.

    The President isn't a details guy. He leaves that to the other mass murderers on his staff.

    The code tag is a bit different here. Lets try pre:
    The President isn’t a details guy. He leaves that to the other mass murderers on his staff.

    The pre tag seems to turn it into a sarcasm blockquote.

  • epidemiologist

    I am really excited about not only the lack of a vote, but the current conversation around Republican incompetence and priorities.

    The current situation has something for everyone: lives saved for the regular humans, Trump and McConnell looking like losers for the horse racers. Lots of coverage putting the lack of a vote down to a combination of weak leadership and serious deficiencies in the bill itself, which way more people will know about now when Republicans try to revive it. Marc damn Thiessen has a piece today about how the bill would “confirm every liberal caricature of conservatism”.

    That is the kind of cowardice of their convictions we want to see from these evil assholes! It’s so exciting to get even a glimpse of a society where maybe crooks, murderers, and racists have to fear social opprobrium again. Worrying about being a “caricature” worked great on liberals for years to convince us to believe we were the minority, yet shut up in public and forfeit the chance of changing that. For the good of humanity, it’s time for conservatives to go in the box.

    Share widely, celebrate publicly, and never shut up. The life you save could be your own.

  • testing

  • agorabum

    As we all know, the only position that matters is the president with his Bully Pulpit, and the only reason a bill has passed the house and is being discussed in the Senate is because of the Willpower of the President.
    Some other presidents Didn’t. Even. Try. But the fact that this abortion of a bill is just a few votes from passing makes it clear that Trump is the greatest parliamentarian tactician ever.
    PS, I am not a crank.

  • thebewilderness

    I think that Trump would prefer to destroy the ACA himself in the style he usually does business so that he can claim exclusive credit.

  • In related Trump Leadership news, Commerce Secretary and fat cat Wilbur Ross was giving a speech to a high-level conference in Berlin just before Merkel (link). His allotted time was 10 minutes. When he reached 20 and was still droning on, the chair just cut his mike. The audience laughed. I don’t think either part of this would happened even under Bush jnr – the loutish incompetence of overrunning the agreed time and making the political leader of the host country wait, or the brutal reaction.

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