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Pay Check Don’s Greatest Outflankening

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Erica Werner and Jeff Stein has a good roundup of why Donald Trump decided to reject an offer of money from House Democrats that is his last serious chance of salvaging his cratering re-election campaign. The immediate impetus was McConnell telling him that there wouldn’t be majority Republican support for any bill House Dems would agree to (and hence McConnell wouldn’t bring the bill to the floor.) But there’s also this remarkable detail:

Despite the push from some within the White House and lawmakers from both parties, conservatives had urged Trump to reject a new spending package.

Art Laffer, a supply-side economist generally regarded as outside the economic mainstream, said he visited the White House about a week ago and expressed the view that Trump should not approve a stimulus package. Stephen Moore, another outside economic adviser, has told White House officials that a stimulus package would do little to boost Trump’s political fortunes because it would not show results until after the election.

This is like hiring Richard Epstein and Alex Berenson to be on a COVID response panel. (I wonder if the Dow 36,000 guys got in on the action.)

Of course, during his epic high-as-balls tweetstorm last night he was already beginning to have non-buyer’s remorse:

One wonders if, say, the CEO of Delta might have suggested that mass layoffs in Atlanta would not be terribly beneficial to Trump’s re-election efforts. But alas the Artist of the Deal has not grasped that when you’re dealing with people with actual leverage rather than some contractor who can’t afford to sue you actually have to give up something they want to complete a negotiation.

He also suggested standalone $1,200 checks, a proposal with no chance of getting traction — presumably to try to make his massive failure hang on House Dems, only it can’t work because people want money, not whining about how you can’t make a deal. It’s just random flailing at this point while his presidency circles the drain.

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