Trump may kick and scream leaving the White House, but he’ll take his voters with him
He will have just one agenda over the next four years — to remain politically relevant and possibly win an election again.
Come Jan. 20, the Republican Party establishment will bedelighted to see President Donald J. Trump go bye-bye.
Except he isn’t going anywhere.
That reality was confirmed Tuesday night by Trump’s stunning rejection of the hard-fought, $900 billion pandemic relief bill.Congress, with strong Republican support, had approved the bill just the night before.
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In a video released via Twitter, Trump dubbed the plan “a disgrace.”
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trumpdeclared. “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package.”
The $600 stimulus benefit Congress offered most Americans was not nearly enough, and the bill’s wasteful spending is too much, Trump argues.The bill failedto take care of “hard-working taxpayers” and “the American people.”
Once again, he sent his fellow Republicans scrambling to find a way out.
The bipartisan deal, months in the agonizing making, would extend unemployment benefits and provide desperately needed stimulus funding to individuals, businesses and organizations suffering in a ravaging pandemic.
Trump's play is partly sweet revenge.He is getting even with theGOP leadership and once-reliable allies who had the audacity to acknowledge Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 presidential election.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Sen. John Thune, of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate Republican, had suggested that Trump’s crusade to overturn the election was doomed.It’s was time for the Grand Old Party to move on.
Trump is pushing back, even suggesting he might support a challenger to Thune in the 2022 GOP Senate primary.“South Dakota doesn’t like weakness,” he tweeted. “He will be primaried in 2022, political career over!!!”
Beware, GOP.Trump has “the American people,” or at least his people, on his side.Republican elected officials have one top priority — to get reelected. And Trump has the power to turn their own constituents against them.
No matter that pandemic relief will be a key issue in the two Jan. 5 Georgia senate runoff races. No matter the GOP must win one of those two races to retain control of the Senate.
Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, avid Trump supporters, are fighting fierce Democratic challenges in Georgia.The stimulus bill was a potent Christmas goodie to campaign on.
No matter how this contretemps turns out, Trump will dominate several election cycles to come.His political future hinges on keeping the 74 million Americans who voted for him riled up.
He rose to power as an outsider populist who sneered at establishment power.His voters share his disdain for the denizens of Washington, D.C.They believe it is Trump, not those spineless Capitol Hill hacks, who will take care of them.
This holiday season finds countless Americans lined up at food pantries, desperate for government aid.A goodly portion of Americans are Trump supporters.But no matter.
His “people” eagerly buy into his simplistic, illogical mantras.That one, for example, about how he “won” the election.
But they are voters.Trump voters.And Trump will continue to leverage his abjectly loyal base to retain power and influence Republican politics.
Trump may have to be dragged, writhing and bellowing, out of the White House, but he will take his people with him.
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