Every president brings some drama to the White House due to his unique personality. This represents juicy information for the press and entertainment news (or agony) for the public. Donald Trump probably creates the most drama during his first few months in office. Too much drama will certainly distract focus from his campaign promises, none of which has been fulfilled so far, notably the repeal/replace of Obamacare, and the money to build the border wall with Mexico which Trump insisted should pay for it.
One thing that will sure continue is Trump’s daily rants on Tweeter that cannot be controlled by his Chief of Staff and other advisors. His tweets paint an accurate personality characterized by instability, thin skin, uncurious mind, and egomania thirsty for personal victory. On the other hand, his tweets show his marketing skill in whipping up support from his base of angry crowds eager to find scapegoats for their woes. Trump’s fervent supporters represent only a small minority of Americans. His election in 2016 was mainly due to Hillary Clinton’s failure to produce an inspiring message (other than branding Trump as unqualified), and to campaign hard enough in the traditionally “blue” states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Trump is not a true Republican but has managed to beat all the Republican candidates in the nomination process. As a result, the Republican Party allows itself to be hijacked and must embrace him even reluctantly. The fissure between Trump and the Party is evident as shown by Ted Cruz, the leading candidate defeated in the nomination, urging his followers to “vote their conscience” in the election. Trump’s rhetoric to “drain the swamp” in Washington also puts him at odds with the Congressional legislators. Trump and the Republicans in the US Congress are strange bedfellows sustained only by a common desire to dismantle Barrack Obama’s legacy, and to deliver more goodies to big corporations and the top 1% by employing the perennial gambit of cutting taxes to create jobs. When the government gives the rich a tax windfall, do you think they will go out to invest or buy some more expensive pleasures?
The failure of the Obamacare repeal undermines the relationships between Trump and the the Senate leaders. Trump cannot help attacking John McCain and two other Senators for voting no that torpedoed the repeal. Without the repeal of Obamacare, the chances of success for the other agendas are much reduced. Why? They count on cutting $500 billion from Obamacare’s subsidy for the poor so as to finance the tax cuts for the rich, the border wall, and national infrastructure repairs. Now that the money is nowhere to be found, they must raise the federal debt ceiling to pay for Trump’s campaign promises. This sets up a fight within the Republican Party where the vocal Conservatives are adamant against more borrowing by the federal government. Trump also directs his anger at Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, for failing to deliver the healthcare repeal vote. Their relations will be further strained come September when the Congress starts to work on the debt ceiling and the tax cuts.
The other big shoe waiting to drop is the result of the investigation undertaken by Robert Mueller, Independent Special Counsel, regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump’s anxiety about the result is shown by his tweets and his firing of FBI Director James Comey, which further deepen public suspicion about his involvement, financial or otherwise. His threat to fire Mueller if he crosses the red line (start to investigate his finances) will create more trouble than the real result of the investigation which may not even be damaging. Why is he afraid if he has nothing to hide? The threat to fire Mueller has caused Senator Dianne Feinstein to say that this might spell the end of his presidency.
White House drama has led to the resignation of Richard Nixon (Watergate), and the impeachment of Bill Clinton (the Monica Affair). With regard to Donald Trump, it will be interesting to sit back and watch the drama unfold. The story will be intriguing and complicated. It will also suck up most of the energy required to pass Trump’s legislative agenda promised to voters. In the end, the American people will suffer because nothing beneficial will be done on their behalf.