The Swamp is draining Trump

Six months into his term, President Trump is bogged chin-deep in the swamp, with unfulfilled promises on taxes and Obamacare.    Worse, his supporters weary of blaming the swamp on the alligators (career congressmen) who, after all, are only behaving as they always have. Worst of all for the president is the growing perception among his supporters that he lacks not merely the wherewithal, but perhaps even the desire, to pull the plug.    Trump has mostly himself to blame for his quagmire.  He emboldened the alligators early on (March 30) when he attacked the Freedom Caucus (a cadre of anti-establishment conservatives in the House) after it sank a healthcare reform plan that was nowhere close to Republicans’ promised repeal of the (un)Affordable Care Act.  Raul Labrador, co-founder of the maverick group, tweeted to Trump: “Freedom Caucus stood with u when others ran. Remember who your real friends are. We’re trying to help u succeed.” Trump thought he’d dealt himself an ace by handing Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, a plum cabinet post (transportation secretary), but he was sorely mistaken. The Senate’s first two drafts of healthcare reform weren’t worthy of the GOP’s campaign rhetoric. (Pro-tip: career politicians must deliver for you before you give them anything.)   Now Trump is embarking on a shakeup of his team that only adds more question marks. New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is a former Wall Street financier who once called Trump “another hack politician” who is only fit to be president of the Queen’s County Boys Club.  Sean Spicer, the first guy Trump hired to be his mouthpiece, resigned in disgust over the hiring of “The Mooch.”    Trump’s pick of conservative Alabaman Jeff Sessions for Attorney General was wildly popular with his supporters, but Sessions has been thrown under the bus because he recused himself from investigating alleged election collusion between Trump and the Russian government. Sidebar: a man widely whispered to be on deck for Attorney General – Rudy Giuliani – opined that Sessions made the right play with recusal.    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has one foot out the door after Trump nixed his selection of Elliott Abrams for undersecretary because Abrams was critical of candidate Trump. Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is pushing a plan to raise the top marginal income tax rate to a staggering 44%.   Bottom line:  For Trump to drain the swamp and save his presidency and the country, he must: 1) stand at the vanguard of the grassroots movement to restore term limits and other reins on congressional power, via the Convention of States; and 2) make the current crop of career politicians understand that if they block the will of the People while the reform process is playing out, he will do everything in his power to defeat their bids for re-election.
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