Trump Is Laughing at the Establishment

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 May 5, 2017|
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Here we go again.

President Trump has been in office for little more than 100 days. Despite the retinue of successes in the face of extreme political adversity, some of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the media are turning on him. Just when the man has overcome every hurdle put in his way, even his own supporters in the professional punditocracy keep getting it wrong. Whether it’s the cruise missile strike in Syria, the purported failure of healthcare reform, or the recent budget imbroglio, Trump is being hit hardest by his friends.

They just don’t get it.

Just look at what the Trump Administration has managed to do. In 100 days, they managed to get a Supreme Court nominee confirmed by Congress in record time. Thanks to Trump’s executive orders on immigration, regulations, and several other issues, the president has managed to fulfill some of his strongest campaign promises. Of course, Congress will need to act in order to make these changes more permanent, but Trump has taken vital, decisive steps.

Rest assured, Trump has given no significant ground. As I wrote earlier this year, the Trump governing agenda is a marathon, not a sprint.

Meanwhile, on the foreign policy front, Trump has stopped the bleeding. Since he has taken office, U.S. operations against the Islamic State have reached an unprecedented tempo—not only in Iraq and Syria, but also in far off places, like Afghanistan. Thanks to his cunning use of coercive diplomacy, Trump managed to place America’s strongest rivals (Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea) on notice when he attacked Bashar al-Assad’s air force in Syria. Through this action, Trump managed to sway China to come to America’s side in mollifying the North Korean nuclear threat.

Still, vocal Trump supporters in the media have begun questioning Trump’s commitment to the causes that he championed in the campaign. Many are wondering if Trump is simply not serious enough about his agenda. Others claim that he’s lost credibility by (in their eyes) kowtowing to the Establishment. They think that the Establishment has neutered Trump and are now laughing at him, as though he were their little plaything.

Oh, ye of little faith!

Rest assured, Trump has given no significant ground. As I wrote earlier this year, the Trump governing agenda is a marathon, not a sprint. When it came to the budget, Trump picked his battles wisely. After all, the president has a major foreign policy crisis brewing with North Korea and he needs all political hands on deck.

Trump also has other parts of his agenda to push through—infrastructure, tax reform, and immigration—that he desperately wants to address. Starting a fight with Congress over the budget right now is useless. This is especially true when one considers that the budget issue was not resolved: the continuing resolution funding the government was merely maintained until September of this year. It is by no means permanent.

Congress may be unwilling to truly get their act together now, when the stakes regarding their personal political fortunes are low. But, rest assured, they will not risk having Trump publicly denounce them for failing to support his budget plans in September.

So, seven months from now, all of the onus will be on Congress. When September rolls around, Congress will be itching to focus on campaigning for the 2018 midterms. Trump will have considerable leverage over the wishy-washy members of Congress. Further, I’m convinced that the base of Trump’s support will remain almost as committed to Trump as it has been throughout his campaign for at least another year. That gives the President considerable sway over the Republicans in Congress.

Congress may be unwilling to truly get their act together now, when the stakes regarding their personal political fortunes are low. But, rest assured, they will not risk having Trump publicly denounce them for failing to support his budget plans in September. The last thing the GOP wants is a groundswell of Trumpists voting against them for not supporting the president.

After all, just look at what happened to those companies and networks that turned on Trump during the campaign. They suffered losses of profits and ratings. Those companies that were punished for supporting Trump, such as L.L. Bean, saw huge gains in their profits when they refused to abandon Trump. The president’s supporters are immensely loyal. It will take more than 100 days, or even a year, to lose them.

What’s more, there is already a revolt going on within the GOP. It would not take much to unseat some congressional leaders who are considered “unbeatable” in 2018. If Trump did not get the budget that he wanted (and that the base of the GOP wants as well), establishment Republicans, and some of those esoteric conservatives in Congress, may find themselves challenged by a Trump-approved rival. Trump will get what he wants in September based on this fact alone.

The Establishment thinks they have Trump right where they want him. Yet, it is he who has them dead-to-rights. Trump is biding his time, waiting for the most opportune moment to strike and get what he wants. That time is clearly September, not now.

Donald Trump has been a businessman long enough to know the glories of success and the bitter taste of defeat. When Trump had to declare bankruptcy, it was because he ended up biting off more than he could chew. He has learned when (and how) to pick his battles. Timing is everything. From here until September, the Trump legislative team will be prepared to wage a nonstop campaign to get the budget that Trump wants—the budget that our country needs.

Make no mistake: Trump is laughing at the overconfident Establishment. And, as always, “pride goeth before the fall.” The Establishment is not going to know what hit them come September: Trump will have them eating out of his hands…and he’ll leave the legacy media in the dust yet again.  

About the Author:

Brandon J. Weichert
Brandon J. Weichert is a contributing editor to American Greatness. A former Republican Congressional staffer and national security expert, he also runs The Weichert Report, www.theweichertreport.com, an online journal of geopolitics. He holds Master's degree in Statecraft & National Security from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is also an Associate Member of New College at Oxford University and holds a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University. He is currently completing a book on national security space policy due out next year.
  • devere

    I hope you’re right but it has become clear that Ryan and the Republican establishment are out to undermine Trump. They don’t care about voters just donors.

    • Peter63

      Entirely agree.

    • jack dobson

      Ryan probably isn’t long for it as Speaker, so he has little to lose. The rest of the leadership and caucus will be concerned enough to go through the motions.

  • PackRatFan

    Too many voters are like a fart in the wind! One day it’s this…the next day it’s that! I guess that’s how our democracy works but it suffers when the voters have been dumbed down or just plain ignorant no thanks to the MSM who is in the tank for the Dims and their agenda! You have to work to find balanced and reliable alternative new sources and for most people, that just doesn’t work.

  • Alice P Jones

    Your lips to God’s ears.

  • 57nomad

    The people who put Trump in office are not blind. There is no question he is doing everything he can to fulfill his campaign promises and that is clear. Also clear are the obstacles placed in his way. The ones from the democrats are expected. The one’s placed there by Republicans have been noted by the people and we will express ourselves concerning their behavior in 18 months.

  • Uncle Max

    Here’s the tell. The folks complaining the most are the ones that admit they were against Trump until he was the nominee. That’s 98% of the establishment conservative press and opinion writers.

    • Peter63

      A very significant exception, though, (part of the 2% you allow are not members of the establishment conservative press and opinion writers) is Ann Coulter. She is genuinely conservative and has been fanatically pro-Trump from June 2015 till the other day.

      Are her unhappinesses with the present trends in the White House unjustified? I hope so. It is certainly the case that as the Scottish people used to say ‘Fools and bairns [chlldren] should never see anything half-done’.

      Yet ObamacareLite is a mess, still; and a number of people on the President’s team seem to be full-on pro-mass-immigration advocates of Big Business desires.

      Let us hope Mr Weichert is reading things right. If only his analysis be true.

      • SonofaGip

        Nope. Weichert is a Trump cheerleader who works for a pro-Trump website. Coulter is correct in her criticism. This presidency is nowhere near being conservative. So far Trump signed a budget funding Planned Parenthood, HB1 visas, and sanctuary cities while not fighting at all for border wall funding. Meanwhile, his main adviser Jared Kushner, is a liberal who supports open borders, abortion, and LGBT agenda. Coulter won’t be getting any happier because, next week, Trump will announce that the U.S. is staying in Obama’s left-wing Paris Climate Change Agreement. If Trump signs another liberal budget in October, you may as well starting trademarking “I Was Conned By The Don” t-shirts.

  • Makaipi

    When I watch the politicians on tv from the left…code word for socialist democrat…it’s like watching a grade b movie. For those who can’t remember what a grade b movie was, it was a poorly scripted endeavor that didn’t make much sense and made you shake your head in bewilderment at the end.

  • jack dobson

    This may ascribe a certain rationality to Republican senators and MoC’s that is unwarranted. For example, if the House fails to include money for the border wall and the Senate is unwilling to go to the mat to defend the appropriation, Democrats will have a very good 2018. President Trump simply has to keep his campaign promises. Republican lawmakers have to display a political awareness they often lack.