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Trump in Retreat

There’s something in the stubborn soul of President Donald Trump that is loathe to ever admit a mistake or back off from any position, but over the weekend he was nonetheless forced to retreat from his cockamamie idea about hosting a G-7 summit at one of his gaudy golf resorts.
He didn’t admit to a mistake, of course, but instead predictably blamed “both Media & Democrat Crazed Hostility.” There was indeed much outrage in the media and the Democratic party, but the bigger problem was that even his most stalwart defenders in the media and Republican party were finding this particular cockamamie idea, so obviously rife with corruption and an impeachable violation of the constitution’s emoluments clause, hard to defend. Many of those stalwart defenders were already refusing to defend his currently catastrophic retreat from Syria, with a majority of the House Republicans and the Senate Majority Leader and several of his colleagues outright rebuking it, and with an impeachment inquiry gaining momentum Trump can only be so brazen.
Trump loyalists should hope that he’s been chastened by the retreat, and will pursue a more careful and humble path forward, but we figure there’s faint hope of that. A few days ago he thought he could sell America on the idea that the most perfect place to host the leaders of the world’s economic powers just happened to be a golf resort he owned, and that he was only doing it to make America great again. His hubris has withstood countless embarrassments and somehow arrived him at the White House, so he retains his abiding faith in his great and unmatched wisdom.
Which is becoming harder for the stalwart defenders to defend with each passing day. The president stands credibly accused of extorting Ukraine for election help, which his Chief of Staff seems to have confessed to in front of national television cameras, adding “we do it all the time,” and “get over it,” and even some Republicans are backing off from that. The economy’s still good, but some predictive economic data are not looking good, and if worse comes to worst by next election day a lot of Republicans in farm and manufacturing states who were never on board with trade wars to begin with will be looking for someone to blame.
Trump is unlikely to hear our advice, and even less likely to heed it, but we’d advise him not to do anything so indefensibly stupid and unsavory as awarding himself a fat government contract. In these trying times, we’re sure his stalwart defenders would appreciate it.

— Bud Norman

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