Wednesday, May 22, 2019


As Washington Monthly's Nancy LeTourneau notes, this morning's tantrum by President Trump seemed awfully scripted:
Trump was scheduled to meet with Democratic leaders at the White House on Wednesday morning to continue their discussion about infrastructure.
But just before the meeting, Nancy Pelosi, fresh from a confab with her caucus on the subject of impeachment, accused the president of engaging in a cover-up. After that:
When Democratic leaders arrived at the White House, Trump walked into the room, went on a five-minute rant about ongoing investigations, and then walked out. He proceeded to the Rose Garden where he held a supposedly impromptu press conference, refusing to govern until Democrats stopped their investigations. They claim that it was Pelosi’s remarks about a cover-up that triggered it all.
But if this was a spontaneous reaction to Pelosi's words this morning, why had it already been teed up by the White House staff, with a tendentious placard?

Trump just didn't have a plan the Democrats would accept. (His alleged plan was said to include $1 trillion in budget cuts, which means there's no way Democrats would accept it, and the White House can't promise any cooperation from Republicans, who have no interest in any infrastructure plan.) That's Chuck Schumer's theory, at least:

LeTourneau writes:
That fits with my assumption that Democrats entered these discussions about infrastructure knowing that Trump would either back out or fail to rally his own party around the issue. Whenever Trump fails, his response is to lie, deflect, and blame. Because he was failing on infrastructure, he decided to blame the investigations being carried out by Democrats.
I'm not sure that's really what happened -- but if it is, then Pelosi should mess with Trump's head by becoming very interested in a Trump promise from a couple of days ago:
President Donald Trump previewed the release of a “great healthcare plan” in four weeks, in an interview Monday with a local Pennsylvania media station.

“We’re coming up with a great healthcare plan that if we win back the house, keep the Senate, keep the presidency, we’re going to have fantastic health care,” Trump said. “And the plan is coming out over the next four weeks.”

The president spoke with WBRE reporter Andy Mehalshick in Pennsylvania following a rally in Lycoming County.

Trump vowed that his plan would take care of previous-existing conditions, and would be better than Obamacare.
Trump is as likely to emerge in the next four weeks with an actual healthcare plan as he is to get through War and Peace, or even a three-page briefing memo with no pictures. But Pelosi should seize on this and say she really, really doesn't want to be at an impasse with Trump, and doesn't want Americans to wait until 2021 if Trump has a really great healthcare plan, so could he keep her apprised of how the plan is coming along? She should bring it up every day.

Some Democrats and progressives will freak out if she does that. I understand. But it's fine, because there will be no plan. Pelosi won't be offering to compromise because it's vaporware, so there's nothing to compromise on. Or if she shames Trump into cobbling something together, it will undoubtedly be worse than the last healthcare plan Republicans floated, or exactly as terrible, so rejecting it will be easy and pain-free.

Why the hell not? Embarrass him. Pretend to take his empty promises seriously.

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