Tired of tossers6, I seem to be having a ha ha ha series. And it’s time for a two-month review of my brilliantly prescient Trump predictions. Except not really, because it’s too early, but I think the failure of his repeal of Obamacare is a good time to take stock, without breaking my resolution to not post too much politics too often2.
[Picture: us at The Bridge at Clayhithe7. We were supposed to be going to HoRR but it was cancelled due to bad weather… as you can see.]
There are many people going “nya nya” to Trump; here’s one in The Atlantic from the Republican viewpoint. Since repeal of Obamacare was a major campaign promise, Trump looks (a) stupid and (b) a failure5. It is worth noting, in passing, that even if the bill had been passed it would have broken any number of promises but I’m doubtful that would have mattered too much, because everyone has a memory like a goldfish nowadays and most of those promises were forgotten seconds after they were uttered. The only meaningful promise was repeal-and-replace; that failed. To me, Trump’s failure to persevere looks… I struggle to find the one key word that sums it up. Instead of knuckling down to it, instead of rolling up his sleeves and settling in for some hard work persuading doubters, threatening the malleable, and reworking the bill to make it acceptable to enough Republicans1, he just gave up. It looks lightweight; careless; petulant. He has long been indifferent to the truth; this makes him indifferent to reality. To say the obvious thing that everyone else has said, it makes his much-vaunted claims to be a peerless dealmaker look suspect. Naturally, he’ll move quickly on to the next thing in the hope that the public’s goldfish-like mind forgets all about it. In this case, the next thing is tax reform. This is more promising, there are lots of sensible things that could be done, so he may have some luck3, 9. But the USAnian tax code isn’t a giant bureaucratic disaster area for no good reason: it’s that way because decades of effort by special interest groups have made it that way, and they haven’t gone away. Is trump brave enough to cut through them? No, of course not. Ryan might be.
Anyway, my prediction here – based on not very much – is that his core support will not be at all happy about the failure of repealing Obamacare, but they’ll kinda forgive him this one4, 8 and see what else comes along. Another major fuck-up will be much harder to explain or pass over; so I’d expect them to be more careful, and therefore slower, about the next one. If we get really lucky, this failure will give the saner heads amongst his advisers some leverage over the nutters.
And so, onto my prediction-review, which as promised won’t be in detail, I’ll just review my overall prediction is “minor”. I think that’s looking good so far, which admittedly is not very far.
Incidentally, to revive a possibly-unjustly-passed-over discussion, you might like to read RD’s comments on Influence of high-latitude atmospheric circulation changes on summertime Arctic sea ice?.
1. Obviously, that was going to be tricky. The softer ones thought the bill was too hard, and the harder ones thought the bill was too soft. It wasn’t clear how moving to one side or another would help. Moreover, the more the public heard about the bill the worse they thought of it, so having the party horse-trade over messy provisions in public would be a loser too.
2. Don’t get me started on the ridiculous over-reaction to one murderous nutter on Westminster bridge, totally belying our much vaunted claims to “keep calm and carry on”.
3. Timmy for example reports Munchkin saying as much. But (a) he would say that and (b) Timmy then proceeds to prove himself wrong by pushing for the entirely sensible but entirely doomed idea of abolishing corporation tax.
4. The immigration ban thing isn’t going brilliantly either. But he’s demonstrated that “his heart is in the right place”- i.e., he’s prepared to be gratuitously unpleasant to brown foreigners – so that will be alright for him I expect.
5. As Newsthump puts it, “Trump wants a solid win next week,” we were told by an insider. “So we’re trying to arrange a competition to find The Most Orange Man in Washington as quickly as possible, and we’ve asked the Kool-Aid man not to enter.” Let’s hope that their other point, White House staffers have been ordered to find things Trump can win at in short order to bolster his falling ratings, and have variously suggested rock, paper, scissors, a game of Buckaroo, and war with North Korea doesn’t come to pass.
6. If you want more convincing that Scott Adams is a tosser, you can read his completely ridiculous post about how Trump’s failure was great, because he now looks like a failure, rather than Hitler. To me, this is silly because Trump-as-Hitler (to consider for a moment SA’s deliberately OTT framing) is a problem for him with his opponents; but Trump-as-incompetent is a problem with his supporters, which is far more of a problem.
7. GPS trace. Yes, I know we’re slow. That’s because that boat was a scratch mixed quad, not the M1 VIII.
8. I don’t think they should forgive him this one, and there are people saying things like The spectacular failure of Trumpcare exposed the president as the inept fraud we suspected he was all along. But as far as I can see the people saying that are people who, like me, thought he was a bozo all along.
* Arctic Sea Ice update: everything is proceeding exactly as we had foreseen – some token sea ice, and another nice graph.
* Maybe the Republicans will LGBTQ our health care after all – Brian at Eli’s.
* Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton? Andrew Sullivan via Timmy