Did Trump fail? I’m not so sure. He gets to do the State of the Union speech and once again make his case. He also has the emergency option that he can play. However, I don’t think any of this was his first choice.
Everyone thinks Trump can’t keep anything to himself and he just reacts and throws tantrums on Twitter, but I think that is not the case. I think there is more in play than appears at first glance.
First, he is not being public with the fact that his real problem is the Republicans in the Senate. I think the usual suspects (Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, etc.) were ready to unilaterally surrender to the Democrats. This forced Trump to do a midcourse correction. He can’t throw them under the bus because he needs them to get judicial appointments confirmed.
Second, I think the ball is in Pelosi’s court and if she doesn’t make a counteroffer in the next few weeks, many Democrats will be peeled away to join Republicans and make a deal.
I expect Trump’s SOTU speech will be a Reagan-like address to ask people to call Congress and pressure their representatives to fix the border/immigration issue. I also think we will hear about his extensive list of accomplishments during his first two years. I also expect to hear about rebuilding infrastructure and other campaign promises; expect many proposals that should appeal to people in both parties.
Trump meant what he said when campaigning and the fact that he meant to say it and really believes it mystifies the crap out of the political class because they can’t imagine anybody that is honest with voters ever being elected. Politicians operate by telling voters at home what is they want to hear and then behaving as they will in Washington without ever being accountable for their actions.
Trump wants to unite us, but Washington is ruled by division and that is usually the purpose of the media coverage because controversy—ever if it is contrived— increases viewership and generates more advertising revenue.
Trump is still testing and prodding the new Congress to see what it takes to break the gridlock that everyone assumes will exist for the new two years. He didn’t run for office to preside over a “do nothing” Congress. He has experience working with Democrats in New York City and will eventually be able to work with some in the Congress to further his agenda.
Trump is playing the long game not just taking it one day at a time. What if Trump is playing chess with the Democrats and they are expecting him to play Republican checkers? They may greatly underestimate Trump to their detriment. I really hope so, it would be nice to see us turn this country away from the socialist iceberg.