© Supplied by Salon Donald Trump; Mitch McConnell
Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell Photograph illustration by Salon/Getty Pictures
Let’s get one factor straight: Donald Trump doesn’t care concerning the American folks. No matter Trump might say, he is just not threatening to explode the coronavirus stimulus invoice Senate Republicans lastly agreed to move as a result of the invoice is not beneficiant sufficient. Trump couldn’t care much less if all Individuals starve to demise, and he definitely is not breaking a sweat making an attempt to get the COVID-19 vaccine out to the general public. He was not defending working Individuals when he launched a video calling the GOP-endorsed coronavirus invoice a “shame” and pushing for a Democrat-friendly plan to ship out $2,000 checks as an alternative of the $600 ones Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell agreed to.
No, what’s probably happening is that Trump, the self-identified grasp negotiator, is popping to the one negotiation tactic he is ever actually recognized: Extortion.
Trump probably thinks he is blackmailing McConnell into stealing the election for him. Whereas we’ve got no direct proof that is an extortion scheme, the circumstantial proof is ample and compelling. This is what we all know:
Trump actually does consider that Republicans know some tremendous secret methodology for nullifying the election he simply misplaced, and that they are simply not revealing it to him for some motive. In actuality, Republicans most likely would assist him steal the election if they may, however they can not. However Trump refuses to just accept this so he’s consistently wheedling GOP officers to do extra and whining publicly that they are holding out on him. He is even contemplating canceling a Mar-A-Lago journey and staying in D.C. for Christmas, most likely as a result of he is talked himself into believing he can strike a “deal” to nullify the election.
Trump is significantly incensed at McConnell proper now for not doing extra to make Trump’s failed coup profitable. On Monday, Trump’s workplace despatched out emails to congressional Republicans during which Trump took credit score (falsely) for McConnell’s profitable re-election, and implied that McConnell ought to present his gratitude by doing extra to steal the presidential election for Trump. Trump believes that Congress may have a chance to overturn the election on January 6, by refusing to certify the Electoral Faculty vote. We all know he believes this, although it is false as a result of he is been scheming with Home Republicans on the way to do it. We additionally know — as a result of Trump retains tweeting about it — that Trump believes Senate Republicans are, for no matter motive, not doing sufficient to assist him and wish so extra threats to get motivated to again his coup.
McConnell believes that this $900 billion coronavirus invoice is required to assist Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the 2 Georgia Republicans making an attempt to retain their Senate seats within the January 5 run-offs. McConnell advised Senate Republicans final week that “Kelly and David are getting hammered” by their Democratic opponents for not passing a invoice. This $900 billion bundle, which is just a fraction of the spending Democrats within the Home handed months in the past, is the smallest invoice McConnell can get away with whereas nonetheless saving these two Senate seats he must hold his majority. Trump’s most ardent supporters have singled out the Republicans’ want to win in Georgia as a leverage level, and hold threatening to tank that race if Republicans do not do extra to assist Trump steal the election.
To be clear, this is not eleventh degree chess. It is truly Trump using junior highschool bully logic: McConnell desires a factor (this paltry coronavirus reduction invoice), and so Trump is threatening to take it away until Trump will get what he desires (a profitable coup). Trump, being very dumb, has not thought of the chance that McConnell could not give in to the extortion if he tried as a result of there’s truly no secret file in McConnell’s workplace labeled “How To Steal Any Election.” Nor has Trump apparently given a lot consideration to how Democrats may react to him threatening McConnell by pretending that he desires a extra beneficiant invoice.
Democrats have referred to as Trump’s bluff.
Republicans repeatedly refused to say what quantity the President needed for direct checks. Ultimately, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are able to deliver this to the Ground this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it! https://t.co/Th4sztrpLV
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 23, 2020
I am in. Whaddya say, Mitch? Let’s not get slowed down with ideological offsets and unrelated gadgets and simply DO THIS! The American folks deserve it. @senatemajldr https://t.co/L1b5rUkc7h
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 23, 2020
Washington Submit reporter Mike DeBonis confirmed that Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi is planning the unanimous consent vote Christmas Eve, which can pressure Republicans to go on the document towards mailing $2,000 checks to Individuals. Contemplating that McConnell is hoping $600 checks will likely be sufficient to purchase off Georgia voters on January 5, a vote towards a extra beneficiant invoice is clearly one thing Republican politicians probably hope to keep away from.
By no means does this principle require believing Trump is artful, intelligent, or heaven forbid, clever. Trump is a moron who’s using what he thinks is a intelligent Roy Cohn-style scheme to blackmail McConnell. It’s, nevertheless, an idiotic misfire, as a result of he is making an attempt to extort one thing McConnell merely would not have, that’s some deeply buried secret methodology to steal the election.
The most effective half about that is that Democrats handed Republicans an opportunity to do away with Trump a 12 months in the past, when the Democratic-controlled Home impeached Trump for, yep, one other one in all Trump’s many extortion schemes to maintain himself in workplace. (As a refresher, Trump threatened to withdraw navy help from Ukraine if the Ukrainian president did not assist him cheat within the 2020 election.) However slightly than settle for this golden alternative to rid themselves of an erratic and disloyal narcissist in favor of a extra simply managed President Mike Pence, Senate Republicans selected to acquit Trump and hold him round.
To thank them, Trump is now blowing up their spot on this coronavirus invoice. As a result of Trump is loyal to nobody and may solely be failed. To him, you are solely nearly as good because the final unlawful or unethical factor you probably did to assist him.
And boy, it is laborious to not marvel if McConnell is not regretting his option to acquit Trump. As a result of if he’d simply taken the possibility Democrats gave him again then, he’d have President Pence fortunately simply doing what he is advised. However no, like so many discarded attorneys, staffers, and different Trump enablers, McConnell made the error of considering he might in some way shield and allow Trump with out Trump screwing him over. However Trump will all the time betray his allies in the long run. It is just like the ethical of the story Trump liked telling at marketing campaign rallies: Republicans knew Trump was a snake after they picked him up.