Thursday morning, as Donald Trump prepared for his trip to McAllen, Texas for a tour of the border — apparently the hordes of gang members and cartel overlords who roam the borderlands at will are taking the day off so it will be safe for Trump to visit the “crisis” zone — the President was “taking questions” from reporters in much the same way he normally does: He lets them finish their sentences roughly 65 percent of the time, then says whatever words he was practicing in his head while he wasn’t listening to their question.
At one point, Trump was speaking extemporaneously about what he thinks is going right in the country — in the midst of a time when so much is going wrong both with America and with him personally — and he turned his attention to the economy and to talks with China.
The economy is incredible, we’re negotiating and having tremendous success with China. And I find China, frankly, in many ways, to be far more honorable than Cryin’ Chuck and Nancy, I really do. I think that China is actually much easier to deal with than the opposition party.”
In the span of just seconds, Trump just told the entire country that he is so terrible at domestic diplomacy that he trusts and would rather work with an often hostile foreign adversary than work with Democratic leaders in Congress.
That’s disturbing, but let me shed a little light on why Trump would say a thing like that, and why it should disgust but not worry you.
The disgust is the easy part: In Trump’s mind, every “deal” has a winner and a loser — and if you’re doing anything but winning everything, you’re losing — and he can just take his ball and go home when it comes to foreign diplomacy. If it came right down to it, Donald Trump could ruin every foreign relationship America has and never struggle a day of his presidency with it, because in his mind, if his foreign opponent isn’t winning, then he is.
But the reason you shouldn’t worry is that he won’t actually do that. His contempt for Chuck and Nancy is in the one small detail of American democracy that he struggles with the most: Both sides have to win when control of the government is split among parties. He knows that as of a few days ago, he will never again get a piece of legislation he wants that isn’t also approved by the Democrats, because they now control the House.
In the end, all Trump cares about is the appearance of winning. With China, he can just hang up the phone or fly home or wrap up a summit and turn to his base and tell them he’s won. With Chuck and Nancy, there’s no doing that — and he will do nothing but continue to look foolish.
Featured image via screen capture