Republicans need to get any deal done leads to disasters. Big-league negotiators know this.
I’ve written many times about Chris Voss. Chris was the FBI’s lead hostage negotiator for years. Chris is also a big fan of Jim Camp’s methods. Here’s what Chris says about neediness in his great book Never Split the Difference:
NO NEEDINESS: HAVING THE READY-TO-WALK MINDSET
We’ve said previously that no deal is better than a bad deal. If you feel you can’t say “No” then you’ve taken yourself hostage. Once you’re clear on what your bottom line is, you have to be willing to walk away. Never be needy for a deal.
To Donald Trump, no deal beats a bad deal.
Trump told Congress to vote on Friday. Pass or fail, he’s moving on.
That is leadership. And it teaches a lesson. It teaches people that the days of American neediness are over. Like when Ronald Reagan fired the PATCO workers.
If the bill passes, we have something to celebrate. Celebrate the fact that our President isn’t needy. Because the world now knows that Trump will walk away from a bad deal.
Almost every time Donald Trump says something crazy, something so outlandish and wrong, he later turns out to be right.
I know his critics can’t read my blog. (Literally, they can’t. They have a psychological problem that prevents their brains from processing information that’s inconsistent with their beliefs.) But for those of you who want to be right with the truth instead of just right with your own opinion, this will be a great post to forward to your friends. I’ll make it easy with clickable Twitter boxes like this one.
I googled “Trump was right.” I got a lot of links back. I was embarrassed to realize I had forgotten most of these cases. Maybe you remember these now. Before you decide Trump’s crazy wiretap story is, well, crazy, you will want to recall all the other times Trump’s crazy assertions were true.
When Trump said it was too early to tell who was behind a string of threats against Jewish centers, the Anti-Defamation League, and others attacked Trump, some accusing Trump supporters of the threats. But the arrest of far-left St. Louis journalist Juan Thompson, a Bernie supporter, proved Trump was right to withhold judgment until all the facts were in.
General Motors flatly denied Trump’s allegation that GM was moving Chevy Cruze production to Mexico. The media jumped in on GM’s side. But on January 19, CNN Money admitted Trump was right. GM was laying off 1,200 Americans because of its move to Mexico. GM lied, Trump was right.
Remember when Trump said he would save thos Carrier jobs in Indiana? Everyone said he was nuts. He saved most of them, didn’t he?
Trump called himself a conservative person. Professional conservatives howled and called him a charlatan. Yet, so far, Trump has been the most conservative president since Calvin Coolidge. (Sorry, Mr. Reagan.) And he’s just getting started!
Trump said he’d appoint a conservative to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Pundits and professional conservatives said he’d pick a liberal. Cruz said he’d pick Merrick Garland. But Trump picked Neil Gorsuch, a favorite of Ted Cruz.
Nobody believed Trump when he said he could win the Republican nomination as late as April 2016. I was in DC in April hanging out with political friends. They all expected the GOP to find some way to dump Trump and appoint Cruz or Rubio as the nominee. Trump wrapped up the nomination less than a month later.
None of the major media, major pollsters (save for Rasmussen), political pundits, or Hollywood celebs gave Trump a snowball’s chance in hell at winning on November 8. But Trump divested all of his stock holdings in June of 2016 because “I felt very much that we’d be winning.” As the Dallas News put it: “Trump was right, we were wrong.” Showtime calls the election the biggest political upset of all time. And until November 9th, so many people called Trump’s confidence a sign of craziness.
Look, there are probably another 100 cases where Trump said or tweeted something “crazy” that turned out to be right. You’re probably thinking of several that I missed. But I’m tired of writing. Almost every time Trump says something outlandish, he’s right and everyone else is wrong. I’m used to it. You might want to just start nodding your head at everything Trump says. He’s usually right. And always right about the important stuff.
You can imagine what it’s like be in a bad mood, can’t you? People go through periods of deep funk when nothing seems bright or cheerful, don’t they?
And when you’re in those moods, what’s the worst thing? That’s right, it’s being around a bunch of happy people having fun.
And that’s exactly how the left feels when they see Trump at a press conference: miserable amid the fun.
Leftists are pessimists by training. They see the dark cloud but never the silver lining. They live to find out what’s wrong with every picture. They see the world as a fixed pie and they demand their slices.
People of the Right tend to be optimists. We see the value of rain, the beauty in works of art, and the growing of the pie. We see the future as better than the recent past. Maybe we have to go through hell to reach that shiny future, but we believe it can be done and we can do it.
The right believes in shared sacrifice and shared happiness. The left believes in equal distribution of misery. It’s a subtle difference, but it makes all the difference in the world.
Understanding that, you can imagine how miserable the whole left world was yesterday. Donald Trump was so damn happy at his press conference. He was having a ball! Trump Nation stopped to share in our President’s joy. Here are some texts I sent and received during the presser:
Greatest presidential press conference in history. This is pure governance gold. One for the ages.
BEST PRESSER EVER!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!!!!
This is awesome. I’m listening on headphones at work laughing like an idiot.
He called Schumer a lightweight!
I just stood in front of a tv in a McDonald’s for the entire presser. Truly epic.
These were real-time, live reactions to what we were seeing and hearing. These were not planned, staged reactions edited for effect. They were heartfelt responses to a moment of shared joy among friends.
Now, if you’re prone to melancholy and you see the world as a terrible place full unfairness, you hated it. You hated Trump’s joy. You hate him, not for his policies or anything he’s said in the past. You hate him because he enjoys life.
he became more fiery and animated — joyful, even — when he began to banter and joust with the assembled reporters.
Remember that quote. It’s important. To the left, joy is a sin. And Trump’s joy even caught the attention of fake-news purveyor, Politico:
But he did so with a kind of gleeful abandon, even a sly playfulness at times (“Now, that’s what I call a nice question,” he said when someone asked a softball about his wife, Melania) that suggested he himself was in on the act. The sheer concentration of the performance not only probably played well with his core supporters, but seemed just another iteration of the new normal that is Trump’s Washington.
And no one was more depressed or angrier than CNN’s Jake Tapper. His reaction to Trump’s joyful presser was almost a suicide note caught on video. Trapper saw nothing but dark clouds.
If you are a soldier in harm’s way right now, if you are a hungry child in Appalachia or the inner city, if you are an unemployed worker in a hollow shell of a steel town, that’s not a president who seemed rather focused on your particular needs and wants,That’s a president focused on his bad press.”
A lot of Americans are going to watch that press conference and think, ‘That guy is not focused on me. I don’t even know what he’s focused on.’
Tapper proved my point about leftists perfectly. Trapper is trapped in fixed-pie thinking. And fixed-pie thinking leads to war and violence because fairness demands that we take what others have.
And we’ve been here before.
Most Republican presidents, though they embody some degree of joy, present themselves as serious, concerned, and even a little dour. Or maybe it’s my age. Maybe my psyche holds the residue of Richard Nixon as the quintessential Republican. He was the first Republican president in my life.
Ronald Reagan, though, was anything but dour. His sunny optimism and his faith in America and her people carried the nation. The left hated Reagan, not so much for his policies, as for his joy. Those cotton-headed Millennials don’t know it, but the left portrayed Reagan as an anti-women, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-Jew fascist bent on blowing up the world.
The left hated Reagan, and Reagan’s unconstrained joy only made them hate him worse. They lied about him and his cabinet. They vilified Reagan’s friends.
The leftist press has always been dishonest and vengeful. But sometimes even the leftist press comes around.
Perhaps, above all, it was his great optimism about America and Americans and the way he carried himself through his eight years that mark his greatness. When Reagan walked into a room, he was unfailingly polite and friendly without any good ol’ boy posturing. You knew you were in the presence of the president of the United States.
Trump’s demeanor and temperament are very different from Reagan’s, of course. Trump expresses his optimism differently. Trump’s version of friendliness reflects his Queens upbringing while Reagan’s reflected Dixon, Illinois.
2/5/1981 President Reagan during an interview with Sam Donaldson of ABC News Leslie Stahl of CBS News and Judith Woodruff of NBC News with James Brady at the Cross Hall White House Library
But Reagan and Trump share an optimism and faith in America that well from the same spring. Pessimists don’t wear ball caps emblazoned with the rallying cry “Make America Great Again.” Leftists, we have learned, believe America never was great and never will be. Leftists like Tapper suffer from a pervasive pessimism that borders on the pathological. That’s why Trump’s joyful presser only increased Jake Tapper’s feelings of depression and hopelessness.
I hope Tapper got a good night’s sleep and came to his senses. America could experience a lot of joy during the Trump administration. I’d hate for all that joy to ruin Jake’s life.
But I won’t let Tapper’s psychosis get me down because it’s going to be okay.
Imagine Michael Jordan’s best game ever. Or Tiger Woods. That’s what it was like watching President Trump today. Amazing.
The President looked poised, cheerful, and humorous. He volleyed with Jim Acosta of CNN. He rated each question “good” or “bad.” He explained why he doesn’t want a nuclear war with Russia because the press seems to think nuclear war is a good thing. He mocked those in the press who want him to bomb that Russian intel ship off Virginia.
His maturity and gravitas made the press look like coked-up chimpanzees by contrast. He destroyed them. I bet a lot of White House correspondents are blowing 0.23 on breathalyzers tonight. They were ruined. They’re narrative, months in the making, erased. Trump took a powerful magnet to their biased hard drives. And Jim Acosta is now to Trump what Sam Donaldson was to Reagan: his straight man.
Trump is the guy calling them out. I’ve never seen anything like this today. I have never seen it. We have wanted Republican presidents all of my life to deal with these people this way, and the only thing we ever got was Spiro Agnew. We’ve not seen anything like this, and Trump did it with an air of confidence and self-assuredness. He was not nervous at all. He was having fun with them. He was toying with them. It’s like if you got a cat. You know how you get these little laser pointers and you have a little kitten or a cat and the cat goes nuts chasing the light? It will run into a wall.
That’s what I was watching here today. It was just… It was fantastic, and the American people are gonna eat this up. . . . He accused Obama of running the shadow government. He accused Hillary Clinton and George Soros of being the people paying for people to show up and protest things. He held nothing back! He ridiculed Hillary Clinton for being in part of a deal that gave up 20% of our uranium supply and for having that cheap little red reset button when she became secretary of state. And each time he mentions Obama. He mentions… He didn’t say “shadow government” but he said, “Our opponents are doing what they can.”
He called all of this fake news. He was on spot with all this. You know, it’s hard to say. You get caught up in the moment. But this was one of the most effective press conferences I’ve ever seen.
I was listening on earbuds and I couldn’t stop laughing. People probably thought I’d lost my mind. Trump delivered all my angry tweets from last night with humor and good cheer! As if showing me how it’s done. It was absolutely the greatest political press conference in history.
Expect to see a lot of reporters’ heads explode in the next 48 hours. He destroyed the crooked media. He destroyed Obama’s shadow government. He destroyed the criminal intel leakers. He destroyed his critics like no one has done before. He did with a smile. Even the corrupt Washington Post noted “he became more fiery and animated — joyful, even —when he began to banter and joust with the assembled reporters.”
And he did it all by being himself. For 78 minutes, he showed the country what it missed if it missed his campaign.
The television activists at CNN look like college seniors who learned upon returning from winter break that credit requirements for graduation were just upped from 120 hours to 180 hours. And there ain’t grandfathering!
Diehard NeverTrumpers attack Trump supporters on social media like bitter, divorcing spouses locked in a pitched custody battle. And there ain’t no reconciliation!
Establishment Republicans, Democrats who count on union support, the more radical unions like SEIU and NEA, Planned Parenthood baby killers, and tenured communist professors shriek like hormone-crazed adolescents in fall-down hysterics.
Spoiled Hollywood knuckle-dragger elitists blather like untreated schizophrenic alcoholics in a failed 1960s UCLA Film School student project.
And working class heroes, the guys you’ve never seen without a ball cap, who were “displaced” by the elites’ greedy schemes to rid the world of people unlike themselves—the “unprotected” people of whom Bill Clinton said they “work hard and play by the rules”—those long-unprotected millions go about life exuding a fresh sunshine quiet optimism.
Donald J. Trump’s first whirlwindhyperloopmagnettrainrocketship of a first week left the Washington old guard feeling old, slow, and unprotected. And the frenzied speed of this First Week of American Greatness poured salt on the wounds of the stumbling elites. Trump moved so fast, so wildly that lifelong Reagan worshipers (like me) had to re-evaluate our presidential-preference rankings only one week into Trump’s America. Dilbert creator Scott Adams described it best:
In only a few days, Trump has made us question what-the-hell every other president was doing during their first weeks in office. Were they even trying?
Hard-left-fake-news blog Politico described the week this way:
President Donald Trump’s first seven days in office were historic, chaotic, often astonishing and sometimes unsettling. With a flurry of provocative executive orders, surreal events, unapologetic falsehoods and did-he-really-say-that tweets, Trump continued to obliterate political norms, serving notice that the gaze of history won’t change who he is. He made so much news and did so many unorthodox things that it was hard to keep track of everything that was changing in Washington.
While Trump’s official actions came so fast only The Guardian seemed able to keep track with this handy list of 20 first week actions, Trump’s genius for scrambling reporters’ brains protected his work from their fake-news, propagandist lies:
Everything Donald Trump does is strategically calculated to achieve a goal. His communication is designed not to simply convey his gut feelings, but to make people focus on one thing — call it a decoy — so he can do six other things while they’re distracted.
For journalists who still don’t get it, here it is, again, in direct terms: When Trump says something like “If I were you I would take your camera and look at the size of the crowd,” he is actually saying, “Let’s debate crowd size, again, because otherwise you might ask me questions about my real and historically powerful plans and ideas, which I don’t trust you to report on fairly, anyhow.”
Scott Adams says much the same:
You’re probably seeing the best persuasion you will ever see from a new president. Instead of dribbling out one headline at a time, so the vultures and critics can focus their fire, Trump has flooded the playing field. You don’t know where to aim your outrage. He’s creating so many opportunities for disagreement that it’s mentally exhausting. Literally. He’s wearing down the critics, replacing their specific complaints with entire encyclopedias of complaints. And when Trump has created a hundred reasons to complain, do you know what impression will be left with the public?
He sure got a lot done.
It was the most productive week of any president in US history by leaps and bounds. Twenty official policy actions, countless strategic distractions, and 24/7 control of the news cycle. The media elite are Trump’s unwitting accomplices in everything he does.
Which brings us back to the plight of the elites.
Remember how Peggy Noonan labeled the establishment and the people last year? The protected and the unprotected:
Those who come to this space know why I think what happened, happened. The unprotected people of America, who have to live with Washington’s policies, rebelled against the protected, who make and defend those policies and who care little if at all about the unprotected. That broke bonds of loyalty and allegiance. Tuesday was in effect an uprising of the unprotected. It was part of the push-back against detached elites that is sweeping the West and was seen most recently in the Brexit vote. (Link available here.)
Call it “protection reassignment.”
Donald Trump needed only one speech and one week to turn the tables on that Elitist Protection Racket. Now, the people feel protected and the (former?) elites feel naked and afraid. Those sniveling elitists are America’s new unprotect sects.
One way to summarize Donald Trump’s first business day in office is to say he followed through on many, many campaign promises. Another way to look at it is that Trump slaughtered NeverTrump. Both explanations are accurate, but one is the cause, the other the effect.
First, you know I pay very little attention to Facebook. Too much craziness over there. But friends of mine do occasionally send me screen shots of things they find outrageous. So I know what a lot of NeverTrumpers were posting last year, even after the election. None of those NeverTrumpers expected Trump to do what he said he’d do.
Boy, does NeverTrump look like a bunch of fools today? By doint what he said he’d do, Trump drove the last nail in NeverTrump’s coffin.
Received accolades from Teamsters Union for pulling out of TPP
Reaffirmed his commitment to Scalia-like appointment to Supreme Court
That’s an amazing list of accomplishments that NeverTrumpers said would never happen. And in just one working day as President!
These actions are completely consistent with everything Trump said he’d do. And they’re completely consistent with his broad philosophy of government: the government is there to serve the people, not the other way around.
But I’ll go futher: Trump is already shaping up to be the ultimate movement-conservative president in US history. In other words, he’s running ahead of Reagan at this point.
In truth, no inaugural address has defended the Constitution so vigorously since Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural, because none so directly confronted the foundational threat to the Constitution in Franklin Roosevelt’s First Inaugural.
Masugi argues that Trump’s speech surpassed Reagan’s when it comes to rolling back the intrusive power of governmentbureaucracy. Please read this carefully:
Since 1933, all presidents, Republican as well as Democrat, have accepted this willfulness, which destroys the rule of law and even the pretense of constitutional government. Only Ronald Reagan forthrightly resisted this temptation:
From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?
Thus, Reagan argued that ordinary Americans are heroes, who can live quite well without a bureaucracy over them. But President Reagan had insufficient powers, forcing him to compromise with a House of Representatives controlled by Democrats.
Yet President Trump never even mentioned the Constitution, his critics whine, so why accept a campaign rally speech on this solemn occasion as a defense of the Constitution?
The short answer is that since Reagan, 16 years of Democratic presidents plus 12 years of Bush Republican presidents have solidified the hold of the administrative state over America. This coup against republican government is the subject of Trump’s ire and the popular anger that propelled his unlikely election.
Look, I know how NeverTrumpers became misguided and mistrustful of Trump. I was, too, for a time in 2015. I wrote a book about it.
But it’s time for all people of the right to recognize the opportunity before us now. Donald Trump is the conservative savior we’ve been asking for. He’s the only one we’re going to get for many, many decades to come. If you don’t make the most of this golden, God-given opportunity, you will take it to your grave. And, if you take this to your grave, those of us who warned you to open your damn eyes will dance on it.
*In his Obamacare EO, Trump made history according to Judge Napolitano. Via Fox News:
Napolitano said that the order directs agencies to “dial back the severity of the enforcement and [not] to punish a person or a state for what you think is their non-compliance because it might not be non-compliance in a couple of months.”
Napolitano added that he’s never before seen a president say “you will exercise your judgment against the government and in favor of the individual. That is truly revolutionary and is exactly what [Trump] promised he would do.”