During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump assumed the persona of an astute, uncompromising deal-maker, a man who, through time-tested business expertise, would fix government and bring “so much winning” while shattering party lines. Well, three months into his presidency, Trump’s bestselling ‘The Art of the Deal’ might be due for a sequel: ‘How to Spot a Con Man’
Even with the luxury of a republican-controlled house and senate, Trump hasn’t been able to make one deal with them—not one. The boastful businessman who claimed that his negotiating skills were unsurpassed appears to be just a master of bullsh*t.
“He has folded like a lawn chair at the slightest hint of pressure, and he’s getting played like a violin by enemies like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un,” said Adam Jentleson, former deputy chief of staff to retired Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Trump went from accusing the Chinese of manipulating their currency to agreeing that they didn’t. He has not made any visible progress in forcing Mexico to pay for a border wall. He was talked out of abandoning the North American Free Trade Agreement by the leaders of Mexico and Canada. And he was unable to bully Democrats into working with him to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
He promised to repeal and replace Obamacare immediately, but he left the job to Paul Ryan who crafted the American Health Care Act, a monumentally unpopular bill that went out with a whimper.
He tried a series of hardline tactics; he imposed an ultimatum and an attached deadline. Trump closed negotiations leading into his self-imposed deadline, and said that if republicans didn’t vote for this bill they were “breaking their promises to their constituents.” And there were threats. Nothing worked.
The president said I’m going to come after you,” to Freedom Caucus chairman, Representative Mark Meadows, one of the primary holdouts. And Press Secretary Sean Spicer remarked that the white house would “make sure to remember those who stood by us.”
As you may have heard, his attempt at bullying did not work. The president reneged on his ultimatum and pulled the bill before a failing vote could take place.
Turns out being the chief executive of the United States is a bit different from being a reality TV host, manage a real estate business, airlines, steak, vodka, a USFL football team, a travel agency, a mortgage company, board games, bottled water, a magazine and a “university.” It’s worth noting that sans certain real estate ventures, all of these businesses failed.
When you factor in the two failed travel bans, the failed healthcare bill, multiple executive branch vacancies, the lack of movement on renegotiating NAFTA and tackling infrastructure, and the immediate wall funding surrender, one thing is clear: Donald Trump is not some prodigious deal-maker. It’s time we end this fallacy.