Trump in a Nutshell
Chris Cillizza describes Donald Trump very well on cnn.com.
What explains Trump’s decision to provoke Pelosi and Schumer in advance of the meeting? Some of Trump’s allies will insist that he is playing a strategic game that people like me are just too dumb to see. That by forcing Democrats to walk away from the table, Trump will improve his party’s leverage. Or something.
But the simpler explanation is that Trump is playing — and has always been playing — zero-dimensional chess. There is no grand strategy. There is no broad blueprint. There is just impulse, reaction and then reaction to the reaction.
Put more simply: Trump just says stuff. Like calling Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” at an event honoring Native American code talkers for their service during World War II. Or suggesting to people that maybe, just maybe, the “Access Hollywood” tape is a fake. Or one of a thousand other things Trump has said since being elected president.
The arc of his presidency is that there is no arc. There are just a series of dots on a board. You can try to draw a line in between them all but there’s really no through line other than ego and personal grievance.
That’s it. Remember that Trump declared proudly in the opening passage of his seminal “Art of the Deal” that he liked to sit at his desk every morning with no set plan and no real schedule. As a businessman, Trump liked to let the world come to him and react to it. That’s the exact same philosophy he’s brought to the White House.
There is no long game at work here. There is no game at all. It’s zero-dimensional chess. Which isn’t chess at all.
Cross-posted from The Sensible Center