The Saturday Analysis: Same Politics, Different Year

Trump Won’t Budge, and The 2020 Problem

The Oval Office Address and The Democratic Responses

Tuesday, President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office on the issue of national security at the southern border, amid a government shut down over a disagreement between the White House and Congress over appropriations for boarder security, specifically $5.6 billion that would be used to implement steel slats and other measures to prevent illegal entries from the southern border.

What the nation saw on Tuesday from both sides was more of the same. The President, using the teleprompter presented a more polished argument than his typical off the cuff remarks. However, the nation observed the same core argument: the wall is necessary for the protection from illegal activity.

The Democratic response, similar to Trump’s prepared remarks, was more of the same. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took turns to give what were the same two speeches, written by two different staffs.

As a result of the several addresses, it appears the needle did not shift one bit. Both sides remain within their corners, still showing no signs of moving on their positions. The addresses themselves likely did not convince anybody new, as the narrative was the same from both sides.

However, as the partial shutdown drags on, pressure is mounting on Democrats to begin to give in on Trump’s demands. Actress Cher exemplified this perfectly on Twitter this week in an explicit tweet begging Nancy Pelosi to end the shut down and do as Trump asks.

What the Democrats need to understand is that Trump does not care about the short-term ramifications. Trump cares most about keeping his promise to the people outlined in his contract with America. His campaign was built on the notion that politicians in the past have let down America with talk and no action. Regardless of what many believe about Trump, he maintains his promise, and does everything within his purview to achieve his goals. He has done this with trade where we saw Trump successfully renegotiate NAFTA into the USMCA, while pressuring Canada into the agreement. It was witnessed with virtually all of his appointments. It was seen with the passage of the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan. Trump will not relent, he has the incredible ability to not give up. Arguably the most overlooked action he has taken was the rollback of thousands of regulations he deemed burdensome to the American economy.

Democrats in particular do not understand this, they believe they can out Trump, Trump. The reality is, that is virtually impossible. He will try everything. It has been rumored that the White House is exploring declaring a national emergency to build the wall, where the legality is yet to be tested. In both scenarios, Trump comes out on top with his base. If it dies in the courts, he had taken every measure he could to complete the task, and if it works then he has his wall that was promised.

The Democratic response on Tuesday perfectly illustrated the current state of leadership within the Democratic party: old, out of place, and out of touch. The visual of the Speaker and Senate Minority Leader standing behind one podium each stiff as a board was unsettling with most Americans, as it was mocked and ridiculed online as it just appeared strange. The party leadership is old, and they have young upstarts like Alexandria Ocazio-Cortez at their disposal. They keep trying to separate from her, when it would be beneficial for them to use her presence, and by accepting her into their party, they would be reducing the likelihood of her continuing to ridicule the party, currently contributing to further infighting.

The thing about AOC is that she is likable, youthful, and almost always on defense. Democrats should embrace her, and Republicans should hit her on the facts and policy because that is by far her biggest weakness.

2020 Update

Billionaire Tom Steyer announced this week that he will not seek the presidency in the 2020 election, rather he will be contributing money to help stop Trump in this next election cycle.

This came off the heels of Senator Elizabeth Warren announcing the launch of an exploratory committee in the early days of 2019. Announcing with a video over Twitter, which was followed immediately by a press conference. The press conference truthfully, could not have gone worse for her, as it highlighted her biggest problem that Trump would seize on: her heritage.

When pressed by a reporter on electability surrounding this very issue, Warren failed to address the question at all, rather she gave a short stump speech of why she runs. While this was a typical move by a politician, the nation is in an entirely new era of politics. Old strategies such as a pivot on hard questions will not be sufficient with the electorate. Warrens inability to directly answer the question is exactly what will plague her campaign. It is not due to the patriarchy, or any other competing factors, rather that voters will realize she does not have what it takes to stand up to Trump on the issues and flaws he will hit hardest on.

Two new players will enter the Democratic primary arena within the coming weeks, as it has been rumored that Senator Kamala Harris will announce around MLK day, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard had announced in a previously recorded interview with CNN’s Van Jones, which will air on Sunday.

What this shows is that the field for the Democratic primaries is likely to be the just as saturated as the Republicans had been in 2016. However, the major issue Democrats will be facing is that there are too many competing agendas within the party itself. In 2016, the Republicans had Trump, Libertarians, and neoconservatives.

The Democratic field is shaping up to have at least five competing agendas, resulting in damage that could be beyond repair. There are social progressives, party elders, socialists, new progressives, and moderates.

Social progressives are figures such as Beto O’Rourke, youthful upcoming politicians who truly take control of social media to connect with millennials.

Party elders such as Joe Biden are those who have been in the public sphere to have served decades and have watched the nation change over their tenure.

Socialists such as Bernie Sanders represent the radial left that argue for the most far-reaching policies, previously dismissed by the party.

New progressives such as Kirsten Gillibrand represent the section of the party that saw the shift toward the left and began to move as the train began to leave the station. Their record and previous policy positions are no longer in alignment with their new, further left positions.

Moderates represent the ever-shrinking portion of the Democratic party, that do not subscribe to the ideals of far left fiscal and social policy that has taken over the party.

With nearly double the competing agendas within the party that will be fully displayed in the coming months, it is unlikely the party will have one nominee come the convention, and a lively brokered convention is not unlikely at all as the field of candidates increased by the week.

Follow me on Twitter @ActualMRFenner

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