As Martin BooMan Longman reminds us, September is when Trump and the GOP will remember every cloudy day.
It’s happened. The Republicans’ month-from-hell has arrived. It’s the month I coined a meat-grinder. And it’s going to get off to the slowest of starts owing to the long Labor Day weekend holiday. There will much work for responsible government officials to do, and very little time for them to get it done.
Yet, the president is the farthest thing from focused. The Russia investigation is terrifying him. He wants to fire his Secretary of State and it looks like Rex Tillerson would welcome that outcome. He’s fuming at his National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn because Cohn essentially called him a racist in public, but he doesn’t feel like he afford to fire him because he’s trying to pivot to a doomed tax reform effort. He’s chomping at the bit his chief of staff put on him to limit his access to fake news and crazy supporters and advisers. He’s still obsessed with his media coverage and the camera angles and attendance he gets at his political rallies. He’s more energized by his efforts to settle scores with Republican senators who have crossed him than he is with attracting the support of Democratic senators he will soon need. He’s recently made open war on the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, both of whom have been increasingly critical of his behavior and performance. Most of all, he misses the brief period during which the job of president was kind of fun.
And every day this month, more pictures of Hurricane Harvey's devastation will come in and the job of fixing it will be on his shoulders too. Tillerson and Cohn might not survive the month as cabinet secretaries, hell Tillerson might not survive the weekend.
The job is hard, and Trump was never up for actually doing it. Having the orange idiot at the helm is no longer funny or darkly humorous, but deadly serious (especially if Hurricane Irma comes to visit the US too). Things are going to go extremely badly this month for Trump and for the country.
As Trump lashes out like a badger in a burlap sack, his attacks are not suited to his challenges. He threatens to force a government shutdown if he doesn’t get funding for his border wall, but he has absolutely no plan for getting the votes he’d need from Democrats to get his money. He doesn’t know how he’s going to get the debt ceiling raised or whether or not he should attach it to disaster relief. He doesn’t even have a theory of where the votes will come from or what he might need to trade for those votes. He says that he still wants Obamacare repealed but doesn’t understand that the opportunity to do that will end the moment the Republicans pass a new budget aimed at enacting tax reform. He senses that he’s completely blocked legislatively and calls for an end of the Senate’s filibuster, not realizing that he doesn’t and never will have anywhere near the votes he needs to make that change.
This is how September is beginning for the president. Lord knows how it will end.
That's the killer. There are plenty of very plausible scenarios right now where as bad as September is going to most likely be for us, October can easily be far worse, and a lot of those disturbingly plausible scenarios involve Trump saying "screw it" and doing something colossally stupid out of anger, frustration, dementia or a combination of all three.
Hope you enjoyed summer, because fall is going to be a killer.