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Opinion Opinion | Why President Trump can’t win

18:21  11 may  2017
18:21  11 may  2017 Source:   msn.com

Health Care Fantasyland

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Demonstrators in front of the White House on Wednesday. © Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post Demonstrators in front of the White House on Wednesday.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

“Trump is grappling with the harsh reality of governing and media scrutiny, which he has told friends he hoped would eventually abate,” my colleague, Robert Costa, reported on Wednesday afternoon. What President Trump had misunderstood, and what seems to have only dawned on him slowly and incompletely, is that capturing the presidency isn’t the final battle for respect and prestige. Instead, it’s a chance to compete in a much tougher arena, where the struggle for victory is governed by different rules.

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Unfamiliarity with the job doesn’t necessarily doom the person who holds it; after all, there’s no job or experience that can actually prepare you to be the most powerful person on the planet and to run one of the world’s most complex bureaucracies. But Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey is a perfect illustration of the specific reasons why the wins Trump promised and craves seem so elusive — and why, without a personality transplant, even the presidency can’t deliver Trump the respect and affirmation he do desperately needs.

Let’s work backwards, shall we?

One of Trump’s most persistent problems as president is his administration’s persistence in treating the media, colleagues in Congress and the general public in a way that suggests they believe we are fools, or at least possessed of dog-like attention spans. While it’s true that the constantly-roiling news cycle means that some of Trump’s worst acts have shrunk against the enormity of the whole, certain items inevitably stick in a way that Trump doesn’t seem to understand and has little tolerance for.

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The official rationale for Comey’s dismissal was that Trump was troubled by the former FBI director’s treatment of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the election. The accompanying attempt at “House of Cards”-style spin was that the White House was surprised at the negative reaction, theoretically because Democrats blamed Clinton’s loss on Comey and would be happy to see him gone. This gossamer-thin bit of schtick asks those of us who are the targets of it to forget Trump’s inconsistent positions on Comey’s treatment of Clinton, the churn in other sensitive sectors of the administration and Comey’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election. It’s insulting to be told to ignore the man behind the curtain when the performer isn’t even doing the basic work of making the illusion compelling or convincing.

Beyond what the Trump administration wants the public to believe about Comey’s firing, the president ran in to trouble with his FBI director because he wanted things Comey was unable or unwilling to deliver.

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The president wanted Comey to confirm his speculations that the Obama administration had wiretapped him, an allegation Comey actively refuted. And while Trump’s letter terminating Comey alluded to three occasions on which Comey apparently informed Trump that he was not personally under investigation, there was nothing Comey could have done to clear the persistent speculation about what Russia might have done to put Trump in the White House and why.

Rich people in private live can surround themselves with sycophants who can tell them soothing lies without consequence. The director of the FBI is not the president’s valet, nor someone eager to broker a business deal by pretending friendship with him. The Post is not Page Six, eager for Trump-related tips to fill column inches. The Secret Service’s job is to protect the president’s body, not his peace of mind. There is no one in the United States who has an obligation to make the president feel good about himself, except perhaps the first lady, and even she has no official job description.

Roger Stone contradicts Trump: I spoke with him ‘very recently’

  Roger Stone contradicts Trump: I spoke with him ‘very recently’ Stone added that Trump "knows" he would have fired former FBI Director James Comey.Load Error

Finally, Trump doesn’t seem to recognize the difference between an ephemeral victory and a substantive one.

Ramming a health-care bill that hasn’t even been scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and that is unlikely to be passed by the Senate, through the House of Representatives is technically a victory for Trump in that it’s something he wanted to happen and that did happen. But if the House vote hasn’t been greeted as the equivalent of the passage, signing and implementation of the Affordable Care Act it’s because those two events are not in fact the same thing. And however good the bill’s passage in the House made Trump feel, there is a vast gulf between that momentary glow and the actual impact the law, if passed, could eventually have on Americans’ health care and Republicans’ electoral prospects. Trump’s quest for short-term wins has a tendency to set him up for long-term frustrations.

Perhaps Trump’s wildly unusual campaign for the presidency convinced him and his advisers that they could take a similarly radical approach to governing. Even on the campaign trail, though, Trump performed the basic functions it takes to win an election: he gave stump speeches, showed up to debates, cultivated surrogates and held a convention. Now, it turns out that you can’t replace the basic functions of government with the law of attraction: no matter how rich you’ve been in the past, or how powerful you are in the present, wishing doesn’t make it so. And insulting the intelligence and integrity of the people you need to turn fantasy into reality, as much as that’s even possible, doesn’t help.

Approval of President Trump drops to lowest since inauguration: Reuters/Ipsos poll .
<p>Public approval of President Donald Trump has dropped to its lowest level since his inauguration, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday, after Trump was accused of mishandling classified information and meddling with an FBI investigation.</p>Load Error

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