HART: Trump might lead to 'cafeteria politics'

Ron Hart
Ron Hart

You’d think Trump would be happy when his presumably favorite team, the Syracuse Orangemen, beat No. 1 Clemson last week. Instead he picks a name-calling Twitter fight with our great Sen. Bob Corker as if he were Rosie O’Donnell.

Trump continues to isolate himself as a Party of One. He picks battles with the GOP about as much as Democrats do, alienating both. Then he laments that his legislation doesn’t get passed.

What we like about Trump, his anti-Washington “Drain the Swamp” crusade, has to be tempered with practical politics. Paraphrasing what Sen. Corker fired back, those in charge of the adult daycare at the White House had best show up for work. Otherwise, they are going to put those of us who care about good policy in the nervous hospital.

Trump can’t treat heads of state and senators like Bob Corker like he did Meatloaf on "The Apprentice." Corker is the accomplished chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Trump mispronounced the African country of Namibia as “Nambia.” If Corker wants to trip him up, he should suggest Trump give a quick teleprompter speech on civil unrest in Niger and see how that comes out.

Trump is petulant, bullying, narcissistic and impulsive, and he is not going to change. We knew that. But that does not mean he is not right on the issues; he mostly is. I defy any Republican to tell me where the president has been broadly wrong on an issue. He has cut regulations, confirmed a great Supreme Court nominee, and tried to end Obamacare and lower taxes.

Politics are clearly polarized now on issues, and everyone knows where they stand. You either want more government or less. More taxes or fewer. More freedoms or fewer. The issues are clear. Politics are so bifurcated these days; if you publicly state that you are "undecided" on an issue, you must be a lonely shut-in and just want to make your phone ring.

Nancy Pelosi, de facto Minority Party Whip, talks of “bipartisanship.” Yet all the Dems vote in lockstep as their leaders tell them to.

Even the shooting at the GOP baseball practice couldn’t bring them together. Pelosi instantly called for banning baseball. But they did stand together for a moment of silence at the actual baseball game the following day. It showed the American people that Congress can cooperate and accomplish something as long as it is just symbolic and meaningless.

The conservative issues, if well explained, will win the argument with voters. Getting the message around a “fake news” liberal media has been Trump’s forte. Trump explains issues like he’s talking to a group of union construction workers in their union hall. Ineloquent, yes, but effective.

Both parties talk over each other on issues. Trump and the GOP want to let the free market work to reduce healthcare premiums and deductibles. The Democrats want to use government healthcare to cure their biggest health ailment: the inflamed redness in middle America.

I am not sure we want both parties agreeing. The last time they did, we got the Iraq/Afghanistan worthless trillion dollar wars that are about old enough to legally drink now, and the equally costly Patriot Act. The parties agreeing is like calling a psychic hotline. It costs us a dollar for the first minute and then $1 billion for every minute after that.

A syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator, Ron may be reached at or Twitter @RonaldHart.