Trump can’t make a deal to save his life. And now his pattern of failure in the real estate market is materializing in the White House.
His unhinged tweet today regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) deal is a classic example of his deal-making ineptitude.
I don’t believe the Democrats really want to see a deal on DACA. They are all talk and no action. This is the time but, day by day, they are blowing the one great opportunity they have. Too bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2018
We know that his characterization of the Democrats stance is blatantly false. If Democrats were unwilling to compromise for a deal on DACA, then why did they already do that in September of 2017?
This issue is deeper than DACA. Even though Trump “authored” a tome called The Art of The Deal, it seems that Trump cannot follow his “own” advice.
His popularity (and candidacy) was built on his reputation as a Deal Maker.
We need a dealmaker in the White House, who knows how to think innovatively and make smart deals. #TimeToGetTough.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2011
So let’s look at how badly Trump is at actually executing his very own advice. These are the eleven points from The Art of The Deal.
#1: Think big
That would require thinking. Donald Trump seems incapable of intellectual curiosity. We’ve seen this displayed particularly in his simplistic border wall plan, as Trump was surprised that border security is a complex issue, fraught with complications like, you know, topography. (He’s recently learned about mountains!) One may argue that the wall itself is “thinking big,” but that’s a quite simplistic understanding of his position. Trump’s “Great Wall” idea simply rehashes what already exists. A physical barrier as the solution to immigration woes has been in existence since 1994.
Here’s Trump’s sole answer to immigration policy:
#2: Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself
There is absolutely no evidence that Donald Trump anticipates any downside, whatsoever. This would conflict with his deeply entrenched belief that he will get what he wants. This narcissistic attitude is directly opposed to the ability to meaningfully compromise. Case in point:
“When I want something, I get it.”
#3: Maximize the options
Despite his advice, “I never get too attached to one deal or one approach,” it’s absolutely clear that Donald Trump is unwilling to accept any options that the Democrats bring to the table. In fact, he refused to incorporate ANY of the Democrats suggestions, merely restating his initial terms. From Vox:
“In December, the Senate’s bipartisan working group asked White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to tell them what the administration would need in a DACA deal for the president to sign it. [In January] they ostensibly got their reply: The White House sent the exact same document it had released in October…”
#4: Know your market
It’s obvious that Trump is out of his depth when it comes to understanding the nuances of immigration policy. Here’s a example of his demonstrating vast knowledge of DACA:
TRUMP, word for word: "I think a clean DACA bill, to me, is a DACA bill, but we take care of the 800,000 people … but I think, to me, a clean bill is a bill of DACA, we take care of them, and we also take care of security."
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) January 9, 2018
#5: Use your leverage
Despite Republican control of the executive branch, as well as both congressional houses, Trump cannot facilitate a deal within his own party. From the L.A. Times:
“Even as the minority in Congress, Democrats have leverage in negotiations because House Speaker Paul D. Ryan often has been unable to rally his Republican majority to approve spending bills over the objections of his party’s most conservative deficit hawks.”
Trump’s inability to pull together the existing majority is stunning. And, as always, there’s a Trump tweet from 2012, discussing this very issue:
Watching these politicians trying to get a deal done is truly painful — Republicans are in a much stronger position than they think.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2012
#6: Enhance your location
Although this seems to apply only to real estate, Business Insider extrapolates this point to relate to a general principle of negotiation:
…rather than overpay for something that is already established, you should consider cheaper alternatives that have the potential to be molded to your taste.
Despite several existing DACA solutions, Trump is insistent on constantly changing his immigration “plan” to incorporate whatever the last person who talked to him. During the January 9th bi-partisan DACA negotiation, Trump would simply parrot the point of the previous speaker, (via Vox.com):
The president had seemingly forgotten everything the Republican Party had established in the negotiations thus far.
“Mr. President, you need to be clear though. I think what Senator Feinstein’s asking here — when we talk about just DACA, we don’t want to be back here two years later,” McCarthy said. “You have to have security, as the secretary would tell you.”
“I think that’s what she’s saying,” Trump retorted.
Republicans in the room erupted in a chorus of “No! No! No!”
displaying an unclear understanding of his options, and his obsession with following his latest whims, despite the existence of proposed solutions that need to be debated and considered.
#7: Get the word out
Despite not having a cohesive immigration policy, he definitely does communicate his various (and conflicting) opinions. Too bad that his most recent tweets regarding DACA have blatant untruths:
The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country from the Southern Border, risking thousands of lives in the process. It is my duty to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. We must build a Great Wall, think Merit and end Lottery & Chain. USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Even Congressional Republicans have made public statements, decrying Trump’s fear mongering lies. See this tweet from Republican Senator Jeff Flake:
I’ve served with “The Democrats” for 17 years, and not one has ever been intent on “having people and drugs pour into our country”. https://t.co/8yyRogju3Y
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) January 12, 2018
#8: Fight back
One might assume that “fight back” means that Donald will fight for what he believes in. That would actually be admirable advice. But upon further examination, Trump’s criteria for “fighting back” is much more sinister. From Art of the Deal:
“…when people treat me badly or unfairly or try to take advantage of me, my general attitude, all my life, has been to fight back very hard.”
Notice the distinction there? His drive for justice is only triggered by someone treating him badly. What has motivated Trump’s most scathing attacks? Any personal criticism. That is what makes Trump fight back, with personal insults instead engaging the substance of any criticism.
Mika Brzinski was critical, so he attacked her appearance.:
…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand had the audacity to question Trump, so he resorted to insinuating that she offered sexual favors for his campaign contributions:
Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017
#9: Deliver the goods
Here’s a quick reminder on things that Trump promised to fix or solve quickly while in office:
We will immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare – and nobody can do that like me. We will save $'s and have much better healthcare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2016
If elected, I will undo all of Obama’s executive orders. I will deliver. Let’s Make America Great Again! https://t.co/u25yI5T7E8
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2015
I will bring our jobs back to America, fix our military and take care of our vets, end Common Core and ObamaCare, protect 2nd A, build WALL
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2016
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
So many in the African-American community are doing so badly, poverty and crime way up, employment and jobs way down: I will fix it, promise
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2016
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 19, 2016
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2016
It’s clear; Trump just can’t deliver.
#10: Contain the costs
Despite belonging to the party of fiscal conservatism, Trump will not rest until the U.S. spends $21.6 billion dollars on a vanity project with little chance of actually curbing immigration issues. So much for following this advice from The Art of the Deal:
“I believe in spending what you have to. But I also believe in not spending more than you should.”
#11: Have fun
We’ll give this one to Trump. He really seems like he’s having fun.
According to trumpgolfcount.com, he’s played around 90 golf rounds since becoming president.
Featured image: Getty/Jim Watson