Can the real estate mogul/reality-TV star/45th president of the United States channel the movie star/California governor/40th president of the United States?
Let’s start from the top. Last week, President Trump, No. 45, bucked the Republican establishment and made a deal with Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. They agreed to a three-month short-term debt ceiling increase and an $8 billion relief fund for Hurricane Harvey victims — much to the chagrin of the Republican leadership. One would not be faulted for believing that both issues should be bipartisan. Hurricane Harvey has left in its wake immeasurable suffering and a need for swift economic recovery, and paying off the credit card that we maxed by raising the debt ceiling is common sense.
Here’s where we see a problem — 45 has spent eight months in office, known as the “honeymoon,” with only one congressional success, the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to the bench. According to the latest Real Clear Politics Poll of Polls, 45 sits at a mere 39 percent approval rating. He failed on his major campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare; Mexico will not be footing the bill for the border wall; he’s angered House Speaker Ryan, publicly shamed his own attorney general, and admonished Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump’s abhorrent response to the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville were universally criticized by Republicans, Democrats and the vast majority of Americans. I won’t mention the unsettling turmoil in the White House.
That said, my hope is that 45 has reached the stark realization that the road to the “art of the deal” is paved in bipartisanship. President Reagan worked with Democrats to pass comprehensive immigration and tax reform, and I wonder if this is the beginning of bipartisan solutions to DACA, infrastructure, trade and immigration reform?
I hope that 45 finds success and keeps America’s promise. We pay our debts. The full faith and credit of the United States remains unshakeable and was just seen when Congress passed a bipartisan bill to ease the pain of one of the worst hurricanes in years.
This could be 45’s reset button — unless we receive a tweet that washes it all away.
Ryan Brooks is an appointee to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services and Finance Industries, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. His comments do not reflect the views of ITAC.