1. Exquisite Tweets from @AlexandraErin

    blechCollected by blech

    So, this DACA reversal that's been in the news.

    This really should be the end of the myth of "Trump the Negotiator", because what this really is showing us is the nature and limits of Trump's ability to make deals.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    The truth is, Trump is a terrible negotiator. His dealmaking "prowess" consists of getting other people to agree to things in good faith while he himself is negotiating in bad faith.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Get people to sign, get people to buy in, get people invested... and by the time they realize you're not coming through, they're already in up to their necks with you and they realize if they don't bail you out, they're the ones who drown.

    That's the Trump way.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Trump dealt with smaller players by buying goods and services on credit and then refusing to pay, dragging them through courts until they were willing to cut their losses. He dealt with larger players (banks he owed money to) by making it clear he didn't care if he went bankrupt.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    A typical Trump deal involves him agreeing to whatever, then ignoring the terms of the agreement and expecting the other party to stay committed and figure out how to make it work.

    Which is exactly what happened to Durbin and Graham.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    They came to him with a deal, they laid it out, he agreed to it, everybody agreed. As far as everyone involved was concerned, they had a deal.

    In the business world, this is when the contract would have been signed.

    In the legislative world, that doesn't happen.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    So while Durbin is flabbergasted that Trump went back on their deal, Trump, I am quite sure, is angry and confused that Durbin and Graham aren't abiding by it. Because from his point of view, that's what's happening. They're the ones backing out.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    In the looking glass-logic of Trumpworld, "negotiation" is what happens *after* you agree to a deal. The deal is just what gets people on board with you. Then you squeeze them until you get what you want.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    There is more going on than just this, of course. (There's always more than one thing going on.) I find the reports that Miller and Kelly were alarmed that Trump agreeing to the bipartisan deal would burn the base to be quite credible.

    (And another reminder: KELLY IS NO HERO.)

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    John Kelly saw the bipartisan deal as the destruction of his legacy at DHS. If you followed me when he was the secretary there, you might recall that I said then he was the most dangerous and effective man in the regime.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    I don't know everything that John Kelly believes in his secret innermost heart of hearts but I do know that he quietly and efficiently enacted the most pointed and effective white nationalist policies of the Trump regime while at DHS.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Trump's vitriolic anger at the meeting was in large part because he was the unaccustomed target of anger from his aides who were afraid Trump would give away the farm, committing the White House to a course that undermines their agenda and alienates the base.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    (Good news: Trump's top aides think his base can be lost.

    Bad news: It would require a pivot towards humanity.)

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Trump is the proverbial old dog. He knows what he knows. He has a set of tricks that served him well throughout his life. Not always great in the long run, but well enough to keep him skidding from one adventure to another. He doesn't have much room to adjust to a new reality.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    So he makes missteps in his dealings with Congress, again and again, on the basis of not fully internalizing that "deals" he makes aren't "done" until he's signing a bill into law, at which point it's far too late to negotiate.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    The thing that worries me is that, as he continues to keep trying to do things his way as though the process is the problem, I find it very likely that his aides and his allies in Congress will try to find ways to "fix" the process to be more to his liking. Bend protocols.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Bend protocols, stretch norms, ignore political niceties (and rules, and laws), at first in small and then in larger ways.

    "We have to make allowances for the president's unique way of working."

    "The American people elected him to do things a certain way and we respect that."

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    If Trump is allowed to serve for a full eight years (don't tell me it can't happen; the belief that it can't is his biggest shield heading to 2020), I shudder to think what our legislative process will look like by then. Fill in the blank bills?

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Laws that refer to executive orders that have yet to be written when they're passed? Vague, sweeping laws that simply empower the president to "decide and enact a policy that will make America great"?

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    We're sliding towards dictatorship not because Trump showed up in an iron mask cackling about how he'll show those fools, all of them, but because serious people in serious positions keep deciding it's easier to just sort of humor him than to expect him to wise up or step down.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Every day in several ways, without it being stated as such, we're being asked to excuse everything from his nuclear tweeting to his hours of "Executive Time" to these legislative farces with a shrug and "You have to make allowances, it's Trump."

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    The reality is that these are all reasons he should step down, should not have won, should not have *run*, but Trump The Dealmaker has figured out one of the great magical things in life, which is: other people wanting you gone is leverage you wield.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    There is not a store in the world that would rather call the cops and drag you out kicking and screaming than have you quietly fold your tent when you're quietly told, "Sir, I think you should leave."

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Most people will leave before it gets to that point, out of awkwardness or a sense of decency or fear of greater consequences if they escalate things.

    Not Trump.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    Trump will resign the presidency only if it appears to be a better deal than keeping it. He won't quit early for his family's sake. He won't quit early for the good of the nation, to spare us the pain of a long legal process. That pain is his weapon to wield.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    And since the GOP will find it easier to accommodate him than dislodge him, they will accommodate him. More and more, the longer he's in office.

    Which is part of why the blue wave is essential. We have to sweep the midterms.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    For values corresponding to Trump's demographic and socioeconomic groups. Apologies for the lack of precision.

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You

    And this is where the thread ends, because I've run out of steam for a bit. If you get anything from my work, you can help me keep it going.

    paypal.me/alexandraerin

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    AlexandraErin

    Alexandra Erin For Christmas Is You