Blame Game

If there is one thing Donald Trump is consistent about it is his refusal to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong in his administration.  He religiously adheres to the advice of his mentor and Joe McCarthy’s consiglieri, Roy Cohn:

 Never apologize, never back down, never admit you were wrong, use every means possible toward achieving your ends.

As he campaigns for Republican candidates around the country, he told supporters, “And I’m not on the ticket, but I am on the ticket because this is also a referendum about me.”  “A vote for [name of local candidate] is a vote for me,” he said in Mississippi, Tennessee, Kansas and other stops.

After all the votes are counted following Tuesday’s election, you can bet your rent money that Trump will take personal credit for all the victories and declare the losses were rigged by the Democrats.  He is already preparing his list of scapegoats and he’s reserved a prominent spot for the Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Ryan has been a prolific fundraiser and campaigner for Republicans across the country, although he’s retiring.  Trump, on the other hand, has been using his rallies to fatten his already bulging coffers for his own 2020 campaign, usually speaking more about himself than the candidate he supposedly came to promote.

Ryan’s real sin is not in working for his party but in having the temerity to public disagree with Trump.

Remember how Trump the draft dodger  has said he’s smarter than all the generals, even his own defense secretary, Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, a retired four star Marine general?  Well, he’s also smarter than all the legal scholars.

This week, in an effort to rile up his xenophobic base about the coming “invasion” of Central American refugees, he said he is thinking of issuing an executive order overriding the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and banning birthright citizenship.

Ryan quickly said, “you cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,” but only by Constitutional amendment.  Most legal scholars agree, including Judge James Ho, a conservative Trump appointee to the federal appeals court.

Trump quickly fired back telling Ryan “he knows nothing about” the subject and should instead be “focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions.”  Sounds a lot like Ryan – among others — who is being set up to take the fall if the GOP loses its House majority.

Trump’s first reaction to the Shabbat shooting a Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue was not, as his truthless press secretary said, to condemn anti-Semitism and offer sympathy, but to suggest it might have been prevented if someone inside were armed, maybe a pistol-packing shammos.

Trump has a growing list of scapegoats for when special counsel Robert Mueller issues his report on the Russia investigation.

At the top will be Attorney General Jeff Session. His sin was obeying the law — not the Donald — and recusing himself from the investigation because of his own involvement with the Russians.  If Trump is true to form, look for him to avoid a face-to-face confrontation and fire Sessions by tweet.

That’s what he did with Don McGhan, the White House counsel who found out he was leaving and his replacement had been named in Trump tweets.  He got chewed out by his boss on his way out the door, according to CNN, with Trump blaming him for Mueller’s appointment, for failing to stop Sessions’ recusal, for cooperating with the investigation in 30-some hours of testimony and for disobeying the president’s direct order to fire Mueller.

And don’t overlook Trump’s favorite scapegoat, the “true enemy of the people,” the media which, he constantly kvetches, failed to report all the wonderful things the great and powerful Oz has done for the country.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.
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