Welp, it looks like the Democrats are going to help Donald Trump win a second term

Welp, it looks like the Democrats are going to help Donald Trump win a second term

by digby

This is my greatest fear. They only have to wait for two years and then they can launch their agenda without empowering a would be fascist imbecile for another four years. But it would be just like them to think that having their pictures taken on the steps of the White House yukking it up with Trump will be good for them.

White House officials say they have begun preliminary talks internally — and with Democratic lawmakers — about areas where they could work together in 2019.

They also say the ball is in the Democrats’ court.

“The president’s always ready to deal. Always,” Shahira Knight, the White House legislative director, said in an interview with The Hill.

The president famously reached a budget deal late last year with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), much to the chagrin of GOP leaders in Congress.

Trump has recently indicated he is willing to go down that path again. He said in a "Fox & Friends" interview last Thursday that it would be a “shame” if Democrats won control of Congress, but indicated it could open the door to an elusive deal to rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges.

“There’s a chance that we’ll get along and get along well. We have a lot of things, like infrastructure, that they want and that I want,” the president said.

Trump also crowed about the prospect for bipartisan wins during a signing ceremony for a new law aimed at reducing ocean pollution, the type of televised victory lap he seems to relish. The measure unanimously passed the House and Senate.

“Bipartisan. Did you ever think … you'd hear that? Bipartisan,” he told lawmakers at the White House.

Those remarks came even after Trump denounced Democrats this week as “wacko” and “too dangerous to govern” at campaign rallies designed to fire up his conservative supporters ahead of the midterms.

Some top Democrats already see Trump as a potential ally in an infrastructure push.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he has a $500 billion proposal “with a revenue source” ready to go.

And Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), who's in line to chair the House Ways and Means Committee, said he sees infrastructure as an area where Democrats can work with the White House.

“Clearly, the administration might be able to move to do some infrastructure work with us,” Neal said.

He'll be the guy who brought the Democrats to heel. All Hail Emperor Trump.

Update: Remember what Trump's infrastructure plan, to the extent he has one, really is:

Originally, Trump's campaign had proposed giving out $137 billion worth of tax breaks that would supposedly pay for themselves and get the private sector to spend $1 trillion on toll roads and the like. But that seemed to change when Trump's ideological consigliere, Stephen K. Bannon, talked up a “trillion dollar infrastructure plan” that would take advantage of the fact that “negative interest rates throughout the world” meant it was the “greatest opportunity to rebuild everything” from “shipyards” to “ironworks” and “get them all jacked up.” It would, Bannon explained, “be as exciting as the 1930s.”

Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn, though, worried that the deficit-spending this implied would hurt the economy as much as it helped by forcing the Federal Reserve to raise rates, and, as a result, sending the dollar up. So instead of saying that the government would spend $1 trillion on roads and bridges and waterways itself, the Trump team said it would commit $200 billion over the next decade and offer as-of-yet unspecified incentives to get corporations to invest the other $800 billion. But even this was too much for Trump's austerian budget director Mick Mulvaney, who put together their latest plan to partially offset this $200 billion surge in infrastructure spending with a $95 billion cut in the years after that.

Trump's infrastructure plan, then, has gone from being builder-friendly to populist to Wall Street-approved and now tea party-inspired.