‘The Cognitive Dissonance Presidency’

by Rich Lowry

I wrote about Trump’s moving-target views on the Alexander/Murray deal today for Politico:

To paraphrase Groucho Marx, President Donald Trump has a position on the Lamar Alexander/Patty Murray health care deal, and if you don’t like it, he has another one…

Trump can’t decide who he wants to be. As a matter of substance (malleable and nonideological) and self-image (the ultimate deal-maker), he should be with Republican moderates. This is the Trump who encourages Lamar Alexander to get together with Patty Murray and talks a DACA deal with Chuck and Nancy. 

As a matter of affect (unapologetically outrageous) and sensibility (thoroughly anti-establishment), he should be with the House Freedom Caucus. This is the Trump who pulls the plug on CSR payments over the advice of more cautious advisers and releases immigration principles that will never be realized in any bipartisan agreement.

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