Questions And A Portend

As with most scandals/cover-ups the major questions swirling around Russiagate are: who knew what and when they knew it. It appears that Russiagate will be the demise of the Trump administration, similarly the questions are: how and when will it occur. While I await the definitive answers with the rest of the world I think I have a good idea of a major catalyst for Trump’s ultimate demise. Let’s explore.

In my opinion there is one Washington power couple to keep an eye on: Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his wife Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. Trump needs McConnell if he is to have any chance of getting any significant legislation passed! When McConnell leaves him he is toast!

McConnell is a very cunning political operator! I do not agree with his methods nor do I respect him as a person but I have to give the devil his due. Trump is far from “one of the boys” in the GOP. However after he became the nominee elected Republicans had almost no choice but to support him. In most cases their support was lukewarm and somewhat at arm’s length. After the election McConnell, knowing his special position, cut a personal deal. McConnell and Trump are actually very similar in one important way – they want to see where the money is before they endorse a deal. With every passing day I am more firm in my analysis of the Trump administration as an organized criminal enterprise with the primary goal of enriching the Trump family and a small circle of friends. The McConnell’s have perfected the art of “selling” their ability to get things done (or not done) thereby feeding a political money and influence machine.

McConnell aligned himself with Trump in exchange for Trump naming Chao to the Secretary of Transportation post. Remember Mrs. McConnell was George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor for his entire eight years in office. If Mitch couldn’t kill regulatory legislation Elaine could guarantee that it would not be vigorously enforced. That’s a pretty attractive combination for a deep pocketed individual who wants to flaunt labor laws in pursuit of greater profit.

The question becomes: Why Transportation this time around? The answer is that Trump’s most popular and doable campaign promise involved a $1 trillion infrastructure package. Structured properly that is something that could pass both chambers with bipartisan support. The contracts for a large portion of any large infrastructure package would pass through the Department of Transportation. Mitch could assure passage of the law and Elaine could pass out the contracts. If you were to get a huge government contract for an infrastructure project might you be willing to donate some money to a McConnell controlled PAC? If you are a Senator who owes your election in large part to McConnell steered money it would be difficult to say “No” to him when he asked for your vote.

Trump’s biggest legislative mistake is to not have made an infrastructure bill the first thing he took to the Hill. If he had put forth a bill that was not full of favoritism and greed, (like the one briefly talked about during the campaign), it would have passed and bridges would have been built for more difficult bills down the road. He would have also cemented the McConnell relationship because Chao could have selectively passed out the contracts.

Right now Trump’s budget is dead in the Senate and it doesn’t appear that the House passed Trumpcare bill is in any better shape. McConnell could “monetize” either or both of them because of their tax cuts for the wealthy but he has to get them passed first.

To date Trump has done nothing but create headaches for McConnell. Mitch never liked him that much in the first place; he was merely convenient. Without some benefit McConnell will jettison Trump as he becomes too much of a political liability. That will be the catalyst that will soon bring about Trump’s departure.

Trump’s only value to McConnell is that he will sign the legislation that McConnell can get passed. The problem is that Trump has messed it up so badly that even McConnell can’t get this junk through. With Trump out of the picture McConnell will have an even more cooperative Republican in the Oval Office.

To know when the end is near, keep an eye on Mitch.

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