Friday, 10 February 2017

Trump the Serial Loser

So Trump's Muslim ban remains on hold unless and until he appeals to the Supreme Court. Given that he does not yet have his nominee in place, and given that Neil Gorsuch has already demonstrated himself to be disappointingly independent minded anyway, this may not be so easy a process as might be imagined.

So what will Trump do now? Will he retreat and reconsider? Or will he come out fighting, shouting and behaving like the playground bully once again? His bullying tactics didn't work this time though. He made a speech about the case and the questioning that the judges subjected both parties to and made a clear attempt to influence them. It didn't work. He actually claimed to have been listening to the case and to have understood proceedings, something which is so unlikely it ought to become this week's SNL sketch. But there are so many candidates for that already, not least the Trump administration's response to last week's SNL: now they're just being mean about us.

The administration is of course perfectly entitled to appeal. But it should also consider that there is a good chance it may well lose and if it does then its bolt will be shot and it will be damaged. Of course Trump could also claim that he didn't lose the case at all and that this is all a story created by the lying media, but even the most bovine of Trump supporters might find that hard to swallow.

The president is already finding that his playbook doesn't work so well as it used to. The insults and the bullying aren't working. The lies aren't working, they are making the people telling the lies look stupid. And like liars. But most of all the administration cannot just do as it likes. It has to work within the law. It has control of Congress, for now at least, but it still has to stay within the Constitution and to work in such a way as to be immune from challenge in the courts. They came unstuck thanks to simple incompetence leavened with arrogance.

It's no use blaming anyone but themselves. But past form would suggest that they will once again come out swinging, vow to appeal and risk damaging only themselves. Meantime their travel ban that is supposedly a necessity for national security remains suspended with no consequences whatsoever.

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