Donald Trump just stupidly gave up his last bit of leverage

The Republican Congress frantically rushed the tax scam bill through the House and Senate this month, because it desperately wanted to get the process finished before going on holiday recess. Then Donald Trump announced yesterday that he would wait to sign it until January 3rd. As we pointed out at the time, the White House’s official explanation was bogus, and Trump was clearly looking for leverage over his own party. Then today he was rather stupidly goaded into changing his mind.

The Republican Party’s eagerness to rush the bill into law was fairly obvious: it knows something we don’t, and it doesn’t think the political landscape will still be viable enough by January to put the proper focus on this kind of partisan legislation. Throw in the fact that the GOP suddenly began rejecting Trump’s nominees this past week, and it raised questions about whether the party might be planning to oust him over the holiday break. The GOP knows it’ll get slaughtered in the 2018 congressional elections if Trump is still around, so why not oust him?

Trump’s last minute decision to delay the bill signing also seemed strategic. Steve Bannon had already publicly warned him that the GOP will oust him the minute he signed the tax bill. So Trump seemed intent to sit on it over the holidays as a form of leverage against his own party. But then the Republicans put on a grotesque public display yesterday in which they heaped personal praise on Trump in cartoonishly sycophantic fashion. That must have been enough to manipulate Trump’s narcissism, because he decided to sign the bill today after all.

This serves as a reminder that Donald Trump is so crippled by his own narcissism, he’s easily played. The Republicans convinced Trump that they adore him, so he decided he no longer needed to protect himself against them. It’s also a reminder that Trump’s White House is literally always lying. Some on the left fell for its initial claim that Trump was waiting to sign the bill until the new year because of some poorly defined change in tax math. Trump’s revised decision to go ahead and sign the bill today confirms that the original excuse was horse crap, as Palmer Report pointed out at the time.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report