Nancy Pelosi: If only George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, or John McCain were president now instead
Watching this reminds me that the day is coming, maybe sooner than we think, when Democrats will be trolling the new Republican president by comparing him unfavorably to Trump.
Which reminds me that the day is also coming when we on the right will be trolling a new Democratic president by comparing him unfavorably to — gasp — Barack Obama.
One noteworthy difference between Bush, Romney, and McCain on the one hand and Trump on the other is that Trump is/was by far the most likely of the four to agree with Pelosi on broad policy grounds, a lingering irony of the intense anti-Trump sentiment on the left. Liberal hatred of the others was driven primarily by policy disagreements; the hatred of Trump is driven first and foremost by his behavior, especially his softness on Russia amid the Kremlin’s hacking during the campaign. A great what-if is what the last few months might have looked like if Trump had denounced the hackings, gone out of his way to court Schumer and Pelosi during the transition, and insisted on a populist centrist ObamaCare replacement bill instead of the surprisingly conservative product the House ended up with. Would they have been more willing to play ball with him now on infrastructure and tax reform?
Eh, probably not. Suspicions about him and Russia are the strongest knock on him from the left but there’s so much else in the way. The “Access Hollywood” tape, the sexual-assault allegations, the popular-vote loss, the travel ban, the border wall, the Gorsuch-over-Garland frustrations, the great political affront of daring to undo ObamaCare — all of it would have made cooperation a near impossibility for Democratic leaders. Even if you somehow expunged all of that, you’d still be left with the fact that liberals are itching to pay Republicans back for blocking Obama’s agenda. Mitch McConnell and his caucus set out to thwart O whenever possible and were rewarded with the presidency and control of both houses of Congress. Democrats have convinced themselves that the same technique will work for them if they manage to paralyze Trump’s administration. Their anti-Trumpism is personal, but even if it wasn’t, they would have been strongly anti-Trump for business reasons.
As for what she says about Trump telling her privately that he won the popular vote, we already knew that. But it’s a reminder that Trump doesn’t necessarily float the conspiracy theory du jour for effect. Sometimes he really believes it.