Saturday, March 25, 2017

Scott Adams: Trump's image improved in Obamacare repeal negotiations

I really don't have anything insightful to add over Republicans in the U.S. House failing to agree on an acceptable Obamacare repeal. Truth be told, it's hard to be outraged when I never had an ounce of confidence that a true O-care repeal would come to pass. GOP fecklessness has been standard fare in Washington in the 21st century, particularly on the rare occasions where they control both the executive and legislative branches of government (Gang of 14 anyone?).

This time around though I was particularly interested in the role of President Donald Trump, specifically how his renown negotiation skills would factor in. What we eventually learned was that Trump's presence, if anything, seemed to have been a deterrent to persuading some House Republicans, though we'll never really know for sure since an official vote was never taken on the final legislation.

If you were at all paying attention to the 2016 election cycle, there was only one public figure who not only consistently stated Trump would win the presidency but also showed his work in how that would occur. That would be Scott Adams, he the author of the Dilbert comic strip. So how is this relevant to the current healthcare debate? Well, as Adams points out, Trump's inability to whip enough GOP votes for an Obamacare repeal basically seems to have silenced a certain asinine, hyperbolic talking point.

With the failure of the Ryan healthcare bill, the illusion of Trump-is-Hitler has been fully replaced with Trump-is-incompetent meme. Look for the new meme to dominate the news, probably through the summer. By year end, you will see a second turn, from incompetent to “Competent, but we don’t like it.”

I have been predicting this story arc for some time now. So far, we’re ahead of schedule.

In the 2D world, where everything is just the way it looks, and people are rational, Trump and Ryan failed to improve healthcare. But in the 3D world of persuasion, Trump just had one of the best days any president ever had: He got promoted from Hitler to incompetent. And that promotion effectively defused the Hitler-hallucination bomb that was engineered by the Clinton campaign.

In all seriousness, the Trump-is-Hitler illusion was the biggest problem in the country, and maybe the world. It was scaring people to the point of bad health. It made any kind of political conversation impossible. It turned neighbors and friends against each other in a way we have never before seen. It was inviting violence, political instability, and worse.

In my opinion, the Trump-is-Hitler hallucination was the biggest short-term problem facing the country. Congress just solved for it, albeit unintentionally. Watch the opposition news abandon the Trump-is-scary concept to get all over the “incompetent” theme.
As always, Adams' piece is worthy of reading the entire thing.

In the end, this doesn't have to be a death knell for the GOP healthcare debate. I leave you with this quote from Trump's book The Art of the Deal: "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war."


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