Trump shouldn’t act as if he has a man­date

What’s all this about a “man­date”? Key Don­ald Trump ad­vis­ers Rudy Gi­u­liani and Kellyanne Con­way both said Sun­day that the pres­i­dent-elect def­i­nitely has one from the Amer­i­can peo­ple. Re­ally? Trump lost the pop­u­lar vote — in fact got fewer votes than Mitt

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OPINION -

Of course it’s all blus­ter. Win­ners al­ways claim man­dates, no mat­ter how thin their claim, and op­po­nents shrug it off. But Repub­li­cans might need a re­al­ity check here. If they mis­take what vot­ers de­cided Tues­day as whole­hearted sup­port for ev­ery Repub­li­can dream, the GOP is likely to over­reach.

This is what hap­pened to the Newt Gin­grich rev­o­lu­tion mid-term dur­ing Bill Clin­ton’s first ad­min­is­tra­tion, when Repub­li­cans won big and set out to dis­man­tle en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion — even to pri­va­tize So­cial Se­cu­rity, which would have been a dis­as­ter. (Think what hap­pened to 401k’s a few years later.) Repub­li­cans took a hit next time vot­ers got to the polls.

Trump has been send­ing out mixed sig­nals since be­com­ing pres­i­dent-elect. He ap­peared to soften his stance on im­mi­gra­tion Sun­day and said he’s “fine” with le­gal­iza­tion of same sex mar­riage. But he also re­it­er­ated his pledge to roll back abor­tion rights and an­nounced the ap­point­ment of Stephen Ban­non to a key White House strat­egy po­si­tion.

GOP con­gres­sional lead­ers are mak­ing clear their plans to act as if Trump has a man­date. On Fri­day we heard Paul Ryan talk about pri­va­tiz­ing Medi­care. Good grief. Peo­ple love Medi­care. Why mess with some­thing that works? Fig­ure out how to fund it, but don’t de­stroy it.

The man­date claim for Trump is par­tic­u­larly ironic, given that Barack Obama won the pop­u­lar vote twice with far more votes each time than Trump got this week. But when Obama took of­fice, Repub­li­can lead­ers did not of­fer re­spect. They an­nounced their pri­mary mis­sion from day one was to make sure he failed.

Obama’s high per­sonal pop­u­lar­ity to­day has to be some com­fort to him, even if it didn’t pro­pel Hil­lary Clin­ton to vic­tory.

Democrats are not say­ing they’ll do any­thing to see that Trump fails. Party lead­ers such as El­iz­a­beth War­ren say there are goals they ap­pear to have in com­mon with Trump, and they’ll work with him on them.

In fact Trump’s plan to bring back tech com­pany prof­its now parked over­seas to avoid taxes is al­ready a bi­par­ti­san goal in the cur­rent Congress. It may be one of the very few good things on the hori­zon for Sil­i­con Val­ley in­dus­try.

Man­dates are the kinds of votes we get here in Sil­i­con Val­ley for, say, Mea­sure B, the trans­porta­tion tax that has more than 70 per­cent of Tues­day’s vote at last count.

But los­ing the pop­u­lar vote for pres­i­dent, no mat­ter how the elec­toral math pro­duced a win — that’s not a man­date.

— San Jose Mer­cury News, Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

Democrats are not say­ing they’ll do any­thing to see that Trump fails. Party lead­ers such as El­iz­a­beth War­ren say there are goals they ap­pear to have in com­mon with Trump, and they’ll work with him on them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.