ART OF THE DEAL

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY JENNIFER HARPER

When Pres­i­dent Trump pushes back against the im­peach­ment hear­ings, mil­lions of his fans are de­lighted with his rapid re­sponse — de­liv­ered while he tends the vi­tal busi­ness of the White House and his 2020 re­elec­tion cam­paign. How­ever, the Democrats also are ramp­ing up their ag­gres­sion — now de­ploy­ing strate­gic, care­fully re­searched de­scrip­tors to con­vince Amer­i­cans that wrong­do­ing has oc­curred.

“Dems throw words at walls, hop­ing some­thing will stick. Quid pro quo, bribery, ex­tor­tion, abuse of power, ob­struc­tion and wit­ness in­tim­i­da­tion are all get­ting a try­out. The search for buzz­words proves the en­tire en­ter­prise is 100% po­lit­i­cal,” writes New York Post colum­nist Michael Good­win.

It’s a mar­ket­ing thing.

“It turns out im­peach­ment is ac­tu­ally about polling. The Washington Post re­ported on Friday that Democrats have stopped us­ing the term ‘quid pro quo’, in­stead de­scrib­ing ‘bribery’ as a more di­rect sum­ma­tion of Trump’s al­leged con­duct. Why the change, you ask? It turns out the Demo­cratic Con­gres­sional Cam­paign Com­mit­tee ran fo­cus groups in bat­tle­ground states in or­der to de­ter­mine the most ef­fec­tive mes­sag­ing,” writes PJ Me­dia colum­nist Matt Mar­go­lis.

“Democrats are essen­tially de­cid­ing what to ac­cuse Pres­i­dent Trump of do­ing based on polling in key bat­tle­ground ar­eas. Ap­par­ently Trump’s crimes aren’t clear enough. Democrats need to run fo­cus groups to fig­ure out what lan­guage has the strong­est im­pact,” says Mr. Mar­go­lis.

All these fancy ma­neu­vers and scare tech­niques, how­ever, have not fazed the pres­i­dent, who con­tin­ues to take care of busi­ness with­out los­ing a beat. And that is how it has been for the Mr. Trump for a very long time. Let us re­visit one of his thoughts that sur­faced over three decades ago and still ap­pears to be per­co­lat­ing.

“In most cases I’m very easy to get along with. I’m very good to peo­ple who are good to me. But when peo­ple treat me badly or un­fairly or try to take ad­van­tage of me, my gen­eral at­ti­tude, all my life, has been to fight back very hard,” Mr. Trump wrote in “The Art of the Deal,” his best­selling book orig­i­nally pub­lished in 1987.

“The risk is you’ll make a bad sit­u­a­tion worse, and I cer­tainly don’t rec­om­mend this ap­proach to ev­ery­one. But my ex­pe­ri­ence is that if you’re fight­ing for some­thing you be­lieve in — even if it means alien­at­ing some peo­ple along the way — things usu­ally work out for the best in the end,” Mr. Trump ad­vised.

Politico/Morn­ing Con­sult poll, which also finds that pub­lic in­ter­est in the im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings is on the wane.

“As in­ves­ti­ga­tors look to con­tinue mak­ing their case for im­peach­ment to the pub­lic, sup­port for the in­quiry has ticked down over the past week,” notes the poll anal­y­sis. “The sur­vey, which has tracked sup­port and op­po­si­tion for the in­quiry each week, found that sup­port for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion inched down 2 per­cent­age points — to 48% from 50% — while op­po­si­tion to the in­quiry ticked up 3 per­cent­age points — to 45% from 42%.”

“Voter op­po­si­tion to the im­peach­ment in­quiry is at its high­est point since Morn­ing Con­sult and Politico be­gan track­ing the is­sue,” says Tyler Sin­clair, Morn­ing Con­sult’s vice pres­i­dent. “A key driver for this shift ap­pears to be in­de­pen­dents. To­day, 47% of in­de­pen­dents op­pose the im­peach­ment in­quiry, com­pared to 37% who said the same one week ago.”

Mr. Ist­van ran for pres­i­dent in 2016 as a Tran­shu­man­ist Party can­di­date, and for Cal­i­for­nia gover­nor as a Lib­er­tar­ian. This time, cam­paign man­ager Pratik Chougule says he is “run­ning as a new type of Repub­li­can politi­cian” who backs universal ba­sic in­come, free col­lege and be­lieves in “li­cens­ing” par­ents to en­sure they are ready to raise their kids. Mr. Zoltan also fa­vors “nearly open bor­ders” and the use of drones to pre­vent mass shoot­ings, among other things.

So far, he will ap­pear on the New Hamp­shire pres­i­den­tial primary bal­lot, and the press has be­gun to no­tice.

“Meet the cy­borg who’s run­ning against Don­ald Trump for pres­i­dent. Zoltan Ist­van, a leader of the tran­shu­man­ist move­ment to merge hu­mans with tech­nol­ogy, is chal­leng­ing Trump with a plan for Amer­ica that’s be­yond rad­i­cal,” notes CNET.com — ze­ro­ing in on the can­di­date’s ideas about abor­tion.

“Within 10 years, I ex­pect ar­ti­fi­cial wombs to im­prove to be able to han­dle fe­tuses around 16 weeks, which would give many women a third choice. There are 50 mil­lion abor­tions a year. No longer will one have to be pro-choice or pro-life, but one can also say: I’d like to give my child up for adop­tion via an ar­ti­fi­cial womb,” Mr. Ist­van told the news or­ga­ni­za­tion.

BALLANTINE BOOKS

What’s hap­pen­ing dur­ing the im­peach­ment hear­ings? The art of the deal per­haps — with Pres­i­dent Trump push­ing back, just as he out­lined in his 1987 best­seller.

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