The Trump administration can't get much done in Congress, and Republicans are too incompetent to help, so now the White House is asking Democrats for help to pass a right-wing agenda.
The Trump administration is now admitting that they and the Republican-controlled Congress have done such a poor job of legislating that they are again calling on Democrats to pass a key part of the GOP agenda.
Getting Democrats on board with cutting taxes for the extremely wealthy, as Donald Trump wants along with Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seems to be a fool's errand and is highly unlikely to succeed.
But Marc Short, White House legislative director, told a roundtable hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, "We learned this summer that keeping 50 or 52 Republicans [in the Senate] is not something that’s reliable." He added, "We don’t feel like we can assume we can get tax reform done strictly on a partisan basis, so it would be wise for us … to try and reach out and earn the support from Democrats as well."
In other words, since Trump Republican allies in Congress are utterly incompetent, the White House is hoping that Democrats, who are in the minority, will give Trump a hand so he can claim to have accomplished during his first year in office.
But since Democrats have made it very clear that they are not going to support one penny going to tax cuts for the rich, Trump is likely to fail there too.
Thus far, Trump's attempts at legislation have been spectacularly unsuccessful. His proposal to repeal Obamacare was met with unified Democratic opposition, even with senators from red states that he won in the election, like Idaho and West Virginia. Meanwhile, Trump and McConnell were unable to get even the necessary Republican votes to pass the bill.
Unlike his predecessor, President Barack Obama, who got economic stimulus enacted less than a month after being sworn in, Trump has no signature legislation to speak of. Instead, he has been reduced to citing legislation naming buildings as evidence of his success.
When Trump has been a part of successfully getting legislation through Congress, he had to bend the knee to Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, a display that makes his fellow Republicans extremely angry.
Nearly every Senate Democrat has signed on to a letter to Trump drawing a line in the sand on taxes.
"Tax reform cannot be a cover story for delivering tax cuts to the wealthiest," they said. "We will not support any tax plan that includes tax cuts for the top 1 percent."
Trump is an unpopular president, currently under multiple investigations, with a demonstrated inability to get any significant legislation done, despite his party controlling both chambers of Congress. That's in part thanks to the Republican Party's inability to govern, though Trump's incessant attacks on his own party certainly cannot be helping. Given the current climate, some members of Congress are bailing on everything and choosing retirement instead.
The prospect of Democrats throwing out one of their key beliefs to help him out seems both desperate and delusional.