Donald Trump isnâ€™t getting stuff done because Donald Trump doesnâ€™t know what heâ€™s doingâ€”or even what he would need to do to get stuff done.
Take infrastructure. Jonathan Cohn lays out the differences between how Barack Obama put together a major infrastructure package and got it passed despite Republicans refusing to work with him, while Trump has failed on infrastructure despite some Democrats being willing to work with him.
Newsflash: Obama put work into his plans, and had a big staff of experts meeting and researching and trying to figure out what would work. Whereas:
During the presidential campaign, TrumpÂ mockedÂ Hillary ClintonÂ for her wonkishness: â€śSheâ€™s got people that sit in cubicles writing policy all day,â€ť he said during one interview. â€śItâ€™s just a waste of paper.â€ť At one point, Trumpâ€™s ownÂ policy advisers quitÂ because nobody was paying them or taking them seriously.
Trump was too busy proposingâ€”in broad, flashy termsâ€”an infrastructure plan that could have been popular and good for the economy. You know, a Democratic-style one, involving spending lots of money to fix or build bridges and schools and hospitals, and creating jobs doing just that. But:
In a DecemberÂ interviewÂ with The New York Times, Trump confessed that he was still figuring out exactly what he wanted to do ? and that he hadnâ€™t realized FDR-style infrastructure building might alienate conservatives. â€śThatâ€™s not a very Republican thing ? I didnâ€™t even know that, frankly.â€ť
So once TrumpÂ realized that todayâ€™s Republicans are opposed to rebuilding Americaâ€™s bridges and schools and hospitals, he came out with an infrastructure plan that was a giveaway to big business. But even then, he wasnâ€™t really going to put anyÂ workÂ into itâ€”not when he could be tweeting attacks on the media and signing horrible executive orders.
This article originally appeared at DailyKOS.com on February 21, 2017. Reprinted with permission.
Laura Clawson is aÂ Daily Kos contributing editor since December 2006. Labor editor since 2011.