Squirrel-Hair flew west after his capitulation to the two top Freedom-Haters in the US Congress, and sought out the company of another of their comrades:
If President Trump's trip to North Dakota on Wednesday was designed to bully the state's lone Democratic lawmaker, Heidi Heitkamp, into supporting his tax reform plans, he may have boosted her re-election campaign instead.Trump invited Sen. Heitkamp to travel with him to Bismarck on Air Force One and called her a "good woman" after summoning her onto the event stage outside an oil refinery.
For a Democrat fighting to keep her seat next year in a state Trump won by 36 points, the senator's day could not have gone much better. Trump's tax push has yet to be written as legislation, and a vote still remains a hypothetical. Heitkamp's appearance with the president, then, cost her little in exchange for what amounted to an endorsement of her willingness to work across the aisle.
“You listening, Heidi? She’s listening. She heard that. We’re not going to put her on the spot," Trump said during his speech at the Andeavor Refinery in Mandan, N.D., to a crowd of 700 invited guests. "We’ll have your support. I hope we have your support.”
The president reminded the audience that Ronald Reagan's successful 1986 tax reform effort won the support of a Democratic senator from North Dakota. On the flight back to Washington, the president's key advisers on tax policy huddled with Heitkamp and the members of North Dakota's congressional delegation over a dinner of lasagna, Caesar salad and cannoli.
Trump's North Dakota event came after he defied his own Republican congressional leadership by agreeing to a proposal by Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to attach disaster relief funding to a short-term debt ceiling increase and continuing resolution for the budget.
The Heitkamp overture stood in contrast to Trump's visit last week to Missouri, where he told attendees at a similar event to vote Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (who did not attend) out of office next year if she voted against tax legislation. And it frustrated Republicans, who saw Trump criticize Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake at a rally in Phoenix last month and meet with his potential primary opponents.
"A lot of Republicans are mystified that he viciously attacked a few Republicans but treats the Democrats with kid gloves," said GOP strategist Brian Walsh, a former spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "Why wasn't he using this trip to promote a potential opponent against her? The White House leaked out they were meeting with primary challengers to Jeff Flake, but they're giving [Heitkamp] a trip on Air Force One?"
Will yesterday's twofer spark any kind of public conversion experience on the part of any of S-H's drooling, bug-eyed, slavish devotees? I rather doubt it. This tweet from radio idiot Bill Mitchell indicates that he sure isn't fazed:
By showing Republicans he can work with Democrats, Trump forces Republicans to unite or become irrelevant. He just changed the game.
Joe Cunningham at Red State has a word for such fools, not that they'll heed it:
Stop defending Trump. Stop saying what he did or what he will do is okay. It is not. He has now directly inserted Schumer and Pelosi into all future negotiations. He has effectively given them power they don’t deserve or need. But, that’s fine, because we hurt Paul Ryan’s feelings today, and that’s gotta be good for something… right?I voted for Evan McMullen last November, and it has a lot to do with how well I sleep at night.