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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Budget sellout threatens to ‘beat the h-ll’ out of Republicans in 2018

From time to time we all harken back to our high school days and reminisce about the might have been(s) … the girls we would’ve asked out on a date, the friends we would’ve kept in touch with, the sports we would’ve tried out for and, in some cases, the fellow students we would’ve knocked to the floor…?

The last one not so much -- unless you’re former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden made headlines this week by claiming he would’ve “beat the hell” out of Donald Trump if he’d known the would-be president back in high Trump tweetschool. In retroactively threatening physical violence the Democrat politician renowned for his over-the-top hyperbolic blather was referring to Trump’s “locker room talk” concerning women (years ago) and how he personally would have reacted if some smart guy said similar things when he was young and virile enough to act on it.

Chivalry ain’t dead with Joe Biden. Every woman’s honor was safe as long as good ‘ol Joe Biden was around. Shouldn’t we all be thankful?

Never one to take an obnoxious insult sitting down Trump responded in kind. Katelyn Caralle of the Washington Examiner reported, “President Trump called former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday mentally and physically weak after Biden said he would ‘beat the hell out’ of Trump if he knew him in high school.

“’Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!’ Trump tweeted early Thursday morning…

“It was at least the second known time Biden has said he wanted to fight Trump. The first was weeks before the election when Biden said he wished he were in high school so he could take Trump ‘behind the gym.’”

Yeah, yeah, yeah… Every man gets tougher in his own mind as the decades fly by. Still, it’s kind of pathetic how Biden feels motivated to say publicly such testosterone-driven things when nothing could be proved either way and it just makes the man (who was second in line to the presidency not too long ago) look idiotic. What if a Republican bragged he would’ve “beat the hell” out of skinny Barry O back in the day because the would-be president stole his pot stash?

And they say Trump says ridiculous bombastic and childish things. Where’s the media on this Biden boast? Oh, I forgot – Biden’s a liberal. He gets a pass.

Besides, perhaps Trump shouldn’t have been so harsh in retorting to ‘ol Uncle Joe; after all, Biden is five years older than Trump, so if Joe had actually known the younger Donald when in high school it means he probably was bigger and stronger than Trump – at the time. But wait a second -- for a high schooler to “beat the hell” out of a kid (Trump) in middle school (or even elementary school) … isn’t this the classic definition of bullying?

As the years went on and Trump grew into his well-built 6’3” frame I’m guessing the sinewy 6’0” Biden would’ve been at a severe physical disadvantage in a fist fight between the two. Both men were athletes back then so both were likely robust – but I’ll take the “meanness” factor into account and put my money on … Trump.

Should Biden decide to run for president in 2020 (as he’s unashamedly hinting) it might be an interesting topic for some researcher to check Biden’s high school records to determine whether they reveal any suspensions or official reprimands for fighting. Could it be “Uncle Joe” is full of it on this subject too? How many boys did Biden really put down because he’d overheard a loudmouth make a locker room wisecrack about a girl?

All in good fun, I suppose. Of course, Trump and Biden aren’t high school aged any longer and it’s highly doubtful they’ll ever be paired together on the same debate stage must less a boxing ring. Therefore, we’ll have to remain in the dark as to which septuagenarian politician is the toughest.

With this week’s budget fiasco Trump has plenty enough to worry about as it is. Biden can go from event to event and say whatever he wants – Trump’s got to fret about angry conservatives after he and GOP congressional leaders bowed to the Democrats and promoted a bloated federal budget that almost everyone except the Washington swamp creatures hates.

Despite the obvious negatives on the budget capitulation the president found what he claims is a silver lining. Diana Stancy Correll of the Washington Examiner reported, “President Trump touted the concessions he got in the omnibus spending bill, including funding to start building a border wall and increased spending on the military, despite dropping ‘money on Dem giveaways.’

“’Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming,’ Trump tweeted Wednesday night. ‘Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year...most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.’

“’Democrats refused to take care of DACA. Would have been so easy, but they just didn’t care. I had to fight for Military and start of Wall,’ Trump added in a separate tweet, noting the difficulty in negotiating a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.”

It’s clear Trump hopes to make DACA a major issue during the upcoming fall campaign. How many Republicans will go along with it is hard to say. If Trump is again planning to highlight immigration reform it’d be best to touch on the positive aspects of it – public safety, national security and jobs. If he keeps mentioning amnesty for “Dreamers” it’s going to turn people off.

News reports indicate Democrats are giddy over the budget – and why shouldn’t they be? Even with GOP majorities in both houses of Congress and Trump at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue they got pretty much everything they asked for.

How bad is it? As reported by Pete Kasperowicz of the Washington Examiner, conservative Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan hit the nail on the head – “’The one thing we don't fund is the one issue we all campaigned on, a border security wall, and that is not in the legislation,’ [Jordan] said on Fox News.”

Jordan also indicated the spending bill was among the worst he’s ever seen. Enough said. The agreement authorizes money for more fencing but not a concrete border wall like Trump has insisted upon all along. Why did Republican leaders ever assent to this?

You can almost picture how the negotiations went: Chuck Schumer in his annoying nasally voice tells Trump “We’ll give you the pork for the military, Donald – otherwise it’ll make us look cheap and as long as our people get their juice for Planned Parenthood and subsidized student loans they don’t care about holding spending down anyway. But we aren’t going to give you a dime for that ‘big beautiful concrete wall’, Mr. President. Forget it. And if you shutdown the government with a veto over this trivial tidbit the country’s going to blame Republicans, the House will be ours and you’ll be impeached.” (Sinister laughing as Schumer exits the room.)

Regardless of the accuracy of the scenario Trump appears to have fallen for some sort of ruse. If Trump could “beat the hell” out of Joe Biden why wouldn’t he hold out for more concessions from a weepy ankle-biting loser like Chuck Schumer?

It looks like Trump caved on this issue. One can only speculate as to why but it’s more and more obvious that the president’s become a slave to his own approval ratings. If Trump felt he had sufficient political capital he could veto the budget bill and get away with it knowing the popular masses had his back.

That doesn’t seem to be the case. Despite healthy economic numbers, relative peace abroad and an upcoming face-to-face meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (that could resolve a major international crisis), Trump’s approval numbers remain in the doldrums (Real Clear Politics average has him just under -12). Trump’s now notorious phone call to congratulate Vladimir Putin on the Russian strongman’s reelection received more than its share of negative press and his tweeting hasn’t abated.

In other words, it doesn’t look like the public’s mood will markedly improve anytime soon. Trump needs to see his approval polls as a slow-walk to the 50-mark. He can get there by laying off the Twitter button (or at least the childish negative ones) and keeping in mind that everything he does is seen through the filter of his behavior. If there ever was a time to act “presidential” it’s now (and for the next 7-plus months).

Even charter members of the Republican establishment are pleading with party leaders to stop the spending excess – it makes the GOP look like hypocrites to the voters. Nicholas Ballasy of PJ Media reported on one of them, “Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told PJM that a lot of conservatives are ‘wildly disappointed’ the GOP-led Congress has increased federal spending, arguing that the move was ‘bad politics’ after years of criticizing President Obama’s deficits…

“’I like to be consistent with voters and if I've said to them ‘look, we have a sound fiscal principle that's based around this type of policy,’ that we're going to have these kinds of results then, let's stick with that. So when you’re all over the map, when it matters again in the future, and it will – and the future is not necessarily after the Trump administration, it could be next year – it's going to be hard to go around and sort of, you know, justify tightening everyone's belt all of sudden because you spent all this money that we didn't have,’ the former chairman said.

“’Families in this country – we love to give that analogy – we need to budget our economy like families do,’ he added. ‘Well, this wasn't that and I think we need to be smarter about it going forward.’”

If someone like Michael Steele understands this principle why doesn’t Trump, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell get it?

Voters don’t go for tough talk as much as they respond to results. Steele is correct: Republicans can’t have it both ways; they can’t gripe, whine and stonewall when Democrats are in power and then turn around and blow the cover off the budget pressure cooker when it’s their turn to work the controls. Trump would gain more goodwill through holding fast on his campaign promises as opposed to bowing to the will of the Washington GOP ruling class and the Democrats while placing future generations on the hook for trillion dollar annual deficits.

A lot of people beg for a return to regular order in the appropriations process; even Trump himself said Republican candidates need to move further right as the Democrats head to their leftist extremes. Something has to give at some point.

Politics is a dirty business and street fighters like Joe Biden relish the opportunity to punch Trump in the proverbial nose (and dream about fighting him behind the high school gym). If Republicans can’t get their fiscal act together the voters might just do the same thing – for real.

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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Budget sellout threatens to ‘beat the h-

This was a trap and Trump fell into it, methinks. I fear it was a total disaster for him. Remember, the budget will be renegotiated in September, and I guarantee you there will either be a shutdown then or another capitulation. Why surrender now? Trump and the GOP could have splintered the Democratic coalition at this stage with little danger to their re-election chances. That they surrendered unilaterally won't be forgotten.

The only thing I can think of is that Trump absolutely has to have that military funding. Why? North Korea, perhaps? China? As Michael Corleone said in Godfather III "our enemy has yet to show his true face".

Or not. Maybe Trump just tired of being maligned. But, given the anger I heard on conservative radio I fear he may have jumped the shark. I don't care if Trump DOES think he's Fonzi, he wrecked his own ratings as surely as did the most popular character on Happy Days.

He sounded weak and petulant at the signing ceremony, too. Saying "never again" is just the coward's way out. He should have summoned McConnell and Ryan and told dropped the hammer of the Lord on them. He didn't. I fear Trump is losing his combativeness, the prime reason so many voted for him. A weak Trump is just a buffoon with a fancy seal on his desk.