Deal making like Picasso

One of Donald Trump’s many attributes (as claimed by Trump) is that he is a great deal maker.

“Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals.” — Donald Trump, “The Art of the Deal”.

Trump’s current deal making skills look a bit Picasso.

The New York Times details the apparent lack of understanding of trump over the Mexican wall funding crisis – What Trump Could Learn From His Shutdown.

In this case, the president’s inability to reach some sort of deal rests heavily on several basic failures of understanding by him and his team. These include:

1. A failure to grasp how divided government works. The president somehow came to believe that he’d have more leverage once the Democrats took control of the House.

Unfortunately, Mr. Trump has been spoiled by two years of Congress being led by weak-kneed members of his party who, even when troubled by his excesses, largely let him run amok, lest he call down upon them the wrath of the Republican base.

2. A failure to understand the costs of playing only to the base. Time and again, Mr. Trump has chosen partisanship over leadership, doing nothing to expand his appeal. This puts him at a disadvantage in wooing the public to his side of the wall debate.

His job approval has slipped over his handling of the wall funding and partial Government shut down. Even both Rasmussen and Economist/YouGov has him falling to -9% – see RealClear Politics.

3. A failure to understand Nancy Pelosi. Apparently, Mr. Trump never got around to reading “The Art of War,” or at least not Sun Tzu’s admonition to “know your enemy.” If he had, the president would have tried to develop at least a basic working relationship with Ms. Pelosi. The White House clearly assumed that, at some point — maybe after she secured the speaker’s gavel — Ms. Pelosi would bend to Mr. Trump’s will. But the speaker is not impressed with bluster. She is seldom cowed by political pressure from her own team, much less the opposing one. She plays the long game, and her will is as formidable as Mr. Trump’s, possibly more so. One key difference: Ms. Pelosi knows how the legislative process works.

4. A failure to understand shutdown politics. If you don’t want to be blamed for one, don’t say you’re going to own it. Mr. Trump sacrificed that option when he boasted how “proud” he’d be to grind the government to a halt.

5. A failure to understand how the government works. Neither Mr. Trump nor anyone on his team had a clue how disruptive even a partial shutdown could be — and how they’d need to scurry to prevent millions of people from losing food stamps, housing or tax refunds.

Ignorance of the real life effects of suddenly having your pay stopped. It’s probably not something trump has ever come close to experiencing.

6. A failure to understand how members of Congress operate. Standing by the president when he’s tweeting out empty threats and insults is one thing. But when a shutdown starts causing pain and outrage back home, Republican lawmakers, especially those in vulnerable districts or states, start asking themselves which they value more — their president or their political hides. Even casual students of Congress know that this is not a tough call.

It may also grind down his support.

Business deals are quite different. You win some, you lose some (like gamblers, business deal makers only brag about their wins, not their losses).

But political deals are far more complex. When a shutdown becomes a part of the pressure it impacts on many people who need to feed their families and retain their homes, and on politicians who want to retain their support.

A president has far more power than a businessman – but most of that power is reliant on many other people. Doing political deals requires an understanding of how to get the support needed to use their power.  Bullshit and bullying may work in some situations, like when you have a gutless Congress. But when you are up against a bloody-minded Congress understanding how politics works is important.

It may be better to liken Trump’s current deal making to a different sort of painting.

Image result for child painting anger

But ignorant anger is not a strong hand in the art of the political deal.

Leave a comment

30 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  January 12, 2019

    ‘Trump’s current deal making skills look a bit Picasso’

    that painting is a ..masterpiece! Bol.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 12, 2019

      Isn’t it just ?

      I have seen quite a few Picassos in life, and they are all masterpieces. They are not pretty, although some are beautiful, but every brush stroke is exactly RIGHT. They may look haphazard at times, but that’s an illusion. I love one that’s in the Auckland Art Gallery and always want to take it home.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  January 12, 2019

        This is Trumps idea of a Picasso
        The 1907 Brothel of Avignon

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  January 12, 2019

          Avignon is not the small french city but the red light district/street of Barcelona.
          The name is usually referred to as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon but in a Trumpian world that would be ‘Hookers of Avignon’
          Apparently it was very carefully painted.
          “Picasso prepared over six months for the final creation of “Les Demoiselles” by making hundreds of sketches, drawings and paintings. His preparatory work was perhaps more comprehensive than that of any other artist in history for a single artwork and certainly more intensive than for any other artwork he produced. ”
          https://www.pablopicasso.org/avignon.jsp

          Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 12, 2019

          No, they’re not blonde and their boobs are too small for him.

          Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 12, 2019

          His idea of a great artist is probably Thomas Kinkade.

          He’d look at this one…and be disgusted because it’s not rude enough.

          Reply
        • thespectrum

           /  January 12, 2019

          Might be Duker’s idea of a night out more likely 🙂

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 12, 2019

            I always thought that it was Avignon the town.

            If Trump really did work like Picasso, he’d be brilliant, painstaking and seldom – if ever – make a false move.

            He’d want this because it was expensive, but I would want it because it was so BEAUTIFUL.

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  January 12, 2019

          that is a beautiful work of art.Picasso is a personal favourite.

          Reply
  2. Corky

     /  January 12, 2019

    ”One key difference: Ms. Pelosi knows how the legislative process works.”

    True, and Trump made it quite clear on the campaign trail he wasn’t interested in that process or the machinations of Washington in general.

    All that’s left to witness is the fallout. Will he survive or crash and burn? President Trumpy… the only show in town worth the money.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  January 12, 2019

      That ‘show’ led to a 5% gain in the Congressional vote totals and 40 seat gain for Democrats in recent election- the only one that covered every seat in every state. The Turnout for a mid term was the highest % since 1919.
      Way to go Trump to drive the Dems base to vote.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  January 12, 2019

        I guess that’s the difference between a doer and career politician. You ‘do’ knowing the cost.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  January 12, 2019

          If he was a doer he would have done the wall by now ( or something pretty close to call a sucess). Wasnt Obamacare riddled with compromises ?
          lately hes walked all the way back on Mexico paying , and its getting less of a ‘beautiful concrete wall ‘ every day. Trumps fence could be the next ‘big thing’

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  January 12, 2019

            ”If he was a doer he would have done the wall by now ( or something pretty close to call a success)”

            He’s trying. That’s doing. Which other president tried?

            Wasn’t Obamacare riddled with compromises ? Yes. No choice.

            ”Lately hes walked all the way back on Mexico paying.”

            You didn’t think he really had a chance with that..did you.?

            Your problem is you are concentrating on the negatives, as are most. I’m concentrating on the breath of fresh air, the changes in political structures and a new political order of doing things.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  January 12, 2019

              Didnt he have a “‘program for the first 100 days”. But he then tried to pretend he didnt – not really a sign of a doer

            • Corky

               /  January 12, 2019

              He signed more legislation than you have had hot dinners. A simple comparison with Obama shows the difference between a doer and time server.

            • Duker

               /  January 12, 2019

              That’s just Trump’s claim. Repeated by fools like you. Do you even check his claims
              First 500 days:
              According to GovTrack, Trump has signed 176 bills since his inauguration. That’s about on par with Barack Obama at this point in his presidency (174), and slightly behind George W. Bush (187). But both Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush far surpassed those numbers in the pieces of legislation signed in their first 100 days, 262 and 309 bills, respectively

              But removing such flim flam as National Country Music Day:
              .bills he has signed into law, 132 are classified as substantive, compared to 118 for Obama and 133 for George W. Bush. But George H.W. Bush and Clinton are far ahead of all three, clocking in at 170 and 177.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 12, 2019

              National Country Music Day?

              There’s a National Doughnut Day; and every occupation seems to have a national day; it must be meaningless.

            • Corky

               /  January 12, 2019

              ”Repeated by fools like you. Do you even check his claims.”

              I didn’t know he made that claim? I made it. And of course Obama never tried to build any wall; tell China to fug off. The UN to fug off. Likewise international climate accords and the immigration compact…or whatever it was called.

              Took awhile to crack you, Duke. But as I like to say..sooner or later they revert to type.

  3. Blazer

     /  January 12, 2019

    from the Atlantic…

    ‘Trump has never wanted a solution. He has wanted a divisive issue and a personal monument. Futile though that monument may be, he could have gotten it, too, had he been willing to trade something attractive to Democrats. But Trump was never willing to bargain. Senate Republicans would not let him: They saw no point in the border wall, and were unwilling to barter for it.

    More fatefully, though, Trump’s vision of leadership allows no room for bartering. He imagines the presidency to operate on the principle, “I command; you obey.” More even than his wall, he wanted to coerce the Democrats into a surrender by the sheer force of his mighty will. Except Trump did not have the clout to achieve that.

    “Leverage: don’t make deals without it.” The words appeared under Donald Trump’s byline on page 55 of the 1987 best seller The Art of the Deal. Trump did not write them, and he seems not to have understood how to apply them. In this budget shutdown, Trump discarded his leverage from the very start, by declaring for the cameras that the budget shutdown was his decision, his responsibility. When the shutdown began to hurt, Trump and his surrogates hastily tried to transfer the onus—but it was too late. Everybody knew that it was Trump’s doing, and that it was done for reasons rejected by large majorities of Americans.

    The idea of invoking “emergency powers” was a last grasp for the leverage Trump had already abdicated, and it had to be abandoned for fear of what the courts and public opinion would say.’

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  January 12, 2019

      ” He imagines the presidency to operate on the principle, “I command; you obey.””

      I recall a past president who did this.

      ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E825558134726995968&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnews%2Fthe-fix%2Fwp%2F2017%2F01%2F31%2Ftrump-is-making-full-use-of-obamas-pen-and-a-phone-precedent-how-far-will-he-take-it%2F

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 12, 2019

      Trump should be called Ozymandias.

      Reply
  4. thespectrum

     /  January 12, 2019

    Picaso faces are great because there is so much behind our outward appearance.
    There is black face, pale face, faceless, in your,, face time(FB),
    shut up a ya face (the song) written all over about face,face offs,
    straight face, bare face (liar) in your face, come face to face,
    let’s face it, face up, face off, wouldn’t know if it hit him in, face value,
    sh#t face (drinking), blue in the show your face,poker face,
    put a brave on, shut the door in the face of, two faced, feed one’s
    all flat on your, face up to, like thunder face only a mother could,
    Smiley face. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 12, 2019

      It’s odd how when a word’s repeated like that, it stops looking like a word.

      I’ll just go and put my face on and then I can face the day.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 12, 2019

        Bare-faced cheek, brass-faced ditto. Face falls, egg on face, talk till you’re black in the….

        Reply
      • thespectrum

         /  January 12, 2019

        Yes my mother used to say she would just go and put her face on
        more jokingly as she hardly went out so must have picked up when she was younger.
        Don’t think I hear that saying much at all these days.

        Reply
        • thespectrum

           /  January 12, 2019

          In fact I excluded that saying in case I got labelled a sexist 🙂
          I also try to avoid the word beautiful when referring to women
          for the same reason.

          Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 12, 2019

          I don’t know when it dates from, but I think it was always used facetiously. It’s mentioned in a 60s NZWW that I have.

          Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 12, 2019

    The Dems’ tactical error means Trumpy will win on the wall:
    http://thefederalist.com/2019/01/11/trump-will-win-shutdown/

    Reply

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