But this very boast on taxes and regulations shows why Trump’s reelection case is so weak. It’s a reminder that as president, he fully embraced GOP plutocracy and sold out on the sham economic populism that, by his own mythology, enabled him to outdo all those Republicans. He is revealing the corrupt bargain he has since made with conservative economic elites.
One irony here is Trump hoped to run his own “Morning in America” campaign...But it will now be harder to pull off this lie. He will likely be held accountable for what he’s presiding over, as presidents often are. Voters may unfavorably compare the catastrophic status quo with the end of the Obama years.
Trump’s 2016 argument was that he was not a Paul Ryan-style Republican. Trump would safeguard social insurance for the elderly, secure massive infrastructure spending and take on economic elites. He would use government power to protect people — or at least his voters — who were vulnerable to market forces, in a way other Republicans would not.
But one thing that’s clear is that Trump is in an awful position to wage this battle. He has thrown away the very qualities that (by his own lights) enabled him to outdo those other Republicans. And the very things he boasted of in his rant — tax cuts and deregulation — confirm this perfectly."