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Paul Waldman

Trump's Big Mouth Got Him Elected President. Now It's His Undoing.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster People in the audience hold up signs as President Donald Trump speaks at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania., Saturday, April, 29, 2017. N o one ever accused Donald Trump of being a silver-tongued devil. While some politicians can beguile you with their eloquence and turn you around with their persuasive logic, Trump relies on simple declarative statements blurped out using his alarmingly limited vocabulary. Yet Trump's presidency is being undone by his big mouth. Just look at the blizzard of problems he has created for himself in the last week or two. He fired FBI Director James Comey, which might have been controversial but not catastrophic, had he not told NBC's Lester Holt that he did so with Russia on his mind ("When I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should'...

Trump's Loyalty Crisis

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office of the White House. " I just feel that loyalty is a very, very important part of life, not only of business but of life," said Donald Trump last year. He has been quoted saying similar things for years, and his underlings have learned to echo him. "This campaign, above all other things, is about loyalty," said Corey Lewandowski last April, when he was managing Trump's campaign. Two months later, Lewandowski was fired. The truth is that Trump demands loyalty from everyone but gives it to no one. As he prowls the darkened hallways of the White House at night, alone with his thoughts, his wife and young son 200 miles away, the staff having retired for the night, it wouldn't be surprising if Trump is becoming increasingly convinced that no one is loyal to him and there's no one he can trust. Almost no one, anyway. He has a small number of aides whose loyalty can't possibly be questioned, starting with Jared and Ivanka and...

Why Selling the Public on the AHCA Will Not Be Easy

Cheriss May/Sipa via AP Images
Cheriss May/Sipa via AP Images House Speaker Paul Ryan shakes hands with President Donald Trump upon the passage of legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act in the Rose Garden of the White House. O ne of the foundational principles of Donald Trump's business career, one that he transferred over to politics, is to always act like you're winning whether you actually are or not. So it was that he and House Republicans gathered in the Rose Garden on Thursday to stage a giddy celebration of the passage of a bill through the House that most (if not all) of the assembled legislators hadn't read, that the Congressional Budget Office hadn't scored, that was dead on arrival in the Senate (where Republicans will start over to write a new bill), and that every sensible observer agreed was practically a political suicide pact. You have to give them some credit for successfully passing this malignant tumor of a bill through the House; given his record as a legislative leader, I doubted Paul...