April 6, 2017

"Mega-donor urged Bannon not to resign/Trump’s strategist threatened to leave the White House after clashing with Jared Kushner."

Politico reports:
Five people, including a senior administration official and several sources close to the president, tell POLITICO that Bannon, one of Trump’s closest advisers, has clashed with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who’s taken on an increasingly prominent portfolio in the West Wing. Bannon has complained that Kushner and his allies are trying to undermine his populist approach, the sources said.

Republican mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, a longtime Bannon confidante who became a prominent Trump supporter during the campaign, urged Bannon not to resign. “Rebekah Mercer prevailed upon him to stay,” said one person familiar with the situation....
It's good to have 5 sources, but I can't tell what happened that justifies the verb "clashed." That could mean a lot of things, and I'm suspicious that journalists antagonistic to Trump are eager to impose a chaos template. (It seems to alternate with the evil template.)

Politico observes that Kushner's power has "ballooned":
He has helped to expand the authority of two senior West Wing officials who, like him, are less ideological in nature: former Goldman Sachs executives Gary Cohn, who is now chairman of the National Economic Council, and Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser for strategy. The national security directive removing Bannon from the NSC explicitly authorized Powell to attend the National Security Council's Principals' and Deputies' Committee meetings.
I'm familiar with the name Gary Cohn only because I just read — in a NYT interview transcript —  Trump's reaction when Gary Cohn sneezed:
TRUMP: God bless you. You O.K., Gary? That was a pretty tough one. I’ve got to make sure my man is all right.
I don't know if Trump and Cohn have a sneeze-and-response routine to break the tension. It happened right when Maggie Haberman was bearing in, looking for specifics about which U.S. airports really deserve to be called — as Trump had put it — a "horror show." But I'll assume it was a random sneeze, and Trump loves to spontaneously switch topics. It's fun. It makes him look cute and smart (or so he may think). And it makes it hard for others to keep up even as he looks as if he's not racing ahead. He's manifesting distractability, and it makes them think he's less competent. But everyone laughed, and Trump got away with never saying exactly which airports are a horror show. 

Oh, yes — do I seem distractable? — there's all that chaos around Trump. Bannon and Jared are clashing. Cohn is sneezing.

And Rebekah Mercer is... holding people together? I know who Rebekah Mercer is, because I read Jane Mayer's piece in The New Yorker, "THE RECLUSIVE HEDGE-FUND TYCOON BEHIND THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY/How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency":
[Robert Mercer] poured millions of dollars into Breitbart News.... By 2016, Breitbart News claims, it had the most shared political content on Facebook, giving the Mercers a platform that no other conservative donors could match. Rebekah Mercer is highly engaged with Breitbart’s content. An insider there said, “She reads every story, and calls when there are grammatical errors or typos.” Though she doesn’t dictate a political line to the editors, she often points out areas of coverage that she thinks require more attention. Her views about the Washington establishment, including the Republican leadership, are scathing. “She was at the avant-garde of shuttering both political parties,” the insider at Breitbart said. “She went a long way toward the redefinition of American politics.”
Much more about Robert and Rebekah Mercer at that New Yorker article. Back at the Politico piece, we see that Jared Kushner supposedly thinks that Rebekah and Robert Mercer "have taken too much credit" for Trump's victory and that he has "misgivings about their go-it-alone approach to outside spending boosting Trump’s agenda."
“If Bannon leaves the White House, Bekah’s access and influence shrinks dramatically,” said the GOP operative who talks to Mercer.

67 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

Suspect that Trump is letting McMasters set up the NSC like he wants, which is the mark of good leader. Hire quality subordinates and let them do their jobs.

AprilApple said...

I heard somewhere that a bunch of Texas border agents are disappointed in Trump for keeping and promoting an Obama-hold over and making that Obama hold-over the new boss. The border agents hate the Obama guy and feel betrayed by Trump.

If true - who is advising Trump on keeping ANY Obama hold-overs? Why is IRS Koskinen not fired? All sorts of big easy decisions are falling off the back of the promise wagon - and I wonder who is to blame?

AprilApple said...

No one trusts the hack press anymore - except blind faithful D-crats.

Kate said...

At this point I don't trust any news service. Politico, NYT, Breitbart, whatever. Who knows what's really happening? I've seen the Bannon story rebutted elsewhere.

traditionalguy said...

Bannon represents the Great Again alternate reality... great like it used to be before the push by the World Currency Kings who thought it would be easier with one World Currency issued by
one World Governance Committee enforced by One World Media and One World Police all with a Common Core Realty programming a One World Computer allowing a One Language to be spoken.

What's wrong with that?

sykes.1 said...

Bannon's demotion and yesterday's press conference indicate that the neocons have captured the Trump Presidency. We should expect a major escalation of all our wars (Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, etc.) and a major confrontation with Iran and/or Russia.

Laslo Spatula said...

I love the use of "mega" to connate REAL concern.

Dialogue from my movie:

WES: Time Machines are wonderful things. You could kill Hitler in the morning and then bang your first grade teacher an hour later.

KELLER: I’m not sure I could kill Hitler.

WES: You wouldn’t kill Hitler?

KELLER: I don’t know. Maybe someone worse would take his place.

WES: Someone worse than Hitler.

KELLER: You know, like a Mega-Hitler or something. Someone who’d do something REALLY big.


I am Laslo.

AJ Lynch said...

I remember when the MSM hounded Obama every day for 8 years over his promise to close Gitmo.

mccullough said...

I think Ike was the only president who used the NSC as intended. Of course, he created the position of National Security Adviser out of the blue and most presidents don't do much with the NSC. Don't know how much influence Bannon has, but not attending NSC meetings doesn't mean much.

David Begley said...

It was the populist message crafted by Bannon that got Trump elected. Kushner did little. He set up a Big Data operation. Trump needs to be loyal that the one that brought him.

exhelodrvr1 said...

David,
Being loyal to Bannon should be completely separate from whether or not he stays on the NSC.

The Cracker Emcee said...

WTF? Isn't Kushner Jewish? Hasn't the rabid anti-Semite Trump thrown him in a camp yet?

AJ Lynch said...

Kushner and Ivanka are probably very smart people but they are more likely liberals than conservatives. That doesn't bode well for a successful Trump presidency as it relates to my values and ideas.

Ivanka has regularly talked about child care as one her major interests. Yet the country can not afford another YUGE entitlement program.

Bob Boyd said...

Only a week or so ago they were telling us Trump was furious with Kushner for going skiing when the AHA was in trouble and he might be on his way out.

Mike Sylwester said...

... Maggie Haberman was bearing in, looking for specifics about which U.S. airports really deserve to be called — as Trump had put it — a "horror show."

During one of the election debates, Trump declared that some US airports are like "Third World airports".

I wondered which "Third World" countries he had in mind.

* Haiti?

* Zimbabwe?

* Rwanda?

* Afghanistan?

Which US airport matches one of those countries' airports?

More importantly, what is our President Trump going to do about improving US airports? How much money does he propose that the Federal Government spend to improve, for example, Laguardia Airport?

I voted for Trump, but he really is a scatter-brain. Now he has White House staff members wasting their time identifying US airports that are "horror shows". Sad.

David Begley said...

Ex:

But the story was that not only is Bannon losing influence and was thinking about quitting. I do agree that this story was completely blown up out of proportion. The MSM wants to paint Bannon as the new Dick Cheney/ Karl Rove. Bannon must be destroyed.

Kate:

Eliana Johnson co-wrote the Politico story so it is credible.

Brando said...

"Kushner and Ivanka are probably very smart people but they are more likely liberals than conservatives. That doesn't bode well for a successful Trump presidency as it relates to my values and ideas."

It'll depend a lot on how the administration reacts to Congress. Of course, if Congress can't get its own head out of its butt, we might see a whole lot of nothing.

Michael K said...

"Which US airport matches one of those countries' airports?"

Miami, for one.

I don;t trust Politico no matter who wrote the story.

Brando said...

Althouse's sensitivity to any suggestion that Trump's administration is a smooth running machine notwithstanding, it does seem that there are three main factions with a stake--the Reaganites, the Nationalists, and the Liberals. If Bannon was indeed demoted (and giving up his NSC seat is not necessarily a demotion, it all depends on how much clout he has with Trump himself), that's a hit for the nationalists. Whether that helps the Reaganites (represented by Preibus) or the liberals (represented by Kushner) is anyone's guess, but we'll know more if we see any change in policy direction. I would think the AHCA mess took the Reaganites down a peg, as Ryan was a champion of that group.

The one group I'd bet on is the Kushnerites. I don't see him leaving his position unless it's his choice. Trump won't turn on his daughter.

GWash said...

HA... we've got the reality tv govt we deserve after the record electoral college win by herr trump.. such a big win ! may all your libertarian dreams come true with this gang of thieves in charge... what a bungling gang of inexperienced selfish egotists.. here comes china ! let them fill all of the voids left by trump's incompetence.. expect an abdication.. trump's already lost interest in governing anything other than his 'empire' and his golf swing...
as always watch your wallets they are already pilfering your pants...

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Trump won't turn-on his daughter."

Sadly, this is not a two way street.

Once written, twice... said...

Trump has no underlying political principles. He could easily swing over to being a very tax and spend liberal Republican. If there is chaos in the Whitehouse it is because of him. And you know he will at some point turn on his son inlaw as well.

Expat(ish) said...

US Airports at third world?

Well, Bangalor and Delhi have great airports, certainly not third world in that sense.

I go with JFK. Heck, Detroit has tots upped the game in our own third world.

Miami is a mess on the other side of customs (I got stuck in a 3 hour re-inspect line with Brazillian hookers coming in for the super bowl last year) but the gate area is high 2nd world. Certainly as good as anything in England, except maybe LHR/5.

_XC

madAsHell said...

Do you really think Politico has a fly-on-the-wall that is privy to all this turmoil?

Me neither.

chickelit said...

Trump won't turn on his daughter.

Ah, but his supporters will turn on him. Problem is, there's no one else to turn to. I think he knows that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Laslo et al

Regarding killing Hilter and time travel. You all need to read this classic :-D

Everybody Kills Hitler On Their First Trip.

International Association of Time Travelers: Members’ Forum
Subforum: Europe – Twentieth Century – Second World War

Mike Sylwester said...

Mike Sylwester at 8:38 AM

Now he has White House staff members wasting their time identifying US airports that are "horror shows". Sad.

Oops. Maggie Haberman is not a "White House staff member". She is a journalist.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Like y'all, I know Politico lies.

Now they're trying to trick us into thinking Nunes is stepping aside.

Liars!

Mike Sylwester said...

Michael K at 8:43 AM

Miami [Airport], for one.

Miami Airport is like an airport in which of the following countries?

* Haiti?

* Zimbabwe?

* Rwanda?

* Afghanistan?

How much money should the US Federal Government spend to improve Miami Airport?

exhelodrvr1 said...

I'm sure that Schiff will also recuse himself.

Mike Sylwester said...

From the linked NYT article:

TRUMP: I think the airports are a horror show. I’ve traveled the world, I know the world.

HABERMAN: And, well, you’ve traveled the country. So you saw all of these cities in the last year and a half, two years. Tell us what you thought, do worst, do best in terms of airport, in terms of infrastructure, in terms of what you saw.

TRUMP: When you look at the infrastructure in places like Iowa, in places like Tennessee and Alabama and places I won by massive —


This conversation was diverted by a sneeze, but Trump immediately changed the subject from airports to infrastructure.

Trump's shtick about US airports being "Third world airports" or "horror shows" is just Trump-trash-talk.

He will not propose that the US Federal Government pay any money to improve any US airport.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How much money should the US Federal Government spend to improve Miami Airport?

The question is what improvements? Are the runways unsafe, the communications and flight tracking inadequate? Those things that affect the safety and ability of the passengers to be able to get from one location to another seem to be Federal issues.

Is the terminal and landscaping old, tired and circa 1960? Roads leading up to the airport not nice and full of potholes? Air conditioning not working? Crappy TVs playing CNN? Food court is sucky? Those are not Federal issues. Once you get out of the plane it isn't a Fed issue anymore...it is Municipal or State.

Municipal Revenue Bonds are the source of income for funding and maintaining those things. They are not paid back by taxes, but are paid back by revenue from the underlying source. I sold many of those back in the day for Airports, Sea Ports etc. They are somewhat risky, as is any commercial bond but that is how you do it. That is also why they pay a higher interest. You are trading risk for return.

mockturtle said...

Per usual, I'm not sure whether the topic is the event or the reporting of the event.

Michael K said...

" may all your libertarian dreams come true with this gang of thieves in charge."

We know you preferred your own gang of thieves.

Dave Hunter said...

I don't believe anything I read about the inner workings of the Trump administration. Bannon is a former Navy officer who worked in the Pentagon. He is not part of the NSC apparatus and his I'm sure he knows that his attendance NSC meetings was never going to be permanent, as his job title is "Chief Strategist"- a political position. The guy is really smart and has his own ideas about how to approach things. If he isn't being heard anymore by the president then it's time to move on, but being left out of NSC meetings isn't the end of the world for him I'll wager.

Browndog said...

Go read the headlines on Politico's Homepage-

Then explain why they are even linked, let alone discussed.

AJ Lynch said...

Slow Joe Biden has also referred to our airports as 3rd world. Did Maggie Haberman ever ask Dopey Joe which ones he meant?

Freder Frederson said...

Kushner and Ivanka are probably very smart people

What makes you think that? Neither one of them have ever held a job that they actually had to compete for. They are where they are (like her father) only because of nepotism. Apparently the only way Kushner got into to Harvard was through his father giving Harvard a $2.5 million bribe.

Ivanka doesn't even know what complicit means

David said...

Lost in all this is the fact that McMaster, a quiet thoughtful man, is a huge upgrade from Flynn and/or Bannon. I recommend McMaster's book, Dereliction of Duty, highly. It's about McNamara and how he and others misled Johnson and marginalized the Joint Chiefs during Vietnam. McMaster does not come across as someone who will carelessly make a dangerous situation worse, which Bannon and Flynn are both inclined to do. If Kushner is pushing Trump in this direction, and Trump is listening, it speaks well of both Kushner and Trump.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

But...I thought all the smart good people hated Bannon and wanted to see his power reduced. So they should be happy, right? Hooray for Trump for diminishing Bannon's role, yeah?

Or is it that any Trump news is bad news no matter what? I mean, if the smart people think giving Bannon a big role was bad and should be corrected, are they still counting the "chaos" created by that correction being made against Trump? If so it sort of seems like no matter what happens they'll hold it against Trump--if he corrects that causes chaos and if he doesn't correct that causes continued harm. Huh.

mockturtle said...

David, although I have not read McMaster's book [yet], I well remember McNamara's destructive role during the Johnson administration. My only issue with McMaster is that he seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Islam, ignoring the very tenets of the Qur'an regarding world domination and denying that extremist positions are really 'Islamic'. Perhaps you could disabuse me of this notion.

YoungHegelian said...

@Cracker Emcee,

WTF? Isn't Kushner Jewish? Hasn't the rabid anti-Semite Trump thrown him in a camp yet?

Oh, man, it's even scarier than that!

Bekah Mercer is Jewish & the evil Nazi Steve Bannon has hoodwinked her into being one of his biggest supporters.

Or, maybe Mercer is just a really wily Jew who knows that you keep your friends close & your enemies closer, & she wants to keep very close tabs on the resident WH Nazis.

It's all very confusing & complicated, you understand, because the backstabbing world of Republican Alt-Right Fascism is just that way.

Fernandinande said...

Freder Frederson said...
Ivanka doesn't even know what complicit means


That makes three of us.

khesanh0802 said...

@David Thanks for the book recommendation. I will enjoy another point of view on the idiots who managed VN.

khesanh0802 said...

@HoodlumDudlum A point I thought was obvious yesterday. Trump rationalizes his management teams and the press faints. Trump irrationalizes his management teams and the press faints. Trump has a steak sandwich for lunch and the press faints. It will never end.

eric said...

I do that believe any anonymous sources anymore, unless they are saying something the MSM completely disagrees with.

Bannon says it's a total lie. Zero chance he is going anywhere. And he never threatened to resign.

Infinite Monkeys said...

He has helped to expand the authority of two senior West Wing officials who, like him, are less ideological in nature

Is less ideological supposed to be bad? I can't keep up.

Michael K said...

What makes you think that? Neither one of them have ever held a job that they actually had to compete for.

Says the drone who has made millions and knows all about things.

Kushner probably had more of a role, with his data system, in Trump's election than Bannon.

Kushner did for Trump what the Google types did for Obama.

But, of course, you could do better,

Michael K said...

McMaster's book is a good read and I wondered if it would end his career. It says a lot about him that he went from LTC to three star after the book was published. He was unmerciful on the Joint Chiefs.

The Islam thing concerns me a bit, too. Some of this is because a lot of these officers have worked with Muslims in their own home countries. It might be a stretch to understand how unsuited they are for the modern world.

AReasonableMan said...

David said...
Lost in all this is the fact that McMaster, a quiet thoughtful man, is a huge upgrade from Flynn


Yes. For all the whining regarding the Flynn leaks, they actually did both Trump and the country a huge favor.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"For all the whining regarding the Flynn leaks, they actually did both Trump and the country a huge favor."

As I've noted before, if Ds were being political they'd squirrel away the Flynn info, and then spring it when he was more entrenched in the administration = max chaos and undermining re DJT.

Anywho, it's not great that DJT didn't fire him before the public leaks forced his hand, even though some WH folks did have the surveillance info re his lying.

And, it's not known that the credit for the leak that motivated the firing of Flynn (thereby helping DJT and the country) wasn't from some DJT person.

Laslo Spatula said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
@ Laslo et al

"Regarding killing Hilter and time travel. You all need to read this classic :-D

Everybody Kills Hitler On Their First Trip."

That's why I find the idea of NOT killing Hitler a funny thing. Especially when the concern is a replacement that'd be "Someone who’d do something REALLY big."

I am Laslo.

hombre said...

The leftmedia must keep the flow going in the hope that the fake news narrative will obscure the paper trail and pecker tracks exposing the infamy and corruption of the Obama Administration.

mockturtle said...

Laslo asserts: That's why I find the idea of NOT killing Hitler a funny thing. Especially when the concern is a replacement that'd be "Someone who’d do something REALLY big."

While Hitler was a political genius, he was an idiot concerning military strategy. Had he been killed, Germany may have avoided many of the disastrous policies that resulted in their defeat. We'll never know, of course.

Inga said...

"For all the whining regarding the Flynn leaks, they actually did both Trump and the country a huge favor"

Yes, and shouldn't we all be relieved we have a normal McMaster in that very important role now, despite his view of Muslims?i If we needed Bannon, an extremist to look after Flynn, a foreign agent, we are in an infinitely better place now with McMaster. Maybe we'll eventually see the same thing happen higher up.

Good to see that Nunes, in the face of a House Ethics Investigation, step down. Hopefully the next guy won't be so easily manipulated by
Trump.

Inga said...

From the House Intel Investigation. Too bad it wasn't from the chairmanship.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

The worst thing about Hitler is that he limited the time people had before they began an eternity of suffering.

Anywho, ya don't hear a lot of folks speculating about going back in time to kill God.

mockturtle said...

Attn. David: I just ordered McMaster's Dereliction of Duty for my kindle. Thank you for the recommendation. My regard for book recommendations on this blog is much higher than for other sources.

Michael K said...

Inga is rock solid in her delusions. Nunes will be back after swatting down the left wing ethics lies.

Al old trick by Democrats. It worked with Palin and Cheney but it's getting old.

grackle said...

I don’t trust Politico no matter who wrote the story.

Amen.

On the Bannon story – I’m confused. Bannon is off the “Principals Committee” – whatever the hell THAT is - but still attends NSC meetings – and this is a BIG shake-up? It’s cute the way Fox News puts it: “Bannon is still permitted to go to NSC meetings.”

Could it simply be that Trump has many duties and tasks assigned to Bannon and wants to keep unnecessary bullshit off Bannon’s busy schedule? Naaaaw. That’s too … normal? Wouldn’t want to normalize Trump, now would we …

Fox News is anti-Trump in certain subtle ways but they don’t want to lose viewers so they play the Implication Game, the Word Game and the Selective Myopia Game.

For weeks Fox News’s narrative was that Trump was absolutely CRAZY to think that he had been spied on – selectively overlooking the bald fact that Flynn had been spied on. I think any normal, rational assessment would have been: “Well, Flynn was spied on, therefore it might be true that Trump was also spied on.”

But no, Fox News decided to overlook the obvious in order to paint Trump’s claim as farfetched.

I remember when Trump condemned “fake news.” Chris Wallace took exception and in an interview with Trump was all, “You’re attacking us!” Get it, readers? Wallace identified himself with the purveyors of “fake news” with what Scott Adams calls a “verbal slip.” Wallace KNEW that most of the “news” regarding Trump was rank MSM bullshit and subconsciously unmasked himself as one of the bullshit artists.

Yes. For all the whining regarding the Flynn leaks, they actually did both Trump and the country a huge favor.

I’m inclined to agree. Unexpected consequences. President Trump doesn’t like it when underlings attempt unauthorized negotiations with foreign powers – and then lie about it. Trump is well rid of the man. None of this eliminates the felony committed by the leak or the problem of the Deep State.

Inga said...

No need to get upset, I'm sure it's merely rumor. Just fake news.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/04/06/steve-bannon-calls-jared-kushner-a-cuck-and-globalist-behind-his-back.html

"Donald Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon has called the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner a “cuck” and a “globalist” during a time of high tension between the two top aides, several Trump administration officials told The Daily Beast.
The fighting between Kushner and Bannon has been “nonstop” in recent weeks, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. It’s been an “open secret” that Bannon and Kushner often clash “face-to-face,” according to senior officials.
One official said Bannon has lately complained about Kushner trying to “shiv him and push him out the door” and likened him to a fifth column in the White House.

“[Steve] recently vented to us about Jared being a ‘globalist’ and a ‘cuck’…He actually said ‘cuck,’ as in “cuckservative,’” the administration official told The Daily Beast.

“Cuckservative,” a portmanteau of “cuckold” and “conservative,” has become a favorite slur on the right, used like a sexually and racially charged version of “RINO,” a Republican In Name Only. “Globalist” is a term typically used by nationalist, pro-Trump right-wingers against political opponents; however, the term has also come under fire for at times carrying anti-Semitic tones. (Kushner is Jewish.)"

Inga said...

Just more rumormongering. Feel free to ignore.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/04/06/the-knives-are-out-for-steve-bannon-and-his-scam-is-getting-unmasked/?utm_term=.28993754f39b

"Stephen K. Bannon has proven remarkably talented at creating a media mystique around himself. With his diligent assistance, he has been portrayed as both a virtuoso of deliberately orchestrated disruption and an avenging angel to working-class people (such as his father) who have been betrayed by global and financial elites. Bannon cleverly wields chaos to destabilize those elite foes in service of an economic nationalist mission that borders on Messianism.

But now Bannon is being primarily viewed inside the White House as a destructive force, and other senior advisers are trying to undermine him in the eyes of President Trump himself,
according to multiple reports out this morning. Those reports undercut the narrative of Bannon as a Maestro of Disruption, and they also provide an occasion to probe the true nature of his self-ascribed economic nationalism."

Michael K said...

Yes, Inga. Rely on WaPo for all your Trump info.

Maybe Bannon was against bombing Assad.

Michael K said...

The Daily Beast is another reliable source of insider info on Trump.

Go for it Inga !

Let's raise you a Daily Beast and call with a Rolling Stone exclusive !

Inga said...

I said it was just rumor. Whaddya want?

Inga said...

"Maybe Bannon was against bombing Assad."

Maybe.

Balfegor said...

I don't know that I ascribe much credibility to most of the reporting on the internal workings of this White House, but it's easy to imagine significant tension between Kushner and Bannon, since Kushner is basically a conventional bourgeois liberal Democrat who's only there because his father in law is President, and Bannon is an "economic nationalist," which basically means he is an old-style populist -- 60 years ago, he'd have been a Democrat.

If there's any way of squaring this circle, I think it has to be Progressives continuing to be their usual asshole-ish selves towards Kushner's wife, and reminding them that the President's progressive critics are simply awful people who can't be bargained with or reasoned with.