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Can President Trump and House Democrats work together?

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From the pages of In Business magazine.

Welcome to "Political Posturing," featuring opposing views on current issues important to Wisconsin's business community. In this column, Wisconsin Business Alliance Board President Brad Werntz and conservative columnist David Blaska offer their opinions from the left and the right, respectively.

No, because Trump is a scorched-earth character.

By Brad Werntz

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: No. Hell no. Non! Nein! One more for the Russian judge: Nyet.

That last one’s going to seal the deal: Thanks to the Russia investigation, the president will never work with the Dems in Congress. Big wheels are in motion, and they’re made of stone to grind stuff to grist. They have both weight and momentum, a lot of power behind them, and will keep on rolling unless something extraordinary happens. And, you know, it might.

We’re living in extraordinary times. Weird is the new normal, and things are getting weirder every day. Sure, the president could fire Robert Mueller, but that seems unlikely. Increasingly, he’s been rebuffed across the board, with record low approval ratings at home, an international community that openly laughs at him, and by an elite group of presidential peers that obviously can’t stand him: George H. W. Bush said he could come to his funeral, but he can’t speak. So, mark my words, when it comes to governing, he’ll throw a giant tantrum, make a big mess, and then claim that he’s the only one who could possibly fix it.

And while our president claims to be a great deal-maker, nothing he has done as president so far proves this. In fact, his negotiations are all based on a zero-sum game: If there’s a winner, there’s a loser, and he’s always got to be a winner so everybody else loses. That’s not negotiation, that’s not collab- oration, that’s just selfish, wanton destruction. Whatever he could possibly work on with a Dem Congress, he would end up screwing them over in the end. That’s just how he rolls, and everyone knows it.

For whatever positive, proactive aspects of his agenda remain undone — most of which remain unstated and unstarted — the areas where Dems could actually work with this president are slim to none. If even one part of his agenda was bipartisan purple, there may have been hope. But his agenda isn’t so much bright red as it is just pure black, and not the sexy black of a new Tesla Model S. No, the color of this president’s agenda is the color of burnt things, like Paradise, California.

Congress, take note: He’s going to burn you all if he gets the chance, along with the rest of us, too.

Brad Werntz is a small business owner in Madison.


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