Are there any possible "Only Nixon Could Go to China" issues for Trump?

Can’t say I’m looking for a bright side. More like, looking for a few flecks of pale murky micro-illuminations in the void.

As Trump is a Republican but not a traditional one, are there any issues that, if raised by a Democrat would get immediate and uncompromising backlash from Republicans, could be addressed by Trump?

I’ve seen his idea of trying to break the revolving door of career lawmaker <-> career lobbyist. Maybe this could be good?

Campaign finance reform?


By “Only Nixon Could go to China” I assume you mean that, due to his anti-communist credentials, Nixon was in a unique position of being able to credibly assert that it was in the best interests of the world for the U.S. to recognize Red China. Trump doesn’t seem to have any steady or consistent beliefs and his business empire is really just a charade that he relies on for publicity. The only credible or consistent thing about Trump is his narcissism so the only way I could ever believe that Trump was going against his own best interests for the greater good would be for him to put himself in a situation where even he would have to admit that he suffered public humiliation or loss, and I just don’t see that happening.

Well, the fact the GOP supported a pro-choice atheist (or, at best, irreligious) person who is married to a Communist… isn’t that enough?

Infrastructure is the issue where he most visibly breaks with the Tea Party/scared of the Tea Party Republican Congressional majority, particularly in the House. They’ve been reciting for so long that government can do no right, they seem to believe it even in the face of collapsing bridges.

If a President Hillary Clinton would’ve sent a “more money for infrastructure” budget to the next Congress, it would be rejected out-of-hand because she sent it, and we’d hear endless sound-bites about boondoggles, pork-barreling, etc.

If Trump submits such a budget, I think it gets a better hearing. Moderate GOPers won’t reject it out-of-hand under the IOKWARDI “principle”. :rolleyes: Dems will be happy to visibly show they can work with Trump when he’s right, so as not to be seen as merely obstructionist when they oppose him when he’s wrong.

Trump’s ego – we have shitty infrastructure while the Chinese build shiny new roads, railways, etc. – is IMHO a plus on this issue. :slight_smile:

Well, he was very anti ISIS. So I guess if he meet with and signed a truce with them…

**Are there any possible “Only Nixon Could Go to China” issues for Trump? **

Acknowledge that global climate change due to pumping Co2 into the atmosphere is a real and credible threat, and embark upon a leadership role into mitigating the damage.

Healthcare reform.

Higher minimum wage.

Rust Belt labor unions.

Big cuts in military spending.

Ending support for US allies.

Higher taxes on the rich.

Big jobs/stimulus/infrastructure bill.

Immigration would be the one, but he doesn’t seem inclined to do it.

How is spending on infrastructure Nixon-goes-to-China?

You have both houses of Congress, of course you’re all going on a spending binge, debt be damned. It’ll be hypocritical of republicans in Congress, but it’s no Nixon-goes-to-China for Trump, he’s Mr. Debt. The thing I worry about is in exchange for the debt spending, he’ll let Ryan fuck with Medicare and Soc Sec.

I interpret a “Nixon goes to China” moment as one where a politician does a 180 on a position they have spent years cultivating, but are not deemed a hypocrite because of the political benefit of their “pivot”.

So I think the easiest one is taxes. Trump has said not paying taxes makes him smart. It would be very politically tenable for him to stand up as president and say

If a Democrat did that, it’d be vilified as a government that has made it “illegal to be wealthy.” If a Republican did it - well, no real Republican would do it, but if a Republican did it, they’d be undermined by their base. But Trump has appeal among the working class, who would love him even more for this. And he’d have to get grudging support among Democrats and true fiscal conservatives who do recognize the value of a more equitable system.

Trump could survive a pivot on taxes on rich people.

Only Trump could have been sent in a probe to explore the outer solar system.

How is infrastructure NOT such an issue? :confused: As the OP described it:

The question isn’t Trump changing, it’s Congress (and GOP-run states) not rejecting a proposal because Trump presented it rather than Obama or Clinton. Only Nixon can go to China = IOKIARDI.

Have you noticed that infrastructure has, for the last eight years and as a matter of Tea Party “government can do no right” rhetoric, not been the bipartisan kumbaya issue it was in decades past?! Did you notice how long the federal transportation funding system limped along on annual spit-and-baling-wire renewals?* Did you notice that, in [del]spit-on[/del] follow-the-leader manner, several GOP governors took the unprecedented step of rejecting federal transportation grants that their predecessors applied for?

Here is a fairly even-handed article on the partisan-ization of infrastructure. Another article. A more partisan spin on why infrastructure spending is no longer an issue with Mom-and-apple-pie bipartisan support. Do you really think Congress will cast the same cold eye on a Trump infrastructure bill that they have on Obama infrastructure bills?

*One finally passed in late 2015 after ten years :dubious: without one.

Single-payor universal health care. If Trump were to get and cite his business experience to advocate in favour of shifting health cover off of employers and onto the government it would drastically change the game. I doubt it’ll happen, but it’d be fun to watch GOP Congress people start having strokes en mass.

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Immigration seems the most obvious one.

Trump has sorta parenthetically mumbled that after the wall gets built and the bad hombres have been deported, we could do something to regularize undocumented immigrants still here; so it’s not a totally absurd notion. Just a rather absurd notion.

It’s really too early to answer this question. The GOP in Congress is not united and Trump has yet to do anything but talk big.

About a third of them are tea party types with an anti-government agenda that Trump appeals to on principle, but has yet to prove it in action. If Trump proposes big spending, I don’t think they’re going to side with him just because he’s Republican; they’ve already shown a willingness to fight with other Congressional Republicans.

And then there’s another third or so who refused to endorse Trump or even went never-Trump. They’ll have to fall in line to some degree, but I don’t see them abandoning core principles any more than the tea partiers.

My guess is that we’ll get a typical Republican administration: the compromise to agree on spending more will be an agreement to tax less. The deficit will just magically go away.

It would be a genius move that would guarantee him reelection, specially if he ties any fees involved to paying for the wall so he can claim Mexicans paid for it. So far the only noises he has made has been towards deporting criminals and letting the rest stay, which is basically the current policy.

Deficits don’t matter anymore. They were a great concern until very recently, but in the past few days, the worry about building up massive federal debt has just… I don’t know… vanished! It’s a miracle!

I agree with the definition, which makes it hard for Trump to really be Nixon going to China on anything. Because Nixon was famous/infamous as a hard line anti-communist for many years. Trump has no political positions he’s taken for many years. Before the Obama era many or most of his public statements on political things were left leaning. And he’s never done anything but talk about politics, till this coming January.

And on taxes, once all the spin of the campaign is wound down, nobody is morally obligated to pay more in tax than they legally owe. And the articles implying Trump went over the legal line on taxes have a big flaw: although audits of Trump were not a good excuse not to release his returns, in fact the IRS had closed their audits on all but pretty recent ones, it appears they have audited him almost every year. And they apparently haven’t found Trump’s practices aggressive enough for it to even end up in civil court, much less a criminal tax evasion case.

So because Trump has such a short track record, and all talk basically, as a rightist populist, I’m not sure he has the credibility to fundamentally reverse his recent rightist populism much without just being a flip flopper.

That said, I think a lot of liberals overestimate how literally Trump voters take Trump, especially the 60 mil of last week, as opposed to the 14mil primary voters, wrt whom the caricatures of ‘Trump voter’ on this forum are not quite as ridiculous, though still exaggerated. Of course he’s going to find a lot of the bombastic promises he made impossible to deliver on… because they’re impossible to deliver on.

It won’t be ‘Nixon going to China’ to not actually ban all Muslims or build a big wall and have Mexico pay, neither of which will happen. But it won’t necessarily be viewed as flip flopping either. Even a lot of the Trump core is just looking for a leader really serious about stopping illegal immigration (not, ‘well sure we should enforce the law though OTOH those people will eventually vote for my party once legal…’) and to not feel their safety is being sacrificed on the altar of PC wrt Muslims. Both things in the perception of a lot of people, as the election shows. Arguing those are all morally inferior people is fine to make other people feel morally superior, but doesn’t do much to explain or predict US politics recently or from here on, IMO.

It’s not that far off from some statements he made early in the campaign. He always said Obamacare was bad policy but some of what he was saying made it seem like he thought single payer was the way to go. He certainly said he thought all Americans should be covered by some sort of healthcare plan. I don’t know if it was his advisors who told him to back off from anything concrete or if he decided to do it himself. Or he just changed his mind because it was Tuesday.

I know overall there still are a lot of people deported. At the local level there was certainly a change during the current administration. In the past if an illegal immigrant was charged with a crime ICE would be notified and they would put a detainer on him beyond the local bail guidelines and take him into custody. That policy changed and now it is nearly impossible to get ICE to take anyone. I don’t know if it is politics or budget cuts or something else but there was certainly a change in the way they operated.

If he could come to a mutual agreement with Mexico about immigration reform that would be his moment but his rhetoric has made that impossible. There would be no reason for the president of Mexico to do anything on his end.

Solve the Israel-Palestine conflict! Bring peace to the Middle East!