Charles Vignola: The closer or the loser?

By Charles Vignola

Last update: Monday, April 3rd, 2017

In the latest Gallup poll, President Trump’s approval rating has plunged to an abysmal 35 percent. For the record, that’s a nadir in polling that President Obama never reached, nor President Clinton – even during the height of his impeachment troubles.

President Bush only reached it after more than five years of non-stop blunders.

In fact, a presidential approval rating that low is usually associated with things like wars or recessions or epic scandals like Watergate, none of which Trump is dealing with … yet.

At this point, only the most die-hard Trump sycophants are still sticking with this guy, the ones Trump was referring to when he said he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose his supporters.

If they didn’t jump off the train after his repugnant “grab ‘em by the p—y” debacle, they’re certainly not ready to jump off yet.

With disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn looking for an immunity deal to sing to the Senate about the Trump campaign’s ties to the Kremlin, one might think Trump’s fans would be a little concerned about where all of this Russian smoke is going to lead.

But since Trump’s most devoted supporters trust him with the same intensity that Scientologists trust L. Ron Hubbard, they seem to agree with him that all of these strange and mounting connections between Trumpworld and Moscow are just a “witch hunt,” so much “fake news” to distract from what a great job Trump is really doing.

Now, what that “great job” might be describing is anyone’s guess. I suppose if your deep desire was to deepen the rifts within the Republican Party itself, grant even more power and influence to Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, and see Washington suffer more chaos, confusion and gridlock than ever before, then you’d be getting your money’s worth.

But other than the myriad executive orders Trump has issued – a strategy Republicans condemned when it was Obama signing the orders – Trump’s first 70-plus days in office have been an unrelenting miasma of legislative blunders, budding scandals, bald-faced lies and shattered campaign promises.

Take the dynamic duo of his two biggest disasters to date: enacting a Muslim travel ban and repealing Obamacare.

After sowing Islamophobia for over a year during his campaign and vowing a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Trump’s ham-fisted efforts to enact such a ban have been a parade of amateur hour screw-ups that have twice been rebuked by the courts.

It looks like this disgraceful and un-American idea is now indefinitely on hold.

The failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare is a masterclass on how not to get things done, but it’s all the more remarkable for showing us much earlier than anyone could have imagined that the Emperor truly has no clothes.

The biggest selling point Trump had going for him was the carefully curated illusion that he was some Jedi master of negotiation, the guy who could cut through the BS and craft the best deals in the world.

After decades of using these amazing abilities to make himself filthy rich (at a level he refuses to confirm by releasing his tax returns), he was now going to deploy those weapons of magical negotiation on behalf of America.

Turns out those much-vaunted skills included a startling lack of patience and one basic move: take it or leave it. Needless to say, ultimatums aren’t exactly the most sophisticated of techniques.

Problem is it was a bluff, a game of chicken with the far right Freedom Caucus – and the Freedom Caucus played the game better than Trump did: it forced him right off the road and handed him a humiliating loss on one of his biggest campaign promises.

What’s truly astounding is that Trump isn’t even a good bully, since he totally blew the first rule of successful bullying: never try to intimidate someone who’s equal to you in power.

Trump still seems to be laboring under the delusion that he’s a king or something, rather than being a co-equal branch of government to the Congress. The Freedom Caucus, formerly Obama’s bane, is now a reliable thorn in Trump’s side.

And now that Trump’s bullying strategy has failed this early on, revealing him to be a paper tiger who can’t even intimidate his own party, everyone in Washington now knows that his mouth is writing checks his legislative acumen can’t cash.

Trump’s been outmaneuvered and will continue to be, since it’s comically evident he doesn’t have the foggiest idea what he’s doing, nor the temperament or focus to figure it out. He really thought running the government would be no more difficult than being the CEO of his own company, and he’s learning the hard way that’s exactly how D.C. doesn’t work.

Prior to these legislative defeats, Trump’s supporters crowed about him being “The Closer.” Drop the letter “C” and you get a much more accurate appraisal of what he’s turned out to be.

Charlie Vignola is a former college Republican turned liberal Democrat. He lives in Fair Oaks Ranch, works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.

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Charles Vignola: The closer or the loser?

In the latest Gallup poll, President Trump’s approval rating has plunged to an abysmal 35 percent. For the record, that’s a nadir in polling that President Obama never reached, nor President Clinton – even during the height of his impeachment troubles.

President Bush only reached it after more than five years of non-stop blunders.

In fact, a presidential approval rating that low is usually associated with things like wars or recessions or epic scandals like Watergate, none of which Trump is dealing with … yet.

At this point, only the most die-hard Trump sycophants are still sticking with this guy, the ones Trump was referring to when he said he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose his supporters.

If they didn’t jump off the train after his repugnant “grab ‘em by the p—y” debacle, they’re certainly not ready to jump off yet.

With disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn looking for an immunity deal to sing to the Senate about the Trump campaign’s ties to the Kremlin, one might think Trump’s fans would be a little concerned about where all of this Russian smoke is going to lead.

But since Trump’s most devoted supporters trust him with the same intensity that Scientologists trust L. Ron Hubbard, they seem to agree with him that all of these strange and mounting connections between Trumpworld and Moscow are just a “witch hunt,” so much “fake news” to distract from what a great job Trump is really doing.

Now, what that “great job” might be describing is anyone’s guess. I suppose if your deep desire was to deepen the rifts within the Republican Party itself, grant even more power and influence to Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, and see Washington suffer more chaos, confusion and gridlock than ever before, then you’d be getting your money’s worth.

But other than the myriad executive orders Trump has issued – a strategy Republicans condemned when it was Obama signing the orders – Trump’s first 70-plus days in office have been an unrelenting miasma of legislative blunders, budding scandals, bald-faced lies and shattered campaign promises.

Take the dynamic duo of his two biggest disasters to date: enacting a Muslim travel ban and repealing Obamacare.

After sowing Islamophobia for over a year during his campaign and vowing a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Trump’s ham-fisted efforts to enact such a ban have been a parade of amateur hour screw-ups that have twice been rebuked by the courts.

It looks like this disgraceful and un-American idea is now indefinitely on hold.

The failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare is a masterclass on how not to get things done, but it’s all the more remarkable for showing us much earlier than anyone could have imagined that the Emperor truly has no clothes.

The biggest selling point Trump had going for him was the carefully curated illusion that he was some Jedi master of negotiation, the guy who could cut through the BS and craft the best deals in the world.

After decades of using these amazing abilities to make himself filthy rich (at a level he refuses to confirm by releasing his tax returns), he was now going to deploy those weapons of magical negotiation on behalf of America.

Turns out those much-vaunted skills included a startling lack of patience and one basic move: take it or leave it. Needless to say, ultimatums aren’t exactly the most sophisticated of techniques.

Problem is it was a bluff, a game of chicken with the far right Freedom Caucus – and the Freedom Caucus played the game better than Trump did: it forced him right off the road and handed him a humiliating loss on one of his biggest campaign promises.

What’s truly astounding is that Trump isn’t even a good bully, since he totally blew the first rule of successful bullying: never try to intimidate someone who’s equal to you in power.

Trump still seems to be laboring under the delusion that he’s a king or something, rather than being a co-equal branch of government to the Congress. The Freedom Caucus, formerly Obama’s bane, is now a reliable thorn in Trump’s side.

And now that Trump’s bullying strategy has failed this early on, revealing him to be a paper tiger who can’t even intimidate his own party, everyone in Washington now knows that his mouth is writing checks his legislative acumen can’t cash.

Trump’s been outmaneuvered and will continue to be, since it’s comically evident he doesn’t have the foggiest idea what he’s doing, nor the temperament or focus to figure it out. He really thought running the government would be no more difficult than being the CEO of his own company, and he’s learning the hard way that’s exactly how D.C. doesn’t work.

Prior to these legislative defeats, Trump’s supporters crowed about him being “The Closer.” Drop the letter “C” and you get a much more accurate appraisal of what he’s turned out to be.

Charlie Vignola is a former college Republican turned liberal Democrat. He lives in Fair Oaks Ranch, works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.

About the author

Charles Vignola

Charles Vignola

  • lois eisenberg

    “The closer or the loser?”
    Charles, BINGO,BINGO,BINGO !!!

  • John Zaring

    Great closing line Charlie! Loser indeed …

    And the attacks will begin in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

    • Gil Mertz

      After reading Vignola’s hateful rants, you’re waiting for the attacks to begin?

      Are all Democrats this stupid?

      • Ron Bischof

        No worries, Gil. That’s Mr. Zaring’s “Rational Center”. 😀

        • Gil Mertz

          I wondered what hole he crawled into. What a coward.

      • Gary Bierend

        Good point Gil, the attacks began when Vignola started writing, which is his default writing style.

        However, I don’t believe the left’s ability to see past the attacks leveled by their fellow travelers is stupidity as much as it is willful ignorance.

      • John Zaring

        Yes Gil, we are all stupid. We thought America would never elect Trump, and many of us didn’t vote. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

        • Gil Mertz

          WE John? I thought you represented the “rational center”. It’s OK, we all knew it was a silly charade. It’s just so funny how you were out there lecturing us all because you were so sure Hillary was going to win. When you lost in such a humiliating fashion, you crawled up into a fetal position and disappeared.

          How it must totally suck to be a Democrat these days.

  • Gil Mertz

    “””It looks like this disgraceful and un-American idea is now indefinitely on hold.”””

    What an apt description of Obamacare. As it continues to implode, costs rise, care decreases, and families suffer, Democrats like Vignola are actually celebrating. How sick is that?

    It took Obama & Co about 14 months of repeated lies and shameless Senate bribes to pass his healthcare scheme. Because the GOP is unable to repeal this disaster in 70 days, they’re losers!

    See what such toxic hate does to your brain, Charlie?

    • Castaic Clay

      Can you please support your claims of implosion, rising costs etc.

      • Ron Bischof
        • Castaic Clay

          So you are up to bat for Gil?
          Let him answer for himself if he can.

          • Ron Bischof

            Would that make you sad if I was a designated hitter?

            I’m empowering you to find the readily available information yourself rather than attempting to delegate the research service your inquiry requires, CC.

            You can access the link I provided, right?

          • Castaic Clay

            Yes. Sad for Gil.

            You have requested the same. Have you forgotten or are you just a hypocrite?

          • Ron Bischof

            Rather, I think it’s you who are whingeing, CC. No doubt Gil feels a sense of solidarity with another SCV citizen who is coherent rather than a proponent of tendentious quibbling that serves no useful purpose.

            This is the thing with argumentation; you actually have to construct and if challenged, defend a cogent argument. You rarely, if ever, do so.

            It’s true I challenge folks when they make assertions unsupported by facts and reason.

            The flaws of Obamacare are well known and now even acknowledged by the party responsible that you vote for in every election.

            If you access the link I thoughtfully provided, you’d find ample evidence of spiraling costs, deductibles that aren’t reachable for the majority of the insured, ACA Exchange collapse, insurer withdrawal from markets, etc.

            In addition, columnists like Jim de Bree and Steve Lunetta have written about the challenges their loved ones face in dealing with Obamacare.

            Seriously, do you posit these well documented and readily facts are in dispute, CC?

  • Brian Baker

    Chuckie, Chuckie, Chuckie… You do realize you’re just a Johnny One-Note, right?

    “Mwah mwah Trump is evil mwah mwah”… Like what happens in the Charlie
    Brown cartoons when the adults speak.

    Even your fellow Dem/socialists – Horton and Kraut – manage to find other topics to
    write about. But not you! No, sir!

    You’re stuck in the second stage of your grief: anger.

    You also can’t seem to wrap your… mind… around the idea that there are a lot of people who don’t necessarily think Trump is so great, but rather that your Miss Pantsuit-Liar was a disgusting alternative, and no matter how bad Trump might be she’d have been orders of
    magnitude worse.

    But part of the joy of the Trump presidency is the absolute delight generated by watching you, and other snowflakes like you, set your hair on fire every time you think about him. Ah, schadenfreude!

    And there are at least FOUR MORE YEARS of your entertaining floor show to go! Cool!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a11b8f8f8f1d3239c245a9774514c948b1812770a1cc9d725a3876d70d2e882.jpg

  • Bill Reynolds

    It seems that Democrats see the handwriting on the wall and are suffering serious angst. They realize their progressive policies are slowly obliterating and with no control over Supreme Court selections, their agendas are in deep trouble. In short, November 8, 2016 was their Armageddon.

    • Brian Baker

      Well said, Bill. I agree. They see several decades worth of effort in undermining our social construct in serious jeopardy of being demolished.

    • Gil Mertz

      Yep, that irritating sucking noise coming from Democrats is the swamp getting drained.

  • lois eisenberg

    “Beijing on edge over the losers (Trump) talks”
    And so is the rest of the world !!

  • Gary Bierend

    Vignola: “If they didn’t jump off the train after his repugnant “grab ‘em by the p—y” debacle, they’re certainly not ready to jump off yet.”

    Funny, I thought the same thing about those that stood by Obama after his open mike gaffe, you remember, don’t you?

    Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
    Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir [Putin].”

  • Steven Weitzel

    “The Closer or the Loser?”

    So, who won the election? Right, Trump closed the deal while the biggest loser, the one every liberal never questioned the possibility that she could lose was Hillary Clinton.

    Let’s see – who else were “losers” – the media and the Democratic party who put on a historic attempt to falsely smear Trump every which way they could but they failed and they lost big league.

    Charlie is proclaiming after only 70 some days in office that Trump’s presidency has failed. It’s funny because if that were true why are Charlie and his liberal cohorts so frustrated, angry and unhinged. The fact is every day Trump is methodically dismantling the Obama agenda. Charlie’s piece is a warm, cuddle blanket for the anti-Trump crowd to snuggle for some hope and comfort from that reality.

    In 70 some days Trump has rolled back regulations on business, disarmed the EPA and their unnecessary economy strangling regulations, starting planning and bidding for building the wall on our southern border, placed Sessions as Attorney General who will enforce our immigration laws, kept thousands of jobs from leaving the country, brought economic confidence back to the markets, will be placing a constitutionalist on the Supreme Court by the end of the week, starting the repeal of Obamacare and has called out and highlighted the mainstream media’s liberal bias like no other to name just a few achievements.

    The only thing liberals can cling to for comfort besides fantasies like Trump is failing is their incessant cries of Trump and Russia collusion. Charlie throws out the cry that “all of these strange and mounting connections between Trumpworld and Moscow” are being ignored by Trump supporters. All? Try none as there haven’t been any confirmed to date.

    But what has been confirmed is that the Obama admin spied on Trump and Susan Rice was responsible for unmasking Trump’s team. And without any valid justification or evidence to substantial their actions it is looking more likely that they committed felonies and the only true evidence of election tampering were from Obama and his merry band of radical Democrats. Not the Russians.

    What we are witnessing is a historic Democratic loss in the making.

    • Gil Mertz

      Though predictable, it’s still amazing to see how the so called mainstream media has been obsessed with linking Trump with the Russians every day for months despite no evidence but when it comes to the tangible evidence surfacing every day about the Obama administration’s illegal surveillance, this same media isn’t even curious. Rather than investigating Susan Rice, they’re too busy trying to discredit the GOP whistle blowers. The media has become nothing more than the propaganda arm of the DNC.

      • Steven Weitzel

        Yes. And where was their concern over Hillary who arranged the sale of Uranium One and 20% of our supply to Russia for one of her cronies who then donates $145MM to her foundation while Bill collects big speaking fees from Russian tied organizations.

    • lois eisenberg

      “So, who won the election?” A liar, fraud, con man, hateful war monger,
      who has the lowest approval rating, being investigated by the FBI amongst
      other investigations pertaining to his shady business dealings, his ties to
      the Russians and his other shady dealings around the world !!
      That is who won the election !!

  • lois eisenberg

    “The O’Reilly Factor” is facing a growing advertiser revolt, as ten companies have pulled their commercials from the show amid a scandal involving the host, Bill O’Reilly.
    Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW of North America, Constant Contact, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, UNTUCKit, Allstate, T. Rowe Price, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi are pulling ads from “The O’Reilly Factor” after a report about five settlements with women who alleged sexual harassment or verbal abuse by O’Reilly.”
    The almighty Foxy newsman, O’Reilly, and Foxy News have out foxed themselves !!

  • We should have all learned by now that the polls are worthless when it comes to Trump. Also, there is no cult of personality like hysteria with Trump, as there was for Obama. I was taken in by it myself and was proud that “racist” America had elected a black man as it’s leader.

    • lois eisenberg

      I was proud that America had elected a black man as it’s leader !!
      Nothing to be proud of by electing the liar-in-chief as anything !!

Charles Vignola

Charles Vignola