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Manhood, Moola, McConnell and Trumpism

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After Tuesday’s testy exchange between Donald Trump and Democratic leaders, it seems quite possible that the tweeter in chief will shut down the government in an attempt to get funding for a wall on the Mexican border. What’s remarkable about this prospect is that the wall is an utterly stupid idea. Even if you’re bitterly opposed to immigration, legal or otherwise, spending tens of billions of dollars on an ostentatious physical barrier is neither a necessary nor an effective way to stop immigrants from coming.

So what’s it about? Nancy Pelosi, almost sure to be the next speaker of the House, reportedly told colleagues that for Trump, the wall is a “manhood thing.” That sounds right. But that got me thinking. What other policies are driven by Trump’s insecurity? What’s driving this administration’s policy in general?

The answer to these questions, I’d argue, is that there are actually three major motives behind Trumpist policy, which we can label Manhood, McConnell and Moola.

By McConnell I mean the standard G.O.P. agenda, which basically serves the interests of big donors, both wealthy individuals and corporations. This agenda consists, above all, of tax cuts for the donor class, with cuts in social programs to make up for some of the lost revenue. It also includes deregulation, especially for........

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