Establishment Republican Laboring Under Delusion That His Opinions Still Matter

Ladies and gentleman, Hank Paulson!
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Happier times. Shealah Craighead [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Happier times. Shealah Craighead [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a certain kind of person who still believes that the Grand Old Republican Party still exists somewhere underneath the overt xenophobia, breathtaking incompetence and shocking disregard for Wall Street currently encrusting the institution. That there’s still a Republican establishment, and that this establishment still has some kind of influence. This kind of person probably still fancies themselves an Establishment Republican, even though President Trump’s reign of terror has demonstrated that there’s no such thing anymore.

These sorts of men labor under all sorts of delusions, chiefly that once this whole “Trumpism” thing crashes and burns they’ll be able to wipe the party off and go on their merry way, misgoverning the country in the way they’ve always done for the last 100 years. They also tend to believe, evidence notwithstanding, that the institutional traditions and customs protecting American democracy will save it. And, of course, they cling to the notion that anybody still cares what they think.

Take Hank Paulson. A greater pillar of the Republican Establishment you could not find: Goldman Sachs CEO, guy who knifed Jon Corzine in the back, Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush, architect of the financial crisis bailouts (and non-bailouts). His R.E. cred is further burnished by his status as a “Never Trumper.” Obviously, the sort of things that affect such a person are not the Nazis or the full-throated support for putting an alleged sexual predator on the Supreme Court, but matters somewhat closer to the wallet.

A trade war with China carries “dangerous” long-term risks because companies and nations may pull back from doing business with the U.S., former Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson said….

“Companies and countries want to do business with the United States because we’ve got reliable, stable economic policies,” Paulson said. “Are they going to want the U.S. to be a supplier if they think the United States is going to come in and break up the supply chain? Is a foreign investor going to want to come in and build a plant in the United States if they’re afraid they’re going to be in the middle of a tariff war?”

Earth to Hank: Of course the trade war’s gonna be a disaster in the long term. Also: The president doesn’t care. Might not even be able to think more than a couple of days into the future. All he cares about is that he’s winning now. The long term, whatever that means, is very much someone else’s problem.

Hank Paulson Says China Trade War Risks Long-Term U.S. Pain [Bloomberg]

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