WASHINGTON — When running for president, the late Alabama Gov. George Wallace would talk about being “recapitulated” out of primary votes.
To even somewhat explain Wallace’s many colloquialisms would be a monumental chore. But it was clear in his use of the term recapitulate — meaning to summarize and state again — he was accusing the powers that be of taking vote totals, messing with them and changing election outcomes in favor of his opponents.
In more recent years, a good deal of political recapitulation has been performed out of the White House. Or in a famous case with President George W. Bush, on an aircraft carrier with a banner proclaiming a victory in Iraq that hadn’t truly occurred.
Most recently, however, it’s become clear the champion of recapitulation is and will hence forth always be President Donald Trump, who established his supremacy in the category straight away by recapitulating the size of his inauguration ceremony crowd. It’s been one altered summary after another ever since.
The latest whopper of all this semantic alteration just may be in our hotelier-in-chief’s perspective on his proposed tax bill.
Not since the income tax was adopted in the early part of the last century to pave the way for prohibition has there been anything like it, according to Trump.
In this case, that may actually be true or at least very close.
But more notable is that the tax plan from Trump, who rode into office as a champion of the working class, appears to disproportionately benefit those who have over those who don’t.
Is it any wonder the chief summarizer wants Congress to fill in the proposal’s many blanks? I’m sure they’ll at least try.
But Trump, who’s maybe finally realizing — despite his campaign promises — that it’ll be impossible to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, is about to discover a new level of difficulty as the nation’s lawmakers dig in to defend their interests in the tax code. Finding success this year is probably already a dream, and next year’s midterm elections won’t make things any easier.
How he recapitulates will be fun to watch.
What about immigration?
The Washington Post has already published figures showing a key Trump promise — freeing the nation of 1 million alien criminals — won’t happen any time soon, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents having only found half as many to deport. And despite Trump’s recent deal-making with Democrats, we all know the impregnable border wall may never happen.
His declarations of voter fraud — made to compensate for his losing of the popular vote and as hollow as many of his other claims — led to the appointment of a commission that’s been slow moving and is likely to stay that way.
He’s praised his infant administration as the most active in history, but that assessment is based only on his repeal of a slew of his predecessor’s non-legislative regulations and his winning confirmation of a conservative Supreme Court justice. Under careful examination, that victory actually belongs to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, much to Trump’s chagrin since Trump and McConnell have had few charitable words for one another of late.
To paraphrase the old radio classic “Vic and Sade,” it’s just another adventure in the little white house half way down Pennsylvania Avenue, where there’s a whole lot of recapitulating going on.