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Thursday, March 08, 2018

Tariffs are a bargaining chip

President Trump's tariffs on imported aluminum and steel are symbolic of how he operates. The tariffs are bold, supported by the working class, and driving the Washington Establishment wild.

And of course, the tariffs will achieve his goal of getting better trade deals.

The Art of the Deal requires that you have something to offer the other fellow. Trump now has something to offer other countries: tax relief.

In exchange, he wants a better trade deal. The NAFTA negotiations are sluggish. A threat to close steel and aluminum mills gets their attention.

You see, unlike Dick Gephardt and other opponents of NAFTA, Trump does not want to kill the agreement. He wants to re-negotiate.

Just like Obamacare. Trump did not want to kill it. He wanted to repeal and replace it.

This is the opposite of extremism. Trump fancies himself as a great wheeler-dealer who can get trade agrements that improve everyone's economy -- especially the American economy.

People are starting to notice. A Democratic congressional insider who frequently tips DC Whispers really laid it on Trump.

"Donald Trump is a political genius. FULL STOP. In the days after his steel and aluminum tariff announcement, I’m told union leadership in this country have been inundated with messages of support for Trump from their members. Think about it. All those crucial Midwest swing states are becoming Trump Country as he fights to save the Rust Belt. And he did this within weeks of people seeing more money in their paychecks following the Trump tax cuts," DC Whispers reported its tipster said.

Trump is not just fighting to save the Rust Belt; anyone can do that.

No, he has figured out how to save the Rust Belt. He has repealed regulations that inhibit the production of aluminum, chemicals, and steel.

(I mention them because they were all vital industries in West Virginia when I moved here 37 years ago. We were not just a coal state. But now most of those jobs are gone.)

Then he cut the world-leading corporate tax rate down to the size of your average European Union nation.

Now he is renegotiating trade deals that have promoted unfair trade.

His is a carefully crafted plan behind a facade of chaos and confusion. His fog of war machine is on continuously.

Delivering on his plan to save the Rust Belt is what will catapult Trump's presidency into the Mount Rushmore orbit. This is exactly what Trump supporters wanted, expected, and need.

"It’s why we have senior Democrat politicians reaching out to the President now. They have no choice. Their state voters demand it. Donald Trump is much more popular among the Working Class than what is being told to us by the media," the DC Whispers insider said.

"THEY LOVE HIM. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, knows this. Ohio voters want him to work with Trump and that’s what Brown is doing. Brown is a big union guy. The unions are telling him to get behind Trump because Trump appears all in for fighting for the union workers.

"It’s another type of Reagan Democrat phenomena that made Reagan so popular – far more popular than the media back then was portraying him as being. Trump is creating more and more Trump Democrats by the hour."

I would remind the Republicans in Washington that there are Trump Republicans. We are the majority in the party.

Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 should save the party in November.

But really, many Trump supporters don't care. How many times has Paul Ryan given up on Trump over something Trump said? I stopped counting after the Billy Bush tape.

We go by what Trump does.

All most Republicans do is talk.

The caterwauling over tariffs was typical of the Washington melodrama that most of us detest.

It's not about Washington. It's about the USA. Trump just made himself a bargaining chip. We shall see what develops.


The media chose to go to war with Donald John Trump in 2017 rather than accept him as president.

The media chose poorly.

Fake News Follies of 2017 shows how and why.

What readers are saying:

Rob Miller: "What we have here is nothing less than a detailed, well written chronicle of exactly how the American press abandoned all semblance of scruples and journalistic ethics once Donald J. Trump became president. Like Surber's other books, this one will have you laughing out loud and you will find it difficult to put down."

PSD: "Like his other books, it is written with wonderful wit filled insight, rare in political commentary today. The style is one of gentle humor and common sense. It is refreshingly devoid of malice and partisan contempt, easy reading with not a few laughs along the way."

rurallbob: "Another winner from Don Surber."

Richard: "Funny, well written and well organized, Fake News Follies is an entertaining and thoughtful look at the news coverage provided by the press to the American people. Clearly they are not playing it straight. Sure, the press makes mistakes. It's inevitable. But when the totality of news stories not hewing to the known facts is collected and presented as it is in this volume there is but one explanation. Fake News. Don Surber brings to the subject insight that only a veteran newsman could provide. I wish this book would be read by everyone but especially people opposed to Trump because I think it would be sufficient to challenge even a closed off worldview."

A. Brogden: "Unlike Kurtz 's book, Media Madness, which sought to justify and explain away the lies and prejudices of the anti-Trump MSM, Surber relentlessly and methodically documents the tsunami of BS the press has served up since the upset victory by President Trump. Almost without exception everything Trump has done as president has been distorted, mischaracterized, or flat out lied about for over a year. This is how you get 90% negative reporting. This is how you get the press with 28% trust ratings. And by God this is how you get eight years of Trump as President."

A Kindle reader: "Easy read, a great compilation of biased new coverage of Trump before and after the election. I started out anti Trump and reluctantly voted for him for one reason only, He was not Hillary. This book is a great reference when people claim the MSM is not biased and does not publish fake news. It reinforces Glenn Reynolds description of the press as Democrat operatives with bylines."

Fake News Follies of 2017 is available on Kindle and in paperback.

Autographed copies are available. Email me at for details. I am including a "director's cut." I will give you the original Chapter 1 that I cut because while the chapter was amusing, it really had nothing to do with the Fake News Follies of 2017.


  1. I enjoy watching Trump make the monkeys dance.

  2. WV killed a lot of those jobs all on their own. As you know, Charleston was not exactly friendly to business and much of it was run out of town by state gov and idiots in unions. The environment for business is better than it was, but still not what it should be.

  3. And these union members might want to think about whom they vote for in the 2018 midterms. A vote for a Dimocrat is a vote against Trump policies. A vote for a Dimocrat is a vote for ex-Speaker Blinky. A vote for a Dimocrat is a vote for Chuck Schumer. No matter what your Dimocrat candidate tells you he will toe the party line and oppose Trump. Remember the State of the Union. The Dimocrats sat on their hands. Manchin started to stand up but Schumer put a stop to that. Remember that West Virginia. - GOC

  4. Bravo, Don.

  5. I used to drive by the Sinter Plant in the Northern Panhandle. You could SMELL the heat.

    We have the coal. We can make the coke for the steel plants. All energy is cheaper nearer the source. West Virginia has many assets and even more possibilities. Weirton Steel, anyone? Century Aluminum? P?Petrochemicals? Cracking plant? Some of those jobs will be coming back. - Elric

  6. He won 30 states even with 7 million fraudulent votes in the Demos' hip pocket.

    Add at least 10 states more next time. If all the illegals go home (or even half), it may be close to 20 more.

  7. Another great post, Big D. Spot-on about we Surberites, too. Hahaha. WE are the face of the party now. The CPAC Straw Poll results bear that out. TWEET MORE, MR. T!!!