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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hostile takeover

What we have here in America is what business people call a hostile takeover.

"A hostile takeover is the acquisition of one company (called the target company) by another (called the acquirer) that is accomplished by going directly to the company's shareholders or fighting to replace management to get the acquisition approved."

In the case of President-elect Trump, he is the acquirer. Voters are the shareholders, and Trump is fighting with governance, Congress and the bureaucracy to install his team and his brand. The trouble with this metaphor is that the US government is not a private enterprise, it is a pluralistic democratic republic. The rules are different.

Given that more people voted against Trump than for him, and given his and his party's penchant for attacking programs and services that help people, sooner than later, he is going to run into a buzz saw of public opinion.

Like him, or not, his actions are inappropriate.

"The Six Ingredients of Trump’s ‘Hostile Takeover Playbook.' 
By FRANK GREGORSKY Published on December 7, 2015

How many political insiders do you know who are opposed to Barack Obama and his nefarious works — IRS abuses, corporate bribes, climate fantasies, bailouts for Iran, importing saboteurs — yet save their peak agitation for Donald Trump, a presidential candidate they say “can’t” be nominated? 
If it “can’t” happen, why sputter to the point of apoplexy? Perhaps because “it” is being defined too conventionally. 
Let’s try a different lens: Trump’s terrain-shifting methods fit the Hostile Takeover Playbook. The rules of corporate raiding are quite different from the ordinary rules of primary politics and seem to fit the mood of over a third of the Republican rank-and-file, who favor Trump over his primary rivals and over the timid “Directors” they sent to Congress to stop the Obama Onslaught. Seen in this light, what we’re watching is one heck of a Proxy Fight for “GOP Incorporated.” 
(1) Trump is a long-suffering “shareholder” himself. He speaks of backing John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. He described the latter as a competent golfer who starts to choke on the final three or four holes. Isn’t that the way one business guy sizes up another? 
(2) His track record is pragmatic and opportunistic. Trump has backed candidates from the other party, including Hillary Clinton for Senator in 2000. Like classic corporate raiders Carl Icahn and T. Boone Pickens, he treats consistency as the hobgoblin of small minds. Lucky for him that many Republicans no longer see “ideological correctness” as Priority One. 
(3) As of June 2015, the stage is set: He opens the Takeover Campaign by floodlighting an issue — one product line, one pulsating niche — starved for attention by the existing Management: Border Control, Sanctuary Cities and most graphically the violent crimes committed by illegals. 
(4) Because every another presidential candidate except Ted Cruz has been evasive on that matter, Trump’s candidacy quickly gains critical mass, which grows further as he shows how to escape the boxes long used by Big Media to constrict Republican officeholders and policy options. 
(5) As personal attacks arrive, he either flicks them off — e.g., handing out Lindsey Graham’s phone number — or responds with tactical nukes. Yes, the latter has made Trump look like a hypersensitive Tweet-monger. But such pinpoint aggression also shows he’s comfortable sustaining a battle. And it strongly indicates he won’t be a calculating controversy-dodger in 2016. 
(6) Trump mixes big-picture opportunity with kitchen-table directness. For the latter: “If I win, we will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism. We will keep America safe. And we will make America great again.” The takeover sketch also includes new suppliers and new customers: Trump can win 25% of the Black vote in 2016, one poll suggested. No national Republican ticket has done that since the 1950s.”

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