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Is Trump failing or succeeding? He can't make up his mind

Over the course of 11 minutes, Trump complained no legislation is passing, then said he's signing all kinds of passed legislation. He's wrong about both.
Image: President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office
President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order establishing regulatory reform officers and task forces in US agencies in Washington, DC on February 24, 2017.

Faced with all kinds of political problems, Donald Trump has a choice: he can acknowledge ongoing troubles and take steps to avoid blame for his party's failures, or the president can pretend everything is going well and make the case that he deserves credit.

These are, of course, opposites. As of this morning, however, he's nevertheless taking both positions at the same time.

Trump turned his focus to Senate rules, once again arguing that the legislative process will remain stuck unless Republicans eliminate filibusters entirely.

"If Senate Republicans don't get rid of the Filibuster Rule and go to a 51% majority, few bills will be passed. 8 Dems control the Senate!"

Almost immediately thereafter, Trump apparently changed his mind, arguing that everyone should marvel at the many bills he's signed into law.

"Few, if any, Administrations have done more in just 7 months than the Trump A. Bills passed, regulations killed, border, military, ISIS, SC!"

So, over the course of 11 minutes, Trump decided Senate rules have to be changed in order to pass legislation, and under the status quo, he's signing all kinds of passed legislation.

What's especially hilarious about this is that the president took two contradictory positions, and managed to be wrong about both.

On Trump's first tweet, filibusters aren't his principal problem. Top Republican priorities, including regressive health care legislation, weren't blocked by Democratic obstructionism; they came up short because GOP lawmakers couldn't agree among themselves.

On his second tweet, Trump's bizarre belief that he's succeeding on a historic scale is a delusional fantasy. Throwing around words he likes -- "border, military, ISIS" -- aren't evidence of actual, meaningful accomplishments, and the number of signed bills from the last seven months -- many of which have been minor and inconsequential -- is quite underwhelming, whether he recognizes these details or not.

It takes a special kind of talent for a president to simultaneously argue he's failing and succeeding, making two contradictory cases that both fail under scrutiny.