Hart: Trump's golf course diplomacy

Hart: Trump's golf course diplomacy

April 7th, 2017 by Ron Hart in Opinion Columns

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., recently played golf with President Trump and may have found more common ground with the president than he had before.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., recently played golf with...

Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

Ron Hart

Ron Hart

On Sunday, Donald J. Trump used golf to woo a member of the more conservative Freedom Caucus into seeing things his way and to try to forge an understanding on moving forward on important matters like Obamacare reform. Invitee Sen. Rand Paul tweeted: "I had a great time today with @realDonaldTrump and believe we are getting closer to an agreement on health care!"

Sen. Paul and White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney played golf at Trump National Golf Club in nearby Virginia to discuss such matters. Hopefully, it is "an art of a deal" in the making. There have been rancorous campaigning and debates on issues between Rand Paul and President Trump, but when wealthy WASPs meet to play golf, they are suddenly reminded that much more unites than divides them.

They only played a threesome because of the fear that the "deep state" lingering from the Obama administration still automatically surveils four or more Republicans who gather in one place.

The notoriously frugal Mulvaney and Rand Paul had a good time playing golf with Trump. The only issue was when someone hit a ball toward other golfers. Trump would yell, "Fore!" and Rand and Mulvaney would say, "No, $3.99." Then some women golfers hit their drive into the threesome. The women yelled, "Fore!" and Trump looked at them and said, "No, at best you're all 3's. 3 1/2 tops."

Trump is realizing that success in business does not translate into governing in Washington. Washington is a different world of archaic and illogical structures, egos (not just his) and entrenched bureaucrats. Trump is having a hard time "draining the swamp." But he is serious about it. He even sells golf shirts with little alligators on them in his golf shops to scare the establishment.

Golf has long been the "sport" of the rich and famous. Obama played a lot of golf but rarely for business. Golf is usually played by politicians, government bureaucrats, executives and retired lawyers in their latter years. Golf has done more to needlessly prolong the lives and joy of worthless American men than Viagra.

Obama, the first black president, did famously play with the first orange Speaker of the House John Boehner when they were having their differences. And they did gamble some. They ran up $19 trillion in gambling debts on the golf course but, true to form, laughed as they left the bill for some younger golfers behind them to pay.

Like many powerful people, the former president was given a lot of 3-foot putts on the golf course. Some called them "gimmies." He prefers to call them "entitlements."

Hopefully as he retires we can also retire Obamacare, and Obama now will be able to play more golf. If he ever shoots an even par, it might provoke Trump again — to demand to see his scorecard.

Dr. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist and tea party darling, has his own Obamacare replacement plan. He and other conservatives feel Trump's bill did not go far enough; they want to fully repeal and replace the 2010 plan. Paul's plan does more to spark competition, and he thinks it is a better plan. He should know — he's a doctor. Rand's dad was an M.D., too. Dr. Ron Paul was a gynecologist and kept trying to retire to become the leading libertarian in Congress. But retiring was slow as there is a lot of demand by women for an older gynecologist, maybe because their hands start to tremble at that age.

It would have been fun to watch Trump and those guys play golf. It would have combined the two most riveting forms of TV: Golf Channel and C-SPAN. It will be interesting to see if anything will happen in the wake of the match. It will probably be like watching golf itself: You kind of expect something exciting to happen, so you watch. And it never does.

Even Bill Clinton famously played, and cheated, at golf. He even said he was playing golf in 100-degree Phoenix when he nefariously met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on her private jet while her Department of Justice was investigating Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. When they were caught meeting by a local news crew, Bill Clinton swore they only talked about grandkids and golf. It might actually be true, since her husband was there with them.

Contact Ron Hart, an op-ed humorist and award-winning author, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com


Loading...