According to a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, Donald Trump's capitulation to the Democrats -- led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) -- to re-open the government should put to rest the belief that the president is a brilliant negotiator.
In a word, Michael Gerson called Trump a "fraud."
In his Washington Post column, the former speechwriter said the only people who believe anything the president says now are Trump diehards who refuse to see the president for what he is.
"When the president is doing a spectacularly bad job, a majority of our fellow citizens — or at least a clear majority of people contacted for the Post-ABC News poll — think Trump is doing badly," Gerson wrote, linking to a poll showing the president's support collapsing.
According to Gerson, Trump ran as a successful businessman who would use his brilliant negotiating talents to rein in government, but his record as a real estate developer paints a different picture.
"The president was elected, in part, by giving his supporters an impression of business acumen. This was, in fact, the image carefully cultivated by book publishers and TV producers. And by Trump himself as a presidential candidate, who claimed to be a peerless negotiator, an unrivaled businessman and an excellent manager," Gerson wrote. "These claims can now be believed only by the ideologically addled."
"His reputation as a self-made billionaire lies in ruins," he continued. "An extensive New York Times article on Trump’s wealth found a bassinet millionaire, consistently bailed out of bad bets, who dodged gift taxes, milked his empire for cash and cultivated a deceptive image of business brilliance. And special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation may reveal serious corruption and perjury in cataloging Trump’s 30-year panting desire to sell his brand in Russia."
Gerson then ticked off a laundry list of Trump's faults as both a boss and as a person.
"Who can take Trump seriously as a manager?" he asked. He has a talent for weeding out the talented and responsible. He is a world-class nepotist. He is incapable of delegation or of taking conflicting advice. He is unreliable in dealing with his allies. He is capable of taking several conflicting policy views on the same topic — be it health care, or the “dreamers,” or gun control — in a matter of days or hours. He often has no clear goals. He has no attention span and is consistently ignorant of details. He is prone to vicious and public abuse of rivals and of employees."
"Try to put that profile up on LinkedIn," he added sarcastically.
Summing up, he called the president -- and his fanatical fans -- out.
"No one can reasonably claim to believe in Trump’s brand as it was sold in 2016. We have plumbed the shallows of his boasts. They are refuted lies," the conservative columnist accused. "And whatever else the president may be, he is a fraud."