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Thread: 2018 American Political Scene

  1. #1246
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    If you believe an elected official or political appointee is prone to take rash decisions and in this case prone to almost infantile behaviour and have the opportunity to act as an "adult in the room" it is in the interests of your country - and therefore your duty - to fulfill that role.

    No Government is about the whims of one person - even the President or Prime Minister; it is a collective decision making system. Sometimes a decision or a policy may be contrary to what you believe is the best path; other times 'your side' of the argument will win out. Sometimes it seems that for every step forward a Government takes it slips back half a step (particularly in Ukraine) but your duty is to 'keep buggering on' with hope and faith in the future. The only time you have a duty to quit and speak out is when an official is clearly acting illegally or instituting a criminal policy.
    Snapper,

    There is a reason why The Founder discuss Congress' role in Article 1 of our Constitution and the Executive is Article 2.

    What you appear to be overlooking is that our government is currently in vapor lock. Congress has abrogated any responsibility (okay almost all) over the Executive branch. There is no real oversight occurring because:

    1) President Trump has delivered on a long list of cherished items for Conservatives. And any Republican who goes against that is going to get primaried from the Far Right/Tea Party in their local districts.

    2) The GOP Leaders by into the overall process because the White House delivered on the long loved tax cut...which is destroying the Budget. Supposed Budget Hawk Paul Ryan, an Ayn Rand/Grover Norquist sycophant if there ever was one, got his wish and is taking his toys and going home. McConnell should be an adult in the room but he rolled when he had the chance to get 2 conservatives on the Supreme Court. His seat is safe so he can act how he wants. Also the results of Citizen United and corporate money in politics is written ALL OVER this Congress.

    Now, if come 7 November, we see a flip in one or more Houses of Congress, well the next 2 years will be quite different. I don't foresee an impeachment. But I definitely see Oversight hearings which will keep the Administration tied up marching to the Hill to answer to a lot of committees. It may not get legislation....because Trump will sign no bill presented by a Democratic Congress...but I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of grand juries to be empaneled in DC over what is found out.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  2. #1247
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    GVChamp,



    well, rather more than a collection of Europeans now...:-)

    DOR,



    as of 2008-2016, this was completely correct. this was part of the reason why Obama beat the crap out of the GOP at the Presidential level.

    from 2016, not quite. Donald Trump's GOP -is- a big tent party, with the tent completely provided by Donald J. Trump. however, it is not what we'd call "centrist" by any means, because the tent he provides is rhetorical economic populism combined with not-so-subtle white nationalism.

    for that matter, the "big tent" idea has shifted quite a bit. the "big tent" aspect used to refer to a wide-ranging collection of ideas, but that's non-existent within the GOP now (with the -singular- exception of Trump) and increasingly endangered within the Dems. it's remarkable to see how in the last year, southern Dems are now espousing platforms not altogether different from California Dems.

    for the Dems, "big tent" now means more racial/cultural diversity to account for the growing power of minorities.
    Ethnically not just Europeans, but it's culturally a north/northwest European project. Either way, it's still not Europe, because we have a totally different history. And it's still more similar than it is different.

    I don't particularly see the fuss about the Op-Ed. Bureaucracies often frustrate executives. It's Iron Law. Whether the executive branch is supposed to operate that way is irrelevant, the Constitution could have outlawed gravity and we would still be stuck with it. If you want big-ass bureaucracies, you have to deal with the fact that bureaucracies have minds of their own and will often run counter to the people who nominally preside over said group.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  3. #1248
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    GVChamp,

    I don't particularly see the fuss about the Op-Ed. Bureaucracies often frustrate executives. It's Iron Law. Whether the executive branch is supposed to operate that way is irrelevant, the Constitution could have outlawed gravity and we would still be stuck with it. If you want big-ass bureaucracies, you have to deal with the fact that bureaucracies have minds of their own and will often run counter to the people who nominally preside over said group.
    as far as i can tell this was the first time that a senior member of the bureaucracy-- and a political appointee, no less-- stated publicly that the President is amoral, incompetent, impulsive, and anti-democratic, and that as a result "many" senior officials seek to "frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations".

    that's pretty different from the standard bureaucratic foot-dragging on some new administration policy they don't like. i mean hell, the appointee is there to ensure that this doesn't happen!
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #1249
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    GVChamp,



    as far as i can tell this was the first time that a senior member of the bureaucracy-- and a political appointee, no less-- stated publicly that the President is amoral, incompetent, impulsive, and anti-democratic, and that as a result "many" senior officials seek to "frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations".

    that's pretty different from the standard bureaucratic foot-dragging on some new administration policy they don't like. i mean hell, the appointee is there to ensure that this doesn't happen!
    Fair enough, I don't disagree with that. It's unusual someone is openly pronouncing their opposition on an ideological basis (normally it'd just be quiet opposition) and it's a little unusual a political appointee is doing it so brazenly. Buttttttt I have a tendency to think that appointees still usually have some disagreements with the Head Honcho, even if you just have SecState disagreeing with El Presidente. And I definitely expected crap like this when Trump came in. It was baked into the cake.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    AR,

    I do not the political balance of parties in any country should be a constraint on the duty of a public servant.

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    Appearing before Congress, trying to remove Trump from power legally? At the moment that's a complete fantasy.

    You're missing 3.)The author sees Trump's immediate future (i.e. his remaining term) in the Oval Office as virtually unassailable, thanks to the gutlessness of the Republican Congress and the (real or imagined) possibility of the predicted Blue Wave failing to appear in November. So appearing before Congress is both a waste of time/effort and removes this person from his sure and certain position of ameliorating Trump's actions from within the Fortress of Insanity.

    This op-ed was a signal flare sent up from behind enemy lines to that part of the country that hasn't drank the Trump Kool-Aid: "We know he's batshit insane, we're doing our best, hold out as long as you can"

    tl;dr It would be squandering an invaluable asset best left in place.
    TH,

    just saw this now.

    the letter sounds good at first glance, but look at the context and the prescriptions of the letter. the letter-writer goes to some pains to differentiate himself from the "standard" resistance:

    We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.
    this context colors the prescription:

    But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.
    which means absolutely nothing politically. actually trying to remove Trump from power? no, because "no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis". Trump is viewed not as an active danger but as an inconvenience that needs to be "steered", "until — one way or another — it’s over."

    in short, the letter-writer views the administration as a bad one, but for the sake of Republican policy, tolerable vs the prospect of a "constitutional crisis" and a future (because Pence would take over for the remainder of Trump's term) Democratic political victory.

    in essence, the letter-writer assents to a Trump Presidency until 2024 with the proviso that there's a "steady state" boxing him in.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    The mole hunt in the Administration is going to be lit, though.

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    A former ambassador who based on testimony seems to have been appointed by Reagan who served into the Clinton years, called into POTUS on Sirius XM. He said President's not having a clue and needing to be redirected or even misled by staff is not at all unusual since they almost never come to the office prepared for the real world. Bush 41 maybe the only recent president who came into Office with actual knowledge of the duties since he was both former CIA and a VP.

  9. #1254
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    A former ambassador who based on testimony seems to have been appointed by Reagan who served into the Clinton years, called into POTUS on Sirius XM. He said President's not having a clue and needing to be redirected or even misled by staff is not at all unusual since they almost never come to the office prepared for the real world. Bush 41 maybe the only recent president who came into Office with actual knowledge of the duties since he was both former CIA and a VP.
    So what you are implying would be that Trump is the most uniformed and unprepared of all our modern day Presidents? Amazing...

  10. #1255
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    TH,

    just saw this now.
    No worries, took me a while to respond myself :-)

    the letter sounds good at first glance, but look at the context and the prescriptions of the letter. the letter-writer goes to some pains to differentiate himself from the "standard" resistance:
    "We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous."
    He did indeed, specifically stating "To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left." To which I say "So What?"
    Hell, I always have to take some pains to differentiate myself from the "standard" resistance when I criticize Trump, because the usual first reaction from people is "You voted for Hillary, you're a Democrat, you're a liberal, you're on the Left". Uh, No, No, No and No. None of the above.

    Sure he's giving the usual defense of a Trump supporter: "...but but his policies!" Again, so what?
    If he's a Trump appointee in the first place then it stands to reason this person will believe and declare these things.

    I'm not expecting anything less, I'm just happy that someone within this "Administration" is not only taking these actions but has had the balls to tell the country about it.
    Is there a selfish ulterior motive? Yeah, probably. But shit, considering the orange cancer sitting behind the Resolute desk, I'm willing to give that possibility a pass for the moment.


    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    this context colors the prescription:

    "But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans."

    which means absolutely nothing politically.
    Again, so what? He's absolutely right and, genuinely felt or not, it's nice to see someone actually saying that, as opposed to Trump and his supporters and their usual venom of hate.


    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    actually trying to remove Trump from power? no, because "no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis". Trump is viewed not as an active danger but as an inconvenience that needs to be "steered", "until — one way or another — it’s over."

    in short, the letter-writer views the administration as a bad one, but for the sake of Republican policy, tolerable vs the prospect of a "constitutional crisis" and a future (because Pence would take over for the remainder of Trump's term) Democratic political victory. in essence, the letter-writer assents to a Trump Presidency until 2024 with the proviso that there's a "steady state" boxing him in.
    Copy-and-paste "So What?" The letter writer is a Republican and therefore not anxious to hand things over to the Democrats on a silver platter. Ok, and? Were you expecting something else?
    He also knows what he can and cannot accomplish right now. Most importantly, he's likely not anxious to return us all to the holly jolly merriment of '72-'74 until we can be sure of the same outcome.

    In short, after nearly 2 years of Trump's insanity, to finally get a message like this, from behind enemy lines, I'm not inclined to look a gift horse in the mouth.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  11. #1256
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    So what you are implying would be that Trump is the most uniformed and unprepared of all our modern day Presidents? Amazing...
    Only by an order of magnitude, but hey, who's counting, right?
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  12. #1257
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    A former ambassador who based on testimony seems to have been appointed by Reagan who served into the Clinton years, called into POTUS on Sirius XM. He said President's not having a clue and needing to be redirected or even misled by staff is not at all unusual since they almost never come to the office prepared for the real world. Bush 41 maybe the only recent president who came into Office with actual knowledge of the duties since he was both former CIA and a VP.
    Pretty sure I've made the same suggestion a bunch of times WRT FP. The flip-side is that foreign policy is substantially less important now that the USSR is dead and gone.

    Also, the past couple Presidents have all gotten better in their 2nd terms, IMO anyways. Obviously disagree with a lot Obama did from a policy standpoint, but if I were more left-leaning I'd say Obama used the Presidency a lot more effectively in term 2 than term 1.


    Trump is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy worse, IMO. I'll still take him over any Democrat at this point (even if he's barely removed from being a Democrat himself), but he's absolute crap. Any of the other GOP candidates would have been better. I originally backed Trump over Cruz, but I take that back at this point, Cruz would've been better.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Pretty sure I've made the same suggestion a bunch of times WRT FP. The flip-side is that foreign policy is substantially less important now that the USSR is dead and gone.
    Dissagree if for no more reason than Bush 43 and Obama wrecked the international order.

    Also, the past couple Presidents have all gotten better in their 2nd terms, IMO anyways. Obviously disagree with a lot Obama did from a policy standpoint, but if I were more left-leaning I'd say Obama used the Presidency a lot more effectively in term 2 than term 1.
    I think he became a term limited autocrat. If Trump was doing half as much regulating and ruling by fiat as Obama did all the criticism against him being an authoritarian would be valid. As it stands Trump is the only president to atual roll back executive power and limit the size and scope of federal power.


    Trump is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy worse, IMO. I'll still take him over any Democrat at this point (even if he's barely removed from being a Democrat himself), but he's absolute crap. Any of the other GOP candidates would have been better. I originally backed Trump over Cruz, but I take that back at this point, Cruz would've been better.
    I think Cruz or Paul would have been better.

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    GVChamp,

    Pretty sure I've made the same suggestion a bunch of times WRT FP. The flip-side is that foreign policy is substantially less important now that the USSR is dead and gone.
    i think the comparison is between "not a foreign policy expert" and "f*cking moron", per his own previous SecState.

    and the US-led world-order is rather more fragile now precisely because the USSR is dead and the upcoming challenger, China, is better at competing below the level of armed conflict than the USSR was.

    Obviously disagree with a lot Obama did from a policy standpoint, but if I were more left-leaning I'd say Obama used the Presidency a lot more effectively in term 2 than term 1.
    and if anything that demonstrates the weakness of the Presidency from a policy perspective. I agree that Obama was more effective in leveraging Presidential power in his second term, but the vast majority of his accomplishments came when Dems had control of the Congress.

    I originally backed Trump over Cruz, but I take that back at this point, Cruz would've been better.
    Cruz has all of the appeal of a flatworm, though, and is roundly hated by his own side, let alone the Dems.

    from a -GOP- policy perspective, Rubio or Jeb! would have had the best chance of pushing through a conservative agenda without turning Dem anger up to 11. Trump's election will be seen as the Pearl Harbor for the GOP.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    Trump's election will be seen as the Pearl Harbor for the GOP.
    The way Obama's was for the Dems? Guess we will see come mid terms.

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