Category Archives: Presidential Politics

Not the Real President

Are judges deciding these immigration cases this way because they somehow think of Donald Trump as ‘not the real president?’ If so, the greatest threat to the United States might not be poverty, debt, Islamic radicals or the failed educational system.

The greatest threat might be from judges, protesters and elites who don’t give a damn about what is right. They care only that by raw power, violence and fear that their will be done.  

From the blog Lawfare (h/t to Eugene Volokh)

It goes, not to put too fine a point on it, to the question of whether the judiciary means to actually treat Trump as a real president or, conversely, as some kind of accident—a person who somehow ended up in the office but is not quite the President of the United States in the sense that we would previously have recognized.

That is exactly what the rest of the shadow government – the bureaucracy – has been doing. Just to reiterate: Donald J. Trump is the Commander in Chief, and folks who don’t get that are living in a fantasy world.

During the election, many folks doubted Trump’s candidacy, even after he secured the nomination. There were many formerly rational people who supposed the Republican Party was prepared to ‘step in’ and prevent his candidacy. Later, others figured an Electoral College revolt could correct this ‘mistake.’justice_SRB 1

Similar fantasy scenarios also played out with Hillary Clinton.

Fact is, votes matter.  

He’s in the White House, and yes there is a fellow trailing him with a nuclear football. Folks gotta deal with the reality.

Perhaps everything [Judges] Blackman and Margulies and Bybee are saying is right as a matter of law in the regular order, but there’s an unexpressed legal principle functionally at work here: That President Trump is a crazy person whose oath of office large numbers of judges simply don’t trust and to whom, therefore, a whole lot of normal rules of judicial conduct do not apply.

If that’s what they think, they’re no longer serving the Constitution. They are undermining the framework of the country in a way in which Donald Trump has not.

Imagine if the military took that position.

The judiciary actually has greater domestic influence. Frankly, I fear the judges more.

(Update:typo fixed.)

Quote of the Day

Clearing up nothing, but that’s D.C. these days:

Either: the president used thinly sourced media reports to float a conspiracy theory about his predecessor and he was wrong; or, citing thinly sourced media reports, he overstated the details of an actual investigation into his activities or the activities of those around him, alleging presidential involvement without evidence; or, citing thinly sourced media reports, he accurately accused the former president of doing something highly illegal and accidentally uncovered what would surely be one of the biggest scandals in U.S. history. Whatever the case, the events of the last two days will undoubtedly have lasting effects. — Stephen F Hayes

Door number three sounds good.


Obama Setting Up Nerve Center of Resistance — in His Home

The Daily Mail (UK):

Barack Obama is turning his new home in the posh Kalorama section of the nation’s capital – just two miles away from the White House – into the nerve center of the mounting insurgency against his successor, President Donald J. Trump.

Obama’s goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment.

The next time Donald Trump does something which reminds some nitwit on TV (but I repeat myself) to say: “…this is the sort of things which happens in unstable, third-world governments…” remember that United States’ presidents have usually kept out of politics after leaving office.

They did not actively try to undermine the new occupant of the White House.

That’s the kind of thing you’d expect in unstable, third-world governments. Or from third-rate, jealous ex-presidents.   



Subliminal Signals and Dog Whistles

Apparently Donald Trump is the Subliminal President, sending out subconscious dog whistles which are hard to pinpoint as the are deviously woven into the fabric of his communication. These camouflaged anti-Semitic coded messages are not easy to decipher.  

They are also communicated through non-communication, such as the lack of abhorrence. Such a failure to properly abhor anti-Semitic vandalism would of course signal approval — for those tuned into the subsonic tones generated by the White House communications team.

It is also noted that while these messages fly through the airwaves on a sort of sub-carrier attached to the broadcasts coming from the administration, no one is claiming there is evidence to show that the president wishes violence against Jewish people to increase.  So, I guess if he’s an anti-Semite, he’s not very good at it.

The Washington Post’s Talking Points:

(It arrives in my mail. Sorry no link. Link to Shalev column link leads to subscription offer w/3 free articles.)

“Of course it’s hard to pinpoint any direct link between the president and the outburst of animosity towards Jews and no one is claiming that he has any interest whatsoever in seeing anti-Semitism rise,” wrote columnist Chemi Shalev in Israeli daily Haaretz. “But there is abundant evidence to suggest that the president has been playing with anti-Semitic fire … He has been sending subliminal signals to those who would do Jews harm, using well-worn dog whistles even if he doesn’t intend to, and stubbornly refusing to forthrightly project his abhorrence of anti-Semitic incidents.”

I actually don’t know the level to which President Trump has refused to forthrightly project his abhorrence of anti-Semitic incidents…” On the other hand, his spokesman said this right after the most recent vandalism incidents:

Before I take your questions, I want to address the recent threats and acts of vandalism on Jewish community centers throughout the country. The President said this morning — I just want to reiterate — “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community centers are horrible and painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that we must do” — excuse me — “the work that must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.” — Sean Spicer, 2/21/2017 Press Briefing

Perhaps he didn’t use the correct left-wing dog whistles, such as the words abhorrent, or repudiate.  Or maybe Spicer used a well-worn dog whistle, and I just didn’t pick up on it, not being a trained dog-whistle hearer.  

Labrador retriver

Sparky comes running when Trump talks race.

I know President Trump has been a consistent cheer-leader for Israel, and a fan of the Israeli Prime Minister. I also figure if he really wanted to appease “his” racist/anti-Semitic fans, he’d be less up front about such things. Support of Israel is not the same as support of individual Jews in America, but it sure makes it hard to believe Trump has nurtured a relationship — even subliminally — with Nazis and skinheads.

Does Trump have Nazi skinhead white supremacist idiot followers. Maybe. Probably. Trump has been vague enough in his actual policy statements that some folks have projected their ideas on him.  His statements about Mexicans and Muslims went down pretty easy for skinhead, stupid, Nazi…etc. morons.

That simply does not mean he is racist or anti-Semitic.

As far as I know, he looks down on everybody who isn’t Donald J. Trump.

Wake me when the evidence of racism, Antisemitism and other things are clear.


Lots of Other Questions

The Washington Post:

With Flynn’s departure, the intrigue only deepens. Many questions still need to be answered: Why did Trump, who apparently was aware of Flynn’s dissembling for weeks, wait so long to force his adviser out? What did Trump himself know directly about Flynn’s conversations with Russian officials? Did Flynn potentially make false claims to the FBI, who quizzed him in the first days of the administration? Could Flynn face prosecution?

Where are the leaks coming from? If there were phone calls between Trump advisers and spooks for the Kremlin, were they recorded, and if so will they also be leaked? Will Democrats find other people whose malfeasance is tiny compared to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s, and destroy them?  

How many ways can the press remind us about Russia tampering with the election, without pointing out that at worst, the Russians leaked private email, which is a shadow of the leaks involved here? If the worst tampering they did was to show what schmucks the Democrats are, is that really a big deal?

I don’t like this crap from any angle. Flynn screwed up, and I don’t want somebody that careless advising the president. It’s not as if he lost thousands of emails, or deleted them from a server stored in the bathroom.

I really don’t like the fact that in Washington, taking someone’s scalp is a partisan blood sport. And I really didn’t like seeing Wolf Blitzer with that sanctimonious smirk on his face. 


Democrats Believe “It’s the Messaging”

But not the message.

The NPR and WAMU production 1A:

The Democratic party is out of power in Washington and in two-thirds of state legislatures. Even with the country’s changing demographics on its side, the party is more removed from power than it has been at almost any point before. The same voters who had previously embraced the New Deal, built the Great Society and put their hope in the nation’s first black president are not turning up in the numbers they once did. The party has been described as being on life support. What will it take to bring it back to health? Guests include Cenk Uygur, co-host of “The Young Turks”, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois, 17th District), Stacey Abrams, House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District, Symone Sanders, political strategist, Margie Omero, Democratic strategist and pollster, and Rich Benjamin, senior fellow at Demos.1A podcast tile

There was a lot of interesting disagreement on the show, but the participants seemed to agree that the lesson of the last few elections is not that the ideals put forward by the Democratic Party are flawed. The messaging was poor.

Democrats talking with other Democrats on a radio show whose audience is made up of Democrats…are convinced that their ideas are not wrong.  

It’s the messaging. If only they could reach the right groups with the right strategy.

At one point a panelist puzzled over the 53% of white women who apparently voted for Donald Trump, and she referred to one group as “Walmart Moms.”

I applaud the work of progressive strategists who deeply wish they could find a way to communicate with America. I encourage them in their efforts to fine tune their message to appeal to various groups, including apparently “Walmart Moms.”

My wife shops at Walmart, but don’t tell me that term is a compliment.

Don’t ever change. Rearrange the deck chairs on your political Titanic. Shift the messaging. But whatever you do, don’t change your opinions on gun control, federal funding of abortion and contraception, forced funding of birth control for nuns, 32-ounce sodas, trans-fats, Milo Yiannopoulis’ freedom of speech, the right of cops to defend themselves, the morality of breaking windows and burning things in protest, safe spaces, trigger warnings, cultural appropriation and queer men in the ladies’ room. 

It’s the messaging. Go with that.