Saturday, June 30, 2018

A discussion with a Trump loyalist from the TG community.

Recently, I got into an online chat regarding why I didn't support impeachment.  I feel that Trump is the worst president we are likely to see in our lifetime unless he is removed from office.  And then, Pence will make things much worse if he gets to power.  Enjoy the discussion below, as I knew that there was no way for this person to consider the fact that Trump's propaganda machine may have blinded him to the obvious - which many GOP "Never Trumpers" have known for a couple of years now.

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Marian: If Pence were NOT the VP, I'd be calling for impeachment. Instead, I want a Democratic congress for the next 4 years - 2 to keep Trump in check, and 2 to undo the worst damage Trump did to this country. Mayne the next president, hopefully a moderate Democrat) can undo the worst, without pissing off the healthy left and health right wings. We need a truly centrist government right now, and that's something we haven't had since Trump took power.

Anne: What actual high crime or misdemeanor has Mr. Trump committed?

Marian: First, we have the violation of the Emoluments clause....

You'll note that I wasn't calling for impeachment yet. But any president (of either party) who acts like a French King who'd say "I am the State". is dangerous. I want a centrist who will undo the excesses of left and right to gain power and dismantle the "imperial presidency". Our founding fathers would be upset to see that power has shifted from the Speaker of the House (where they intended it to be) to the Presidency. But they could not have foreseen the shift of America from being a nation which cared most of what went on within its boundaries, to a nation running a global empire.

Anne: Imperial Presidency? Obama left office 1 1/2 years ago

Marian: The "imperial presidency" has been a term used to refer to the ever larger powers taken by the chief executive. If you look at how laws are written, congress cedes way too much power to the executive branch to interpret the law. A good current example is Trump using legislation allowing the president to implement tariffs (for military security reasons) without the consent of congress. Guess what - Congress now regrets giving the executive branch that much power.

You brought up Obama when these powers were being expanded through both Democrat and GOP administrations. It is an issue that is often discussed in politics, and is noted as the debasement of the checks and balances provided for by the constitution.

Anne: When you can demonstrate Mr. Trump acting like BHO in this matter, I'd be keen to read your argument. From where I sit, he is reducing the power of both his office and the Executive Branch

Marian: You are biased against BHO. I make my argument in the context of a series of presidents, each expanding executive branch power. Once a president says (in effect) "I am the state", saying he can pardon himself, he exceeds even the powers claimed by Nixon before he was forced from office.

Anne: It's a statement of fact. Normally, you don't shy away from truths.

I'll say this, though: Tweeting that may have been unwise, but it is FUNNY watching Liberals rend their clothing over it

Marian: Heck - Conservative anger about BHO is about the same as Liberal anger over Bush #43. Trump is radically different, and many conservatives are uncomfortable with him in office now. (I think McCain was right in his judgement of Trump.). The Liberals made the mistake of using ever more extreme language until the time they needed such language, and there was no way to escalate the warnings of danger, nor could they be believed any more by those who leaned right but were swayable....

Anne: I think much of the problem that the OS conservatives have with Mr. Trump is that they can't control him. he man has a pragmatic approach to life and he does not GAF if he ruffles somebody's feathers. McCain is an establishment politician (but an improvement over the stuffed shirts like McConnell and Ryan) and Mr. Trump is truly a maverick.

Something to consider with his bluster: Our problems aren't in and/or with the nations that we usually get along with and with whom diplomacy is the end all and be all of international relations. DJT can piss off the Western European powers and we will still be friends. OTOH, the nations where we do have real problems (that is, North Korea, and the Middle East, along with Russia and China) either don't respect diplomacy or use it as a sop to someone they hope to dominate (NK, Iran, Syria), or use it expecting force to be applied at some point. Many countries, especially w/i the Middle East respect force above all.

While we can probably agree that placing force above diplomacy is a rather archaic way of managing their international affairs. However, that is an attitude quickly dismissed and derided in those nations.

President Trump has a public persona as man not afraid of using force. That's how to treat with folks who prefer force to words. Thus far, it seems to be paying off as well as he manipulates the media to focus on minor things while he accomplishes big things. Looked at objectively, it's fun to watch.

Still....if he could put his phone down once in a while, a lot of us would appreciate it.

Marian: What has he accomplished?

Anne: I presume you refer to Mr. Trump?

Marian: Yup. You said he's accomplished a lot. Give examples.

  • Record low unemployment
  • US factories coming back to work
  • His new rule that requires that for every new government regulation, 2 old rules must be deleted (that one is yuge!)
  • The near annihilation of ISIS
  • Reestablishing the "Red Line" that Mr. Obama spoke of but lacked the will to follow-through
  • Ending many of his predecessor's unconstitutional E/Os.
  • Seeking to restore some sanity to the immigration process
Oh...the possibility of actual peace at last in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. Surely that must count for something

Marian: Low unemployment? That was trending down during the Obama administration, and Trump's policies didn't change much in the first year or so. The regulation rule? That only means that bureaucrats will lock in old regulations until things change.

ISIS was on its way out before Trump took office. And what "Red Line"? Most E/O's are questionable in nature because Congress gives the executive too much freedom in interpreting the laws. Most of Trump's changes have been thru E/O's.

Regarding immigration, nothing has really changed, save to kick out people who are temporarily here. DACA was a bargaining chip for him to get his wall, and we've seen that he really didn't care about a bipartisan bill that could have come to his desk because it didn't give him his wall.

And, regarding DPRK, it's the one area where I will give Trump some credit. One needs a bully to deal with another bully most of the time, and both men are masters of abusing power. So I'm happy with him there, even though I know his deal will be BS. The reason I don't mind this is that both sides will learn to talk with each other, and gradually find some form of detente....

Anne: Don't credit Obama for Trump's success. If you recall, BHO ridiculed DJT on bringing back jobs to the US. He said that for Trump's plan to work "it'd take a magic wand."

Well, abracadabra, bitch!
(Not you, amiga, Mr. Obama)

BHO similarly lamented that ISIS was "here to stay." Mr. Trump has proven that wrong, too.

The "Red Line" that Assad crossed when he used poison gas on people. BHO's dithering on that led directly to the more recent gas attacks for which Assad was indeed punished.

Marian: No - Economic professors usually say that a president's economic policies take 1-2 years to start having an effect on the economy. So this means that Carter's failures lasted 1-2 years into Reagan's term, Reagan's failures and successes lasted 1-2 years into Bush #41's term, and so on. I'll consider 2018 as the year that Trump's policies start having an effect on our economy, and will judge him on the economy no sooner than a year from now. And yes, I believe Trump's policies will fail. But I can't judge him for that until they have had the chance to work or not.

Anne: Obama dismissed what Mr. Trump was going to do,and you want to credit him anyway.


Marian: No - I don't want to credit Trump positively or negatively until his policies have the chance to succeed or fail. I do give Trump for DPRK, as this is something that operates outside the world of economics.

Anne: Thus far, Trump's policies are succeeding and the employers are crediting him for the turn-around.

True enough, though, who knows what the future holds (other than the Shadow, I mean :p )

Marian: Which employers..... To be serious, it's better to look at macro economics. Most small businesses are led by people who believe the propaganda of their political tribes. Most CEOs of large multinational businesses have a vested interest in setting the agenda for their political tribes. But to see reality takes time and distance. Macro economics helps us do that, by studying large scale economic systems.

Anne: Where I live, "Help Wanted" signs abound and everyplace is paying over minimum wage. Colorado's overall unemployment is way down.

Marian: That was a trend that took a while to come. In the NYC area, we've had above minimum wage for a while. I avoid looking at local economies, because they reflect changes specific to regional issues. The big cities, such as NYC also are aberrations, as their economies reflect the long term demographic changes for people to live in areas of great congestion for greater opportunities.

In fairness to your view, Colorado is starting to boom because of several things - and I will include legal weed in that statement. A government that regulates wisely, removing restrictions on individual behavior will always attract the class of people who make an economy grow.

Didn't CO expand medicaid, unlike Utah? Giving people the chance to buy affordable healthcare on an exchange allows people to take greater risks with their jobs.... More risk equals greater rewards.

Anne: And none of can possibly be do to the President easing restrictive regulations on employers, eh?


Marian: Easing reasonable regulations makes sense. But one can go too far in the other direction. And I would have trusted Ted Cruz much more than Trump in regard to regulations.

Anne: Bit of a moot point now

Marian: True.... I trust people who are consistent in their positions.

Anne: Sometimes, that consistency is indicative of a lack of imagination and insight. Change, after all, is the essential energy for life and success.

Consistency is essential in knowing where a person wants to go. In great leaders, they lead by example and are consistent in what they expect from others.

Anne: I believe that Mr. Trump knows precisely where he's going.

Marian: I doubt that very much.

Anne: You don't achieve what he has by lacking vision and goals

Marian: Actually, it's very easy if you're a con man. Bernie Madoff was able to sucker a lot of people into thinking he was generating good economic returns for them. People want to think they are getting better things than they are paying for. They believe in the free lunch. Madoff only believed in the short term gain, and he was taken down when everything collapsed in his Ponzi scheme.

Anne: You're just going to gainsay everything and anything positive about Mr. Trump. Thus, this thread has become pointless and banal.

I'm out

Marian: And you are the same about Obama. I did say something good about Trump with DPRK. And I agree with you - neither of us will convince each other that they are right - but I didn't try to convince you of that. I just refuted your arguments.

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As you can see, Anne wanted to win the point instead of challenge her assumptions or test the validity of her beliefs.  I did say something good about Trump - he might be the right person to deal with North Korea, as both Trump and Kim are known to abuse their power. Anne gave up the discussion when she realized that she couldn't prove her point with facts. 

There are obvious weak points in my support for my position. But it shouldn't have been as easy for me to defend my position in this discussion.  One could have stated that more Conservative judges are being appointed to the bench, including the newest Supreme Court justice. And one could have stated that he is taking a new tack in negotiating trade treaties, saying that one size doesn't fit all. But Anne did not do this.  

Most knee jerk Trumpist conservatives are drinking the "Kool Aid" poured by Fox News' opinion personalities, and not challenging the claims.  And I'm surprised that a Transgender woman is drinking from the Trump fountain after all his administration has done to harm our community.  

We have a long way to go before our rights are fully protected by law, and we will need to deal with people like Anne in order to have our rights recognized by a super majority of Americans....

PS: Some post mortem comments on this conversation....
  1. We're now seeing problems with the DPRK "deal", as they are repairing their nuclear test site according to photographic evidence.  Yet, they have sharply toned down their anti-US propaganda.  So we know something is going on, but we don't know what.
  2. ISIS has had a lot of territory taken from it during 2017.  But it was losing land in 2016.  Trump may deserve some credit here - if only because he left well enough alone.

  3. Trump is known for being extremely flexible in defining success. He was in danger of going into personal bankruptcy from an inability to develop land over the former New York Central rail yards on the West Side.  He found outside money to bail him out, and was able to generate revenue by lending his name to their project. 

    He did not get his "Trump City". But he did get his names on the residential towers that overlook the West Side Highway.

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