The Donald J. Trump Presidency

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    chrondog
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by chrondog on Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:21 am

    techno raj wrote:
    chrondog wrote:From Katrina to torture to the Supreme Court to climate to attempting to privatize education and social security, everything the Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz band of villains did was horribly regressive and destructive. Trump has terrible terrible impulses, but he's not as savvy at forcing through a really backwards policy agenda. Bush/Cheney had the advantage of a post 9/11 patriotic boost as well.

    If you're grading on execution rather than intent, I would leave out the "attempted" examples. I think torture is the only one of those that really sets Bush apart, and its the darkest part of his legacy. All I would say there is that we didn't even know what and how much was going on at this point in the Bush presidency, so its possible Trump's worst behavior isn't even public yet. At this stage, I'm more comfortable rating by intent, by which Trump is much worse than Bush. We can better compare execution after he's gone.

    Also fair, can't really give credit to Bush for failed conservative policymaking. 

    This is a hard one for me because I'm not confident at shaking down Trump's "intent" on anything. To me, all he intends to do is self-aggrandize and enrich. Certainly the intent of his policymaking has been exceedingly cruel thus far, but I can't really say what the "intent" of that shit is except to win a culture war. All the pain caused by Trump is collateral damage. 

    Also, the "intent" of neoconservatism could be thought of as spreading freedom and quality of life to the developing world, so intent is not always the best metric for me.

    Fundamentally, I agree with you that the big risk with Trump is the chaos factor. He can and will do anything. That's why I consistently said that throughout the campaign: he's worse than even Ted Cruz because Ted is the devil you know. Trump increases the statistical chance of WW3 more than any single actor, even if that chance is still very small.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by Duff... on Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:10 am

    chrondog wrote:
    I don't buy that "western democracy" is in peril. That fact that executive power has historically only been checked by "norms" and that our elections are overseen by political bodies and volunteers at the local level who outsource shit to easily hackable technology says more to me that our institutions have always been broken, we're just noticing now.

    Wasn't limiting it to the US.

    Feel like Meuller/FBI/the US intelligence apparatus is changing the subject but the way Trump is overtly eroding trust in what are supposed to be impartial institutions in a nakedly hyperpartisan way is... not good.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by chrondog on Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:37 pm

    Yes, but the notion of an "impartial institution" that has no legal obligation to be so is personally more troubling. That an asshole will walk all over our institutions is expected. That our institutions can do nothing to defend themselves without a massive congressional response is... weak tea.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by techno raj on Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:22 pm

    If a judge was truly "Trumpian", i.e. cared more about the optics of "winning" than any policy orthodox, IMO that would actually be better for something like Roe v. Wade. There's a chance a Trumpian Supreme Court justice could do something to help the Left.
    I would describe the Trumpian characteristics as a mob-like focus on transactional loyalty and a disdain for the rule of law. A judge with that kind of thinking worries me much more than a conventional conservative.

    Gorsuch and Kavanaugh may be traditional incrementalists who have some respect for precedent and institutions, but they'll never contribute to anything except steady judicial outcomes that I don't support.
    I mean, you wouldn't really say never, would you? I assume you were OK with Gorsuch's position in Sessions v. Dimaya for example. I think the value of identifying supportable outcomes from opponents or other non-allied parties is generally underrated on the left; even if you don't think you'll need it now, it's useful openness to have for potential future ideological thaws.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by undo on Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:19 pm

    Watched five minutes of this press conference, nothing's changed since 2017.

    Just ask him one question at a time and press him to answer it. Stop asking him three questions in one, giving him two minutes to bullshit about some totally unrelated topic in response, and then letting him move on to the next reporter who will let the same thing happen over and over again. Are they intimidated? They always give him an out that makes sure they don't have to stand up for themselves when he inevitably would push back against them. I didn't get who any of these reporters were but they have one job to do and they're either completely incompetent or just don't care anymore.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by Duff... on Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:26 pm

    I think they're only allowed to ask one question now.

    No other administration would be able to get away with how he treats the press but like you've said nothing's changed.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by chrondog on Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:24 pm

    undo wrote:Watched five minutes of this press conference, nothing's changed since 2017.

    Just ask him one question at a time and press him to answer it. Stop asking him three questions in one, giving him two minutes to bullshit about some totally unrelated topic in response, and then letting him move on to the next reporter who will let the same thing happen over and over again. Are they intimidated? They always give him an out that makes sure they don't have to stand up for themselves when he inevitably would push back against them. I didn't get who any of these reporters were but they have one job to do and they're either completely incompetent or just don't care anymore.

    All they want to do is keep their job and they can't do that if they speak truth to power.

    They all work for news organizations backed by large corporate entities. If they cause a stir, they'll be replaced instantly and blacklisted from the industry.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by undo on Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:14 am

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jan/4/shutdown-spares-federal-park-rangers-at-site-in-tr/

    Historic NPS site towering over Trump hotel remains open despite shutdown

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Tourists frustrated by the federal shutdown still have one amply staffed National Park Service site they can visit - and it’s at the Trump International Hotel.

    About a half-dozen national park rangers were on duty midday Friday at the historic clock tower at the Washington building housing the Trump hotel. That’s despite the nearly two-week-old shutdown that has crippled agencies and furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers.

    President Donald Trump’s Trump Organization leases the D.C. hotel building from the General Services Administration. The GSA says it believes federal law obligates it to keep the modest attraction open.

    Noah Bookbinder at the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington watchdog group says the GSA should explain why the Trump hotel site is one of few non-essential ones still open and staffed.

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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by jesus jones on Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:39 am

    why aren’t we burning everything down and sharpening the fucking guillotine blades right now
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by chrondog on Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:32 pm

    President Warren and Supreme Commander/Space Force General Ocasio-Cortez are buying the grindstones as we speak
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by Ned Braden on Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:18 pm

    Good op-Ed headline: An attempt to impeach is overdue. It should come from the right.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by WP64 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:22 am

    It won't though. The protest culture of the United States is a fucking joke. When I was living in Paris there was literally a protest everyday. They have a small little pamphlet like newspaper that is handed out at the Metro stations that lists all the protests, what they are about, and where they are located, which they mostly do for the sake of commuters.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by Duff... on Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:03 am

    WP64 wrote:The protest culture of the United States is a fucking joke. When I was living in Paris there was literally a protest everyday. They have a small little pamphlet like newspaper that is handed out at the Metro stations that lists all the protests, what they are about, and where they are located, which they mostly do for the sake of commuters.

    Bit of a non sequitir. It won't come from the right because the right is fine with this bullshit.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by WP64 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:50 pm

    The protests happening in France right now aren't being motivated by any sort of explicit or organized right wing party, nor are any of their demands even vaguely reminiscent of Republican policy platforms. I take your point though. I've heard people argue that the passage of universal health care is going to need to come from the right because only the increasing economic precarity of their core constituents can really make Medicare-for-All a legislative reality. I don't buy that for a second. Besides, most of their core constituents already qualify for Medicare.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by undo on Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:17 am

    https://brobible.com/sports/article/donald-trump-clemson-fast-food-white-house/
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by Duff... on Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:47 pm

    Would've been nice to stretch that out long enough to cancel the state of the union but oh well.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by Nick on Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:44 pm

    I woke up to the Stone news & thought the day was off to a great start with no idea that by late afternoon Nancy would have dog walked Trump’s fat ass to the Rose Garden.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by undo on Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:02 pm

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/26/us/politics/trump-ginni-thomas-meeting.html
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by undo on Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:14 pm

    If someone responds to a Trump tweet by saying they can't wait until he's dead, could their response be treated as a threat worthy of investigation?

    The matter of whether or not doing this actually serves a constructive purpose is an entirely different matter (though certainly an important one worth considering)
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by chrondog on Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:59 pm

    The conflation of anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel which began under Hillary's State Department (pushed intensely by political groups like AIPIC) and was codified by Trump's administration is fucking disgusting and needs to be undermined at every turn. It's one of the defining features of the foreign policy consensus among both parties. 

    The smearing of Ilhan Omar today shows how conservative elements of both the Democratic and Republican parties will join together to bully anyone who pushes back against the Washington consensus. And she still apologized with grace because she seems like a very good-hearted, sweet person who can take criticism. This is what this new breed of millennial politicians does: they attack hard AND are willing to be humble. That's what being intellectually honest is. Nancy Pelosi would never fucking do that because, compared to this new breed of women, she's so so weak.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by Duff... on Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:15 pm

    chrondog wrote:The conflation of anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel which began under Hillary's State Department

    hmmmm....

    But yes, this whole thing is ridiculous.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by chrondog on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:47 pm

    Duff... wrote:
    chrondog wrote:The conflation of anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel which began under Hillary's State Department

    hmmmm....

    But yes, this whole thing is ridiculous.


    It's not anti-Hillary revisionism (which is the subtext of your hmmmm...).

    Hillary was super in bed with the Israel lobby and they wrote her a resolution redefining anti-semitism that was codified by her State Department. The Clintons have never ever ever been progressive on Israel and it was a huge criticism I leveled at her during the campaign. This issue has been of particular interest to me for almost 10 years.

    Here it is: https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm

    It was then codified by international bodies in 2016: https://www.state.gov/s/rga/resources/267538.htm

    It's extremely problematic because it defines anti-semitism very loosely as any number of criticisms of Israel or Israeli influence. So many of these phrases are open to huge interpretation:

    "allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective"
    "Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions"
    "denying Israel the right to exist"

    In the case of Omar, they seize on "Making...stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective--especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government, or other societal institutions."

    In the case of Omar, it didn't matter that she specifically references Israel or pro-Israel groups. Because of the systematic attempt to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism, making a comment about pro-Israel money in politics is AUTOMATICALLY about Jews, despite the fact that the Israel lobby is made up for Evangelical Christians and foreign policy hawks as well.

    The resolution is so mealy and imprecise because it was designed to invite these types of controversies. That any remark critical of Israel, AIPIC, or the foreign policy consensus in the Middle East instantly devolves into race-baiting serves the interests of the lobby. We can't have a conversation about the policy.

    The campus Hillel at my college was pushing this idea back in 2009-10 and I used to get into arguments with other students about it all the time. Part of their argument (and the argument of the State Department's resolution) is that we apply an unfair "double standard" to Israel and don't condemn violence by Palestinians. So much to say about that:

    1. Power is asymmetrical and there will ALWAYS be different standards applied to different nations, that doesn't make it ethnic hate.
    2. The overwhelming majority of people condemn Palestinian violence, but that doesn't matter to bad faith pro-Israel partisans because they don't actually care about that, only advancing their own interests (which, as an interest group, more power to em I guess).
    3. The United States is the most violent nation-state in history and applying double standards about human rights issues is our bread and butter. Anything Israel is doing, we've done worse. If the US can't apply double standards, we can't have a foreign policy critical of anything (and maybe that's the most fair, honestly).
    4. We can have whatever fucking standard we want for Israel because we give them well over $3 billion in military aid annually

    This is why the Left needs to take on the Democratic Party every single day.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by WP64 on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:03 am

    Foreign policy is something that the American left needs to start taking much more seriously and I think it is Bernie's biggest weakness. To be fair, the American liberal love affair with Israel did not begin with Hillary Clinton's State Department, but you are point to a really important point Chrono. It should also be noted that these steps are being taken at the exact some moment that Netanyahu and Likud were working on the passage of the Nation-State Bill (or Nationality Bill), which makes Israel an actual ethno-State. Basically, at the exact same moment that Israel's domestic politics are becoming increasingly reactionary and illiberal, you have American "liberals" spinning themselves in circles trying to conflate any criticism of a now legally self-defined ethno-State as actually, in fact, inherently racist.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by WP64 on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:08 am

    In the British context, you have people like Tony Blair taking selfies with actual raging anti-Semites like Viktor Orbán all while his admirers and former staffers back home write shitty op-eds about Corbyn's fabricated history of anti-Semitic remarks. It's quite clear that these people don't even care about any rise in anti-Semitism, which is something that is real and should be taken seriously, and are only using this to smear progressive candidates.
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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

    Post by chrondog on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:54 am

    fuck you https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/02/ilhan-omar-bds/582520/

    fuck you https://twitter.com/ChelseaClinton/status/1095090694182629384

    i'm done defending this garbage party until October 2020

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    Re: The Donald J. Trump Presidency

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