Like many others, I wondered about what form the Trump Administration would take. It now looks like it will be just like his campaign. He and a few close associates will make all the decisions. That may be OK for a campaign. Doing whatever you want irrespective of the laws and ignoring the consequences is not how a democracy is supposed to work. The debacle he has created with his executive order on immigration shows that his approach is a disaster.
Whether or not his order is good policy can certainly be debated. There can be no debate that he went at it all wrong. The administration should have taken time to develop a carefully thought out strategy, worked with the Justice Department to make sure it was legal, work with homeland security on its implementation and State to deal with any foreign reaction. Given that it went into effect a week after his inauguration, it is obvious that he took none of these steps.
Now they have a real mess on their hands. On multiple occasions they have had to restate their policy. They are getting widespread criticism, including from Republicans and lawsuits and court rulings are piling up. Just today we have seen the acting Attorney General fired. True to form, he ignored the chain of command in picking a successor. All of this is totally a self-inflicted wound.
In 1774 John Adams talked of a “country of laws and not of men”. It’s time for Donald Trump to realize that. Otherwise, it’s going to be a very long four years.
We are seeing massive protests in the wake of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Instead of focusing on the validity of their cause, I’d like to predict where it might lead.
This appears to be a grass roots movement. Each group has their own agenda but there seems to be two major themes. One, like the Women’s March on Washington, is focused on protecting the rights of women, minorities and the LGBT community. They are generally peaceful. The other is focused more on hating Trump as a person. These include the ones who want to impeach him or deny that he is a legitimate president. They can occasionally be violent.
It might be useful to look at other mass movements. The civil rights movement was extremely successful and transformed America. It was well organized with a carefully thought out strategy. Martin Luther King borrowed Gandhi’s tactics of peaceful disobedience. They transformed America by changing both hearts and minds. To go from segregation to a black president in fifty years is a tremendous accomplishment.
The goal of the antiwar movement was eventually achieved. It was likely accomplished despite them not because of them. They often hurt their cause. The violence and their behavior turned off many Americans. They generally acted out of emotion rather than developing an effective strategy.
The women’s movement was very successful in changing the role of women. However, it was less successful politically. The Equal Rights Amendment failed to pass. They often detracted from their cause by burning bras and other stunts.
The Tea Party was effective at gaining opposition to Obamacare and other issues. They often hurt their cause by taking extreme positions and pushing unelectable candidates. Remember the lady who wasn’t a witch and the man who said a woman’s body “shuts down” in the event of a rape?
Today’s protests are unorganized, undisciplined and lack focus. They seem to have no goal except for expressing their hatred for Trump. It is hard to gather support for something that may or may not happen. They hurt their cause every time someone torches a car, roughs up a war widow or talks about blowing up the White House.
A few years ago people with nothing better to do camped out in Wall Street. They made headlines across the country. I remember one woman saying this had the same significance as the Revolutionary War. In the long run they accomplished nothing. The only thing these demonstrators might achieve is to further damage the Democratic Party.
Two-hundred-forty years ago our Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia to start a new country. They wanted to form a democracy. They gathered again eleven years later to write a constitution that would provide an effective government and perpetuate their democratic ideals. Some feared that the President was too powerful but the thought of George Washington taking the office was reassuring. Once a sufficient number of states approved the Constitution, Washington was inaugurated.
He retired after two terms. In an age of kings and despots, voluntarily giving up power was highly unusual. Four years later we had perhaps the bitterest election in our history. John Adams quietly left the White House and headed home. Since then there have been forty-two transfers of power. Some, like Ronald Reagan, saw their heir apparent inaugurated. Others, like Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, watched their election opponent assume office. All of these transfers have taken place without armed uprising or civil war. The Constitution works!
Yesterday we saw two men who are political opposites act in a calm and dignified manner. They had tea, stood near each other during the ceremony and shook hands afterwards. Sadly, a number of Democrats in Congress refused to attend. The inauguration was not about paying respect to Donald Trump; it was about paying respect to our democracy. Keeping it strong is far more important than who sits in the Oval Office.
Once Barack Obama announced for the presidency, some rightwing idiots claimed he couldn’t be president because he was born in Kenya. They didn’t have a shred of evidence but that didn’t stop them. Of course they changed their tune when Ted Cruz (born in Canada) decided to run.
Now leftwing idiots are saying the same thing about Trump. They give a number of reasons. Since Clinton got more votes, they say we should ignore the Constitution. Many cite the Russians hacking. Filmmaker Roger Moore came up with six reasons.
This is all utter nonsense. It is an attack on our Constitution and our democracy. Much like the birthers, they have nothing solid. I’m not sure what they are proposing. Perhaps they want the Supreme Court to throw Trump out of office on the grounds that Clinton should have won. Maybe they want to stage a coup and declare her Queen Hillary I.
I am saddened that Congressman John Lewis has joined the group. He was a key civil rights leader in the 1960s and has faithfully represented his district for over thirty years. He should know better.
Trump will be inaugurated in four days. Regardless of people’s opinion of him, he won the election in the manner prescribed in the Constitution. Obviously he is a legitimate president.
Democrats are in a world of hurt. They lost the presidency, Congress is at its lowest ebb since the Twenties, they have a huge gap in leadership, they are divided and they are losing the blue collar vote. It could get worse before it gets better. In 2018 ten Democratic Senate seats are up for grabs in states Trump won.
Leaders in Congress are trying to come up with a strategy to reverse course. Some want to replicate the Republican plan of total opposition (to be fair, Obama and the Democrats gave as good as they got). They earned the title “The Party of No”. Given their huge gains in Congress, it seemed to be successful. Some might think, since it worked for the GOP, it would work for them. Others might be blinded by how much they hate Trump.
I believe it would lead to disaster. Republicans didn’t win by being the Party of No. Democrats lost because of bad candidates, bad campaign strategy and shoving Obamacare down people’s throats. Instead, they need to show the American people why they should be returned to power (something Hillary Clinton never did).
They do have an ace in the hole. I believe that Trump was unelectable but a bad candidate and a worse campaign cost Democrats the presidency. He may return the favor some day.
We are about to see a seismic change in our government. Barack Obama and Donald Trump are different in every way except for their gargantuan egos. Republicans in Congress now have real power. Democrats are on their own. You would think everyone would be focused on their changing role.
Instead, we are seeing a bunch of silliness and juvenile behavior. Trump is busy seeking political retribution against John Kasich and criticizing Meryl Streep’s acting ability. Republicans tried to gut the congressional ethics office and many are talking of repealing Obamacare without any idea what would replace it. Many Democrats are so full of hate that they will try to destroy his presidency without regard to what happens to the country.
My sincere hope is that the political silly season will come to an end and people will start to take their responsibilities more seriously. However, I’m not holding my breath waiting for this to happen.
I could write volumes on why the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was a bad bill. It should be replaced. The big question is what will follow it and how it will be administered.
The current law is extremely complex. It is 900 pages long and has 11,000 pages of regulations. It took fourteen months to pass. They had a couple of years to implement it and they failed badly.
Many Republicans want to go ahead and repeal it now and figure out its replacement later. Some say even twelve months is too long a time. Right now there is only a hazy outline of what some of the provisions will be and many ideas don’t make sense. To think they can accomplish in months what the Obama administration failed to do in years is utterly ridiculous.
For the last eight years the Republicans have been like patrons at a play booing the actors. Now they are on the stage. If they want to stay there, they need to learn to act.
Donald Trump has often talked about reforming the government or, in his words, “draining the swamp”. Unfortunately a majority of House Republicans want to make it murkier. Yesterday they voted to make the independent Office of Congressional Ethics report to Congress.
There has been a problem of partisan groups filing complaints to make trouble for members they dislike. This could have been handled with some tweaks instead of destroying the office’s independence.
This is an incredibly stupid decision. Not only does it lower the reputation of Congress, but it opens up Republicans to charges of bias in handling ethics complaints. This action was blasted by many in both parties, including Donald Trump. Republicans have had second thoughts and will not make the change.
For the last eight years the House Republicans have been the “Party of No”. Now is the time for them to step up and govern. Trying to destroy the independence of ethics investigations has them off to a bad start.