Tuesday, January 24, 2017


The Election that Never Ended...

Yesterday, President Trump (I'm still not used to writing that) told a group of Congressional leaders that he would have won the popular vote in the election but for the votes of 3-5 million "illegals." It's a crazy, obviously untrue claim, but he seems to really believe it. 

That, and his obsession with the size of the crowds at his inauguration, is bizarre at this point-- yesterday was arguably the "day one" that he had identified as the day he would end Obamacare, etc. He has signed some executive orders that move in that direction, but his focus seems largely on these things that really don't matter now. The election is over. He is literally in the White House.

It makes one think that he is going to be highly ineffective at getting his agenda through. That means that he will be relegated to signing off on bills that pass through the Republican-controlled Congress, reflecting their priorities rather than his (and they do diverge). That means trade reform will not go far, nor will infrastructure building. Those two items, of course, are the ones most likely to provide jobs. 

Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich suspects that Congressional Republicans are setting Trump up to fail:

According to Reich, he recently had breakfast with a Republican friend who claimed he held his fire over his misgivings about Trump during the election, saying, “You kidding? I was surrounded by Trump voters. I’d have been shot.”

That was when the conversation took an interesting turn when Reich asked his friend what the GOP will do now that Trump is president.

“They’ll play along for a while,” the unidentified friend said. “They’ll get as much as they want – tax cuts galore, deregulation, military buildup, slash all those poverty programs, and then get to work on Social Security and Medicare – and blame him. And he’s such a fool he’ll want to take credit for everything.”

Asked what happens then, the Reich’s friend laughed and said, ‘They like [Vice President] Pence.”

“Pence is their guy. They all think Trump is out of his mind,” he explained. “So the moment Trump does something really dumb – steps over the line – violates the law in a big stupid clumsy way … and you know he will …”

“They impeach him?” Reich asked.

“You bet. They pull the trigger,” was the reply.

That rings true to me. Does it to you? 

The Republicon party is using Donald Trump but no they will not dump him. The Republicons need those people who believe in him and feel he can do no wrong.
I wish it was not true but there is little separation between the President and his party. We need to repeal and replace the Republicon party.

Donald Trump's fate will be left up to the courts, which is the only hope before he stacks the courts with the Republicon's help.

I am trying to find out if Donald Trump has ever worked for anyone other than his family. Does anyone know of an instance when he had an unrelated boss. He has never had to deal with consequences before he took this job working for the people. He has never been in a position where he could be fired before.
The Courts may have something to say on removal from office. The Emuloments Clause lawsuit and possible lawsuits to come over conflicts of interest could lead to a real clash between the Courts and the Executive. I don't see Congress removing him, however.

Reich's friend is correct, Trump will take credit for everything. And if McConnell and Ryan are smart, they will let him. Bill Clinton made the GOP Congress of the 90's crazy by taking credit for everything they did. Instead of just rolling with it, they looked petty and obstructionist. Paul Ryan is far more savvy than Newt Gingrich.

Absolutely,Congressional Republicans would prefer Pence. But look at the map- The Republicans that control Congress come from places where Trump's initiatives, ideas and swaggering style play well.

I think ditching TPP was a mistake. A HUGE mistake. But Hillary pledged to do the same thing. (She just didn't connect with the voters who think this is a good idea). But Trump has made that connection-- he had labor leaders at the White House yesterday. A Republican President with Labor leaders. His bullying style with business leaders is going to play well with voters in the Districts that elect Republicans.

His anti-abortion Executive Order? I don't like it for a variety of reasons, but every Republican President since Reagan would have done the same. As would have Kasich, Cruz, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, etc. etc.

His policies are not what make news. Its his offensive style and his brash, ugly, rude, insecure personality. Which is an EXCELLENT smokescreen for some of his policy decisions.

Yes, he will make some big clumsy mistake. Probably an international incident. But then he will wave the flag of patriotism.

On top of all that, Impeachment is easy. The Senate trial, however, is really difficult. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton survived mere impeachment.

The real test of Trump's relationship with Congress will be over the Budget and Taxes. He wants to do BIG THINGS. And they all cost money.
Garrison Keilor weighs in

The Republicans will turn on him only if Fox News is in on the scheme to help them convince the Trump voters.
The first five days have scared the living daylight out of me. Gag orders at agencies, the way he bullied the business leaders (he did bully them and in private I bet they aren't happy). He is a master of deception and slight of hand.

We need to stop talking about crowd size and fraudulent votes. The statistics and photos don't lie. Although I was proud of the press and how they started to "handle" Sean Spicer yesterday.

All I can say is watch the ball. It is going to be a tiring four years.
I've been thinking and saying that Republicans will want to impeach Trump for several weeks now, and reading various quality articles on the topic from The Atlantic and else ware. He is clearly not conservative. Pence clearly is.

I bought Professor Charles Black, Jr.'s handbook, Impeachment the other day on Amazon. Did you have him as a professor Mark?
He teaches at Yale and Columbia.

David-- No, he was off to Columbia by the time I got to YLS...
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