late wrote:1) Uh huh. She wants sentencing reform, not just for Trumps Palestinians. You really wouldn't want to ask her about corrupt intent here...
What is this repetitive reference to "Trumps Palestinians"? You guys are usually yammering on about how he is the most pro-Israel president ever. As for Amy Berman Jackson, she did go with the amended sentencing guidelines suggesting that the Mueller prosecutors were too aggressive and Trump was correct in complaining about it.
late wrote:2) Actually, I have linked to historians that study autocrats and dictators a number of times. They know what they are talking about, you have your head in a dark, dark place. If you had read David Cay Johnston's biography of Trump before the election, this would not be especially surprising.
I can do that too. Here's Andrew Sullivan's lament: Trump’s Presidency Isn’t a Dark Comedy — It’s an Absurd Tragedy
. Your assumption is that I don't read any of these screeds. I do. I just disagree with them. Sullivan even goes further than most to curry some credibility by acknowledging some of the abuses of the Obama administration where he provides links to support his assertions.
Andrew Sullivan wrote:I’m not hostile to every part of the Trump policy agenda, and I can happily accept some mitigating factors in Trump’s defense: Some rogue courts that have denied legitimate presidential authority (especially in immigration matters) only to be rebuffed in the end by SCOTUS; worrying errors in the FISA process early on (Carter Page, ahem); bureaucratic resistance rooted in ideology and partisanship; the shift of the mainstream media into a woke cul-de-sac; and the fever-swamp Maddowism that tried to re-up the Cold War to shore up the reputation of Hillary Clinton. These are points worth taking.
They are worth taking, but Democrats and many Republicans weren't concerned at all with Obama's exercise of power. So why should we be concerned now? They are ever only worried when Republicans are in control.
Andrew Sullivan wrote:Yes, presidents before Trump did bad things we would today deplore (like spying on domestic political opponents). Yes, they committed impeachable offenses which did not lead to exposure, let alone removal from office. Yes, some flouted the rule of law. And, yes, we have tightened standards of executive accountability since Watergate. But no president, however malign, has ever declared that he has an absolute right to commit abuse of power — while he was doing it. Even when Nixon said, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal,” it was way after his departure from the White House, and prompted gasps. What Trump is doing is openly mocking constitutional constraints on the presidency even as he abuses his office — and has prompted only indifference among Republicans and exhaustion among Democrats.
If a president has a legitimate legal basis for investigating a political opponent, he has the power to do that. The check is in the courts via the Fourth Amendment. However, that check doesn't hold when the former Vice President brags in an AV recorded symposium that he had a prosecutor fired by threatening to withhold $1B of US loan guarantees when that very prosecutor was investigating a company known for corruption before his son took a director job there. If there were no Foreign Corrupt Practices Act--passed by a Democratic-controlled legislature in the 1970s--we wouldn't have the legitimate legal basis; although, intelligence/counter-intelligence would still apply, but the president can't prosecute on intelligence gathered info without a warrant. So the president was perfectly within the lawful exercise of his powers here--and even Republicans who claim it was inappropriate are doing nothing more than defending corruption.
Andrew Sullivan wrote:Look at the precedents that have already been set: A president can now ignore Congress’ power of the purse, by redirecting funds from Congress’ priorities to his own (as in the wall); he can invent a “national emergency” out of nothing and exercise powers that are, at their worst, dictatorial (as Trump did to fund his wall); he can broadly refuse to cooperate with any legitimate congressional inquiries — and defy all congressional subpoenas (as he did with impeachment); he can, reportedly, order illegal acts and promise his subordinates he will subsequently pardon them if they are discovered; he can dangle pardons, obstruct justice, and intimidate witnesses with impunity; he can slander judges and accuse the FBI and CIA of being part of a seditious “deep state.”
Presidents have always had a measure of discretion in spending. Trump's use of discretionary defense funds was upheld by the courts. He isn't ignoring the power of the purse. He's just using discretionary funds at his discretion. The president has had both Article II and Article I (delegated by Congress) authority to declare national emergencies. 20M people illegally in the US is a reasonable basis for declaring an emergency. He can also ignore subpoenas if Congress doesn't vote on an impeachment inquiry, which THEY CHOSE NOT TO DO. He did not say he would order illegal acts and pardon people if they performed them. Again, "fake news" from CNN is just more emotional histrionics from anti-Trump bedwetters. What is wrong with accusing the FBI or CIA of acting as a "deep state"? Chuck Schumer warned Trump of this very thing, and his impeachment was spawned by a CIA whistleblower on mere hearsay and the entire establishment protected his identity as though overthrowing the president is something you get to do without allowing the president to confront his accuser.
Andrew Sullivan wrote:He can wage war unilaterally and instantly, without any congressional approval, while lying about the reason (what Iranian imminent attack?) and denying the consequences (the serious injuries that were inflicted on U.S. service members in Iraq);
Every president has the power to address imminent threats. The injury story was more fake news.
Andrew Sullivan wrote:he can stack his Cabinet with many lackeys who never have to undergo Senate hearings — because they’re only ever “acting” Cabinet members;
A common practice since at least the Bush administration as Congress has decided on non-confirmation as a means of thwarting the exercise of power.
Andrew Sullivan wrote:Are we supposed to believe these precedents will not be cited and deployed by every wannabe strongman president in the future? Are we supposed to regard these massive holes below the waterline of the ship of state as no big deal? And with these precedents in his first term, are we supposed to regard what could Trump get away with in a second term as a form of black comedy? I’m sorry but I don’t get the joke.
There isn't anything Trump is doing that other presidents haven't already done. The idea that Trump is setting these precedents is ludicrous.
Andrew Sullivan wrote: “Ripe for tyranny?” We’re begging for it.
We're not begging for tyranny. We're begging for the deep state to be fired, removed from power, security clearances revoked and criminal actions by such people prosecuted if necessary.
Andrew Sullivan wrote:This is a cult. It’s sustained by constant fanatical rallies, buoyed by a campaign of deliberate falsehoods, and thriving in an alternate reality created by a media company’s propaganda. This is more dangerous than a monarchy, because it is based on charismatic authority, not tradition.
It's buoyed by the American people's fatigue of the establishment pushing for lower wages and job outsourcing in the manner of free trade with communist China, while they attack Trump as his direct and indirect subordinates and try to bolster a pseudo Red Scare while they do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party. Sorry. We're not having it anymore. We're not scared of Russia. We're scared of the unelected American deep state acting contrary to the will of the electorate. They are the primary threat to us. Not Russia.
Andrew Sullivan wrote:and people at the bottom of the ladder are actually seeing real wage gains for the first time in a long while. It is therefore more likely than not that this president will be reelected.
If that happens, every authoritarian precedent being set now will be given deeper democratic legitimacy. Yes, this is exactly how republics die.
It's easy to save the Republic. Just do what the voters want:
- Get illegal aliens out of the country.
- Enact a merit-based immigration system.
- Limit immigration so it isn't wage depressing.
- Curtail trade with totalitarian governments like China.
- Prosecute bureaucrats who abuse power.
- Abolish political correctness.
- Keep taxes and regulations under control.
It's not a mystery what people want. However, if it takes a billionaire interloper to get it done, then so be it. People were not fooled by the Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton race the establishment had in mind. They understand now that Biden is not only too old and increasingly disabled by the onset of dementia, he's also corrupt. Warren is an inveterate self-serving liar. Pete Buttigieg is a homosexual with the temerity to lecture Christians on the meaning of the bible which clearly proscribes men having sex with other men. The whole slew of the Democratic slate of presidential candidates has done not only the exact opposite of the above, they have called for open borders, decriminalization of illegal entry, sanctuary cities and states, the abolition of ICE and CBP, the elimination of private health insurance, higher taxes, and so forth. It's not a mystery why they are going to lose in 2020 bigly. It has nothing to do with Russia. It has to do with their positions being diametrically opposed to the overwhelming majority of Americans--many of whom don't like Donald Trump's personality, but have no other viable political alternative.
This isn't how Republics die. This is how political parties die.
late wrote:3) The only way he can win is cheating.
You guys are going to get crushed in 2020, because you refuse to do what the American voter wants.
late wrote:4) That's Reality TV, not reality.
Throwaway one liners will not save you. Trump rallies are not reality TV. They are reality. Only two candidates have the pulse of the electorate. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Nobody cares about the rest of the candidates. They just aren't inspiring enough to draw throngs of supporters. Face it. What you stand for is politically unpalatable to the electorate, and your excuses aren't fooling anyone.
"This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science."
-- Joe Biden on banning travel from China during the coronavirus outbreak