Monday, July 30, 2018

Smug Trumpists may need to squarely face the main thing they're in denial about

Jay Cost at NRO says there's good reason to believe Dems are going to have a good midterm election, and here's exactly why:

The predicament for today’s Republicans is not the agenda or the state of the union. The predicament is the president himself, Donald Trump.
Trump is not currently facing a Watergate-level scandal that threatens to bring down his administration. It looked as if this might be the case in, say, the spring of 2017, when it seemed to his critics as though he may have fired FBI director James Comey because the Bureau was on the verge of uncovering collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. But there seems to have been no collusion, and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is now primarily focused on apparently unrelated matters. Maybe Mueller will conclude that Trump obstructed justice, but that is not the issue at the moment.
Instead, Trump’s challenge is that he seems incapable of acting the way most Americans expect their president to act.
Our country is a republic, and a very egalitarian one at that. We all love a rags-to-riches story, after all. With a little grit and pluck, anybody can do anything in the United States. Our fascination with the British monarchy is a manifestation of our own commitment to equality — we would never have an institution like the Crown in the United States, so we all stare agog at it whenever one of the royals gets married.
But still, we have our limits. Our monument to George Washington may be a plain, white obelisk, but it is still a monument. The person who occupies Washington’s chair is expected to act like that great man, at least a little bit. He is supposed to be measured, restrained, and dignified. 
Trump has been none of those things. He has undoubtedly advanced the conservative agenda, but he has not done so in a presidential manner. 

And, assuming Cost is right, that's going to matter to a sufficient number of voters  to put a real damper on this advance-the-conservative-agenda business.

And then all the garbage from Derek Hunter, Kurt Schlichter, Bookworm, Conrad Black, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity about not caring what kind of life the Very Stable Genius has led, and how he conducts himself, is going to be sucked dry of every last molecule of persuasiveness that it ever had.

As you can imagine, the comment thread underneath Cost's piece includes an ample supply of shills. They put forth the arguments you expect from them: Justice Ginsberg will almost certainly retire in the next couple of years; who do you want appointing her replacement? (Never mind that we're talking about the midterms. The next presidential election is a whole different animal, and at this juncture I'd be willing to wager that the Very Stable Genius wins it; the country currently has less appetite for wealth redistribution and identity politics than it does for boorishness.) Politeness would not have cut it in 2016. If voters put Dems in charge of Congress, they are an ungrateful lot. And so on.

None of that is going to be worth a stinking thing if Cost's theory is correct.

No president - of whatever ideological stripe, in any period - ever has conducted himself with less dignity than this guy, and it's going to matter politically. Later this year.


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  2. Barely 3 months to ??? I think he will decline to run in 2019. I think the economy will lose steam and we'll be back in another Bear market recession before too long.

  3. Entirely possible. These tariffs could well counteract the gains made so far this year.
    In any event, him declining to run would be a blessing for the nation. About that, I hope you're right.

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  5. Then we're left with his deficit and permanent corporate tax cuts.

  6. We can address the deficit and debt any time we muster the stones.

  7. "...But there seems to have been no collusion, and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is now primarily focused on apparently unrelated matters..."

    Wow. Now that statement, coming in the same month as the incredibly descriptive latest indictments bringing the total to 23 in what is technically charged as a "conspiracy to defraud the United States", and with Trump's ex-attorney jumping up and down begging Mueller to call on him so he can deliver the goods -- and specifically on the Russian issue -- yeah, that statement right there is really special.

    Makes a person wonder, if this is what happens with Mueller's attention caught by some unnamed distraction, imagine what happens when he REALLY gets down to business.

    Cheers. :o)

  8. "And then there's the unwinding of unprecedented efforts by central banks around the world a decade after the 2008 financial crisis. Dubbed "quantitative easing," the Federal Reserve and other central banks purchased trillions of dollars of government bonds and other securities to help nurse the economy back to health. They are now starting to reverse course. Dimon told CNBC that he is concerned about what happens when that support is pulled back. "I don't want to scare the public, but we've never had QE," Dimon said. "We've never had the reversal. Regulations are different. Monetary transmission is different. Governments have borrowed too much debt, and people can panic when things change."

    Dimon, 62, has also previously warned of the possibility that the Fed will have to hike interest rates faster than expected, slamming the brakes on growth. The recurring theme: policymakers are in uncharted waters. Adding to the risk is the fact that the administration is looking at imposing another round of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. Dimon said Monday that he told the administration that he and other business leaders disagreed on the tactics, but that President Donald Trump "obviously doesn't agree with us."

  9. When the initial appointment of Mueller as Special Counsel occurred, I (unknowingly) agreed with Steve Bannon that there was not enough intellectual capacity in the Trump campaign to successfully accomplish collusion with a foreign adversary. Since then, however, being a person capable of processing outside information, I have since reevaluated my position.

    Admittedly, I was still enthusiastic in my approval of a Special Counsel because I knew that Trump - just like all the swamp-dwellers you lionize here at LITD – is a self-righteous weasel and any scratching of the surface would likely uncover that his well-documented civil worthlessness would spill over into criminal behaviors. But since then…

    I could recap – once again – the mountain of information uncovered so far leading (inescapably to all but the most intentionally obtuse) to a conclusion that, at the very least, collusion with the Russian government was something the Trumpsters were open to…no, EAGER to engage in. As I write this, yet the latest of the multitude of “bombshells” is being previewed by the credible media.

    And as if further evidence were required, even the most casual review of Trump’s subservient attitude toward Russia is difficult to explain. Helsinki pretty much clinched my conviction that, at the very least, the investigation is so much more than justified by a standard of “probable cause”. And frankly, I now suspect a much more robust case of wrongdoing will eventually emerge.

    I do not welcome that development. Democrats will probably control the next session of the House and indisputable evidence of Trump’s evil will be difficult to ignore…and I definitely have no interest in furthering the potential of a Pence presidency.

  10. It has been said that there's no goals in investigations but if there is one like getting rid of Trump, forget it, at least during thos term. Any impeachment will be drug out for the entirety of Trump's first term, and at what grave price for national sanity, if or course not unity?

    1. Indeed, investigators of integrity do not enter an investigation with any objective other than uncovering the truth. Your mistaken assumptions are perfectly understandable, and were in fact held by yours truly. After a brief exposure to law enforcement activity, I am personally aware of dozens of investigations locally that uncovered exculpatory evidence.

  11. Rick, are you cocksure there aren't agendaic prosecutors directing these investigators of integrity?

    1. Prosecutorial misconduct is a thing, but it is pretty much exclusive to indigent defendants.
      Weighing the conduct and results thus far vs. the very weak tea presented by the critics, I would have to answer "Yes" that I do have confidence (limited as it must be by my distant observer status) that the investigation is being professionally conducted and it is the evidence itself which is determining the path. All in all, Mueller and Rosenstein have provided heroic leadership.