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    Legal Insurrection Authors React to Trump’s First 100 Days

    Legal Insurrection Authors React to Trump’s First 100 Days

    The good, the bad, the weird, and everything else

    http://www.nbcnews.com/video/trump-signs-executive-order-rolling-back-obama-era-climate-change-policy-908435523922

    Author reaction posts are one my favorite things to publish on the site. The breadth and variety of thought and opinion articulated by our bloggers always make my little political heart beam.

    See:
    Trump is the Nominee, What Now? Legal Insurrection Authors Debate
    Legal Insurrection Authors Respond to Trump Victory

    This post was Leslie’s idea. So I reached out to the squad and asked them to share their thoughts on President Trump’s first 100 days in office.

    Without further ado…

    Professor William Jacobson:

    When I think about the first 100 days of Trump as President, I actually think of it as the first 100 days without Hillary as President. I’m good with that.

    Sure, Trump has stumbled on a lot of issues, and that may not be such a bad thing. Whatever health care bill ultimately emerges will be better for the initial failure. It’s very frustrating that Trump has not filled hundreds of executive branch political positions, so we’re stuck with the Obama bureaucracy.

    Trump has not been as big a disrupter as expected, but perhaps expectations were too high. As I’m mentioned in my “You go to war against Obamacare with the President you have” posts, Trump is not and never has been a smaller government conservative. So to expect that was unrealistic.

    If Republicans wanted a smaller government conservative, they should have elected a smaller government conservative. We need to keep pushing Trump towards conservative policies, in most cases, it’s not his natural inclination.

    Trump has hit some home runs. Neil Gorsuch was #winning. Undoing some Obama executive orders was a good start. The national security and foreign policy teams are top notch. We have shed the Apology Tour focus of Obama.

    The attacks Trump has been under are unprecedented, from attempts to undermine the Electoral College to the smear campaign based on intelligence community leaks. Trump also has brought out the full fury of the left and revealed it once again to be more of a threat to our liberties than Trump ever will be. That helps keep things in focus.

    Bottom line on the first 100 days: Nevertheless, he persisted.

    Kemberlee Kaye:

    Why 100 days? It doesn’t seem a sensical rubric by which to gauge the success of anything really. But this 100-day media concoction is useful for discussion, which is why we’re here, discussing Trump’s first 100 days.

    Regular readers are aware of my devout Never Trumpedness, up to the election. That said, once he was elected, Trump became my president, for better or worse, and I shed my dark Never Trump cloak and returned to the “no politician should ever be trusted with or for anything ever” life. Trump’s not a Republican, nor is he a Democrat, so that’s been an easy transition.

    My thoughts on Trump’s first few months in office are perfectly indifferent. I don’t think he’s knocking it out of center field, nor do I think he’s performing particularly poorly. But at least the Clintons were nationally rejected, embarrassed, and sent packing. That bit was delicious.

    I couldn’t stand candidate Trump, but President Trump is a teeny weeny bit more palatable.

    Like Professor Jacobson, I can’t for the life of me understand why Trump’s still operating with President Obama’s bureaucracy while simultaneously complaining about leaks, but here we are.

    I don’t care how much is being spent on Trump travel. I didn’t care how much it cost to fly the Obama’s around. It’s all part of the job. And what’s a couple million when you’re trillions in the hole?

    I also don’t care what Ivanka or any of the rest of the Trumps are doing. Ivanka is a progressive influence on Trump and a pain for social conservatives, but the political media hasn’t seemed to figure that out yet. (PSST. Guys! She’s on your side!)

    Pence seems to be a good manager and leveling force in the administration. I’m glad he and his wife are part of the crew.

    I suspect learning how to drive the gianormous dump truck of a bureaucracy takes a while, especially when you’re used to driving a zippy little Maserati quickly through the private sector (no, I don’t know if Trump drives a Maserati, it’s just an analogy). Which is probably why Trump has plowed over a few speed bumps at full speed, and mowed over a squirrel or few.  He’s kept his word by acting quickly, though it was foolish to think something as vast and complicated as Obamacare could be rescinded so quickly. I would prefer he stuck to his original yearish timeline. Hopefully, Trump and his team learned a lesson there. The last thing we need is some Frankenstein legislation that makes worse the disaster Obamacare created.

    Uncanny has been the political press reaction to Trump who really hasn’t done all that much. I’m more frustrated with them than anyone. In their hair on fire fauxrage over every tiny little thing Trump may or may not do (I’ve never seen so much gossipy, speculative reporting in all my life), they’ve required us to defend Trump more than should be required in a short 100 days. But it’s their credibility and reputation that they’re sacrificing, and I suspect they’ll see the consequences of their choices as time rolls on.

    Trump backed off on the southern border wall, which would be an enormous waste of money just to satisfy a silly campaign promise while accomplishing very little. The big, beautiful wall might still come to fruition, but our money is better spent on enforcement mechanisms already in place that the Obama administration loosened.

    It is nice to have a president that doesn’t lecture me on everything I’ve done to ruin my country, my original sin of being born pasty white — to have a president that, bumbling as he may be, doesn’t stand on Pennsylvania Avenue barking orders at Congress like they’re a bunch of unruly children who haven’t yet completed their chores. He seems content to let Congress do Congress.

    And Justice Neil Gorsuch. Regardless of the idiocies that come out of Trump’s mouth on the regular, Trump gave us Neil Gorsuch. God bless him for that one. I’m sure Trump will do some good things, and also some not so good things, but at least we got Gorsuch out of it.

    Trump is not conservative, but his appointees are. I’m cautiously optimistic about what lies ahead. But if Trump accidentally starts WW3, at least I have Jesus and bourbon.

    Mary Chastain:

    My reaction is very simple: Thank God it’s not President Hillary Clinton.

    Leslie Eastman:

    For me, experiencing the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s unconventional presidency is like being on a YUGE roller-coaster that could either be super-scary or tons of fun. So far, so fun. There are been a lot of ups-and-downs, twists-and-turns, and though I am not certain I’m going to like the entire ride, I have been thrilled so far. I will be reviewing the full 100 days on Canto Talk this week, but if I were to sum up the three aspects of President Trump’s administration I really like so far, they would be: 1) President Trump’s epic trolling of the press. 2) Trump’s targeting of Obama’s legacy projects with the precision of a drone and the power of a MOAB. 3) Trump replacing Smart Power with Smart Deals.

    David Gerstman:

    The first one hundred days is an interesting metric for judging a presidency. Maybe President Trump asked for it because as Charles Lane said on Fox News Sunday, Trump the candidate said he’d do everything quickly.

    Still, even if Trump serves only one term, 100 days is less than one-fourteenth of his term.

    The biggest disaster of the Obama administration was the nuclear deal with Iran, the subsequent empowerment of Iran as a regional hegemon. Thousands of people have died as a result of this ill-considered, immoral policy and the United States lost considerable influence in the Middle East as a result.

    The good news is that, if nothing else, the Trump administration is determined to rectify this disaster. Whether it was Michael Flynn putting Iran on notice in the early days of the Administration, the missile strikes on Syrian airbase after Iranian client, Bashar Assad unleashed chemical weapons once again in Innocents, or last week’s statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, or Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley all identifying Iran as the main source of instability in the Middle East, the Trump administration, unlike its predecessor seems to understand the difference between a friend and an enemy.

    That, for me, is a good start.

    Mark Finkelstein:

    I can’t begin to chronicle the first 100 days in any systematic way. It’s a kaleidoscope of hirings and firings, controversial tweets, policy initiatives and retreats, unexpected displays of international strength and cooperation, all set against a backdrop of Dem/MSM disbelief and outrage that this could have ever happened.

    Some of it was to be expected: the transition to governing was bound to be bumpy for a president with no former governmental experience and with a global web of business interests. But much of it is also due to the president’s outsized and unusual personality, which has in turn engendered so much outrage and pushback from his opponents.

    In recent times, there have been indications that things are settling into a more conventional pattern, as some of the president’s more controversial appointees have been replaced by well-regarded, highly experienced people. And there have also been indications that the president himself is open to their counsel. But President Trump will continue to be the wild card in this scenario. There has never been a president like him. or a first 100 days so tumultuous.

    Fuzzy Slippers:

    As regular LI readers know I started out as #NeverTrump, but on election day recognized that Hillary might actually win Florida, my home state. That I could not stomach, so I voted for Trump, somewhat reluctantly, granted, but a vote’s a vote. Since then, there has been much to cheer . . . . and much to ponder.

    I cheered many of Trump’s cabinet appointees and his nomination of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. As a Constitutional conservative, I very much appreciate having Jeff Sessions as our nation’s Attorney General and Mike Pence as our Vice President. And I was a bit embarrassed by the “Muslim ban” EO; it was so poorly conceived, so ineptly rolled out that I cringed through every minute of that disaster. It was Obama Amateur Hour all over again.

    I cheered the Syria strike, and I was befuddled by the immense portfolio assigned to his progressive son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is not only restructuring the entire executive branch and working on the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic and VA problem, but he’s also working on bettering diplomatic relations with China and Mexico. In his spare time, he’ll be negotiating peace in the Middle East. I cheered Trump’s plan to rebuild our military and to strengthen immigration enforcement, and I am thrilled that he’s rolling back a long list of regulations. I very much dislike, though, his threats to support primary challenges to Republicans who don’t walk in lockstep with him.

    Trump’s dedication to keeping his campaign promises is admirable, but as the days have worn on, we’ve seen a great deal of moderation on issues that were the backbone of Trump’s campaign. From deciding not to pursue Hillary’s lawlessness (a decision I didn’t dislike) to his decision not to rescind Obama’s “Dreamer” EO to the apparent decision to simply tweak and “fix” ObamaCare rather than seek full repeal, He has vague notions of “America First,” but even on that concept, he is malleable. So maybe those trade deals aren’t so bad, maybe China’s currency manipulation isn’t all that outrageous, maybe NATO and the UN are hunky dory after all.

    Trump, one might argue, has caved to “political reality,” a reality that he promised repeatedly would not affect him or change his course. It has. This may be unavoidable, but it does seem to undermine his campaign promises about the many “great” and “easy” things he would accomplish in short order.

    Trump’s strength is his canny ability to tap into populist temperament; his weaknesses are his ego and his childish, often desperate, need for approval. He wants to be loved, and this, I fear, has influenced some of his decisions to walk back too many of his campaign promises. We’ve elected a president who has no core principles; he’s not in the least bit ideological. America gambled on Trump, and it remains to be seen if that gamble will pay off. I’m still hoping for the best, but am assuming crash position just in case.

    Miriam Elman:

    The ‘first 100 days’ is an artificial marker that creates an impossible standard for any President to meet. Still, these 15 weeks in office do set the tone for the ensuing four years. Regarding U.S. foreign security policy (which are the focus of my remarks here) there is much to applaud. For those (including myself!) who worried about Trump’s neo-isolationist streak, the Trump presidency exhibits little of the troubling ‘America first’ and ‘fortress America’ mentality that dominated his campaign. In fact, as I noted in a recent interview, President Trump has reasserted American leadership, projecting an image of strength and credible resolve that has put the world’s tyrants and dictators on notice. To my mind, Trump has (thus far) responded appropriately to threats and provocations from Iran, Syria, and North Korea, thereby enhancing U.S. national security in ways that Obama undermined.

    Trump has also selected some stellar members for his foreign policy team, including skilled generals with considerable military experience (Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly). Other picks in his lineup are also impressive, including his Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt who had a successful first tour. Also noteworthy is the outstanding Nikki Haley, whose efforts—in the spirit of the great American statesman and late U.S. ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan—to turn the United Nations from a forum in which the Middle East’s only democracy is relentlessly demonized into one that can truly benefit the planet’s oppressed peoples should be commended. While the MSM obsesses on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s presser gaffe (for which he has apologized profusely and which was shamefully exploited for political gain), ignored is how Trump’s Department of Justice is finally working to address Palestinian-Arab terror attacks on Americans, an issue neglected by the Obama administration. In his first 100 days Trump has also managed to re-set relations with our allies. That’s already paid off in an underreported recent news story: Egypt’s release of a jailed American.

    After a campaign in which critics were not wrong to question an erratic and inexperienced candidate and his foreign policy incoherence, Trump is now beginning to formulate a solid grand strategy to fight the forces of terror and despotism in the world—one that involves joining with allies to deter common enemies and to keep nefarious states in check, and creatively using America’s hard and soft power resources. Over the next four years, this approach could achieve the kinds of results for global stability and U.S. national security that proved so elusive during the Obama era.

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    Comments


    I’m satisfied with progress to date.

    I think his main problem was over-promising fast results and then getting hit with the reality of the government bureaucracy. Another problem is the unity of the Ds against him as well as the range of Rs supporting or not supporting him.

    For a long time, I kept hearing about how the Rs needed to have a big tent – accepting a wider range of thought. Trump opened that tent. Now, the Rs are forming their circular firing squad again because their section of the tent is not getting their way. Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good.

    If you read many of the executive actions (memos and orders), they state policy, set a deadline for a review of the issue and the development of an action plan. In many situations, he had to wait for the Secretary of the department to be confirmed. They have to get their people, get a quick grasp of the situation, develop the action plan & budget, get it approved and then start to work. All that is not going to happen in 100 days. We’ll see an impact in 1-2 years as certain functions are eliminated, regs are reversed, people laid off, not just put into a room to surf the web.

    The Administration will have to work with Congress to get the outdated laws reversed so that the regs can’t be reinstated during a subsequent administration.

    Even in a small organization, it takes time to reverse the effects of years of neglect. I’m sure the new managers are looking at systems and rolling their eyes. They may be moving carefully since they don’t know where the booby traps are.

    Obama signed some EOs and laws in January 2009, but Gitmo is still open and we are still talking about pay inequality despite the Lily Ledbetter act.

    Well, setting the accomplishments of a President in his first 100 days as a benchmark for his Presidency is simply foolish. And, doing so with this President is ridiculous. Trump has NO allies in Washington. None. Every single individual will work against him. That being said, he has accomplished much.

    He has managed to slow the southern border flood to a mere trickle, without building a wall and hiring a single CBP agent. This is accomplished simply by beginning to enforce the existing immigration laws, which have been ignored for the last 40 years. He has managed to begin the rollback of the trade deficit simply by showing the rest of the world the huge consumer club that the US wields. He managed to stimulate the economy by merely getting elected and further stimulated it by repealing or replacing economic stifling government regulations.

    On the down side, his foreign policy has been all over the map. His knee-jerk, wag-the-dog reaction to a chemical release in Syria and his subsequent big stick approach to NK have painted him into a corner which could prove disastrous. The rogue gunfighter approach rarely works out well in foreign affairs. Both the Bushes had assembled large coalitions before they took action against Iraq. Bush the Younger was able to mount the low gunman offensive against Afghanistan simply because that country had NO state allies, let alone any which were semi-belligerent nuclear powers. Most of his economic foreign policy is working well, however.

    Where he comes up the shortest, IMHO, is in the area of dealing with the Congress and the Washington Establishment. Either he, or his advisers, have seemingly lost sight of who his core constituency is and what they want. Trump was elected to be the nation’s St. George and to battle the Establishment which his constituents feel is choking this nation. When he swerves away from that duty, through “compromise”, he gradually whittles away at his core constituency. You always dance every dance with the guy what brought you to the dance. Otherwise, you might end up goin’ home alone and on foot. The current strategy is very dangerous, as it assumes that those who oppose Trump will, somehow, fall in love with him; something that even his constituents don’t feel, now. By “compromising”, he places his brand upon any legislation. The failed R&R of Obamacare is now thought of as the failure of Trumpcare, not Ryancare. Whatever he supports he is going to own. So he better decide what he wants to do.

    What I believe Trump should be doing, on the political front, is to stick to his campaign positions and force the Dems and the GOPe legislators to cause the contretemps. Let the Dems shutdown the government, if they refuse to go along with the Trump agenda. And then shrug and repeat over and over that the Dems were responsible, not the President. Every time any Trump agenda item is blocked, blame it on the Congress, Republican and Democrat. Constantly point out that they are the ones responsible for the failure to move forward, not the President. If Trump does not do this, he will eventually end up being owned by the Congress and the Establishment, whether he wants to be or not. No one, with any sense, thought that the world would change at 1 pm on 01/20/2017. Most people realized that this was only the opening battle in a war which will last the next 4 years, at least. A seeming rush to accomplish things which the Establishment is going to be opposed to will not serve Trump well in the long run.

    We’ll see what the rest of this year brings. Next year will be a critical year as it is the Congressional midterms.

      That’s pretty much how I feel too. He has been very good on delivering on campaign promised that don’t require Congressional approval. It will take determination, cunning and imagination to work through Congress.

      Ryan is playing the same game Pelosi did in 2009-2010 after the Democrats became the only team on the field. The kabuki rules require an opponent on the field so she resorted to blaming the GOP for being obstructionist for Dem failure to enact anything meaningful. The very survival of the kabuki required a Dem blood bath in 2010 for its very survival.

      Then the Tea Party people delivered the House to the GOP and suddenly, being now only 1/2 of 1/3 of the government, Republicans were powerless to stop Obama and the Dems.

      That is what I believe Ryan is doing by stalling and delaying everything into 2018 when it will again be delayed for being an election year. Then after the GOP bloodbath, there will again be two teams on the field and the establishment agenda will be back in business. And the kabuki exists for only one reason: to negate the elections. Whichever party wins, we end up in the same place.

        Yeah, given the way the GOP is functioning, I expect a 2018 GOP bloodbath, too. I am simply gob-smacked at their incredible stupidity; they have a near-miraculous chance to make a real difference, and they . . . won’t.

          They obviously don’t want to win. They are being paid to be the foil to the Democrats and are afraid to be booted out of the club.

          How frustrating is it that the Freedom Caucus refuses run a challenger against Paul Ryan? He gets re-elected unanimously right after the elections. Good grief. Other than Bratt and maybe 9-12 others, they have no credibility. No different than the other Republicans.

          Trump can’t help them unless they find their spine and give him something to work with. Maybe then, we could avoid the bloodbath.

          Trump doesn’t think like us. He is no ideologue. It doesn’t seem like he sees things as Dems vs Reps, just pieces on the board to move around in achieving an objective. The problem is that every piece on the board thinks they are the queen. Everyone is still playing the old kabuki game even though Trump flipped the board. Maybe we will have to drive that new narrative ourselves, give Trump a new framework to bounce off of. People like Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan are sure giving us plenty to work with.

            Wait, the Freedom Caucus doesn’t run candidates or anything else having to do with local elections; they’re just House members like any other House members. They aren’t a PAC or the RNC or anything even remotely like that. Ryan, for whatever reason, is popular in his own district (though he’s taken a hit in his numbers since becoming Speaker). It’s like asking why the Tea Party never won Nancy Pelosi’s district. This idea that you can primary someone–and win–simply because you, hundreds or thousands of miles from that district say it should be done is a serious problem on the right, one that did not help when purple and even blue state GOPers were competing for states. For some reason, people seem to think that voting with the GOP 80% of the time is unacceptable, when we know that a Democrat will vote against the GOP 100% of the time. This all or nothing, my way or the highway thing is one of the reasons we got stuck with Obama for eight years. McCain and Romney weren’t good enough because “better” wasn’t good enough (it was, however, good enough when it was Trump being “better” than Hillary).

            Funny you should mention Pat Buchanan, I was just reading a long piece about him the other day and was pretty fascinated by his prescience way back when. Ann Coulter I’m not too fond of; when she backed Chris Christie, I lost all respect for her. I do, however, appreciate her audacity with respect to Berkley, but that just killed it for me.

            As to avoiding the bloodbath, I don’t see that happening. The GOP is laughing (apparently literally) about building the wall, refusing to defund Planned Parenthood (in a meaningful way), propping up ObamaCare, and embracing Ivanka’s progressive, unfunded lunacy. Trump should be able to avoid getting dirty for a while, but at some point, everyone but his most staunch defenders will begin to wonder why what he actually does is so completely different from what he says. We used to say about Obama, watch what he does, not what he says. The same is true here, so at some point, Trump will begin to lose rightwing support just as Bush (43) did when he started going off the progressive rails.


           
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          Liz in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | April 27, 2017 at 8:38 pm

          I’m writing down my concerns about Congress and I’m calling my Congress Critters and telling them what I am thinking. Most of the time, the staff tells me that the congressman agrees with my viewpoint. If I hear otherwise, I guess I’ll move on to writing letters to them and to the local papers.

          If they don’t hear from us, they may think that we agree with them.


     
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    Tom Servo | April 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    I’m on board with those whose prime goal was the Supreme Court, and the Gorsuch nom was brilliant – I expect another this summer. They’re behind on district court nominations, but I imagine those will be coming soon, and as long as they’re good, they’ll be worth the wait.

    He’s now talking about wanting to break up the 9th circuit, which is something that should have been done 20 years ago.

    He’s talking about wanting to end deductions for state and local taxes, which I love, because that is a fantastic way to screw New York, Connecticut, and California, and do a big favor for the rest of us. Heck, I’d even give up the home interest deduction, which I use, just for the pleasure of knowing that it would hurt Californians a lot more than it would hurt me. (yeah I know that’s a sorry attitude, well too bad)

    One thing that no one has said is what a fantastic job he did in putting Scott Pruitt in charge of the EPA – maybe because the results haven’t been obvious yet, but they’re coming. The left spent the last 30 years building the EPA into the monster it is today, it’s going to take some time to cut it back down to size.

    I’m keeping an open mind about this. I am grateful that the “Trump stone” did the impossible by killing the Clinton bird and Bush bird at the same time. Trump ran an effective election campaign by keeping the “experts” wrong-footed so I really don’t think we are properly assessing what is going on because we all seem to be stuck in our own various paradigms that need to be questioned.

    One, we are still stuck in the conservative vs liberal nonsense. I don’t know what conservative means anymore and like many others, have abandoned that term for being useless. The same is going on “across the aisle” as more and more “liberals” are speaking up to express their dismay over the current state of the Dem party and “liberalism” in general. I am surprised that no one seems to have studied the Venn diagrams of anti-establishment that encircle a substantial majority of voters across the spectrum. We need to adopt to a new reality that stops referring to Republicans and Democrats when we all seem to be in agreement that there are no two separate parties. Just two wings of the same uniparty acting out there kabuki roles as if they were opponents when they are in fact insuring that the dirty money that owns the establishment machine always wins.

    Two, that new reality should come up with a new lexicon to replace the globalist establishment lexicon we continue to use in pushing for a return national sovereignty.

    It seems like I am the only one noticing that the “liberals” that Trump keeps around him are upsetting the “liberals” as much as the “conservatives”. Is it possible that none of us get it? What are we missing in our various echo chambers? Maybe the MSM aren’t the only ones stuck in a bubble?

    I was a Ted Cruz guy in the beginning but I found Trump interest right from the start because he made heads explode across the political spectrum. He is still doing that. It was effective getting elected. Maybe it will be effective governing into the teeth of a corrupt establishment that has erected blockades at every turn?

    What I am saying is that this is a VERY different presidency and that is the only way we have a chance to turn the tide. Maybe it’s working and we are too blind or lack the imagination to see it because we still don’t “speak the language”?

      The meaning of “conservative” has not changed, Phil. What has changed is that we (conservatives) are now seen as hopelessly out of touch, backwards-thinking morons with principles that have, to others, ceased to matter. That’s okay, but it’s not conservatives who have changed or what it means to be a conservative that has changed. Instead, perceptions of us have shifted, not our ideals, values, principles that define conservatism.

      Just reading LI comments throughout the 2016 primaries, you can see the change in perception. We were mocked and ridiculed for having principles. Principles were suddenly bad because Trump didn’t have any to speak of; having an ideological core was bad because Trump didn’t have one. Again, that’s completely fine; we understand that we had to be demonized to make room for Trump and his core supporters. Hopefully, that works out . . . I sincerely hope it does.

      As to Trump being some kind of super Yoda genius who is keeping progressives around him to thwart progressives . . . really? That’s just silly. Trump is a progressive when he’s anything at all, and his progressive cohorts are tortured knowing that simply by aligning with Trump they have been cast from the herd in disgrace. These people crave approval almost as much as Trump does, and that’s why Ivanka runs around saying that Syrian refugees are still on the table and why she’s pushing this women’s fund and daycare entitlement. They aren’t there to throw anyone off, they are there to make real, progressive change, and people who allow it in the name of some grand Trump plan they admit they don’t get are just sad.

        I don’t see Trump as “some kind of super Yoda genius who is keeping progressives around him to thwart progressives.” I am just making the observation that liberals and conservatives alike are annoyed with his “liberals” such as Ivanka, Kushner and Mnuchin. I read an article this morning opining that the establishment is hostile to Ivanka because they are disappointed that she hasn’t imposed her liberalism on her father.

        There are labels that are very useful in manipulating us because we are not making important distinctions that are being revealed around us. There are people of conscience across the spectrum that are upset with what is happening to the country. People are increasingly frustrated that whatever label they feel defines them has been co-opted. “Yeah, I think of myself as a liberal but…..”, and so on. Personally, my values have no changed. I tell people I am a “Spirit of 1776” liberal. I should say 1789 but I don’t feel like explaining myself all the time.

        One of the aspects about Trump’s opponents is that they are all hostile to flyover country. Trump is making big strides in rebuilding our industrial base, achieving energy independence, casting off regulatory chains, and creating high-quality jobs which disproportionately benefiting flyover country. Yet everyone still analyzes the numbers based on the US as a whole. I am coming to realize that this is a very important political wedge Trump is using to redraw the electoral map. But it won’t work if we don’t adopt the correct and more accurate narrative.

        As to Ivanka, I suspect that she is there mostly because Melania is not there everyday and he needs a close confidant. Sending her off on trips helps confuse the opposition just like releasing scary rumors that he has given instructions to prepare an announcement that he is pulling us out of NAFTA. I think Trump likes to “get the mule’s attention first by hitting it over the head with a 2×4 before negotiations start. Kind of like hitting your enemy’s entrenched positions with heavy artillery barrages before launching your attack.

        My main point is that we are too quick to interpret what is going on while stuck in our own ways of thinking. Something new is happening and we just might be missing it for lack of imagination.

          Oh, Phil, your point about Trump leaning on Ivanka as a sort of surrogate wife makes me so sad. Truly. I hadn’t thought of that, but you might be right.

          Anyway, his personal problems aside, you are right that he’s a new kind of president, but I guess my fear is that he’s all-too-rapidly becoming the same old cookie-cutter president, indistinguishable from his predecessors on either the right or left (both have been progressive for so long, it’s not useful to distinguish between (D) and (R).).

          I like your lack of imagination idea, and I think it’s possible that there is something here that we might be missing because our perceptions are ingrained. That’s wonderful food for thought. 🙂

            I don’t have the answers either and I voted for Trump out of hope and having no other alternative. I am keeping an open mind and resisting the temptation to react every time Trump does something that looks like he is caving. He has NOT caved when all it involved were executive orders. It takes more guile and finesse and maybe even brute force to deal with that den of thieves called Congress. I don’t want to turn this into my own personal Rorschach test where I see what I want to see in the ink blots but I don’t want to give up on hope so easily. And I completely disagree that Trump has turned into the usual cookie cutter president. Not yet. Maybe never. If you blink these days, you missed two or three things that Trump did today.


         
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        Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | April 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm

        Fuzzy, it’s useful to remember that ol’ Filly here just LUUUUUUUVED him some OccupyWallStreet positions not but a few months ago.

        He’s a nutter.

          You smear just about every person who posts here with your childish lies and you’ve been doing that for years at every blog I have ever seen you post to. You even got bounced from Michelle Malkin’s blog and that takes some doing.

          Has it not occurred to you that maybe Fuzzy knows Professor Jacobson personally? Maybe she can get the real story about me from someone other than you? A real grown up and in person?

          Despite my two-year hiatus, I have been posting here since the very early days of LI. Back when the Professor was doing it all by himself. Even before the greatest internet disaster since the Great Depression. Yeah. That long. Long before discovering that he was 1/4 Veit. He and I have even exchanged a few e-mails along the way. Did you know that? And that may very well be true with many of the people you routinely slime around here.

          Give that some thought. Maybe it’s time for you to grow up? Your obnoxious know-it-all shtick got old a very long time ago. Having noticed all of the “thumbs down” you earn, I’ll go out on a limb to suggest many here agree with me.


       
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      Mac45 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      The “Conservative” v “Liberal” contest disappeared about 20 years ago. What replaced it was the Globalist Financier v Nationalist Trade contest. The current political establishment is now almost entirely composed of financial globalists. And, they simply bought the “conservative” and “liberal” politicians.

      Trump ran as an anti-Globalist candidate. He did not run as a conservative, moderate or liberal. So, trying to couch any discussion of the current political situation in terms of conservative and liberal fails to address the true situation.

      The problem that Trump faces is that all the other politicians in Washington, and most foreign governments, are either globalists or are controlled by globalists. He has no allies in the US government at all. And, while he may be able to forge alliances with certain foreign heads of state who are nationalists, there will be times when our national interest will differ from theirs.

      If Trump and his supporters can stay the course, this will be a long, protracted war against an very powerful entrenched foe. If he loses sight of the big picture, then he goes down quickly.


         
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        tyates in reply to Mac45. | April 27, 2017 at 8:07 pm

        That’s one way to put it. During the primaries, Trump treated conservatives as establishment Republicans and rallied the base against them.

        Do you know who pushed for border security, who fought Obama’s attempts to pretend that terrorism hadn’t come to the US, who called out Hillary as not just a liar, but a lawbreaker, who labeled Obama’s stimulus and green jobs programs as corruption, who railed against the US treating the UN like an equal partner, warned that Obama’s runaway spending with no growth was going to doom the next generation, etc etc long before Trump ever showed up? Conservatives.

        Do you know who Jimmy Rogers is? He’s the black blues singer who wrote “That’s All Right”, the first hit song Elvis Presley ever recorded and that made him a star. By the end of the 1950s, Elvis was an international celebrity and Jimmy Rogers was a taxi driver.

        Want to know how he felt? Ask a conservative.

        If you had conservative principles and degree from a top school, you were public enemy #1 for about six months, even after he won the nomination. Us conservatives never were for open borders, and in fact we were the people that had shut down Amnesty compromises in the past.


           
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          tyates in reply to tyates. | April 27, 2017 at 8:13 pm

          Oops sorry, confused two blues songs – I meant That’s All Right by Arthur Crudup.


           
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          Mac45 in reply to tyates. | April 27, 2017 at 8:36 pm

          So, which conservative politicians increased border security? which conservative politicians fought to tell everyone that terrorism, especially Islamic terrorism, had come to America? Which conservative politicians shut down Obama’s phony bologna green jobs scam? Which conservative politicians stopped Obama’s runaway spending? Hear the crickets?

          As for the few principled stands, which conservative politicians took, which were actually effective, all of these positions were nationalistic positions based largely upon domestic economics. And, still there is a HUGE rift among people, who call themselves conservatives, over free trade.

          The point is, that people are no longer lining up along traditional [as defined in the last 50 years] conservative lines. And, the vast majority of politicians who identify themselves as conservatives and run on supporting “conservative” values vote with along with their “liberal” counter parts. They are now all part of the same Establishment and support the same goals and objectives. If they were not, then they could effectively shut down these multitrillion dollar boondoggles. But they do not.

          Conservatism has proven to be ineffective at the national level. However, anti-Glodalism elected the current President. Maybe it is time to let go of the old feel-good label and embrace a new one.


             
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            Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | April 27, 2017 at 9:01 pm

            Gawd, you are a disgusting idiot.


             
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            Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | April 28, 2017 at 12:33 am

            I love it when I get endorsements from people like you.

            It is too bad if self identified conservatives can’t handle the truth. But, this is the truth.

            Conservatism, as a movement, was killed when Reagan defeated Goldwater. There were still many conservatives around, but they were marginalized and abandoned by the only party that wanted their support, the Republicans. For decades, the Republican party swore that they adhered to conservative principles. They even made some of those principles part of the party platform. But, once they got into office, they ignored those principles and promises. The party went Progressive. And, they lost the conservatives who used to support them. But, they still continue to promise that they will deliver on a conservative agenda. They just never do.

            The liberals are under no such handicap. They promise to give everything to their constituents free of charge. They deliver what they can and blame their failures on Republican obstructionism.

            Now, a new player has entered the game; global financial interests. The money men. They do not manufacture anything. They don’t care how wealth is transferred as long as it does not affect their bottom line. They care nothing for the people of this country except as numbers on a profit sheet. They are short sighted, in the extreme. They will simply ride the horse until it dies, then deal with the situation. To stay on top, they simply buy people in positions of power, if they can not usurp they support. This is what has happened in the the governments in this country, especially in Washington. Why do you think that major financial houses are paying former President Obama $400,000 an hour for a “speech”. Move over Clinton Foundation. And, this is what the Trump voters were voting against. Not liberalism. Not Progressivism. But, Global Fiancialism.


             
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            Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | April 28, 2017 at 5:11 am

            Gawd, you are a disgusting idiot. Squared.


             
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            Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | April 28, 2017 at 11:13 am

            I’m the idiot? Please.

            I see you graduated from the Potsie Weber School of debate. I love one liners, especially when those delivering them make NO attempt to point out where my position or talking points are inaccurate.


     
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    conservative tarheel | April 30, 2017 at 8:50 am

    the first 100 days :
    no president Hillary …
    SC Justice Neil Gorsuch
    congress is hamstringing the president
    by delaying his choices for his cabinet
    the GOP-e needs to support this president
    and stop being a member of the uni-party …
    yes he is not a small gov’t conservative republican
    but he is making conservative people in charge.
    and it is possible that he could add 1 or even 2
    more choices to the SC …


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