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Donald Trump's World
The Case for Placebo Politics
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  • ——————————

    This is going to happen, and that might happen…the guy just got into office, Jason….

    • Makaden

      But, but, it’s time to move on to 2020, so we have to put the cap on this presidency, right?

      • Jim__L

        Remember how all of us were looking forward to Obama’s exit?

  • D4x

    SCOTUS Neil Gorsuch is a genuine, critical promise kept, to all of us who reject Woodrow Wilson’s progressive disdain for the U.S. Constitution that came so close to destroying America. As for signs of “deconstruction of the administrative state.”, every EO that cancels a prior EO, regulatory review…lots of signs that this is happening, just not reported. yet.

    Anyone care to define POTUS Trump’s “inimitable aesthetic” ? The redecorated Oval Office is more traditional, and a lot less beige:
    http://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/celebrity-homes/news/a8381/donald-trump-oval-office-redesign/

    • D4x

      Deconstruction April 11, 2017: PRESS BRIEFING BY OMB DIRECTOR MICK MULVANEY ON A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR REFORMING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND REDUCING THE FEDERAL CIVILIAN WORKFORCE “…To the larger issue, the government reorg is probably the biggest story that nobody is talking about. … This is trying to do something that has never been done before. The executive branch of government has never been rebuilt. It has grown organically over the course of the last 240 years, and the President of the United States has asked all of us in the executive branch to start from scratch, a literal blank piece of paper and say, if you’re going to rebuild the executive branch, what would it look like. …”

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/11/record-press-briefing-comprehensive-plan-reforming-federal

      [all caps was copied, style thing, not screaming]

    • f1b0nacc1

      If you remember my pre-election comments regarding Trump, my sole expectation for him was that he would provide an acceptable (not even ‘good’) SCOTUS appointment. Well, he managed to substantially exceed my expectations with Gorsuch, thus he has exceeded my expectations for his presidency. Anything else is simply gravy at this point.

      Now watching the Left melt down with TDS (I am particularly enjoying watching the Goat roast himself) is a very, very special bonus…

      • D4x
        • f1b0nacc1

          Thank you my friend…now I am going to hug my pups…

      • FriendlyGoat

        SCOTUS matters more to the high school kids you have association with than to an old goat. I hope you’re lauding your admiration for Gorsuch and your reasons why all over them to the degree you write it here, but I’ll bet you’re not.

        • f1b0nacc1

          You would lose your bet….we spent about 2 hours talking about it last night, much to the outrage of their mothers…

          You really need to restrict your wagers to things you understand….

          • FriendlyGoat

            Hey, I’m just an old pushover. Why can’t you convince their mothers? Maybe a few more of the good ole 5/4 giveaways from Republicans to Republicanism will convince ’em! I mean, COME ON, you’re in Missouri and Kansas land, man. Women were expected to have buckled under there decades ago and you’re telling me there are some holdouts “outraged” at you?

          • f1b0nacc1

            These are all true-blue Hillary Hags(tm)….not worth the trouble…

          • FriendlyGoat

            “Hi kids. Do you mind if I call your moms Hillary Hags while I school you on the virtues of conservatism?” Honestly, f1b, as they say “you can’t make this stuff up”.

          • Anthony

            For your eyes (permit interruption): washingtonmonthly.com/2017/04/10/its-policy-stupid/

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, Joel is (was) right. He may be right again someday—–but it will only be after a lot of long-term damage is done by the present alignment. It looks to me as though——for the duration of the Trump years—–nothing is going to garner national attention except whatever is being talked about by Trump, Trumpies, and the counter-balancing complaints from anti-Trumpies. Unfortunately, unless some unforeseen political catastrophe unravels conservatism, it is bound to drag a LOT of issues much further down before a majority get mad enough to mount a real revolt. Until there has been a revolt, good center-left ideas are dead with one exception. That exception might be if Jared and Ivanka are pushing them.

          • Anthony

            Joel makes a suggestion that I thought worthy of consideration by any who wants to engage beyond unthinking opposition. Now, you’re right in implying that GOP politics (exploiting fears, anxieties, biases, resentments, etc.) of last 50 years now forming basis of what you identify as Trump, Trumpies – as well as counters – may take a toll on our societal cohesion (drag down). But, FG, the zero sum game illusion must be shattered – washingtonmonthly.com/2017/04/14/fusion-politics-is-the-answer-to-the-politics-of-resentment/ (not trying to burden you, just adding on during a “slow” period)

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, Anthony, you ARE correct. And Joel is correct. But we ARE late. I think we’re now in the period of, “Let’s try conservatism and see how it works. We have to give the man (Trump) a chance. Never hurt to shake things up. After all, 70% of the country thought we were on the wrong track, etc, etc.” (Understand those are not my sentiments, but it appears they are the sentiments of a sufficient number to keep us in a holding pattern for a while.)

            And then, one never knows what events can occur to flip some peoples’ thinking.

          • Anthony

            There’s nothing in your three paragraphs I find mistaken. Yet, you and I both appreciate posterity and their opportunity to live (next 20-50 years) not a frictionless existence but a more highly effective social/economic existence. The effort predates 2016 election (though election and results magnify existing societal anxieties). That’s why you must have some ideas (and you do).

            Generationally, FG, it’s important if not essential that not only voices like yours but also efforts like yours provide alternative experiences that demonstrate “what’s possible” with a reawakening (the return to civic responsibility – inclusive of all Americans). The hardest change to pull off is constructive change in the middle of a perceived crisis. But, let that not stop you! You infer imponderables and they are enormous; outcomes are hard to predict in these circumstances and yes life is full of surprises – positive and negative. Drift, most of the time, leads to more drift FG. Time is lost and cynicism has play (especially when the political and economic situation is as fraught for as many as it is today). Still, you must remain serious as diversity remains one of our greatest challenges – the fusion idea at least attempts to mitigate a historical divide.

            Real change will not come easily as there is so little consensus on the way forward and we may continue to choose badly. Yet, getting on the right track is neither inevitable nor impossible just difficult. So, remember in the end “we are stewards of the future.”

          • Jim__L

            These are teenage boys. Their (often single and unapologetic) moms will be lucky if they don’t call them that to their faces. The boys will certainly be sharing that with their dads…

          • f1b0nacc1

            Actually, the phrase “Hillary Hag” came from one of them. If the shoe fits and all that…

            I am pretty careful to make sure that the kids know that whatever my thoughts about politics, their parents are their parents, and deserve their respect. Fortunately enough, they are smarter than you are (low bar, I know) and seem to understand that political issues are ultimately secondary…

          • FriendlyGoat

            If political issues were secondary to you, you would not be addicted to the comment section and on a mission to indoctrinate children.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Comments sections are entertainment for me, and they don’t require very much time to provide upkeep. At the end of the day, politics is little more than that to me…I have this thing called “a life”…you might want to consider getting one….

      • Andrew Allison
        • f1b0nacc1

          Yep, I am pretty much in agreement with Walsh on this, and rather surprised to be so. The circumstances are far, far better than I had hoped that they would be, and while I certainly can find things to disagree with, ultimately I am content at this point.

          Lets see where we are in a year…

          • Andrew Allison

            Like you, I would wish for a somewhat less, shall we say, ebullient President but perhaps in the light of the abysmal legacy of his coolly eloquent, and utterly disastrous, predecessor we should look at what he does rather than what he says. And as for Clinton, ’nuff said.

    • Kevin Churchel

      Now watch as Gorsuch follows in the footsteps of such bold conservative jurists as Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts.

  • Beauceron

    “his stated policy preferences increasingly resemble those of an ordinary GOP establishmentarian”

    That will please the boys at NRO, but I think you overestimate how docile his base will be. The Tea Party, the Freedom Caucus, and the Trump phenomena itself are evidence of that. Besides, it’s not like the tepid breed of GOP establishmentarian is an unknown species to these voters. Paul Ryan’s approval rating has cratered to 35% among Trump voters.

    “there are not many signs (yet) of Trump’s core support base losing confidence in their man”

    It’s clear you have not spent much time in the comments section of conservative sites. There is a lot of grumbling going on right now– and some anger. They will drop Trump like a hot potato. A lot of Trump voters don’t seem to be all that enamoured with Trump the man. This is no personality cult. While I think they’ll still consider him better than Hillary, their support is conditional.

    I wonder what comes next. Repeatedly betrayed by the Republican establishment, the failure-to-launch of the Tea Party, the ineffectiveness of the Freedom Caucus– where will these people turn? The identity politics fueled Democrats? Not likely. I think these people wanted real change– maybe not radical change, but certainly something more substantive than the style and symbolism a placebo can offer.

    • Jim__L

      There’s a huge opportunity here for a politician that has Trump’s aggressiveness and energy, but fewer personal flaws. I think we’re likely to see more Republican politicians coming out swinging, ones with confidence instead of deference to the spirit of the age.

      That can be a very healthy thing.

    • Kevin Churchel

      Where will we turn? We have nowhere to turn. Not only was Trump not the candidate to achieve our goals, there will never be such a candidate. It doesn’t matter how we vote, or how angry we get, the betrayal is inevitable.

    • M Snow

      Yes, I wanted real change and so far so good. Lines in Syria actually mean something, the EPA is being reined in, the Justice Dept. is being run by a sane person, and Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court. Undoing everything Obama has done is probably not possible, but if Trump prevents what Hillary would have imposed, that’s good enough for me.

  • WigWag

    I think there is every reason to fear that the Trump presidency is going off the rails. Trump has surrounded himself with cabinet members and advisors who are mostly establishmentarian clones. Secretary of Defense Mattis is a NATO-loving disaster; Secretary of State Tillerson may be smarter than John Kerry but his views about what American foreign policy should be are almost as obtuse; National Security Advisor McMaster is a fool so steeped in the same old same old that he hasn’t had a new idea in decades.

    Trump loves Generals for no good reason. If American Generals were so darn capable, why hasnt our country won a war since World War II? Why do all of our military conflagrations end with indeterminate outcomes where we categorically fail to impose our will on our enemies. While American politicians are surely to blame, our military leaders must also be culpable. What is a General anyway, other than the military’s version of a successful politician?

    With Trump sucking up to NATO, echoing John McCain’s criticism of Russia and promising to defend Japan and South Korea from North Korea instead of letting our Asian allies deal with North Korea themselves, things are not looking up.

    Where’s the Wall? Where’s the tariffs? Where’s the health care plan that makes things better instead of worse.

    Trump’s supporters have no choice but to keep their fingers crossed that he doesn’t come to resemble the same repugnant, lying, good-for-nothing politicians that characterize virtually the entirety of the Democratic and Republican Parties.

    So far, there’s little reason for optimism.

    • ——————————

      “Where’s the Wall? Where’s the tariffs? Why hasn’t the Department of Education been….”

      He’s only been in office for 3 months. Let’s have this conversation after 3 years….

    • FriendlyGoat

      The main question should be and will (eventually) be whether the economic lives of working people actually improve.

  • Pait

    As David Frum wrote, “The Trump White House will be a battlefield between crass plutocrats and dangerous lunatics, and we all must hope the plutocrats win.” So far so good for the plutocrats.

    Better for the Chinese, which don’t seem to have much difficulty persuading the so-called that whatever views he once had have suddenly become obsolete upon his been lectured for a few minutes.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Placebo politics is what we now celebrate and recommend after the church folks start having their OMG moments that “We don’t know for sure why we elected this president. Is it possible we were hoodooed? Are we winning or losing from what we have done? Did we unleash forces we did not and do not understand?”

    • Jim__L

      Trump got elected because Hillary was truly awful. Church types (who typically opposed him in the primaries) held their noses and voted for Trump.

  • Andrew Allison
  • Jim__L

    His base will need ever-greater doses of cultural affirmation, if that’s all he has to offer.

    Think the MSM and Academia are squirming now? We’re likely to see full-blown McCarthyism make a comeback, if that’s all Trump can deliver.

  • D4x

    Yes, to the dismay of the ‘resistance’ running out of high crimes against tradition to further delegitimize FLOTUS Melania, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e081bdd637f1b86c1fd538d7813ee28e448d4df70877ff9ce38f477f3b9e088e.jpg there WILL be a 2017 White House Easter Egg Roll, with an invitation where the rabbits might be armed with golf clubs?, the event to be livestreamed at the WH.gov Info page, on 04 17 2017, .

    https://whitehouse.gov1.info/easter-egg-roll/index.html

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