Thursday, December 20, 2018

Did Trump Just Manage to Toss His 2020 Chances?

I've said a bazillion times that I don't like following day to day politics.  I'm sure as hell not following who's going to run on the Evil Party side, or if Trump is going to be challenged by his (alleged) party.   I can't help but notice, though, that this week Trump has managed to alienate supporters all across the political spectrum. 

Last week, he said he'd be willing to shut down the government to get funding for the border wall, then said a few days later that he wouldn't shut down the government if the Dems promised to fund the wall when the "emergency" funding resolution ends in February.  After that, he effectively hopped back to step one when the blow back over that started.   Of course, everyone knows of the public feud between Ann Coulter and the President, after her column, "GUTLESS PRESIDENT IN WALL-LESS COUNTRY".  Which led the Prez to "unfollow" Ann.  Unfollow!  The horrors!

I've heard at least a half dozen callers to the talk shows saying that not funding the wall is Trump's equivalent of H.W. Bush's "Read my lips.  No new taxes", which probably killed H.W.'s re-election chances.

Yesterday, Trump declared victory in Syria and said (in 25 words or less) "let the other countries pay for it", drawing praise from Syria, Russia, and Iran.  While being in Syria isn't popular across all demographics, announcing the pullout has drawn resistance from military and his Republican allies

It seems to have led to the resignation of General James Mattis, who thinks it's ill-advised.  General Mattis, of course, is well known as Mad Dog Mattis and is probably the most popular and most highly-regarded member of Trump's team.  He's also very likely the one man most responsible for the successful campaign against ISIS. 

Tonight, rumors are swirling that we will be drawing down troop numbers from Afghanistan, too.

Finally, there's the bump stock ban.  As I understand it, the Justice Department hasn't formally published the rule, but when they do so it starts the 90 day countdown until it takes effect and all bumps stocks must be either destroyed or turned in with no reimbursement, or their owners become instant felons.  The coming lawsuits will probably delay the date it goes into effect. 

Like virtually all gunnies I've seen or hear comment on this, I don't particularly care about bump stocks.  Never had one, never cared about them, certainly never wanted one.  The problem is that "machine gun" is precisely defined in ATF law and this ruling contradicts that.  It sets the precedent that the next extremely anti-gun president could outlaw lots of other things by stretching laws however they see fit.  From the standpoint of 2A advocates, it strongly reinforces that Trump is not our friend. 
Legally, however, the precedent set by Trump's bump stock ban is troubling, regardless of how you feel about the Second Amendment or define its scope. The president does not have the authority to rewrite laws that interfere with his agenda, whether the subject is guns or immigration. Principled critics of this administration should call Trump out whenever he oversteps his legal powers, even when they happen to like the outcome.
Finally, I suppose for style points, Trump pushed and then signed a nearly $900 Billion dollar farm bill.  It combines the usual mentality of the farm bills: help the major corporations, screw the small farm owners, hand out Food Stamps (SNAP) with no work requirements - only this time it adds lots of accommodations for hemp farmers. 

It's hard to imagine how much worse a week Trump could have had.   Can he recover?  Sure.  The primary campaigns start next fall (I hear the Demmies start their debates in June).  But he sure has pissed off a lot of different groups of supporters with these five things

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images


  1. 51 votes.

    We know, of course, how some will Flake out. But then what about Little Marco???

    1. AFAIK, not enough. They say it's 60 that's needed to guarantee beating a filibuster.

    2. And Post Turtle can decide to do without the filibuster. Just as Dirty Harry decided to do without it for judge confirmations.

  2. Who cares about Trump's 2020 chances? Pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan (and all the other foreign interventions) is the right thing to do. Watching the war mongers heads explode and draining the swamp of the military industrial complex is good for all tax payers. PEACE.


  4. I'm not sure ... if the election were now, he'd be in trouble; it depends on what he does over the next year.
    I HOPE the bump stock thing was intended to fail, but I'm leary of it ...

  5. Budget reconciliation!!!! Thats how we got obozocare.

  6. Trump just committed political suicide...he folded on the demands for the wall, the bumpstock ban comes from the Executive Branch meaning HE OWNS IT and Cankles the Killer is still walking free. Withdrawing from Syria etc. is a wild card. Could harm him, could help him....too early to tell. Trump has only a year and a half or so to pull a GIANT rabbit out of his ass if he expects to even win the GOP nomination.

  7. Examine federal budgets and federal employee count since 1985: fairly smooth exponential growth. No change in the progress to bankruptcy. Fundamental policy differences are down in the noise. Recent presidents have been figureheads.

  8. I am still pleased with Mr. Trump.

    Looks like Trump turned around on the Wall from some previous reports. I think that his flexibility was in the amount not the fact that there was funding. The MSM tried to twist that into him backing off which is what they want but it is their desire to stir the s**t pot.

    Over at Virtual-Mirage, LL thinks it's the right thing to pull out of Syria because it will be just another endless war. We really aren't going to get rid of Assad; it is better to give a bunch of support to the Israelis and let them do their magic.

    Afghanistan is becoming another of those long protracted situations in which we are mired. Our initial actions to shut down the Taliban and make it more difficult for Osama bin Laden to operate were justified. But now we just seem to be stuck in that cesspool. Some opinions I have seen state that we should generally withdraw and if Afghanistan becomes a problem again to fix it then. I don't think we will ever be able to turn them into an American styled democratic state. Most Afghans are still living like they were a thousand years ago but with cell phones and a few other modern amenities.

    1. The way to win in Afghanistan is the same way we won the west.

      We'd have Pashtun reservations instead of Indian, and there'd be many fewer Afghans.

      Who knows what we'd find to mine there without dealing with the locals?

      I've long held that if we're not willing to make it a territory when we're done shooting, then there's no reason for us to go.