10th Amendment, You’re Fired

 

The latest from Mr. Constitution:

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to issue an executive order to mandate the death penalty for anyone who kills a police officer.

“One of the first things I’d do in terms of executive order, if I win, will be to sign strong, strong statement that would go out to the country, out to the world, anybody killing policeman, police woman, police officer, anybody killing police officer, the death penalty is going to happen,” he said.

The transcript has the unfortunate effect of casting the remarks in Hulk Smash! mode, but you get the point. Defenders of Mr. Trump may point out that we’ll have an overdue conversation about the death penalty for cop-killers, but it would seem to be more instructive to focus on the use of Executive Orders to set the penalty in criminal trials. Unless you’re cool with with the whole “rule by decree” thing, because the other side did it.

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  1. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    If Trump follows Obama, Constitution Smonstitution continues.

    • #1
  2. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Thanks James, this is exactly the main problem with Mr. Trump. Does he even realize there are constitutional limitations on Presidential power? Or is he simply bloviating? And why do so many fall for this kind of loose talk?

    • #2
  3. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    This guy does not talk serious stuff, either regarding policy or constitutionalism. It’s no good mocking him on that count. What he’s figured out is how many people want to hear an angry reaction that sounds like toughness but is merely indignation. This is not about being practical–it’s about giving publicity to opinions that are now merely private. That’s what’s serious in all his statements. It’s one version of the kind of speech that gets its intended audience to say ‘It’s about time someone…’

    But I don’t know how to stop it any more than the next guy. I incline to the opinion that only a bigger demagogue can help you-

    • #3
  4. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    It is all about saying something provocative to stay in the news. I expect that after a while, maybe soon, we will reach Trump exhaustion and turn off any channel that mentions his name. I am already there. I think there is a possible big win for any news channel that promises you not to say the word Trump between 7 and 10pm.

    • #4
  5. John Hendrix Thatcher
    John Hendrix
    @JohnHendrix

    OkieSailor:  Does he even realize there are constitutional limitations on Presidential power? Or is he simply bloviating?

    Trump is [spouting arrant nonsense].  That his stream of consciousness blather is unobtainable nonsense is of no consequence to Trump because he is not in pursuit of being elected to anything.

    That Trump’s rhetoric is frivolously disingenuous nonsense is a feature–not a bug–because Trump is the Clinton’s Judas Goat.  His intent is to make the GOP radioactive to a sufficiently number of independent voters such that Hillary will win. Or split the GOP vote by running on a third-party–which will also hand the election to Hillary.

    [Editors: I know I’ve committed a CoC violation.  I just could not find a suitable euphemism for Trump’s particular mode of mendacity that also indicated his contempt for his rubes.]

    • #5
  6. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    I was for sure this is now an acceptable word, being an object of academic inquiry by what are called philosophers.

    Editors’ note: Nope.

    • #6
  7. Skarv Inactive
    Skarv
    @Skarv

    Authoritarianism becomes the new normal. Depressing…

    • #7
  8. Mate De Inactive
    Mate De
    @MateDe

    I think this is the what all of us warn about when leftists seize power and further weaken our constitutional limitations. Its asked to the liberal/leftist who is celebrating some extra constitutional Obama victory, what if this power was used for something you oppose? What happens when the opposition has this kind of power? Hand waving ensues “that will never happen” well it can. This really is the result is the democratic running rough shot over the constitution with no opposition or push back from the opposing party. Nobody in power for the opposition to the democrats and Obama had the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say no and this is why. So there are a lot of low information voters and ticked off people who see at least some push back from trump. I am not a trump fan but this is what weakness wroughts, unfortunately.

    • #8
  9. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    It works for him and for Hillary.  We just don’t know which objective is driving the man.   It could work for the Republicans if they’d use it to attack Obama’s anti constitutionalism and Hillary’s corruption and Trump’s progressive approach to policy issues, but with emphasis on the first two.

    • #9
  10. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    In news from the state courts, December 9 marked the 34th anniversary of the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner by Mumia Abu-Jamal (Wesley Cook) in Philadelphia.

    Mumia was able to mark the occasion because his original death penalty sentence was overturned in Commonwealth court and reduced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole after numerous appeals and even a re-trial (which found him guilty again).

    There is speculation that President Obama will grant executive clemency and free Mumia just before he leaves office.

    • #10
  11. Pencilvania Inactive
    Pencilvania
    @Pencilvania

    Bingo, Freesmith.

    Trump’s remark is heard loud & clear in Philly, which is ground zero in which way PA goes in the election. The contempt for Mumia by Philadelphia’s law-abiding citizens is palpable. Trump is also giving a yuuuge jab at Philly Mayor Michael Nutter, who called Trump a crude name, in public, to an audience of religious leaders the other day. One thing about The Donald, he lets no insult go unanswered.

    • #11
  12. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Ahhh, but it will be the yugest, classiest, most luxurious fascism imaginable.

    • #12
  13. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I am, of course, all about playing the game that is actually on the table.  Its stupid not to.

    This strikes me as garden variety virtue signaling and rhetorical hyperbole to me.  Ricochet engages in their own world of thought free virtue signaling every day, so… beam… mote… whatever.

    Any executive order would have to be limited to ordering federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty in the cases they are trying against cop killers.  Not exactly the second coming of pol pot here.

    • #13
  14. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Lack of respect for the 10th Amendment is bad, but that is a flaw he shares with our current Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches.

    • #14
  15. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Vance Richards: “Lack of respect for the 10th Amendment is bad, but that is a flaw he shares with our current Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches.”

    And that is the fatal flaw of conservative’s principled opposition to Trump: it reeks of the contemporary mismatch –

    The Party of Fundamental Transformation vs The Party of Nothing Can Be Done.

    The Man with the Gun vs the Man with the (Butter)Knife.

    • #15
  16. Manfred Arcane Inactive
    Manfred Arcane
    @ManfredArcane

    Kevin Creighton:Ahhh, but it will be the yugest, classiest, most luxurious fascism imaginable.

    James Lileks: the transcript has the unfortunate effect of casting the remarks in Hulk Smash! mode, but you get the point. Defenders of Mr. Trump may point out that we’ll have an overdue conversation about the death penalty for cop-killers, but it would seem to be more instructive to focus on the use of Executive Orders to set the penalty in criminal trials. Unless you’re cool with with the whole “rule by decree” thing, because the other side did it.

    Could be you both are over reacting.  Trump’s expostulations may only signify his intent to get tougher treatment met out for murderers of policemen and his inclination to showmanship gets the better of him, so I wouldn’t read his remarks too literally.  That’s my personal take.

    • #16
  17. Tom Riehl Inactive
    Tom Riehl
    @TrinityWaters

    To truly be an effective fascist, one must hate your country.  Obama, Clinton, Reid, Kerry, etc. come to mind.  Trump may have the desire, but he wouldn’t succeed in being a dictator.  His love of the USA would get in his way.

    • #17
  18. Tom Riehl Inactive
    Tom Riehl
    @TrinityWaters

    Manfred Arcane:

    Kevin Creighton:Ahhh, but it will be the yugest, classiest, most luxurious fascism imaginable.

    James Lileks: the transcript has the unfortunate effect of casting the remarks in Hulk Smash! mode, but you get the point. Defenders of Mr. Trump may point out that we’ll have an overdue conversation about the death penalty for cop-killers, but it would seem to be more instructive to focus on the use of Executive Orders to set the penalty in criminal trials. Unless you’re cool with with the whole “rule by decree” thing, because the other side did it.

    Could be you both are over reacting. Trump’s expostulations may only signify his intent to get tougher treatment met out for murderers of policemen and his inclination to showmanship gets the better of him, so I wouldn’t read his remarks too literally. That’s my personal take.

    So easy to bash Trump.  He doesn’t deliver canned spiels via Teleprompter, and he emotes a bit, so there is a lot of bait.  Save some ink, Lileks, just go ahead and endorse Hillary.

    • #18
  19. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    What’s the surprise.  He’s a New York City Democrat.  Trump the pay-to-play version, and Clinton the paid-to-play version.

    I suspect Trump feels the 10th Amendment came in tenth place.  It’s a loooooser.

    Trump’s polls spiked as he was advocating (or defending) positions the GOP base opposes, even Planned Parenthood while they were holding buckets in the alley mongering “Get your fetal parts here!”.  He even raced through his  immigration walk back.  Now he is hitting on and sticking with policies the GOP base actually supports.

    Possible silver lining:  Trump is playing the media masterfully because, like most of his real estate deals, he doesn’t want to play with his own money.  He can’t turn to his millions of supporters for cash; they are too emotionally dependent on his great wealth and fierce independence.  Cash from Caesar, not cash for Caesar.

    Of course, Trump has seen business know-nothings like Bill and Hillary parlay the presidency into $300 million tax free.  Probably sees the Oval Office as worth a $1 billion investment.

    • #19
  20. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Manfred Arcane:

    Trump’s expostulations may only signify his intent to get tougher treatment met out for murderers of policemen and his inclination to showmanship gets the better of him, so I wouldn’t read his remarks too literally. That’s my personal take.

    I understand your comment as a personal take. I also understand misspeaking, mistakes, and not understanding things that are highly technical or otherwise complex. I’m not a bright guy and so I keep a special place in my heart for people who say dumb things in public. I’m not aware of any figure who has never stated something in-artfully on the public stage, so I try very hard to be even-handed in my assessment of what was intended and how was it expressed.

    In this case though, Mr. Trump seeks to be the chief executive of our constitutional republic. He therefore needs to demonstrate not only that he has a basic understanding of that role, but an appreciation of the power and the institutional limitations on power. In my assessment, his words and deeds consistently indicate otherwise.

    It’s not enough that he could later hire a White House counsel to keep in him in check. That understanding and appreciation of the office needs to go to his core such that he would intuitively recognize the problem before it was ever born as a stated assertion.

    • #20
  21. Manfred Arcane Inactive
    Manfred Arcane
    @ManfredArcane

    Brian Wyneken:

    Manfred Arcane:

    Trump’s expostulations may only signify his intent to get tougher treatment met out for murderers of policemen and his inclination to showmanship gets the better of him, so I wouldn’t read his remarks too literally. …

    … I also understand misspeaking, mistakes, and not understanding things that are highly technical or otherwise complex. … I’m not aware of any figure who has never stated something in-artfully on the public stage, so I try very hard to be even-handed in my assessment of what was intended and how was it expressed.

    In this case though, Mr. Trump seeks to be the chief executive of our constitutional republic. He therefore needs to demonstrate not only that he has a basic understanding of that role, but an appreciation of the power and the institutional limitations on power. In my assessment, his words and deeds consistently indicate otherwise.

    It’s not enough that he could later hire a White House counsel to keep in him in check. That understanding and appreciation of the office needs to go to his core such that he would intuitively recognize the problem before it was ever born as a stated assertion.

    But, if he is the only one with the courage to say all these important things, well, you know the old saying, “the Perfect is the enemy of the Good”.  There are constraints on what Presidents might like to do.  I’ve seen no evidence that Trump would flaunt these constraints.

    • #21
  22. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Trump is not a conservative and anyone who supports him isn’t either.

    • #22
  23. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Tom Riehl:   Save some ink, Lileks, just go ahead and endorse Hillary.

    Nah. Her devoted fans who can brook no critiques  – too creepy.

    • #23
  24. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Republican debate club answer:  I am going to use the power of my office to the extent that i am able to do the things that are desirable.

    Trump Answer:  I’m hangin’ cop killers.

    The only difference between these statements is target audience, and the information they consider important.  Lets not mistake prigishness for principle.

    I keep telling you, ricochet is the land of a kind of policy pervert.  A vulgar preference for minutia and policy details that the vast majority of humanity doesn’t care about.  Which leads you to prefer to select candidates who are running to be the guy who works for the guy in charge instead of the guy in charge.

    It is a very unfortunate solipsism.

    • #24
  25. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Manfred Arcane:

    Brian Wyneken:

    In this case though, Mr. Trump seeks to be the chief executive of our constitutional republic. He therefore needs to demonstrate not only that he has a basic understanding of that role, but an appreciation of the power and the institutional limitations on power. In my assessment, his words and deeds consistently indicate otherwise.

    But, if he is the only one with the courage to say all these important things, well, you know the old saying, “the Perfect is the enemy of the Good”. There are constraints on what Presidents might like to do. I’ve seen no evidence that Trump would flaunt these constraints.

    Asserting an intent to issue an executive order to direct action on matters “reserved to the States” is at least one indicator that he does not understand or appreciate the powers of the office he seeks. That is a fundamental thing, not an issue of perfection.

    No president is an expert in all things, but happily we have advisers, a cabinet, and the ensuing bureaucracy. When people speak of “executive experience” as an expertise, it refers to having led bureaucracy or other hierarchical organizations at a high level. Trump may in fact have that type of experience. In contrast, Lincoln had none, but he understood his role in a way that few presidents before or since have demonstrated.

    Donald Trump has decided that wants to be president. It cannot be too much to expect some demonstrated understanding of the basics.

    • #25
  26. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    One day, there will be a burning of the Constitution and Democrats and Republicans will be there.  The only real question is which side will be doing the burning and which side will be saying “You’re doing it wrong.”

    • #26
  27. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Titus Techera:I was for sure this is now an acceptable word, being an object of academic inquiry by what are called philosophers.

    Editors’ note: Nope.

    This is why someone brilliant coined the words tauroscat and hipposcat, derived from the Greek words for bull and horse, respectively. These words have not yet been ruled non-CoC-compliant.

    • #27
  28. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Quinn the Eskimo:One day, there will be a burning of the Constitution and Democrats and Republicans will be there. The only real question is which side will be doing the burning and which side will be saying “You’re doing it wrong.”

    The Republican side, being comprised of more male individuals, will be unable to resist criticizing the other side’s campfire-lighting techniques. It’s a guy thing.

    ;-)

    I kid! I kid!

    I kid, because I love.

    • #28
  29. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    Misthiocracy: The Republican side, being comprised of more male individuals, will be unable to resist criticizing the other side’s campfire-lighting techniques. It’s a guy thing. ;-) I kid! I kid! I kid, because I love.

    But which side will want the drone-mounted flamethrower?

    Probably Republicans.  I suppose the Democrats will do something eco-friendly, so that the heat will spin a turbine with enough energy to rotate a child’s pinwheel a quarter of a turn.

    • #29
  30. Manfred Arcane Inactive
    Manfred Arcane
    @ManfredArcane

    Brian Wyneken:

    Manfred Arcane:

    Brian Wyneken:

    …Mr. Trump… needs to demonstrate not only that he has a basic understanding of that role, but an appreciation of the power and the institutional limitations on power. …

    But, if he is the only one with the courage to say all these important things, well, you know the old saying, “the Perfect is the enemy of the Good”. There are constraints on what Presidents might like to do. I’ve seen no evidence that Trump would flaunt these constraints.

    No president is an expert in all things, but happily we have advisers, a cabinet, and the ensuing bureaucracy. When people speak of “executive experience” as an expertise, it refers to having led bureaucracy or other hierarchical organizations at a high level. Trump may in fact have that type of experience. In contrast, Lincoln had none, but he understood his role in a way that few presidents before or since have demonstrated.

    Donald Trump has decided that wants to be president. It cannot be too much to expect some demonstrated understanding of the basics.

    Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War…so not sure I am with you here.

    Also, even though we might like our next President to know as much about certain subject matters that impinge upon the weighty issues of the day as many of our Ricochet experts do.  But, Ronald Reagan probably knew no more about these than Trump and was still a great president.  The intangibles…

    • #30

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