Trump Through a Pinhole

 

At a business dinner in San Francisco last week, the host surprised me by asking me to say a few words about the administration. Unprepared, I stood, spoke–and found myself supporting the administration. The host was so surprised in turn–remember, this was in San Francisco–that he asked me to jot down my notes.

Here they are, a summary of the way things look to your humble servant seven months into the administration.

Trump Through a Pinhole

During the recent eclipse, NASA urged us all to protect our eyes by turning our backs on the sun itself, observing the eclipse only through pinhole cameras. A similar technique proves remarkably useful in observing the Trump administration. If you ignore the strangely dazzling figure of the president himself, examining instead the second order effects he’s producing, you’ll find that a certain reassuring clarity emerges. To wit:

Item: Effectiveness

Congress may have thwarted the administration’s effort to replace Obamacare, but wherever the administration has been able to take action on its own it has done just that, demonstrating not incompetence but considerable effectiveness.

Consider ISIS. When Trump gave him a free hand in dealing with the terrorist organization, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that the United States and its allies would no longer permit Isis to recapture territory after staging merely tactical retreats. Instead we would encircle ISIS forces—and destroy them. Since then, the territory that Isis controls has fallen by roughly one half. Or look at illegal immigration. After three decades in which administrations of both parties have failed to enforce immigration laws that were already on the books, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has begun to do so. Illegal immigration has dropped by some 70 percent.

The list goes on. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has begun rolling back regulations, notably on clean water, that the EPA had used to usurp the legislative function of Congress. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney has announced that for every new regulation any federal agency promulgates it must eliminate two. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has overturned the sexual harassment rules that the Obama administration had forced on universities. The White House has followed the nomination of Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court with the nominations of more than 30 others to the federal bench—and each of those nominees is, like Gorsuch, a thoroughly vetted originalist.

Still only eight months old, the Trump administration has demonstrated the ability to absorb new information and adjust to circumstances—that is, to learn in real time. It has displayed seriousness. It has gotten things done.

Item: Animal spirits

After eight years in which Washington displayed an attitude toward business that looked a lot like passive aggression—remember the seven years it took the Obama administration to review the Keystone Pipeline before rejecting it?—every American in business knows at some basic level that the Trump administration is on his side. This releases energies in itself. As even Keynes admitted, “Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive…can only be taken as the result of animal spirits.” Capital formation, job creation, growth: We now have an administration that celebrates these things instead of denigrating them—and business is responding. As I write, the Dow Jones index has just set its third record in as many days, continuing the climb that began when President Trump took office.

Throughout the bureaucracy, members of the Trump administration are confronting federal overreach, attempting to reduce the regulatory burden on business. Now the President himself has begun to campaign for tax reform—over the next ten weeks, according to the White House, Trump will crisscross the nation to argue for lower, simpler taxes. Animal spirits and tax reform. Will that lift growth from two percent or lower, the rate we’ve experience since 2000, back to the historic norm of three percent or more? The markets seem to be betting that it will. I wouldn’t bet against them.

Item: Immigration

President George W. Bush and the “gang of eight” in the Senate both attempted to achieve comprehensive immigration reform—and both encountered exactly the same insuperable problem: the American people simply would not have it. There is a long story to be told here, but after three decades in which the federal government had failed to enforce the law at our borders, citizens brimmed with distrust. Stop illegal immigration, the people in effect said to Washington—in a word, do your job—and only then might we permit you to enact immigration reform. Winning back the trust of the American people by ending illegal immigration. For at least a decade, that has represented the necessary first step, the sine qua non, of immigration reform.

Now the Trump administration may be achieving it. Illegal immigration, as I noted above, is already down some 70 percent. The administration remains committed to building a wall on the southern border, to establishing e-verify, and to enacting the RAISE Act, which would replace chain immigration with a points-based immigration system like that in Canada. If the administration accomplishes all of that, it may create a political opening of the kind that Bush and the gang of eight could never find. Trump could still mess it up, of course—the DACA controversy that erupted displays his talent for ham-fistedness. Yet if Nixon could go to China, then Trump may be able to give us real reform, substantially ending illegal immigration while devising a legal status from at least some of the undocumented immigrants who are already here.

Yes, I know. Donald Trump remains Donald Trump—impulsive, vain, profane, and erratic. But when you look at him through a pinhole, so to speak, you can see that in his way he loves the country; that his instincts run to smaller government, lower taxes, and respect for the Constitution; and that he has surrounded himself with many serious and accomplished people.

A lot of good may yet come of this strange moment.

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 41 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    But Peter, he uses the wrong fork! Oh, the humanity!

    • #1
  2. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Peter you are my favorite on the political scene.  You show almost no guile. This allowed you to look thru that pin hole fairly.

    Kudos.

    • #2
  3. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Peter Robinson: Illegal immigration has dropped by some 70 percent.

    Peter, would you mind posting some statistics showing this drop?  Thanks!

    • #3
  4. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Peter, you completely ignore the negatives he has brought as well as the opportunity costs his behavior has incurred. He may have been able to achieve certain positive accomplishments, but many are far less successful than they might otherwise be because he has sucked all of the oxygen of the room with some stupid self-inflicted media furor or gratuitous elbow thrown  at a potential ally. I don’t mind that you have resigned yourself to the necessity of falling in line with Trump, but to exaggerate his effectiveness, or give him credit for things that have happened accidentally, or despite his actions rather than because of them, is simply nauseating. Make the case that having Trump is the foul tasting tonic we had to drink to avoid Clinton, if you must. But don’t tell me it tastes good or that we didn’t also swallow other potentially unsavory or sick making ingredients along with whatever medicinal ones we were forced to ingest.

    • #4
  5. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Peter you are my favorite on the political scene. You show almost no guile. This allowed you to look thru that pin hole fairly.

    Kudos.

    Thanks, Kevin–“almost” guileless strikes me as close enough. BThompson, are you listening?

    • #5
  6. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    I don’t buy the ISIS line. ISIS teritory was declining well before Trump took over. To me it seems giving him credit for this is like saying Truman won WWII. The same can be said for the economy too. Though at least with that we will have a better grasp of his impact with time.

    I need some evidence that these correlations are not due to chance. Otherwise this is just a Rorschach test for your feelings on Trump.

    • #6
  7. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Peter Robinson: During the recent eclipse, NASA urged us all to protect our eyes by turning our backs on the sun itself, observing the eclipse only through pinhole cameras.

    NASA also advised that one could view the eclipse through special glasses that blocked 99.99% of the light. I see your eclipse glasses were rose colored.

    1. Effectiveness. You’re correct that the current administration has had some successes. The thing is, the success is inversely proportional to how involved Trump has been in the process. His biggest success, with judicial nominations, has been because he took himself out of the decision process and let the professionals at the Federalist Society build his list of nominees. Where Trump has gotten the most involved, such as with the first version of the so-called travel ban, the results have been chaotic.
    2. Economic Growth. The DJIA is a rather poor indicator for the kind of economic growth that Trump campaigned on. We have yet to see the massive improvements in middle class wage growth and return of manufacturing and industry to the Rust Belt. The ability of a President to have much impact on the economy is pretty limited, which is probably something to be thankful for given Trump’s protectionist mindset.
    3. Immigration: I will give Trump credit here. He’s sent a very clear message that we aren’t going to be as tolerant of illegal immigration as we have been in the past, and that seems to have dissuaded many would-be illegals from making the attempt. Good for him. Of course he may destroy all that good work with his DACA deal, but so far he’s done what we have needed for a long time.

    Peter Robinson: But when you look at him through a pinhole, so to speak, you can see that in his way he loves the country; that his instincts run to smaller government, lower taxes, and respect for the Constitution; and that he has surrounded himself with many serious and accomplished people.

    Two out of three ain’t bad. I haven’t seen any sign that his instincts match what you describe.

    • #7
  8. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Via executive action, he has done fairly well. The main tests of the next year will be legislation and international incidents.

    No President is the head of the legislature. It is not one’s responsibility to draft legislation, nor to lead the process. Republicans must do something or risk a furious electorate for wasting this extraordinary opportunity.

    If they don’t, then we will witness the ultimate test of Trump’s beliefs. He considers himself indepedent of the GOP. So it would not be surprising if he cooperated more with Democrats while Republicans remain too fractured to accomplish anything.

    He has proven to be more amenable to Republican interests than I expected. But there are many policy decisions on which he has yet to express himself or be forced to prioritize.

    I’d like to think that he has shown stronger impulses toward limited government than many Republicans have, by self-critical direction of executive agencies. But nothing lasting has been accomplished yet aside from the SCOTUS appointment. Democrats can simply dial the knobs back.

    We are nearing the end of the grace period during which a president establishes leadership and organization across the vast leviathan. Next year will shape US government for decades, one way or the other.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    BThompson (View Comment):
    may have been able to achieve certain positive accomplishments, but many are far less successful than they might otherwise be because he has sucked all of the oxygen of the room with some stupid self-inflicted media furor or gratuitous elbow thrown at a potential ally.

    I see Peter’s points differently, Bob. I don’t like Trump personally–at all. So his personal annoying and embarrassing attributes still get to me. But I think Peter is saying that if we can get past all those actions and behaviors–not ignore them, but get past them–there is a lot we can appreciate. I thought the metaphor of the eclipse was spot on. Since Trump is not going to stop being Trump, I’ve decided to stop dwelling on those things, since there is nothing I can do about them. Thank goodness he’s hired some remarkable people to get things done. And they are.

    • #9
  10. The Whether Man Inactive
    The Whether Man
    @TheWhetherMan

    Spin (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson: Illegal immigration has dropped by some 70 percent.

    Peter, would you mind posting some statistics showing this drop? Thanks!

    I’m curious about this too, because most such figures really only refer to apprehensions at the border – but since as much as 45% of the people illegally immigrating do so via visa overstays, something that’s famously difficult to track, it’s hard to imagine knowing this in hard figures.  I’d love to see the stats behind the figure.

     

    • #10
  11. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Trump’s anti-illegal immigration rhetoric has worked  — as has the media’s hysteria surrounding it. I have experience with this here in Arizona.

    Our SB1070 legislation was strict on immigration, but alone it had little effect (especially after it was neutered by the courts). The news reports equating our moderate GOP governor to Hitler and Arizona to a fascist police state had a far more dramatic impact. When would-be border crossers considered an entry point, we were their last choice. And if they did slip in, they high-tailed it out of the Grand Canyon State as quickly as possible.

    So, thank you, President Trump. And thanks to our histrionic press corps.

    • #11
  12. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Moderator Note:

    Please see post pinned on Member Feed.

    BThompson (View Comment):
    Peter, you completely ignore the negatives he has brought as well as the opportunity costs his behavior has incurred. He may have been able to achieve certain positive accomplishments, but many are far less successful than they might otherwise be because he has sucked all of the oxygen of the room with some stupid self-inflicted media furor or gratuitous elbow thrown at a potential ally. I don’t mind that you have resigned yourself to the necessity of falling in line with Trump, but to exaggerate his effectiveness, or give him credit for things that have happened accidentally, or despite his actions rather than because of them, is simply nauseating. Make the case that having Trump is the foul tasting tonic we had to drink to avoid Clinton, if you must. But don’t tell me it tastes good or that we didn’t also swallow other potentially unsavory or sick making ingredients along with whatever medicinal qualities we were forced to ingest.

    We have an expression about a guy at work – “Patrick’s gotta Patrick”.  (it’s not complimentary).
    [Redacted.]

    • #12
  13. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    We are nearing the end of the grace period during which a president establishes leadership and organization across the vast leviathan.

    Grace period?

    • #13
  14. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    We are nearing the end of the grace period during which a president establishes leadership and organization across the vast leviathan.

    Grace period?

    The MSM thought that they were tough on Obama.  They only gave him an eight year grace period.

    • #14
  15. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    We are nearing the end of the grace period during which a president establishes leadership and organization across the vast leviathan.

    Grace period?

    Ha! Well, disregarding the common hysteria which began before he was elected and might never end, cool heads might be more willling to acknowledge that there’s not a lot he can do with a lame Congress.

    I had hoped Trump’s proposed gutting of executive agencies would be much further along by now. There’s plenty of ways to criticize him for inaction. Like Jon, I think the anti-Trump hysteria has done more to deter illegals than any lawful actions or Trump’s boasts.

    But in comparison to previous administrations, Trump’s is on par. It falls well between the extreme scenarios predicted by both Trump’s detractors and his admirers.

    • #15
  16. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

     

    We have an expression about a guy at work – “Patrick’s gotta Patrick”. (it’s not complimentary).
    [Redacted.]

    I thought there was a whole sticky post atop the member feed about [redacted].

    • #16
  17. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    BThompson (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    We have an expression about a guy at work – “Patrick’s gotta Patrick”. (it’s not complimentary).

    [Redacted.]

    I thought there was a whole sticky post atop the member feed about [redacted].

    This stuff is ruining Ricochet.  Please stop.  Please.  Both of you.

    • #17
  18. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    BThompson (View Comment):
    Peter, you completely ignore the negatives he has brought as well as the opportunity costs his behavior has incurred. He may have been able to achieve certain positive accomplishments, but many are far less successful than they might otherwise be because he has sucked all of the oxygen of the room with some stupid self-inflicted media furor or gratuitous elbow thrown at a potential ally. I don’t mind that you have resigned yourself to the necessity of falling in line with Trump, but to exaggerate his effectiveness, or give him credit for things that have happened accidentally, or despite his actions rather than because of them, is simply nauseating. Make the case that having Trump is the foul tasting tonic we had to drink to avoid Clinton, if you must. But don’t tell me it tastes good or that we didn’t also swallow other potentially unsavory or sick making ingredients along with whatever medicinal qualities we were forced to ingest.

    BT – I think many of Trump’s antics are deliberate, to send the press into a tizzy so he can focus on the big things. They don’t seem to be interested in reporting on the big things, that Peter mentioned above, so play their game – he toys with people.   Also, we’re talking about 8 years of a mess called the Obama administration, who dismantled our healthcare system, renewed racial discord, put more regulations to impede growth, doubled the debt, passed on little problems like NK, Iran, Russia, China etc. instead of dealing with them – there’s much more. You can hardly put up a rainbow in 8 months, especially with the Republicans refusing to throw out their sleeping pills, and the liberals with no agenda at all.  It’s a mess, and not the role of one person to right it. What to do? It will take a long time, and it’s the work of those we send to do it – he’s not emperor.

    I’m even starting to believe the standing down of the Republicans in office for so long is part of a bigger thing. not sure what ….it just can’t be because they can’t do their jobs – many of them have been there long enough.

    • #18
  19. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    I’m even starting to believe the standing down of the Republicans in office for so long is part of a bigger thing. not sure what ….it just can’t be because they can’t do their jobs – many of them have been there long enough.

    I’ve been perplexed by this.  I do not understand why Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel, and Donald Trump didn’t sit down in a little room in the white house with three things on a sticky note…

    • Obamacare
    • Tax Reform
    • Immigration

    ..and decide “What can we get done?” and then go execute.  I’m flummoxed.  And I don’t blame any one of them.  I blame all three of them.  They are the leaders.  And they should be able to get the frick over themselves and make it happen.

    • #19
  20. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BThompson (View Comment):
    may have been able to achieve certain positive accomplishments, but many are far less successful than they might otherwise be because he has sucked all of the oxygen of the room with some stupid self-inflicted media furor or gratuitous elbow thrown at a potential ally.

    I see Peter’s points differently, Bob. I don’t like Trump personally–at all. So his personal annoying and embarrassing attributes still get to me. But I think Peter is saying that if we can get past all those actions and behaviors–not ignore them, but get past them–there is a lot we can appreciate. I thought the metaphor of the eclipse was spot on. Since Trump is not going to stop being Trump, I’ve decided to stop dwelling on those things, since there is nothing I can do about them. Thank goodness he’s hired some remarkable people to get things done. And they are.

    That’s not me!

    • #20
  21. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BThompson (View Comment):
    may have been able to achieve certain positive accomplishments, but many are far less successful than they might otherwise be because he has sucked all of the oxygen of the room with some stupid self-inflicted media furor or gratuitous elbow thrown at a potential ally.

    I see Peter’s points differently, Bob. I don’t like Trump personally–at all. So his personal annoying and embarrassing attributes still get to me. But I think Peter is saying that if we can get past all those actions and behaviors–not ignore them, but get past them–there is a lot we can appreciate. I thought the metaphor of the eclipse was spot on. Since Trump is not going to stop being Trump, I’ve decided to stop dwelling on those things, since there is nothing I can do about them. Thank goodness he’s hired some remarkable people to get things done. And they are.

    That’s not me!

    Sure it isn’t.  Profile pic looks just the same to me.  ;-)

    • #21
  22. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    Spin (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson: Illegal immigration has dropped by some 70 percent.

    Peter, would you mind posting some statistics showing this drop? Thanks!

    On immigration stats, Mickey Kaus is the man, so I just shot him an email. Below, Mickey’s reply. Note, alas, that illegal immigration has begun to edge back up:

    My impression is illegal immigration dropped over 70% a few months after Trump’s inauguration (that’s not comparing each month with the same month a year earlier, so part of it could be seasonal)

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/9/illegal-immigration-southwest-border-down-70-pct/

    But now they’ve started to rise again, though they are still 41% below last year when you compare to same months in 2016

    http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/illegal-border-crossings-rise-fourth-straight-month/

    The graph here is most of what you need to know (current year is the blue line that sinks to bottom and then starts to rise)

    https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration

    The general assumption is that border arrests are a proxy for people trying to cross (many of whom don’t get caught).

    One troubling aspect is the composition — the “unaccompanied minors” seem to be coming again.

    Stephen Dinan of Wash Times is a reliable reporter on this stuff

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/11/illegal-immigration-southwest-doubled-over-past-fo/

    Hope that helps.

    • #22
  23. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    The statistics are interesting, but it’s hard to make any decisions based upon them, really.  I guess if we saw sustained drop over 24 months, and some analysis behind it, I’d be inclined to attribute it to Trump’s policies.  I’m not sure at this point.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BThompson (View Comment):
    may have been able to achieve certain positive accomplishments, but many are far less successful than they might otherwise be because he has sucked all of the oxygen of the room with some stupid self-inflicted media furor or gratuitous elbow thrown at a potential ally.

    I see Peter’s points differently, Bob. I don’t like Trump personally–at all. So his personal annoying and embarrassing attributes still get to me. But I think Peter is saying that if we can get past all those actions and behaviors–not ignore them, but get past them–there is a lot we can appreciate. I thought the metaphor of the eclipse was spot on. Since Trump is not going to stop being Trump, I’ve decided to stop dwelling on those things, since there is nothing I can do about them. Thank goodness he’s hired some remarkable people to get things done. And they are.

    That’s not me!

    Oops. Sorry.

    • #24
  25. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    Moderator Note:

    We urge you to assume fellow members are arguing in good faith.

    Spin (View Comment):

    BThompson (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    We have an expression about a guy at work – “Patrick’s gotta Patrick”. (it’s not complimentary).

    [Redacted.]

    I thought there was a whole sticky post atop the member feed about [redacted].

    This stuff is ruining Ricochet. Please stop. Please. Both of you.

    So is demanding “proof” of facts that are easily found about immigration. [Redacted.] Why not go look for the proof yourself or, if you are convinced it’s not true, find counter-proof and post it? If I can find proof in five minutes – and I did – so can you. You can even find proof here on Ricochet.

    http://ricochet.com/456014/actions-get-results-its-getting-hard-to-break-into-america/

    • #25
  26. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    Spin (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    I’m even starting to believe the standing down of the Republicans in office for so long is part of a bigger thing. not sure what ….it just can’t be because they can’t do their jobs – many of them have been there long enough.

    I’ve been perplexed by this. I do not understand why Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel, and Donald Trump didn’t sit down in a little room in the white house with three things on a sticky note…

    • Obamacare
    • Tax Reform
    • Immigration

    ..and decide “What can we get done?” and then go execute. I’m flummoxed. And I don’t blame any one of them. I blame all three of them. They are the leaders. And they should be able to get the frick over themselves and make it happen.

    Amen.  The problem with the Trump ‘accomplishments’ above is that they are largely executive fiats.  To be sure, a good number of them are undoing similar acts by Obama, some of doubtful Constitutionality.

    The problem with executive fiat is that it can be undone by the next executive.  With both the judicial and legislative branches seemingly unable or unwilling to stop the accretion of such fiats, possessing the executive becomes all important.  That is the road that’s led us to the sniping in this post and throughout Ricochet, the acrimony in politics generally, and might lead eventually to civil war.

    The cure is for the legislative branch to step up and do its job, which is not necessarily to do it Trump’s way, but to commit to hammering out something that can pass as statute, and stick to the wall for more than 4 or 8 years.

    • #26
  27. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    BThompson (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    We have an expression about a guy at work – “Patrick’s gotta Patrick”. (it’s not complimentary).

    [Redacted.]

    I thought there was a whole sticky post atop the member feed about [redacted].

    This stuff is ruining Ricochet. Please stop. Please. Both of you.

    So is demanding “proof” of facts that are easily found about immigration. [Redacted.] Why not go look for the proof yourself or, if you are convinced it’s not true, find counter-proof and post it? If I can find proof in five minutes – and I did – so can you. You can even find proof here on Ricochet.

    http://ricochet.com/456014/actions-get-results-its-getting-hard-to-break-into-america/

    A:  I didn’t demand proof, I asked for Peter to provide evidence of his opinion.  That is how civilized people do things.  And Peter provided some evidence for his view, and did so graciously.  So he didn’t seem to have quite the same reaction as you, I’d guess.

    B:  If someone says “I believe Fact X to be the true”, the burden of proof is on them.  When asked to cite facts, figures, and evidence for their view, they ought to be willing to do so.  Peter certainly was, and did so.  This is how reasonable people converse.

    C:  Your opinion on why I used “that line” is exactly that, and exactly wrong.  I simply wanted to know why Peter believed what he believed.

    • #27
  28. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Locke On (View Comment):
    The cure is for the legislative branch to step up and do its job, which is not necessarily to do it Trump’s way, but to commit to hammering out something that can pass as statute, and stick to the wall for more than 4 or 8 years.

    Hear hear!

    • #28
  29. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Spin (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    I’m even starting to believe the standing down of the Republicans in office for so long is part of a bigger thing. not sure what ….it just can’t be because they can’t do their jobs – many of them have been there long enough.

    I’ve been perplexed by this. I do not understand why Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel, and Donald Trump didn’t sit down in a little room in the white house with three things on a sticky note…

    • Obamacare
    • Tax Reform
    • Immigration

    ..and decide “What can we get done?” and then go execute. I’m flummoxed. And I don’t blame any one of them. I blame all three of them. They are the leaders. And they should be able to get the frick over themselves and make it happen.

    Because Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, virtually before Trump even took office, made it clear that they were going to fight him the whole way.  And they have.

    • #29
  30. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    I like the image of viewing an eclipse by ignoring the big, harshly-shining thing in the sky, and focusing on second order effects. I, too,  find myself doing just what you describe—talking about the things Trump is doing that, to my own surprise, I approve of and, indeed, find refreshing. Even though I don’t much like Trump himself.

    Peter Robinson: Unprepared, I stood, spoke–and found myself supporting the administration.

    Yes— and I would add to your list that police departments, relieved of the burden of Obama’s DOJ are getting back to work and it would seem—at least preliminarily—that crimes rates are coming down, especially in inner city communities. This saves lives.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.