“The Fall Will Probably Kill You”

 

My feelings about President Trump are — complicated. But of this I am sure: Trump has to be given every chance and every support that the Republican Party can muster. It is not “normalizing bad behavior” to support President Trump or to, if not mute, restrain criticism. This is particularly so when the focus of the criticism is style and character, not policy.

I am one of those who distinguishes between Trump-ism and the man. Trumpism (IMO) is a fundamental challenge to identity politics, collectivism, and the administrative state. Trumpism is a use of federal power in ways that are not consistent with traditional limited government conservatism to rebalance and stop, and hopefully reverse, the progressive agenda. Trumpism is chemotherapy applied to the cancer of progressivism.

Are there risks? Of course. But consider the alternative. One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. We lay that charge on progressivism all the time. Why would we not recognize that “standard” Republican politics on the national level suffer from the same syndrome?

Obama should have taught us the lesson of what happens when progressives weaponize government against its people. Is it not plain that government, having been weaponized, needs more aggressive addressing than simply freezing the status quo?

Trump won the nomination and the general election specifically because he saw this and offered the largest bid to address it. His opponents in the primaries said all the standard and right things — and even meant (mostly) well — but they did not close the deal with the voters. Trump did. And in the general election, it was a choice of “more of the same” versus aggressive change, not freezing the status quo.

America made its choice but progressives and some conservatives have been working against Trump from the get-go. We know who the progressives are — Democrats, media, academia — and thanks to @garyrobbins we have a list of the 1,400 Republicans who signed up for “the Resistance.” The Republican resistors (IMO) have forgotten that great scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Butch and Sundance are standing atop a cliff over a raging stream far below. Pursuers are at their back and Butch says they need to jump. Sundance is reluctant and Butch asks, “Why”? “Because I can’t swim!” replies Sundance. Butch laughs and says, “The fall will probably kill you.”

To Trump supporters, America is on the cliff and irreversible progressivism is closing in. Republican detractors of Trump are like Sundance saying they won’t take the last chance for escape because they will not be able to do it “virtuously” — i.e., control things. The rest of us want to take that chance for escape because we know to not jump means permanent capture. We would rather chance a bad outcome than remain and get one certainly.

Is Trump personally a flawed man? Yes. Is Trump personally not adept at playing the Washington game? Yes. Are there limitations imposed by Trump’s flaws and lack of Washington savvy? Of course. But as Victor Davis Hanson has said, Trump possesses a “certain animal cunning” in the way he approaches problems. America sorely needs that cunning here and now.

There was a time and place for Henry Clay. It was before the battle, to avoid the battle. But once the battle started you needed a Ulysses S. Grant, not a Henry Clay. We are in a battle. Time to line up behind the Commander-in-Chief.

There are 37 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Guruforhire Member

    Trump is president because the left is terrifying.

    • #1
    • November 6, 2017, at 10:23 AM PDT
    • 19 likes
  2. Trinity Waters Inactive

    This is a perfect description of our current political environment, @rodin. It is courageous of you to spell it out in such a straightforward manner.

    Even many who suspected the Clintons of corruption most of the time are now surprised at the scope of their immoral and treasonous behavior. I shudder to think of living under a continuation of their tawdry leadership.

    The coming mid term election will dramatically shorten @garyrobbins unbelievably long list of establishmentarians and false-flag operators. We won’t lose control to the Dems, who are in free-fall, but I expect that the MAGA core will expand and vanquish the McConnell claque. The GOP will then be stronger and more effective, hopefully.

    Insightful post!

    • #2
    • November 6, 2017, at 10:33 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  3. Curt North Inactive

    I voted for Trump, and with a giant smile on my face too. I was hoping against hope he would follow through on his promise to drain the swamp and build the wall. Well we’re a year post election, the swamp is still there but it’s running scared. Running scared in the form of the never-ending Trump/Russia nonsense, some of which many from our own side (well…maybe our side) seem to wish to relish in. So as he fights the swamp, I’m happy to support him.

    The wall? We see prototypes on display, we see contracts being bid out, we hear the early rumblings of a deal trading DACA for wall funding. The verdict isn’t in yet, but I remain hopeful on the wall.

    But on your other point, of him being a weapon against Progressives, I’m not sure I see that. I see him being a blunt instrument against the dangers of political correctness, which has absolutely rotted our culture, and that alone is wonderful. But if you define Progressivism as the growth of government both in terms of power and involvement in our daily lives, I’m sorry to say that’s not Trump. I wish it were, but the guy explicitly said he wouldn’t touch entitlements, and I don’t look for him to. And entitlement reform, real honest gut wrenching cuts, is what will be needed sooner or later. Those of us who support him are opened-eyed about his faults, he is not Reagan, but he is Trump, right now that’s good enough.

    So for now let him fight the swamp, cut regs, build a wall, kill off “Rocket Man” (My God I loved that one!) return our military to it’s proper place in the world, repeal Obamacare, and enact tax reform.

    If he does this, I will be happy.

    • #3
    • November 6, 2017, at 10:57 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  4. RightAngles Member

    I am one of those who distinguish between Trump-ism and the man. Trumpism (IMO) is a fundamental challenge to identity politics, collectivism, and the administrative state. Trumpism is a use of federal power in ways that are not consistent with traditional limited government conservatism to rebalance and stop, and hopefully reverse, the progressive agenda. Trumpism is chemotherapy applied to the cancer of progressivism.

    This explains my thoughts so well. He’s what was needed for right now. We needed a giant thumb in the eye of the Establishment of both parties. So he doesn’t know how to be a politician? Yes, we know that, and it’s a feature, not a bug.

    • #4
    • November 6, 2017, at 11:55 AM PDT
    • 23 likes
  5. Kay of MT Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    So he doesn’t know how to be a politician? Yes, we know that, and it’s a feature, not a bug.

    Indeed! Well said.

    • #5
    • November 6, 2017, at 1:04 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  6. Hypatia Inactive

    I like this, but why say a Trump is a “personally flawed man”? On the one hand, isn’t everybody? But that doesn’t seem to be what people mean when they say this kinda thing.

    I think they don’t like, or they’re embarrassed by, the fact that he says positive things about our country and about himself. So that’s boasting, braggadocio? Is that what you mean?

    I prefer it, on a personal level, to a smarmy, smirky pseudo-humility like B. Hussein’s.

    And I prefer it regarding our country, to the barely concealed contempt, and the constant hyper-concern about “arrogance” that the Dems and their useful idiots affect.

    • #6
    • November 6, 2017, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. Rodin Member
    Rodin Post author

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    I like this, but why say a Trump is a “personally flawed man”? On the one hand, isn’t everybody?

    Absolutely. I just don’t want to debate people about the manner, extent, and implications of those flaws. In my view if personal flaws in a President are dangerous it will be manifest in policies and orders. If conservatives and Republicans (they are not the same) can simply focus on policies and orders I think they can “keep calm and carry on.”

    • #7
    • November 6, 2017, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. cdor Member

    This post @rodin is so good I do not know how to improve on it or even add to it. But then the first 7 comments appeared. I like them all.

    • #8
    • November 6, 2017, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. A-Squared Inactive

    Rodin:But of this I am sure: Trump has to be given every chance and every support that the Republican Party can muster. It is not “normalizing bad behavior” to support President Trump or to, if not mute, restrain criticism.

    I’m not completely on-board. I completely agree that Trump needs to be given every chance to succeed, but I vehemently dispute this means we need to mute criticism.

    I think mindlessly praising Trump regardless of what he says or does is not accruing to his long-term success.

    I view the immigration meeting with Pelosi and Schumer as evidence of this. Trump met with them and was willing to give them a commitment to a legislative solution to DACA in exchange for some “mutually-agreed upon border security measures excluding the wall.” Trump supporters went ballistic, starting burning their MAGA hats and posting the videos on twitter. Trump backtracked and demanded not just the wall but immigration reform and e-verify. If we on the right had not criticized him, which you are saying we should never do, Trump would have acquiesced to Schumer and Pelosi on DACA.

    It seems obvious to the most casual observer that a) at time, Trump had bad instincts, and b) when that happens, Trump responds to criticism from his supporters (ie, not me).

    So, I think the absolute worst thing his supporters can do is “mute the criticism” but I concede criticism from conservatives does not reach his ears.

    • #9
    • November 6, 2017, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin Post author

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    I think mindlessly praising Trump regardless of what he says or does is not accruing to his long-term success.

    …If we on the right had not criticized him, which you are saying we should never do, Trump would have acquiesced to Schumer and Pelosi on DACA.

    It seems obvious to the most casual observer that a) at time, Trump had bad instincts, and b) when that happens, Trump responds to criticism from his supporters (ie, not me).

    So, I think the absolute worst thing his supporters can do is “mute the criticism” but I concede criticism from conservatives does not reach his ears.

    No doubt your confusion about my meaning is due entirely to my failure to be clear: Trump is not Trump-ism, which means to me he will require correction from time to time when he appears to be abandoning the agenda on which he campaigned. But criticism of Trumpism (because it is not traditional Republicanism) or Trump’s personality — particularly by Republicans who have consistently opposed him both before and after the election — undermine (IMO) the existential battle with progressivism. Although shocked and dismayed by the unwillingness of Democrats and anarchists to observe the constitutional peaceful transfer of power, it is particularly dismaying that a tight battle may be lost due to the acts of those who Trump supporters should be able to count upon in a fight. “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

    • #10
    • November 6, 2017, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. A-Squared Inactive

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Trump is not Trump-ism,

    Then it isn’t Trump-ism. It’s “what I want-ism”.

    Trump is about Trump and nothing else. If he is a vehicle for something else, whatever that something else is, it’s not “Trump-ism”

    • #11
    • November 6, 2017, at 4:28 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Rodin Member
    Rodin Post author

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Trump is not Trump-ism,

    Then it isn’t Trump-ism. It’s “what I want-ism”.

    Trump is about Trump and nothing else. If he is a vehicle for something else, whatever that something else is, it’s not “Trump-ism”

    Well, Ok then.

    • #12
    • November 6, 2017, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. TempTime Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    So he doesn’t know how to be a politician? Yes, we know that, and it’s a feature, not a bug.

    Indeed! Well said.

    Can’t be repeated too many times. Great synopsis, @rightangles.

    • #13
    • November 6, 2017, at 6:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. TempTime Member

    Excellent! Rodin, if your analogy hasn’t made it clear for those who have had difficulty understanding the situation, nothing will. You explained it perfectly. Thank you.

    • #14
    • November 6, 2017, at 7:10 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Mendel Member

    Your post can be distilled down to one simple proposition that has divided Ricochet since the very first comment was posted here: do the ends justify the means?

    We’ve spilled so many pixels here over the years debating the details of this politician or that issue, but what 90% of political disagreements on Ricochet boil down to is: should we loosen up on our strongly-held convictions about the manner in which we run the country in order to enact our also strongly-held convictions about the outcomes we want for the country?

    Almost anyone who tends towards “yes” to that question now views Trump mostly to completely favorably, whether or not they liked him in the primaries or still have reservations about him. Almost anyone who tends towards “no” to the question views Trump with skepticism, whether or not they like some of his actual actions since in office or the knock-on effects of his ascendancy.

    Both Trump and “Trumpism” represent a near perfect reflection of the ends/means conflict. But any conversation about Trump on Ricochet has long since moved past the boring, repetitive, tense stage into full-on cold war/echo chamber/circlejerk/Mexican standoff/carbonite stasis.

    At some point, it would be nice to step off the inane “All Trump All The Time” infinite loop and actually have a straight-up philosophical conversation on the questions: is it still possible in modern America to achieve conservative ends using conservative means? Is it possible to do so by abandoning conservative means?

    • #15
    • November 6, 2017, at 11:25 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Well said, Rodin! The analogy works perfectly, too. I’ve come to believe that those resisting “what is” are unwilling to let go of their hopes for the election and they think that fighting Trump is helpful. It’s not. Arguing over this label or that isn’t helpful in this case, either. Trump is who he is. I believe he is very self-centered, as most presidents are; they just hide it better than he does. His being an egotist also doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about this country. We keep trying to squeeze him into some kind of recognizable “type” and he broke the mold a while ago. I feel the same way about Trump as you do. But here we are and if we want to fight Progressivism, tearing him apart is not the way to do it. My integrity requires me to criticize him when he screws up and celebrate his successes.

    • #16
    • November 6, 2017, at 11:27 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Rodin Member
    Rodin Post author

    Mendel (View Comment):
    [I]s it possible in modern America to achieve conservative ends using conservative means? Is it possible to do so by abandoning conservative means?

    In 2017 the answer to the former is “no”, and the answer to the latter is “yes” so long as you understand the objective to be “conservative as compared to what?”

    We live in a binary America. “Conservative” at the moment is defined as everything that Progressives reject and with which they will not associate. The puts of lot or people that never thought of themselves as conservative in the tent with “Buckley conservatives”. This represents an opportunity to deny Progressives power and roll back their agenda. That is a proper conservative objective even if it does not embrace the conservative ideal. That is the perspective, I believe, of Trump supporters.

    We can’t even get Obamacare repealed and we ask whether conservative ends can be attained with conservative means?! The answer seems so obvious to me. Effectively conspiring with Progressives to remove Trump on specious constitutional grounds is more than the opposite of achieving conservative ends by conservative means.

    • #17
    • November 6, 2017, at 11:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Mendel Member

    Rodin (View Comment):
    The answer seems so obvious to me.

    And to many of us this isn’t obvious at all. We might even disagree.

    If we want Ricochet to be a site where we actually gain insights by discussion instead of just hitting each other in the crotch with Nerf bats, it would be worthwhile to move past the level of “how can you people keep [praising/criticizing] Trump?” and debate these fundamental differences in worldview. I think those discussions would go a long way toward clarifying (while probably not rectifying) the seemingly endless gap between the two sides of the Trump debate that still seem to meet here.

    • #18
    • November 7, 2017, at 12:17 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Mendel Member

    Rodin (View Comment):
    “Conservative” at the moment is defined as everything that Progressives reject and with which they will not associate. …

    We can’t even get Obamacare repealed and we ask whether conservative ends can be attained with conservative means?!

    In my opinion, if we can’t put together an active definition of conservatism – as opposed to the reactive definition of “the right is defined as anti-left” – we will never advance any agenda. In the world of policy and society, you can’t replace something with nothing.

    It doesn’t even particularly matter what that definition of conservatism is. It doesn’t have to be Buckleyism (whatever that is), Reaganism (whatever that is), or Pat Buchananism (you get the point). But it has to have more coherent proposals than “we’re against whatever those guys are for” while still being supported by a majority of Republican voters.

    But no active definition of any sort exists at the moment, and that’s why we can’t repeal Obamacare. It has nothing to do with Trump, or whichever member of Congress you or I might hate, or whichever NR contributor/Ricochet podcaster might tick us off.

    • #19
    • November 7, 2017, at 12:24 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Mendel (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    “Conservative” at the moment is defined as everything that Progressives reject and with which they will not associate. …

    We can’t even get Obamacare repealed and we ask whether conservative ends can be attained with conservative means?!

    In my opinion, if we can’t put together an active definition of conservatism – as opposed to the reactive definition of “the right is defined as anti-left” – we will never advance any agenda. In the world of policy and society, you can’t replace something with nothing.

    It doesn’t even particularly matter what that definition of conservatism is. It doesn’t have to be Buckleyism (whatever that is), Reaganism (whatever that is), Pat Buchananism (you get the point). But it has to have more coherent proposals than “we’re against whatever those guys are for” while still being supported by a majority of Republican voters.

    But no definition of that sort exists at the moment, and that’s why we can’t repeal Obamacare. It has nothing to do with Trump or whichever member of Congress you or I might hate.

    I agree, Mendel. We’ve had posts on defining conservatism, and getting close to agreement was extremely difficult. I think that is true for a number of reasons: 1) conservatism has become so inundated by Progressive thought; 2) people don’t recognize this change, or are unwilling to let go of their preferences or biases; 3) politicians are too concerned with pleasing everyone, so we get a mishmash of ideas. Still, maybe it’s time to start a conversation again; maybe we are ready to at least explore the possibilities. That would perhaps take us to a “higher” level of discussion, rather than nitpicking. Why don’t you start an OP? ;-)

    • #20
    • November 7, 2017, at 12:37 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor

    @mendel , I think that trying to frame the post clearly (which you do well) on conservatism would be very important to try to keep people focused. Of course, you haven’t agreed to write it . . .

    • #21
    • November 7, 2017, at 12:39 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Larry3435 Member

    The OP is an excellent summary of what is probably the majority position here on Ricochet, and perhaps in the Republican Party at large. Excellent. It also captures most of my attitude toward Trump. Since the election he seems to have adopted a number of conservative goals, and I am deeply grateful that he has undone some of the damage wrought by Obama (to the extent that Obama did that damage by his phone and his pen, leaving Trump’s phone and pen free to undo it). Yes, I would be very happy if we had a President who was more articulate and graceful, but I have decided that I need to look at what he does, rather than what he says, and so far I have been pleased.

    Here’s where I disagree with the OP. I don’t think that Trump is an effective warrior against progressivism. I don’t think he’s even trying to be that. If the two pillars of progressivism are politically correct culture and big government driven by giving lots of “free” goodies to the voters, we are going nowhere on opposing either of those.

    I don’t blame Trump for the increasing atmosphere of political correctness. Culture is largely out of his hands, and events like Harvey Weinstein and Nazi marches in Charlottesville provide lots of ammunition for the “social justice warriors,” which Trump can do little to prevent. On the big government, gimme-gimme-gimme front, however, Trump could do something and he isn’t. Under Trump’s leadership, the GOP has had no appetite for truly repealing Obamacare. Instead they want to repeal it and replace it with more Obamacare. (And don’t tell me that it’s all McConnell and Ryan; Trump has thrown his weight behind every plan presented by the Congressional Republicans, and has never presented a plan of his own.) Trump has also sworn to keep his hands off of entitlements, which guarantees that we will continue to run massive deficits to fund the entitlement state. The current GOP tax plan actually increases the progressivity of the tax code, and Trump is crazy about it. I don’t see any victories in the war against progressivism, except on items where Trump has done things that would have been done by any of his primary opponents if they had won last November.

    So, why the disconnect? Why do so many people think that Trump is some mighty leader in the civil war being waged by progressives? I think that the people who think that Trump is (or will be) Butch Cassidy (or, better analogy, Moses cowing Pharaoh and leading his people out of oppression) are reacting to the left. They see how the left goes apoplectic over everything that Trump says or does, and they take that as evidence that he is an effective weapon against them. That’s a logical fallacy. Remember, the left would hate any Republican President almost as much.

    • #22
    • November 7, 2017, at 4:22 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. Valiuth Member

    Mendel (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    “Conservative” at the moment is defined as everything that Progressives reject and with which they will not associate. …

    We can’t even get Obamacare repealed and we ask whether conservative ends can be attained with conservative means?!

    In my opinion, if we can’t put together an active definition of conservatism – as opposed to the reactive definition of “the right is defined as anti-left” – we will never advance any agenda. In the world of policy and society, you can’t replace something with nothing.

    It doesn’t even particularly matter what that definition of conservatism is. It doesn’t have to be Buckleyism (whatever that is), Reaganism (whatever that is), or Pat Buchananism (you get the point). But it has to have more coherent proposals than “we’re against whatever those guys are for” while still being supported by a majority of Republican voters.

    But no active definition of any sort exists at the moment, and that’s why we can’t repeal Obamacare. It has nothing to do with Trump, or whichever member of Congress you or I might hate, or whichever NR contributor/Ricochet podcaster might tick us off.

    I think being against progressives is the definition of conservatism now, thanks to the fact that the leaders of the movement are now just political entertainers like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Hannity, etc. Trump and Trumpism is the full fledged manifestation of that entertainment mindset. Our politics has just become a day time reality TV show with the guests and audience throwing chairs at each other. Nothing needs to get do or will be done because the spectacle of the fight is the goal. That’s why we like Trump because he fights! We want the fight. This is not about means to a goal. This is just about means there is no goal anymore, other than to make Mitch McConnell cry or to see how many likes your tweet can get. Because in entertainment the only real metric is ratings.

    • #23
    • November 7, 2017, at 6:26 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. cdor Member

    I’ve mentioned this before and everyone knows, but we still seem to try and pigeonhole Trump. He is not an ideologue. His conservatism comes instinctively through pragmatism. When we see him having meetings with Schumer and Pelosi, we automatically think he’s selling us out. Maybe, but I really don’t think so. What he may be doing is laying a groundwork for the deal he is about to make. It has been said here already…we are somewhat paranoid about Trump because of his lack of ideological Conservative grounding. Our first reaction is to think the worst. And yet, to take DACA, as has been mentioned here. What has he actually done? First he did what was the constitutionally correct action. He sent it back to Congress. It was the Constitutional Law Professor former President that tried to ram through his EO. President Trump, the impatient dummy, applied the rule of law. Then he used leverage to associate any passage with anti chain migration and the wall. We shall see what the end result will be. But I find it hard to chastise him for these actions. There are other examples. When he did use an EO on immigration bans from certain highly volatile countries, it has been proven that he was totally within his constitutional authority. Yet through judge shopping and judicial overreach his legal actions have been stymied. Did Trump give the courts the big middle finger and cause a mini constitutional crises? I would have been tempted to do so. Yet instead he showed patience once more and has moved through the courts where he will eventually win. All these things must be difficult for a businessman/boss who is used to total control. But that is what an executive must do. He may not have come from political immersion, but the most important part of being the chief executive is to be an executive.

    • #24
    • November 7, 2017, at 6:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Buckpasser Member

    A-Squared (View Comment):
    I view the immigration meeting with Pelosi and Schumer as evidence of this.

    This is how I see this example and others where Pres. Trump seems to be negotiating (or throwing things against the wall if tha’s how you view it):

    Previously this was done except it was done behind the scenes. People are upset at how public it is and some don’t understand Pres. Trump’s negotiating methods. Most people don’t want to see how the sausage is made, they just want it to taste good. With Pres. trump we have a front row seat watching the sausage being made.

    • #25
    • November 7, 2017, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Nick H Coolidge

    The problem with defining conservatism as simply being opposed to progressive action is that in doing so we allow ourselves to be defined by our opponents. Conservative ideals and progressive ideals are generally opposed, but not diametrically so. In some cases the differences aren’t so much about the end result as they are the means to get there. For example, both progressives and conservatives would agree that we wouldn’t want Nazis in power here in America. The progressive solution is to try and control speech (and therefore thought) and prevent Nazis from being able to present their ideas, declaring them to be hate crimes. Leaving aside the fact that progressives always paint with too broad a brush and end up making all disagreement off limits, the conservative solution is more freedom, more speech. Nazi ideals are incompatible with American values, and when brought into the light of day will be rejected. We oppose the progressive means because they conflict with our principles, even if the desired outcome is one we support. That’s the key – our principles. If we abandon those simply to obtain some ephemeral victory over progressives, we haven’t won. We’ve lost.

    I’ll give Trump the credit and support he deserves when he acts in support of conservative principles, even when it’s unintentional. And to be fair, he’s done better than I would have expected. I’m perfectly fine and happy with that. So here’s the bottom line. I’m not (and never will be) a fan, but I’m not going to resist him at every turn. When he’s right, or being attacked unfairly, I’ll say so. When he’s wrong I’ll say that too. That’s the best you’re going to get out of me. I’m not part of any kind of resistance, but neither will I join a cult of personality like some of his more strident defenders.

    • #26
    • November 7, 2017, at 10:03 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Rodin: It is not “normalizing bad behavior” to support President Trump or to, if not mute, restrain criticism.

    When a behavior is bad, restraining or muting criticism is normalizing it.

    It’s possible to judge that Bad Behavior X can be used as a weapon against Bad Behavior Y, and if we deem Y the worse and far more alarming behavior, we might be willing to normalize X more. When that happens, though, it is normalizing X. (And then, if X becomes normalized enough, perhaps we even stop recognizing X as bad.)

    As @mendel observed above, which ends, by which means?

    Cynically normalizing some bad behaviors to attack other bad behaviors strikes me as more mentally honest than believing normalization of the attack behaviors is not the likely result.

    • #27
    • November 7, 2017, at 11:04 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. A-Squared Inactive

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    A-Squared (View Comment):
    I view the immigration meeting with Pelosi and Schumer as evidence of this.

    This is how I see this example and others where Pres. Trump seems to be negotiating (or throwing things against the wall if tha’s how you view it):

    Previously this was done except it was done behind the scenes. People are upset at how public it is and some don’t understand Pres. Trump’s negotiating methods. Most people don’t want to see how the sausage is made, they just want it to taste good. With Pres. trump we have a front row seat watching the sausage being made.

    Perhaps, unsurprisingly, I don’t find the last paragraph convincing. I agree Trump was negotiating, but the details of such meetings with the other party are always made public. I think we have forgotten that because Obama rarely, if ever, met with Republicans. It is possible that Trump did not expect Pelosi and Schumer to make public their agreement, but I highly doubt it. I think Trump wanted to pass a DACA solution as quickly as he could, and I think he was genuinely surprised at the outrage from his base.

    • #28
    • November 7, 2017, at 11:13 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Buckpasser Member

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    A-Squared (View Comment):
    I view the immigration meeting with Pelosi and Schumer as evidence of this.

    This is how I see this example and others where Pres. Trump seems to be negotiating (or throwing things against the wall if tha’s how you view it):

    Previously this was done except it was done behind the scenes. People are upset at how public it is and some don’t understand Pres. Trump’s negotiating methods. Most people don’t want to see how the sausage is made, they just want it to taste good. With Pres. trump we have a front row seat watching the sausage being made.

    Perhaps, unsurprisingly, I don’t find the last paragraph convincing. I agree Trump was negotiating, but the details of such meetings with the other party are always made public. I think we have forgotten that because Obama rarely, if ever, met with Republicans. It is possible that Trump did not expect Pelosi and Schumer to make public their agreement, but I highly doubt it. I think Trump wanted to pass a DACA solution as quickly as he could, and I think he was genuinely surprised at the outrage from his base.

    Entirely possible. If (when) we get a real bill is when we see if he’s interested in more than just a W on the scorecard.

    • #29
    • November 7, 2017, at 11:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. A-Squared Inactive

    Buckpasser (View Comment):
    Entirely possible. If (when) we get a real bill is when we see if he’s interested in more than just a W on the scorecard.

    We may not know then, since he has already back-tracked considerably since his Schumer-Pelosi agreement, which specifically excluded the wall and non-security measures (and he now says must be part of any agreement.)

    I used this as an example of where Trump has listened to criticism and why should do more of it.

    • #30
    • November 7, 2017, at 11:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
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