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"Trump has demonstrated a vague sense of this opportunity, but he never seemed to grasp its complexities and nuances or show any ability to forge a coherent strategy to make it a reality."
That pretty much sums it up.
I don't think any national politician today, not Trump, not Bernie, not anyone, really grasps just how seething with rage the public is right now.
Wanna know why we have mass shootings? Think of those people that snap as a sort of warning sign of the public mood. Expect to see a lot more of them, no matter who is in office.
For that matter, the election of Trump is a similar indicator. Think of Trump as the "Roll the dice, we've got nothing to lose!" candidate, compared to the establishment darling HRC.
Of course, long after Trump is gone from office, the forces that gave rise to Trump will still be there. That said, the establishment will tar every populist for years to come with Trump's weakness, stupidity, recklessness and incompetence. "Remember what happened the last time you didn't vote as instructed?"
Already, Trump has proven the best campaign ad the European establishment could ask for. He prevented the election of Le Pen in France, and prevented the German establishment parties from complete meltdown. The campaign slogan goes something like this: "Vote for us, unless you want a buffoon like *him* in office!"
That's a point Ross Douthat made recently - Trump losing re-election means Trumpism will eventually return.
Possibly. Nothing discredits trumpism like Trump.
Very observant of you, yes it will.
Wow, even Robert Merry is playing the sinophobic China card now.
Patrick Buchanan is a long time China hater, so I can understand his sinophobia, but now even Robert Merry!
Times are really changing in U.S. politics.
A new yellow peril is upon America! lol.
Hispanophobia, sinophobia, islamophobia, russophobia, all of them are coming out with full force to America.
Signs of an empire in serious decline.
More like Anglophobia.
Can't be, I support Trump. Loads of chinese support Trump.
Eventually, people like Pamela Geller and/or Steven Bannon will become the principal UN figures Yay!
Whatever this article means, it doesn’t know the pulse of the American People.
Robert: Thank you this very sober, very reasonable assessment. I hate Trump's stinking rotten guts with the white hot fury of a thousand suns, and I disagree strongly with some of the points you are making here, but this is a terrific piece.
Well thank goodness for gentlemen like Robert Merry, then!
He gets a "C" in foreign policy, but everything domestic is so bad that he may as well not even call himself right wing at all. The illegal and legal immigration problems have exacerbated under Trump (look up the numbers). Of course he has deported very few and now advocates for increased legal immigration.That is not what anyone voted for. He incessantly proclaims how much he has done for demographics that will never vote for him, while even openly making fun of the struggles that working class white men (his base) face in society. He has now come out in support of red flag laws as well because of one event presumably. He even gave us a "criminal justice reform bill" to let out criminals to be even more of a plague on society. Why?
"fashion a grand bargain that might have included legal status for the so-called Dreamers (and perhaps their immediate families; not cousins and uncles)." --> This is not acceptable. This is not reform, but merely a concession of the inability of our country to have laws or moral legitimacy.
We seriously need prison reform.
But I agree, on the issue of US sovereignty --- there are some serious issues.
And I for one believe it should start with the wall, not iron fence . . . but a genuinely twenty foot deep re-bar reinforced sensor laden wall. And should it need some aesthetic touches . . . miles and miles of hedgerows several hundred feet wide - that or cactus spaced 8 inches apart, bramble bushes . . .
A solid F. Trump's weakness has failed to lead to any major policy successes, even when he had majorities in both houses of Congress. Trump's incompetence has given the establishment loads of ammunition and recruits that they didn't have a few years ago.
Hell, Trump has made even doofus Uncle Joe Biden look like a viable alternative. Sad!
One major problem with the author's analysis of the Trump Administration's scandals is that it is limited entirely to the Russia scandal. Ignored are a host of acts of corruption that have marked the Administration of the man who constantly bragged that he would appoint "only the best people." So let's examine just a few of them. His National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was convicted of felonies and sent to prison. His Secretary of HHS Tom Price resigned in the wake of insider trading investigations. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke left the Trump administration amid mounting federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was facing more than a dozen investigations into his taxpayer-funded travel, questionable spending decisions, use of aides to conduct personal errands and other matters when he resigned. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned over his scandalous granting of a sweetheart plea deal to Jeffrey Epstein. I could go on to the other members of Trump's inner circle who are in prison or who have been forced to resign under a cloud of scandal. I could point to New York State shutting down the Trump Foundation as a fraudulent charity that scammed people out of their denotations. I could note the Trump University scam whose victims received a $25 Million dollar payment from Trump after he was elected. The author gives Trump a grade of C+ on scandals? An F would be more accurate.
Even grading on the curve, a C+ is a gift.
I think the Gen. Flynn's issues get a dismiss.
So you accept CharlesL's allegations against all of the others?
I get it. It's too emotionally disruptive at this point in time to accept Trump is pretty much a failure as a president. That's ok. It took me awhile to get over being dumped by my first real girlfriend. You will find the strength sooner or later too. Once you do it's really easy to find another love interest and move on.
Hmmmmm . . .,
First, few who support this president have been as exacting as myself. Laughing I should be about the country engaging others in discussion and debate on this president's behalf -- but for my refusal to play along with all things this admin represents.
The president remains viable despite some serious disappointments. He has stalled the march toward increased militarism. I don't even buy he wants to fight it out with Iran. maybe, but I doubt it.
That is line with what nearly every US citizen wants that isn't hanging out in wannabe leaders on forums -- (i include myself).
While I hold the economic growth suspect, his policies have undermined the same. They may be revealing that the supposed recovery was never what was claimed. I think we have yet to comprehend the impact of what transpired in board rooms around the globe regarding financing. You cannot strip several million people of full time employment and pretend that anything less is a repair -- we are still deficit spending. We calculate GDP by what is on the shelf as opposed to what has been sold. Still WS is happy -- so all must be well.
And while he has failed in the push back against immigration in both quarters -- he has not made it worse -- it just is what it is under failed leadership on the question or previous admin.
I think the we will be very delighted that he has opened the door to face to face with North Korea.
He is absolutely correct, we need to re-evaluate our positions regarding our presence around the globe. And while not unexpendable, US presence is a a boon to most. And even if a tad shaken --- no one, and I mean no one is in a hurry to pick a fight with the US. That speaks volumes of how much cred we still have at present.
And based on the pre-assessments of the opposition, Pres trump is "The Man". As nothing and I mean nothing of the foreboding and looming disasters have yet occurred.
My support for this president as expressed has never unconditional love. In fact love and emotions are least on the table -- policy and more policy is my tend. And what i want from him is the attend to the policies for which I voted. And I am disgruntled that he allows these petty knife fights to distract him. He should have used the end of the investigation to launch policy, not remain mired in the noise.
Healthcare: I actually don't blame Trump on this one. All he really did was trust his party when they said they had plans and just needed the power to do them. It would've been great if HE had a plan himself but in the end that's Congress' job more than anything. So he gave them that power, said "DO IT!" and they failed him. He should've struck at immigration first but as far as healthcare itself.
So I give him a B for effort. Republicans get an F.
Immigration: "A massive Trump failure. He was the first president in decades who had enough credibility with restrictionists to fashion a grand bargain that might have included legal status for the so-called Dreamers (and perhaps their immediate families; not cousins and uncles). He might have also taken serious action on other illegals in the country, on stemming the inward flow through every means possible, and on overhauling current immigration policies, including ending family-based migration and the lottery, instituting a merit-based system, and curbing the inflow enough to get the percentage of foreign-born people in America returned to more historical levels."
Remotely not possible? Legal Status for Dreamers, push for more efficient deportations, merit based systems, and curbing the visa system?
That is VERY much possible to get all of most of that. The first is what the opposition is wanting and most of his side wouldn't scream against. He didn't even provide it as a bargaining chip (at best a "we'll revisit it later" delay).
Higher deportations would bring it to Obama levels. It just becomes hard to do when you open the debate with blasting all latinos as criminals sparking off the PC bee hive. Though that's moot since he could've, instead of a symbolic wall he could've asked for more funding for more centers and more judges to speed up the deportation trials (since isn't the point to actually DEPORT them, not lock them up for months under the pay of taxpayers). he used up his capital to maintain a marketing gimmick. By the time we got serious, he had moderates so pissed they tune the whole thing out and the left so angry they'll contemplate decriminalizing the whole thing just to snub him.
A merit based system WOULD'VE been a decent sell before all that mess or simply done when republicans had Congress. It also requires snubbing the "merit=europe" peanut gallery. Now no one is even listening.
The visa issue would've been an easy sell to both sides. It brings in a mass of non-citizens specifically to fill up job slots and then leaves them to be abused by their employers under threat of deportation if they don't comply. I can throw that exact line up in almost any forum and get a mob of support from the radical left to the far right.
There's insanely difficult topics about immigration. Most of your wish list was low hanging fruit in 2015. Trump turned it into the third rail. He didn't spark debate or open anything up. He got everyone so angry they aren't even discussing it properly anymore.
Lastly, if he wanted a wall that badly, he should've tried it in the first two years of his election. Trying it RIGHT AFTER it became impossible reeks of wanting to LOOK like he wanted it, sort of like if I waited until someone filled a box with cement then tried to lift it and said "I'll try HARD to make this happen."
I agree with you on Economics. On Trade I'm not as "China BAD" as you but overall I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, though I'm not a farmer.
Foreign Policy, There's no really any further places to GO to spark a war other than Iran itself. And as you said he's not doing well there. That said it's probably close to what you said, though I'd put him a D+ as we're not in war with Iran just yet (sadly that is an accomplishment) but I can't see any way to really fix what we ruined at this point. At BEST they'll go the way of North Korea.
Scandal: If this is on how he's handled scandal I'd give him a B-. He know how to handle angry people and keep them barking with no bite. It would've been a B+ but I think the current racial ones was a big overreach especially since it's causing his party to throw their feet into their mouths 2008 style and further souring immigration issues.
Overall: Trump's big advantage is that he touched on an area that Americans desperately needed but everyone wanted to ignore. Republicans wanted to go back to Bush. Democrats forgot that they won on "Change" not on "more of the same".
His disadvantage is that he doesn't have much to actually offer to fix it. He touched on immigration but sparks the fears of racism from the left and focuses on a symbolic, but less effective, wall. He touches on poor workers but taxes rarely affect them and the corporate elite is still tightening their grip just as effectively. He spoke of wars but his biggest accomplishment is that we've run out of places to invade-except Iran which we're 1 misfire from entering.
All he has is an economy that was rising before he joined in and is slowing down 1-2 years after his main policies have taken effect. Thankfully that's the most important. Not thankfully, presidents have the least amount of control over it.
Which means he's mostly banking on a car that was built without a steering wheel and hoping it doesn't slam into a tree.
Meanwhile I glance at the whiplash the size of a tornado that's to my left and wonder just how insane things get when they grab the reigns again.
Very, very good analysis. I am a former Republican that now votes Democrat since the lunatics are running the Republican asylum. I was the only one, of all my progressive friends, that said maybe Trump can actually get something done. He owed the Republicans nothing. Nada. Zip. He beat them all, without the help of the Republican machine.
Trump could have formed a center right coalition. Starting with infrastructure that wasn't a wall. Then he could have gone after Big Pharma and the Medical Industrial Complex.
But no..... He immediately jumped as far right as possible. He went after every right wing wet dream he could. He was like a drunken 4 year old that was thrilled to break every toy of his sandbox rival (Obama). Now everything that he says that might be somewhat reasonable is drowned out and eclipsed by his insanity, narcissism, and general idiocy.
The Republicans are going to really, really hate 2020. Can't say it happened to a more deserving bunch of folk though. Bless their little hearts.
This is a good point; the only Republican who could have actually broken the consensus within the Republican Party and suggested that a) healthcare should be improved for everyone b) the rich could be taxed more, and the poor less and c) foreign wars of aggression are a bad thing got in to office and cut taxes massively for the rich, tried to simply repeal the only step forward in healthcare for decades, and antagonised everyone abroad (Israel and Saudi excepted)
"The first [Dreamers] is what the opposition is wanting and most of his side wouldn't scream against."
I cannot echo this loudly enough. I live right in the middle of what has become red-meat hard-right Republican land -- but you can still find support for the Dreamers here. They're not desperate for those kids (illegal spouses of immigrants currently in military service dominate that conversation), but they're absolutely willing to keep them -- at least as legal, lifelong residents. And particularly if their families receive no similar benefit.
If you can swing that here, from people who're beginning to lean somewhat xenophobic and feel strongly that illegal immigration is hurting them -- then man, you have a powerful foundation from which to build.
Immigration is a massive Trump failure? Where was the GOP when he got elected? They have said for years if they got the House, Senate, and White House they would build the wall and fix immigration. They did nothing. Zero.
Obama/Hillary "misadventure" in Libya? Wow....talk about putting a sugar coating on a disaster. They put 1 million plus "refugees" into Europe and created a thriving slave market in Libya. Way to go!
No foreign policy success? How about calling out various NATO members for being dead beats? Especially Germany. How about getting out of that fraud "Paris Accord?". Out of the Iran Nuke Deal? Getting NK to Singapore? Taking on the failed NAFTA "deal?" Dumping TPP? ...And the big one...defeating ISIS!!!....Something the "glory boy", Obama could not accomplish.
How about calling out various NATO members for being dead beats? Especially Germany.
A NATO that has been obsolete for 28 years? That one?
He broke all the toys in the sandbox. Great job.
NATO is not broken --- it's not even cracked, not even scratched.
NATO members are pretty much occupied countries nowadays. There is no communist menace any longer, except the discontent masses within each country. And Germany is the most occupied of them all and treated as such: Don't you there buy gas from Russia!
The Iran deal was the greatest accomplishment of Obama: no nukes for Iran and opening Iran to the world (Iran is a Republic, don't forget). Only the absolute monarchy of KSA (ideologically an enemy of a Republic), and Israel with its expansionist and chosenism tendencies are happy about this exit from an agreement sanctioned by the UN.
Defeating ISIS? You must be high on something...
Russian scandal? No, Coup attempt by members of Deep State, i.e. Justice Dept., Intelligence agencies and the MSM. Trump failed in not having midnight SWAT team raids on hundreds of coup plotters.
Trump is not a "unconvential politcan". He is a civilian. He is exactly what we should have seen being elected into the White House for decades.
As far as I know, President Trump is the first person elected to the Presidency with little to no support in any national political Party or organization.Nor any experience in any form of government at all.The only President that comes close is General Eisenhower.
Frankly, When I voted for him in 2016.I did not expect him to last this long. Two years max was my guess.As Hillary Clinton was far, far worst than any alternative.So I am surprised he is far better that what I was lead to believe.
I will be voting for President Trump in 2020. Because he has no support in any of the current major political parties.But has been relatively successful despite that political situation.
As both major political parties have proven themselves not to be working in the interests of the American People. And have longstanding histories of working against the American Middle-Class. And exploiting their political positions for their political and monetary gain. At the public's expense.
Its Donald Trump or the Asteroid Strike as old the joke goes. President Trump will do if I can not get two Asteroids striking Washington DC and New York City simultaneously.
Trump's presidency is a failure and you don't have to be a Democrat to see that. In many ways, Trump was a man ahead of his time, but a major part of his failures is his inability to personally invest any of his time into the issues. Take Afghanistan - he keeps saying he wanted out from the moment he took office, yet here we are, over two years later, with still no end in sight. The fact is, Trump's an empty vessel. I've never gotten the sense he's a true believer and, even if he were, he's become more worried about re-election, which means he's become just another politician.
I'd never vote for a Democrat, with the possible exception of Andrew Yang, in 2020. But it's time to face the music - Trump's going to lose re-election. And maybe that's a good thing, for it's not the establishment that needs to be broken up yet, it's the American right. We need to replace the Mitch McConnells and Lindsay Grahams with the Matt Gaetz and Josh Hawleys. The greatest thing Trump will ever have done is kickstart this nationalist moment, but he won't be able to sustain it. That's up to the people willing and able to do the work we expected him to do as president.
that is a better grade then I would note.
Many of you really don't get what nationalism is. Short course.
It means what advances the benefits for the US citizen and therby the country.
It does not mean by definition:
withdrawal from anything and everything foreign . . .
it does mean stopping all aid
and it doesn't mean we are being mean.
It means a far more prudent walk to all of those issues. It does not mean. It means before we import a single human being we consider what importing a single human being or 5,000 means to the country's economy and social understanding as guided by the Constitiution. A lot more emphasis on the home front, objective realities managing US resources, including her human capital for the US.
Not too shabby for a president who survived three years of an attempted coupe. Not launched by the previous president, but his direct opposition candidate. All of the black guy blaming won't change that.