Donald Trump

Would President Trump Be Bound by the Paris Climate Agreement?

President Obama will officially sign Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day.

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TrumpDreamstimeDanielRaustadt
Dreamstime: Daniel Raustadt

On Earth Day, April 22nd, President Barack Obama plans to sign the Paris Climate Agreement along with representatives from about 130 other countries. According to the text of the Agreement, it "shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession." It is the position of the Obama Administration that the Paris Agreement is not a formal treaty requiring Senatorial advice and consent, so issuing an executive agreement is supposed to be enough to commit the U.S. to abiding by its provisions. Since 130 countries are going to sign on April 22, the 30-day clock for coming into force could begin ticking and the Agreement could come into force as early as June. In other words, the U.S. could well be committed to honoring the Agreement before the election of the next president, be the winner Trump, Cruz, Sanders, Clinton, or Johnson.

Once the Agreement is in force, according to Article 28: "At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary." Furthermore, the official withdrawal can take place only after waiting an additional year. That means that U.S. commitments could last through 2020.

The Washington Post notes

Any attempt to abandon or withdraw from the Paris agreement — either before or after its entry into force — would likely create international uproar.

"Entry into force does in a sense create a higher hurdle in terms of reversing course essentially. But the political consequences are there under any circumstances," says David Waskow, who directs the international climate initiative at the World Resources Institute.

In March, Trump told the Washington Post, "I think there's a change in weather. I am not a great believer in man-made climate change. I'm not a great believer."

For a would-be president who aims to force Mexico to build a border wall, the consequences of ignoring the Paris Climate Agreement would be pretty small potatoes. Consider what happened to countries—Canada and Japan—that violated their solemn treay obligations to cut greenhouse gases under the "legally-binding" Kyoto Protocol. Nothing.

That being said, see for more background my December 9 Paris dispatch, "Bottom-Up Paris Climate Accord May Surprise Activists and Skeptics."

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  1. Any attempt to abandon or withdraw from the Paris agreement ? either before or after its entry into force ? would likely create international uproar.

    Oh heavens no!

    1. I wonder if any country would actually be willing to go to war over a climate “change” treaty.

      1. With the United States? I think I can answer that with near certainty.

        In fact, I can’t imagine any diplomatic consequences of note.

      2. It will be the straw that will break Canada’s “polite” back.

        1. Told you Canada would pay for the wall.

        2. “You’ve gone too far this time, guy! We’re a-boot to go have to woop your ass, hockey-fight style, friend!”

          1. After listening to Munger describe the utility of violence in hockey, that’s a threat I’d take seriously.

      3. Has any country ever honored a climate change agreement? Japan, Germany, and France are all reducing their nuclear production. What will that be replaced with? Wishes?

        1. Unicorn farts, duh.

          1. Read that as union farts at first.

          2. Unicorn farts, duh.

            Obligatory

        2. Germany and France have been working on importing a renewable biomass fuel source that they can burn for power.

          1. There should be a holocaust joke in there somewhere, but I’m having trouble coming up with one.

              1. Seriously? They’re buying trees from the US. They’re burning wood to produce electricity because legally wood is a renewable resource.. No shit.

                1. Trees, wtf? Doesn’t that defeat the entire point of this green movement?

                  1. Whaddya mean?

                    Arbitrary government power to intervene in the economy and pass out taxpayer money is going like gangbusters!

                  2. The current trees die to save the trees that would’ve died in year 21,487 if we use oil instead of those current trees. Science so hard for deniers.

                    1. In 21487 only nine sentience projects will still be running on Earth, so no one will care.

            1. I thought there already was one in there, at least if we’re talking about the upcoming one.

          2. Renewable biomass fuel source…whatever it is will produce more greenhouse gases than oil, coal, or natural gas. Also, it will produce less energy than it takes to acquire the fuel. This is known as a tailspin. Care to guess how they end?

        3. What will that be replaced with? Wishes?

          Poverty.

        4. A bunch of countries (including the US) actually met their Kyoto protocol commitments entirely by accident because the financial crisis drove their economy’s back to where they were during the benchmark year.

          1. that actually should be repeated over and over again until the connection between the two dots is impossible to miss.

            1. I get it! Connection is that capitalism is killing the planet, and we need less of it! Right?

              1. Marxists in the 21st Century understand that Marx wasn’t correct about every single detail. Marx thought socialism would bring about prosperity to the masses. It instead delivered poverty and many people thought that demonstrated the failure of Marxism. Modern Marxists now understand that universal poverty is a feature, not a bug.

                1. We must have fairness above all else! And if everyone is equally poor, well that’s fair, right?

      4. I don’t know. Can you fight an environmentally friendly war?

  2. The answer is no. Any treaty that is not approved by the Senate and has accompanying legislation making it binding US law is not binding, period. There is no debate.

    This accord isn’t worth the paper its printed on and any President who pretends otherwise is a fraud.

    1. That means that U.S. commitments could last through 2020.

      That assumes that the document is binding on the US. But, it doesn’t matter what the document says unless and until its ratified by the Senate.

      Any President could “withdraw” at any time, effective immediately, period, full stop, no questions asked or answered.

      1. And if there is no legislation putting the treaty into effect, the President can ignore it and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it.

        1. But the sternly-worded letters!

    2. “Would President Trump Be Bound by the Paris Climate Agreement?”

      No, and he need not renounce or withdraw from it. He need only ignore it.

      1. But he *should* renounce and withdraw from it to make sure no future president resurrects it.

  3. Fracking and nuclear energy is all we need to drastically reduce our CO2 emissions. If we get the federal government out of the way nuclear would be super cheap. Screw the environmentalist Luddites.

    1. Hmm. Maybe I should build a power plant for my house. I should be able to find plans on the internet, right? I’ll google “how to build a thermonuclear device”.

      1. Derp da derp da tiddly terp.

    1. Oh, it’s a moment alright. Free of sugar

    2. War Machine: This is the United Nations…
      Cap: But it’s run by people with agendas, and agendas change

      If they play these ideas out it could make for a very interesting movie.

    3. Problematic: both Cap and Stark have black men “freely” doing their bidding. Why am I not surprised?

    4. Is the Civil War arc based on some substantive fracture between the Avengers or is it eyeroll-inducing melodrama? GRR! We want to save people but for different reasons or using different methods! Now we must fight!

      1. We want to save people but for different reasons or using different methods! Now we must fight!

        Are you talking about the movie or the various schools of libertarians?

        1. Your three percent titanium tax goes TOO FAR.

          1. Eh, I think a tax of adamantium or vibranium would be the breaking point.

            1. I sell artisinal unstable molecules.

      2. Batman slept with Lois Lane. Hence Batman v. Superman.

  4. Light the jackasssignal….

  5. Executive agreements? Ignoring the Senate? What could go wrong?

    He taught Constitutional Law, and he knows it’s OK!

  6. I skimmed the text and all I see is a lot of deciding to request an invitation while urging us to take note. Furthermore and whereas.

    They might as well declare it grilled cheese day.

    1. I think it starts on pp. 20-21 and goes from there.

      1. I still don’t see any specific deliverables beyond communications and reports.

        1. It’s where it finally starts looking like an actual legal document.

  7. The enforcement mechanism will be lots of uproars clicks on America’s FB page if it backs out.

  8. Holy crap who wrote this, Groucho Marx?

    “The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation
    established by Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention shall serve, respectively, as the Subsidiary Body for Scientific
    and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of this Agreement. The provisions of the
    Convention relating to the functioning of these two bodies shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement.
    Sessions of the meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary
    Body for Implementation of this Agreement shall be held in conjunction with the meetings of, respectively, the
    Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of the
    Convention”

    1. I don’t think this pile of gibberish has a sanity clause.

      1. Actually, that . . . made perfect sense to me. Hell, I’ve written worse, and been paid very well for it.

        Its gibberish, of course, but its well-crafted gibberish.

        1. So you’re saying the author was Gabby Johnson?

        2. Great. Can you translate into English for those of us who belong to the INAL club?

          1. it looks like 3 simple statements translated into clumsy legalese.

            1 – identifies the parties.
            2 – says the same basic issues affecting former defined relations (convention) affect the new ones (agreement)
            3 – says that “sessions of the meetings” (whatever those are) related to convention & agreement happen at the same time.

            unless i am completely mistaken.

          2. A and B are A and B. They shall function as we decided they would. They will meet at the same time.

            1. exactly.

              again, unless i’m completely oblivious to some special meaning of some word being used.

              1. Thanks. So, is there language saying that if they actually make some kind of rules establishing a committee to draft those rules, and those rules are passed, the parties are bound by those future rules?
                Or that the plans submitted by the parties are legally binding on those parties?
                Because, otherwise, it doesn’t seem like it will affect policy at all. It’s just all warm fuzzy feelings.

        3. RC, I think I remember you claiming that you had substantial talent as a writer before you went to law school, but as you progressed through law school your talent noticeably deteriorated. If learning to create an abortion like that above is part of law school then I completely understand.

    2. Body for Scientific and Technological Advice

      How is that not an agency in Atlas Shrugged?

  9. I guess they could knock Obama’s FICO score down some.

  10. No, and neither would any other president. And neither would they be bound by Mr. Obama’s immigration policies or his policies toward Iran. That’s the downside of Mr. Obama’s decision to govern by executive fiat. It’s what a lot of people warned about at the time. A lot of people who were met with nothing but eyerolls (or worse). If you want to make the whole of policy dependent on the views of the president, don’t be terribly surprised when people start treating the Presidency as an elected monarchy. Our founders were wise enough to create a system of checks and balances. But, they were checks and balances predicated on a republic, where it was necessary to gain a broad national consensus before pursuing a policy. Moving to a democracy where 50%+1 means “we won get used to it” means that 50%+1 can be as fickle as it pleases.

    1. It’s almost like the left deserves a president Trump.

      1. Yes, but the rest of us would also get stuck with him.

      2. Good and hard.

    2. Moving to a democracy where 50%+1 means “we won get used to it” means that 50%+1 can be as fickle as it pleases.

      Democracy is a logical fallacy.

  11. President Trump was not elected to watch his people suffer and press 1 for English while you discuss this invasion in a committee!

    1. You have a Sith Lord whispering in your ear too, right?

      1. It is clear to me now that the Republic no longer functions. I pray Trump will bring sanity and compassion back to the Senate.

        1. He even has the bad hair!!!!

  12. “It is the position of the Obama Administration that the Paris Agreement is not a formal treaty requiring Senatorial advice and consent”

    Meaning that it’s not binding on the United States no matter what its text says or any other country deludes itself into thinking.

    No Senate approval, no enforceable power.

    (Well, not that it has any enforcement clauses either.

    It’s all jaw-jaw, a complete waste of time posturing document.)

  13. Eugenics is a pseudo science now? Funny, wonder how we got dogs and cows and sheep then

    1. We got dogs and cows and sheep by selectively breeding humans?

      Or do you just not know what “eugenics” means?

      1. He means ewegenics.

        I crack myself up.

          1. I’m sure ENB has an article in the works on teenagers going all “furry” on us, and what that means for . . . something.

        1. You might want to be less Careless with your future posts.

      2. Because humans have magically genetics that can’t be selectively bred over time unlike dogs and cows? Is that your point? Because otherwise I don’t know why you’re disagreeing with him.

        1. Nobody has yet selectively bred humans to produce a distinct behavioral trait, unless you consider crippling retardation a desirable outcome.

          1. Nobody has yet selectively bred humans to produce a distinct behavioral trait

            That’s not what Jimmy The Greek said.

          2. Hitler says Lbolino not no whut kbolino say he no.

            1. Presuming that’s just a typo, I know about Mengele’s experiments (and Unit 731 on the Japanese side). My knowledge of them is hardly exhaustive but most of what I am aware of amounts to “when confronted by the absolute power of murderous psychopaths over them, most people act timidly”. If there is a more extensive experimental history that shows more decisive conclusions, I’d like to see it.

          3. Nobody has yet selectively bred humans to produce a distinct behavioral trait

            Just because nobody has done it, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done.

  14. Would President Trump Be Bound by the Paris Climate Agreement?

    President *Obama* isn’t even bound by it, and he signed the silly thing.

  15. Trump has promised to get us out of worse “deals” than this one.

    1. Well, that’s a relief. Politicians’ promises are worth their weight in gold.

      1. They are, you know.

        Promises weigh nothing, so you do the math.

        1. I tried dividing by zero, and… well.

  16. Would President Trump be Bound By _______

    No. The answer is no. It doesn’t matter what you fill in the blank.

    1. What about the chain Angainor?

      1. Wow, I got the spelling correct without having to look it up, I have achieved nerdvana!

  17. The good thing about having the most powerful military in the world is no international agreements are enforceable.

    1. Yeah, if we can violate the Geneva Convention, what’s this little thing worth?

      1. If we followed that we’d be the only one though.

  18. “It is the position of the Obama Administration that the Paris Agreement is not a formal treaty requiring Senatorial advice and consent, so issuing an executive agreement is supposed to be enough to commit the U.S. to abiding by its provisions.”

    So, the king demands that his decree be respected. Here is one for shitbird Obama…new king, new decrees. What a stupid fucker.

    1. Not really. He still gets credit from the watermelons, and if a Republican president were to exit the treaty, the media would make everybody think it was the equivalent of killing the planet.
      Our system has been turned inside out. Congress will have to proactively pass a law to prevent the government from following this agreement. And, of course, the media will make it sound like the evil Rethuglucans are raping Mother Gia to death for evil profits.

      1. “…raping Mother Gaia for evil prophets…” FTFY

  19. Watch Samantha Bee TOTALLY DESTROY THE NRA BY… comparing buying a copyrighted costume to buying a gun

    Getting your hands on a costume of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle mascot should be easier than purchasing a gun. Or so you’d think.

    But Samantha Bee discovered procuring a copy of the outfit of the character whose aim is to teach kids firearms safety was much more difficult than she could ever have imagined.

    “It turned out the organization that makes it easier to get a gun than Sudafed, makes it nearly impossible to acquire their giant dancing eagle,” she said.

    The “Full Frontal” host assured viewers on her TBS show Monday night that her mission to purchase one of the costumes was 100 percent true.

    Bee completed the NRA’s 18-page costume application and learned that there was a mandatory 20-day waiting period before it arrived. She also discovered that buying a used Eddie Eagle costume was strictly prohibited.

    “But you know what I could buy online without a big hassle? A used shotgun on armslist.com from a random guy down the road from the TBS headquarters in Atlanta,” Bee said. “So I had one of my employees buy it from him in a parking lot without a background check from the trunk of his car.”

    Also, isn’t that a felony straw purchase?

    1. Also, isn’t that a felony straw purchase?

      I believe this falls under the little-known “David Gregory Exception” whereby if you have the right intentions, the law doesn’t apply to you.

      1. I’m a Canuck, and therefore always have the Right Intentions.

        Bend over, please.

    2. the organization that makes it easier to get a gun than Sudafed,

      Actually, its the government that complicates both of those transactions. The NRA has nothing to do with either.

      Getting your hands on a costume of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle mascot should be easier than purchasing a gun. Or so you’d think.

      Why would anyone think that??

      Why *shouldn’t* it be easier to acquire a firearm than a bizarre full-body costume?

      the former has far more utility and is mass-produced by a wide variety of manufacturers. The latter is some specialist thing almost no one needs. The assumption makes no sense to begin with.

      1. They can’t help themselves. Guns should only be available to the right people. You know, not the poor or the negroes.

      2. You left out that the NRA has an interest in saying who can put on their mascot and have others presume that person is speaking on the NRA’s behalf. My assumption is that acquiring that mascot suit would be pretty tough.

        1. yeah, good point. Its not like I can just go to WalMart and get the Michelin Man suit either.

    3. Every single premise, every single statistic, every assumption used by gun grabbers is not only false, but a calculated falsehood. All of their arguments are designed to deceive.

      1. But it confirmed the biases of everyone who watches her show that just knows guns are bad and only bad people own them.

        In any case, not being knowledgeable about gun laws, I’m just curious if what she did at the end was illegal? If it was it certainly kneecaps her entire argument about gun laws.

        1. I didn’t read that far. Let me look it over.

          1. Oh, video. I am not watching that.

            Here is how the law is. One private individual can sell to another private individual without outside interference or a background check as long as the seller sells fewer than a small number of firearms. I don’t remember the exact number because I rarely sell guns. My advice: If you are not selling/giving to a family member or someone you know very well, go have a dealer facilitate the deal and do a background check. It will cost you about 20 bucks but buys a lot of peace of mind. This private to private provision covers the so called gun show loophole…private A meets private B at a gunshow then go off premise to make their deal. I think this covers what the dipshit did…two private individuals making a deal over a single firearm instate.

            If you buy from a dealer at a gunshow or their shop they have to do a background check. If you get caught making private deals on-premise at a gunshow you will likely be told to leave the premises and not return. you may not be breaking the law but you are doing business in a forum where people making their living at it paid for space and advertising.

            1. Buying on the internet means having your purchase sold to a dealer in your state and shipped to them. when you go to pick it up they will do a background check before transferring title to you.

              If a gun seller is in one state and the buyer in another (gun crosses state lines) the same conditions as the internet purchase apply…background check. (The law may have changed recently on this but as far as I know everyone is still requiring background checks.)

              I think that covers it.

              1. I am assuming that all of her purchases were private to private and in-state, each finagled to superficially appear different. As Gilmore says below, perfectly legal yet made to look ‘under the table’.

                In short, she lies.

                1. Thank you, that was very informative. I watched the video and was boggled by how vapid it was and yet how widely she praised among the proglodytes as a fountain of incisive humor.

                  Like, it should be pretty obvious why it’s harder to get permission to use an organizations trademarked mascot than it would be to buy a product that is mass produced. I’m sure it’s easier for me to buy a gun than it would be for me to start my own business and call it Full Frontal with Samantha Bee or the Walt Disney Company.

                  They also edited out the part in the gun store where she would have had to have had a background check run.

        2. I’m just curious if what she did at the end was illegal?

          While i think what kbolino said above was a joke… i think if they do something for journalistic/entertainment purposes, then they can avoid self-convicting themselves. I had a similar reaction to a Vice piece on a firearm transaction, and someone else told me that for the “documentary” purposes, they couldn’t entrap themselves or the person who they were enticing to sell them a gun “under the table” (which it really isn’t – as long as they show a valid state ID etc)

          In both cases the buyers (Vice mag, or Sam Bee) seem to have gone out of their way to insist the sellers “meet them in a parking lot”… because for the purpose of the media that makes things seem way-shadier than it actually needs to be.

          1. I was only half-joking. It is entirely possible Bee did not violate the law, but if this were conducted under different premises, the cops would be much more likely to take action.

            Moreover, given that most of what the NRA does is advocacy, i.e. exactly what Bee is doing, I find it hypocritical in the extreme that she would implicitly enjoy the benefit of the doubt while wanting it denied to others.

        3. I’m just curious if what she did at the end was illegal

          I’d say no, but…

          It depends on which set of lawyers you listen to and how much you believe “illegal” is a matter of getting caught and what the meaning of ‘is’ is. Being on tape saying and doing certain things might seem to be evidence you said and did such a thing, it being a satirical show offers an excuse that you obviously didn’t seriously do it or say it seriously. You certainly can buy a gun from a guy in the parking lot without a background check since it’s a casual sale, someone else sending you to buy the gun for them I don’t see being a straw purchase as there’s no intent to evade the law on background checks since there’s no requirement for a background check in the first place. It’s kinda like the kid outside the liquor store who wants to give you 20 bucks to buy him a bottle of booze because he “forgot” his ID and can’t buy it himself – except it turns out the kid is 21 and he really did just forget his ID. He actually can legally buy and possess the liquor, he just lacks the particular instrument to prove it. The problem is that if the cops arrest you, there’s enough wiggle room in the law that’s it’s possible they can make an argument that you intended to break the law and that’s good enough for a bust. You were intending to buy a minor liquor, you were intending to buy the gun for a criminal.

          1. Good point and well made.

    4. She’s in NYC – safe and sound. WTF does she care how easy it is to get a gun in Atlanta?

    5. Question: I get the impression from Salon’s fawning over Sam Bee that even compared to Jon Stewart she’s less of a comedian and more of a Democratic party attack dog. That said, I always enjoyed her style on Stewart’s show and have been a little curious. Is there anything worth watching coming out of Full Frontal, or is it pure propaganda?

  20. “It is the position of the Obama Administration that the Paris Agreement is not a formal treaty requiring Senatorial advice and consent, so issuing an executive agreement is supposed to be enough to commit the U.S. to abiding by its provisions.”

    At best, the moment the government tries to impose any of the agreement’s stipulations on anybody, it is doing so without any Constitutional authority whatsoever.

    The question is whether the Supreme Court would do the right thing. If Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders become President, I don’t see any good reason to assume the Supreme Court will do the right thing.

    Isn’t impeachment still an option? Obama is basically playing chicken with the Republicans, here. He’s betting that they won’t impeach a black man in an election year.

  21. Congress can call Obama’s bluff in two ways:

    1) Pass legislation prohibiting the verbiage from the agreement treaty point by point. Then let Obama veto the legislation. If Obama signs the treaty after he vetoes that legislation–despite both the House and the Senate repudiating the exact same verbiage–then the treaty won’t have a leg to stand on.

    I.e., it won’t just be that Obama signed something without the Senate’s consent. It will be that Obama signed a Treaty that Congress specifically repudiated point by point.

    2) Impeach Obama if he signs it. If colluding with foreign governments to subvert the Constitution isn’t an impeachable offense, then it should be. Didn’t he swear to “preserve, defend, and protect the Constitution” at some point?

    The pragmatic side, unfortunately, is that the Republicans may be poised to extend their advantage in both houses well into the next decade anyway. Why risk that unnecessarily by impeaching Obama? In fact, if Obama signing a climate change agreement without Senate approval does anything for the Republicans, it probably puts even more support behind keeping the Republicans in the Senate–where the Republicans are most vulnerable.

  22. Progressivism cares about equality of outcomes, classical liberalism about equality of opportunity, and libertarianism just doesn’t care about equality.An interesting little run-down of -ism’s from a little site I like that frequently has some interesting writing.

    1. I will read the rest, but the opening paragraph is pretty bad:

      America has a deeply confused understanding of liberalism, neo-liberalism, conservatism and progressivism. Thanks to the outsize influence of US politics on global discourse, this confusion is slowly infecting other countries. It’s a dangerous disease because it prevents the articulation of a consistent framework for analysing policy, which leaves the voter in thrall to sloganeering, issue-baiting and crude policies formulated along only vague ideological grounds.

      … what is “elitist drivel” for 800, Alex?

      1. He’s defining his terms and that’s the point of what he’s writing, to establish some definitions so we’re talking about the same things when we call each other crypto-fascists or neo neo-cons or whatever. We’ve all seen too many instances of libertarians being blamed for all the troubles in the world because there’s always some jackass who’s going to argue that Hitler was a libertarian and so is Hillary Clinton. I have some quibbles with what he’s saying, but he does a decent-enough job I think of laying a foundation so if you wanted to argue with him you know what the starting point of the argument is. Keep in mind he’s a college student – this ain’t heavy-duty academic jargon, it’s just some pretty clean expository writing.

        1. Just as an example: Note this fundamental appreciation of the individual’s sovereignty over herself. This is something you don’t find in fascism, which prioritises the state, or progressivism, which prioritises the class or marginalised group.

          He notes that liberalism takes for granted the primacy of the individual, which suggest that progressives are not liberals. Cf. MLK, Jr and his ‘not by the color of their skin but the content of their character’ with Hillary’s ‘vote for me because I have a vagina’. The first is liberal, the second progressive – MLK, Jr would presumably scoff at the idea that one should judge a candidate simply on the possession of a vagina, Hillary thinks all black people are just alike and defined by their blackness. And Donald Trump has a rather pointedly fascist slogan of Making America Great Again where any decent liberal would care more about Americans, but we won’t get into that.

        2. He’s defining his terms and that’s the point of what he’s writing, to establish some definitions so we’re talking about the same things

          yes, but embedded in his argument (at least what’s quoted) seems to be some fundamental presumptions/misunderstandings.

          e.g.

          America has a deeply confused understanding of liberalism, neo-liberalism, conservatism and progressivism. Thanks to the outsize influence of US politics on global discourse, this confusion is slowly infecting other countries

          here’s the thing = all of these terms are relative to the political dynamics in each given country at the time. there’s no “static” definition of “conservatism” or “liberalism” unless you’re talking about those terms usage in a given place and time (or specific political-work where the terms are defined)

          The 19th century Conservative party of England hardly bears comparison to 1960s US “conservatives” like WF Buckley.

          The way they are used in the US isn’t “confused” in any way if they serve their purpose here in distinguishing political differences. And i fail to see why other countries should adopt American versions of these terms unless they DID share something in common with their own political dynamics.

          That said – a quick glance at the piece… seems interesting and am not pre-judging. I think the point you highlighted about relative notions of ‘equality’ is largely-accurate.

          1. i just finished his preamble covering the “history of classical liberalism” and its pretty (if not very) good.

            The only complaint is the short shrift he seems to give Conservative thought and its role influencing the role of the state vis a vis the individual. He seems predisposed to talk more about political ideas which are systemic rather than philosophical first-principles like ‘natural rights’, or the influence of the magna carta, etc.

            I appreciate him mentioning Thoreau as one of the founders of libertarianism. I’ve always traced my own inclinations back to reading him when i was very young, then again and again as i got older.

            I’m not so impressed by how fast he jumps to suggesting that classical liberalism and libertarianism disagree primarily over the role of ‘taxation’ and differences between some distinction between “freedom” and “agency” which he never details.

          2. i also disagree with the formula re:

            “”libertarianism just doesn’t care about equality.””

            it seems wrong on a variety of levels. I don’t see how classical liberalism (as he defines it) offers an ‘equality of opportunity’ which Libertarianism does not. Equality under the law is the most fundamental which i believe applies to all (*save progressives, who see things in terms of class)

            I also think he jumps to call certain beliefs re: the functioning of markets “Neo-liberal”, when i’m not sure anyone really uses them that way *as distinguished from libertarian ideas*.

            I’ve always been under the impression that the way ‘neo-liberal’ is used has more to do with modern globalist institutions rather than fundamental differences in core political philosophy.

            Also – “”Classical liberalism is mostly about limits on government rather than limited government“”… seems pretty weeny. What people *mean* by “limited government” usually is the first – defining areas of life which govt is not given authority. In the case of the US, religion is one of the most notable. He seems to suggest that it is always used to mean, “Small” which i’ve never heard before in my life. Whether we support ‘public education’ or ‘public health’ isn’t always an issue of philosophy but often facts about *how poorly they ultimately function* as public assets. In the end one can be a classical liberal who makes utilitarian arguments against Public Education.

          3. Overall its very good.

            I have quibbles with a handful of points he made, and things i think he misunderstands slightly, but i think they’re minor, and mostly based on his outsiders perspective on US politics. I also am guessing that he’s not as well-read in some areas of philosophy as others, and so tended to shortcut stuff he’s shallow on, while dwelling longer on the stuff he is more intimate with.

    2. I think you could argue that when power is widely and rationally distributed, we call the resulting tiny power bubbles “autonomy”, aka liberty. In other words, even if they don’t explicitly think of it in those terms, libertarians care about equality of power. Since progressives mistakenly believe that they can achieve equality of outcomes if they simply put enough power in the hands of a small caste of enlightened elites, they are the natural enemy of libertarians.

  23. A question akin to:

    Would Imperial Japan be bound by the League of Nations charter?

    Would Interwar Germany be bound to the Treaty of Versailles?

    Would Napoleon III be bound to the Concert of Europe?

    An unenforceable treaty made by parties against the will of the people is unlikely to outlast the political expiry of those parties. It is virtually a certainty that China and the US will ignore or rupture their commitments to this treaty; more likely than not the first to break the agreement will be cited by the second as being “the problem” on the world stage but in any case neither one is likely to limit its own economic growth and ability to project power it there’s no domestic support for it.

  24. “Treason against the United States, shall consist … or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. ”

    Intellectual honesty would include signing a treaty that would lead to the destruction of our economy as “giving them Aid and Comfort” to the Enemies of the United States.

  25. Trump believes that a massive recession is just around the corner. Trump believes there should be unfettered access to guns. Trump believes climate change is a hoax. Trump would repeal Obamacare. And now Trump would be a pariah among nations and walk away from the Paris accords.

    Just trying to court the libertarian vote.

    1. Court them for whom ?

    2. A little late, Jack, but right on the DNC’s talking points.

    3. Your free to send half your paycheck to the developing world, you know. I’m sure the people ruling classes will appreciate your gift.

      1. “You’re”, even.

    4. You make the guy sound cool. You work for him?

      1. *for jacko*

    5. Trump believes that a massive recession is just around the corner.

      A massive recession is just around the corner. In fact, we’re never really recovered from the last one

      Trump believes there should be unfettered access to guns.

      There should be unfettered access to guns

      Trump believes climate change is a hoax.

      How does the warming of this interglacial compare to the last interglacial?

      Trump would repeal Obamacare.

      Don’t make me want to vote for the SOB

      And now Trump would be a pariah among nations and walk away from the Paris accords.

      Primary is coming up. . .

      … Hobbit

  26. If he tells them to go fuck themselves, then at least he will go down in history as having done something right.

  27. It is the position of the Obama Administration that the Paris Agreement is not a formal treaty requiring Senatorial advice and consent Obama is the One, the Lord your God, and you shall follow his covenants or be damned forever and ever, Amen.

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