Donald Trump

After Excusing Obama's Misdeeds, New York Times Now Attacks Trump for 'Bold Claims of Presidential Power'

The newspaper's uneven coverage of executive power abuse.

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Reason

The New York Times just published a strong piece explaining why many legal experts believe Donald Trump's agenda "is a recipe for a constitutional crisis." As the Times notes, "Trump's blustery attacks on the press, complaints about the judicial system and bold claims of presidential power collectively sketch out a constitutional worldview that shows contempt for the First Amendment, the separation of powers and the rule of law, legal experts across the political spectrum say."

It's nice to see The New York Times sit up and take notice when a presidential wannabe trashes the Constitution. My only complaint is that the Times is not exactly consistent when it comes to shining the spotlight on executive power abuse.

For example, recall that back in 2010 President Barack Obama tried to evade the Constitution and its pesky requirement that all appointments to high office first be approved by the U.S. Senate. Obama sabotaged the Senate's constitutional role by making several purported recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was not actually in recess. This flagrant violation of the separation of powers by Obama was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a unanimous Supreme Court.

Yet the president did have his defenders at The New York Times. "With no sign that Republicans are willing to let up on their machinations, Mr. Obama was entirely justified in using his executive power to keep federal agencies operating," the Times declared in an editorial defending Obama's bogus recess appointments.

The New York Times is absolutely correct to examine Donald Trump's unconstitutional agenda and his blatant contempt for the rule of law. Too bad the misdeeds of a certain sitting president did not face similar scrutiny from this "newspaper of record."

NEXT: A.M. Links: Hillary vs. Bernie, Violent Protests at Trump Rally, Suspected Terrorists Arrested in Germany

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  1. I would take NY Times defense of the First Amendment against Trump more seriously if they had not been cheerleading the Democrats attempts to eviscerate it the past few years.

    1. That’s kinda what the 1st Amendment is all about.

      Wait, no, that’s exactly what it’s there for.

      1. Nope. It protects against government over-stepping.

  2. It’s okay when Obama, Hillary, or Sanders use Executive Power any way they please.

  3. Would do vs did. And did is invisible. But that would guy, he’s terrifying!

    Meanwhile did just keeps on doing.

  4. OT: Any Minneapolis commentatertots here? Tell me what you know about this ballot initiative to amend the city charter to require cops to pay for their own malpractice insurance beyond the base rate.

    Apparently they’ve been having a tough time getting it on the ballot. The charter was changed once to block it, and now the city is making noises about the state constitution blocking it.

    (I send this link to Robby but it fascinates me too much to wait.)

    1. Also very Minnesodan to compare us to tatertots (the only acceptable topping to Hotdish)

      1. Tater Tots, even the copycat brands, are among the best food on the planet.

        1. Correcting the spelling on Tater Tots? Uffda. Quite the deal.

    2. Insurance companies have been forcing police departments to behave. From “How the insurance industry could reform American policing” by Radley Balko (formerly of Reason):

      While researching a paper for the Cato Institute on police militarization back in 2006, I found several examples in which insurers had demanded changes to policies regarding the use of SWAT teams, usually after one or more incidents that resulted in a payout to someone shot or injured during a police raid. More recently, the city of Irwindale, California had to implement a series of reforms after the city’s insurer threatened to revoke coverage. The town of King City, California, had to rebuild its police department from scratch after reports of cops operating a towing scheme against low-income Latino drivers got the town ousted from its insurance pool. It’s probably no coincidence that after the city of Waukeegan, Illinois faced multiple lawsuits from former city insurers and with those insurers had paid out over $26 million in police brutality claims, city officials are finally talking about reform. Municipal insurers’ concerns about liability have caused city officials to disband police departments altogether in Maywood, California and Lincoln Heights, Ohio.

  5. It might be nice to once again have a president who journalists are willing to check.

    1. Agreed. In some ways, I prefer Republican presidents to Democratic presidents, because the media and the Dems in Congress at least pretend to care about civil liberties.

      1. The downside in this particular case is, of course, Donald Trump is extraordinarily immune to criticism, constructive or otherwise.

        1. You can’t make America Great Again by being thin-skinned.

          1. The Hat becomes your skin. Embrace The Hat.

      2. Interesting point. I always say I prefer Democratic presidents, because only when they’re in opposition do Republicans even pretend to favor liberty and smaller government. (Democrats, at this point, don’t even bother going through the motions of liberalism, except maybe when there’s a war; then you’ll get maybe a third of them.)

        But for the court appointments, I’d be backing Democrats with little angst at the top of the ticket every time. Unfortunately, that’s a big “but for.” (“What’s a big ‘but for’?”) Believing Trump on his court appointment promises, which I actually do, is actually the only good reason to briefly consider supporting the buffoon.

        1. I’m not sure what to make of Trump’s court list. On the one hand, it’s a pretty decent list. It’s also completely non-binding. Trump has demonstrated, however, that he has no qualms changing positions on issues (even, at times, mid-interview). He has stated that various claims he’s made are merely “opening positions” in the bargaining process. Is that what these are?

          At the same time, though, Trump doesn’t seem to really care about the court system at all. Maybe this is the concession he’d make in exchange for, say, The Wall. But if it’s true that he doesn’t really care about the courts, what’s to prevent him from giving up a seat to a progtard in exchange for support of some other aspect of the Trumpgenda? And what if his first appointee is the deciding vote against one of his programs? He certainly won’t nominate another Constitutional conservative when RBG’s (or whoever else’s) seat opens up. Then what?

          1. I have basically been counting on that lack of interest in the courts. When he refrains from ranting about something all the time, boy does it ever stick out! And so it is, for this and for a lot of the hot-button issues that courts tend to decide (like the various “gonad politics” matters, to use Nader’s term–“we’ll leave that to the courts,” Trump says when questioned, with barely disguised uninterest). He’ll want to keep at least a bit of peace with the Republican majority (and it will be in both houses, regardless of who wins the presidency), and this certainly seems like the kind of “deal” he will readily make.

            I admit I’ve been getting a bit less convinced about this as time goes on, though. His recent run-in with the judiciary, and his none-too-subtle rhetoric about it, makes me nervous he might decide a bit of “reform” there is a high priority. He has already expressed opinions on Kelo, after all; and it’s pretty easy to see a new President Trump, rubbing up against the newly discovered limits of his power, deciding that agreeable judges must be found to “get things done.” Do I trust Congressional Republicans to put up at least a bit of resistance? Fuck no.

    2. One of the things that I almost like about Trump is that if he won, he’d not only have push back from the press, but his own party in Congress wouldn’t reflexively go along with whatever he is proposing.

      It would be nice to see the Executive actually be checked once again by the Legislative branch.

      1. If Trump does win, it’s going to be an epic monster-circlejerk-shitstorm of clusterfuckdom in governing.

        There won’t be enough popcorn in the universe to sustain me for even one administration.

    3. Imprisoned journalists check no tales.

  6. Has Drumpf actually made any affirmative policy proposals (aside from his terrific wall) for people to analyze? Or is this just desperate bone-casting by a craven hypocritical press?

    1. He muttered something about making it easier to sue for libel and “ISIS is bad” and some vague stuff about not letting any Muslims into the country. The rest of it has been Obama-esque bluster and being an empty mirror for people to see what they want to see.

      1. I had that same thought the other day. Trump ‘016 is exactly like Obama ’08 in that both his supporters and detractors project whatever they want him to be because he’s maddeningly vague on policy details or established track record.

        1. I don’t think I’m projecting here when I say that Trump understands what double-entry bookkeeping is. Obama’s thinks double-entry bookkeeping is having two sets of books.

          1. What’s your evidence that Trump understands double-entry bookkeeping?

    2. I don’t know if the Hat or the Hair have given any official positions yet…

    3. They’re on his website, Hugh.

  7. Obama could have disbanded Congress and the NYT’s would have cheered him on.

    1. At least he’s getting things done!

      1. That was a bad Congress that the voters shouldn’t have wanted.

    2. He could have shut down the NYT and they would have accepted it was for their own good and the good of the nation. And then David Brooks would have written a lovely article about how Obama’s beautiful authoritarianism is truly one of history’s great acts of humanism.

      1. Shut down? Or burn down?

    3. They were failing to act.

  8. When a Democrat does it, it’s not illegal.

    The best thing that can happen in this election is for the Democrats to take the Senate and for the GOP to take the White House.

    At least with an R as president, the Democrat media is more likely to scrutinize executive power and defend the Constitution, if only for Team reasons.

    And with Dems having one chamber and Republicans having the other, maybe we get some much-needed gridlock.

    What I don’t get is, people talking about obstructionist Republicans—What the hell has Obama wanted that this Congress hasn’t given him???

    1. A Congressional Medal of Honor to go along with the Nobel Peace Prize.

    2. Draconian gun laws. A military smoking ban. A tightening of Federal “civil rights” laws to include employment and customer discrimination on all private enterprise, and to include sexual and gender minorities to the point of forcing Christians to bake cakes celebrating gay sex. Colleges charged with policing “discrimination” like sexual abuse (under terms redefined to include nearly all consensual acts, most likely) and “bias incidents” (look to his Ed Department’s actions, not his “reasonable” words at graduation speeches). Merrick Garland.

      I could go on for others, little and big. Point is, be grateful for the “gridlock” we do have, because there could easily be less.

  9. “With no sign that Republicans are willing to let up on their machinations, Mr. Obama was entirely justified in using his executive power to keep federal agencies operating,”

    JESUS CHRIST NO HE FUCKING WASNT

    SEPARATION OF POWERS MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT

  10. ‘Bold Claims of Presidential Power’

    Paging president “pen-and-phone”.

  11. Let me put on my signature-collection shocked face.

    1. You too? I’m finding that I lack the fucks to give over this election.

      GIANT METEORITE 2016

  12. The New York Times is run by leftist political hacks.

    And in other surprising news, water is wet.

  13. Donald Trump’s agenda “is a recipe for a constitutional crisis.”

    If the Trumpocalypse induced the Congress to get up on their hind legs and attempt to wrest back some of the power they have abdicated to the Throne, that would be bad?

    1. That is actually something that could get me to vote for Trump. If I were convinced that there would be such bipartisan opposition to the man, that it would lead to Congress scaling back the power of the Executive to something more in line with the Constitution, I would be all about putting him in office. But our elected representatives in Congress are spineless cowards more concerned with beating the other TEAM and maintaining their positions of power than actually defending the Constitution.

      1. Yep. Not going to happen, except maybe after he fucks up real bad. And he’ll do a lot of damage before that.

        The Republicans have no principles, certainly not Constitutional ones. Don’t count on them for shit.

    2. Right? Also, haven’t seen you in a while.

    3. First Groovus returns, now P Brooks?!

      I am smiling.

  14. “It’s nice to see The New York Times sit up and take notice when a presidential wannabe trashes the Constitution. My only complaint is that the Times is not exactly consistent when it comes to shining the spotlight on executive power abuse.”

    My god, who could have foreseen this change in the Times’s opinion? It would take a Sylvia Brown, the Wizard of Oz, and Edgar Cayce using an extraterrestrial crystal ball to predict this turnaround.

  15. NYT 2 years ago

    In Praise of His Pen and His Phone: Obama the “Doer”

    The Republican messaging machine is at it again, cranking out scurrilous memes that defame the president and distract from the party’s inaction.

    The latest talking point is that the president is a “lawless” “dictator” hellbent on operating outside, and indeed above, the law.

    This is not a particularly new line of attack. Conservatives have been using some variation of the lawlessness theme for some time to refer to the president’s actions…

    But the distillation and repetition of the word “lawless” gathered new steam last month when the president signaled that he would work with Congress where he could but would issue executive orders, to the extent that he could, when he was stymied by Congress.

    This lawlessness talk is simply another iteration of the “othering” of this president. Paint him as a criminal, an enemy to the rule of law, and by extension, to the construct of America.

    It’s another excuse for Republican obstruction and recalcitrance. It’s another line of attack that will allow Republicans to bide their time and hope for 2014 to deliver them the Senate and 2016 to deliver them the White House.

    They are banking on wearing down the truth, and this president, through what has become their bailiwick: repetition of fallacy.

    1. Thank you, I was looking for articles like this, but this one does nicely.

      That whole article blows.

      1. There are dozens.

        There is no end to the excuse-making for (*nay – celebrations of) Obama’s Executive Authority …which (see the below link) really took off after the ACA (or rather, the loss of Congress in 2014), but which also had some substantial preceding moves.

        The stat they love to throw out re: “Why its OK that Obama ignores congress” is that he has used “fewer” executive actions.

        As though its the number of them, and not their substance which makes them undemocratic.

        The NYT finds a way to suggest that congress is some kind of rogue beast unanswerable to the voting public whenever it has a republican majority. THE PEOPLE WANT LAWS!! WHY WILL YOU NOT GET THEM DONE???

  16. NYT in January 2016

    Give Obama His Due (He accomplished so much without Congress!)

    HE WAS FORCED TO USE HIS PEN!! AND EVERYTHING HE DID WITH IT PRODUCED BEAUTY AND JOY


    Could Obama, with that first-class intellect to go with a first-class temperament, with that pitch-perfect sense of humor, have been a better schmoozer and deal maker? Certainly. He was never very good at hiding his condescension for Republican leaders. But that party was united in a single goal ? to defeat him at every turn.

    Republicans who would not applaud the creation of 14 million jobs, an unemployment rate cut in half, 17 million people given health care, a global climate change pact, the strongest military in the world and a rousing call for a “moonshot” to cure cancer are incapable of taking a fair measure of Obama’s achievements.

    This Congress is done with him. That was as clear as the blank prairie stare on the face of House Speaker Paul Ryan. What was a dysfunctional, bickering relationship is now a divorce. Call in the lawyers. Obama could propose Grandmother Appreciation Day and not get a single vote from Republicans because, well, he proposed it.

    1. But on the night of Reagan’s final State of the Union speech in 1988, when he boasted that “one of the best recoveries in decades” should “send away the hand-wringers and doubting Thomases,” the economic numbers were not as good as those on Obama’s watch.

      At no time in Reagan’s eight years was the unemployment rate lower than it is today, at 5 percent ? and this after Obama was handed the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression

      I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that the 5% figure is bullshit. Not that there’s a global conspiracy to ‘fake’ the number, but that we’re simply counting it incorrectly, especially when taken alongside the record low workforce participation, and the clearly record-high homeless population that I’m quite literally tripping over when walking around this city. Other metrics such as the unsustainable national debt, this is the most anemic economy I’ve seen even though the numbers I look at keep suggesting otherwise.

      1. If we currently had the same labor participation rate now as we did in 2007, the unemployment rate would be closer to 9 or 10%. This is one of the few things Bernie actually got right.

        1. To be fair, Bernie is running as an anti-establishment outsider. He simply can’t run on how awesome everything is.

          1. He is totally doing that. People accuse Trump of having a cult of personality but Bernie is the real cult of personality. A lot of Trump supporters like him because they want him to just burn the establishment down. Bernie supporters in contrast all believe he is the last honest man in America.

            How some of them square that with Obama being President usually involves some mumbling about racism and changing the subject.

            1. This is the first Democratic president since Reconstruction to not receive substantial criticism from the left of his party. The amount of latent dissatisfaction that they for some reason they can’t bring themselves to aim at him personally (I honestly don’t know why) is revealed by the magnitude of enthusiasm for Bernie. I actually feel a bit bad for Hillary sometimes, because the difference between her and Obama really is not that great.

              1. They invested too much of their personal identity in Obama being great. Admitting that he is a third rate mind and a disaster for the country and indeed the Democratic party is too much for them. Live by the cult of personality, die by the cult of personality.

      2. It is complete bullshit. It has been bullshit for years. The government is as bad as the old USSR in that way. You cannot trust the government statistics anymore.

      3. U6 is around 9.7% right now, the lowest it’s been since May 2008.

    2. It wouldn’t be so infuriating if they didn’t insist on pretending they are impartial. If they would just be honest about what they are doing (“We are Democrats and we are going to do our best to support Democrats and damage Republicans”) I would have no complaints.

  17. Thanks for the “welcome backs”. I have been on, err, medical leave. This blog takes its toll. “Anterior cervical corpectomy” is what they call it. The very first thing out of the nurse’s mouth when he saw I was coming around from the anesthesia was, “Can you wiggle your fingers and toes for me?” Still somewhat unsettling. and of course by then it’s too late to do anything about it. It’s not like he’s going to put you out of your misery by smothering you with the pillow if you say, “No.”

    Still stuck in a neck brace. I tell everybody I had a head transplant.

    1. Wait, you had some sort of cervical surgery? Are you trying to tell us that you got an artificial cervix and are now a Trans person?

      I’m not complaining, libertarians need to get our chicks any way we can get them.

      1. Oh, and ditto on the welcome back.

    2. I missed your stubborn refusal to thread comments.

    3. I tell everybody I had a head transplant.

      “That’s my neck throwing up.”

      Good to see you, old boy.

    4. Dude. Glad to hear you are recovering.

  18. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.

    ????? http://www.Reportmax90.com

  19. A pretty comprehensive (and non-judgemental, if not apologetic) 2014 summary of Obama’s history w/ Executive Orders up to that point, and the rationale.

    For every 5 slobbering apologias the NYT pens, they at least do 1 actual News piece

  20. I missed your stubborn refusal to thread comments.

  21. Glad P Brooks is back.

  22. A New York paper showing hypocrisy based purely on political party? I’m calling bullshit.

    1. THE New York Paper, please.

        1. Nigga please!

    2. Not political party. Political ideology, although ideology in the superficial, often knee-jerk, white-hats-and-black-hats sense (“let’s be ‘progressive,'” “let’s be environmentally aware,” “let’s stand up against ‘violence,'” “let’s stand for the blue-collar man against the latte-sipping lefties”) which is often so easily manipulated by personality cult cultivation like Obama’s or Trump’s, rather than on the deeper principles libertarians often think of themselves as motivated by.

      Say what you want about their quality and objectivity (and you could say plenty), none are partisan rags so to speak.

  23. Just for fun- have some of the insipid juvenile mewling for which the NYT is so justly renowned:

    Through policies that have reinforced exceptional wealth disparities, we have allowed them not just to govern themselves, but us as well. Instead of encouraging the superrich to self-impose a Gospel of Wealth and celebrating ? or criticizing ? their public gifts, the concerned public might take a different, simpler tack.

    Mr. Thiel told an interviewer in 2012 that he feared the result of this precipitous wealth gap. “In the history of the modern world, inequality has only been ended through Communist revolution, war or deflationary economic collapse,” he said. “It’s a disturbing question which of these three is going to happen today, or if there’s a fourth way out.”


    If we’re lucky, there may be, but Mr. Thiel isn’t going to like it. Wealth gleaned by way of tax dodges and monopolistic business practices is wealth stolen from the public, even when it is returned in the form of supposed gifts. Philanthropy has the power to do a great deal of good, but so do tax dollars allocated in an equitable democratic system. Perhaps it’s time to adopt a Gospel of Government.

    ” Wealth gleaned by way of tax dodges and monopolistic business practices is wealth stolen from the public”

    That sort of crypto-communist fire-and-brimstone rhetoric gives me goosebumps.

    1. I found “Gospel of Government” to be the most chilling part myself. And the most revealing.

      1. I found it to be the most telling.

  24. Too bad the misdeeds of a certain sitting president did not face similar scrutiny from this “newspaper of record.”

    That’s some bullshit question-begging right there and you should be ashamed of making the argument – the “newspaper of record” has scrutinized Obama’s deeds repeatedly and concluded there were no misdeeds. Every time he’s done something that somebody claims smacks of Booossh! the NYT is right there to explain why this is not at all like what Bush did. Just look through the NYT archives and substitute “Trump” for “Bush” and you’ll have all the explanation you need as to why it only merely looks like the two things are similar but they’re totally not. The NYT is not going to criticize Trump for doing the things Obama did, only the things that Bush did. And I’m not even going to mention how racist you are for criticizing our first black president just because you’re racist, you racist.

    1. criticizing our first black president just because you’re racist, you racist.

      No one here is talking about Bill Clinton.

    2. Obama was dealing with a racist Congress that left him no choice Jerry. What he did it totally different than anything Trump would do.

  25. The abuse of power that gets forgotten is Libya. People talk about what a disaster it was but they often forget that it was also completely illegal and that Obama tried to claim it wasn’t a war but a “kinetic action.” My God was that insulting.

    1. Libya was one of the most abusive usurpations of power by any president in history, and the media has barely said a goddamn word about it.

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