Immigration

The Fragile Power of Donald Trump

The weekend showed some weaknesses in Trump's edifice of power.

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trumphat.github.io

The best-case scenario for the Trump years has always been that he'll kill the imperial presidency through sheer incompetence. Whether or not we'll get that far, he sure is good at squandering his clout.

Consider. Donald Trump entered office at a time when enormous powers have been concentrated in the presidency, and his party controls not just the White House but both branches of Congress. Yet he enacted his refugee ban so ineptly, not even giving it the normal review that would have caught its most glaring legal problems, that parts of the crackdown were almost immediately stayed. Government lawyers were caught flatfooted, unfamiliar with the situation that had just been dropped into their laps and unable to effectively defend the new rules. ("I don't think the government has really had a chance to think about this," one judge commented as she listened to the attorneys' arguments Saturday night.)

The sheer chaos created by rushing this order into place (and by adding the absurd restrictions on people with green cards) prompted even conservatives who don't necessarily object to the general idea of the policy to denounce how it played out in practice. (At this point at least 21 congressional Republicans, including three leading senators, have criticized elements of the order. A far larger number has avoided saying anything substantive at all, which appears to be an increasingly popular way for elected Republicans to deal with their party's leader.) And if you do oppose the general idea of the policy, you felt the wind at your back as you mobilized to block it. A mix of symbolic mass demonstrations and far-from-symbolic free legal aid materialized at airports around the country, energizing the grassroots opposition and pushing the elected opposition to stiffen their spines. (Democratic officials didn't organize or lead the protests, but several sniffed the air and rushed to stand as close to the front as they could get.) If you were hoping the Trump era would reenergize public protest, congratulations: You're getting your wish.

Meanwhile, a president who was already unusually unpopular when he entered office has now seen his job approval numbers sink to 42 percent in Gallup's ongoing survey on the subject. Public disapproval, meanwhile, has risen to 51 percent. That can only make it easier for legislators, including those in Trump's own party, to break with him when they think it warranted. Throw in the fact that the government is leaking like a colander—a fact that may help explain why the White House rushed its order into place without the usual review process—and you've got an administration with an awful lot of weak spots.

There clearly are countless kinds of damage that even a weakened Trump can do, and there just as obviously are ways the opposition can be drawn into pointless side fights or ineffectual tactics. And it's certainly possible to block a plan's most egregious elements without stopping the broader change it represents. So you shouldn't be complacent, but you shouldn't be a fatalist either. This past weekend showed just how fragile a president's power can be.

NEXT: One Small Step to Improve Healthcare

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  1. Good news, sort of.

    Instead of a 2-1 ratio, it should 10-1 or better.

    1. Shut the fuck up, yokel. There’s pants to be shat it. And they can’t do it if the first comment is about Trump starting the process of rolling back decades of executive departments overreach.

      1. I have it on good authority that Trump once dropped a toilet seat at a hotel really hard. We can’t stand for such evil.

        #NotMyPresident.

        1. You must be a illegal then!

      2. The Reason hacks are currently staring at stacks of pre-written boilerplate garbage articles addressing “What Will Ignorant Trump-Supporting Yokels Do When They Realize Trump Has No Intention of Fulfilling Campaign Promises?” with thumbs firmly inserted for sucking between tear-stained cheeks.

        Maybe they could help Krayewski research the actual location of the pro-bowl for next years bullet point.

    2. Alle vern?nftigen Menschen wissen, dass Donald Trump ein unapologetischer Nazi ist, der arme Leute auf der Stra?e verhungern will.

      1. Ich sehe, was du da gemacht hast.

      2. Danke schon vor den Deutchen Prakiker. (Ich habe nicht “Google Translate” hier. Entschuldigen Sie.)

        1. No hablo espanol.

    3. My extreme cynic within is telling me that there are so many regulations that they will likely have no problem finding ones with no teeth or practical effect to get rid of when they make new ones. The gross number or regs isn’t really the most relevant thing here.

      We shall see. This remains the area where I am most optimistic about a Trump administration.

      1. I’ll still take it. Old regs with no current purpose only exist to provide bureaucrats with a cudgel when it’s not going their way.

        1. Yeah, as far as it goes it’s better than nothing. But there are still new regulations going into effect when this happens and the net effect could be good, bad or indifferent.

          1. I think it’s more about the message than the specifics.

    4. How can Trump get the economy going again if all those regulation enforcers lose their JOBS?!

    5. Looking at this morning’s fedregister, half of the regs are closing off pollack fishing in random spots in the North Pacific.
      WTF – give me that bland white fish!

      1. Which is pointless because the dumb pollacks can’t read them anyway, right?

        1. We don’t even regulate Swedes, which are about as smart as turnips!

  2. He’s diminishing his clout by doing what a majority of voters, rightly or not, want to see done in some fashion. The overreaction to the “ban” is more damaging than the EO itself.

    1. Yeah, we live in a country where its clear that the party that WON power is unacceptable and the party that lost is willing to destroy anything, protest anything, burn anything to get their way.

      I have lost all hope of America surviving.

      As a libertarian, it means that the country best suited to show the way on how important personal liberty is doomed.

      Very dark times for the world lie ahead.

      When the progressives regain power by the ballot box or by force, they will eradicate any rights that allow anyone other than themselves to rule….

      1. Well, aren’t you a ray of sunshine.

      2. There’s that and there’s people getting sick of ginned up outrage and then not getting outraged when they should be. There are problems with the EO but the reaction is disproportionate.

  3. And I said in an earlier thread, his cruelty – or perceived cruelty – is going to negatively impact his ability to enact positive reform.

      1. The more he is seen as a cruel, strongman, bully, the easier it will be for his opponents to turn even more public sentiment against him, which could easily influence Congress. He’s going to need the support of Congress and the judicial branch at some point.

        1. His enemies will propagandize wholly irrespective of his deeds. What he actually does is literally irrelevant.

          1. Ya I’m with you on this one. I would also bet there’s a whole lot more real outrage at the airport delays caused by the fake outrage. Flying is bad enough, flying while someone is trying to actively make you miss your flight is grounds for woodchiper.

          2. The manner of how he goes about doing what he’s doing matters.

            1. Marginally, in this sense.

    1. So libertarians now want far less government – as long as nobody is mean about taking away the free shit?

      It’s not cruelty, it’s just indifference.

      1. You are aware DHS is part of the government, yes? And the EO doesn’t ask them to be indifferent.

        1. Et tu, bruh?

  4. Remember the first two years of the Clinton administration? Remarkably inept, to the point he lost Democrats the Congress. But then he came around.

    1. Political memory is short. In a couple of years a lot of this stuff will be forgotten.

    2. In my opinion presidents typically lose congress because they start off with paybacks for the powerful party factions that supported them, looking like a president that cares only about their party’s base rather than the centrist campaign they had switched to in the general. Trump could turn out quite different in this regard since he doesn’t owe republicans anything.

  5. Bored. I wish Trump would do something good or something legitimately whacko. Make America Interesting Again.

    1. How about if he signs an EO making Groundhog Day a National Holiday and replacing the Bald Eagle with Puxatawny Phil?

      1. Yeah, let’s do that.

      2. We need a National Mummers’ Parade and Cheesesteak Sandwich Day.

  6. He needs a “no” man in his office to run things by first. It should be a crusty old political veteran who’s seen everything and has the experience to know instinctively where the potential problems will be. Let him vet everything before you release it.

    1. Putin?

      *** ducks ***

    2. A “no” man is just somebody you consistently ignore.

      People like Trump do well when they surround themselves with “yes” men, because if a consistent “yes” man tells you you’re making a mistake, you fucking listen.

    3. *He needs a “no” man in his office to run things by first*

      You mean the media and Democrat party aren’t ENOUGH?

  7. I was a Trump skeptic early in the campaign, but he might be the only president in the last 25 years to actually attempt to fulfill campaign promises note for note. How does that weaken his support, exactly? He’s even fulfilling his promise (which I thought was utter bluster) to truly pare down the regulatory state. The approval rating talking point is stupid, too, since they also show that his core base strongly approves him (81% of registered GOP approve)

    1. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. – Menken

      1. Very true, but as I said before, his core base of support isn’t complaining. The hysterics and low approval ratings are mainly tied to how depressed and angry both the leftist base and “independent” progressives still are about the outcome.

        1. his core base of support isn’t complaining

          His core base of support isn’t all that big.

          1. As evidenced by his ascent to the leadership of history’s hyperpower?

            1. How much of that was about him, and how much of that was a burning hatred for Hillary Clinton?

              1. I agree, Crusty. But he still won.

              2. Even a substantial minority of the bloc which eventually elected him is a colossal number. Labeling it small is strange.

            2. As evidenced by his ascent to the leadership of history’s hyperpower?

              There is his core base, and there are the people who voted for him rather than the alternative. Not the same thing.

              1. Oh, I see Crusty got there first.

            3. his ascent to the leadership of history’s hyperpower

              Of whose citizens approximately 1 in 6 voted for him. Many because his opponent was so terrible.

              In a two party system where many people feel they have to choose between the major candidates, a vote doesn’t correspond to strong support, necessarily.

              1. It’s one in five, but I take your point, although I’m exceptionally skeptical of people who claim they’re able to somehow divine the ultimate motivations of our citizenry in casting their votes.

                1. I’m exceptionally skeptical of people who claim they’re able to somehow divine the ultimate motivations of our citizenry in casting their votes

                  Rightly so. Which is why one should be skeptical of claims that his having been elected is evidence of major support for the things he promised while campaigning.

                  1. Fair point.

          2. Hillary Clinton’s estimate of his core base was 25%. It’s not small.

          3. Jesse, he won. Try not to forget that.

            1. So did Obama, and these protests have come faster (and may be larger) than the Tea Party protests. Which, as you may recall, had more than just a passing effect.

              (Though they weren’t able to stop, say, Obamacare. There are no magic bullets.)

              1. There are no magic bullets.

                Just magic ballots.

              2. Leftists and progressives outnumber conservatives and libertarians (unfortunately). It’s no surprise that a president that is actively against everything that the left stands for (on a social level) would initially generate large protests and low approval ratings. All of that will die down if the economy improves. I don’t see how his core base won’t grow if his threats against regulation and spending are actually reality.

              3. Look what happened to the Tea Party…the media/left propagandized them into insignificance. Remember the whole racist card/identity politics schtick that was used against them? I even liked the whole tax enough already theme but didn’t want associated with racists(see? it worked!).

                1. “Look what happened to the Tea Party…the media/left propagandized them into insignificance. Remember the whole racist card/identity politics schtick that was used against them? I even liked the whole tax enough already theme but didn’t want associated with racists(see? it worked!).”

                  Something tells me that won’t happen to these protests.

                  Publicly associating yourself with anything opposed by the left is dangerous.

                2. *Look what happened to the Tea Party…the media/left propagandized them into insignificance. *

                  Wherein insignificance = 2/3 of Governorships, State Legislatures and a majority in each branch of the US gov’t.

                  Lulz.

              4. I’m pretty sure the speed is due to leftists typically being unemployed or somewhere in academia which allows them the flexibility to do so quickly. The right is too busy working in industries where you can’t take a week off to go protest something. Tea party only really kicked off once the economy was so sour enough people on the right had some free time to picket.

            2. This is true. But I think it is good to step away from all the “mandate” bullshit and see that getting the votes of about half of the people who could be bothered to vote does not necessarily mean that he has a broad base of support.
              Neither candidate even got a majority of the popular vote.

        2. Correct.

          That’s why proggies and Rinos are are going to shout shout shout from the rooftops about how “EVIL” he and his supporters are.

          They are out of ideas as how to get between Trump and those who elected him.

        3. 59% approval rating, and rising.

        4. I was totally against him becoming president (short of the democratic candidate), but I am enjoying the hell out of this.

    2. When you don’t have the support of the people who didn’t vote for you, you have nothing.

      1. If he actually helps to make meaningful progress on slashing spending and the regulatory state, with the outcome being a stronger economy, I don’t see how he won’t get more support from outside the base come 2020. Approval ratings are not about how you start, but how you finish.

    3. Unscrupulous machinations and political gaming are the standard, and his deviation from it is outraging his opponents.

    4. Two bad things this week: Raising taxes and banning immigration.
      One good thing this week: Talking about reducing unspecified regulations.

      Net balance is negative.

      To paraphrase Stephen Horwitz, it’s like saying thank your for the aperitif after the waiter just shat on your dinner.

      1. Trump didn’t raise taxes this week or ban immigration: He has put a temporary stay on immigration from seven countries that were designated by Obama as hotspots for terrorism, capped refugee admittants to 50,000 for 2017, and threatened Mexico with an import tax that will likely be negotiated downward in the next year or two. In the meantime, he has signed (or will be signing) an executive order that will require that 2 federal regulations will need to be removed for every one that is created. The tax threat was rhetoric and the immigration “ban” was not that at all.

  8. Trump may be incompetent, but isn’t it for the best that people see the actual limits on what the President can do? Regardless of who is President?

    1. *Trump may be incompetent*

      Wherein incompetence=meeting all your goals in record time.

  9. Either his autarchic position affords him multifarious illegitimate powers, or his authority is actually fragile and easily countered by the lamentations of his adversaries. Which canard are we keeping to?

    1. Either his autarchic [do you mean “autocratic”?] position affords him multifarious illegitimate powers, or his authority is actually fragile and easily countered by the lamentations of his adversaries.

      Strike “easily,” and understand that it takes much more than “lamentations,” and they can both be true.

      1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/autarchic

        No, they can’t. If you sincerely believe in the existence of the “imperial presidency,” that the President possesses great illegitimate power to unilaterally enact policy, you can’t simultaneously proclaim the President’s oh-so-apparent impotence in good faith.

        If his directives are so easily thwartable, he’s not powerful.

        1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/autarchic

          Huh, how about that. I’m so used to seeing it used to describe protectionism that this other definition escaped me.

          No, they can’t. If you sincerely believe in the existence of the “imperial presidency,” that the President possesses great illegitimate power to unilaterally enact policy, you can’t simultaneously proclaim the President’s oh-so-apparent impotence in good faith.

          I’m afraid I can and did. The imperial presidency is an institution. Trump is a particular person occupying that institution, and he is perfectly capable of acting in ways that weaken the institution he occupies.

          1. The imperial presidency is a phantasm. Willful inaction and indifference on the parts of both the other branches of government, to whom the duty of resisting Presidential misbehavior technically belongs, and the citizenry itself are what permit the President to act unilaterally in any meaningful way.

            With such a stupendously decrepit Congress, judiciary, and populace, a wet towel would have identical executive power.

    2. It’s an example of the same cognitive dissonance the Left had about GW Bush–that he was simultaneously the dumbest man to have ever lived and at the same time the most evil genius the world has ever seen.

    1. Somebody with a Twitter account needs to note that for him on his feed. Seriously. Do it. He actually uses Twitter, and he might speak of it if it’s mentioned.

  10. Yet he enacted his refugee ban so ineptly,

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    1. The ban on green card holder was an overreach, but I expect that was done on purpose.

      The ban seems to be pretty brilliantly executed to me. 1) Grab definitions used by the previous administration. 2) Take them at face value. 3) Enforce them with gusto.

      The weeping from the left is just a fringe benefit. There has been a lot of bitching on facebook today, but it is not actually as bad as I expected.

      Doing exactly what you said you were going to do during your campaign is not going to upset the people that crossed over the line to vote for you. And who gives a shit about the rest.

  11. I don’t think this policy is anywhere near as unpopular as some people are making it out to be.

    The sense I’m getting from people is mostly elation that a president is doing what he said he was going to do.

    1. I don’t think this policy is anywhere near as unpopular as some people are making it out to be.

      Me neither. I expect the predominant reaction is more along the lines of “You mean, we were letting people in from those countries? About time we stopped.”

      And people aren’t going to be convinced its bad just because people they don’t trust any more tell them so, and a bunch of people throw yet another protest.

  12. According to a FB thing that’s going around, Trump has just done the third out of 6 things that make him EXACTLY LIKE HITLER.

    1. I saw this from somebody the other day, I pointed him at Wikipedia’s Hitler page as a broad introduction to how Hitler actually took power.

    2. He’s male. And has hair. That’s it.

    3. TOK, would you *kindly* list these 6 things?

      I selfishly don’t do FB.

    4. My apologies, there were 6.

      Step 1 for Hitler was to discredit the media.
      Step 2 was to silence the scientists and government employees.
      Step 3 Hate crimes grew to the highest in the country’s history. Clashes between parties became so extensive that Hitler ended civil liberties,
      giving law and order as the reason.
      Those who opposed Hitler were ridiculed and threatened.
      Step 4 Wealthy supporters purchased media outlets, employing only those loyal to Hitler.
      Step 5 Hitler declared that the only way the country could be unified was to restore traditional values. Minorities, including gays, the disabled,
      Jews,
      Christians, and people of color were considered inferior and sent to death camps for slaughter.
      We promised it would never happen again. This is history. Fact not Alternative fact.

      1. Thanks!

        Hate crimes grew to the highest in the country’s history.

        So, if we don’t want Trump to be the new Hitler, obviously the solution is to eliminate the notion of “hate crime”.

        1. Or tell the idiot leftists who are rioting in the streets that if they really think he is flowing the Nazi playbook, they are giving him exactly what he needs.

      2. I don’t see how by any stretch of the imagination anything but 1 and 2 have happened. And those are a good stretch.

        These people are fucking bananas.

      3. Idiots. Hitler seized the opposition media and/or silenced them outright. That’s a bit further than “discrediting”.

      4. They are also missing the minor detail of Hitler seizing control of all branches of government.

        1. Call us when Congress is thinking seriously about passing our own Erm?chtigungsgesetz.

          That won’t be any time soon.

      5. Holy Hell is that actually kinda scary. It’s like a buzzfeed list of ‘Shit you think you know Nazi Germany but really don’t.’

      6. Ah, yes.

        People taking a history they never studied and rewriting it to mimic what they have fever dreams about.

    5. You know who else followed a step-by-step process to world domination?…

      1. Pinky?

      2. World chess champion Magnus Carlsen?

      3. Bill Wilson?

        1. +1 Higher Power

  13. Well, I see that all the troops have gotten their orders for a Trump hit piece. Bravo!

    1. It’s a bit depressing. It’s going to be hard when he comes out with some serious bullshit to fight back against it because the left and the media(but I repeat myself) already smells like shit because there’s a load of it in their pants.

      1. That’s what worries me. If everything is so outrageous then nothing is outrageous. But, if you mention that all this pants shitting is not helpful you get called a ‘Trumpkin’ by Jesse Walker. Because comparing a refugee ban to Japanese internment camps and labeling it a ‘Muslim ban’ is reasoned discourse.

        1. They(Reason being a part of it, although it is a part we like)like the rest of the media still don’t get it.

    2. Par for the course. Take heart though, things will change here in 4 to 8 years.

  14. This whole morning has been nothing but pants shitting. I cannot imagine how bad it smells in your office right now.

    1. For the benefit of confused newcomers: “Pants shitting” is the Trumpkin synonym of choice for “anything critical of Dear Leader.” This post pretty much says “don’t shit your pants, we can win this,” but it is anti-Trump so it is by definition pants-shitting. (But don’t worry: Not everything is pants-shitting. If you’re freaking out that a scientist with a green card might be a terrorist because he was born in Iran, your drawers are still metaphorically clean.)

      1. I get that deflecting criticism by labeling someone a Trumpkin is important for you right now, but I’m not here defending Trump as much as I am here to defend sanity.

        There is rightful criticism to be made about Trump’s executive order on refugees, but instead this publication compared it to Japanese internment camps and kept labeling it a ‘Muslim ban’. If that doesn’t fall under the category of pants shitting then I’m not sure what will

        1. How many comments on this thread are about how Trump is fulfilling his campaign promise?

          Which was for…a Muslim ban.

          1. But it is not a ‘Muslim ban’ if: (1) it only bans less than a quarter of the World’s Muslim population; (2) if it is based upon a visa restriction list made by the previous administration and (3) restricts all refugees from these countries (believe it or not, but other faiths live in the Middle East).

            Fail Rataxes- the least curious commentator at Reason

            1. And yet it’s being perceived as a Muslim ban by people who want a Muslim ban.

              Are they shitting their pants? Or is only Reason doing that by agreeing with them?

              1. What the what? Perception should matter more than reality. The #Resistance is getting dumber by the day

      2. Jesse old chap, the phrase “pants shitting” was common among the commentariat long before Trump was even a tiny cloud on the Cosmotarian panic horizon. Warty and the late, lamented Episiarch used it a lot on open borders critics, for example.

        If you bitched about that trope then, I missed it.

        1. You mean he didn’t bitch about it when it was being used against people who were shitting their pants?

          And he is bitching about it now that it’s being used in reverse of its original purpose?

          Wow.

            1. Eh, what?

              He means that I am objecting to the way the phrase has recently evolved, and not to its original usage. And he is correct.

              1. So you don’t feel that comparing the executive order to Japanese internment camps and labeling a ‘Muslim ban’ is overblown?

        2. “Late” in the metaphorical sense of his not commenting here anymore. He was my favorite blackguard and I wish him health and prosperity.

        3. Even Nick was using it in articles.

      3. Castigating you and your retarded cohort for your illogic and poorly structured arguments is hardly tantamount to adhering to some imaginary cult of personality you seem to think we’re victims of.

        Journalists tend to avoid directly debating their audiences, lest they sully their precious selves by engaging the common simpleton. Defy that tradition, and confront your ideological adversaries substantively. Categorizing everyone who disapproves of your responses to the President’s edicts as a Trumpkin simply reaffirms our belief that you’re a self-important, vapid pants-shitter.

        1. Quality control =/= Trump support.

          1. I doubt these people will ever understand that, given their defective thinking.

        2. Categorizing everyone who disapproves of your responses to the President’s edicts as a Trumpkin

          “Everyone”? Did I call you a Trumpkin when I replied to you above?

          1. Will you respond to my question then or would you rather just default to name calling again?

            So you don’t feel that comparing the executive order to Japanese internment camps and labeling it a ‘Muslim ban’ is overblown?

            1. Will you respond to my question then or would you rather just default to name calling again? So you don’t feel that comparing the executive order to Japanese internment camps and labeling it a ‘Muslim ban’ is overblown?

              Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to engage in name-calling. Best to stick to civil words like “pants-shitting.”

              In any case, Jacob was rather careful to distinguish Trump’s order from a blanket ban on Muslims, and Nick invoked the Japanese internment camps as a destination to avoid, not a place where we’ve currently arrived. So your description of their posts isn’t really right. But they can defend themselves; I’m here to discuss my post, not theirs.

              1. Yes, ‘pants shitting’ is definitely the most offensive phrase to ever be uttered on a Reason message board.

                I would quibble with your answer, but I appreciate the response. Don’t reflexively call people ‘Trumpkins’. Lest people begin calling you a ‘cosmo’.

                1. There are only two people who use the term “Trumpkin” unironically in the comments: Jesse…. and Shreek.

                  /starting new rumors

                2. Don’t reflexively call people ‘Trumpkins’.

                  In all honesty, that wasn’t specifically about you so much as it was just me mocking the loose way “pants shitting” has been used in these parts lately. For all I know you hate Trump and just happened to grab that term because it’s part of the general Hit & Run vocabulary. So, hey, peace.

                  Lest people begin calling you a ‘cosmo’.

                  I think the first time someone called me a cosmo was back around 2008.

  15. Liberals say libertarians are all closet Republicans, and conservatives say libertarians are all closet Democrats.

    Which is it?

    1. I don’t really hear the latter as much besides from the most deranged and frothing Breitbart commenters, but in reality I think that conservatives share far more in common with libertarians than progressives do. At the very least, they’re willing to debate with you instead of the screaming nonsense you would get at the HuffPost for saying that you’re libertarian.

  16. The Fragile Power of Donald Trump

    Good. Let it be fragile. We have a constitution that defines separation of powers. It is far better to have a President kept in check by Congress and the Judiciary consistent with the Constitution than have two rubber-stamp branches who give the President whatever he wants.

    As to the “edifice of power” that surrounds the President, who constructed it? The insinuation seems to be that the President erected it himself, but it seems to me that most of the bricks were laid by others. Not just the media and academia, who build the edifice with gusto when their guy is in charge, but also the Congress, the Courts, and the voters themselves. It is good that we remember Presidential power is an edifice, but let us also not forget those who have, when it suited them, erected that edifice.

  17. Since we’re talking mostly about his popularity, why not wait for some actual polling data to come in? See how the visa kerfuffle has affected his popularity.

    Of course, given Trump’s Outrage Dense Pack approach to governing, it might be hard to sort out exactly which issue and how much. And you’ll need to hurry, because he’s going to announce a SCOTUS nominee tomorrow. I expect the high-pitched shrieking will go positively hypersonic and wash away the memory of the visa outrage.

    1. Remember, the ban is temporary. It very well might be that Trump declares victory and lets the ban run out in 120 days. If that happens, everyone will quickly forget about it altogether. Meanwhile, how many other things will Trump have done that his critics and the media don’t notice because this issue is sucking all of the air out of the room?

    2. He could nomiate Frederick fucking Douglas, and these people would still soil their undergarments with rabid glee.

      1. *nominate, Douglass

  18. This weekend is just another example of Turmp using the political tactics that won him the Presidency. The reality is that this ban doesn’t effect that many people and strikes most of the country as pretty reasonable or at least not outrageous. Trump’s opponents of course went crazy like they always do thinking this time they have him for being a big racist meanie. That makes them feel good but all it accomplishes is to leave the impression on the public that Trump is the only one who cares about keeping terrorists out of the country and his opponents’ position is that our problem is we just don’t let enough Muslims from failed nations into the country.

    Once again Trump framed the issue, owned the media cycle and stuck it to his opponents. And in doing this gave him complete freedom of action on this issue. Remember, this is a temporary ban. So Trump is now free to modify or let the ban run out and look reasonable in doing so, thanks to his opponents throwing their usual temper tantrum instead of offering substantive criticism and alternatives.

    1. Temporary ban? But sloopy assures us it isn’t a ban!!!

      1. You are not even trying to make any sense anymore are you?

      2. Use more exclamation points. It’ll make your insipid stupidity more palatable.

      3. It’s not a ban if it’s temporary and only enforceable in select cases, not to mention it is designed to establish a permanent vetting process.

        Not to mention we will still locate any refugees to safe zones.

    2. Fortunately for the republic, Trump does not have complete freedom of action. The Courts have already begun to limit his EO, for better or ill. And that is how it should be. To the extent any of this was truly intentional, it does seem like he has managed to set the terms of debate, which grants him some freedom of action but that freedom is not complete (nor should it be).

      1. He had complete freedom of action in that he can back off of this as much or as little as he wants. That is what I meant.

        1. I’m with tarran on this one. I can’t tell if he’s an idiot or a genius. Maybe an idiot savant. The man has an impressive ability to make people dance to his tune.

          1. He is not an idiot. He just understands how the media works and knows how to manipulate them. I think Scott Adams describes him pretty well. And I don’t see how you can write off Adams. The guy called Trump winning both the nomination and the Presidency in the fall of 2015.

            All the people who claim he is an idiot have made every prediction wrong. You can like or dislike what he is doing, that is a question of preferences. But I don’t think you can reasonably call him stupid.

            1. Some of his answers during the debates were laughably bad. I don’t think stupid is the right word, but he definitely comes off as an idiot at times. That having been said, feigning stupidity is an ancient tactic for beating an opponent, so taking anything he says or does at face value is probably foolish.

            2. He just understands how the media works and knows how to manipulate them.

              He understands the Alinskyite tactic of using one action to shield another from criticism. People are frothing at the mouth about the immigration EO, but he snuck out a regulation cutting EO without fanfare. He’s gonna announce a SCOTUS pick, and I bet he’ll sneak out something else on the heels of it.

              As much as he comes off like a buffoon when speaking, the man knows tactics.

          2. I can’t tell if he’s an idiot or a genius.

            Idiots generally walk out of the NY or commercial real estate markets dead broke, so that’s one clue.

            I’m going with cunning, perhaps even with a gift for branding/media manipulation.

      2. I suspect Trump had expert legal advice that his order was legit based on powers the president has to do temporary stays like this in special cases with wars and whatever, and it was the judge who actually overreached. Just guessing here of course.

        Not that it matters since perception is apparently reality when it comes to the constitution sadly, but some minor judge throwing out the barest minimum possible bone to the opposition (allowing them to stay 90 days at the airport rather than go home and come back? is that really it?) doesn’t really seem like a wall of checks and balances.

        1. *I suspect Trump had expert legal advice that his order was legit based on…*

          Advice? it’s called the US Code.

  19. If the protesting doesn’t stop by the time I need to travel through airports I will turn into a Trumpkin.

  20. RE The Fragile Power of Donald Trump

    It is going to be interesting how the concept of issuing executive orders can (or will be) limited here. I see a dangerous trend in issuing these executive orders with a real sense of checks or balances. If unabated, I see executive orders becoming nothing more than orders from the king that occured before 1783. Time will tell, and I hope someone, somehow checks all these executive orders regardless of political party. But I doubt that will happen in my lifetime.

  21. Where are you coming from, seriously! President Trump certainly is not squandering clout rather on the contrary he has shown the world how much clout he has. His refugee ban was enacted after carefully consideration and meeting with his top advisers (at least the ones he has to work with) thanks to stall tactics by the Democratic side. This is what is the travesty and what should be the focus of good quality reporting.

    The lawyers now know they have a President not willing to let the grass grow under his feet and we all now know that issues will be addressed and addressed immediately and not rot on the sidelines like the past has shown. Ambassador Bolton today even stated this was absolutely the correct move and it shows Foreign Leaders President Trump is a leader that means business.

    For some, the feeling of shock and the mindset of not wanting to face facts, will without a doubt force negative spinning of anything President Trump does.

  22. Polls? Ha, ha.

    Underestimate Trump at your own peril. While it’s hard to see what he’s up to behind all the confusion, I can’t help but think there’s a method to all this. Dude pulled an all-time upset, no?

    I really don’t care he doesn’t understand how the bureaucracy works. The mere fact he’s attempting to shake it up is exactly what the establishment needed.

  23. Meanwhile, a president who was already unusually unpopular when he entered office has now seen his job approval numbers sink to 42 percent in Gallup’s ongoing survey on the subject. Public disapproval, meanwhile, has risen to 51 percent. That can only make it easier for legislators, including those in Trump’s own party, to break with him when they think it warranted. Throw in the fact that the government is leaking like a colander?a fact that may help explain why the White House rushed its order into place without the usual review process?and you’ve got an administration with an awful lot of weak spots.

    This completely ignores the type of candidate Trump is. Of course his job approval numbers suck. He has been one of the most controversial Presidential candidates in history. That doesn’t weaken his Presidency because he didn’t run as a statesman. If he had, then this would completely shoot any consensus-building in the foot. Instead, he ran as a strong-armed populist. He doesn’t need people to like him, he just needs them to dance when he tells them to dance and ignore what he needs them to ignore.

    Leaky government also doesn’t weaken him, it emboldens his followers who see his Presidency as a fight against those bureaucrats. The best thing Trump could do for his own Presidency would be to engage in a war of attrition with the 4th branch of government.

  24. Just going to ignore the survey on the actual issue?

    33% oppose the ban
    57% approve

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publi…..ist_havens

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