Back to blog

Theda Skocpol’s new work on anti-Trump activists

See blog

Readers' comments

The Economist welcomes your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful of other readers. Review our comments policy.

jouris

If the Democrats can avoid going down the ideological purity rat-hole that the Republicans have taken, it will be good for them. And good for the country.

guest-aaawwwmj in reply to jouris

The have already started going down that road.
.
A one-day gov't shutdown over DACA - 800,000 people.
.
.
It would really be nice if one of the parties supported the broad hard-working middle-class instead of special interests.
.
NSFTL
Regards

jouris in reply to guest-aaawwwmj

The[y] have already started going down that road.
.
They are certainly dipping their toes in the water. But it remains to be seen whether they will dive in. And, if they do end up doing so, whether they will go all in in time to lose this fall's elections.

jouris in reply to guest-aaawwwmj

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off immigrants about ICE raid and isn’t sorry she did
.
Compare the President's comment yesterday about seizing guns and getting around to due process later. When the rule of law is abandoned at the top, how can we be surprised if his actions are emulated further down the line?
.
Just to be clear, Mayor Schaaf did not tip of anyone about specific ICE raids. Just that there would be raids somewhere. Which, contra the head of ICE, isn't really the same thing. "ICE raid in Oakland" isn't even news these days; it happens all the time.

guest-aaawwwmj in reply to jouris

Compare the President's comment yesterday about seizing guns and getting around to due process later.
.
One tipped off law breakers, the other was just spewing rhetoric.
.
The mayor's job is to run a city, propose policy, etc., not to tip off criminals (50% of what ICE did nab).
.
You have to actually believe what Trump says on any given day.
But he was just proposing a policy.
We've seen him flip-flop on issues, such as DACA.
.
NSFTL
Regards

jouris in reply to guest-aaawwwmj

My point, obviously poorly made, was that Trump was showing contempt for the rule of law. Whether he implements (or tries to implement) this particular policy or not. And a show of that same kind of contempt by a mayor (or a governor, if that happens) can hardly be a surprise. The President sets the tone, for better or worse.

guest-aaawwwmj in reply to jouris

You seem to have media-itis.
.
I've learned not to listen nor care about what Trump says, because it just rhetoric for consumption by those who filter out what he says until they hear what they want to hear.
.
The gun proposals are the latest example.
.
.
And a show of that same kind of contempt by a mayor (or a governor, if that happens) can hardly be a surprise.
.
Well, mayors go on to be Representatives, Senators, Governors - Kucinich is running for Governor - the same with governors.
Voinovich in Ohio went from mayor to governor to Senator.
.
They usually take their baggage with them.
.
NSFTL
Regards

jouris in reply to guest-aaawwwmj

I've learned not to listen nor care about what Trump says, because it just rhetoric for consumption by those who filter out what he says until they hear what they want to hear.
.
Obviously I disagree. Words matter. Even if someone is a congenital liar, if he is President his words will have repercussions.
.
Granted, if you are not trying to deal with the US government, you may be able to get away with ignoring Trump's words; probably do your blood pressure some good, too. But lots of people don't have that luxury. They have to understand (or at least try to) what the US government is going to do in order to figure out what they are going to do. And Presidential pronouncements, however ephemeral, are the still best way to do that.
.
And that's before we get to the issue of Congress being unable to get much done simply because nobody has a clue what the President's position will be. It's true that, as a co-equal branch, the Congress ought to be able to just do its job regardless. But from the statements of the members, they are unwilling to do so.

guest-aaawwwmj in reply to jouris

They have to understand (or at least try to) what the US government is going to do in order to figure out what they are going to do.
.
Just follow what the Department Secretaries are doing/implementing.
.
.
the issue of Congress being unable to get much done simply because nobody has a clue what the President's position will be.
.
But from the statements of the members, they are unwilling to do so.
.
The 2nd quote contradicts the 1st quote.
.
It doesn't matter what the President's position will be if Congress can pass veto-proof laws, or laws that he cannot afford to veto.
.
Congress passed the tax cut bill that didn't have all of what Trump wanted, but he knew he had to take what the Republican-controlled Congress gave him.
.
The same with Obama and the Affordable Care Act.
.
.
Getting back to my main point....
Did tax cut bill or ACA help the middle-class?
.
NSFTL
Regards

jouris in reply to guest-aaawwwmj

It doesn't matter what the President's position will be if Congress can pass veto-proof laws, or laws that he cannot afford to veto. [emphasis added]
.
Yes. IF. Except that, as noted, they mostly don't seem to be willing to even try. (And there is also the detail that Congress can pass something like last January's sanctions on Russia. And have Trump simple not bother to implement them.)
.
Just follow what the Department Secretaries are doing/implementing.
.
Well, you can try. But first, it gives you a lot less time to prepare if you have to wait until implementation happens. And second, take a look at the Secretary of Commerce's comments this past weekend on what the tariffs will be -- it's pretty clear that he has no more clue than the rest of us what will be implemented.

Melissia in reply to jouris

Indeed.
.
That, and I refuse to devalue the words of the office of the president, even if the man himself is trying to do so. I've took seriously the words of every president in my life-- which is not quite as many as with Jouris, here, but is still multiple presidents from both parties.
.
And I will hold Trump at his word, even if he and his own party won't do so; lest we all forget due to how easily they are both accepted amongst conservative evangelicals, a lying tongue and a false witness are two of the most detestable things before God.

guest-aaawwwmj in reply to jouris

...Congress can pass something like last January's sanctions on Russia. And have Trump simple not bother to implement them...
.
Congress can subpoena the heads of Departments and ask them why they are not implementing the law of the land.
.
Congress and the Dept. heads have sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the US.
.
it's pretty clear that he has no more clue than the rest of us what will be implemented.
.
The US is currently in talks with Mexico and Canada to update the NAFTA trade deal.
.
Trump uses tariffs as negotiating tactic in NAFTA talks
.
http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/05/news/economy/trump-tariffs-nafta/index.html
.
A negotiation tactic.
Why tip one's hand?
.
BTW, I see the EU is going after Senator Mitch McConnell - bourbon tax - and Speaker Paul Ryan - Harley tax.
.
Germany and EU hit back at Donald Trump's trade war threat
.
http://www.dw.com/en/germany-and-eu-hit-back-at-donald-trumps-trade-war-...
.
NSFTL
Regards

guest-aaawwwmj in reply to Melissia

"they are both accepted amongst conservative evangelicals, a lying tongue and a false witness are two of the most detestable things before God."
.
Why go after one man, or one party?
(unless you are biased)
.
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
.
"that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. "
.
NSFTL
Regards