domingo, 5 de febrero de 2017

President Donald J. Trump presents a double threat to U.S. democracy

                                                      Illustration © Shutterstock/LifetimeStock
Just a few days after his inauguration U.S. President Donald J. Trump has already confirmed a doubly dangerous personal characteristic: (1) acting on impulse in an attempt at being important and pleasing his followers and (2), showing as incapable of retracting himself, once his original action is shown to be wrong. The President of the United States cannot afford to fly by the seat of his pants but, especially, should be able to reassess when this proves to be the sensible thing to do. The Executive Order issued by President Trump to “protect the country from terrorists” is now being challenged not only by the democratic opposition, which could be dismissed as a purely political initiative, but by federal judges named by previous Republican administrations, such as is the case of Seattle judge James Robart and by key portions of the Executive Power, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security. The national uproar against this Executive Order has been an unprecedented act of civic rebellion against a president who has only been in the White House for a few days.
How is President Trump reacting to this?  In his twitter he has just said:   “The opinion of this so-called judge essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”  In the mouth of Donald J. Trump the businessman and TV personality this language would have been inappropriate but in the mouth of the president of the United States it is unacceptable. President Trump cannot afford to exercise personal disqualifications and disdain for opposing views. He is no longer in charge of the Miss Universe pageant.
In a blitzkrieg of early actions President Trump has already managed to  quarrel with Mexico, Australia, Iran, China and is in his way to do so with Israel. Watching him at work he does not look at ease in his job and, therefore, tries to compensate for this uneasiness by acting as a rapid and strong decision maker. In doing so he is getting the applause of his inner circle but should do well to listen to what the country at large is saying.
President Trump feels he has to make good on his promises about the Mexican wall, about immigrants, about Muslims, about the need to dismantle Obama’s policies, just because they are Obama’s. But he has to remember that Hitler also tried to make good on his promise to exterminate the Jews and that Chavez, the Venezuelan satrap, also promised to fry the heads of the opposition leaders in hot oil. In spite of all the suffering they generated these men were not able to make good on their promises. Also fortunately, the United States has stronger checks and balances than Nazi Germany or “Chavista” Venezuela ever did. They will act to impede President Trump from fulfilling some of his promises. They are not all bad but some, such as his rejection of global warming and his elimination of rules for transparency in the behavior of U.S. business abroad, are extremely negative for the planet and for the country since they place the interests of minorities over the common good.
As a conservative immigrant into this great country I am appalled at President Trump’s dangerous bedside manners. I remember Casey Stengel managing the original New York Mets, a great manager being given a nightmarish team. Now I feel the opposite, as if a great country had been given a nightmarish president.
Casey gave up voluntarily but Trump might have to be impeached.

13 comentarios:

Anita dijo...

Sr. Coronel, el juez si fue nombrado por Bush pero fue en un arreglo con la HDP Patti Murray la Senadora de Washington State en 2003, que si Bush no nombraba a este juez que ella queria ella no iba a vota por ningun juez nombrado por Bush.

Este juez no es Republicano no conservador, es otro HDP izquierdista anti americano.

Por favor Sr. Coronel deje de leer el Washington Post o!

Unknown dijo...

De acuerdo con esta página, Anita está equivocada...
Fué aprobado con un voto unánime, cuando fué nominado...

Anónimo dijo...

Delio Amado Leon: bateando Coronel, se balancea el pitcher Trump, suelta hacia la goma en curva y ahi va un batazo largo por centro del bola se va, se va , se va.....home run para Coronel,... le dio en el mero centro de la bola que le lanzo Trump que ahora quiere formarle un lio al umpire. Salen los jugadores de ambos bandos al cuadro, Trump le cae a patadas al umpire, al manager del equipo visitante.....ahora le cae a carajazos a su propio manager, le da una patada a la mascota......le agarro el que T con T a una chica polar......y la gente aplaude y se rie..........

Pan y circo Trompetero suspende el juego por lluvia.
Que me dices Carlitos Gonzales?

Carlitos Gonzalez: analizando lo que me dijo Coronel en el dugout, concluyo que le pezco un lanzamiento facil de batear pues el pitcher Trump es muy predecible........agradecemos los comentarios de Coronel desde el dugout.....vamos a comerciales.

LLevatelo Willie.

Anónimo dijo...

It appears the legal challenge could go either way. The Trump attorneys appear to be concentrating on an existing immigration clause that allows the US Government to bar entry at the President's discretion. The statute reads: "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."
The existing statute is overly broad and would appear to allow the President from stopping any sort of entry for any reason as long as he personally finds it would be detrimental to the US. It does not say his findings need to be reasonable. He could deny entry to any alien wearing a hat, or any alien with a penis.
The opposing case seems to rest on two issues:
1- Why does the President believe that the entry of these individuals is detrimental to the US?
Note: Is the President even required to explain?
2- Is the President violating an existing civil rights statute by the way he is selecting those that cannot enter?
Note: For example: laws cannot target people based solely on their beliefs or religion. That is, you cannot punish or withdraw rights based on someone's color or religious belief.
While the final verdict is still up in the air, what cannot be denied is the poor execution of the original order.
The Government failed to consult its own cabinet members and pushed for implementation in a way that caused chaos and uneven enforcement at the entry points. A bit of maturity would've gone a long way here.

Jacob Sulzbach dijo...


I think portraying Trump as a "double threat to U. S. Democracy" takes it a bit too far.

Donald Trump is personally coarse, rude, and at times even boorish.  But these are not threats to democracy, though they do diminish the dignity of the office of the President of the United States, a charge which I do believe can be leveled fairly against him.

What I see in Donald Trump's "shoot from the hip" personal attacks upon judges, the opposition, and especially the news media is a carry-over from the political strategy he developed during the recent campaign of putting the opposition, and especially the major news media organizations, on notice that the old rules of trusting in a fair and balanced debate are over.  With the singular exception of Fox News, those organizations have stood shoulder to shoulder with the Democrats for decades now.

The real absence of fair debate in American political life which I just mentioned was never so clear as it has been the past eight years during the Obama presidency.  The examples are too numerous to mention; the cronyism of the $880 billion stimulus package was practically buried from public view, the dismissal of an extensive investigation into the major investment banks for the 2008 financial collapse (compare that to the Enron scandal in which the American people did not have to pick up any of the costs of the damage), the impossibility of declining premiums for Obamacare health insurance when the healthy would have to cover the costs of insuring those with pre-existing conditions, the refusal of the Justice Department to fairly investigate and disclose their findings in Fast and Furious, the Lois Lerner IRS targeting of the political opposition, and Hillary Clinton's violations of federal public records laws and much more.  Trump adopted a strategic approach of hitting back hard from the outset so as to shape public opinion, and it has been successful.  And he continues to carry out that strategy to this day now that he has become President.

But while I think Trump's strategy of adopting an offensive posture against his opposition and the media is sound, I can neither dismiss nor approve of his tactics.  It is obvious that many of his public remarks are totally uncalled for and should deservedly be singled out for criticism.  This is the nature of the "threat" Trump represents, that he may continue the process of the weakening of fair and impartial debate--notice that I say "continue," not "begin"--with his addition of coarse political behavior to the mix.

And as for the immigration order, while I definitely oppose it for running contrary to what I consider basic American values of ethnic and religious tolerance and cultural pluralism, I am convinced Trump will likely win on most of his points in the federal courts.  As President he has the authority to act on the basis of national security to order temporary immigration restrictions, powers which have been given to him by the Congress in numerous immigration and national security-related acts.  The one point on which I expect Trump to lose is that of denying access to foreign nationals who have received permanent residency here (green card holders), where legislation already enacted into law grants them extensive rights on a par with U. S. citizens.  But Trump will probably win on everything else.

Sledge dijo...

Trump has character flaws, is a spoiled brat, egomaniac, bully, dumb and all, sure.. But the USA is too great, and Congress rules. There is real separation of powers, and people won't tolerate any wild moves from any president. Additionally, the US government, democrats or republicans, is made of many, many people, not just 1 guy. There are multiple, old traditions to respect. There's a structure, rules, laws, a constitution.. Some lunatic like Chavez or Maduro would not last a week in the USA..

Gustavo Coronel dijo...

Dear Jacob:
I listen to your comments with great respect and admire your objectivity. I might be too vehement but, when you admit that Trump's language and attitudes erode the majesty of the presidency, is this not a threat to U.S. democracy, justly largely based on the majesty/dignity of the presidency? Some past presidents have tried to muddle this dignity of the office and have had to pay a price: Nixon, CLinton, among the more recent ones. Once this dignity of the office is threatened the U.S. democracy is threatened.
Do I exaggerate? Possibly, I do not know. But in my long life I have learnt that he who commits a petty crime is prone (even willing) to commit the big one.

Jacob Sulzbach dijo...

The question of exaggeration is dependent upon whether the threat of eroding democracy is solely related to Trump's behavior as President, which I believe it is not, or perhaps more significantly associated with developing an adequately-informed public, which is most certainly the case.

In my opinion, the far greater threat to U. S. democracy is the lack of informed political debate about all matters which relate to policy.  For the last eight years federal government bureaucrats, favored lobbying interests, Democratic Party activists, and the Mainstream Media have acted in concert to further a partisan agenda in a manner that truly threatens our democracy.  Let me take what I consider to be the two worst examples, the silence imposed on the investigation of our financial sector for the 2008 economic collapse and the Lois Lerner affair.

Try to imagine what would have happened had a Republican held the presidency in 2009 when Congress held a very brief series of hearings looking into the origins of the financial collapse of 2008.  What we saw were basically a carefully-managed set of sessions in which we heard the heads of the major investment banks come in and say quite literally, "we're sorry and it won't happen again."  Compare that with the Enron collapse of October, 2001 that resulted in at least two years of congressional hearings by no fewer than three House committees and seven Senate committees.

The Enron hearings received extensive coverage throughout the news media, and deservedly so, because this was corporate governance at its worst and transparency demanded a full review.  But it is also important to note that the major Enron players, especially Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay, had political connections to the Republican Party, which I believe encouraged the news media to keep the issue alive before the American public.

But even though Enron was a terrible scandal, there was no federal response to commit resources to a bailout.  That contrasts significantly with the over a trillion dollars of U. S. government bailouts and stimulus dedicated in TARP and the stimulus package.  But all we saw were a few weeks of hearings that informed us of very little.  Yet the news media played right along and helped to keep a lid on it.  It is worth asking the question why.

I think it is evident that the Obama administration and its allies in the then Democratically-controlled Congress helped to protect many of those investment banks and the executives who ran them because they contributed to the campaigns of Democrats in 2008 and were supporters of federal centralization of the financial sector which the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 later put in place.  Enron had Republican connections, so it was investigated thoroughly, the major investment banks and bankers had Democrat connections, so they got a pass.  Where was the transparency a truly functioning democracy must have if it is to survive?

Then we come to Lois Lerner and the IRS targeting of Tea Party activist groups.  I'll dismiss with this one quickly.  The Lerner Scandal, with the Justice Department turning a blind eye to the obvious destruction of evidence, amounted to clear repression of domestic political opposition to the regime by the police authority of the state.  That kind of behavior is typical of Fascist and Latin American leftist regimes.  But the media, along with many in positions of power within our federal government, buried it.  How can our democracy survive if political activism, which is supposedly protected by our first amendment rights to freedom of expression and assembly, is only permitted by the approval of the state?

Though I strongly disagree with much of Trump's agenda and the manner in which he has gone about implementing it, I think that his strategy of using the so-called "bully pulpit" of the presidency to force a transparent debate before the American people will do more to restore democracy than threaten it.

Anónimo dijo...

El estar en desacuerdo con Obama, y yo lo estuve completamente con su política blandengue hacia Cuba, no puede ser un impedimento para considerar lo que Trump es: una auténtica amenaza no solo para su país sino para el mundo entero. Un sistema absurdo que permite que un candidato que pierde por tres millones de votos populares sea Presidente ahora comenzará a tener sus consecuencias.

Hace unos días dije en un comentario en lasarmasdecoronel que ojalá lo detengan antes de que haga saltar al mundo en pedazos, o algo así. Bueno, señores, lean este artículo :

Como si no tuviéramos de qué preocuparnos, especialmente si somos venezolanos, ahora tenemos otro motivo. El clown a quien le entregaron la presidencia del país más poderoso de la historia. Que dios nos agarre confesados

Unknown dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Anónimo dijo...

Hey Jacob,

If you were upset at how Obama gave the banks a pass on 2008, you must be livid now that Trump is set on rolling back Dodd-Frank.
While I am all in favor of rolling back regulation, this seems to me the worse place to start.
Dodd-Frank may be a cudgel, but the main problem with prosecuting bankers in 2008 was lack of clear boundaries to financial speculation.
I am a real estate investor, and while I find the new requirements annoying, I had no trouble qualifying for loans.
Trump's assertions that his friends were having problems qualifying tells me they are having issues with speculative projects and in my belief constitutes a reason to keep them in place rather than take them out.
Trump really needs to start thinking about things, unless of course the "friend" that had trouble qualifying was him, in which case, he knows exactly what he is doing.
In either case, I am not sure we are better with him at the wheel.

Anónimo dijo...

Depending on what is really "cooking" in high circles of Politics USA, we might not get an impeachment of Trump, as so planned!

So how are Republicans going to get back into government for 2020? Or for many years after Trump?

Believe me I do not know, and I am still appalled!

Anónimo dijo...

¡Vamos pues! ¿Sabían ustedes que Gandhi liberó a la India, su país, de Inglaterra, una de las principales potencias bélicas, con una gran estela de agresiones y crímenes contra muchas naciones incluyendo Venezuela que como sabemos muy bien, nos quiso arrebatar la Guyana Esequiba, y esto lo logró Gandhi sin disparar una sola bala, y les decía a sus seguidores no devolver el golpe aunque fueron vejaron y golpeados con mucha violencia por parte de los soldados ingleses?. Pero el señor “Leopoldo López, María Corina Machado, Antonio Ledezma y a otros verdaderos líderes venezolanos”, no les importó la extrema violencia de sus seguidores y las victimas y los daños a bienes públicos y privados que produjeron, ni siquiera un solo pronunciamiento, para ellos no hubieron 43 muertos ni mas de 800 lesionados. ¡Vaya héroes!. Recordemos que el señor Leopoldo López fue condenado únicamente por su responsabilidad por daños a bienes públicos y privados, ¿Y los muertos y lesionados donde quedan?. Debemos pensar muchísimo en la LÒGICA RAZÒN DE LAS COSAS antes de escribir sobre nosotros y nuestro país.