Trump’s First Three Weeks

After Donald Trump’s inauguration, I rather lost interest in US politics. Which was a bit of a relief, actually. After all, I don’t want to live on the edge of my seat the whole time. My view was: Let the man get on and do the job the American people elected him to do.

But it seems the Dems in the House and Senate, and the mainstream media, and quite a few other people, have no intention whatsoever of allowing him to get on and do the job. And they seem to be pretty effective about stopping him.

Trump still hasn’t had most of his government appointments ratified by the House and Senate. So, three weeks into his presidency, he still has only half a government in place, maybe less. And he’s seen what the mainstream media have been calling his “Muslim ban” thwarted by the judiciary. And now he’s already lost one of his appointees: national security advisor Mike Flynn.

Some people are saying that Trump has already been nobbled:

Trump is now clearly broken. It took the ‘deep state’ only weeks to castrate Trump and to make him bow to the powers that be. Those who would have stood behind Trump will now feel that he will not stand behind them and they will all move back away from him. The Neocons will feel elated by the elimination of their worst enemy and emboldened by this victory they will push on, doubling-down over and over and over again.

It’s over, folks, the deep state has won.

Arch-pessimist Paul Craig Roberts was already asking last week: Is The Trump Administration Already Over?

But Rush Limbaugh remains confident, despite Flynn’s resignation:

I’m gonna tell you, Trump’s not stopping. There will be more ICE raids this afternoon to make people forget about this. The media’s gonna try as hard as they can not to let go of this, because now they’ve got their scalp. They think they have blood in the water, they’ve got a scalp and they think they can get another and then another and then another and then another until finally they get Trump.

And Trump himself sounded bullish in his latest tweet today:

trump_tweet-14feb2017

He’s referring to leaks revealing that Mike Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador, and then denied doing so to Vice President Mike Pence – which led to his resignation. It looks like there are people in the US intelligence agencies that are listening in on phone conversations, and then leaking it if they find anything damaging. With friends like those, who needs enemies?

I’m beginning to think that Trump’s daily twitterings are an example of welcome transparency, and give people (some idea of) what the President of the United States has been thinking about today. I have no idea what Theresa May or Angela Merkel or any of the rest of them are thinking about.

Of course I really have no real idea what’s going on. But it seems to this onlooker on the other side of the Atlantic ocean that the resistance to Trump hasn’t let up at all, and the Dems and the Media and some people in the intelligence agencies are working very, very hard to hobble Trump. And they’re being pretty successful.

And maybe they will succeed in completely neutralising him. Maybe in a few months time, Trump will sound exactly like Obama or Hillary Clinton. But I’ve yet to hear him say that he’s going to stop building The Wall, or allow in Muslim terrorists, or call off his war on ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

All I really want to know is whether he’s going to slash government regulations, and in particular those regulations which have anything to do with tobacco. But if Trump is going to meet a wall of resistance to absolutely everything he tries to do, I suspect I’ll be waiting a very long time before I see anything happening.

But if there is such resistance to him, it surely suggests that they haven’t managed to neutralise him yet, and he hasn’t given up yet either.

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About Frank Davis

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14 Responses to Trump’s First Three Weeks

  1. Rose says:

    Incidentally, “the hooting and shouting and waving placards about”, is an American import, so we shouldn’t be surprised to see it used against Trump.

    It was was imported here by American strategists and you may remember it being used in the 2005 election against the Lib Dems.

    2005
    “Then, as the media scrum rolled down the street, another mob appeared – an angry mob waving home-made placards and trying to muscle in on Mr Kennedy’s photo opportunity, with chants of “Lib Dems, criminals friends!”
    The placards being waved by this crowd were shorn of party branding and magic markered with slogans such as “soft on crime” and “soft on yobs”.
    The idea was, presumably, to make it look like a spontaneous protest by concerned young citizens, rather than Labour activists bussed in for the occasion.

    And those waving the placards proved alarmingly adept at spinning their way out of awkward questions.
    “Our political affiliations are immaterial,” said one, who did not want to give his name.
    “We are just angry about Liberal Democrat policies on crime,” said another.
    They were, they finally admitted, politics students from Leeds University. And Labour Party members.

    The protest, they insisted, was their own idea.
    They didn’t mention whose idea it was to hire a poster van to tour the town with the headline “criminal stupidity” over a newspaper cutting about Mr Kennedy’s proposals to give the vote to people in prison.

    The Lib Dems, for their part, could hardly disguise their glee at all of this Labour attention.
    “I think it is interesting that we are seeing this kind of mindless behaviour from the Labour Party,” said Mr Kennedy, taking refuge from the mob in a church.
    It showed that the Lib Dems are a “big threat to them,” he added.

    “They are complaining about us being soft on yobs when they are behaving like yobs themselves,” added party chairman Simon Hughes.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4322215.stm

    2005
    ‘Spontaneous’ demonstrations against rival politicians were also organised, with activists instructed to use handwritten homemade-looking placards.”

    “But the Dispatches programme, The Dirty Tricks Election, is the first to show in detail how astroturfing works – and how sophisticated it has become. Campaign materials seen by Dispatches stress that ‘more people trust the letters page than any other page of their local newspaper’ and that local organisers should target it.”

    “Among the American strategists drafted into the Labour campaign was Zach Exley, a Democrat and expert in internet campaigning who pioneered the use of emails to supporters appealing for money – copied by Labour, who persuaded the author John O’Farrell to put his name to them – and is closely associated with astroturfing.”

    “The technique, which began with Bush’s Republican party encouraging pro-war letters to local newspapers, and then by Democrats to push Kerry, is said to have originated with pharmaceutical firms encouraging patients to write letters praising the effects of certain drugs.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/may/22/uk.election2005

    Astroturfing was a new one on most of us in 2005, I first noticed it in 2007 on newspaper smoking article threads.

  2. waltc says:

    One small correction. Flynn of course admitted to having talked to the Russian ambassador–in fact, it was known by all so there was nothing to “admit”. The bone of apparent contention is whether, in that call, made the day still-pres Obama had imposed sanctions and booted some Russians from Glen Cove, Flynn had assured the Russians that the Trump admin would undo the sanctions–and, beyond that, whether there’d been a “quid pro quo” like we’ll undo the sanctions if you’ll ____ (the anti-Trumpsters aren’t sure What, but imply something dark).

    The grounds on which they are yet again shocked! and outraged! have initially to do with whether–since the T admin hadn’t yet been installed– by talking to a Russian ambassador at all Flynn had violated something called the Logan Act–which someone said dates back to the early 1800s (I don’t know) and forbids ordinary citizens from talking foreign policy with officials of foreign governments. This, on its face, is poppycock since Flynn was already part of the T admin and the hair is being split over a matter of 3 weeks til the official inauguration.

    Part Two of this molehill is that, when asked if he’d discussed sanctions in that call–or, more exactly, if sanctions had been discussed– Flynn told VP Pence that he/they hadn’t and Oence assured the press of that. And meanwhile, an FBI or NSC wire tap–illegally leaked– shows that the subject had come up BUT the content of the discussion (a transcript) has NOT been leaked so there’s no context. What HAS been leaked is that there’s no evidence of quids or quos,or even promises to suspend sanctions but this doesn’t stop the demand for deep investigations and independent prosecutors.

    To jump subjects, the unruly and apparently unceasing street protests and the congressional mud-slings are terribly bad for the country as a whole, but neither the protesters nor the congress seems to care. The message being sent to both our allies and enemies is that if WE don’t trust our government, why should they?

    And going further astray, getting back to yesterday’s topic, the anti-smokers are more like the rioting placard-weilding mobs than rational opponents. In the comments of the Grier article, MJM tried valiantly to present rational evidence only to be bashed about the head with placards reading “Smoking Stinks” and “Smoking Kills.”

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      I agree. The attacks on smoking and the rejection of civil discourse about the attack on smoking is a real problem. It shows just how prone to propaganda humans can be. Opening one’s mind to dissent and evidence contrary to one’s belief is obviously scary to those that have been manipulated. And of course many of the attacks are cut and past astroturf contributions meant to encourage the mob. The only way forward I can see is too keep of the dissent and grow the resistance. St some pint there is a tipping point (well below the point of majority) where attitudes shift…

    • Frank Davis says:

      The message being sent to both our allies and enemies is that if WE don’t trust our government, why should they?

      That’s not the message I’ve been getting from it. What I’ve been seeing is what seems to me a frantic, crazed attempt by the Dems and the liberal left to stop Trump by all means possible. I can understand why, to some extent: if Trump does half of what he says he wants to do, that will be the end of the kind of state socialism (or Liberal Fascism, if you like) they’ve slowly been constructing in the USA for many decades, mostly without much push back from Republican administrations. It’s no different in the UK or Europe, where the process is much further advanced. The socialist revolution would not come at one stride, but would gradually be ushered in over several generations as state power gradually increased. Trump is threatening to slam the whole process into reverse.

      In some ways, it’s going to be more interesting to see whether the same reversal will start happening in Europe as well, where the people are getting increasingly disenchanted with EU top-down control. The socialists and progressives may find that there is a global revolt against them by ordinary people, and not just one in the USA.

      • waltc says:

        Well, yes, I see what you see, but we are The Enlightened 😇. I’ve already seen nasty slurs, parodies, magazine covers etc about Trump in the European press and I imagine it’s being eaten up by the establishments and the left-leaners abroad as it is here. Tonight I’ve seen clips wherein NY Times columnist/self-appointed political/ economic guru Thomas Frieden has called this teapot tempest– along with its imagined Russian Interference “in our democratic process” –akin to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. (Literally. Couldn’t make that up.) Network newsguys have called it “the biggest scandal since Iran-Contra and/or Watergate. ” I believe they’re attempting to pave a path to a blodless coup of impeachment or , at the very least, to rouse enough of their rabble both here and abroad as to make it as difficult if not impossible for this admin to govern.

        One striking irony: when Panetta’s and the DNC’s emails were illegally hacked (perhaps by the Russians) and leaked, even though all the leaked material was revealed in detail and was undeniably true, the Hilliarites ignored the content and focussed only on the illegality of hack/leak. Here, in reverse, they say not a word about the illegality of the leak, while the focus is lasered on the still-unknown content and blown up into a festival of dark speculation and disinformation

        • Joe L. says:

          Walt’s right, Frank. We can see through the propaganda (remember, we’ve had years of involuntary training thanks to the wretched anti-smoking establishment).

          Since the moment Trump won the election, there has been a multifaceted, semi-organized campaign to discredit everything about his administration. From false mainstream media stories to thoroughly planned and organized “organic” protests to now what appears to be espionage from within his own intelligence community, there has been a frantic, concerted, relentless effort to convince not only the American public, but the entire world that Trump is unfit to be president. And it’s not just the Democrats; prominent establishment Republicans like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham among others have spoken out against Trump. This goes beyond partisan politics. I’ve never seen anything quite like this.

          However, here is a refreshing interview with former Representative Dennis Kucinich (and a Democrat, no less) where he stresses the fact that something is rotten in the state of Denmark District of Columbia. Hopefully this helps enlighten some people who aren’t as impervious to the propaganda as we are.

          I’m still not sold on Trump, but I’ll never be able to form an opinion until the man is allowed to do the job he was elected for, unencumbered by his own constituents, for Christ’s sake.

        • Rose says:

          The more they did this to Farage and Ukip, the more their support grew.

  3. mikef317 says:

    Somebody has to critique Trump. It might as well be me.

    “Trump still hasn’t had most of his government appointments ratified by the House and Senate.” Minor point: only the Senate ratifies. After someone is appointed to a position (e.g., Secretary of State), the House (or Senate) may ask (or require) that person (or their subordinates) to appear before one or more Committees to testify about proposed laws, or the way they run their department, or just about anything else. The Congress “oversees” the Executive Branch (and controls their budgets!).

    ==============================

    “He [Trump has] seen what the mainstream media have been calling his ‘Muslim ban’ thwarted by the judiciary.” There are two ways to interpret a U. S. law (or in this case, Executive Order). First is the exact wording of the law, and as I recall, the word “Muslim” is not in the Order. The second method (which almost any Court would consider) is the “intent” of the law. Normally this would involve examining the Congressional Record to see what was said when Congress debated the subject. Since the issue is an Executive Order, anything that Trump has said about Muslims (or that surrogates like Rudy Giuliani have said) is open to examination by the Court. This ain’t good for Trump.

    The immigration order would take many pages to critique. The President is not a King. Anything he does can be challenged. The Courts and the “mainstream” media (and even some bloggers) are (win or lose) doing exactly what they should be doing.

    ==============================

    “Three weeks into his presidency, he still has only half a government in place…” I’d be astonished if he had even ten percent of required positions filled (and yes, Democrats are deliberately rocking the boat for Cabinet nominations).

    U. S. Presidential politics 101. There is a Republican and a Democratic candidate. (Third parties don’t get elected.) Whoever becomes President has to appoint at least 4,000 people to various jobs (only some of which require confirmation). During the election campaign, each party reviews thousands of potential appointees; they want to “hit the ground running,” with a good “chunk” of the most important positions matched to specific people. That’s the prerogative of the winner. The party that loses the election has done a lot of work for nothing.

    Before Trump took office, the midnight oil should have been burring as he and his staff selected as many people as they could. During “working hours” various people visited Trump Tower to pay homage. Rudy Giuliani! Attorney General? Secretary of State? Chief of Staff? None of the above? At night, Trump was probably tweeting.

    Granted that the White House appears to be woefully understaffed, is that because of Democratic opposition, or because Trump hasn’t selected people for the jobs?

    Minor point, but telling, I think. There are White House tours that require a ticket to attend – or there were before Trump took office. They’re on hiatus until March 7th because no one was hired to distribute tickets.

    ==============================

    Re Mike Flynn. This is a developing story and too damn messy for me to write a halfway informed comment. One point, however. Trump blames intelligence agency for leaks. That’s possible, but the leaks could also be coming from White House staff.

    ==============================

    Re Trump slashing regulations by Executive Order.

    When Obama was President, Republicans railed against a tyrannical executive issuing orders by fiat. All Trump has done is issue a batch of “feel good” orders. In olden days, bills were introduced in Congress, debated, voted upon, and sent to the President for signature. Executive Orders are good for tweaking existing laws, and maybe even for emergency action. They’re not the King’s Edicts.

    The EO on regulations is a good example.

    There are something like 170,000 federal regulations. The rallying cry here is that “unelected” bureaucrats write these regulations. Not quite. Congress delegates the authority to the bureaucrats – and what Congress giveth, Congress can take away.

    Do Americans want a “pass one regulation, repeal two others” law? Who decides which regulations are repealed – unelected bureaucrats? Formulating regulations often takes years. They can be God-awful complicated. But Congress can change any rule, at any time – all they have to do is do their job – which happens to be debating laws and if necessary, regulations.

    One regulation that MIGHT be repealed is the smoking ban in public housing. I don’t know what Ben Carson will do, but even if he kills the ban, states and cities are free to enact their own bans, and many probably will.

    ==============================

    Enough Trump bashing for one night!

    But a last thought. Talking about impeachment at this time is certainly premature, and I’d probably go for stupid. Trump is going to be around for a while, maybe even four years, or even eight. But remember Richard Nixon. Given enough cause, Americans are quite capable of removing a President.

    • waltc says:

      You make some good points, but I think they’re beside the point of this unprecedented and premature barrage of shit that’s been tossed his way, including a petition to impeach both him and Pence on the shoddiest grounds of wild speculation and innuendo that’s making the fb rounds. And nothing to do with the overblown and baseless charges of collusion with Russia being likened to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 (suddenly we’re into Cold War Ii, and forget Hillary’s selling them a fifth of our uranium, or Obama’s on -mike mumbles) or molehills like Conway’s lighthearted ad lib to buy Ivanka’s stuff being turned into an act of treason. (And tho it’s also beside my point, just btw, it’s the cabinet members who are responsible for staffing their depts, not the president.) Call Trump crazy if you will–and not entirely w/o cause– but his opposition has gone well beyond the limits of certifiable stark raving madness

  4. Yvonne says:

    Off topic: Joe L. – Refering to John McCain and Lindsey Graham, I wonder what you make of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=085Vg4-rNKA Body Language: Graham and McCain Relationship

  5. Pingback: Welcome To The Deep State | Frank Davis

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