Ethics Reflections, 1/19/2021: Good-Bye, Thanks, And On Behalf Of America, I’m Sorry, President Trump

Trump 2020

As I have said before, every American President is owed the thanks and gratitude of U.S. citizens. It is a hard job, a lonely job and a often killing job. Nobody takes it on without suffering and sacrificing a great deal. Nobody takes it on and accepts the massive responsibilities the job entails without wanting to do a good job for his country and fellow citizens. Those who say or think otherwise are broadcasting their ignorance, and failing their own civic responsibilities.

Donald J. Trump was a fascinating President. All 45 have been different, but he is a true outlier, in background, experience, and orientation. I was never a supporter of Trump when he ran, nor an admirer before he ran, nor an enthusiastic adherent when he was in office. As an observer, a presidential history fanatic and a student of leadership and presidential character, I found him to be infuriating, surprising, troubling, and in the end admirable in some ways.

He was also surprisingly successful, though the news media would never give him credit, and though much of what he was successful at upset progressives, to put it mildly. President Trump was unlucky, but many Presidents are; a game I used to play was naming a period in U.S. history when a great President would have failed and another when a “failed” President would have been great. Trump was ultimately defeated by a worldwide pandemic that ruined the excellent economy that his policies had largely created. I doubt that the despicable effort by the AUC to blame the extent of the pandemic on him was ultimately the reason for his defeat; American Presidents usually get the credit when things are good, and get the blame when they aren’t, regardless of the reasons. One of the Big Lies wielded by Trump’s foes was that everything was terrible when in fact things were remarkably good. The pandemic ensured that much was terrible for many months leading up to the election. Few, if any, Presidents could have been re-elected under such conditions.

Americans owe this President an apology because he was never given a chance. Literally, never: he was never allowed to be the President of all the people, nor to have the automatic respect and good will the office itself carries, nor to enjoy and use the ceremonial and symbolic prestige of his office as every predecessor had as an automatic feature of being elected. This crippled his office and harmed the nation; it warped the functioning of the government, and placed the U.S. at a disadvantage internationally. He was savaged, libeled and slandered from the beginning of his term, and subjected to insults and mistreatment like no other POTUS. This was intentional, and in part designed to make him collapse or surrender. Amazingly, he did not, and that is to his credit.

It is undeniable that President Trump compounded his problems by his own intemperate words and behavior, his flat learning curve, his insecurity, his resistance to political realities, and his high-handed and chaotic management style. Add to that a near complete contempt for ethics, and you have enough to derail any President early and completely, but again, it almost worked for him. Early in his term, I wrote that Trump’s survival depended of his finding a Chief of Staff whom he was willing to entrust with managing him. Every President since Wilson has had such an advisor, best friend, or guru. Donald Trump never found one, and it was disastrous. His initial selection of Reince Priebus, a lightweight and weasel, and Steve Bannon, the rough equivalent of Rasputin, as his first staff chiefs was a bad portent. General Kelly did well for a while, but the President didn’t trust him, and Kelly was good soldier, not a fan.

Right now, the assessment of President Trump’s tenure at the White House is jaundiced by his meltdown since the election. He was always a bad loser, and had every reason to take this loss personally as well to feel cheated. But he was still President, and Trump never learned how to be Presidential. This time, it really cost him.

Eventually, I have no doubt, Donald Trump will be regarded as one of the two most influential and consequential one -term Presidents, the other being James K. Polk. Trump was right about a lot; his stand against illegal immigration was important and necessary, though it allowed his unscrupulous foes to brand him as a racist.. Perhaps the aspect of his term that was most remarkable and most unfairly ignored thanks to the vicious media bias against him. He should be proud if that is his legacy.

wars

59 thoughts on “Ethics Reflections, 1/19/2021: Good-Bye, Thanks, And On Behalf Of America, I’m Sorry, President Trump

    • Pretty funny to see a citizen of the United Kingdom say that, when the British Crown is the epitome of an official position that is conferred automatic respect regardless of the occupant. And that part of the system works, which is why the Presidency is part King and part Prime Minister, and was specifically designed that way (and evolved) that way.

      • Even down tot he inauguration. When the British monarch dies…even if they die in their sleep and know one knows about it…monarchy is transferred automatically and somewhat mystically. With the age old “the King is dead, long live the King” authority never has a vacuum.

        The inauguration is the same thing for the Presidency. Every inauguration gives a final Ruffles and Flourishes to the outgoing President as he mounts the stage and the first Ruffles and Flourishes to the incoming President.

        That aspect of the inauguration Trump should have at a minimum attended. But I understand why he didn’t.

    • Character matters but isn’t sufficient. And there’s more to character than just the aspects of character Donald Trump lacked. He had other aspects of character…just dealing with the abject *daily* insurrection from the opposing party and it’s lapdog media propagandists and their pseudo-fascistic combination with large power-wielding corporation is one point of character he possessed. His unashamed love of the United States *is* a point of character. There’s more than just that.

      But where there’s a character deficiency he still managed to handle the executive branch in a chaotic but effective manner.

      Policy matters also and in this realm I don’t see a whole lot of negative marks.

      Now let’s question the character and policy of the incoming administration.

      God help us.

  1. No wars? That attack on Capitol Hill, the culmination of a disinformation campaign by the president and his people, was a violent attack against the United States government. I’d rather have Obama’s attacks on Yemen et al than an attack on the United States with the goal of subverting American democracy.

    Your blog is called “ethics alarms”. You probably should be more alarmed at the president’s ethics violations. Ethics are supposedly independent of political orientation.

    • They are, and mine are. Either you didn’t read the post, or you lack the ability to comprehend it. We’re talking metaphorical wars now? Your fantastically warped characterization of the Trump years is nonsense as well as hysterical propaganda. If Comment #2 isn’t better, you won’t get a Comment #3. But thanks for a pungent example of the kind of shameless bias President Trump has faced since 2016.

      • No wars? That attack on Capitol Hill, the culmination of a disinformation campaign by the president and his people, was a violent attack against the United States government. I’d rather have Obama’s attacks on Yemen et al than an attack on the United States with the goal of subverting American democracy.

        I wonder how he feels about the attack on the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland.

        Was that a violent attack on the United States government?

        I do know that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Ron Wyden, and Senator Jeff Merkley sided with the attackers.

        • That was wrong too. But clearly one courthouse in Portland isn’t as important as Capitol Hill. And the goal wasn’t as sinister as ending democracy in the US, at least for presidential elections.

          There’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around in politics… people being outraged at any little thing their opponents do while forgiving just about anything their own politicians do. But when I stumbled upon this blog which was supposedly about ethics, instead of being about ethics it turned out to be a pro-Trump political platform. Given how unethical Trump’s behavior is, yes I’m going to make my opinions heard 🙂

          • Michael wrote, “when I stumbled upon this blog which was supposedly about ethics, instead of being about ethics it turned out to be a pro-Trump political platform”

            I call bull shit!

            For progressives and the extreme political left, anything that doesn’t constantly attack President Trump or differs with the political left’s hive mind in any way is a pro-Trump political platform; this is delusional thinking.

            Also, I’d consider your comment to be strike three.

            • I’m not sure if you mean what you said, or you are trolling me, but giving you the benefit of the doubt… I’m not on the extreme political left… in the primaries I supported Biden/Klobuchar/Buttigieg and I’m opposed to socialism. As for whether this is a conservative blog, all the entries I saw promoted right-wing political viewpoints. So it is a right-wing political platform. Whenever Trump was mentioned he was portrayed as a victim whose achievements were being slighted by the left. I consider that to be pro-Trump. Your mileage may differ.

              • There once WAS a greater balance of viewpoints here, before the lefties either exiled themselves because they couldn’t handle engaging with righties or were exiled for outrageous behavior. They had better quality comments than this. Sorry, but if you’re going to be Chris 2.0 I think you need to move on.

              • This is an ethics website, not a politics website. If the conduct of Democrats has been so egregiously unethical that they are often the center of attention here, then that should make you question Democrats, not ethics. Or worse, if you think the practical and unbiased application of ethical analysis is a conservative venture, then I think you really need to step back and reevaluate how you approach the world.

                Face it – the Left has gone off the rails in terms of ethics.

                There is a fair point to make if a particular party’s pet policy is unethical on it’s face or leads to unethical applications and results then it’s pretty hard to divorce an ethical stance for or against from the policy itself… which for isolated instances makes ethics a political act as well.

                Again – if the policies of the Left are so grossly unethical and you align with them, then I think you really need to step back and reevaluate how you approach the world.

          • One more comment like “instead of being about ethics it turned out to be a pro-Trump political platform” and I ban you. Check the Commenter guidelines. That statement is demonstrably false, and minimal research here proves it. The accusation that the blog is substantially or primarily a “pro-Trump” platform is an insult, and either a lie or the product of ignorance.

            You also are hereby required to find another screen-name other than “Michael,” as we already have one, and, per the rules here, to email me your real name. You can hide your identity here if you like, but not from your host.

            I also advise you to avoid dishonest statements here like “one courthouse in Portland.” From Minneapolis and Portland to Atlanta, D.C., Kenosha, and other cities, more than $2 billion in damages was inflicted on businesses, churches, federal buildings, and other downtown structures by BLM-run riots. Arson, looting, vandalism, and other crimes in the riots brought damage across more than 20 states and contributed to the deaths of approximately 30 people, including a police captain, a former pro football player, a federal officer, a photographer, business owners, teens, and others. The rioting was cheered on by the news media and many Democratic leaders, including Kamala Harris.

            If you want to try to defend this, or distinguish it fairly from a single breach of the Capitol by a couple hundred right-wing assholes, you are welcome to try. Engage in factual misrepresentation, like the Portland comment, and you’ll be gone.

            You have been warned. Now up your game, and try again.

            • I’ll make this easier for you. This will be my final comment on your blog.

              This blog is unequivocally conservative. Every last entry that I saw before I originally posted promoted a conservative viewpoint. I haven’t read years of your blog, and your most recent two posts were admittedly not, but the ones that I did see before I posted were all conservative viewpoints being expounded. As for being pro-Trump, the whole “boo-hoo, Trump is being mistreated” is a fundamental part of the Trumpian mentality, as is this minimizing the attempts to overthrow our democracy by comparing it to the race riots last summer. That attitude is Trumpian, not specifically conservative. Ask Mitt Romney or Mitch McConnell. You can be in denial about your pro-Trump mentality by pointing out things he does that you disagree with, but reality will not be changed.

              By the way, it’s a joke that people like you complain about free speech and then ban people for their views, because after all viewpoints you disagree with must be “dishonest”. No, I believe what I say. Even if you get triggered by my comments and want to ban me.

              • This entire comment from Michael is pure trolling from a short term internet troll that go to a blog, incite others with their inflammatory rhetoric trying to start arguments and then exits by posting their faux righteous indignation.

                Internet Troll: is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

                This Michael is an internet troll and has permanently burnt a bridge behind them.

                Cya, fool.

              • Those who are banned here inevitably demonstrate why it was necessary. By the way, self-banning is permanent, absent an explicit apology.

                Just to try to save your brain and integrity, which is in mortal peril:

                As for being pro-Trump, the whole “boo-hoo, Trump is being mistreated” is a fundamental part of the Trumpian mentality.

                Utter nonsense. I have studied the Presidents and the Presidency since I was 12, and know what I am talking about regarding the office and its history. The evidence that this President was sabotaged and undermined is irrefutable and a matter of record. Trump’s complaining is personal, mine is based on political science and fact. The cheat of claiming that any time a legitimate analysis is consistent with a Trump compliant makes it “Trumpian” (the same trick used with Fox News) is maker pf partisan hackery.

                as is this minimizing the attempts to overthrow our democracy by comparing it to the race riots last summer.

                Legally challenging the vote in multiple courts is not attempting to “overthrow our democracy.” THAT is an AUC talking point. I was very clear that a President should not be organizing protests (about anything), but the comparison to the riots is fair, since the latter were extensive and endosed by Democratic leaders, and the Capitol riots was not endorsed by Trump or anyone, and was relatively harmless. The GOP court challenges, however, should be compared to the constant effort to truly overthrow democracy by trying to remove or undermine a President without an election—and that is exactly what Hillary Clinton, Pelosi and the news media tried to do. I have documented it, and related what occurred fairly.

                You do not seem to comprehend that taking a carefully considered position that various conservatives may also support does not make such a position conservative, or prove that conservative bias drove the position in my case.

                Ask Mitt Romney or Mitch McConnell.

                That’s pretty funny. I endorsed Romney’s eloquent and correct speech explaining why the party should bot nominate someone like Donald Trump, and I voted for him in 2016. But his opposition to the President as Senator has been incoherent and petty. It’s not convincing. If you check the blog, which you obviously have not, you will find perhaps no DC pol that I consider less trustworthy and more of a weasel than Mitch, even before his unethical Merrick Garland stunt. I don’t care what he says or thinks, and never have. And if you do just because he turned on Trump as soon as he was a lame duck, that tells me all I need to know about your character.

                By the way, it’s a joke that people like you complain about free speech and then ban people for their views, because after all viewpoints you disagree with must be “dishonest”. No, I believe what I say. Even if you get triggered by my comments and want to ban me.

                You’re an asshole, then. Good to know. I ban people who attack my integrity, erudition and process, not those who disagree with me. I have never banned anyone for their views, with the exception of outright racists, misogynists, and those who engage in ad hominem attacks. I require opinions to be backed up with coherent arguments and facts, as I do and most of the commenter her do, not stated as conclusions without evidence. A statement like “all viewpoints you disagree with must be “dishonest” is per se insulting and false on the record. I referred to you comparing “one courthouse in Portland” to the Capitol riots as dishonest, because it is dishonest, and then listed why it was dishonest. You did not rebut any of what I presented, but just false characterized my objections.

                It is impossible to have an intelligent, productive debate with someone like you. It interests me how you got this way, but not sufficiently to let you pull rhetorical tricks and insult me without any compensating enlightenment.

                I gave you an opportunity, and you weren’t up to it. Swell. Bye.

              • What was dishonest about your “one courthouse in Portland” was that you were pretending it was the only riot of consequence done by the left, which it most certainly was not. It’s also cute how you say this blog is “unequivocally conservative” while admitting that at least two posts you saw were not. You are allowed to disagree with our host, as I myself have done on occasion, but you are expected to intelligently defend your position, and if you indulge in logical fallacies you WILL be called on it.

                Here is the difference between a blog or website host moderating comments and social media platforms banning people they don’t like. A blog is like a magazine, both tend to focus on a particular topic, and you can expect the publisher to nix anything that does not further that topic. Failure to do so dilutes the quality of the publication. Social media is a communications platform, like a combination of a notice board and phone network. Can you imagine a phone company cutting off the line of a company or person for any reason other than not paying their bill? Or a paper manufacturer not selling material to a magazine they don’t like?

                If you’re running a blog or website, you owe it to your followers to make it a place they want to come back to, which often means moderating discussion. Not every site is for everyone. If you’re running a social media platform explicitly for everyone, then you shouldn’t be banning people except in extraordinary circumstances and you need to be consistent in what those circumstances are.

            • I brought up the example because of what Speaker Pelosi and Senators Widen and Merkley had stated.

              The judiciary is a co-equal branch to Congress.

              When people allege that executive acts that harm them, or imminently threaten to harm them, exceed statutory or Constitutional authority, it is the court that judges the dispute and issues appropriate remedies.

              When people are accused of federal offenses, it is the court that judges the reliability of the evidence, and it is the court that protects the rights of the accused.

              The attempted arson of the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse was a great many things.

              What it was not was an act of war.

              Neither was the riot at the Capitol.

              The rioters in the Capitol behaved liker Antifa, so they should be treated like Antifa.

      • Ok, a specific example of an ethics violation you should be alarmed at. From today’s news: “President Donald Trump, in one of his final acts of office, released current and former members of his administration from the terms of their ethics pledge, which included a five-year ban on lobbying their former agencies.”

        Presumably you have some excuse to work around this. And yes, you may feel free to ban me from your blog, so you can achieve your goal of only hearing viewpoints that agree with your own.

    • Michael wrote, “No wars? That attack on Capitol Hill, the culmination of a disinformation campaign by the president and his people, was a violent attack against the United States government. I’d rather have Obama’s attacks on Yemen et al than an attack on the United States with the goal of subverting American democracy.”

      It’s pretty clear that you are obsessed with your Trump hate, might I suggest you take part in the Testing for Acute Propaganda-Induced Anti-Trump Hysteria Syndrome.

      Michael wrote, “Your blog is called “ethics alarms”. You probably should be more alarmed at the president’s ethics violations. Ethics are supposedly independent of political orientation.”

      This paragraph might leads others to think that you might also be suffering from Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome. Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome is when the only time a person opens their mouth is to change socks.

    • Before I made my first comment, I read through many months of entries first to get a general idea of what this site is about. I have read almost every entry by now and suggest that you do so, as well, before making another comment. You will find many entries equally as critical of Donald Trump and Republicans.

      This blog is not politically partisan. You just think it is because this entry gave President Trump some credit…something that the opposing party and their enablers in the news media and entertainment industry have refused to do for four years. And that was unethical.

    • Wait… didn’t we decide they were “mostly peaceful protests” or was that just over the summer?
      You think I’m being a jackass no doubt. Perhaps you don’t live in a state where your capital was vandalized, while the legislature was in session and had to be stopped due to “mostly peaceful protests”. I do. Let me tell you, over 1 million in damages because the governor didn’t bother to stop it… it’s all splitting hairs to me. Raise the temperature, enough, you get burned. Is an attack on the federal capital worse than an attack on the state capital and federal buildings not in DC? Truly and really? This is a more visible continuation of the last 6-8 years. It didn’t start with Trump, nor will it end when he leaves. Especially if he gets impeached. Normally I don’t do the “yeah but” however this didn’t happen in a vacuum. The context of it was brought on by all the previous riots everywhere, the raising of the temperature by news and politicians and the expectation that something would happen. The actions beforehand by the politicians were also in incitement, by allowing them to go unchecked, by ignoring the problems and perception of fraud with mail in ballots, by ignoring some and fawning over others, by giving people a lot of time on their hands… it’s not surprising some took it as permission to cause mayhem. No one mentioned this because of its “alt history” rhetoric, however I have ZERO doubts that if Trump would’ve won, it would’ve been much worse. Think on that for a second…
      I’m not skilled as some commenters are with clearly phrasing things. This isn’t an approval of what happened, I am saddened and alarmed by it. However, to be so completely shocked? No. I’m not shocked. The “leaders” set the stage and a few crazed people acted on it. Play with fire and you’ll get burned. If they don’t stop this, and I don’t see any of them (news or politicians) stopping their vitriol, well, they’ll get the populous they created. It’s not going to be fun.

  2. “Americans owe this President an apology because he was never given a chance. Literally, never: he was never allowed to be the President of all the people, nor to have the automatic respect and good will the office itself carries, nor to enjoy and use the ceremonial and symbolic prestige of his office as every predecessor had as an automatic feature of being elected.”

    He’ll never get it. Academia and the media will make sure his name is mud forever, and put his name at the bottom of the list below Harding and Buchanan. Don’t expect the GOP or its adherents to allow Biden to be “president of all the people.” There is no reason to, especially not when his adherents are calling 74 million fellow citizens seditionists and traitors. From this point forward, the president will only be the president of half the people. The other half will hate him with a passion and do everything possible to prevent him from succeeding. By the time next year rolls around, Biden will be in such a bad place he’ll WISH Nancy would invoke the 25th amendment.

  3. The most shameful treatment of a sitting President by the unofficial powers that be in American history.

    And now we’re rolling into a period where the media is literally worshipping the Biden-Harris administration. Fawning over her shoes, oogling at his “love” of his dog.

    This will do wonders towards enraging the increasingly otherized people…well over the 70 million who actually voted for Trump…who being the largest “otherized” population in history.

    At least when totalitarians of Old Europe did it, they otherized tiny fractions of society. The modern American Left? “Let’s otherize, ostracize, isolate and demonize a full HALF of the nation and see how that works out”

  4. Over half the people I talked to yesterday fully and truly expected Trump to be President at the end of this week and the criminals currently behind barbed wire fences and guarded by 30,000 troops to be in jail. I tried to tell each of them that such an outcome was very unlikely, but they protested there is no way such criminial behavior can be allowed to go unpunished.

    I have been happy that the press finally shed their mask of impartiality and have publicly embraced their longterm role as leftist propagandists, but that has left the public with an information vacuum. With no MSM that they can trust, they turn to the internet. With all mainstream social media untrustworthy and censorius, where do they turn? Who can they believe? The President is not allowed to speak directly to the people through any medium right now. How can they know what he is saying or thinking or doing? They don’t trust the only outlets where news of the president is allowed out.

    That is why there was a run on the banks yesterday. You didn’t know there was a run on the banks? I have spoken to people in 3 different states who tried to go to the bank yesterday and the parking lots were full and there were lines of dozens of people trying to get their money out. None of the people I spoke to were able to park in the bank parking lots because they were full. You would think this would be news. I haven’t seen any news of it, but I have to guess that this happened in every town in the US. With no trustworthy press, I can’t be sure, but the fact that it wasn’t reported sort of makes it more believable.

    One of the overlooked legacies of President Trump is that he exposed just how distorted, untrustworthy, and censored our news is in the information age.

    • Oh, I don’t think its been overlooked; it’s just that the the news media, being the well-deserved victims of it, refuse to admit what happened and why. Journalism’s power and credibility with the public is the lowest it has ever been, and their performance during this administration is why.

  5. “Trump was ultimately defeated by a worldwide pandemic that ruined the excellent economy that his policies had largely created.”

    I think the moment he lost was when he caught Covid. Before then, I thought he had some ground to make up, but between the normal election cycle and the Bradley effect, the race was either neck and neck or he was a little ahead, polls be damned. Most leaders got a bump from their handling of Covid, Trump didn’t get a bump, but his ratings didn’t go down either. The moment he caught Covid, it became more real for people, and it seemed like some of the wind came out of his sails. He just wasn’t as energetic after that, I don’t know if that’s because he saw the writing on the wall, or was a trailing symptom, but he never really recovered after that. This was also about the time his opponents really started to run with the “All Covid deaths are Trump’s fault” narrative, and he never really pushed back against that effectively.

    • He should not have had to, though, since it was ridiculous.

      As I noted when the ball rolled by Rich Gedman in “the Buckner game” in the 1986 World Series, allowing the ultimate winning run to reach third base, eventually your weaknesses get you at the worst times. Trump’s pitiful oratorical skills made it impossible for him to rally the public during the pandemic and also to properly put it in context while the media and Democrats weaponized it against him. He called their blame a “hoax,” the wrong word, and it was instantly turned into the big lie that Trump believed the virus itself was a hoax. Any previous President with the vocabulary of a B middle School student would have avoided this. Twitter is not the “bully pulpit.”

      • “He should not have had to, though, since it was ridiculous.”

        Sure he should have. People say all kinds of stupid things, and every time they do, it’s a cris-itunity; If you respond properly, you can hit it out of the park, if you fail, it sticks. These slowballs that Trump allowed over the plate are unforced errors, and you can’t blame anyone other than him. Otherwise, what does the argument boil down to? It’s the fault of Trump’s opponents that he couldn’t narrate himself out of a wet paper bag, so all the stupid shit they said seemed intelligent by comparison?

        No, maybe if this happened in year 1 you might have the argument that he was adjusting, or learning, or something…. This was the entire last year of his presidency, and his learning curve was a negative grade.

        • But he should still not have had to. If a prosecutor brings a false indictment and the defense attorney lets his client be convicted on bad evidence, the attorney shares responsibility, but the indictment shouldn’t have been brought in the first place. I know you and I are basically in agreement—I was convinced approximately a thousand times in the past four years that if I could have possessed Trump’s body ( I know–ick) long enough to address any of the big lies, or to swing at any of the “slowballs,” I could have turned attacks into advantages.

          • I know where you’re coming from, and you’re right, we’re pretty close on this…. But I can’t stress this enough: It was his job to do that. Policemen should never have to arrest a drunk driver, but when faced with one, it’s their job to do exactly that.

            More than that though, this is politics, not law, there’s going to be more room for competitive rhetoric, and while we can talk about how spectacularly dumb Trump’s opposition was, they were able to get away with it because he was worse. If you had managed to posses (and you’re a braver man than I) Trump, and actually responded well to a couple of early SNAFUs, I don’t think the Democrats would have been as eager to get their asses handed to them in years 2-4.

            • It was his job to do that. But no Presidents have all the right tools. Not being able to speak persuasively is a bad one to lack, especially in the 12st Century. Maybe its a disqualification—I thought so in 2016.

    • There is certainly an argument to be made for that analysis However, I beg to differ. I believe the moment that he lost, if not the moment George Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody, was the moment he did that unwise photo-op in front of the church he had protesters cleared away from.

      Most presidents can handle one major crisis, but two is usually another thing. It gave sincere social justice people and race hucksters alike the perfect spark to throw into the dry forest and ignite the fires of last summer. In the meantime liberal mayors and governors ordered the police to stand down, making it look like the nation was falling apart, and the media duly concentrated on Seattle and Portland, which were the worst. The DC mayor was absolutely no help to keeping order in that city, so the President had no choice to deploy Federal law enforcement. To restore order was one thing, the nation’s capital is not Muriel Bowser’s to destroy by inaction.

      However, that march to the church looked like something out of the civil rights era, with a triumphal southern governor or mayor surveying the streets after bully boys with fire hoses and attack dogs had done their dirty work. It gave a visible image to the Big Lie that Trump was an unrepentant racist who wanted to destroy anyone not white, and the gullible black and brown folks and social justice warriors lapped it right up. Like LBJ before him, Trump just had more on his plate than he could handle. Unlike him, he had absolutely no help handling it, and considerably less political skill (LBJ may have been a bastard, but he was VERY skilled at the political game).

      • It gave a visible image to the Big Lie that Trump was an unrepentant racist who wanted to destroy anyone not white, and the gullible black and brown folks and social justice warriors lapped it right up

        If you are to believe a Newsweek article published the day after the election, it did not.

        The article cited exit polling showing that Trump actually increased his share of the black vote relative to 2016, which fits in with much polling taken since May.

      • I don’t think that moved the needle. In this election, there was a very polarized electorate. On the progressive side, it really didn’t matter what you did: They hated Trump, regardless of what he did, you couldn’t make them hate Trump more, and even if you did, their votes wouldn’t count more dependent on that hatred.

        In order for your argument to work, the BLM/1619/Freddy Gray riots, and specifically Trump’s response to them. would have to encourage either independent or undecided voters to vote Biden, or to convince Trump voters to stay home. In reality… I think that it actually did the opposite: Minority voters, particularly in riot zones, voted disproportionately for Trump. Trump *WON* Kenosha with 15,000 more votes than he had in 2016.

    • Once the pandemic triggered the closing of the schools,it was game over. This was the best example of ethics zugzwang—literally nothing could have stopped a virtual lockdown. Since the economy would have continued surging without the pandemic, that’s sufficient to assign the pandemic causation.

      • Jack wrote, “Once the pandemic triggered the closing of the schools, it was game over.”

        This brought back a memory of a comment I originally wrote in August 2019 and then shared it again in November 2019 and April 2020…

        I’m waiting to see how the new tactic to unseat President Trump is going to take shape in the media propaganda machine, the economy. This one is actually destructive to the United States of America.

        I’m sure we’ve all heard it; prominent lefties are actively hoping for a recession so the President can’t run on a good economy. They are saying that a recession won’t really hurt us and we’ll survive it just fine. They have been projection their intent, is anyone paying attention to their actions?

        Since those statements from prominent lefties have emerged, I’ve been noticing some developing trends from the political left trying to say the economy is already in a down turn heading towards a recession. Based on the morally bankrupt behavior of the political left since November 2016, I think it’s a fair prediction that the political left is going to be ramping this up to a fever pitch causing actual fear in people, causing people to stop or greatly slow their spending which will cause the stock market to start declining and all of this will put of people out of work which will drag things down even quicker thus actually creating the recession they desire and all in less than a year.

        When I shared this again in April 2020 I concluded the comment with this…

        Somehow the Democrats got their destroyed economy!

        Hmmmmm…

        Everything really IS terrible!

        Hmmmmm…

        Want to get a real conspiracy theory bouncing off the inside walls of that cranium of yours, think about that for a while.

        Thinking…………..

        Thinking……………………………………………….

        Thinking………………………….

        Naaaa, it couldn’t be. No one would actually resort to such immoral tactics for political gain. Right?

  6. “[Trump] was never given a chance. Literally, never: he was never allowed to be the President of all the people, nor to have the automatic respect and good will the office itself carries, nor to enjoy and use the ceremonial and symbolic prestige of his office as every predecessor had as an automatic feature of being elected. This crippled his office and harmed the nation; it warped the functioning of the government, and placed the U.S. at a disadvantage internationally. He was savaged, libeled and slandered from the beginning of his term, and subjected to insults and mistreatment like no other POTUS. This was intentional, and in part designed to make him collapse or surrender.”

    This is the core of new scorched earth tactical precedent that the political left started in 2016, they and their lapdog media headed down this slippery slope and have not looked back. I’ve been around for a while and it’s really clear to me that when a political tactic appears to have worked to achieve their goal(s), they won’t stop using it. The political left’s scorched earth campaign against President Trump worked and they won’t stop using it on Republicans, Conservatives, and anyone that they perceive as getting in their way.

    I’m interested to see what President Biden actually does on his first day in office. I’ve heard rumors of what he’s going to do but let’s see which rumors are correct and which are incorrect.

    P.S. I wonder if the Washington Post will start a new web page with President Biden’s false or misleading statements and then just leave it completely blank.

    • It won’t be completely blank. It’ll be filled with explanations from “fact” checkers and publicists explaning “this is what he MEANT to say”.
      You see, he didn’t mean to say that he amassed a “voter fraud organization”, but an investigative team to prevent it.

  7. “It is a hard job, a lonely job and a often killing job.”

    This can’t be emphasized enough.

    Of 45 men who have been President:
    4 died in office
    4 have been assassinated
    4 more died within 4 years of the end of their terms seemingly of issues compounded by the stress of the office

    Just in office that’s an 18% fatality rate….including the untimely early deaths that’s a 27% fatality rate.

    2 more died at 4 years out of office but the ages of their deaths weren’t out of line with average life expectancies.

    Ignoring the credible assassination attempts and successful ones of the men who died *in office*, there were an additional 11 credible assassination attempts on the remaining 37 presidents.

    That makes right at 51% of Presidents whose lives were cut short or almost cut short by the job.

    OSHA wouldn’t approve.

    • Nixon – left in 1974, died 20 years later.
      Ford – left in 1976, died 30 years later.
      Carter – left in 1980, still alive, although 96 and probably living on borrowed time.
      Reagan – life in 1988, died 16 years later, although was very sick for a lot of that.
      Bush the elder – left in 1992, died 26 years later.
      Clinton – left in 2000, still alive, probably still has a decade or more to go.
      Bush the younger – left in 2008, still alive, probably has a decade or more to go.
      Obama – left four years ago, still alive, probably a lot of years to live.

      William Harrison – probably did himself in by trying to prove he was tough by giving a long inaugural address outside while not dressed warmly, resulting in pneumonia, so he was dead in 30 days.
      Taylor – died probably after eating food that had gone “off” in the summer heat.
      Harding – died of what academics now think was heart failure, possibly had already had undiagnosed heart disease.
      FDR – almost dead when elected for the 4th time anyway due to untreatable high blood pressure.

  8. I’ve got a question…

    Over the last week or so we’ve been told about all the violent protests that were going to take place across the USA on Presidential inauguration day, where is the predicted violence?

    I haven’t seen any coverage of protests or violence.

    • It must have been that large police/military presence and the unscalable wall that stopped all those rabid Trump supporters from destroying property and attacking people.

      Which is odd because I thought the narrative was that police officers are murderers and that walls don’t work.

  9. I would argue that, from the perspective of the Democrats and the media, President Trump’s Original Sin was keeping Clinton (aka “Her Heinous”) from taking her “rightful” place as president.

    People had plans. They knew who would be in key positions. They knew that the “progressive” agenda would continue to gain traction. The press-titutes already had their post-election interviews vetted and scheduled by Clinton staffers. The Trump was elected. And their plans were for naught. Poof! Gone!

    In their eyes, Trump could never be forgiven and, from Clinton’s concession speech onward, they consistently worked to sabotage Trump’s administration at every opportunity. Nevertheless, he persisted.

    And the true benefit:

    • Speaking of the power of the press, with Watergate, the mainstream media learned it had to power to expose corruption, resulting in the removal of a president. [Ever since then, every reporter I know wants to be either Woodard or Bernstein.] This past year, the mainstream media learned that it had the power to manipulate the voters.

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