Let me start off by saying that, like Fred Reed and current The American Conservative (and former The National Interest) editor Robert W. Merry, I have, at best, mixed feelings about President Trump. That being said, for those who have a less nuanced permanent, inveterate antipathy towards him, the sensical way to go about reining him in is NOT to riot constantly, but rather to vote in a Democratic majority in the 2018 mid-term elections, something I will explain with reference to my support for Philippe Couillard's Liberal government in Québec.
Cards on the table. I am not a fan of Donald Trump because of his as of yet un-disavowed support for Sinn Fein/IRA and because of his assault on Jessica Drake, whose public comportment renders her a credible witness, as I detailed in this entry on ProblematicPeople.com, the website of superb artist Wooly Bumblebee, who is also promoting this rad new site AkkadianTimes.com. That being said, I DO NOT have a visceral dislike of Trump and I am certainly unwilling to jump into bed with any and all yobos currently agitating against him. I regard those who riot regularly against Trump to be as much a part of the problem. Yes, these rioters helped to delegitimise ISIS by showing the world that America, as a whole, does not hate Islam. The thing about that is that Muslims currently comprise roundabouts 1% of the US population, which, even on the assumption that the entirety of this 1% is eligible to vote, means that they alone are not enough to effectively rein in Trump's more objectionable measures. When the same rioters who showed the umma that Trump does not speak for all of America when it comes to Islam riot for some other causes, or, perhaps more pertinently, decry and try to delegitimise the current Democratic Party apparatchiks, the only thing they are accomplishing is further radicalising more Americans against them. Radicalisation begets radicalisation. Always has, always will. There are plenty of people willing to vote in roadblocks to Trump. These same people, however, would be unwilling to vote in the mob who rioted against paedophilia apologist Milo Yiannopolous at the People's Republic of Berkeley.
Nor am I the only one who is saying this. Fred Reed openly declares "I am no fan of the Donald," but goes on to state that he, like me, is even less of a fan of the rioters. Yes, Fred Reed is an expatriate who lives in Mexico , and yes, Fred Reed writes a lot of things about Blacks/Africans with which I vehemently disagree. That being said, Fred Reed is a passionate and serial opponent of Trump's anti-Mexican policies and he is aghast at Trump's embarrassingly amateurish Twitter sabre-rattling. At this point, a note must be made as to why Fred Reed stands out amongst all the other yobos with access to the Intar-Webs. You see, he is a USMC Veteran of Vietnam (where he got the Purple Heart) and an old Soldier of Fortune hand, as well as a decades-long Washington DC-area police beat reporter. This means that, when Mr. Reed writes, he has more gravitas (and certainly more decades of experience, and heavy-duty, NON-standard-issue for 2017 experience, at that) than does, say, a Sargon of Akkad, a Shaun King, a Vee, a Shia Lebeouf, a Freedom Alternative, a Miley Cyrus, a Charmingman93 or even a Kraut and Tea.
If you seriously want to rein in Donald Trump, is someone of Fred Reed's ken, who shows inclinations towards sympathising with you in that goal, someone you want to alienate by perpetually rioting?
Mr. Owen, like Mr. Reed, condemns excesses committed in the name of opposing Trump/Bannon/Breitbart's. Mr. Owen, like Mr. Reed, is not particularly known for being a fan of the Democratic Party. Like Mr. Reed, Mr. Owen is even less of a fan of the excesses now being committed under the excuse of "opposing Trump."
I laid out the two principle reasons I am not a fan of Trump in the first sentence five paragraphs above. In the name of honesty, however, I have to admit that there are things about Trump that I do like. For one thing, he is a staunch defender of the Second Amendment (which, with the rest of the Bill of Rights, was cribbed wholesale from the Williamite Resettlement Act, which was ratified in blood at the Boyne.) As well, I was a fan of the foreign policy Trump enunciated during the campaign, which, unlike those of the Bushes, the Clintons and even Obama, remained true to General Washington and Alexander Hamilton, then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Charles Lindbergh as well as to statesman Robert A. Taft. However, as the aforementioned Robert W. Merry, PhD., author of the superb study of President James Knox Polk and the Mexican War A Country of Vast Designs has pointed out in an overwhelmingly pro-Trump article in The American Conservative, Trump's recent actions raise questions as to his ability, and even as to his inclination and disposition towards, implementing the foreign policy of his campaign. An excerpt:
He says he would like to foster a two-state agreement between Israel and the Palestinians but nominates as ambassador to Israel a man whose vocal support of Israeli settlements on the West Bank would preclude any such agreement. He says the United States should cease getting into Middle Eastern wars but brings into his inner circle men who seem to be spoiling for a fight with Iran. He says that, in Syria, we should concentrate first and foremost on defeating the Islamic State, or ISIS, but he seems bent on introducing tensions into U.S. relations with Iran, which also is fighting ISIS. He even suggested that, had he been president when Iranian naval forces detained American sailors who had drifted illegally into Iranian waters, he would have shot the Iranians out of the water within their own territorial seas. He decries the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the country’s actions in bringing down Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi but suggests we should have seized the oil of both countries—that is, from countries that, by his lights, we should have left alone.
More excerpts from this otherwise Trump-friendly article bear repeating.
But running for president is not the same as being president, and now Donald Trump faces a governing challenge that he may or may not be capable of meeting. The New York billionaire emerged the winner in the crisis politics of 2016 by convincing just enough voters in just the right states that he would be a bold and effective manager, willing and able to take on entrenched political elites throughout the political system to break the deadlock of democracy and create a winning new status quo for America. This will not be an easy task, and Trump manifests some traits of personality and temperament that could impede his chances for success
One is his tendency to advocate often contradictory policies that seem to reflect a disjointed and incoherent worldview[...]
Second, Trump seems to lack a facility for getting below the surface of things. On the campaign trail, he often was sharp and crisp in attacking policies he didn’t like or in carving out his primary policy positions. But he seemed to lack the political vocabulary to get below the surface in ways that would allow him to engage in what might be called explanatory political discourse, the kind that provides narrative to the political conversation. Though often brilliant in operating upon the political surface—in seeing more clearly than most, for example, the nature of the American crisis or in crafting a provocatively effective message for the times—he often seemed incapable of giving meaning and context to his political positions. That wasn’t a problem on the political stump; in fighting for legislation, however, it could prove limiting. As scholar Aaron David Miller writes in his book on the presidency, The End of Greatness, “The notion that the president’s job is to create a story or a compelling narrative in order to teach and inspire is absolutely on target.’’ Certainly, the president’s rollout of his initial executive orders on refugees and immigration reflected his inability, or disinclination, to explain his actions to the American people as he proceeds. There was no compelling narrative here at all.
And, third, it isn’t clear that Trump possesses the political temperament to deal effectively with the kind of politics that inevitably emerge when the country struggles to move from an established era to a new and often frightening new day. The country is split down the middle—between those clinging to the era of globalism and those who despise it; between those who want to control immigration and those who think such efforts are tantamount to racism; between those who believe that radical Islamist fundamentalism emanates out of Islam itself and those who think such thinking is bigotry or Islamophobia; between those who view Trump’s election as necessary and those who consider it a threat to the common weal. These divisions, and many more, will complicate Trump’s effort to break the nation’s deadlock crisis and move the U.S. into a new era of consensus and internal stability. This will require an appreciation for the holdouts, those disinclined to buy Trump’s message or join his cause. Trump, after all, is a minority president; he captured only 46 percent of the popular vote, 2 percentage points below Clinton’s total. He can’t forge any kind of effective governing coalition with just those who voted for him. He will need to build on his base, and that will require more than just the political will and swagger he demonstrated in the campaign. It will require also large amounts of guile, persistence, deviousness, cajolery, and an appreciation for the sensibilities of the collective electorate—all applied in just the right doses at just the right time. So far, some of those traits have been notably lacking.
Trump’s mandate, defined by himself as well as events, is to generate economic growth at traditional levels, expand jobs sufficiently to bring discouraged workers back into the workforce, defeat ISIS and then bring America home from endless Middle Eastern wars, foster peace and relative global stability through strength mixed with creative diplomacy, establish an American consensus on the national direction, and maintain a civic calm within the American polity.
That’s a tall order. He might succeed. He might fail. Either way, the American people, in their collective judgment, will maintain an unsentimental view of it all. If he succeeds, they will reward him with their votes, and a new coalition might emerge. If he fails, they will fire him. And then the crisis of the old order will continue and deepen until, somehow, at some point, the voters manage to select a president who can get the job done.
These excerpts comprise the last few paragraphs of a thirty-paragraph article by Professor Merry, all of the preceding paragraphs thereof being dedicated to pointing out how Trump achieved a masterstroke over Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton by reading the electoral market while the latter two simply read from a nearly three decades-old script. Professor Merry, in other words, has a measure of respect for Trump while also recognising that Trump has shortcomings that may imperil the nation and cost him the Presidency in four, rather than eight, years. In his respect for Trump. Professor Merry is not a dogmatic, doctrinaire idolator like Milo, Sargon, Vee and Freedom Alternative. He retains a healthy, and extremely professional, skepticism regarding Trump's ability and the last few paragraphs of his article suggest that he would not be averse to the idea of either voting Trump out in 2020, or voting even more immense institutional roadblocks to Trump in 2018.
Professor Merry was the editor of The National Interest and is currently the editor of The American Conservative. The last word in the title of the latter publication hits at Professor Merry's political orientation. It is not unreasonable to extrapolate from this that, while he is skeptical of Trump, he would not make common cause with those who rioted at the People's Republic of Berkeley as a means of voicing his objection to Trump's actual policies.
What is more, if Trump's guidances proclaimed during his speech last Tuesday are effectively translated into policy, these may generate even more legitimate opposition to Trump in 2018. As Professor Merry and Mr. Reed had indicated (some may say predicted), Trump enunciated on Tuesday foreign and military policies that are at odds with what he promised on the campaign trail. In addition to these, what is of particular worry is Trump's pronouncements about a hiring freeze and about "cutting two regulations for every new one imposed." This 31, January 2017 White House memorandum specifically lists those federal entities that Trump/Bannon exempt from the hiring freeze as being the following.
Exemptions. The following exemptions to the Federal civilian hiring freeze are permitted:
- Military personnel in the armed forces and all Federal uniformed personnel, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, and the Commissioned Officer Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Filling of positions under programs where limiting the hiring of personnel would conflict with applicable law.
- Nomination and appointment of officials to positions requiring Presidential appointment, with or without Senate confirmation.
- Appointment of officials to non-career positions in the Senior Executive Service or to Schedule C appointments in the Excepted Service, or the appointment of any other officials who serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority (i.e., "appointed" positions of a political/non-career nature).
- Appointment of seasonal employees and short-term temporary employees necessary to meet traditionally recurring seasonal workloads, provided that the agency informs its OMB Resource Management Office in writing in advance of its hiring plans.
- Hiring by the U.S. Postal Service.
- Federal civilian personnel hires made by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
- Appointments made under the Pathways Internship and Presidential Management Fellows programs (this does not include the Recent Graduates program). Agencies should ensure that such hires understand the provisional nature of these appointments and that conversion is not guaranteed.
- Conversions in the ordinary course to the competitive service of current agency employees serving in positions with conversion authority, such as Veteran's Recruitment Act (VRA) and Pathways programs.
- Appointments made under 5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(r) (time limited positions in support of fellowship or professional/industry exchange programs) provided that the total number of individuals employed under this authority does not exceed the number of employees onboard (hired under this authority) on January 22, 2017.
- Placement of persons with restoration rights accorded by law, such as restoration after absence with injury compensation and restoration after military duty.
- Job offers made prior to January 22, 2017, for which the individual has a confirmed start date on or before February 22, 2017. Those individuals should report to work according to their respective designated start dates.
- Job offers made prior to January 22, 2017, but for which the individual has a confirmed start date that is later than February 22, 2017 (or does not have a confirmed start date), should be decided on a case-by-case basis and must go through an agency-head review. The agency head should review each position to determine whether the job offer should be revoked, or whether the hiring process should continue. Agency heads should consider essential mission priorities, current agency resources, and funding levels when making determinations about whether or not to revoke job offers.
- Internal career ladder promotions.
- Reallocations (i.e., noncompetitive reassignments and details) of current Federal civilian employees within an agency to meet the highest priority needs (including preservation of national security and other essential services) are not affected. Details (reimbursable and non-reimbursable) between agencies are also not affected; however, agency leadership should ensure that any reimbursable details between agencies are not being used to circumvent the intent of the hiring freeze.
- Term and temporary appointments of existing Federal employees may be extended up to the maximum allowable time limit, consistent with the conditions/requirements of the legal authority originally used to appoint the employee.
- A limited number of voluntary transfers of current SES between agencies, as necessary to secure the leadership capacity of agencies, and where needs cannot be met by reallocation of resources within an agency's current workforce; however, filling of such vacancies is subject to OPM approval in accordance with section 4 below.
- The head of any agency may exempt any positions that it deems necessary to:
- Meet national security (including foreign relations) responsibilities, or
- Meet public safety responsibilities (including essential activities to the extent that they protect life and property). Agencies may refer to longstanding guidance, which provides examples of such activities in OMB Memorandum. Agency Operations in the Absence of Appropriations. dated 11/17/1981 [see examples 3(a) to 3(k)].
Agency heads should consult with appropriate personnel, including the agency Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) or equivalent and agency counsel when determining what positions to exempt from the hiring freeze. Agency heads are also required to consult with OPM and the agency's OMB Resource Management Office on their intent to exempt positions using their agency head authority before implementing these exemptions. Note that in the case of an Inspector General's (IG) office, the Inspector General is considered the agency head for the purposes of determining which positions in the IG office are exempt based on the definitions above, as well as for the purposes of the agency-head review of job offers in the IG office that either do not have a start date or have a designated start date beyond February 22, 2017.
I was relieved somewhat when I read in point one that the Commissioned Officer Corps of the NOAA were exempted. My relief was shortlived, because, although the NOAA's COC provide pilots to the P-3 Orions that surveil hurricanes, many civilian NOAA members are necessary to these operations. The NOAA--NOAA civilians, one would think-- is also responsible for granting permits to Alaska crab fishing fleets, hence why the fleet of Deadliest Catch was harmed by the Tea Party's 2013 tantrum, aka the sequester. As well, these exemptions do not include the Veterans' Administration as a whole, or the Department of Agriculture (which subsidises farmers whose products are always in demand, America being a major agricultural exporter) as a whole.Trump's unthinking hacking away at the NOAA and the Department of Agriculture will thus harm private enterprise's ability to produce an American export for which, unlike oil, there is a constant demand.
Two more worrisome absences from the list of exclusions are the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transport Safety Board. The former is necessary to maintain aviation safety, the latter is extremely necessary to do "lessons learned" from every airplane, train, bus and ship accident to ensure that no accident due to the same causes happens again. This is also where Trump's pledge to cut two regulations for every new one impose scarily enters the picture. The sterile cockpit rule is a regulation that dictates that pilot, co-pilot, navigator, radio operator and engineer speak of NOTHING but what is necessary to the safe conduct of the flight when under 10,000 feet. The sterile cockpit rule is an extremely necessary regulation. The NTSB investigation into the 2009 Colgan Air crash in Buffalo that killed fifty people onboard and four people on the ground determined that the crew's blatant violation of the sterile cockpit rule played a large part in causing the crash. If Trump/Bannon or their allies in Congress introduce new aviation regulations, the sterile cockpit rule is a candidate for being one the two aviation regulations cut, as are FAA regulations barring pilots/copilots who regularly use Cialis for flying (and barring pilotscopilots who occasionally use Cialis for flying for a day and half after consumption) because Cialis significantly fucks one's situational awareness and reaction time, as are FAA regulations limiting pilot/copilot hours in order to avert crashes due to pilot fatigue.
If you think it is impossible, or, at least, far-fetched, that Trump/Bannon and their Congressional allies would abrogate such crucial safety regulations in the name of the gospel of "deregulation to promote business freedom," you are wrong. Mayor Michael Bloomturd of NYC may be an avowed opponent of Trump on race and Second Amendment issues. On fiscal issues, he was Trump before Trump became President Trump. He reduced the salary of New York Police Department Constables--who arguably have the most dangerous job within America--to a measly 25K a year, in the name of the sacred cow "cost-cutting."
How, then, to rein in these excesses? People have been rioting since Trump was elected. It has had no effect on Trump's ability to operate. 2018, on the other hand, offers a genuine opportunity, since, in 2018, all 435 House seats and 33 Senate seats will be up for election.
If you want to rein in Trump/Bannon, stop rioting and start working on the 2018 campaign. This method actually works. In 1994, Bill Clinton passed the Brady Bill, which began eroding the Second Amendment. The NRA put out on the cover of its magazine The American Rifleman the slogan "Elect a Clinton-Proof White House." In November 1994, the Republicans regained control of both Houses of Congress, which laid the groundwork for Clinton's 1998-1999 impeachment.
This is a point those whinging and rioting that the new DNC chair is an apparatchik and not an agenda purist would do well to heed. A choice must be made. Which is the priority, reining in Trump/Bannon, or the triumph of your agenda, which may not perfectly align with those best placed to rein in Trump/Bannon, i.e. Democratic Party apparatchiks?
I can give you a personal example for this. I am a supporter of Philippe Couillard's Liberal government in Québec. I respect Dr. Couillard (a neurosurgeon by training) far more than I respect the majority of politicians personally, and I certainly respect him more than I respect the standard-issue Québecois. (Dr. Couillard's mother is a real Frenchwoman and not a Québecoise, hence the fact that Dr. Couillard is disciplined and well-spoken, unlike standard-issue Québecois.) That being said, there are things over which I disagree immensely with Dr. Couillard. He introduced labour reform laws, but, unlike Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Dr. Couillard foolishly lumped the police unions in with all the other unions, when the police would have otherwise been his natural allies in bringing the sjambok down on the unions. Dr. Couillard, unlike Federal Conservative Party leadership candidate, has been effectively mute on Québec's Maple Syrup cartel and on Québec's liquor cartel which bans microbreweries from selling directly to the public.
Despite my objections to Dr. Couillard's insufficient defence of the free market on the above issues, I still support him. For one thing, unlike Donald Trump, Dr. Couillard is generally anti-union, which is a massive plus. For another thing, the two next largest parties, the Parti Québecois and Coalition Avenir Québec are alt-right race realists, and they command 63% of the Québecois vote. Dr. Couillard is not as diligent a defender of the free market as is Maxime Bernier. However, Dr. Couillard is immensely preferable to the Québec alt right race realist parties.
It really is that easy to make a strategic decision.