Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by mongey, Mar 2, 2016.
EDIT - didn't we have a tinfoil emoji? WTF?
There's an aspect to the whole election interference that I'm curious if others find strange. If it's true, then we could have an illegitimately elected President. Of course I can't say how much it affected actually numbers but one way or the other Trump continues to be President while we figure it out. It's bonkers to me that any government figure isn't suspended while these types of things are figured out.
Well, that might be a slippery slope issue. Just because allegations were made that there was election shenanigans doesn't mean that they are valid allegations - in my mind, not worth the effect of completely uprooting the executive branch. Keep in mind that every election, there are allegations from the losing side that the winning side did something shady.
In this case, though, I think that there is some stuff coming up in the investigation. It's a different sort of problem where we need to get the investigation to a stopping point one way or the other as quickly as possible without missing anything...which is really tough in any context, but when you are investigating where the buck stops, is especially touchy.
Is there an official mechanism outside of impeachment for addressing a concept like a president colluding with a foreign government to steal an election? Or even if the candidate carried out the attack themselves? I mean, I'm not one of those people who's comfortable with the idea of judicially installing Hillary Clinton as president but I'm just asking for the sake of getting the information straight.
It would seem like an odd blind spot for the founding fathers to do everything they can to protect the US from Kings and despots with things like the separation of powers and all that, but then not have something on the books incase a tyrant stole an election. I'd imagine impeachment is an ill fitted solution considering 1.) they were aware of the two party system at the time, so they knew the same party as the winning candidate might be inclined not to pursue impeachment 2.) the vice president was elected under the same illegitimate election, so you can't trust him as a replacement 3.) if the president is a literal tyrant, waiting for the opposition party to potentially take over 2 years later (assuming it's the will of the people to take action and they vote that way) seems like a very slow response
I don't know. This would probably constitute treason, especially if it occurred prior to taking the office of POTUS, but I'm not aware of any constitutional means of addressing this situation.
Until 1804, the electoral college members voted for two individuals (out of five candidates, IIRC) to be president and the individual with the most votes became president and the individual coming in second place became the vice president. But back then, the electoral college didn't vote based on who won the popular vote in their state, either, so the current situation isn't something the founding fathers foresaw when initially drafting the Constitution in the 1770's.
I think this is uncharted territory for the US.
I may be mistaken, but I believe that there is no mechanism for removing a president sworn into office after a fraudulent election result other than impeachment. Like Drew pointed out earlier, the only votes that are legally binding are the electoral college delegates. So......it's legally very much like pine bark- gray, rough, and sticky.
I think it'd be safe to say that if Trump gets removed from office over election fraud, then there will be a Constitutional Amendment to follow shortly after.
So fine, take that scenario into consideration. If a candidate was fraudulently picked by the electoral college (bribery or holding them at gun point), is THAT in any way actionable?
I understand the concept that the electoral votes are the only binding ones, so it's harder to prove collusion or something nefarious DIRECTLY effected the final tally of electoral votes. I get that and it's a fair point but minutiae. Even if you can prove the electoral college cast their votes at gunpoint, it still doesn't fast track any of the current solutions (impeachment and giving the presidency to a VP who was elected from the same illegal action). The ultimate point remains the same.
Oh, I agree. I've long argued that we ought to elect the president by popular vote and do away with the electoral college. It's one of those things that made sense a long time ago, but now it just seems like it's a liability to the legitimacy of the election more than anything else.
But the GOP would never ever get rid of the concept in a world where it'd essentially ruin their chances of ever having another Republican president.
Anyway, no matter what the crime, it'd have to start with an allegation, then an investigation, and then impeachment and then removal from office. I do not believe that the law allows another way. There's no way to reverse the election this long after it happened, that I've ever heard of. And if there was, you could be certain the the GOP would do everything they can think of doing to stop HRC from being appointed president. If the Supreme Court had the authority to name an interim president during the investigation, then that'd make logical sense, but from a legal standpoint, they don't have the power to do that. Once Trump was sworn in as president, he became president, legally, so the only way to un-president him is to impeach him, unless he dies or resigns. In pretty much every case, you would have Pence, seeing as how he was sworn in as well. If Pence claims and backs up his claim of ignorance of any fraud, then we are off into a very weird place, legally, where you would end up with a VP acting as president after being elected VP due to a fraudulent act of the former president.
But that takes us back to reality. Trump is planning ahead for this. He's going to claim ignorance himself. If the investigation turns out that Russia held a proverbial gun to the heads of electoral college delegates, Trump will say "wasn't me, you can't punish me for that, it wasn't me, I didn't do anything, it was Russia, not me." When the investigation turns up that Trump knew about it, he'll deflect, and say, "well, whether I knew about it or not, it wasn't me." And when the investigation, hypothetically, turns up that Trump undoubtedly had a hand in all of it, he'll try to pardon himself, claiming the presidential power to pardon anyone at his own discretion. If it does come to that, I would imagine it'd have to backfire, somehow, simply on the grounds that...well...logic is still a thing, I hope. But all of this is a long way off and will probably never happen. If it does, the US executive branch is going to turn into a lot worse of a cluster before it gets any better.
Yeah, I'll make the devil's advocacy argument here, that I'm not sure there IS a mechanism for removing an illegally elected president. High level, the president is elected by the Electoral College, the electoral college is elected by popular vote within each state, giving a fair amount of leeway to the states for how this is done, but also setting a specified day for the election, and doens't contain provisions for special elections, that I'm aware of. There's a lag between the popular vote, the Electoral vote, and the certification of electoral vote, but no procedures written into the constitution to reverse any of these steps. I think that any attempt to invalidate Trump's election would likely have to be done by the Supreme Court alleging such impropriety in one of the earlier steps by actions of an enemy nation that not doing so would be a threat to national sovereignty, but even then there are problems - Gorsuch would likely have to recuse himself, leaving us with an even number of justices and an unacceptably high possibility of a split vote and no decision. The Supreme Court would obviously know this and be prepared for this, which I'd assume would mean they wouldn't be likely to even hear a case unless they were already pretty much unified in how they were going to vote, and while they might settle for a 6-2 or 7-1 decision, given the magnitude and precedent setting nature of such a decision, I think a useful metric for ballparking how likely something like this would be to occur would be estimating the likelihood of the Supreme Court deciding 8-0 that the election needed to be overturned, and a special election needed to be held.
That's a pretty high bar.
Trump's pitchjing his tax plan in a speech being broadcast from Washington by CNBC right now. I think he's a bit off message here. Most of his focus has been directed to the corporate tax rate, arguing that the fact ours is higher than average makes us uncompetitive. I think thats a mistake. He was elected on a populist backlash against Washington insiders prioritizing the interests of big companies over everyday Americans; this isn't a message that's likely to resonate with that base. It may be a case of targeting his message to the audience (National Association of Manufacturers), but 1) it's telling that this is the audience he chose for a televised policy speech, and 2) this is also consistent with his messaging elsewhere and what I've heard Congress saying.
There's also the little fact that the NY Times estimates that repealing AMT and the estate tax will save Trump and his heirs more than a billion dollars in federal taxes between now and Trump's eventual death/dissolution of his estate to his heirs. This could be a tough sell; for much of the year there was a broad expectation we'd get a tax bill that would be retroactively applied to 2017, and while there are pockets of Republican commentators who still believe this, I don't see it happening. We burned too much time on ACA repeal/replace, and many of the same GOP internal divides are going to cause problems there, as well.
@Drew: But does the message of his tax policy need to resonate with his base, though? Does anything he says need to follow any guidelines whatsoever?
This. I'm not aware of any politicians that stick to their campaign trail message.
I think at a hgih level, yeah, it matters. Trump won because he promised to stick up for the "little guy" in Washington, and to "drain the swamp." If he shows up and then immediately starts hooking up his business cronies at the expense of the little guy, then he's looking at crumbling approval ratings (and an increased probability of impeachment), and a VERY ugly 2018.
There isn't much the public can do about it today, but if they start to feel like they've been sold a bill of goods, then there will likely be repercussions for Trump and for the GOP.
I know this is wayyy off into opinionated-territory, but, as I think you know, I think Trump won because he ran against one of the least liked democratic candidates for president. It helped that he used the right catch phrases, too. His campaign promises didn't even make any logical sense, so I really don't think those, nor anything weakly bonded to those in spirit really matter when it comes to the election. His approval rating right after inauguration were already starting out lower than his disapproval rating...which, really...I mean, what does that tell you?
If I had been given the financial headstart Trump had, and I was clever enough to "come up with" (read: rip off from Ronald Reagan) a catch phrase that resonated with people, I honestly think I might have had a shot at beating HRC in the election. Maybe, you could have painted a slogan on a pet rock and it could have won, as a republican, between the gerrymandering (which has come up in the news again recently) of voting districts, the vehement hatred of the right toward HRC, the disillusionment of the middle with HRC, etc., I really think it was a huge factor.
Obviously, there's no way to go back and elect HRC instead to see what her approval ratings would be, but I don't think they'd be spectacular, either, so a lot of people, I think, were holding their noses in the voting booths. And, apparently a lot of those people pulled the red lever instead of the blue one.
So, in 2018, Trump's not directly up for re-election, but the people who are most likely to vote republican, I believe, are not going to equate their local candidates with anything Trump is saying, and I don't think there will be a vast sea of people changing their minds. What there will be, which I think really does matter, is a possibility that democrats will actually go out and vote, because they are pissed. And, I really don't think that Trump's good behaviour from this point on (hypothetically) would stop them from coming out to vote.
In 2020, it will all come down to who runs against Trump. If the DNC doesn't shake out another rock-star (read: candidate who isn't a total hate-target), then Trump may well win in 2020 as well, assuming he can last that long.
Even with all of this Russia stuff - if Russia dug up garbage on HRC to hurt her public image, then she did nothing to attempt to reverse that. If Russia swept some garbage on Trump under the rug- what was it, because, honestly, it seemed like there was more than enough information out there to know he was not an honest guy. What does that leave?
Trump will go down in the history books, most likely, as one of the ten worst Presidents ever. He'll be bottom three if I write the book right now, and he's got plenty of time to make it worse. What I think of him, or even what the majority of human beings think of him - it doesn't matter at all to him, ostensibly.
So Trump is going to do what he does. We all knew this was inevitable. Pointing out that Trump is trying to hook his buds up with a tax break might as well be observing that the sky is blue or water is wet.
TL;DR - Trump got elected on nonsense and a very high disapproval rating; I don't really expect anything you nor I see as nonsense to be an issue with his base at this point.
But the vast majority of people who voted for Trump didn't vote based on logic, they voted based on feelings. You get to that here when you said:
Add to that the people wanting the manufacturing jobs to come back, the people who were against abortion and voted for Trump without bothering to look up his past simply because he ran on the GOP ticket, the people who thought he would actually do something for the little guy despite his past history of business dealings, the people who voted without actually bothering to look into his past at all, etc.
The vote for Trump was an emotional reaction, not a logic based decision.
The problem with this argument, though, is that it doesn't explain how Trump got out of the primary. You can point to other explanations, like name recognition, but I don't think that's the full picture - not for nothing, Trump wasn't the only populist in the running, and Sanders almost did succeed in upsetting Clinton.
I think where you come closest is "it helped that he used the right catch phrases too." That's basically his populist appeal, in a nutshell. He told people he was going to bring jobs back, stop immigrants from taking their jobs, bring manufacturing back to this country, bring coal back, make Washington work for them and not the other way around, etc etc etc. He ran a populist campaign, at a time where anti-internationalist populism is on an insurgence both at home AND abroad (this movement also brought us Brexit and made things way closer than they should have been in Germany and France, as well) and disrupting the traditional political divides.
So, yeah, the fact Clinton's personal likeability was poor didn't help... But, Trump's was actually worse than hers (he came into January at 45% approve/45% disapprove after an inauguration bump, but fell apart from there) during the general. And he was the last man standing after a huge primary field where the two last candidates remainingly openly suggested to their supporters they collude to block him. A lot of his supporters even knew some of his claims were impossible - there were a number of articles with supporter interviews saying they knew the days of coal and manufacturing were behind us, they just wanted to vote for someone who cared about people like them.
And THAT is what Trump is at risk of violating, if he tries to sell this as a corporate tax cut, not a personal tax cut.
One game I've been playing is waiting for the next appalling thing he says or does, and then going online to see how his followers will find creative excuses to justify it. Like, I don't know, making a natural disaster in Puerto Rico entirely about his own bruised ego. I just have to believe there's a point where he can take the Presidency so low that even his devotees would take a moment's pause. Remember when people were capable of feeling shame?
Trump won the primary for the same reason - there was not a likable candidate up against him. For a moment, Ted Cruz might have been able to pull away, but people generally don't like Ted Cruz. You want to talk about someone with a populist up-coming, Ted Cruz is that guy. While Cruz was trying to appeal to Republicans with the message "Hey, I'll work for you, not the jerks in Washington DC," Trump was working with his rich cronies to fund him getting into office by promising to disrupt everything and piss people off in Washington, with no regard for what the majority of people actually wanted. Trump's success in the primaries was a huge bird flipped right in the face of the actual GOP by the GOP voters.
And, at least in Trump's mind, the primary is ancient history. Nothing that happened back then seems to be of any concern to him. To be fair, the same could be said about any president, because they all promise the moon.
Really, for what little it's worth, I don't think Trump's intentions are as bad as most people make them out to be. I think he's more a combination of ignorance, bad logic, and apathy toward important causes than malevolent. I think many Americans are exactly that way as well, and that's the resonance that took over the nation. People who think that Mexican migrants are stealing their jobs from them and that building a gigantic wall will stop that from happening- people who think that the president is the one who decides how many manufacturing jobs there are and how well those pay - people who think that other cultures are solely out to destroy us - they all resonated when Trump stood at the podium and said "MAGA/Border Wall/Torture the Arabs/Deport everybody/Nuke [insert region here]." It means that we, as a nation, may approach the crossroads soon.
But, in terms of Trump's logic for how this new budget will pan out for him, I don't really think he's even thinking about the blue collar guy who owns the corner garage who voted for him, nor the small family farm whose patriarch voted for him, nor the dude who spends half his salary from his job at the tool & die shop on beer and cigarettes - who voted for him. There's his buddy who donated millions who wants a tax break, and his other buddy who donated millions who wants the same tax break...etc. I'm sure he's thinking about them.
Disagree. It took some digging to find a source, but Kasich's net favorability numbers were excellent, better even than Sanders, at +12. Based on that alone you'd think Sanders and Kasich should have been the nominee. In Sanders' case, I think his three major hurdles were 1) only nominally a member of the party he wanted to represent, 2) a lot of his policies weren't fleshed out enough, including critical details on how they'd be paid for, and 3) there was a widespread feeling that he was less likely to win than Clinton, which may have been circular thinking but was there nonetheless. In Trump's case, though, I think it's even simpler. Kasich was a moderate and a guy not afraid to buck his party, but Trump ran as a populist wanting to take down the whole Washington establishment, and I think that won him votes. Name recognition definitely helped, too, but he ran as an anti-establishment populist, and that one.
I feel more confident in that read after Tom Price was fired over the weekend. The fact he couldn't get repeal/replace done was definitely a factor, but the last straw was running up $1mm in private airplane charges in the last ten months. Price turned out to be the same sort of self-interested insider that Trump ran against, and he got fired for that. It'll be interesting to see what happens to a few other guys who expensed private air travel, but no one else is (so far) even in the same ballpark as Price, so it's tough to say how Trump will act.
I've been saying all along (or, at least, since March or so, when they still hadn't even touched the subject) that tax reform is going to be an uphill battle, and while I think parts of the market are still in denial (there's a bunch of "tax cuts and deregulation magic fairy dust" commentators - Larry Kudrow is maybe the worst - who still expect quick passage and retroactive 2017 treatment because they can't imagine why BOTH parties wouldn't want to cut taxes), there's a rapidly growing awareness that this is going to be nearly as hard (if not harder) than the ACA bill to pass. The current sticking point is the state and local tax (SALT) exemption's being eliminated; on one hand this is critical to generating enough added revenue to pay for tax cuts elsewhere, and it's a politically attractive tool since states with higher state taxes by and large tend to be Democratic, so it's an easy way to sock it to the other party. On the other, though, "by and large" is an awfully big generalization, and in 1986 (the last time a tax bill tried to incorporate this) it was pressure from Republican legislators in blue-ish states with relatively high state taxes like Illinois that caused this to fail. The tax bill already looks like it'll be roughly double the $1.5 trillion allocated in the budget heading for reconciliation for this; if the GOP loses any revenue generation clauses (and the border-adjustment-tax is already gone, and was supposed to pay for a lot of this), then it's hard to see anything meaningful coming from this.