The Value Of Trump

George Will finds a silver lining:

Executive power expanded, with only occasional pauses (thank you, Presidents Taft and Coolidge, of blessed memory), throughout the 20th century and has surged in the 21st. After 2001, “The Decider” decided to start a preventive war and to countenance torture prohibited by treaty and statute. His successor had “a pen and a phone,” an indifference to the Constitution’s take care clause (the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed”) and disdain for the separation of powers, for which he was repeatedly rebuked by the Supreme Court.

Fortunately, today’s president is so innocent of information that Congress cannot continue deferring to executive policymaking. And because this president has neither a history of party identification nor an understanding of reciprocal loyalty, congressional Republicans are reacquiring a constitutional — a Madisonian — ethic. It mandates a prickly defense of institutional interests, placing those interests above devotion to parties that allow themselves to be defined episodically by their presidents.

Furthermore, today’s president is doing invaluable damage to Americans’ infantilizing assumption that the presidency magically envelops its occupant with a nimbus of seriousness. After the president went to West Virginia to harangue some (probably mystified) Boy Scouts about his magnificence and persecutions, he confessed to Ohioans that Lincoln, but only Lincoln, was more “presidential” than he. So much for the austere and reticent first president who, when the office was soft wax, tried to fashion a style of dignity compatible with republican simplicity.

Fastidious people who worry that the president’s West Virginia and Ohio performances — the alpha male as crybaby — diminished the presidency are missing the point, which is: For now, worse is better. Diminution drains this office of the sacerdotal pomposities that have encrusted it. There will be 42 more months of this president’s increasingly hilarious-beyond-satire apotheosis of himself, leavened by his incessant whining about his tribulations (“What dunce saddled me with this silly attorney general who takes my policy expostulations seriously?”). This protracted learning experience, which the public chose to have and which should not be truncated, might whet the public’s appetite for an adult president confident enough to wince at, and disdain, the adoration of his most comically groveling hirelings.

Anything we can do to reduce the power and overreach of the presidency, and restores Congress’s sense of its own prerogatives and diminishes party, is to be lauded, even if it results from the behavior of an ignorant narcissistic lout.

10 thoughts on “The Value Of Trump”

  1. “Anything we can do to reduce the power and overreach of the presidency, and restores Congress’s sense of its own prerogatives and diminishes party, is to be lauded, even if it results from the behavior of an ignorant narcissistic lout.”

    Only problem is that when another President gets into power – especially if it’s a Dem president – the newly discovered Congressional maintenance of it’s prerogatives will dissipate like the morning fog

  2. Actually I think it’s Mr. Will whose missing the point. If he thinks he and his fellow never-trumper’s constant thrashing and gnashing of teeth is not displaying every bit as much encrusted sacerdotal pomposity as he thinks the office of the Presidency should shed, he needs to take a step back and re-evaluate. Diminution and protracted learning experiences are needed in many regions.

  3. congressional Republicans are reacquiring a constitutional — a Madisonian — ethic

    Delusional BS.

    They are totally motivated by self interest. They love minority party status where they can claim to be what they are not (heros of the people) when there’s no risk. Congress has always had the power to support a president or confound him.

    They’ve chosen, thus revealing who they are. It has almost nothing to do with Trump who maintains a loyal base that congress feels safe to ignore.

  4. “They’ve chosen, thus revealing who they are. It has almost nothing to do with Trump who maintains a loyal base that congress feels safe to ignore.”

    Congress always ignores minorities and trump supporters are just that .. 33% approval rating and it is dipping faster than Chris Christie into a salsa bowl.

    1. Vlad, you still believe the lying media’s polls? That “33%” got him elected.

      No politician can ignore any block of voters unless the fix is in. You don’t need 51% to win in most cases. Remember during the primaries how some added up all the votes for everybody else to conclude that Trump (even with the most each time of a seriously split vote) didn’t have enough to win?

      They ignore because they believe the voters have no memory and they can pander their way out. But Trump voters are different in a significant way. They stayed out in the past because they are used to being stabbed in the back by liars. They will stand by Trump because even with the media taking every opportunity to claim that Trump isn’t keeping his promises, they can see it’s the same lying career politicians (and unconstitutional judges) that are holding up the agenda people turned out to vote for.

      When you see Trump support wavering it’s by those that didn’t support him in the first place. Just note how upset the media gets when they accidentally get someone in front of the camera that doesn’t support their narrative.

      1. Just note how upset the media gets when they accidentally get someone in front of the camera that doesn’t support their narrative.

        Don’t watch them anymore. Suggest you do the same. Don’t need “media” or a “narrative” thank you.

        We don’t need “media” with the Internet. But with the Internet comes “fake news”. Not that there wasn’t fake news in the days before the Internet, it’s just that you have have to be a bit more discerning. But then again, not a bad thing. Probably always should have been.

        1. The thing about the internet, when you do get taken in, there are others that will direct you to a link that clears up the picture. All it takes is a bit of humility. The folks that post here are great for that because they do care enough to do the research.

          Perhaps more important, they are on to the tricks of the media. For instance, out of 200 million Americans, they will find one “Trump voter” to tell us how bad he is with the implication that one person represents millions of others. More than half the time we find out that ‘man on the street’ is a total fraud set up to enforce the narrative.

      2. “They stayed out in the past because they are used to being stabbed in the back by liars.”
        And guess what? It turns out Trump is doing the same! But that’s OK, because he’s Trump, and he’s dreamy, and he insults people.

  5. The problem is, this could result in a president, and a congress, in 2020, consisting largely of Bernie Bots, who will continue the project of federal expansion with unchecked glee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *