The Trump Presidency

“How it made me a better American.”

I will continue to praise Trump when he does something good, and criticize him when he behaves stupidly and boorishly.

[Update a few minutes later]

Per Karol’s comments about her disappointment with herself over not being more concerned about Obama’s depredations on the law and decency, a few months ago I started to put together a list of similarities between Obama and Trump, and there are more of them than either of their supporters want to admit:

  • Reverse Midas Touch
  • Cult
  • Inarticulate Foot-in-Mouth Off Prompter
  • Indifference/Hostility To Constitution
  • Charismatic To Selective Audience
  • Reckless Disregard For The Truth
  • Travel Expenses
  • Dunning Kruger
  • Despised by members of his own party

Feel free to add in comments.

[Late-evening update]

I want to thank all those in comments who proved my point about the blind supporters of Trump being unwilling to recognize the similarities with Obama. I hope some Obama supporters will weigh in as well, to reinforce it.

52 thoughts on “The Trump Presidency”

  1. Indifference/Hostility To Constitution

    This one is strained. Obama placed two individuals on the Supreme Court who share his disdain for the constitution. And had no serious opposition doing so. Trump has done the exact opposite. With severe, even over-the-top obstructionism.

    – Travel Expenses
    -Despised by members of his own party

    You really need to expand on these, they appear to me to be nonsensical. Name one democrat who went on the record as “despising” Obama while president.

    1. There is more to caring about the Constitution that judicial appointments.

      Both Obama and Trump run up huge taxpayer-funded travel expenses for vacations (unlike Bush, who just went to his ranch in Texas). And I didn’t say anything about Democrats being on the record.

      1. There is more to caring about the Constitution that judicial appointments.

        So what is Trump’s hostility to the Constitution, in your view?

          1. He’s almost certainly never read it.

            I don’t think you’ll sway many people with an argument based on ignorance, Rand.

          2. Trump attended school at New York Military Academy from 1959 to 1964. The people running the place then were WW2 and Korean War veterans.

            You can be certain that those gentlemen made sure the cadets both knew and understood the US Constitution.

            If you have seen anything he has done that was plainly unconstitutional, there’s a laundry list of Congressmen who would love to know about it as a pretext for impeachment.

            Far from behaving unconstitutionally, he has got to be just about the cleanest politician since Washington. He has been placed under a microscope by the Mueller probe and its unlimited budget, and after two years they have found precisely nothing.

            Rand, you yourself are the target of a SLAPP. Has it been fun for you? What Trump is going through in the legal system is somewhat worse, and he’s having to do it on top of everything else that goes with being President.

            And they’ve got nothing. If they had anything, it would have already leaked to the press.

            As far as trips to Mar-a-Lago: he owns the place. It’s exactly the same as GWB going to his ranch, with the exception that Trump has his own security that he hired himself long before he became President already in place.

            I think you formed an opinion about the man early on, informed by the mainstream media and the caricature of himself he played on The Apprentice. And I think that early impression left such a bad taste in your mouth that you can’t shake it.

            I think if you set aside the man, his tweets, his outsized personality, and instead look at what he has actually done while in office, you’d have a different view. Pick anything he’s done, and ask yourself three questions:
            – did he promise to do it?
            – is it constitutional?
            – is it good for America?
            I think you’ll reluctantly find yourself answering yes to all three questions.

          3. It is clear to me that (like Obama) he wants to do what he wants, regardless of the Constitution. Can you point to me an instance in which he’s mentioned the word with regard to his policies?

          4. ed wrote: “As far as trips to Mar-a-Lago: he owns the place. It’s exactly the same as GWB going to his ranch”

            well except for the fact trump jacked up the rates for mar a lago to 200k a pop after he became president .. Bush didn’t rent out rooms at the ranch for 200k membership fees.

          5. Bush didn’t rent out rooms at the ranch for 200k membership fees.

            Membership fees is not rent. Raising initial membership fees make its more difficult for newcomers, such as CNN and MSNBC to get a place. Trump’s security detail fall under his membership. Bush didn’t even rent rooms to CNN and MSNBC.

        1. Yeah, I haven’t seen anything unconstitutional yet. There have been a number of court cases that haven’t gone his way but with judges taking open borders positions, which look more unconstitutional to this normal person. For example, there was the one case where the judge ruled that Obama could rule by executive order but if Trump reversed that order it was illegal.

          I don’t know how much Trump knows about the constitution but until there is evidence to the contrary why not look at his actions rather than caricatures?

      2. There is more to caring about the Constitution that judicial appointments.

        For the leader of the executive branch, it is far and away the most important aspect. I know you’ve done this here before; “Trump and Obama have many similarities, here’s a partial list.” If you really see Indifference and Hostility as being similar, with respect to a POTUS, there probably isn’t much of substance that I can add.

  2. Indifference is probably the better word. But in truth many politicians are this way. They care about passing stuff that gets them reelected first and constitutionality at best a distant second. And they’re that frankly because a good chunk of the electorate doesn’t know or doesn’t care much about constitutional issues.

  3. Reverse Midas’ touch? How’s that?

    And the travel expenses? Maybe for the people he’s selected as cabinet officers, but Trump himself?

    Despised by members of his own party applies to Trump, but hardly LightBringer™

    1. Trump spends a lot of money on his weekly golf trips to Mir A Lago (among other places). Behind the scenes, a lot of people are pissed off (and many were at the time) pissed off at LightBringer™. It’s just the Never Trump Republicans are a lot more vocal about it.

      1. Trump may spend a lot on his trips to Mir-A-Lago….lets tally up his travel expenses in 8 years, vs LightBringer™ and his husband the water buffalo.

        And yes, there are titular republicans who despise him…You think that’s similar to dems hating LightBringer™ ?

        1. I think the expenditure rate is comparable, and in what way is the latter different, other than their unwillingness to say it publicly? There are plenty of stories of the incandescent fury of a lot of Dems at Obama, particularly for losing so many state houses and governorships.

          1. I doubt the overall rate is comparable. Travel to Mar-a-Lago vs. Martha’s Vineyard maybe, but not Hawaii. And the Obamas security and rental expenses would have been much higher. It’s also kind of silly to contrast with Bush43 while deciding not to go back another 8 years and also contrast with the Clintons.

            For every “story” of Dem incandescent rage at Obama, there are thousands of examples of the halleluiah-hope-and-change-deification variety. The first, if exposed, would have found instant universal denouncement. The second were instantly bull-horned, repeated and breathlessly acknowledged.

            We see almost the exact opposite today. If you really don’t see that claiming “In-party hostility” as something that Trump and Obama had/have in common is
            an extreme stretch, there probably isn’t much anyone here can help out with.

      2. >Trump spends a lot of money on his weekly golf trips to Mir A Lago<

        BS Trump stayed at the WH Dec 2018. He spent 50% less than Obama 1st 2 years at Dec. vacation. You're a twit like J. Goldberg.

        1. BS Trump stayed at the WH Dec 2018. He spent 50% less than Obama 1st 2 years at Dec. vacation.

          That’s nice. I guess if we were only talking about December vacations, you might have a point.

          You’re a twit like J. Goldberg.

          Oh. Well. That’s certainly a compelling argument.

          1. So give us the Obama vs Trump(including that Trump isn’t taking a paycheck) travel expense for 2009-2010 vs 2017-2018.You’re a swamp space creature.

            Goldberg – approved opposition like Mittens.

  4. I had a couple similarities back during the election but the one that sticks out the most is the use of insults. Obama ruled through insults and Trump has copied him. That Obama was praised for his bully behavior and Trump is portrayed as uniquely evil shows a major difference, there is a huge TDS cult.

    Sure, Trump has some enthusiastic supporters but it doesn’t hold a candle to the irrational religiosity on display by Democrats, their media, and NeverTrumpers. Consider that the Democrats created a moral imperative to not just oppose Trump but to do so with demonstrated enthusiasm, with no regard for the law, and employ a nationwide campaign of violence and social and business excommunication from society. These behaviors are often time cheered on by NeverTrump but usually only after one of their own gets caught up in the pogrom.

    I wish Trump were more civil but considering what he is going up against, I don’t think a person could be civil in doing it. He is still far more civil than the party that proudly has a jackass as their mascot and the TDS people on the right tend not to be very civil themselves.

    People think there should be no conflict between Trump and anyone else but it is impossible to solve any of our country’s problems without conflict. There are people on the right afraid to fight for anything and their are people on the left upset people are finally fighting back against them after over a century of abuse.

    1. “Obama ruled through insults . .”

      Could you give some examples, I’ve no doubt the media was far softer on Obama than it has been on Trump (not entirely the medias fault, every President in living memory had a better relationship with the media than Trump has had, the reason for most of that is that Trump is crude, gross, loutish, boorish etc) it’s just that, off hand, I don’t recall any insults from Obama, maybe they never traveled this far – or maybe they’re bigger in your mind than they were in reality.

      1. Could you give some examples,

        You mean besides “bitter clingers” or “they acted stupidly”? Those were just in the 2008 and 2009. I could go on, but I’ll just stop now by pointing out that it was Obama that first used the phrase “fake news” to describe Fox News, and to quote Anite Dunn in 2009 (Obama’s WH communication director), “As [Fox News] are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

        every President in living memory had a better relationship with the media

        I guess in New Zealand, you didn’t get the news that Obama banned press photography from most White House throughout his presidency. They protested, but not too harshly, since Obama also had a habit of having journalist spied on and investigated (source NYT and AP).

        1. Can’t say the phrase “bitter clingers” is something to get tits in a tangle over, I get worse insults from you every time you direct a comment at me.
          You don’t think the police acted stupidly for arresting someone after they had proof that it was their own home they were forcing entry to? Is it normal for the police in the US to arrest people for no crime? You set a low bar.

          Traditionally news organizations supplied news first, political advocacy was ok for the editorials, sadly these days few US news organizations act in the way legitimate news was supposed to act, these days it’s more entertainment than information.

          Maybe you could find some evidence supporting the claim that “Obama ruled through insults . .”, the phrase suggests many, many examples, I’d expect several each week, not one every few years.

          1. “Can’t say the phrase “bitter clingers” is something to get tits in a tangle over,…”

            Well remember the rest of that …”who cling to their guns and their bbles..”

            Obama was talking to a supportive audience who also thinks “those people” (aka Hillary’s Deplorables) are cretinous nazi’s.

            “You don’t think the police acted stupidly for arresting someone after they had proof that it was their own home they were forcing entry to? Is it normal for the police in the US to arrest people for no crime? You set a low bar.”

            You either forgot or didn’t know what Gates was arrested for. it wasn’t for “breaking into his own house”. Before you try to make a point, some fact gathering is in order.

            There was the “lipstick on a pig” insult to Palin.

            It’s true that Trump’s insult rate exceeds Obamas.

            But we don’t feel like doing your research for you when your posts make it clear you do zero for yourself. Come back to use when you’ve done a little research.

          2. Gregg, I was aware that the arrest was for disorderly conduct, which is why I didn’t say he was arrested for breaking into the house, given the fact that it was the unwelcome presence of the police at his house that was causing the confrontation the easy option to end the confrontation was for either the police or Gates to leave the scene. The police leaving was the sensible solution, it wasn’t the solution they chose.

            Reading further I see that Obama said he regretted his comments, the two protagonists went to see Obama at the White House for a beer summit, and the Gates and Crowley are now friends with a good understanding of the others perspective in their confrontation.
            So on balance though Obama shouldn’t have jumped in to the dispute, in the end it was a good outcome that he orchestrated.

            “lipstick on a pig” is a common line, apply it to any one or anything other than a woman and it’s just a line, apply it to a woman and it’s sexism, I don’t buy attempts to turn every political attack into an attack on women as the feminists are inclined to do. But hey, if you want to buy into the SJW movement that’s up to you.

          3. Andrew wrote:
            “Gregg, I was aware that the arrest was for disorderly conduct, which is why I didn’t say he was arrested for breaking into the house,”

            Andrew that is complete and utter bs. Here is what you wrote verbatim:

            “You don’t think the police acted stupidly for arresting someone after they had proof that it was their own home they were forcing entry to? Is it normal for the police in the US to arrest people for no crime? You set a low bar.”

            No crime is what you said then. BUT NOW you say it was for disorderly conduct. Well that IS a crime. And you mention “…after they had proof that it was their own home they were forcing entry to? ”

            We ALL know what you were saying..that you thought the police were wrong to arrest him once they realized he owned the house and wasn’t breaking in.

            This backtracking and trying to cover your hideous mistakes fools no one.

            You are so full of it and pretty pathetic at hiding that.

            You are dismissed.

          4. What do you think would happen if I travelled to New Zealand, and then yelled at the customs official requesting my identification and then refused to provide my id? Would they just let me be, allow me to take whatever items I saw laying around, and then let me just walk into New Zealand?

            The sensible thing would have Gates providing his identification when the officer requested it. Andrew, you keep making the false claim that Gates proved he lived there before he was arrested. You, and Obama, are wrong. The difference is that Obama made his comments before learning all the facts. You have the ability to do research, and yet you still don’t know why Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct. He was arrested for not just refusing to provide identification (the proof you claim already existed) and yelled at the officer. He wasn’t arrested for breaking in because officers hadn’t determined if a break in occurred. That was the call for which they were responding.

            And to be clear, Andrew; if you want cops to just walk away from calls, because they are unwanted by elements of society, then by all means, make that the law in New Zealand, and then stay out of the US.

          5. So on balance though Obama shouldn’t have jumped in to the dispute, in the end it was a good outcome that he orchestrated.

            The outcome was a war against law enforcement that continues to this day. Many police officers have been murdered. Don’t forget about Dallas or any of the other events.

          6. Greg, he was arrested for disorderly conduct while on his own property, those of us on the true right find such an arrest inexcusable, we think people have the right to say what they like on their own property, it’s a basic freedom, the police don’t get to come on to your property without reasonable cause, and once that reasonable cause is proven false they leave, no ifs or buts, it’s only you people on the authoritarian “right” that think it would be OK to arrest someone on their own property because the police officer got upset by the person acting like a cretin towards them. Gates “crime” was being a cretin, but in civilized countries (I’ll include the US as civilized) being a cretin isn’t a crime, it’s all down to important issues like freedom of speech and freedom of expression, concepts that you on the authoritarian “right” are happy to throw away for cheap political reasons.

          7. Leland:
            What do you think would happen if I travelled to New Zealand, and then yelled at the customs official requesting my identification and then refused to provide my id? Would they just let me be, allow me to take whatever items I saw laying around, and then let me just walk into New Zealand?

            Some analogies are good because they hold consistent with the principles that are being analogized, other analogies are stupid because they draw patently false parallels, your analogy would just be stupid if you argued that Gates position was equivalent to you being arrested on the street for disorderly conduct, but no, you have to kick for touch and argue that Gates arrest wasn’t just equivalent to you being arrested on the street but in another country that you were a visitor in.

            The biggest problem with Gates arrest was that it happened on his own property, and involved no one other than him and the police, so an analogy with a similar arrest on the street is stupid, your analogy with you being disorderly in another country is stupidity squared.

            If you do visit New Zealand I urge you to act in the way you describe at the airport, just as an experiment, you think you’ll be arrested, I’m hopeful they’d just put you on the next plane back to the US.

            Andrew, you keep making the false claim that Gates proved he lived there before he was arrested. You, and Obama, are wrong.

            Well if Obama and I are wrong it’s because we’re silly enough to rely on the claims of Gates and Officer Crowley, both of whom have said the arrest happened after Gates had presented his identification.

            When Crowley arrived, he found Gates in the house (the driver was gone) and asked him to step outside. Gates refused. When Crowley went into the house, Gates showed his Harvard identification card and his driver’s license, which included his address. According to police, Gates then became angry and followed Crowley outside. He was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, which was later dropped.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/30/AR2010063001356.html

      2. There are many examples. One was the racist attack against Republicans saying it was their turn to sit in the back. This was a social justice attack against Republicans. aka white people according to Democrats. Obama was saying it is Republicans turn to be persecuted and many of his policies backed this up. But Republicans weren’t the ones responsible for the things Obama scapegoated them for.

        Another example was when he did the Obamacare round table and cut off McCain saying, “I wont”.

        Another example were his repeated insults of Trump. One of the most popular ones was when he was on one of the late night comedy shows and the punchline was, “At least I will go down as a President.”

        His speeches are riddled with insults and usually not the jocular type that Trump uses but deeply malicious ones.

  5. To this outside Australian observer with an interest in US politics, Trump appears to be a patriot who supports and works for American values, Obama appeared to be hostile to them and “patriot” is the last word I’d use to describe Obama.
    Anyway I don’t get to vote in US elections but the Australian government threatens me if I don’t vote. Even down to State and local level in Queensland.

    1. I’m happy to agree that that’s a difference. I didn’t claim there were no differences.

      What seems to enrage supporters of both is (amusingly) when I point out similarities, that they are unwilling to recognize.

    1. There are two things at play with greater effect than social media. One is the media, which is basically yellow journalism in support of the Democrat party. The other is the rise of authoritarian marxism on the left. Those two things make a divide inevitable.

  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Presidential_vacations

    45 Donald Trump 2017- 150[11] 97[11] $100m+
    44 Barack Obama 2009-2017 29 328[14] $97m
    43 George W. Bush 2001-2009 88 1,020[14] $140m
    42 Bill Clinton 1993-2001 41 174[2] – 345 $128m

    BS .. trump and bush out spending Obama ..

    Mar a Lago is not like bush going to the ranch .. it is a commercial operation and trump doubled the membership fees after becoming president to 200k a pop .. selling access is NOT what Bush did at the ranch ..

    the republicans are the one with the distain for the constitution it is why they want to change it..with the liberty points.

    Kochs Bankroll Move to Rewrite the Constitution
    https://www.prwatch.org/news/2017/03/13229/koch-brothers-bankroll-constitutional-convention

    1. selling access is NOT what Bush did at the ranch ..

      Bush provided NO access to the ranch without invitation from him. And Obama banned, for a time, personal cameras on public tours of the WH, because he considered it his House, and not the property of the people that elected him. Indeed, Mar-a-lago is a commercial operation open to anyone who can afford entry. But your repeated argument twice now, and haven’t made a connection to how raising initial membership fees raises the spending costs. Do you have invoices showing where Trump made his security team pay the membership fees?

    2. Of course we know it’s evil cause the magic word Koch is mentioned. But, on a serious note, many conservatives and libertarians think the Constitution does have deficiencies-we just prefer changes go through an upfront amendment process or constitutional convention rather have judges either ignore parts they don’t like or decide that things they think are a good idea are now rights.

    3. Going through the constitutional process to change the constitution isn’t disdain for the constitution, it is an appreciation of it. It would be nice if gun grabber Democrats recognized that. But then again, Democrats view the constitution as an illegitimate document created by the racist patriarchy or some such nonsense.

  7. Did Presidents prior to Trump spend 3 out of 4 weekends away from the White House at resorts that required him and his entourage to fly there in Airforce 1? The claim is being made that each of these weekends off costs taxpayers $1-3 million, which I can believe, so Trumps tax payer funded holiday bill would be $40-120 million a year, easily dwarfing the $12-18 million a year figure offered at Wiki for the previous 3 presidents. His forgoing his 400k salary is peanuts in comparison.

    1. Did Presidents prior to Trump spend 3 out of 4 weekends away from the White House at resorts that required him and his entourage to fly there in Airforce 1?

      Please rid yourself of ignorance.

      But to answer your question; neither the Clintons or Obamas maintained private residences in the US while living in the White House. Indeed, the Clintons lived in public provided housing for 18 years of their lives. So, they didn’t have their own homes, that happen to be in a resort, to visit.

      However, that didn’t stop the Obamas from routinely travelling to Hawaii to visit family and the entourage from booking the most expensive resorts. Indeed, there was a story of a couple that had planned their wedding at such a resort, only to be thrown out by the President’s security, because Obama decided to play golf there that day. I don’t blame Obama for that, it was his security that acted stupidly. Perhaps the simple solution was for Obama’s security to just leave, since they were not wanted there?

      BTW, his entourage is a product of the bureaucracy that demands they attend the President. And Air Force One, which isn’t always a 747, is hardly the worst of the entourage. There is also a few transports that are used to carry the multiple limos, support vehicles, and multiple helicopters, plus the second stand-by executive aircraft. When you decide to rid yourself of ignorance, Andrew, you might want to watch a documentary on Air Force One.

      If you want to argue that the Presidential travel detail is too expensive and needs to be curtailed; then good luck finding someone outside of it that disagrees with you.

      Now that she is Speaker of the House again, I’m sure we can expect Nancy Pelosi to demand her own USAF C-32 for her travels, as she did previously as Speaker of the House.

    2. Presidential salary is small in comparison to the other perks or security demands. But if we are to quibble, why not include Obama’s continuing costs as he travels around the world trashing the USA and free markets?

  8. Rand – when, in your opinion, Trump and Obama share attributes in your list, do you consider that attribute to be negative? Inarticulate? ignore/hostile to Constitution?

    Is there any item in your list that you do NOT think reflects negatively on both of those people? If so which ones?

    A lot hinges on whether Rand intends his list of shared attributes to reflect negatively on both people, I sense the assumption on most respnder’s parts that it does but I don’t know for sure.

    Rand’s comparison list is a little misleading. For example:

    “Inarticulate Foot-in-Mouth Off Prompter ”

    Well Bush (W) was just plain inarticulate everywhere. Occasionally his telepromptered speeches ran ok.

    Naturally this doesn’t negate Rand’s comparison but it’s not something limited to Trump and Obama.

    Also, I don’t know of many Presidents who DIDN’T try to expand the envelope of their powers beyond the Constitution. Fair minded people can have decent arguments whether any particular presidential action is unconstitutional.

    This sort of envelope expansion is totally expected and the Founders put in checks to try to limit it…because they understood human nature.

    1. Yes, I consider them to be mostly negative attributes, which is not to say that neither one has positive ones. This is mostly a response to people whose hair is on fire over Trump but refuse to recognize that Obama did many of the same things. Charisma could be viewed as a positive one, but I don’t, because I’m pretty impervious to it, and I view it as a poor basis on which to choose a president.

  9. I want to thank all those in comments who proved my point about the blind supporters of Trump being unwilling to recognize the similarities with Obama.

    I think the commenters were not blind to the similarities even if they disagree about scope, scale, magnitude, and importance. Some were a little thin in support.

    You are right about charisma being a poor way to choose a leader but it is an important leadership trait. How charisma manifests is important to different audiences. I don’t think you would be immune under the right context but the type of charisma and the situation it arises from would be different for you than others.

    Another thing to consider is similar to charisma and that is how media and thought leaders influence crowds. A sort of group charisma. I don’t think anyone is really immune to that and it takes conscious and deliberate effort to look behind the narrative to see what is really going on. No one has time for it, especially for the amount of content consumed on a daily basis.

  10. I want to thank all those in comments who proved my point about the blind supporters of Trump being unwilling to recognize the similarities with Obama

    Meh… when I asked about the similarities, I got this differentiation as a response: “Obama is hostile, Trump is indifferent.

    Afterwards, I was even less impressed with the list than my first perusal. Noting Presidents have similar travel expenses is as equivalent an epiphany as noting they all seem to visit the White House. Very perceptive of you, Rand.

    Also impressed that you notice that they are charismatic to a selective audience. Maybe add to the list that they both belong to large political parties? After all, you asked us to make our own additions. And you can make the list more inclusive by just noting “all politicians lie“, instead of the overly dramatic “reckless disregard for the truth”.

    Oh oh oh, I’ve got two more: Obama and Trump are both married, and Obama and Trump both have two daughters. I guess I can get all woke and note they are both men. Wow, mind blown…

Leave a Reply

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