Magical thinking? I want to know what the overlap is between the people who were convinced President Obama "could do more about guns" as in gun control but for some reason wasn't, and the people who are professing abject fear at what President-elect Trump is going to do to their own "community" or some other group once he takes office.
Dammit, that's not how it works. Presidents do not have all that much of that kind of power. In addition, the inertia of the Federal bureaucracy is simply mind-boggling, and not for lack of trying: they really do have to do obsessive dotting of "i"s and crossing of "t"s and painfully-detailed bookkeeping in order to keep the fed.gov behemoth staggering along. Remember reading about FDR having the Japanese-Americans rounded up and put in camps during WW II? Ain't ever gonna happen again; the war'd be over before they'd set up a committee to generate the form to fill out (in multiple copies) to establish the office to hire the people to make the lists to hand to the cops to go around door to door and start rounding people up.
I never thought of the U.S. Constitution as being particularly abstruse but it might as well be written in Latin on bronze tablets buried inaccessibly beneath the Washington Monument for all the understanding of it many people are presently showing.
U.S. Presidents aren't magical -- they are not magical good and they're not magical evil. Oh, they try sneaky stuff, each and every one of them, and you can thank the vast, slow morass of the fed.gov for most of the corner-cutting tricks they try; but they get caught at it with monotonous regularity and the more visible their target, the more quickly they get caught -- and, usually, stopped.
As a general rule, Republicans get a fishier eyeballing from the press than Democrats. That's just how it goes; reporters tend to lean that direction and no matter how even-handed they set out to be (and some don't), it's the stuff that gets under a person's skin that gets reported on.
I don't think Mr. Trump is a saint. I think he has the attention span of a housefly and he appears to have the social graces of a tipsy carny. I'm leery of many of his political associates. But I know he's being watched by people eager to catch him putting a foot wrong, and not merely the easy "gotcha" journalism of finding crass comments made into live mics -- there's a whole press corps out there, looking for Watergate-level skullduggery.
And yet there are people quaking in their boots over him, anticipating wickedness on a grandiose scale. Gotta tellya, I don't think he's up to it. I know he couldn't get away with it. The United States has been lurching along with Presidents who were messed-up enough to want the lousy job for a very long time now, and the checks and balances do a fine job of keeping Congress and President and Supreme Court busy trying to throttle one another.
I still think we'd've been better off with Gary Johnson in the White House. But noooo, the majority never wanted a free-trade hippie, especially a slightly silly one. Okay; we've got what we got, and somewhere offstage, H. L. Mencken is snickering at members of both major parties. Don't give his ghost reason to snicker at you.
5 weeks ago