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2019-09-27 Home Front: Politix
What superpower does Trump have?
h/t Instapundit
[NewNeo] You know that game people sometimes play? The one where you choose which superpower you’d want?

Sometimes the choices are limited, such as in this typical group: "Telepathy, teleportation, super-strength, invisibility or the ability to regenerate your cells."

But I’ve never seen a list that includes the one Donald Trump seems to possess, which is the ability to drive your enemies crazy and make them do stupid things.

We first saw this in evidence, at least somewhat, during the 2016 campaign. The Republican challengers were surprisingly flat-footed against him. And since his election we’ve seen it over and over and over with Democrats, the press, and NeverTrumpers.

I think what’s going on is twofold. The first is that Trump is very very different from their usual opponents. He’s unpredictable. He hits below the belt and above the belt. Whatever he does, they don’t see it coming.

But the second is that they really truly are convinced that he is the crazy stupid one. Therefore, if they can just rile him enough, he’ll reveal this unequivocally to the world. Plus, he’s not just crazy and stupid, he’s also corrupt, and so ‐ like the boy in the joke about shoveling manure in the barn because he knows there must be a pony somewhere ‐ they know that if they just dig and dig and dig they will find the pony that will sink Trump. This is not a pose on their part; they believe it.
Posted by g(r)omgoru 2019-09-27 02:17|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6461 views ]  Top

#1 “But I’ve never seen a list that includes the one Donald Trump seems to possess, which is the ability to drive your enemies crazy and make them do stupid things.”

Trump must read and follow Voltaire’s prayer:

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies look ridiculous.' And God granted it. Votaire
Posted by JohnQC 2019-09-27 07:24||   2019-09-27 07:24|| Front Page Top

#2 Hubris is not a superpower.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 18:14||   2019-09-27 18:14|| Front Page Top

#3 ^ EC - please explain.
Posted by Raj 2019-09-27 18:51||   2019-09-27 18:51|| Front Page Top

#4 When you believe that you have superpower, hubris follows. Trump seems to believe that he himself knows best everything, that he really doesn't need advice. In the end, this will sink you.

The WH knew about the whistleblower early. They had time to prepare and I'm sure the WH lawyers did. But it seems that Trump doesn't listen to them.

I bet not a single advisor in the WH thought it was a great idea to put out the phone call. But Trump did it anyway, convinced it was "a beautiful call".

It was not, and the people who stashed it awayx in the top secret computer knew that.

By putting out the phone call AND the whistleblower complaint, Trump immediately made the complaint look "credible". This was totally unnecessary. He could have prevented the publication of the phone call forever citing executive privilege.

I'm from the mountains. I know an avalanche when I see one. Trump is playing in Pelosi's ballpark now.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 19:24||   2019-09-27 19:24|| Front Page Top

#5 I'm not seeing that - Trump does make some unforced errors but I don't see it rising to the level of hubris, which may or may not happen later on. As a CEO for over thirty years, he generally hires people to head particular spheres of a company's operations and I think that as US President Trump has done that for the most part. Any acts of 'hubris' would occur in his second term, as history bears out.
Posted by Raj 2019-09-27 20:04||   2019-09-27 20:04|| Front Page Top

#6 EC - I don't recall you commenting on Obama's: "I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”?
Posted by Frank G 2019-09-27 20:09||   2019-09-27 20:09|| Front Page Top

#7 FrankG

A quick research reveals that this quote is from November 2008. I don't think I have been on Rantburg for that long.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 20:13||   2019-09-27 20:13|| Front Page Top

#8 Disagree strongly with you, EC.

Impeachment is an extraordinarily risky option that should almost never be used. It's been used only twice in 232 years, and threatened (but not actually launched) one additional time.

The only time that Congress should revert to this extraordinary option is when a president's behavior is obviously criminal -- so criminal that a vasty majority of the public, on the order of at least 2 to 1, believe him to be a criminal.

Nixon was threatened with impeachment after a series of guilty please from the Watergate conspirators AND a complete collapse in his approval rating. That collapse happened at the beginning of 1974, when his approval rating fell to about 25% and stayed there until he resigned.

Trump is not guilty of any crime. Yes, he's a buffoon, a jerk, a bad person. But he hasn't done anything impeachable. Not even close.

This is why, unlike Nixon (and like Bill Clinton), Trump retains the approval of nearly half of the public and why half of the public - regardless of their feelings about Trump -- strongly disapproves of the Democrats' use of impeachment against him.

It is obviously a stunt. Less obvious is the Machiavellian maneuvering inside of the Democratic Party's leadership, which is aimed at forcing Joe Biden to withdraw from the presidential race. It's Biden whose behavior is indefensible here.

THAT'S the real story. Warren and Pelosi are forcing Biden out of the race so that he doesn't fall on his face and lose in a landslide to Trump.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-27 20:16||   2019-09-27 20:16|| Front Page Top

#9 I agree that impeachment is risky, and Pelosi certainly knows it is.
The difference to "Russiagate" is that people never really understood what this was all about. And what Trump actually did (or didn't).

This is different: Read that phone transcript. Read it carefully. I can't tell you whether a crime was committed. But it certainly smells of abuse of power.

Trust me, this will not end well. It's possible that Biden won't survive this (his numbers have gone south before the story broke).

But Democrats should be able to make a case everyone understands. And the pony that will sink Trump is Giuliani.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 20:35||   2019-09-27 20:35|| Front Page Top

#10 I've read it, and I responded, point by point, to it here on the 'burg when it first came out.

As a "smoking gun," it's a joke.

There's nothing there. Trump is clumsy (though surprisingly gracious), his "I want to ask a favor" is un-presidential, and he gets into minor details that represent a waste of his valuable time.

But there is absolutely nothing whatsoever that is remotely actionable from the perspective of "treason" or "high crimes and misdemeanors."

This is why the public is yawning about the whole affair, and why there is next to zero support for this stunt outside of the jacobins and other inveterate Trump-haters.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-27 20:47||   2019-09-27 20:47|| Front Page Top

#11 It's unwise, perhaps even foolish, and certainly unpresidential to use one's personal attorney.

But it's not a "high crime", or even a misdemeanor to do so. Let alone treason.

Unless and until you see Trump's approval drop to 1974 Nixonian levels, this stunt will go nowhere-- aside from, of course, forcing Biden to step aside for Warren.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-27 20:50||   2019-09-27 20:50|| Front Page Top

#12 Prof. Charles Lipson of U. Chicago accurately and concisely sums it up as "a purely political fight, not a legal one."

Lipson breaks it down into four issues:

1. Did President Trump abuse the U.S. Constitution so badly that he should be thrown out of office for asking “a favor” from his Ukrainian counterpart?

Lipson's answer: Official business should be insulated from personal or partisan issues. [Neither] Hillary Clinton [nor] Joe Biden [nor] Donald Trump should combine them... [However,] is the request to Ukraine enough, by itself, to overturn an election when the voters themselves can decide soon enough whether Trump should continue in office? In my opinion, no."

2. Lispon observes that "the Biden family has long monetized the former vice president’s position. That swamp gas [Lipson's metaphor for the impeachment process launched by Pelosi] will sink his candidacy, probably before the nomination..."

3. "Unless the House committees uncover significantly more evidence against Trump, trying to impeach him over the Ukraine phone call will harm the Democrats. ...Democrats are attacking Trump for “abuse of office.” This claim is political, not legal. Although the House can define high crimes and misdemeanors broadly, the Democrats’ case would be far stronger if they can show specific laws were broken. So far, they cannot do that. That leaves them with a political dispute where they have strong support from their base but not from the wider public. ..."

4. It's an extraordinarily risky, maneuver with an extremely low probability of success. "The House Democrats are wagering everything on this. Unless they come up with a lot more, they are betting the ranch on a pair of deuces."

Posted by Lex 2019-09-27 21:01||   2019-09-27 21:01|| Front Page Top

#13 Treason, no. Not the definition of treason.
Abuse of power? Different story. And I don't see the public "yawning" over it.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 21:03||   2019-09-27 21:03|| Front Page Top

#14 Even the liberal Trump=haters on National Public Radio went out of their way - every single one of their "analysts" - to highlight that a) the country is exactly divided, 50/50, on impeachment.

Which is to say that this nonsense has not changed Trump's approval rating in the slightest.

Even liberal Trump-haters recognize this will go nowhere.

This is simply politics as theater-- a very risky strategy when used against the Cagliostro of political Cagliostros.

If you'd like to make a wager, I'll put up any sum you wish that he will not be impeached.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-27 21:07||   2019-09-27 21:07|| Front Page Top

#15 EC is (my guessing) still butthurt over our Brexit sentiments. The MSM/DNC/NeverTrump is throwing one last prayer dart which will (again) boomerang.
Posted by Frank G 2019-09-27 21:16||   2019-09-27 21:16|| Front Page Top

#16 Oh he will definitely be impeached by Democrats in the House.
Removed from office by the Senate is a much different story.

But if Democrats succeed in making a compelling case against Trump and the Senate acquits him, this will hurt the Republicans a lot and turn the Senate blue.

The phone transcript won't be enough, I guess. But impeachment hearings are dangerous. Of course it's possible that Democrats blow it (Nadler doesn't seem to be up to the job).

We'll see.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 21:17||   2019-09-27 21:17|| Front Page Top

#17 FrankG
Not at all. Nothing is more boring than debating in an echo chamber. We may not agree on Brexit or Trump but we'll find a lot of other things we'd agree upon.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 21:20||   2019-09-27 21:20|| Front Page Top

#18 I meant to say, that Trump will not be subject to a trial by the Senate, without which, impeachment is simply a political stunt that will merely remind everyone in this country who still has a functioning, independent brain why our political class is beyond repair and needs to be replaced with a new group of people from very different backgrounds, far from the coasts.
Posted by Lex 2019-09-27 21:38||   2019-09-27 21:38|| Front Page Top

#19 "I meant to say, that Trump will not be subject to a trial by the Senate"

I certainly won't bet against this. This will only happen if public pressure becomes unbearable. Too early to tell. The problem with impeachment hearings is that government officials will need to be very careful. "Obstruction of Justice" is a very American thing.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 21:48||   2019-09-27 21:48|| Front Page Top

#20 EC, never happen.
Posted by Dale 2019-09-27 23:05||   2019-09-27 23:05|| Front Page Top

#21 Senate conviction, probably no. Impeachment hearings could be nasty, though.
Posted by European Conservative 2019-09-27 23:10||   2019-09-27 23:10|| Front Page Top

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