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Trump destroys the sanctity of the Presidents Club

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One of the most disturbing elements of the Trump presidency, nearly one year after his stunning win, has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, war, white supremacists or Russia. These things are tangentially involved, but not central to what I believe is the worst legacy Trump could leave. If history judges him harshly (and it will) on political issues, he will be judged more harshly because he has destroyed the sanctity of the Presidents Club.

This club has unwritten rules that actually have a purpose behind them. Since George Washington (who hated the concept of political parties and “factions”), former presidents have generally withheld the harshest criticism of the current occupants of the office. Violations of this rule have generally brought swift condemnation from the press and the former president’s own party.

One example from 2007: Jimmy Carter was raked over the coals for calling George W. Bush’s administration “the worst in history.” Though he publicly retracted the statement, the sting was palpable.

“His language was much sharper than what you’d normally hear” from an ex-president, said the presidential historian Michael Beschloss. But he and other presidential scholars roll their eyes at the notion that former presidents do not speak ill of current ones.

Criticism is a privilege of former presidents to be exercised judicially. We know that as the office changes hands (and parties), there will be disagreements. Eisenhower thought Kennedy was foolish (and Kennedy eventually came around to some of Ike’s policies). Teddy Roosevelt was withering in his criticism of Taft and Wilson, but as historians note, he remained a candidate for president.

The rules for candidates are much, much more lax than for former presidents who will not seek office again. Given that the five living presidents today are all in the category of not seeking office (two are too old, and three have served two terms), the unwritten rules for the club of living presidents should apply. This especially holds true for former and current presidents of the same party.

But Trump doesn’t allow it. He accepts no criticism and responds forcefully to the slightest implication of error.

White House attacks legacies of both Bush presidents after reports that they refused to vote for Trump – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/11/04/both-bush-presidents-openly-condemned-trump-book-claims-one-even-voted-for-clinton/?utm_term=.a4d486b47960The White House on Saturday disparaged the legacies of the only two living Republican presidents to precede Donald Trump, after reports that both men castigated Trump in interviews last year and refused to vote for him.

Bush-Trump war

The Washington Post reported that the White House responded to the two former Bush presidents’ remarks about Trump with venom against Bush’s Iraq foreign policy.

“If one Presidential candidate can disassemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had,” the White House wrote to CNN. It called the younger Bush’s decision to wage war on Iraq “one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history.”

Right or wrong, this is a serious breach of the Presidents Club rules by both the Bushes and Trump.

Why this is important

Three things have always marked a peaceful transition of power in the United States. One: the outgoing president does not contest the results of the election or declare it invalid. Two: the small club of ex-presidents recognizes the weight of the office on the current president and offer discreet assistance or advice. Three: the current president returns the favor by not generally going after the previous presidents either legally or in the media.

The Trump presidency has violated two of these, and nearly violated the third. There was a real push to somehow find a smoking gun to declare Trump’s election invalid in the days between November 8 and January 20th. This included using every branch of federal law enforcement along with secret FISA warrants. This doesn’t mean Trump had no part in provoking it, but still, this is a very dangerous precedent.

If the sanctity of the President’s Club cannot be restored, we may find future presidents not simply criticizing, but prosecuting Trump or their own antecedents.

Final thoughts

We should not be smug or casual about this. The Presidents Club is important because there are so few living presidents at any given time, and the office carries so much power with it.

Destroying the sanctity of the relationship between the men who have occupied the office of president, and opening up future presidents to every kind of legal action is the worst thing President Trump could do to this country. If this is his legacy, then regardless of what other results he might obtain, his fitness for the office will be a subject historians will treat most unkindly.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Federalists

How does the Federalist Society relieve stress? “But Gorsuch” stress balls, of course.

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But Gorsuch

Conservatives who aren’t pleased with the actions, direction, and/or rhetoric coming out of the White House often invoke a simple phrase: “But Gorsuch!” It’s intended to remind them that no matter what the current administration does that goes against limited-government principles, at least they can find solace in a Constitution-loving judge being appointed by President Trump to the Supreme Court.

This popular meme made its way to the Federalist Society’s annual convention as the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, distributed stress balls to attendees. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s image and the famous words of solace were printed on the balls.

No matter how bad it gets, remember that it could have been worse, at least from the bench.

Further Reading

‘But Gorsuch’ stress balls give relief to distraught lawyers at Federalist Society conference

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/but-gorsuch-stress-balls-give-relief-to-distraught-lawyers-at-federalist-society-conference/article/2641092“I adore Gorsuch and he’s a dream judge on so many levels and we don’t do a ton with the judiciary at R Street … [but] we just love doing the silly stuff,” said Shoshana Weissmann, R Street Institute’s digital media specialist who hand-delivered the balls to attendees on Friday.

Weissmann said the R Street Institute made 150 balls, which it started distributing when the Federalist Society’s annual convention began in Washington on Thursday. The think tank had about 50 balls remaining Friday, with attendees coming to get them while Weissmann spoke with a reporter.

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Military

Navy apologizes for sky penis

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Navy apologizes for sky penis

The skill level of naval aviators is top notch. We’re the envy of the world when it comes to air superiority because of the technological advances and extreme skill level our pilots possess. They put their skills on display in a strange way and now the U.S. Navy is having to apologize for it.

Navy apologizes over penis drawn in the sky, grounds aircrew involved

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/navy-apologizes-over-penis-drawn-in-the-sky-grounds-aircrew-involved/article/2641075“The Navy apologizes to anyone who was offended by this unacceptable action,” according to a statement from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. “The Officers and Sailors of the United States Navy are professionals, held to the highest standards, while serving our nation with pride around world. The actions of this aircrew were wholly unacceptable and antithetical to Navy core values. We have grounded the aircrew and are conducting a thorough investigation – and we will hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

“The Navy apologizes for this irresponsible and immature act.”

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Culture and Religion

Church of England joins LGBT forces in the culture war and children are the casualties

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Church of England

Did you hear about the new set of directives released by the Church of England for schools and teachers concerning gender and gender identity?

In honor of anti-bullying week, the Church of England released an updated version of a 2014 instructional entitled “Valuing All God’s Children.” This new set of rules instructs against so-called homophobia, bi-phobia, and trans-phobia in nursery schools and primary schools.

According to church leadership, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and elementary students should be encouraged to discover their gender identity uninhibited as they “explore the possibilities of who they might be.” Specifically, children are to be taught not to “conform” to traditional male/female “stereotypes.”

Schools must “avoid labels and assumptions which deem children’s behavior irregular, abnormal or problematic just because it does not conform to gender stereotypes … Childhood has a sacred place for creative self-imagining.”

Practically speaking, the guidelines will encourage boys to wear tutus and princess tiaras while encouraging girls to wear tool belts and super hero cloaks in order to help them determine who they might be without “judgement and derision.”

While it’s tempting to dismiss this as England’s problem, the Strident Conservative has documented how the LGBT community and its declared war on Christianity and American culture has already launched similar assaults on children in America’s public schools.

Unfortunately, in America, the Rainbow Jihad has the full support of the government all the way up to the White House.

For example, Barack Obama hosted an event in April, 2016 at the White House aimed at “breaking down gender stereotypes in media and toys.” Much like the Church of England, Obama—with support from Katie Couric, the founder of the gender-neutral start-up Little Bits—promoted the idea that gender is irrelevant and that children should be free to be who they are “without limits.”

While Valerie Jarrett organized the event under the banner of promoting opportunities for girls, Obama’s track record on transgender issues made the affair very LGBT friendly.

And we shouldn’t get comfortable now that Obama is no longer president. Donald Trump—who embraced the LGBT movement at the Republican National Convention in his acceptance speech—announced back in June that his administration would prosecute schools that failed to embrace the LGBT lie concerning transgenderism.

The LGBT culture war is not just an American war. It’s a world war, and as usual, children are the casualties.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

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