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Will Trump’s presidency survive?

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So far, President Trump has gone through a Chief of Staff, Press Secretary, two Communications Directors (Spicer counts, along with Scaramucci’s disastrous 11 days), a National Security Adviser, an FBI Director, nearly an Attorney General (the jury is still out), a Homeland Security Director (he tapped the serving one to be the new CoS) and a Chief Strategist. He’s been in office just over 200 days.

This pace of turnover is completely unsustainable.

No large organization could long survive this kind of turmoil, and the United States requires, above all, stability. Free countries look to America for stability in a world filled with Venezuelas, Syrias and Brexits. America under Trump is not stable.

Trump’s presidency is based on about 25 percent of Americans who love him no matter what he does. It’s based on constant entertainment, lots of light with no heat–or heat without light depending on how you look at things. A Republican Congress, under Trump, has been able to do nearly nothing besides appoint a new Supreme Court Justice. Great: Neil Gorsuch is wonderful, but not enough.

Rex Tillerson, James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence have spent the last six months traveling the world (but not at the same time–someone has to mind the Romper Room Oval Office) cleaning up Trump’s Twitter-diarrheic messes. Tillerson has unfilled posts at the State Department that Steve Bannon blocked because he the candidates didn’t pass his dogmatic filter.

Now Bannon is gone, along with Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer. The White House is run by Trump, his family and a couple of four-star generals. I trust the generals–mostly.

Either some discipline will be instilled, or Trump’s presidency is in danger. It’s not necessarily in danger from impeachment, because they’d have to find something impeachable. Congress does have the Constitutional authority to impeach for whatever reason it wants, but it doesn’t have the political backing to do it.

I haven’t looked at numbers, but I’d be willing to bet that the polarized elements of the American polity were just as polarized under Presidents Obama and Bush 43 as they are now. I’d bet that about 25 percent of Americans would have supported Barack Obama if he had murdered someone in the street, and another 25 percent opposed him no matter what he did. With the exception of a six month period after 9/11, I think the same thing about George W. Bush.

But Trump has made the polarization so much worse. Were Congress to attempt to impeach him, I believe violence would erupt.

So where does that leave us?

The over/under

Some of the writers here and myself have had a discussion of where things might go from here. Jesse Broadt has written her own piece calling for Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment, section 4. That’s certainly a possibility, but again, it takes 2/3 of Congress to ratify.

Here’s our take.

Paige Rogers:

I walked out of the voting booth and, as I was walking to my car I kept thinking, “This is the 1st time I’ve voted and not been excited about it.”

I think America would end up in a civil war if Trump were to be removed, and maybe even if he we’re to resign on his own accord. Regular people became so disenchanted [and unfortunately, were sometimes disenfranchised] by the time Obama’s 2nd term ended. A vote is a vote and I think it should stand, bc I’d like for our Democratic process to remain intact. I am praying for our country and all our leaders!

Eric Dixon:

Trump is a stubborn and iconoclastic man who will be determined to prove his detractors wrong. He is capable of having (and likely to have) isolated but significant successes. 

In fact, Trump’s presidential political trajectory (if not his philosophy or temperament) can follow Ronald Reagan’s. Reagan’s approval ratings dove early in his first term as the economy fell back into recession in 1982-83, and his re-election was in great doubt going into the summer of 1984. Likewise, if Trump gets his troubles “out of the way” early in his first term, he has plenty of room — and plenty of time — to recover to a point where he can rehabilitate his presidency and his re-election prospects. I think he will serve a full term. 

A full second term. 

Dan Alexander:

I think he will serve the full first term, unfortunately. Then, sensing his own demise in the 2020 campaign, he will not seek re-election. I think he would rather step down than suffer a loss. 

Jeremy Frankel:

To be honest at that point I was sort of warmed up to Trump and was very happy about my vote because how scared I was of Hillary. I don’t regret my vote but I was pretty upset that he was the best choice there.

I do still reiterate that it seems that the one thing people fear more than Trump is the Left and the media (Hence many conservative voters). Which is why his base hasn’t shrunk much at all, throughout all the chaos.

Me:

I don’t think Trump can change. I don’t think the country can suffer him for 3 1/2 more years. The immovable object will continue to resist the unstoppable force.

I believe Trump will realize that the government cannot work with him as its leader. Congress will cease to function as a lawmaking body. The executive branch will cease to function in any capacity other than a administrative factotum.

Other nations will take advantage of American instability. We may find ourselves in an unintentional, limited but intense war. We might find ourselves withdrawing like cowards in the face of much weaker nations.

In the end, I believe Trump will resign, simply because being president will not be an enjoyable or uplifting experience any longer. The rallies will cease to be a salve for his ego. He will be alone, isolated, and unable to focus on anything but his many enemies.

He never wanted to win anyway.

Some closing thoughts

Eric Dixon supplied some happy thoughts for the weekend at the close of what’s been a terrible, awful, tumultuous week full of death and uncertainty. We could use some sunshine.

I don’t think the nation is past a tipping point.

Why? Consider what the vast majority of Americans, of all backgrounds, are doing this weekend.

They’re not thinking about Charlottesville, statues of dead men or Steve Bannon.

They’re thinking about vacations, going to the beach, a NASCAR race or the upcoming football season.

Plenty of young people are thinking about…how can I say this delicately?…reproduction. 

The supermarkets are full, gasoline is half the price it was in 2008, electricity is plentiful (and often cheaper than it used to be), the Internet is running, half the country has smartphones.

Trump could resign tonight, and none of the above will change. 

These are all signs of a confident, content — if somewhat under-informed — people, aren’t they?

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Democrats

Kyrsten Sinema’s socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

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Kyrsten Sinema's socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

Arizona can no longer be considered a red state. As the Senate election vote counts finish up, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema appears poised to win. It isn’t that a Democrat won that makes me move Arizona from red to purple. It’s that a socialist in moderate clothing was able to pull the wool over the eyes of Arizona voters so easily.

Just an hour of research is enough to break through the Arizona mainstream media’s false narrative that Sinema is a moderate. She is anti-capitalism, in favor of open borders, and had the lowest Liberty Score of anyone in the House representing Arizona.

Then, there’s this:

“A huge dollar bill is the most accurate way to teach children the real motto of the United States: In the Almighty Dollar We Trust… Until the average American realizes that capitalism damages her livelihood while augmenting the livelihoods of the wealthy, the Almighty Dollar will continue to rule. It certainly is not ruling in our favor.”

Arizona chose poorly.

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Guns and Crime

Trust in Chicago area police was already low. Then they killed Jemel Roberson.

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Trust in Chicago area police was already low Then they killed Jemel Roberson

An armed security guard prevented anyone from getting killed when gunmen returned to his bar after getting thrown out. He subdued them without using deadly force and was restraining one of the alleged assailants when police arrived. That’s when a resolved situation turned ugly.

A Midlothian police officer shot and killed Jemel Roberson, 26, while responding to a shooting inside Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois, about 4 a.m. Sunday. Roberson was pronounced dead at the scene.

This appears to be a case of a truly decent person doing his job and losing his life as a result.

Security guard killed by police in Robbins bar wanted to be a cop, friends say

https://wgntv.com/2018/11/12/officer-responds-to-gunfire-fatally-shoots-security-guard-at-robbins-bar/Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who had plans to become a police officer. He was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches.

“Every artist he’s ever played for, every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill from Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill said.

My Take

Chicago area residents have had many reasons to not trust the men and women charged with keeping them safe. Controversial police-involved shootings, rising crime rates, and tone deaf leadership in city, county, and state governments have been pushing people in the area to give up on law enforcement.

This will make matters much worse.

The optics on this couldn’t get much uglier, especially if the unnamed police officer who shot Roberson turns out to be Caucasian. Roberson, an African-American, was able to detain four assailants without anyone getting fatally wounded. The fact that he was then fatally shot by police adds a new dimension to the rift between police and the people.

In most incidents where police are believed to have used deadly force unnecessarily, it’s a matter of them shooting an alleged criminal when other means of subduing them could have been used. Such is the case with Jason Van Dyke who fatally shot Laquan McDonald. Nobody argued that McDonald wasn’t dangerous. He was high on PCP, had a knife, and was walking in the middle of the street despite police warnings for him to drop the weapon and get on the ground.

Roberson’s situation is the opposite. He was doing his duty as a security guard and very likely saved lives in the process. His death is almost certainly going to start another round of racial tensions and anti-police protests that could cause tremendous turmoil throughout the Chicagoland area.

There is usual gray area in police shootings, but this seems pretty black and white to me. Jemel Roberson acted heroically. Instead of a happy ending for the day and a bright future in law enforcement ahead, he’s gone.

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Entertainment and Sports

Stan Lee’s 10 greatest comics

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Stan Lees 10 greatest comics

Stan Lee has died. While modern audiences probably know much more about the Marvel movies and televisions shows that dominate our viewing pleasures, it was his genius in creating so many beloved comic book characters decades ago that fuels Hollywood today.

Looper put out a video with his greatest comics. These subjective lists are usually fodder for debate, but I was so pleasantly surprised by their choices I decided to post it here. It may be the first time I agree with nearly everything in a video top 10 list. Fitting that it surrounds an icon like Lee.

From his quirky cameos in every Marvel movie to his down-to-earth perspectives present in every interview, there’s plenty to love about Stan Lee. But it was his comic book creations that have made a permanent mark on American culture.

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