Author Topic: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.  (Read 6760 times)

velcro

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2018, 06:41:25 PM »
For what it is worth, I also respectfully ask Seriati for actual evidence of his assertion.   ;D

Here's my opinion on what the motive behind the op-ed was.  The author goes to great lengths to claim that he is not going along with Trump's dangerous actions, but helping reduce the danger from inside.

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working diligently from within to frustrate ... [Trump's] worst inclinations.
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But we believe our first duty is to this country
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That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions
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The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. , they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing
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Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.
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But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

I think it is reasonable to infer that when the whole thing comes tumbling down, and he, along with everyone in the Trump administration, is asked why he should not be considered complicit, accessory to the crime, or a member of a conspiracy to commit crimes, he can point to this and say "I was actually fighting against all the bad stuff!  I am the unsung hero!"

Of course, that ignores the reality that he should quit and reveal what he knows. That is undoubtedly the right way to fulfill his duty to the country. But then he doesn't get the goodies that Trump provides.  Which makes the author, well, GUTLESS.  Nobody can say I never agree with Trump.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #51 on: September 10, 2018, 09:45:57 PM »
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Trump is less autocratic than Obama was, yet the outrage is far greater. 

Seriati, please defend this assertion. Provide a definition of what you mean by autocratic, and then show why President Obama's actions violate that definition to a greater degree than President Trump's.

I would point out that an Autocracy doesn't necessarily require obedience to a person, but instead require it to be directed at something else. Be it a religion or political system among other things.

I don't think Obama was an Autocrat any where close to Donald Trump's level when it comes to expected obedience towards himself personally.

I DO agree that Obama does strongly favor autocratic forms of governance far more than Trump does.

Do NOT confuse leadership styles with political preferences, while they can often indicate one another, it can also cause one to wildly miss the mark as well.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 09:48:56 PM by TheDeamon »

DonaldD

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2018, 01:29:53 AM »
Since autocracy requires power to be concentrated in a single person, where that person's decisions are not subject to restraint, your attempt to paint Obama with that particular brush requires that you redefine the word.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #53 on: September 11, 2018, 10:46:37 AM »
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I DO agree that Obama does strongly favor autocratic forms of governance far more than Trump does.

Seems that you define "autocratic" as a policy that you disagree with. Case in point, Obamacare - if a popularly elected President, along with a popularly elected House of Representative and Senate all go along to pass a law that you disagree with, is that what you consider autocratic?

edited to fix error about Senate votes.

velcro

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #54 on: September 11, 2018, 12:46:32 PM »
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au·toc·ra·cy
ôˈtäkrəsē/Submit
noun
a system of government by one person with absolute power.

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Definition of autocrat
1 : a person (such as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority

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Definition of autocracy
plural autocracies
1 : the authority or rule of an autocrat
2 : government in which one person possesses unlimited power

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2018, 12:48:16 PM »
Since autocracy requires power to be concentrated in a single person, where that person's decisions are not subject to restraint, your attempt to paint Obama with that particular brush requires that you redefine the word.

Language is an evolving thing, and in this case, the problem is there doesn't really seem to be a good alternative that describes the mindset, so as the closest approximation not already in wide usage(at least, until Trump took office), autocrat picked up the usage. Although I think "Authoritarian" works as well, if not better with respect to Obama. However, circa 2014, Authoritarian was already in wide use, autocrat, not so much.

Like I said, replace a single specific person with "require it to be directed at something else. Be it a religion or political system among other things."

Trump operates like an Autocrat. However, he does not appear to actually espouse support for political systems that would actually facilitate an Autocracy. (Although, going back to his "style" being autocratic in nature, he unfortunately tends to like people who actually are autocrats.)

Obama was, beyond any doubt in my mind, an Authoritarian, and as a consequence of that, espoused support for policies and systems which DO facilitate the formation of an Autocracy. Which isn't to mention Obama's imfamous "I have a pen and a phone..." and I'm not afraid to use them statement. Which was VERY autocratic in and of itself.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2018, 12:58:41 PM »
....and Yes, the Authoritarian/Autocrat distinction could also be parlayed into the distinction between a Libertarian Position as opposed to a Liberal Position with regards to social issues specifically.

Libertarians view most "liberal solutions" to be authoritarian in nature. Because what else would you call someone claiming to have the legal authority to regulate inter-personal interactions?

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #57 on: September 11, 2018, 05:36:05 PM »
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Obama was, beyond any doubt in my mind, an Authoritarian, and as a consequence of that, espoused support for policies and systems which DO facilitate the formation of an Autocracy. Which isn't to mention Obama's imfamous "I have a pen and a phone..." and I'm not afraid to use them statement. Which was VERY autocratic in and of itself.

Please explain your mind to the rest of us. Because using a pen and a phone don't sound very authoritarian, they sound like a President who was elected by the citizens of America so that he could sign legislation, use the powers of the office that he was elected to, and speak to people. Why is that a nightmare scenario of autocracy for you?

Meanwhile, focusing on Trump's policy to "not espouse support for political systems that would actually facilitate an Autocracy", one of his two major accomplishments will be to appoint Supreme Court Justices who were chosen with the explicit objective of stripping away abortion rights. That sounds like a pretty sensitive regulation of inter-personal interactions. 

Be clear about what you want without abusing words. You don't like Obama, and you don't like his policies. So make your case about specifics.

velcro

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2018, 10:50:04 PM »
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Trump operates like an Autocrat. However, he does not appear to actually espouse support for political systems that would actually facilitate an Autocracy.

Except he is on record as supporting politicians that are autocrats.

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saying of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, “He is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head ... He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

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“Hey, he’s a tough guy,” Trump said. “When you take over a country — a tough country, tough people — and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that could do that. So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator.”
(In response to a question about executions)

Trump reportedly congratulated the Philippine president for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”

Trump says that he has a “great relationship” with Duterte.

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President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to congratulate him on his recent referendum victory

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Erdogan will gain the power to issue decrees, appoint public officials including ministers and judges, decide the budget and control the military and the police. By contrast the power of parliament will be diminished and the role of prime minister abolished.

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Regarding China's president, and his new lack of term limits. “He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great,” the US president reportedly told Republican donors.

“And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day,” Trump added, according to CNN which obtained a recording of what it described as an upbeat, joke-filled speech.
Maybe a joke.  But maybe only the part about us "giving it a shot", in that Trump never criticized the increase in executive power by someone who is cracking down on dissidents and the press.

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“We agree on so many things. I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. The United States has, believe me, backing, and we have strong backing.”

Do we need to mention Putin?

Some of the quotes are from here.

Any quotes from Obama praising autocrats?

Again echoing Greg - what specific policies facilitate the formation of autocracies?  Even Scandinavian policies do not tend to form autocracies, even though governments as a whole have more control.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2018, 09:21:15 PM »
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Trump operates like an Autocrat. However, he does not appear to actually espouse support for political systems that would actually facilitate an Autocracy.

Except he is on record as supporting politicians that are autocrats.

Yes, as covered by the parenthetical you omitted.

Trump operates like an Autocrat. However, he does not appear to actually espouse support for political systems that would actually facilitate an Autocracy. (Although, going back to his "style" being autocratic in nature, he unfortunately tends to like people who actually are autocrats.)

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Obama was, beyond any doubt in my mind, an Authoritarian, and as a consequence of that, espoused support for policies and systems which DO facilitate the formation of an Autocracy. Which isn't to mention Obama's imfamous "I have a pen and a phone..." and I'm not afraid to use them statement. Which was VERY autocratic in and of itself.

Please explain your mind to the rest of us. Because using a pen and a phone don't sound very authoritarian, they sound like a President who was elected by the citizens of America so that he could sign legislation, use the powers of the office that he was elected to, and speak to people. Why is that a nightmare scenario of autocracy for you?

Uh, have you completely blanked out the context in which that statement was made? He was commenting on Republican obstructionism in regards to blocking legislation on issues Obama considered important. He basically said, albeit in very flowery and diplomatic terms. "If they don't want pass legislation to make this possible, that's fine. I have a pen, I can issue Executive Orders which will have much the same effect, and I have phone I can use to contact my various Cabinet secretaries and direct them to pursue administrative processes to achieve it through regulation."

...Which he then went about doing. And had SCotUS smack him down several times. Trump repealed a lot of the remaining Executive Orders with Executive Orders of his own upon entering office.

And that is the bigger measuring stick I'm using to determine who was being more authoritarian, and who was actually doing more to "further the cause" regarding autocracy and the Presidency.

Trump has done far more to roll back Government Regulation and Executive authority than he has done to expand it, although he has certainly made some rather outrageous claims regarding what exactly may be within his Legal ability of things he can do. (And he might be right about several of them?)

Also, Trump "behaving like an Autocrat" when it comes to people that ostensibly work for him isn't overly concerning, particularly given his known background.

Just so long as he doesn't do so when it comes to people who don't work for him. Although he's certainly pushing the boundaries even there, but him being a loudmouthed opinionated blowhard is par for the course with him.

Don't look at me, I didn't want him to get the Republican Nomination, I didn't even vote for him(I voted 3rd party), and I'd be very happy if he resigned tomorrow, although in some respects, I'm almost more concerned about what the VP might do once he is the one in the Oval Office. I'd much rather see a completely different Republican ticket in 2020, all things considered, but I have my doubts as to that actually happening.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #60 on: September 12, 2018, 09:28:45 PM »
My example of Obama being autocratic would be when he said he didn't have the Constitutional authority to unilaterally declare a mass amnesty such as DACA and then, after declaring that if Congress wouldn't act that he had a phone and a pen, and he did it anyway. And now when Trump tries to do away with an autocratic act of Obama that was never even legal to begin with and was a blatantly unConstitutional usurpation of Congressional power according to no less a supremely respected Constitutional scholar by the name of Barrack Hussein Obama himself, Trump is somehow the guy over-reaching his authority.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #61 on: September 12, 2018, 10:25:34 PM »
Just for clarity, I think there is a miscommunication here about what "autocratic" means. It seems to me that some anti-Trump people here mean by it that Trump acts like a bully, basically, whereas others like TheDeamon seems to be regarding autocracy as being a matter of how the Executive relates to the other branches more so than whether the person running it has one temperament or another. So whereas Obama didn't "act like" an autocrat in terms of his demeanor and language the argument is that he saw the Executive as having more authority and centralized power than many believe it should have. So he would be a "structural autocrat" in this sense even if his ran his office with decorum. Whereas contrariwise the argument is that while Trump behaves like a bully on a personal level and expects people to bow to him as a "leader", his concept of governmental structure seems to be going in roughly a Republican way for the most part, which typically involves deregulating and decentralizing, effectively weakening the Executive. So structurally this would be an anti-autocratic or (as TheDeamon pointed out) anti-authoritarian position, despite being a child on a personal level. This argument sounds coherent to me, although I can't say for certain if it's accurate.

I would definitely say that Obama continued or even endorsed many Federal policies that I would consider not only authoritarian but even fascistic, with the proviso that he didn't initiate them for the most part but merely allowed them to continue. My uncertainty there is I'm not sure if he didn't want to end them, or if he naively thought he could but realized after some time he was powerless to do so even if the law said it was theoretically under his control. I give him a bit of leeway because of this. The problem is that Trump also seems to not be making strides to walk back the post-9/11 insano structures in government, but perhaps this talk of eliminating ICE is a start in that direction. I'll be curious to see what happens if there are more flare-ups in areas like Syria to see if he continues the traditions of the past two administrations in foreign policy, both of which were highly autocratic.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #62 on: September 13, 2018, 09:24:25 AM »
I had to spend some time thinking about this. Certainly his apparent admiration for autocrats is a point of issue.

When it comes to the executive branch alone, I don't think there's any question how autocratic he is. The scorched earth for anyone who disagrees with him, exercises their own initiative, his quote "I am the only one that matters."

His lack of respect for historically independent agencies like the FBI tends in this direction. Just fire anybody who isn't doing what you want.

His pardons, especially Arpaio seem to indicate that Trump has little respect for the judicial system. Other comments about judges and the judiciary, and a desire to bypass or short circuit legal process especially for immigration are also a factor.

NAFTA was an agreement reached with the support of Congress, and I think we see that Trump is happy to unilaterally work that out on his own - along with all trade issues. Trump also simply refuses to spend money that Congress has allocated in the budget when he doesn't like the policy. An example of this is Congressional authorization of sanctions on Russia that Trump refused to implement.

On the other side, Trump has rolled back a lot of the Obama executive actions that were controversial in the bypass of Congress - everything from the Iran deal to the dreamer action. I think Obama felt stymied by "the resistance" of conservatives that was every bit as desperate to stop him as Trump's "resistance" and went for the greater good. That's where his pen and phone comment came from.

I won't try to decipher which is more autocratic, I don't know how to measure that, but I do think there's ample evidence of Trump's autocratic tendencies.

D.W.

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #63 on: September 13, 2018, 09:39:17 AM »
As much as I like Obama I can't disagree with a lot of the criticism here.  He successfully branded himself as someone trying to actually accomplish (good) things while Congress refused to "do their jobs".  Trump has branded himself as a petulant child who wants what he wants and he wants it now. 

I told one of my friends who I discuss politics with a lot at one point that POTUS should primarily be the Cheerleader-in-chief and his "job" was to reassure the public things are running smoothly and they could trust in the government.  To project confidence and calm reassurance.  (he was rather dismayed by this suggestion)

In short, POTUS needs to BE the "adult in the room", not the one being minded by other adults in the room.  Because Obama was good at this, and Trump has *censored* the bed in this regard, the lenses we use to view the two of them are distorted.

I really wish I could look only at the actions taken and policies moved forward (or pushed backwards) by Trump and ignore HOW he operates.  It would be interesting if the optics really didn't matter.  Unfortunately, from where I'm sitting, he's failing at the most important part of his job.  To make the country, and the world, believe things are running smoothly, and in fact cannot do anything BUT run smoothly, because this is America.

Was Obama an autocrat?  I think he just wanted to do what he felt was best for the country, and over reached now and then, and the system pushed back where appropriate.  Trump I see as wanting to be king, and have as much power as possible and surround himself with people who can help him achieve it.  Not much push back going on.  "Perceived" motives matter.  Those on the other side of the red/blue divide probably would swap those names and descriptions I guess...

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2018, 10:12:21 AM »
 
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I would definitely say that Obama continued or even endorsed many Federal policies that I would consider not only authoritarian but even fascistic,]I would definitely say that Obama continued or even endorsed many Federal policies that I would consider not only authoritarian but even fascistic,
Those words don't mean what you think they do, at least when used by most people in the rest of the world. How many other countries in the world right now would you consider "not only authoritarian but even fascistic" based on the policy criteria that you use to judge President Obama?

Here's what a poster developed before the Trump Administration and sold at the U.S> Holocaust Museum listed as early signs of fascism. Does this sound more like President Obama than President Trump?

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EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF FASCISM

1. Powerful and continuing nationalism
2. Disdain for human rights
3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
4. Rampant sexism
5. Controlled mass media
6. Obsession with national security
7. Religion and government intertwined
8. Corporate power protected
9. Labor power suppressed
10. Disdain for intellectual and the arts
11. Obsession with crime and punishment
12. Rampant cronyism and corruption

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #65 on: September 13, 2018, 10:15:15 AM »
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My example of Obama being autocratic would be when he said he didn't have the Constitutional authority to unilaterally declare a mass amnesty such as DACA and then, after declaring that if Congress wouldn't act that he had a phone and a pen, and he did it anyway.

Cherry, if you were doing an fair tally, you would show the number of executive actions and the number of successful court challenges by President to show a differential level of autocracy. President Trump's Muslim ban was found to be un-Constitutional in several iterations, why isn't that just as bad or worse?

Fenring

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2018, 11:41:35 AM »
Those words don't mean what you think they do, at least when used by most people in the rest of the world. How many other countries in the world right now would you consider "not only authoritarian but even fascistic" based on the policy criteria that you use to judge President Obama?

Interesting question. Let's look at it point by point. And bear in mind as we do that most countries in the world see American in a very different way than you or most people on this forum do. It's almost standard for foreign people to see American as either a bully, a bloated decadent place, and quite often the most dangerous country in the world. I don't agree that this is a fair assessment of the U.S. absent other attributes it has that at least outweigh these and make it a great place, however that should not be taken to discount these criticisms. And they aren't outliers; they're ubiquitous. The U.S. is hated in a lot of the world, and not just the Muslim world. Being blind to that doesn't help anyone, and the criticisms often come about because of some of these so-called 'fascistic' traits that I'll mention now:

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EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF FASCISM

Let's check this closely.

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1. Powerful and continuing nationalism

The U.S. is probably the most nationalist country in the world I can think of, excepting places like NK where I'm not exactly sure if "nationalism" is the right word for a dictatorship. I tend to think of nationalism as having to be a popular movement, or at least one affiliated with a larger party. And the proof is in the pudding: American exceptionalism, as it's sometimes called, is a non-controversial position that at this point both major parties and probably a majority of Americans subscribe to. It amounts to little more than stating that American is and should be the most powerful country in the world, both economically and militarily, and that any actions that further this end are both strategically and ethically acceptable. This doesn't have to be seen as malevolent, and I think many people see it as a responsibility in the form of "we have the best set of freedoms and ethics and need to be in charge so as to protect the world." We can grant that fully and still have to call it a nationalist belief structure. This is the greatest mistake many Americans make now in calling out "white nationalists" from the alt-right, because it's a specious accusation coming from a largely nationalist consensus within the country. The irony is that these so-called "white nationalists" sound to me to be more like anarchists (in the formal sense), being accused by actual nationalists who would like to see central power used to suppress the anarchists.

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2. Disdain for human rights

Drone attacks, and more specifically, Obama's famous "kill list". And in 2nd place, the continuation and likely expansion of the mass surveillance program. In theory a court ruled it illegal during Obama's tenure but I don't think anything actually changed. In 3rd place we might mention his admin's tendency to bring down the hammer hard on whistleblowers.

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3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause

Doesn't apply to Obama as far as I can tell.

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4. Rampant sexism

Same.

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5. Controlled mass media

This is ubiquitous and is more a technological matter at this point than a matter of who is President. That said the emerging structure of "clearinghouse news" whereby an undisclosed governmental "source" feeds stories to news agencies that disseminate the stories is a classic propaganda technique, and has become the new normal, almost supplanting entirely investigative journalism. This began during W's Presidency and continued to get worse under Obama. Again, this isn't "his baby" but it did go on during his watch. This is one reason why it's important to distinguish between an autocratic government structure and an autocrat-toned President. The autocratic structure is going to behave in ways a dictator would even if the President personally doesn't, and if the President pushes for more centralized power he's directly or indirectly feeding into this beast.
 
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6. Obsession with national security

I can't adequately diagnose this one because many foreign debacles that happened during his Presidency (Libya, Syria, Yemen) were not necessarily directly his doing. For instance I think he may have finally signed off on Libya but I doubt he was the actual one pushing for it. And to make myself clear, I consider hostile foreign adventures to fall under the rubric of "national security" even if making that connection can only be done on a case-by-case basis. Properly, I can say that the 'powers that be' were obsessed with national security (aka national power) during his Presidency, which is nothing new, and that while this may not have been a personal characteristic of his it did characterize the government while he was President.

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7. Religion and government intertwined

I actually think American exceptionalism *is* a secular religion. But putting that aside I would agree that Obama didn't display this trait.

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8. Corporate power protected

Nothing was done about Wall Street following 2008. Again, I would suggest this may have been because Obama was powerless to do anything so I won't comment on what his private wishes might have been.

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9. Labor power suppressed

There is labor power in the U.S.?

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10. Disdain for intellectual and the arts

I'd say there's been a growing movement of disdain for disagreement, which is not quite the same but is arguably worse. I don't think America is very friendly to the arts at all, which has nothing to do with Obama in particular. However I'll also point out that this criterion is mostly uninteresting as I'm sure you can find plenty of tyrants, kings, and fascist parties that love the arts and the "correct" intellectual activities. The Nazis are an obvious example here, as well as tyrants like Julius Caesar in the distant past. That probably boils down to their individual personality as well as what their regime can benefit from arts and intellectual work. I think I'd agree that tyranny doesn't tolerate dissenting intellectual work, which is a bit of a different proposition.

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11. Obsession with crime and punishment

No, Obama wasn't like this.

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12. Rampant cronyism and corruption

I honestly don't know, but I'll give this one a pass as well.

In conclusion, many of these categories got a check mark under Obama. That doesn't mean that he, personally, instituted or created these conditions, but they were there and thrived under him and that speaks to the structure of government at the time. Ironically, though, it muddies the issue of whether the Executive was autocratic under Obama because some of these conditions are impossible to remedy if the Executive is too weak, while at the same time they could only come about as a result of an Executive that's too strong. It's a real problem.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 11:47:00 AM by Fenring »

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #67 on: September 13, 2018, 11:44:47 AM »
Greg, the travel ban(s) are clearly within the scope of Presidential power, not an expansion of such. They were implemented in such a manner that they failed other constitutional tests, but not really an example of expanding presidential power in the same way as DACA flew in the face of established congressional law regarding foreign nationals and their status in the country.

The courts never ruled on the constitutionality of DACA. Some lawsuits were brought, thrown out for standing. A DACA expansion was ruled unconstitutional.

Of course Trump has done similar things with H1B status, guidelines which are generally set by congress. There are bills working their way through, but Trump didn't wait for that. He started making applications more onerous, swamping people with extra paperwork and process to thwart the existing will of congress.

velcro

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #68 on: September 13, 2018, 01:23:52 PM »
TheDaemon,

I apologize, I did not read carefully your parenthetical about Trump liking autocrats.  Nonetheless, the depth and breadth of that "liking" (effectively political support) weakens the argument that he does not support autocracy.

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Also, Trump "behaving like an Autocrat" when it comes to people that ostensibly work for him isn't overly concerning, particularly given his known background.
emphasis added.

 They ostensibly work for us.  He can autocratically tell them how best to serve us, but not how best to serve him.  He often does the latter.

Fenring,

Your evaluation of the "early warning signs" only mentions Obama.   I am pretty sure a side by side comparison would be much more revealing.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #69 on: September 13, 2018, 01:38:50 PM »
Your evaluation of the "early warning signs" only mentions Obama.   I am pretty sure a side by side comparison would be much more revealing.

I'm not sure it's as important as you may think to prove who's "more autocratic" between the two of them, although I know why you would prefer that. My general thesis would be more in the vein that if autocratic government has become the new normal (which I think it has in certain areas like foreign policy and the intelligence community) then it will go without saying that any given Presidency will have these traits. The difference between autocratic Obama and autocratic Trump can be outlined in whether one is autocratic 'structurally' (as I mentioned above) versus autocratic temperamentally as Trump is. But overall the pattern is more important. A question we might ask is that, if a previous autocrat put systems into place that need to be removed (to increase liberty), does being less of an autocrat stand much of a chance of achieving that? We might invoke LBJ's Presidency to examine this point. And if not, does that mean that in order to try to effect change there needs to be an ever-increasing level of centralized executive power? Ron Paul wrote an article a while back about how Trump is unintentionally helping to reduce the centralization of power in the U.S. by weakening the country in various ways. That's a funny outlook but I wonder whether there isn't some merit to the idea that walking back an entrenched power structure can't really be done without simply weakening the power structure so that it's less resistant to changes, or alternatively from a death-punch stemming from a disaster.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2018, 02:12:33 PM »
Predictably Fed up. Trump is hardly the first PITILUS executive to make such demands.

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Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!

Let me get this straight.  The President is ordering a newspaper to "turn over" to the government the writer of an Op-Ed.  No investigation, no judge, no warrant.  No plausible national security threat.  The lead law-enforcement officer of the country is ordering this. Publicly, on what is considered official channels.

How is this not a house-on-fire constitutional crisis? How is this not a cut-and-dried violation of the Constitutional oath?

Is it because nobody actually believes he means it, including the entire Congress, and the entire Executive branch?  What does that say about how our country views the Presidency now that Trump is President?  How will we know he really means anything?  How can our country function with that kind of ambiguity?  How impotent and dysfunctional does it make our country look, especially considering that he hired the person he wants turned over?

I apologize for sounding shrill, but this is seriously, seriously, effed up.

rightleft22

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #71 on: September 13, 2018, 02:47:46 PM »
and that makes it all ok

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #72 on: September 13, 2018, 03:30:28 PM »
It's no more significant than when a policeman says, "You should go to jail for that" or a judge saying "you should go to prison for that."  Why would anyone worry about those? ;)

D.W.

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2018, 03:36:11 PM »
In that case, "should" would be welcome.  It's the "will" that you should be concerned with.   8)

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #74 on: September 13, 2018, 03:41:06 PM »
Of course, it's a little late to be concerned once the word becomes "will." :)

velcro

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #75 on: September 13, 2018, 09:23:47 PM »
 
Your evaluation of the "early warning signs" only mentions Obama.   I am pretty sure a side by side comparison would be much more revealing.

I'm not sure it's as important as you may think to prove who's "more autocratic" between the two of them, although I know why you would prefer that.

With all due respect:
-You don't know why I would prefer that, or even that I would prefer that.  You don't know that I think it is at all important :)
-If you read the thread, this entire line of questioning originated with the comment
Quote
Trump is less autocratic than Obama

Greg's list of the early warning signs was a way to somewhat quantify that comparison.  You chose to quantify one side, which does nothing to address the line of questioning we were all looking at.

If you want to continue your own tangent of how autocratic Obama is in isolation, feel free.  But please don't infer that I am creating some artificial reason all on my own to drive a comparison.

I apologize if my tone is harsh, but you are making a lot of assumptions and inferences that seem to me to make communication difficult.

velcro

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #76 on: September 13, 2018, 09:29:00 PM »
It's no more significant than when a policeman says, "You should go to jail for that" or a judge saying "you should go to prison for that."  Why would anyone worry about those? ;)

In my opinion, a better analogy is when the chief of police reads an uncomplimentary article and says "The author should go to jail for that" in the presence of police officers.  They ought not do anything.  But they might.  And anyone with an ounce of integrity would realize that the police chief is showing extremely bad judgment.

ETA - just saw the wink ;)  but I think the post is still worth keeping.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 09:31:05 PM by velcro »

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #77 on: September 13, 2018, 11:29:58 PM »
How can anything bad come from merely asking a hypothetical question such as "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" 

Fenring

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #78 on: September 14, 2018, 12:18:53 AM »
Your evaluation of the "early warning signs" only mentions Obama.   I am pretty sure a side by side comparison would be much more revealing.

I'm not sure it's as important as you may think to prove who's "more autocratic" between the two of them, although I know why you would prefer that.

With all due respect:
-You don't know why I would prefer that, or even that I would prefer that.  You don't know that I think it is at all important :)

I should have said "I believe I understand some fundamental reasons for preferring that", rather than to insinuate that those were certainly your reasons.

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-If you read the thread, this entire line of questioning originated with the comment
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Trump is less autocratic than Obama

Yes, and my reply to the ensuing exchange was that each side was using a different definition (or axis) for assessing that.

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Greg's list of the early warning signs was a way to somewhat quantify that comparison.  You chose to quantify one side, which does nothing to address the line of questioning we were all looking at.

Read the exchange more carefully. I wasn't answering the question of who is more autocratic. I was answering Greg's comment that the words I was using "autocratic and fascistic" didn't mean what I thought they meant, and weren't being applied to Obama correctly.

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If you want to continue your own tangent of how autocratic Obama is in isolation, feel free.  But please don't infer that I am creating some artificial reason all on my own to drive a comparison.

I don't care how autocratic Obama is in comparison to Trump because I have no dog in that race. I was answering the question of how "fascistic" could be applied to Obama's Presidency based on the list Greg quoted, and this was intended to provide an explanation of what I meant by the word. It was a demonstration of usage, and not directly relevant in any quantitative assessment or comparison.

Quote
I apologize if my tone is harsh, but you are making a lot of assumptions and inferences that seem to me to make communication difficult.

You may want to re-check the conversation history to see if I was being unreasonable. My main effort was in providing some language to help distinguish TheDeamon's position from Greg's, because I felt there was some speaking past each other. In the case of my 'guess' about what you in particular meant, sorry about that.

velcro

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #79 on: September 14, 2018, 12:58:51 PM »
Fenring,

I understand your reasoning, and accept your apology.  I apologize for overreacting to what was really just my misunderstanding of what you were trying to accomplish.

Seriati

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #80 on: September 17, 2018, 04:22:47 PM »
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There's no objective reasoning there.  It's literally, they said what you wanted to hear, ergo, you will treat it as true.

So says the man who thinks Trump saved us millions of dollars on Air Force One, just because a known liar said so, and might know better.  :P

Reading comprehension.  I think I said twenty times WE don't know one way or the other, but that it was plausible based on the information we had.  I said ZERO times that it did happen, and was objecting to people who conclusively believe its a lie based on the same lack of evidence.

Seriati

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #81 on: September 17, 2018, 04:30:07 PM »
Two blatant falsehoods here:

Quote
Did it come with federal agents seizing a lawyer's data base in a pre-dawn raid... oops... wrong right that was violated.

There were warrants.  Attorney-client privileges were maintained.  What right was violated?  Sources please.

Let me get this straight, you're defending a claim that Trump's tweet violated a right, by asking for proof that seizing an attorney's records violates a right?  Lol.

There's absolutely no truth to the idea that attorney client privilege would have been maintained under the original justice department plan - to have people uninvolved in the direct prosecution review the records for privilege. 

It's also directly inconsistent with how they treated Hillary, where they let her turn over subpeoned government records to her lawyers (notwithstanding the lack of security clearance by such lawyers), who choose what to deliver and participated in the destruction of the original devices.

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And to be fair, Seriati only said that we didn't know enough to be 100% sure Trump was wrong. There was evidence aplenty to prove to any unbiased reader that Trump was wrong, but Seriati never actually claimed the opposite, as far as I remember.  But I could be wrong.

There's actually not enough for an unbiased reader to claim the opposite.  An unbiased reader would have acknowledged that without a release of the actual information involved there can't be a claim one way or the other.  (Now let me remember, who was it that had that opinion...)

velcro

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #82 on: September 17, 2018, 09:27:01 PM »
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Let me get this straight, you're defending a claim that Trump's tweet violated a right, by asking for proof that seizing an attorney's records violates a right?  Lol.

Sorry, you didn't get that straight. That sentence didn't claim anything about Trump's tweet.  I didn't ask for anything.  You did manage to distract and distort, and pretty much make stuff up at will.  I am stating a fact, that seizing an attorney's record, with a valid warrant, obtained through proper channels and without fraudulent information, is not violating a right. Please address that comment, and that comment alone, without putting words in my mouth.

As someone who "always has a source", your credibility hinges on your ability to provide one to prove that a right was violated.  Hint: the source should actually support your claim, because we actually look at the sources.

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There's absolutely no truth to the idea that attorney client privilege would have been maintained under the original justice department plan - to have people uninvolved in the direct prosecution review the records for privilege. 
  That is how they always do it.  Please explain how the current processes, approved by Justice Departments under administrations of both parties, fail to maintain attorney client privileges.

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It's also directly inconsistent with how they treated Hillary, where they let her turn over subpeoned government records to her lawyers (notwithstanding the lack of security clearance by such lawyers), who choose what to deliver and participated in the destruction of the original devices.

And what crime was she charged with? Did they have several people associated with her pleading guilty to a variety of crimes and turning state's evidence on her?  Were there warrants, or just subpoenas? Doesn't matter, because Hillary.

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An unbiased reader would have acknowledged that without a release of the actual information involved there can't be a claim one way or the other.

Nope, not even close.  Trump said he saved $1B.  There is ample evidence to contradict that statement. Not receipts for the cost of the plane, but multiple expert statements, and Trump's own statement about the cost.  There is absolutely, positively ZERO evidence to support that statement.  If you disagree, provide a scintilla of evidence that he saved $1B. Otherwise, it is clear what you have.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #83 on: September 18, 2018, 06:54:11 AM »
What I'm worried about is the rights of the innocent client, patient or patent that may be swept up in the raid. And the taint teams that review this consist of FBI agents and U.S. attorneys, and that seems to me like a core violation of the Fourth and Sixth amendments to have government officials reading through material that may turn out ultimately to be privileged and confidential.

-dershowitz

It seems somebody needed an assist. I'm not really against the raid myself. But there are important questions when it comes to searches involving 3rd parties and their rights. Whether it be a church, hospital, or law office.

Seriati

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #84 on: September 18, 2018, 04:57:05 PM »
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Trump is less autocratic than Obama was, yet the outrage is far greater. 

Seriati, please defend this assertion. Provide a definition of what you mean by autocratic, and then show why President Obama's actions violate that definition to a greater degree than President Trump's.

I'm more than a little confused why you would drop the list of examples from the quote and then ask me about examples.  The full quote is below.

We don't have kings.  Trump is less autocratic than Obama was, yet the outrage is far greater.  Sounds more to me, honestly, like the issue isn't whether the "king" is making a demand, just that a Republican is doing so.  I mean honestly, Obama created DACA with a stroke of his pen, overrode the law on immigration and created a new class of citizenship, and that's okay.  His administration continued the NSA's unsupervised and illegal surveilance without warrants, and that was okay.  He actually siezed the records of journalists to try and catch leaks (then turned around and changed the classification standards on his way out the door to try and cause leaks) and that was okay.

To be clear.  Obama felt empowered to reverse the immigration law of this country, that provides for deportation as the default circumstance for those found to be here illegal.  Those are the laws as drafted by Congress.  By choosing to flip them on their head and establish a status of "won't be deported" absent additional conditions that don't appear in those laws.  He did this after he - Constitutional scholar - expressly stated he didn't have the authority to act without Congress.

His administration was one that grossly expanded the regulatory state (again, law making without involving Congress).  He acted to embed permanent political actors into the bureaucracy to ensure his policy would be "election" proof.  He unilaterally entered into treaties and claimed they weren't treaties to avoid his obligations to provide them to the Senate (heck he tried to declare the Senate in recess so he could make recess appointments in violation of the Senate rules).

Pretty much everytime he did anything autocratic people jumped and said he had to do it because of the "do nothing" Congress or "obstructionism".  None of which justifies being an autocrat.

Seriati

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #85 on: September 18, 2018, 05:04:09 PM »
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I DO agree that Obama does strongly favor autocratic forms of governance far more than Trump does.

Seems that you define "autocratic" as a policy that you disagree with. Case in point, Obamacare - if a popularly elected President, along with a popularly elected House of Representative and Senate all go along to pass a law that you disagree with, is that what you consider autocratic?

If the law appoints a health czar with the power to make life and death decisions it would be in support of autocrats.  The Roman's would elect a dictator to deal with crisis.  The dictator was literally the embodiment of an autocratic policy.

Is ObamaCare directly autocratic?  Not really.  It's dramatically big government, but the government is still controlled by a lot of people. 

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Orders NYT to Turn Over Writer to the Government.
« Reply #86 on: October 17, 2018, 01:08:54 PM »
Quote
Trump: ‘The Only Way To Find Out What Happened At The Saudi Consulate Is To Send In More Journalists One At A Time’

The Onion gets comedy, no matter what you think about Trump.