The cranky old man is also yelling at Australia

I don’t get it. Now Trump is antagonizing Australia.

It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.

Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.

At one point Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin — and that “This was the worst call by far.”

Another thing I don’t get: “triumphant week”. Who is having a triumphant week? Trump? Because all I see is a floundering asshole lashing out everywhere he can in the face of his unpopularity.

This lunatic and his administration are destabilizing our relationships with the rest of the world, and picking fights with our friends, acting like a belligerent drunk.

“Triumphant”. Fuck.


  1. flex says

    I still think that it’s going to come out, either during or after his impeachment, that he’s addicted to cocaine.

    Between the 3AM tweets, the wild mood swings, the frantic energy, and paranoia….

    Mind you, I am completely unqualified to make such a diagnosis.
    But maybe we should add a piss test to the requirements for the office.

  2. cartomancer says

    Well, technically someone called Trump is always having a “triumphant” week, given that “Trump” is an anglicisation of the Italian “trionfo”, from the Latin “triumphus” – a formal procession celebrating a military victory (ultimately from the Greek Thriambos, via Etruscan). The word came into English from the language of playing cards, which originated in Renaissance Italy.

    That this one’s grandfather adopted it as a surname strikes me as one of the more crass and arrogant things the family has done.

  3. whywhywhy says

    Trump is not destabilizing all relationships. Our relationship with Russia appears to be improving.

  4. secondtofirstworld says

    Erm… This is the first time I’m a bit confused, as I need a definition on the word friend. Several human rights watch groups blast Australia for the inhumane practice they do in Nauru and on Manus Island, so if that’s the measure, then Australia truly is a friend to an administration that solely thinks in bans. He practically fumed about a problem that reached the UN, hence the deal.

    However, after reading the article, I’m far from convinced, that the other calls could have been that productive. Abe wants the abolition of his constitution’s Article 7, and the repatriation of 4 islands occupied by Russia, that weren’t included in the San Francisco Treaty. Putin wants to the total physical removal of NATO defense equipment from its borders. In other words, his call partners either want something that is counterintuitive for the other caller, or counterintuitive to American interests.

  5. KG says

    Look, the President says he had a triumphant week, so he had a triumphant week. Anything that suggests otherwise is fake news.

  6. pastorbentonit says

    So he told the Aussies to get off the White House lawn? Oh, this is going to get fun. Granted, fun like a frozen cocaine comet strike, but still.

    Also @secondtofirst #5, the Trumspter fire seems somewhat counterintuitive, overall.

  7. Nemo says

    Maybe it was a triumphant week for Australia, for some reason? I dunno. It’s certainly bizarre to apply that label to Our Hapless Leader.

  8. jerthebarbarian says

    flex @2 –

    The earliest he gets impeached is 2018. And only if the Democrats win a majority in the House. And the only way that the Senate convicts on an impeachment is if somehow the Democrats manage to get a 64 or so seat majority in the Senate.

    Even if Republican voters hate him, Republican primary voters will not stand for their Senators participating in working with Democrats to do anything. Especially if that thing is correcting a massive mistake that Republican primary voters made and still aren’t willing to admit was a mistake. (I see stories about Trump voters having buyers remorse and I can tell you – here in Ohio I don’t see it. The Trumpsters around me are all happy that he’s doing what he said he was going to do – and are upset about “Democratic obstructionism”. The only one I know who is upset is upset because he thought Clinton was going to be in prison by now and he’s worried that Trump really isn’t going to lock her up for her “crimes”).

  9. cherbear says

    That is his plan. He wants to create an America vs the world scenario. He might just succeed.

  10. Gregory Greenwood says

    At least the Australian Prime Minister has thus far had an unabashedly antagonistic relationship with the new orange hued tyrant of America. The UK’s Prime Minister is far too busy brown nosing to the would be emperor of the (formerly) free world to take any kind of principled stand.

    I can think of few more crushing indictments than being lauded by Trump, and he seems to absolutely love Theresa May, a fact that is causing her considerable political trouble in the UK, all of which she entirely deserves.

  11. Jack Krebs says

    Instead of triumphant, I propose the new word “trumphant” to describe the otherwise indescribable mess that accompanies Trump’s actions, as in “he had another trumphant week”.

    Also, excellent remark at #1 about paying for burning bridges.

  12. cartomancer says

    Gregory Greenwood, #14

    I’m hoping that what with this and Brexit we finally end up with a much-needed swing to the left from the British (well, ok, the English) electorate. If associating with Trump is what finally convinces those people for whom five years of Cameron and Osborne wasn’t enough then I’m glad she’s sucking up to him. Though five years of Tory vampirism on the NHS ought to help swing the balance too.

    Mind you, if May falls from power too quickly we might even end up with Boris Johnson as PM…

  13. rpjohnston says

    @11 Yeah I tried looking at some of the Twitter and Tumblr archives of Trumpists regrets and they aren’t pretty. It’s all bitching and moaning that he isn’t jailing Clinton or genociding Muslims fast enough or whatnot.

    Yeah there’s a massive portion of the country, tens of millions, for whom “patriotism” is just a word to cloak themselves in as they rage to destroy democracy and establish a christian tyranny that they believe will enslave everyone else to them. Of course it will merely enslave them as well…but if they can be convinced that other people are suffering more, they’ll be satisfied with it. They can’t be reached, only defeated. This country is OURS, not theirs, and don’t forget it.

  14. secondtofirstworld says

    @pastorbentonit #8:

    I’m actually ambiguous as to the plans that this administration has for the 7th Fleet. One moment he wants to protect America, the next he wants to move out of the international theater. Anybody with experience in North Pacific politics knows, that Japan wants those islands, and that Putin laughed at the request. The fate of that question and many others rely on the positioning of said fleet, and a more crazier step would be if he demanded from Turnbull to take over the protection of the region, overwriting decades of delicate conditions.

  15. raven says

    We now know a few things about Trump.

    He likes to pick fights.
    He likes to make enemies.
    He likes to cause problems for people.
    He may be a sadist.

    This list has high predictive power.

  16. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says


    Yes, but all of that was in evidence long before the election. For many of his supporters, those are features.

  17. blf says

    It’s important to note the facilities on Manus Island and Nauru (from where the refugees would come) are concentration camps in all but name (Australia struggles to save refugee agreement after Trump’s fury at dumb deal):

    Both Australian-run detention camps have been the subject of sustained criticism by the UN, human rights groups and other nations over systemic sexual and physical abuse of those detained, including rapes, beatings, and the murder of one asylum seeker by guards; child sexual abuse; chronic rates of self-harm and suicide; dangerous levels of sustained mental illness, harsh conditions and inadequate medical treatment leading to several deaths.

    So let’s be totally clear here: Hair furor trum-prat is a flat-out nazi. Not a “neo-nazi” or “alt-lite”, but a totalitarian who has now checked essentially every box as you-know-who did.

  18. raven says

    That is his plan. He wants to create an America vs the world scenario. He might just succeed.

    He also wants to create an American versus American scenario. He has been wildly successful.

  19. madtom1999 says

    #2 re piss test: The vatican carries popes over head at ‘election’ to ensure they have a penis after some administrative ovary up. With Trump whichever way I look at him I see a dick.

  20. secondtofirstworld says

    @blf @#21:

    I don’t want to be the spoilsport here, and I also don’t contest he wishes to be totalitarian, but he’s far from checking all boxes (thankfully).

    I find it to be a grave mistake to judge any such actions on how a regime ended instead of how it started. Both in a race- and class-based discrimination, the desensitization of people did not begin with the physical destruction of its perceived enemies, but the purge of internal members who were seen as a threat. Before the Nazis ordered racial genocide, they purged their own nation from people they saw as defects (the mentally and physically disabled) and before Stalin ordered the Great Purge, he made his own country suffer first.

    Trump is antagonistic and anti-democratic, but during these 2 weeks he did not take wholesale action toward fellow Americans, as any dictator would do, to solidify their power. He hasn’t established a paramilitary organization directly tied to the party, he doesn’t have a Leibstandarte, and above all, he can’t make laws, nor can he dissolve both houses. Dictatorship is not a choose your own adventure, steps have to be taken in order, or it fails.

  21. numerobis says


    Trump is antagonistic and anti-democratic, but during these 2 weeks he did not take wholesale action toward fellow Americans, as any dictator would do, to solidify their power. He hasn’t established a paramilitary organization directly tied to the party, he doesn’t have a Leibstandarte, and above all, he can’t make laws, nor can he dissolve both houses

    He made a law to keep out Iranians and others, even permanent residents.

    It was largely struck down in court.

    The border patrol has to a large degree disregarded the court judgement.

    Two weeks in, he’s demonstrated the ability to make arbitrary laws that harm US persons, and direct a loyal force to enact it.

  22. unclefrogy says

    in this case I’m going to have to agree with DJT’s supporters
    give him a little time he will attempt to check all the boxes soon enough it has only been 2 weeks after all. HE appears to be engaged in trying to do his best to do it all but his work load has just increased what with adding all the presidential duties to already keeping track of the “Trump Empire” through his completely autonomous designated managers.
    uncle frogy

  23. enkidu says

    Come on secondtofirstworld @ 24

    Give Trump a chance! He’s only had two weeks. /snark in case it isn’t obvious

  24. unclefrogy says

    well I read on huffing and puffing
    that he has threatened Berkeley for cancelling Milo’s speech because of protests
    see he is doing his best!
    uncle frogy

  25. Brian English says

    This is a great opportunity for Australia to realign its relationship with the US into something more mature by granting the refugees asylum in Australia, exiting the F-35 clusterfuck, asking a few US troops to leave Darwin, and generally not being a total lickspittle. I predict all these options will be ignored, and we’ll go full toady.

  26. freemage says

    It’s pretty clear, looking at the situation, why Trump got into it with Turnbull–he’s suffering from Camp Envy. He resents that the Australians are so far ahead of us in having concentration camps for holding poor, desperate brown-skinned people.

  27. says

    One report noted that Trump made the call to Australia at 5 p.m., and that he was suffering from fatigue after a long day.

    My bet is that no one told Trump about the deal that the U.S. and Australia had made to settle approximately 1,200 refugees, so when he heard about that from Turnbull it pushed his “no more Muslim immigrants!” button. Now Trump says he is going to study the deal. (Later reports said the U.S. government would honor the deal.)

    Incompetence on Trump’s part and on the part of his team? Coupled with fatigue? Add in Trump not liking to be told by anyone, including Turnbull, what he has to do.

  28. palefury says

    @blf – thanks for pointing out that Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers is just as contemptible as Trump’s immigration ban.
    There are two sides of this story and Australia’s is just as vile.

  29. gijoel says

    @32 Can’t disagree, it’s the same bullshit pandering to racist yobs as Trump. Turnbull has also refuse to condemn the Muslim ban as he’s desperate for this deal to go through.

  30. wzrd1 says

    Well, there is an upside. At the rate that he’s going, he’ll fracture and destroy both NATO and FVEY.
    I’d guess that next, he’d get the entire US military to mutiny against him…

  31. secondtofirstworld says

    @numerobis #25:

    He didn’t and can’t make laws, that’s the point of the executive arm of the government. Yes, he took actions against the citizens of 7 countries, which was largely based on the DHS’s recommendation of areas of concern, but it can only last until 120 days.

    I’m not saying he’s a lovable puppy, I share the sentiment of others here, I just don’t go as far as comparing him to actual dictators. The reason totalitarian dictators have their own paramilitary is because they don’t trust the police and military put in place before they came to power. If and when that would happen, he’d take a major step in becoming one. Mugabe has expelled the white minority, but he also enforced bloody rule against his own people. Hitler did not start to take dictatorial steps after he got elected, he tried a coup a decade earlier, and got influential people around him. Stalin took part in the 1905 revolution and took part in subsequent bank robberies, and removed competitors before he took over.

    What people fear in this administration, and rightfully so, is how far Congress will support him. The good thing about America is, that the economy is independent from the government, and unlike Putin, Trump doesn’t have kompromats on business leaders. Even Comey can’t do what Hoover has done, that’s not that FBI. Every appointment has to be confirmed, and the Democrats will rarely give confirmation. The judicial system might have started out as a replica of the Holy Roman Empire, yet it had devolved to a confederacy like Switzerland. Just like the cantons, the final say is with the states. Several states, including red ones are in debt, and some of POTUS’s ideas could force them into bankruptcy. Trump won’t differ from any other president when he has to beg for funding, and beg he will. Impossible to imagine, yet that’s what happened to Nixon and Reagan as well. Trump can only enforce things which a) are based on an existing law and b) fall into the federal competence of the government.

    Let’s say, he does threaten Turnbull that he pulls out from the Pacific, and it falls on Australia to defend everything from Japan to Papua New Guinea. In contrast, he can’t order martial law in Chicago as the 10th Amendment prevents him, and he also can’t order the military to do it (Posse Comitatus), and he can only summon the National Guard if there’s an emergency, which is clearly described. He would need Congress to write new laws, that discard the state’s rights issue. Suppose his voters like that, the politicians won’t. Their power comes from dictating Washington, it’s a mutual back scratch.

  32. DanDare says

    As an Australian this is truly horrible lose lose.

    A great many of us hate the detention camps set up by Howard but voting in the other team didn’t make them go away.
    Now Mr Trump is repeating the illegal immigrant terrorist mantra. These folks are Refugees.

    Now we have the president renegging on deals made and discounting the fact that we have already done our part of the exchange. I don’t like the deal in the first place and I hate that your president and much of your government are too untrustworthy to do deals with.

  33. raven says

    The good thing about America is, that the economy is independent from the government, ….

    That is so far away from being the case.

    Politics and economics have always been closely intertwined and still are. Markets are a human creation and the rules are decided politically.
    1. The Federal Reserve sets interest rates.
    2. The governments spend a substantial fraction of the GDP collected in taxes.
    3. The governments use taxes to direct economics. Tax breaks for this, tax credits for that, tax this income as X, tax that income as Y, tax deduction for this spending and so on.
    4. The government regulates the economy through a vast array of rules for various ends i.e the EPA, Dodd-Frank, SEC, etc.
    5. The government plays a key role now in housing mortgages as… “FHA mortgage insurance provides lenders with protection against losses as the result of homeowners defaulting on their mortgage loans. …”
    This pool of mortgages is one of the largest pools of financial obligations on earth.

    Government policies make some people rich and others poorer.
    Government policies can start a recession as Hoover and Bush showed.
    Government policies can get us out of a recession as Roosevelt and Obama showed.

  34. raven says

    I wouldn’t depend on the GOP to rein Trump in.
    A few of his handlers such as Bannon have plans to take care of that. They want to take over the GOP. It’s not uncommon for a president to remake their political party so they might well be able to do this.

    This is BTW, Fascism 101.
    They always try to take over all institutions, churches, the courts, the police, the political parties, education, the military, everything they can.

    I hate that your president and much of your government are too untrustworthy to do deals with.

    Well, someone got the obvious.
    If the USA becomes untrustworthy and we are heading there…then don’t trust the USA!!! It’s not like there is a choice here.
    And that will make the USA an outlaw state in the world. And it won’t do our economy any good either.
    On present trend, Trump is on his way to wrecking our economy.

  35. wzrd1 says

    @DanDare #36, that’s easy enough to counter. Pull out of FVEY and watch D.C. kowtow.
    Once the NSA loses the Commonwealth’s cooperation in that program, the only realistic surveillance left are a handful of listening posts outside of Commonwealth nations, some limited satellite capabilities and US landings only.
    The immigrant ban has already pissed off the entire GCC states, which could cost them their landings on the ring around the Persian Gulf and the Egyptian landing points.

  36. rorschach says

    The Australian government is desperate to send Muslim refugees it has labelled “illegal” to Trump’s USA. You’re welcome to draw your own historical parallels.
    There is a 37 week pregnant refugeee with preeclampsia and a breech presentation currently waiting to die from lack of medical care in one of our camps.
    So compared to Australia, at this stage Trump’s government is an example of humanitarianism. The spineless groveling is part of the bigger picture here, Turnbull needs a domestic policy “success”, and political parties lack any vision to turn their eyes to Asia instead of the US.
    It’s frustrating.

  37. wzrd1 says

    Ah, preeclampsia, which is utterly untreatable in Australia, indeed, down under, a breech presentation is utterly unmanagable.
    It’s not as if Australia has modern medicine!

    But, no, it’s a domestic Australian victory issue, which is why Trump shows his humanitarianism by leaving a half dozen children in dire need of promised life saving surgery stuck overseas and missing their surgical appointments.

    Frankly, if I were the Australian PM, within 30 seconds of listening to Trump blather, I’d tell him that FVEY just became four eyes until the US honors its pre-existing agreements.

  38. John Morales says


    Frankly, if I were the Australian PM, within 30 seconds of listening to Trump blather, I’d tell him that FVEY just became four eyes until the US honors its pre-existing agreements.

    If you were the Australian PM, you too would be tugging your forelock.

  39. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    John Morales #42
    Oh, please.
    I’m sure the Australian PM has a cap to doff.
    No need for the forelock tug.

  40. Brian English says

    A great many of us hate the detention camps set up by Howard
    That’s the most unusual spelling of Keating I’ve seen in a while. It was a labor party gift, gratefully accepted and embellished by the the LNP. Globalisation was a labor party deal, greatfully accepted and embellished by the libs. And so on.

  41. secondtofirstworld says

    @raven #37:

    And yet we talk about 2 different things, so I have to demonstrate it. When the somewhat shiny new shoe came into power in 2010 (they governed once between ’98-02), they had started to take over key sectors very quickly with a super majority.

    They knew, that most media outlets in lack of a competitive advertising market have to rely on advertisements from the government or companies related to or operated by the government. To the surprise of no one, with such a blackmail and a complete control over frequencies, they strong armed independent owners. One such method was claiming that they paid fees late, or not in the total amount required, so they held up payments until the radio station or TV network couldn’t function anymore. Newspapers were easier, they simply stopped advertising, and those who did, started to get “random audits”. Imagine the IRS scandal coupled with CBS, ABC, NBC going off the air, and being replaced with Good Morning with Bannon, the Tillerson Power Hour, etc. They suspended the private pension, and practically blackmailed people into joining the state fund. How? Since they were the legislative (and not the executive) they made up a bogus claim, that during the financial crisis, private providers lost a lot of money, and if citizens don’t return to the state fund, all payments toward private will not be counted as pension, but still taxed. Imagine Trump taking the 401k funds, promising a private account that you’ll never have, or you can stay, you’ll never see a penny, but still have to pay.

    They wrote a new constitution, and most laws can only be changed with a 2/3 majority. They’ve reigned in mortgages by forcing banks to take over third of the installments, with the other third being paid by the budget. People have flat out ignored, and still ignore, that it’s taxpayer money. They reigned in the Supreme Court by forcing them to drop all case hearings related to the budget until the national debt to GDP ratio isn’t 50%. They suspended the right to review constitutionality by any person. Imagine the ACLU couldn’t sue because Trump would say, the subject matter has to be relevant to a minority, and only on a personal level. In other words, the Dakota Access Pipeline couldn’t be protested by any other but the Native Americans in the region and only after it was completed. Referendums cannot be held on questions related to the budget. It is illegal to take pictures, video or audio of police officers unless it’s a public event (though even then try to argue you can’t because reasons). In recent years they established a media network that rivals TMZ. Much like in Russia, you’re a billionaire one day, and a nobody the next. Not because you’re a criminal or your company tanked, but because you can’t out compete the empire they have.

    This isn’t by far the full scope of differences between having executive power and legislative. Compared to that, no, the federal government does not rule the economy. They don’t have bald bouncers to stop you from protesting the destruction of breathable air. I

  42. numerobis says

    secondtofirstworld, you need to give trump a chance.

    You’re looking at historical dictators with hindsight and arguing that because trump hasn’t yet achieved in two weeks what took them a few months or years to do, it’s invalid to warn that he’s headed that way.

  43. Rey Fox says

    There’s been a lot of semi-jokes around lately about how much we miss George W. Bush now. I had always resisted that notion, but now…fucking christ. At least W would’ve just made some jokes about “shrimp on the barbie”.

  44. Gregory Greenwood says

    cartomancer @ 16;

    I’m hoping that what with this and Brexit we finally end up with a much-needed swing to the left from the British (well, ok, the English) electorate. If associating with Trump is what finally convinces those people for whom five years of Cameron and Osborne wasn’t enough then I’m glad she’s sucking up to him.

    We can only hope it will be enough, but with so much bandwidth being taken up by the ‘Britain hasn’t sunk beneath the waves, so brexit was a success (even though we aren’t actually out of the EU yet) and anyone who warned of the risks is a fool and/or traitor!’ brigade I wouldn’t count on it; I have serious doubts about the UK electorate’s capacity to make a rational political decision right now. Staggeringly, there are actually some Brits who look at Trump’s disastrous opening to his period in power with envy, and wish he were in charge over here as well. One can only assume that they are the kind of people who would want Farrage for PM.

    Though five years of Tory vampirism on the NHS ought to help swing the balance too.

    Hopefully they will wake up before the Tories get the chance to call in their fellow hemophages from across the pond, and sell off the NHS wholesale to the US medical insurance and biotech corporations.

    Mind you, if May falls from power too quickly we might even end up with Boris Johnson as PM…,

    A scenario I am already having nightmares about.

  45. secondtofirstworld says

    @numerobis #47:

    Ok, let’s compare it to Mugabe, a contemporary dictator, who got in originally by a democratic election… except he too had already had paramilitary before coming to office. I have to reiterate, there are certain steps needs being taken to be a dictator, none of which this guy has. I’m saying that that’s a good thing, not that he’s fit, qualified, or commendable.

    People often say, “this is how the Nazis started it ” or “this is how the communists did it”, but neither is true. Regardless if it’s a race-based dictatorship, a class-based one, or both, the very first thing a dictator does is to kill off checks and balances by placing people in positions in all 3 branches of governance, until there’s only one. We could make the assumption he’s like a small child in a toy shop who thinks his parents can just buy anything, the total amount of power isn’t in his hands, and won’t be, until the judicial and legislative don’t join the executive. The leaders he looks up to, both historical and contemporary have that, he doesn’t, it requires either the vacation of the constitution or a new one.

    With all the things the party gets from this administration, there’s no way they would ever vacate the 2nd Amendment (so that the titular well organized militias would be his private forces, and heavy restrictions would be in place on gun ownership), the 8th, 10th and 14th Amendment, which gives powers to the states over the federal government. Yes, it will be unfortunately very bad for a lot of people, but not for a whole society, as is the case in a dictatorship. He can’t take over transportation (it would require nationalization, a huge no in America),communication, and most importantly, capitalism. Dictatorships need a tight ship as an economy, so that all sectors serve one goal.

    I’ve seen entire sectors being taken over, and handed out to close confidants, where even a slot machine can only be used with restrictions. I can’t imagine that casino owners will just sign over business to him so that for once he can run a successful casino. I see it less likely that he could charge Elon Musk or Tim Cook with treason or embezzlement to remove them, it’s not Russia. The Bill of Rights alone contains powerful rights that cancel out dictatorial dreams, even if he doesn’t get that.

    What I’m waiting for are the budget discussions for his plans, where he will see, that he can’t fire elected officials. The GOP has aligning interests, they’re not enslaved, and there are also Democrats. McCain and Graham couldn’t do much to prevent him from being nominated, but they can sway Congress, and they don’t love the guy very much. This is why Reagan was more successful, he recognized that in order to get his plans done, he needs sufficient votes, at times from across the aisle. Nixon was damn sure he couldn’t be impeached, and resigned before the whole Congress would have impeached him.

    When Obama first took office, he too rolled out a few executive orders before he had to butt heads with Congress. Unlike Putin, the American president has to consult Congress on what law he wishes to propose, and the end product is always what Congress signs off on. In theory, if the CIA is right, and the Russians has also hacked the Republicans, and they have damaging material, such a coercion would be treason, and Graham being a former JAG knows that full well, he’d expose such an approach. Trump did admit as much that he has to work within existing legal framework, so his only shot is to have new representatives past the midterm who’ll do his bidding. That would be scary, but they’d have to be elected first.

  46. numerobis says

    Trump does not *right now*, two weeks into his term, have dictatorial powers. Great. Neither did any of the usual people we write about who won power in a nominally democratic system and transitioned it to a dictatorship. You only get dictatorial power that fast if you lead an armed rebellion.

    We’ve been seeing the FBI worried about neonazis infiltrating security forces for years. We’re seeing Trump sucking up to the FOP and the CPB union. We’re seeing those unions then campaign for Trump. We’re seeing the CPB ignore court injunctions.

  47. rq says

    You seem to be trying to tell people to calm down, that it isn’t that bad, that things won’t get that bad, because reasons A, B and C. History doesn’t always go exactly the way it has gone before, and I don’t think you have the right to tell people not to worry, when it’s quite clear that there is a lot of reason to worry. People have a right to be worried, because it’s only been two weeks, and there’s a lot of opportunity for things to get a lot worse. Doesn’t matter what systems are in place right now, you can’t predict what will happen in the future – it’s been two years of ‘that will never happen’ (well, fine, from that point way back in the real world when Trump announced his campaign). So. You say history hasn’t ever gone like this, but… that don’t mean a thing right now.

  48. secondtofirstworld says

    @numerobis and @rq #52 and #53:

    To address both concerns… One. I’m not only talking about historical dictators, but also about contemporary ones, and authoritarian leaders of democracies. Two, I’m not saying people shouldn’t be worried, I said as much, that it will be bad for a lot of people, especially the poor ones, who voted for him.

    However, I’m also saying, that there are differences from an outright dictatorship, or a directed democracy. In other, contemporary cases, the dear leader does not have, and did not have opponents running against them. T

  49. secondtofirstworld says

    Continuation: Their parties are loyal to a fault, either by devotion or by coercion. They have all branches of government under their thumb. Even if it’s a federal state, like Russia is one, the leaders of regions are members of the ruling party, and the opposition is hardly elected, in many cases thwarted by force from running.

    For Trump to establish such a power after being elected, he has to pull some power moves, that is unlikely to ever happen. First, dissolve the amendment that limits his power to 2 terms. Second, take away all power from Congress. Third, dissolve the amendments that grants power to states in any matter not regulated by the constitution. Fourth, vacate all amendments that protect citizens from the federal government having too much power.

    The contemporary dictatorships and directed democracies, save a few exemptions, are centralized to begin with. Their societies look up to their leaders as they have been conditioned to seek solutions to their problems from the leader. The only way this can happen, if the NRA comes out and publicly says, the 2nd Amendment needs a huge overhaul, and they voluntarily send in all their weapons to get protection from the government. In my experience, ardent gun lovers would have it snatched from their cold dead hands. How else can a full on totalitarian dictatorship be realized without the confiscation of 100 million handguns?

    I also think, that GOP will let the limits be pushed on a lot of issues, but not at a cost, where their voters suffer an insurmountable loss in rights violations. I also don’t see a directed democracy happening where they just sit back and be the pen to every law, and let him govern exclusively through his orders. If other countries introduce boycotts on American products, it will hurt the military industrial complex big time, who, while making good money domestically, they make more money abroad. The recent tweak on the sanctions of Russia is a sign, that they can’t go as far as hurting their own companies, in this case, the tech industry.

    I do think the GOP wants this administration to implode, so that voters won’t go for unreliable, anti-establishment people again, which is self-serving, and thus why they don’t act until it’s necessary. The most we can fear about this administration comes from enabling, not his own power. They have the lawmaking and money power, both of which are badly needed for a dictatorship.

  50. numerobis says

    secondtofirstworld, I don’t think you’re reading what others are writing. So it’s pretty pointless to continue.

    I salute your undying faith in the written word of law.

  51. secondtofirstworld says

    @numerobis #57:

    My faith doesn’t reside in simply a written law, or the spirit behind it… rather in what makes Americans as a nation different even from its closest neighbors.

    I grew up in an authoritarian dictatorship, lived in a democracy, and left a directed democracy, that idolizes Putin despite all warning signs. Like the warning sign of how White House staff played hooky with the law on record retention when they haven’t recorded Trump’s call with Putin last month. Yet I think we can be pretty sure FSB has its own copy.

    However Russia is not China, they do feel those sanctions, to the point that actual low income Russians, the most loyal of his voters started to feel the effect. I also know why foreign investors left my birth country after being forced out and did not resist it much, because it’s a small market.

    The financial crisis under Reagan, Bush or Obama was different, the administrations tried everything to get people to retain trust in the American economy. If Trump throws it into turmoil, it will have a cascade effect. Like it was under Nixon when he thought he could power arm the OPEC, to my memory it lasted 6 years and it cost the abandonment of the gold standard. So my faith is largely put in negative things, like moral corruption, survival and hunger for power.

    Also, yes, it does rely on such positive things too, like cultural behavior. When an economy tanks in a weak democracy, they shower citizens with money to course correct, but Trump can’t do that, even if he had all money, as being entirely reliant, as they call it “on the tit of government, like a welfare queen” is what they stand against. Sure, they can abandon that, but how well can it go over with actual conservatives who were raised to resist it?

    We’re accustomed to see him saying crazy things, and going through with it, or trying so, but the party nominating him remained consistent on values as did the Democrats. Liberals and leftists have been down on their luck in the 1968 and the 1982 elections, it’s nothing new. I truly wish for you to avoid mistakes that many others have done in the past. Nothing is truly lost until there are people who protest the Dakota Pipeline, the immigration ban, or anything else that comes up in the future.

    Trump had won on anger, rallying on a message that divides people beyond left or right wing, it’s the perception of success and importance. Authoritarian leaders do favors for selected minority groups so that in return they continue to attack them on the conquest of audience. This is why I don’t care for Harris’s opinion on the ban, because he claimed this president is an atheist 2 days after he was elected. People like Harris believe they had fought and won the good fight, so it’s time to fight a different “nuisance”. A person like Trump wins the second a liberal person abandons being humane.

    Lucky for all of us, he did not purge or lock away people who don’t think like him. The violation of the constitution mostly happened with foreign nationals or citizens of non-white color. But to be a full on fascist, he’d have to turn on the majority, as in turning against his own voters. Abusing the constitution is already a big problem, but I don’t he could go further than that.

    The deal between Turnbull and Obama is a sign, that upon scrutiny from the UN he can be swayed to act like a human, and stand firm by his decision. The sympathy what people feel for the ones trapped at the airport, or the ones freezing to protest a pipeline is a sign, that the whole society is not desensitized. It’s a sign that BLM isn’t pointless, it’s not a hopelessly racist, sexist and homophobic society. It’s proof that not everything can be fake news and alternative fact. It’s what I found lacking in my own nation. Seeing that people stand up for these things is why I don’t see a dictatorship coming around the corner.

    P.S.; By the way, this isn’t just your fight. Richard Spencer has been banned from the EU (would you have guessed he tried to sell off his drivel as a conference on libertarianism?) and Bannon wants to see us destroyed. If I would give him a chance as some have suggested in a snarky way, by the decade’s end I’ve have to polish my Russian knowledge again, and smile at the May Day Parade.