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Uncle Fred 18th Dec 2019 18:13

A question for Turbine, Pattern, Lonewolf, etc.

One of the more remarkable aspects I find about the current U.S. political situation and Trump is the staggering level of obeisance that he enjoys up and down his party ranks.

With the exception of perhaps a sole congressman (the bloke from Michigan if I remember correctly), not a single Republican will even differ with Trump in the slightest. This is not something that I have seen in my lifetime in the Western democracies.

Yes, I know that every party that is well organized has a strong discipline and the whips to make sure the flock does not stray too far, but there are times when various opinions percolate to the surface--not to mention the formation of discrete factions within a party.

Granted my experience has been viewing UK and European assemblies vice the daily shout and tumult of U.S. politics, but I am accustomed to seeing a to and fro within the ranks.

Certainly there must be some issues with which a Republican congressman or Senator disagrees with the POTUS--something more substantive than not hosting the G7 at Doral or some such bagatelle.

Any idea this fealty to the chief is enforced? Not only is it a fealty that must be upheld, but one that requires frequent public displays of the most sycophantic outpourings--even if those outpourings make no historical, legal, or public policy sense.

Toadstool 18th Dec 2019 18:24


Originally Posted by Uncle Fred (Post 10642973)
A question for Turbine, Pattern, Lonewolf, etc.

One of the more remarkable aspects I find about the current U.S. political situation and Trump is the staggering level of obeisance that he enjoys up and down his party ranks.

With the exception of perhaps a sole congressman (the bloke from Michigan if I remember correctly), not a single Republican will even differ with Trump in the slightest. This is not something that I have seen in my lifetime in the Western democracies.

Yes, I know that every party that is well organized has a strong discipline and the whips to make sure the flock does not stray too far, but there are times when various opinions percolate to the surface--not to mention the formation of discrete factions within a party.

Granted my experience has been viewing UK and European assemblies vice the daily shout and tumult of U.S. politics, but I am accustomed to seeing a to and fro within the ranks.

Certainly there must be some issues with which a Republican congressman or Senator must disagree with the POTUS--and I am not just talking about not hosting the G7 at Doral or some such bagatelle.

Any idea this fealty to the chief is enforced? Not only is it a fealty that must be upheld, but one that requires frequent public displays of the most sycophantic outpourings--even if those outpourings make no historical, legal, or public policy sense.

The cult of personality reminds me of North Korea, or Iraq under Saddam, or the USSR. Heck, even Iranians protest against their leaders.

West Coast 18th Dec 2019 19:00


Originally Posted by Uncle Fred (Post 10642973)
A question for Turbine, Pattern, Lonewolf, etc.

One of the more remarkable aspects I find about the current U.S. political situation and Trump is the staggering level of obeisance that he enjoys up and down his party ranks.

You’re asking us to speak for the elected officials, no one here can. What I can say is that I don’t see this rising to the threshold of impeachment. An impeachable offense is whatever a vote in Congress determines whatever high crimes and misdemeanors is. That turn it into a kangaroo court and not due process. What Trump did was dirty politics at worst, a public censure which is a tool of Congress would be more appropriate.

So what you perceive as excessive deference is simply noting the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, if there was a crime to begin with.

Standby for the liberals to disagree as they’d be happy to impeach Trump for an overdue book. Think Al Green.



obgraham 18th Dec 2019 19:18


One of the more remarkable aspects I find about the current U.S. political situation and Trump is the staggering level of obeisance that he enjoys up and down his party ranks.
I think many of us can agree that we are pretty hopelessly divided on this issue.

But lets turn it around. Considering that this is an issue which has no upside (the Senate will not oust the man), and plenty of downside (the public is losing interest, and it could definitely put a congressperson at risk come election time), what is actually remarkable is that to date only 1 Democrat Congressman has decided to go on record as opposing Pelosi/Schiff. I expect that the final vote in the House will not be anything other than on party lines. I'll be staggered if more than 2 go against the party.

Once in the Senate, where 67 votes are needed, it will again be on party lines, with the exception that there are 3 Republican Senators likely to dissent due to the state they are from. They'll be allowed to, since their votes won't matter.

It's all politics. Nothing but.

bafanguy 18th Dec 2019 19:52


Originally Posted by Toadstool (Post 10642978)


The cult of personality reminds me of North Korea, or Iraq under Saddam, or the USSR. Heck, even Iranians protest against their leaders.



Perhaps you didn't see the political indoctrination occurring among Chairman Barack's adoring myrmidons. They even stooped to "indoctrinating" little children. This reminds me of thousands of mind-numbed robots waving little reds books. The fawning adoration of Obama is at least as bad as what is alleged for Trump.

It's time to realize this is nothing but lust for political power at any cost regardless of the party. Best to ignore it since neither you nor I will affect the outcome.


Toadstool 18th Dec 2019 21:09


Originally Posted by bafanguy (Post 10643023)
Perhaps you didn't see the political indoctrination occurring among Chairman Barack's adoring myrmidons. They even stooped to "indoctrinating" little children. This reminds me of thousands of mind-numbed robots waving little reds books. The fawning adoration of Obama is at least as bad as what is alleged for Trump.

It's time to realize this is nothing but lust for political power at any cost regardless of the party. Best to ignore it since neither you nor I will affect the outcome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ty7WU872Lk

Thanks but you’ve suggested that the political situation in your country transcends party. What you’re saying is, regardless of political persuasion, your President is now a Dear Leader and in the USA there is nothing that you can do about it?
The founding fathers must be squirming.

obgraham 18th Dec 2019 21:30

There is some truth to your point, Toady. Each side is worshipping their own Dear Leader.

Oh for the days of more modest presidents, like Truman, or Eisenhower. However, I suspect they had their haters too.

bafanguy 18th Dec 2019 22:45


Originally Posted by Toadstool (Post 10643075)
...you’ve suggested that the political situation in your country transcends party. What you’re saying is, regardless of political persuasion, your President is now a Dear Leader and in the USA there is nothing that you can do about it?

I suggest it's symptomatic of party as it's always been in this country (and yours, by the way). We now hear much more about it...all the time because of electronic media. This feeds the frenzy.

At NO POINT did I say "...President is now a Dear Leader..." anymore than Comrade Obama was Dear Leader. Both are opposite sides of the same coin.

All the individual can do is cast one vote per election. The individual vote is a pretty weak effort.

I understand you resent the USA as a baseline attitude and hate Trump. Fair enough.

I'm quite entertained at being educated by Eutopians who know everything there is to know about American government, governance, history and culture. Keep talking. It's quite enlightening.


Toadstool 18th Dec 2019 22:55


Originally Posted by bafanguy (Post 10643156)
I suggest it's symptomatic of party as it's always been in this country (and yours, by the way). We now hear much more about it...all the time because of electronic media. This feeds the frenzy.

At NO POINT did I say "...President is now a Dear Leader..." anymore than Comrade Obama was Dear Leader. Both are opposite sides of the same coin.

All the individual can do is cast one vote per election. The individual vote is a pretty weak effort.

I understand you resent the USA as a baseline attitude and hate Trump. Fair enough.

I'm quite entertained at being educated by Eutopians who know everything there is to know about American government, governance, history and culture. Keep talking. It's quite enlightening.

[I understand you resent the USA as a baseline attitude and hate Trump. Fair enough./QUOTE]

Actually completely incorrect. It’s ok to disagree without hate. Try it.

pattern_is_full 19th Dec 2019 06:28


Originally Posted by West Coast (Post 10642993)
So what you perceive as excessive deference is simply noting the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, if there was a crime to begin with.

I take issue only with this part of your post. Whether or not there was a crime to begin with - nether impeachment nor removal from office are a punishment.

It is a human-resources question - should this employee of the American people be fired?

The Founders saw fit to include two Constitutional ways of doing that - removal by way of an election, or removal by way of impeachment. But in either case, the subject is not at risk of life, or limb, or loss of liberty or property. They are not punished, they are simply discharged.

To Uncle Fred - one significant (but not the only) reason that the elected ranks of the GOP have not broken with Trump, especially as regards the Impeachment fight, is that they are elected - and scared of their own voters. Who are in many cases strongly pro-Trump. If the elected representatives oppose Trump in any significant way, they risk being "primaried" or opposed in the party nominee-selection process, by someone who will adhere more closely to Trump.

And if one believes in small-d democracy, that is generally a good thing. Representatives are supposed to represent their constituents' views.

On the other hand, if one believes in small-r republicanism, the idea is that the voters choose the wisest heads - and then leave them free to use their heads in governing, without being afraid of "mob rule" removing them. And if they are good politicians, they'll be able to persuade their voters they have made the right decisions, based on evidence and reason.

In any case, the rank-and-file GOP voters clearly still support Trump (percentages are running over 80% in favor.) The real question would be why that is true. And obgraham might give us the market-report yet again - except that that rising economic tide has done nothing to improve Trump's standing with independents or Democrats (rich or middle-class or working class or poor). Apparently, the old Clinton "It's the economy, Stupid!" doctrine is no longer as powerful as it - perhaps - once was.

One has to look at a much more complex picture than that - there are the tribalist Republicans who just figure anything that scores points against Democrats is a win; there are the populists who figure anything that gives the elites(*) "a good kicking" (BREXIT-style) is a good thing; there are the religous conservatives; there are the business conservatives; there are the philosophical "small government" conservatives and libertarians. With or without some overlap.

(*) although who constitutes "the elite" is never clearly defined - the money-elite? The business-elite? The knowledge-elite? The education-elite? The celebrity-elite? The power-elite?

bafanguy 19th Dec 2019 07:15


Originally Posted by Toadstool (Post 10643161)
It’s ok to disagree without hate. Try it.

Uh, ok...I'll try that. Thank you for your input. :rolleyes:


West Coast 19th Dec 2019 13:20


Originally Posted by pattern_is_full (Post 10643290)
I take issue only with this part of your post. Whether or not there was a crime to begin with - nether impeachment nor removal from office are a punishment.

It is a human-resources question - should this employee of the American people be fired?

The Founders saw fit to include two Constitutional ways of doing that - removal by way of an election, or removal by way of impeachment. But in either case, the subject is not at risk of life, or limb, or loss of liberty or property. They are not punished, they are simply discharged.

To Uncle Fred - one significant (but not the only) reason that the elected ranks of the GOP have not broken with Trump, especially as regards the Impeachment fight, is that they are elected - and scared of their own voters. Who are in many cases strongly pro-Trump. If the elected representatives oppose Trump in any significant way, they risk being "primaried" or opposed in the party nominee-selection process, by someone who will adhere more closely to Trump.

And if one believes in small-d democracy, that is generally a good thing. Representatives are supposed to represent their constituents' views.

On the other hand, if one believes in small-r republicanism, the idea is that the voters choose the wisest heads - and then leave them free to use their heads in governing, without being afraid of "mob rule" removing them. And if they are good politicians, they'll be able to persuade their voters they have made the right decisions, based on evidence and reason.

In any case, the rank-and-file GOP voters clearly still support Trump (percentages are running over 80% in favor.) The real question would be why that is true. And obgraham might give us the market-report yet again - except that that rising economic tide has done nothing to improve Trump's standing with independents or Democrats (rich or middle-class or working class or poor). Apparently, the old Clinton "It's the economy, Stupid!" doctrine is no longer as powerful as it - perhaps - once was.

One has to look at a much more complex picture than that - there are the tribalist Republicans who just figure anything that scores points against Democrats is a win; there are the populists who figure anything that gives the elites(*) "a good kicking" (BREXIT-style) is a good thing; there are the religous conservatives; there are the business conservatives; there are the philosophical "small government" conservatives and libertarians. With or without some overlap.

(*) although who constitutes "the elite" is never clearly defined - the money-elite? The business-elite? The knowledge-elite? The education-elite? The celebrity-elite? The power-elite?

Impeachment and in theory removal from office are not punishment in your world, gotcha.

lomapaseo 19th Dec 2019 14:59


Originally Posted by West Coast (Post 10643531)
Impeachment and in theory removal from office are not punishment in your world, gotcha.


In the eyes of the impeached , it is.

In the eyes of the electorate it is an actionable action, subject to confirmation in a more global vote.

In my view Trump will only leave when a better person survives a more global vote.

I really don't like the current actions and prefer that congress simply act together in both houses to call for another election if they don't want to wait.

Winemaker 19th Dec 2019 18:04


... congress simply act together in both houses to call for another election...
How would that be even remotely constitutional? We elect a president, not a prime minister.

obgraham 19th Dec 2019 19:07


prefer that congress simply act together in both houses to call for another election if they don't want to wait.
Indeed, indicates a complete lack of understanding of the US system.

lomapaseo 19th Dec 2019 19:44


Originally Posted by obgraham (Post 10643731)
Indeed, indicates a complete lack of understanding of the US system.


Exactly !,
I kook to the future and not to yesterday

Uncle Fred 19th Dec 2019 20:25

Thank you Pattern for the explanation - much appreciated! You do tease out an interesting point as to representatives doing just that--representing as opposed to everyone in a Swiss Canton dropping a marble into the urn (so to speak) and the largest number wins.

For the other respondents, I perhaps worded my question poorly but Pattern divined what I was getting at - not just the impeachment that has Republicans in lock step with whatever the president says but everything from trade, foreign, and economic policy. Could it be, as Pattern hints at, that these voters actually think and believe this way vice just using him as a transaction?

Btw OB, did you get a chance to read through Trump's letter to Ms. Pelosi? Do you still stand by every line being true even though that is patently not the case? Just curious...

obgraham 19th Dec 2019 21:10

Yes, Fred, I read the letter. It is excellent. Please point out some significant "wrong" bits.

Not just things you disagree with, or that he was one number off on his EC count.

Lonewolf_50 19th Dec 2019 21:20


Originally Posted by obgraham (Post 10643093)
Oh for the days of more modest presidents, like Truman, or Eisenhower. However, I suspect they had their haters too.

Harry Truman was quite explicit in his dislike for, and later his hatred for, both Ike and his VP Richard Nixon.
\(My source is the book Plain Speaking, that was more or less a series of Interviews with HS Truman before he died
"An Oral Biography, by Harry S Truman and Merle Miller" .
Read it in the early 70's.

For Uncle Fred:
Trump was at war with the GOP during the primaries of 2015 and 2016. He ran roughshod over it. And it worked.
He seems to have a core of pretty solid supporters inside the party, and gets the support of another group of GOP who are in the old position of
"he's an arsehole, but he's our arsehole"
as they proceed in their political stuff.
I won't comment further, and I find your framing of that as obeisance to be hyperbole, at best.
I am not sure what level of deep support he has beyond "he's against them" and "them" is Pelosi and Company.

One of the more remarkable aspects I find about the current U.S. political situation and Trump is the staggering level of obeisance that he enjoys up and down his party ranks.
What I find among people whom I talk to is that those where were solid Tea Party members tend to be his strongest and most vocal supporters.
That seems to me to reflect where he gets most of his support within the GOP as well ... but that's my guess. No hard data to offer you.

Uncle Fred 20th Dec 2019 03:08

Lonewolf

Perhaps poorly worded on my part, but I used obeisance with the intent of being less inflammatory than other words that are at the ready.

I can check the old OED when I get home, but looking at definition #2 on Dictionary.com I see the definition being worded as deference. It is in this light that I employed the word as Mr. Trump's rank and file certainly is deferential. It is this deference on any and all subjects that leaves me bewildered as different views arise all the time in even the smallest organizations not to mention something the size of a major U.S. political party.

Your explanation however, of this fealty/loyalty being most fervent in those who were in the Tea Party faction helps in understanding this phenomenon.

As always, I appreciate your measured and thoughtful replies.


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