The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Wonder why this strategy hasn't been tried before

The fallout from Friday's executive order halting some immigration continues to rain down on Washington, and no one has emerged unscathed. Medium still thinks it's the beginning of an executive-branch coup against the rest of the U.S. government, and that Bannon on the NSC is the real news. They have some good points, but for now I'm going to go with Brian Beutler's analysis: it's incompetence, not (entirely) malice:

The early days of Trump’s presidency, and the humiliating rollout of the anti-refugee order in particular, show Trump internalized none of [Obama's advice].

A great deal of reporting backs up the claim that the most ideologically extreme members of the administration cobbled the order together without external input, but the scapegoating is an effective admission that Trump signs whatever is put in front of him, without reading or understanding it. The incentive for ambitious operators within the administration is thus to do whatever’s necessary to get unvetted orders and choices before the president by any possible means, so they become national policy before sensible people can intervene.

Heeding Obama’s advice might have helped Trump avoid making an obvious and monumental error, but Trump either lacks the capacity to run the government in an orderly fashion or intentionally discarded Obama’s recommendations, or both. When reality quickly asserted itself, as Obama promised it would, Trump claimed (out of ignorance or malicious dishonesty) that he was merely reprising “ what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months”—a “ban” that quite literally never happened.

Meanwhile, Trump firing acting Attorney General Sally Yates surprised no one, least of all Yates. And her action, while well within her authority as AG, was at the same time a deliberate finger in President Trump's eye. But the White House statement announcing her departure still managed to break another norm of government and simultaneously diminish both the President and his office another notch.

This is only Day 11. In just a few hours, the President will announce his first supreme court nominee with all the pizzazz of a reality show. It'll make him happy, for a moment. And then the nominee will reach the Senate. Should be fun.

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