February 9th, 2017

Decision: the 9th Circuit opinion [see UPDATES]

UPDATE 11:59

Reading this analysis of the 9th Circuit decision by Patterico at Red State, I’ve concluded that he’s saying that the ruling went the way it did mainly because the judges felt that the original EO included green card holders, thus depriving them of the due process to which they were entitled.

That certainly would have been a valid objection, if in fact they were excluded. As I wrote in this comment of mine at 8:54 PM today:

No legal resident is being barred from the country [under Trump’s EO], as long as the EO doesn’t refer to legal residents (and it was clarified that it did not; the confusion about green card holders was one of my original criticisms of the EO).

I have been assuming that the later clarification by the administration that green card holders were not subject to the EO had done away with that objection. But the court didn’t seem to see it that way, and decided that the government could change its mind again and apply it to green card holders, and that that was not an acceptable situation.

As I wrote on February 4th:

I’ve said before that Trump and his advisors should have ironed out a lot of things and clarified them before releasing his immigration executive order. Sloppiness is wrong on two scores: it leads to bad outcomes for many people, and it opens the administration up to valid criticism. It forces officials to play catch-up, scrambling to correct misperceptions and revising the order as originally written. A little bit of this is to be expected; nobody’s perfect. But there’s been an unacceptable and needless level of it this time.

For example, as I’ve written earlier, why not allow people already in transit on airplanes to arrive under the old rules? Why not make it crystal clear at the outset that it doesn’t affect green card holders? Both would not only have made the order more well-thought-out, but would have deprived Trump’s opponents of countless talking points and illustrations of hardship and outright stupidity.

There was no pressing imminent danger that dictated a rush that led to so much sloppiness that we are now in this pretty mess. However, that doesn’t mean that a court challenge wouldn’t have been mounted anyway, no matter how careful the Trump administration had been. I believe the EO would have been challenged even if every “i” had been dotted and every “t” crossed. And the 9th Circuit probably would have ruled against Trump. But why make the opposition’s task easier for them?

Could this now be remedied somewhat by rescinding the original EO and releasing a different one, now that Sessions is on board? I don’t know enough about this area of law to say. Any takers on that question?

But I doubt it would matter at this point. A whole herd of cats are out of the bag and running loose all over the place, howling and screeching.

UPDATE 8:00 PM Andrew McCarthy has tweeted:

Truly outrageous ruling. Judicial oligarchy over political branches on nat’l security; even ILLEGAL aliens have rts against exclusion.

The word “outrageous” keeps coming up.

And here, at least, I seem to have found an answer to one of my questions, and it appears (at least at the moment) that the case will go back to the lower court for a fuller determination:

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Seattle federal judge’s earlier restraining order on the new policy should remain in effect while the judge further examines its legality.

The three judges, two Democratic appointees and a Republican appointee, unanimously said the administration had not shown an urgent need to have the order go into effect immediately.

UPDATE 7:30 PM

Well, that’ll teach me to write so quickly. I was basing my original post (below) on a report that had only a couple of sentences describing the actual ruling by the 9th Circuit. It seems, though, that the ruling was a lot more complex than that impression. Legal Insurrection has a post that describes it in much greater detail.

I’ve changed the title of the post to better reflect the ruling.

It looks pretty bad for the Trump side, even though it still appears to have the effect of throwing the full decision on the merits back to the lower courts, and then it will probably go to SCOTUS. At least, that’s my current understanding.

From William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection:

The long and the short of the 9th Circuit opinion is quite outrageous. It extends constitutional due process protections even to people who have not yet even applied for a visa, and it substitutes the court’s judgment as to reasonableness of security measures for that of the executive branch and President.

The 9th Circuit failed to distinguish between people even the government concedes have some due process rights and as to whom it would not apply the Executive Order (e.g., permanent residents, those lawfully in the U.S. on a visa) and strangers abroad who may not even have applied for a visa.

Read the entire LI post, and tune in for further elaborations on the theme. I’ll wait a bit till things become clearer. I’d like to determine whether the court has actually ruled on the requirement for due process, or whether the judges are just saying that in order for them to have thrown out the TRO issued by the lower court, the government attorneys would have had to have demonstrated definitively that due process was followed. It seems to me (again, on a very very quick skimming of the language of the court) that one of the problems, for example, was that people who do have such due process rights (green card holders) were not distinguished as such in the EO.

I await further clarification on all of this.

[Original post follows.]

I’m doing this very quickly, based on a rapid skimming of initial reports, but here’s the situation as I currently understand it.

It seems that the 9th Circuit has punted, just as Andrew McCarthy had suggested they might. My post on the subject earlier today began this way:

So, how will the 9th Circuit rule on the TRO against Trump’s EO?

Or will there even be a ruling by that court at this time? Andrew McCarthy explains why there shouldn’t be (at least for now), and why the matter should be punted back to Seattle federal district judge James Robart for a fuller proceeding in that court.

That seems to have been exactly what the court did, although the article I just linked to reads (in its present form, anyway) as though the court had definitively ruled against Trump rather than merely ruling not to change things at the moment and to wait for the legal process to play out in the lower courts.

The punt has the effect, of course, of keeping the ban in place because it is a refusal to overrule the lower court (the 9th is an appeals court). But try and find that out by reading the CNN article I just linked to, which so far is mostly a criticism of Trump’s EO (“Trump issued the travel ban on January 27, causing chaos, confusion and protests at international airports as the legal status of people in transition was suddenly thrown into question”).

Jeffrey Toobin is quoted as having this to say on the 9th’s ruling:

“The Trump administration has lost dramatically and completely, and they’re going to have to decide what to do next,” said Jeffery Toobin, a CNN political analyst, on “The Situation Room.” “This decision will have a lot more public credibility because it is unanimous, and I think it complicates the Trump administration’s attempt, if they choose to make it, to disparage this decision as a political act.”

Now, I’m not a big ole legal analyst like Jeffrey Toobin. But Andrew McCarthy is, and not only did he predict this move, but he explained it, and it certainly isn’t described as a dramatic loss (although plenty of commentators such as Toobin will indeed characterize it that way). And it’s absolutely not “complete.” It was unanimous, yes; but even I probably would have ruled the same way at this point (having read the McCarthy article), had I been a member of the court. Nor does the ruling tell us what the lower court (or courts, because the issue is coming up in several venues) will do, or when the Supreme Court is likely to hear the case and whether it will be a panel of 8 or 9.

In fact, I could spin this as a Trump victory—comparatively speaking—because I was expecting the 9th to issue a decision on the merits, 2-1 against him.

However, since I’m not much of a spinner, I’ll say that it’s not a victory. A victory would have been what was never in the cards, a decision by the court to end the TRO. Now, instead, Trump is faced with a host of difficult decisions about when to try to take the case to SCOTUS—quickly (and risk the 4-4 decision, which would not reverse the lower court nor would it resolve differences among different courts), or later (and have the restraining order stand until then).

One thing of which we can be fairly sure is that the GOP will try to expedite the Gorsuch hearing and approval, and the Democrats will do their level best to prevent or at least delay his seating on the Court.

My hat is off to Andrew McCarthy, though (as it so often is).

40 Responses to “Decision: the 9th Circuit opinion [see UPDATES]”

  1. Griffin Says:

    This is reaching the point where from a political perspective Trump can’t lose. Either eventually the Supremes rule in his favor and he wins or he loses and he can say he tried and if God forbid someone from one of these countries commits a terrorist act or even just sexual assaults like that guy in Canada that was a Syrian refugee then this can be placed at the feet of the Democrats and the judicial buddies.

  2. Griffin Says:

    I mean are the Democrats aware that almost all the polling on this goes in Trump’s favor?

  3. parker Says:

    I read McCarthy’s NRO articles and admire his intellect and insight. I think the ‘nuclear option’ for SCOTUS should be detonated.. The dems will do it the next chance they get. If djt has the chance to appoint a second judge to SCOTUS similar to Gorsuch the left will truly go full bore moonbat.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Griffin:

    An interesting point.

    My sense is that the Democrats don’t care. This is just one battle with an administration that’s only 3 weeks old. They plan many, many more. They plan to wear them down. They plan to win in the courts. They plan to rally their own troops to greater outrage, over and over.

    As far as polling goes, they don’t care that their position is unpopular. Did they care with Obamacare? Or with the Iran deal? Or any number of other things they have done?

    Yes, it has seemed to have hurt them at the ballot box. But they cannot abandon these battles; they have become basic to who they are and their constituency. I think they still believe they will somehow win there, too.

    And perhaps they will. I would never never count them out.

    I also think they want to anger Trump and cause him to blow his top in some spectacular manner. This is one of my fears—that that might happen.

  5. Griffin Says:

    Neo:

    I agree that they seem to not care but that is a pretty dangerous game to play when it comes to potential terrorists. Again from a pure political standpoint this is a bad issue to play hardball with Trump right out of the gate. I can’t believe Trump and his minions could be this cunning but doing this first will probably help them down the road when other contentious issues arise.

    And I agree about the fear of Trump going off but so far his response to this has been pretty good in that he has stated his disagreement yet honored the rulings and the system while pledging to continue to fight on.

  6. Big Maq Says:

    “they cannot abandon these battles; they have become basic to who they are and their constituency. I think they still believe they will somehow win there, too.” – Neo

    The dems in Congress are starting to resemble the GOP, what, fiver or seven years ago?

    This may well be the hill that the Senate GOP to “go nuclear” over.
    .

    Maybe now trump and co can change up their lawyers rather than claim incompetence and lack of motivation.
    .

    If McCarthy predicted this decision and its basis, “Sending the case back to Judge Robart seems like a no-brainer under the circumstances.” not sure now calling the decision “outrageous” fits. He is outraged over what he called a no-brainer?

  7. Montage Says:

    Griffin Says:

    “I mean are the Democrats aware that almost all the polling on this goes in Trump’s favor?”

    Why does polling matter at this point? I’m not opposed to Trump’s immigration / refugee plan because he wants it. Or because of polling. I’m opposed because I find it unnecessary. He is playing the fear card.

    I also agree with the 9th Circuit: Here is one line I especially like because they used the word ‘trump’. Clever.

    “The Supreme Court has made clear that the Government’s authority and expertise in [such] matters do not automatically trump the Court’s own obligation to secure the protection that the Constitution grants to individuals, even in times of war.”

  8. OM Says:

    I guess our betters in black robes down in the Bay Area have told the country what they think of the Constitution. Maybe they should put on the black balaclavas that go with the Berkeley protestors. Judicial tyranny indeed.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Montage:

    The only thing is: what rights does the Constitution grant to “individuals”? As opposed to citizens, or legal residents?

    No one is being tortured as a result of Trump’s EO. No legal resident is being barred from the country, as long as the EO doesn’t refer to legal residents (and it was clarified that it did not; the confusion about green card holders was one of my original criticisms of the EO).

    People waiting to enter this country as refugees, or because they have a visa, are not having a single right violated without due process if they are told they cannot come here right now. They have no such rights under the Constitution.

    They have a right not to be tortured, not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment, not to be imprisoned here without a trial or without being confronted by the charges against them, not to be subject to illegal searches, etc. etc. etc. But they have no right to come here and no right to due process on that.

    There is a big difference between legal residents here and people in a refugee camp in Turkey, and what rights they have to come here. There is a big difference between legal residents here and people applying for a visa to visit from Iran or any of the seven countries—or, for that matter, any other country on earth.

  10. expat Says:

    I read somewhere the other day that Trump could withdraw his order and replace it. Is this possible, and if so could he issue a replacement that would be more specific and take into account some of Robart’s objections?

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    expat:

    I read that as well, and it makes sense to me.

    There are several issues here, though. The micro issue is the wording of the EO itself, and fine-tuning it would probably help. The macro issue is whether a circuit court’s 3 judges can overrule a decision made by a president in such matters, and on what basis.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.” George Orwell

    The polls matter because when another attack comes and one most certainly will, Trump will react even more strongly than he otherwise would have and what the left is ignoring is that as the result of democrat and judicial obstructionism, the majority of Americans will support Trump.

    Montage,

    “The Supreme Court has made clear that the Government’s authority and expertise in [such] matters do not automatically trump the Court’s own obligation to secure the protection that the Constitution grants to individuals, even in times of war.”

    The Constitution’s granted protections are for its citizens. Not illegals or refugees. Humanity’s natural rights are recognized by the Constitution. No such right of ‘occupancy’ exists for non-citizens illegally here or those who have legally applied for entry.

    As for Trump playing the fear card, what will you say to the next American victims? Or will you ignobly label it… unfortunate ‘collateral damage’ and essentially pretend it didn’t happen?

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    I think I can clear up the seeming disparity between McCarthy’s 2 comments. Before I updated this post, I was not aware of how many issues the 9th Circuit ruling discussed. I was under the impression that they had been more minimalist and said that they wouldn’t issue a detailed ruling but would just say there wasn’t enough evidence of an emergency presented to cancel the lower court’s TRO, and that it had to go back to that court for a fuller hearing. But in the process of refusing to overrule the TRO, the court actually issued a much longer opinion and took up a lot of the substantive issues involved. It was the judges’ comments on those substantive issues that McCarthy found outrageous—and they do seem to be outrageous.

    Some of the confusion was mine. I don’t think McCarthy is confused. My confusion arises from the fact that I’m still not sure what all this verbiage really means, because it seems to me that the effect (after all is said and done) is merely to kick the can down the road.

  14. huxley Says:

    I got lost in the weeds on this a while ago.

    There are the complexities of the law, the complexities of how the courts work extra-legally these days, and the ferocious struggle between the Trump administration, the Democrats and all American liberal/progressives.

    Is this a problem with the EO or is it just the Democrats will do anything to stop Trump plus judges seem more intent on pushing agendas than interpreting law on the merits?

  15. parker Says:

    Poor, poor ignorant me. I did not know the federal courts issued visas or determined which foreign nationals had rights under the Constitution and the laws of the land. Perhaps Montage can step forward and provide enlightenment.

  16. Griffin Says:

    Montage:

    Clever word play is a pretty silly reason to like a legal decision.

    As for polling my point was that the Democrats are fighting an order that is popular among the people including apparently some amount that didn’t even vote for Trump.

  17. Big Maq Says:

    @Neo – thanks.

  18. Cornhead Says:

    I hate this drama and loss as it detracts from all the good things POTUS is doing.

  19. Ira Says:

    Perhaps the key in the case before the Ninth Circuit is that the Ninth Circuit was considering whether or not to STAY the district court’s TRO.

    Among the questions that the Ninth Circuit had to consider are these:

    Our decision is guided by four questions: “(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.” Lair v. Bullock, 697 F.3d 1200, 1203 (9th Cir. 2012).

    So, while the Ninth Circuit might have decided differently from the district court if it (i.e., the Ninth Circuit) were considering whether or not to issue the TRO in the first place, the U.S. Government had to overcome a very high hurdle in order to get a STAY of a TRO that had already issued.

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    Ira:

    That’s how I see it, too, and why in my most recent comment I described the decision this way: “it seems to me that the effect (after all is said and done) is merely to kick the can down the road.”

    The 9th Circuit judges are basically saying that the government would have had to prove a whole host of things to have convinced them not to let the TRO stand, and that the government didn’t prove them. That’s not to say that the EO wasn’t okay, just that it wasn’t necessary to let it go forward without a full hearing. The judges of the 9th Circuit believe that letting the TRO stand is staying on the side of caution, because the government hasn’t proven there’s any special urgency to put this EO in place immediately.

    Seems to me this sets a very dangerous precedent. That’s why a lot of comments at Legal Insurrection are saying things like this:

    Make the 9th Circus every more of a joke by mentioning them at every turn. “We are preparing a new treaty with X country, but we’ll need 9th Circuit approval first”. “We were going to declare war, but, ya know, the 9th Circuit has to weigh in”. “Now if you’ll excuse me, the 9th Circuit needs this daily intelligence briefing”, etc.

  21. Ira Says:

    neo-neocon:
    I think the Ninth Circuit reached the wrong decision. I think 8 U.S.C. §1182(f) “trumps” everything else in this case:

    Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

    And, aliens outside of the USA have no Constitutional rights.

    The Ninth Circuit should, in my opinion, have said that U.S. Government’s case is SO strong that the STAY should have been granted.

    That being said, I think the Ninth Circuit got hung up on the U.S. Government’s not making a stronger case regarding question 2 of the 4 questions.

  22. Ira Says:

    Further, the Ninth Circuit should have said that when it comes to USA foreign policy, courts should start their considerations of any such cases with an acknowledgment that courts must be chary in exercising any review of Congressional or Executive action.

  23. Cornhead Says:

    This case is a perfect example of how a court can reach the result it wants. Change a few things and the TRO is reversed.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Ira:

    Agreed.

    I think the statute is crystal clear, and he acted legally under it.

  25. Otiose Says:

    Griffin is right, first post. I have no opinion as to whether Trump is setting this trap deliberately, but while he waits to finally win in the courts, as the leftist 9th and Robart play their games, should any terrorist act occur, especially if it were committed by someone from one of those seven countries, the fallout will be radioactive. This new status quo is all on them. And given the rate of terrorist acts of the last few years we won’t have long to wait.

  26. parker Says:

    Oh pleasee. The 9th’s ruling was nonsense. They, nor Robart had standing. The EO was not under their preview. Period. The judicial branch is not the exuctive or legislative branch. When you believe in things you do not understand we all suffer.

  27. parker Says:

    Where is it said courts federal, state or local get to weigh in on forgeign relations? Answer is nowhere. That is all anyone needs to grok. Courts havve zero authority in this area.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    parker:

    Who are you addressing there?

    Has anyone here weighed in on the question of standing? I happen to think the plaintiffs didn’t have standing, but I certainly haven’t devoted myself to an in-depth analysis of every issue in the case and every point of disagreement. There are an enormous number of them, too many to touch upon in the time available for blog posts.

    But the judicial system is allowed to weigh in on the constitutionality of actions of the legislature or the president if someone is deemed injured by those actions. The courts weigh in on those things all the time, so I don’t follow the drift of your remarks on that score.

    The way in which foreign relations came into the decision had to do with whether the government had proved its case that there was some special urgency to the EO and that some special imminent harm would result in the TRO blocking it.

    I happen to think there were a lot of things wrong with the decision, but I don’t see the entire question as automatically off-limits to the court. It was a question of weighing the supposed harm the EO caused against the government’s argument that it was necessary anyway in order to protect against a greater, imminent harm.

    Cases in which the courts make decisions concerning the treatment of terrorists, either in the criminal or the military court system, are similar in that they weigh the dangers the terrorist represents against the harm resulting in what is argued to be a violation of that person’s rights. I often don’t agree with the decisions, but I think that in some cases the court has a right to enter a ruling on the matter, although it affects foreign policy.

  29. Cornhead Says:

    Re neo’s 11:59 update

    That’s exactly my point. A court that wanted a different result could have written that the directive or guidance by the WH Counsel was an effective amendment to the EO and everything was good. But no, that couldn’t be the case. The 9th confined itself to the strict terms of the EO.

    Lots of stuff like that in the opinion. Also could have kicked it on standing.

  30. Cornhead Says:

    Standing was a joke. In what other context does the University of Washington act as the parent of its students and faculty? The 9th and the Libs wanted to beat Trump.

    The new KSM is either here already or on his way. Islam’s war on America will never stop. Might as well make it easy for them to get in.

    Aside. Reading Andy McCarthy’s book. We let the Blind Sheik in. No problem and he was a known terrorist even then.

  31. Cornhead Says:

    I floated the idea a long time ago that POTUS should issue a new EO. He now has the blueprint.

  32. Bill Says:

    I floated the idea a long time ago that POTUS should issue a new EO. He now has the blueprint.

    Yes, but will he have the maturity and strategic thought to make it ironclad, or will he just do the same again, with more passionate tweeting?

    Also – honest question: we all know that if you restrict all travel from seven nations anyone with any determination can just travel from an 8th nation. Say Saudi Arabia.

    What do you ultimately want? Is the original Trump – proposed Muslim ban the desired result? Something else not quite as blanket as that? Honestly interested.

  33. huxley Says:

    As far as polling goes, they don’t care that their position is unpopular. Did they care with Obamacare? Or with the Iran deal? Or any number of other things they have done?

    Yes, it has seemed to have hurt them at the ballot box. But they cannot abandon these battles; they have become basic to who they are and their constituency. I think they still believe they will somehow win there, too.

    And perhaps they will. I would never never count them out.–neo

    Nor I. The Democrats and the left in general have been beaten hard many times, as in 2004, and come roaring back. Or started from almost nothing, as with the sixties anti-war movement, and gone on to turn the nation around.

    Their current antics may look like “failure theater” but it’s not a doomed strategy. Far from it.

    However, I think they will have a harder time of it this time, since they’ve already pushed the country so far to the left and regular Americans are hip to their tricks.

  34. huxley Says:

    So the way each individual actually lives is political in the most decisive sense of that word. It is action in one’s own life that counts. When enough people have decided to live differently, the political results will follow naturally and easily, and the old political forms will simply be swept away in the flood.

    Although we seem to be living in the worst of times, it is already possible to visualize the unfolding of a revolution. The new consciousness will spread, and whatever it gives life to a university, a public school, a factory, a city, and finally the courts, the Congress, and the Presidency will become responsive to human needs.

    –Charles Reich, “The Greening of America” 1970 (as first published in the New Yorker)

    “The Greening of America” is largely forgotten, but it was a bestseller at the time and it was an important book for me. It is about the author’s sixties belief that America was blooming, not about the environment.

    I’m rereading it, trying to understand how we got from 1967 to 2017. The idea in the excerpt above is not Reich’s invention but was already in the air in those days — that the sixties movement marked the emergences of a new form of consciousness which would inevitably triumph.

    The sixties movement may have peaked but it is hardly a spent force. We are seeing it now — in the streets, in the schools, in the courts, everywhere.

  35. huxley Says:

    BTW Charles Reich was a serious, accomplished lawyer and law professor — to tie in more closely to the topic.

    Reich graduated from Yale Law with credit as editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked with SCJ Hugo Black. He was mentored by SCJ William O. Douglas. He worked at top law firms in DC, then went back to Yale as a professor, where he wrote “Greening” with numerous Yale students as informal collaborators.

  36. Big Maq Says:

    “that doesn’t mean that a court challenge wouldn’t have been mounted anyway, no matter how careful the Trump administration had been.” – Neo

    Perhaps not, but a more narrowly scoped, tightly targeted (and yes all i’s and t’s addressed), and a competent rollout might have reduced both the profile and the attack vectors.

    Or, perhaps the smartest move of all might have been no EO to begin with, but use the tools already at hand…

    “Vetting standards could easily have been revised and tightened without the moratorium and its attendant disruptions, stupidities, random cruelties, and well-deserved bad press.” – Charles Krauthammer

    “At a time when it (trump’s admin) should be pushing and promoting deregulation, tax reform, and health-care transformation, it has steered itself into a pointless cul-de-sac — where even winning is losing.”

    Read the full article for some of the consequences this does and may have…
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444765/travel-ban-incompetent-distraction
    .

    Whatever the eventual outcome, it IS a key point that trump campaigned on competency and superior intellect (everyone else was “stupid” and “only” trump could solve these problems).

    Despite loads of evidence during the campaign that sowed doubts about that “branding” (overlooked, or given the benefit of the doubt, perhaps attributed to how “green” trump was to the world of politics – mistakenly?) it is still surprisingly quick how that notion / brand trump was pushing has practically died of seppuku, but without the intention and honor.

    It hits at trust, a building block to getting things done.

    This probably has more profound consequences than not having a ban, and is not something easily regained.

  37. Big Maq Says:

    “When enough people have decided to live differently, the political results will follow naturally and easily, and the old political forms will simply be swept away in the flood” – huxley’s quote

    It is not a popular notion here in these comments section, but this is a crucial point…

    We can temporarily gain political power (in this case, because clinton was such a terrible candidate even for a great many dems, they either didn’t show up, or at some margins flipped to trump) and make some changes which last until the dems gain power and reverse it all (especially if they are based on EO’s and EA’s).

    But, to make it last we need to persuade and convince – to change people’s minds.

    trump and team are doing a p*ss poor job of that.
    .

    Fairly or not, we are risking a long term distaste for “conservative” ideas, by association.

    I sincerely hope trump radically reduces the size and scope of government (including, and especially, presidential powers) and navigate trade and foreign affairs that bring a new robust prosperity and stability.

    Then, I hope this “goodness” overwhelms all into “forgetting” the chaotic mess in getting there.

    This far into the first 100 days – it is a mixed bag and trending to less hopeful.

    That hope rests on the cabinet picks exerting great influence in taming trump (and countering bunion).

  38. huxley Says:

    But, to make it last we need to persuade and convince – to change people’s minds.

    trump and team are doing a p*ss poor job of that.

    Conservatives in general do a poor job.

    There’s Breitbart’s famous maxim: “Politics is downstream from culture.” I don’t blame conservatives from losing so much of the culture war, but we have mostly lost it.

    The Trump movement has emboldened many to push back. That’s a good thing, but the road to persuading people either not in the Trump camp or not yet desperate enough to consider Trump is unclear.

  39. Mac Says:

    Huxley’s mention of The Greening of America is spot on. I’ve been re-reading other documents of that period and it all just confirms what I’ve been saying for many years, that what we now call broadly “the left” or “liberalism” is a religious movement that had its Great Awakening in the 1960s.

    It’s not just that we’re engaged in a de facto so-far-nonviolent civil war. It’s also a religious war.

  40. Big Maq Says:

    “The Trump movement has emboldened many to push back.” – huxley

    If trump had won a far larger percentage of the eligible voters (rather than being one of the lowest, historically), I’d agree.

    He didn’t. Many would-be / expected conservative voters did not vote. It so happens that clinton lost even more of the expected eligible dem voters, with an even lower historical turnout.

    After eight years with obama, the majority of people believed the country was headed in the wrong direct, thus were already pre-disposed to a change and “push back”.

    But, if by “push back” we mean matching the dems with our own spin, dissembling and lies, and verbal bullying, well, perhaps there is a case.
    .

    We all have talked about the accelerated division, increased polarization, and increased identity politics, in society over the obama years.

    And, we, rightly, blame obama for a great part of that.

    Evidently, a POTUS does not stand outside of our culture, but is an active player in shaping it – arguably the one individual with the most power to do so.

    The culture that trump is sowing is not something that will provide a lasting change towards conservatism.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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