Make Congress Great Again – This November

Make Congress Great Again – This November

Why We Need a New Congress NOTE:  Please share this post if you find it insightful We are living in frighteningly-accelerating death spiral in Congress between Trumpian Republican oligarchy and Democratic incompetence – at a time when we are as bitterly divided as a nation as we were in the years leading up to the Civil War. As Marc A. Thiessen bleakly describes in the Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/on-immigration-democrats-give-trump-the-upper-hand–again, once more, this time with immigration, feckless Democrats have managed to yank defeat from the jaws of victory. Meanwhile, Trump’s attack on the very roots of American democracy continues unabated. Yes, the separation of families is unspeakably cruel, especially in the typically Trump haphazard, chaotic, “don’t think about the details” way it was carried out. And yes, immigration as a process has played a vital role in America’s growth and greatness. We ARE a nation of immigrants – your ancestors and mine −  whose desire to create a better life for themselves and their families made the “American Dream” a reality. But what we’re dealing with now isn’t normal immigration. It’s a refugee crisis driven by war, poverty, and political unrest, comparable to the crisis of refugees from Africa and the Middle East overwhelming Western Europe. The Democratic Party and its leadership, Senator Feinstein, has failed to understand and deal with this changed reality. What we got instead, in the legally-flawed proposed extension of “catch and release,” was both bad policy and bad politics. How the Democrats Blew it We wouldn’t be in this situation at all had the Democratic party not arrogantly and disastrously pinned its 2016 election hopes on...
Trump Blinked on Separating Families — Now What?

Trump Blinked on Separating Families — Now What?

“Look,” a Republican friend said to me recently, “President Trump needs time to show what he can do. We elected him because we thought he’d shake things up – fix things. No more Washington ‘Business as Usual.’ You have to give him a chance. That’s only fair.” (I resisted asking how “fair” Republicans had been to President Obama when he took office.) So let’s honor that request. We’ve had ample opportunity to take the measure of President Trump’s operating style. It reflects his family and upbringing, his innate personal character and values, and his experience. That experience was forged in the nasty, dog-eat-dog world of New York real estate development, captured in his book The Art of the Deal, and dramatized on his TV show “The Apprentice.” Its essence is the testosterone-driven battle of confrontational bargaining. It’s a zero-sum game: somebody wins, somebody loses–there’s no middle ground. It’s narrowly time-limited: no long-term view—win today’s battle, whatever it takes, and go on to the next one, always with the same question, “Did I win or lose?” In the kind of transactional, win/lose battles Donald Trump built his life and career on, “Truth” is whatever you say it is–at the moment–in order to gain advantage. There are no “rules,” no overriding ethics, moral principles, or even compassion. You get what you want by brute force, fear,  intimidation, and dissimulation … or outright lying. A world like this, devoid of guiding principles, is a world without consequences. Of course, nobody wins all the time in a world of unrelentingly constant battles: witness Trump’s multiple bankruptcies and business failures. So if a deal...