As a resident of Massachusetts I am purely a spectator of the U.S. political scene. Though I will try to get down to the local school to vote for Bernie on Tuesday, our votes generally don’t count; most candidates on our ballots are running unopposed and, for the rest, the outcome is seldom in doubt.
Tomorrow is Super Tuesday and people have been in a tizzy for months over the prospect of Donald Trump as President. My Facebook feed is about 30 percent comparisons of Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.
Stupid Question of the Day: What could Trump actually do that would be so bad/dramatic?
Let’s assume that Trump isn’t going to start a nuclear war. He has too much property to protect, even if much may be mortgaged.
Now what? The President can travel around the country making fine speeches (if Obama) or blunt ones (if Trump), but the President doesn’t make laws, set tax rates, or determine the budget. Maybe Trump wants to build a 100′-high wall somewhere but if Congress doesn’t fund it then he will have to pay for the wall himself, just as you or I would.
President Trump would appoint federal judges. Is there any evidence that he would do a worse job at this than anyone else? His own sister is a Federal appeals court judge, nominated to that job in 1999 by President Clinton. Presumably Trump, like other Presidents, would delegate the grunt work of finding good candidates for various positions. Are we afraid that Trump will hire inferior advisors somehow? Why wouldn’t he just ask his sister for help with judges and similarly qualified people for help in other areas?
Barack Obama has said that he was going to do a bunch of stuff that never got done. He was going to close Gitmo. He was going to tax oil. Politifact has a longish list. In retrospect it seems that it didn’t make any difference what Obama said since Congress has the real power. What’s the practical downside of President Trump for those of us who don’t watch TV and who don’t pay close attention to what the current President says?
He’s not a candidate that I have ever considered supporting, but I would like someone to explain why does the sky fall if Donald Trump is elected?
[And, separately, what if Barack Obama were to nominate Donald Trump’s sister to the Supreme Court?]
- “What a Donald Trump presidency might actually look like” (Los Angeles Times) says that spending and government programs would be more or less unchanged.
- “The Donald and The Terminator” (WSJ) on the failure of Arnold Schwarzenegger to accomplish anything in California: “… here’s the thing about bluster. Against entrenched interests, it almost always loses. For a simple reason: The interests are entrenched because they know how to game the system. American history is thus littered with elected populists foundering in office on the presumption that their personal appeal would be enough to carry the day. That’s what happened to Mr. Schwarzenegger. He came into the governor’s mansion vowing to lower the tax burden, impose some spending restraint and revive the state’s economy. Instead, he ended up signing a huge tax increase even as the state’s deficit spending continued and the debt nearly tripled under his watch.”