Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Quest

If you listen to the people who say they voted for Trump, they voted for the bombast and the blather and the spectacle.  They didn't vote for policy papers and wonkish discussions of complex issues.


So this isn't surprising:

President Donald Trump spent much of the first 100 days of his presidency reneging on the populist, isolationist policies he often espoused as a candidate. Trump, who pledged during his campaign to stand up to Wall Street and to put “America first” in foreign affairs has instead championed financial deregulation and conducted airstrikes in Syria.

But despite Trump’s flip-flops on economic and foreign policy issues, most of his supporters still feel they’re getting exactly the man they voted for, new HuffPost/YouGov polling shows.

The majority, 63 percent of voters who supported Trump in last year’s election* say his current policies are not very or not at all different from the ideas he espoused as a candidate. Only 30 percent of voters who supported Trump in last year’s election say his policy views are “somewhat different” since he took office — and just 4 percent say they are “very different.”
Trump sold the sizzle, not the steak.  He is credited, not with wooing voters with policy ideas, but energizing them with claims for "extreme vetting" and a wall Mexico would pay for, and "draining the swamp."  Those phrases don't mean anything, so how can you expect his voters to hold his failure to do any of those things against him?

He's signed 28 legislative actions, what more do you want?

Except "legislative actions" is a term like "extreme vetting."  Nobody used it until Trump did; so it means what Trump wants it to mean, and nobody else know what that is.  He did promise to do 30 things within 100 days.  He's reversed himself on ending NAFTA and labelling China a "currency manipulator" within 100 days.  He withdrew from the TPP, but since Congress never ratified and likely never would, that's nothing to brag about.  For the rest, he's signed 28 (or is it 30?) executive orders, more than any other President in the first 100 days.  But most of them have little or no impact, or have been suspended by the courts.  As for the rest of what he promised to do, no bills are pending, and the AHCA is the bill that didn't live (although, like the Questing Beast, he is King Pellinore in pursuit of it).

But he's still going to build his wall.  Go to sleep on it.  Even though he didn't even try to block the continuing resolution in order to force a vote on his "wall."  Because not nearly enough of Congress is ever going to vote for it, not even in the House; and his Homeland Security Secretary says it won't be the wall Trump keeps promising.  And he can't get it done without Congress.  Still, he'll do it.

Because his first 100 days have been spectacular.  Just ask him.

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