The President Is Winning His War on American Institutions

  
Via:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  56 comments

The President Is Winning His War on American Institutions
a simple intuition had propelled Trump throughout his life: Human beings are weak. They have their illusions, appetites, vanities, fears. They can be cowed, corrupted, or crushed. A government is composed of human beings. This was the flaw in the brilliant design of the Framers, and Trump learned how to exploit it.

This article is essentially the length of a short book.   I only posted the introduction. 


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T




The President Is Winning His War on American Institutions










How Trump is destroying the civil service and bending the government to his will







When Donald Trump came into office, there was a sense that he would be outmatched by the vast government he had just inherited.

The new president was impetuous, bottomlessly ignorant, almost chemically inattentive, while the bureaucrats were seasoned, shrewd, protective of themselves and their institutions. They knew where the levers of power lay and how to use them or prevent the president from doing so. Trump’s White House was chaotic and vicious, unlike anything in American history, but it didn’t really matter as long as “the adults” were there to wait out the president’s impulses and deflect his worst ideas and discreetly pocket destructive orders lying around on his desk.

After three years, the adults have all left the room—saying just about nothing on their way out to alert the country to the peril—while Trump is still there.

James Baker, the former general counsel of the FBI, and a target of Trump’s rage against the state, acknowledges that many government officials, not excluding himself, went into the administration convinced “that they are either smarter than the president, or that they can hold their own against the president, or that they can protect the institution against the president because they understand the rules and regulations and how it’s supposed to work, and that they will be able to defend the institution that they love or served in previously against what they perceive to be, I will say neutrally, the inappropriate actions of the president. And I think they are fooling themselves. They’re fooling themselves. He’s light-years ahead of them.”

The adults were too sophisticated to see Trump’s special political talents—his instinct for every adversary’s weakness, his fanatical devotion to himself, his knack for imposing his will, his sheer staying power. They also failed to appreciate the advanced decay of the Republican Party, which by 2016 was far gone in a nihilistic pursuit of power at all costs. They didn’t grasp the readiness of large numbers of Americans to accept, even relish, Trump’s contempt for democratic norms and basic decency. It took the arrival of such a leader to reveal how many things that had always seemed engraved in monumental stone turned out to depend on those flimsy norms, and how much the norms depended on public opinion. Their vanishing exposed the real power of the presidency. Legal precedent could be deleted with a keystroke; law enforcement’s independence from the White House was optional; the separation of powers turned out to be a gentleman’s agreement; transparent lies were more potent than solid facts. None of this was clear to the political class until Trump became president.

But the adults’ greatest miscalculation was to overestimate themselves—particularly in believing that other Americans saw them as selfless public servants, their stature derived from a high-minded commitment to the good of the nation.

When Trump came to power, he believed that the regime was his, property he’d rightfully acquired, and that the 2 million civilians working under him, most of them in obscurity, owed him their total loyalty. He harbored a deep suspicion that some of them were plotting in secret to destroy him. He had to bring them to heel before he could be secure in his power. This wouldn’t be easy—the permanent government had defied other leaders and outlasted them. In his inexperience and rashness—the very qualities his supporters loved—he made early mistakes. He placed unreliable or inept commissars in charge of the bureaucracy, and it kept running on its own.

But a simple intuition had propelled Trump throughout his life: Human beings are weak. They have their illusions, appetites, vanities, fears. They can be cowed, corrupted, or crushed. A government is composed of human beings. This was the flaw in the brilliant design of the Framers, and Trump learned how to exploit it. The wreckage began to pile up. He needed only a few years to warp his administration into a tool for his own benefit. If he’s given a few more years, the damage to American democracy will be irreversible.

This is the story of how a great republic went soft in the middle, lost the integrity of its guts and fell in on itself—told through government officials whose names under any other president would have remained unknown, who wanted no fame, and who faced existential questions when Trump set out to break them.




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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago

But the people are "content". 

Sheep ? 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

while the bureaucrats were seasoned, shrewd, protective of themselves and their institutions. They knew where the levers of power lay and how to use them or prevent the president from doing so. Trump’s White House was chaotic and vicious, unlike anything in American history, but it didn’t really matter as long as “the adults” were there to wait out the president’s impulses and deflect his worst ideas and discreetly pocket destructive orders lying around on his desk.

Yep, that's been going on for almost four years now, and it has not worked. But Trump has outlasted them all and gotten rid of worst of them. But this partisan hate filled  article appears to be yet another pack of lies and made up bullshit. His adversaries continue to underestimate Trump's abilities and strengths. He's a day and a dollar ahead of them every day and has been since the beginning and has thwarted them in every circumstance of their efforts to destroy him. He will continue to do so during his second term. Trump's a natural born winner, while the unhappy losers can only weep and whine.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    one month ago
Trump's a natural born winner, while the unhappy losers can only weep and whine.

No famous person in American history has whined as much as Donald Trump has. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.2    one month ago

Will you stop pestering me?  I am not going to be part of normalizing Donald Trump. Its never going to happen. 

If you want to normalize him seed or write your own articles. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    one month ago

If you can't stand the heat, perhaps you should stay out of the kitchen.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.1.5  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    one month ago

No one is pestering you. You post controversial stuff on an open forum and apparently expect your views to go unchallenged.

That is not how it works according to the owner/moderator. You show no tolerance of respect for opposing views, so you should expect any in return.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1.5    one month ago
No one is pestering you. You post controversial stuff on an open forum and apparently expect your views to go unchallenged.
That is not how it works according to the owner/moderator. You show no tolerance of respect for opposing views, so you should expect any in return.

Spot on.

jrSmiley_81_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1.7  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.4    one month ago

If you can't stand the heat, perhaps you should stay out of the kitchen.

Can you grab me some fries to go with that offer..?

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1.7    one month ago
Can you grab me some fries to go with that offer..?

Do you often expect others to do what you seem unwilling to do for yourself?

Why?

Lazy?

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1.9  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.8    one month ago

i just was wondering...

if i could, possibly stand the heat in the kitchen,

if i'm in the ice box making frozen margaritas for the Mexicans building that wall between the living room their not paying for cause it's time for a siesta senior, or some 'heat' 

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1.9    one month ago
i just was wondering...

I was wondering when your posts will make sense.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.1.11  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.10    one month ago

don't wonder any further, your off the map already

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.12  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1.11    one month ago

So, never, got it, thanks.

Caio.

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.13  bugsy  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    one month ago

Just remember this.

If you have young grandchildren or someone you know has young grandchildren, they will one day be taught in history class Trump was the 45th President of the United States, and that lesson will not say one word about what you have been babbling on about for the past 4 years...with zero proof.

 
 
 
bugsy
1.1.14  bugsy  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.10    one month ago
I was wondering when your posts will make sense.

Ditto

 
 
 
Ronin2
1.1.15  Ronin2  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one month ago

Don't sell all of the Democrats and their lemmings short. They have whined just as long and loud as Trump; and there are a whole hell of a lot more of them.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.2  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago
But the people are "content". 

In their personal lives.   That is the context of 'content' as I use it.   Since 'content' is not in this seed my guess is you are referencing my comments that the American people are currently 'content' with their personal lives and thus are naturally not looking to make many changes that could upset that.

The desire to not upset the apple-cart, so to speak, is why Sanders will not win in the general.    To prevail, the D candidate will first need to convince the electorate that s/he is not going to take actions that will result in pressure on an individual, his/her family and his/her friends.

( By the way, your seed link goes to the wrong article. )

 
 
 
squiggy
1.3  squiggy  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

“...would have remained unknown, who wanted no fame, and who faced existential questions when Trump set out to break them.”

The lazy hacks who hide behind the rules and exist solely to make others miserable in their game of ‘gotcha’? Burn ‘em all.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
2  igknorantzrulz    one month ago

Trump should be put in a damn Institution !

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
2.1  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  igknorantzrulz @2    one month ago
Trump should be put in a damn Institution !

Preferably one with lots of locked doors.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @2.1    one month ago

and padded walls

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
2.1.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.1    one month ago

y

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.1.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  igknorantzrulz @2.1.2    one month ago

So he doesn't hurt himself

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
3  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    one month ago

Never underestimate the lies/loopholes/lawsuits strategy.  

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @3    one month ago

You mean the ones the Dems have been using since he was elected? What's their success rate so far.

Trump's still there and will remain. Who can replace him? He's Teflon Don.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
3.1.1  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    one month ago
You mean the ones the Dems have been using since he was elected?

Link please.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @3.1.1    one month ago

You brought up the term, define it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4  Texan1211    one month ago

Ah, yes!

Yet another article spelling out the impending doom for all of America if Trump wins again.

Must be another Monday in America.

Commence whining about how terrible everything in America is right now, and how we are doomed, DOOMED, I say, if Trump wins again.

Oh, the sheer horror of it all!

LMMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @4    one month ago

You support a KNOWN liar, crook, bigot, moron, and cheat to be president and to be re-elected. 

I dont think you have much credibility to criticize opposition viewpoints. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Greg Jones
4.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    one month ago

[deleted]

With opposition like that, Trump can't lose. Can't wait until Super Tuesday to see the 2020 Parade of Democrat Clowns!

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    one month ago
You support a KNOWN liar, crook, bigot, moron, and cheat to be president and to be re-elected. 
I dont think you have much credibility to criticize opposition viewpoints. 

You support a self-described Democratic Socialist who wants to tax what people save, and take away their health insurance plans they picked out for themselves.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @4.1.2    one month ago

Will the moderators please remove all this trolling from my seed? 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
4.1.6  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.1    one month ago
Will we be subjected to yet thousands MORE hate-filled rants?

At least John directs his negative thoughts at Trump.  You direct yours at your follow NT community members.  How...Trumpian...of you.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @4.1.6    one month ago
At least John directs his negative thoughts at Trump.

Gee, that just shows that you haven't read very many of his posts, or that you didn't comprehend them if you did read them.

LMMFAO

 
 
 
Greg Jones
4.1.8  Greg Jones  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @4.1.6    one month ago

John directs a large volume of his comments to and about his fellow NT members, and most of them are negative. It's right in front of you.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
4.1.9  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @4.1.6    one month ago

thats what i like about him

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @4.1.8    one month ago

"There are none so blind as those who refuse to see."

jrSmiley_7_smiley_image.png  

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
4.1.11  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.10    one month ago

don't be so hard on yourself

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.12  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @4.1.11    one month ago
don't be so hard on yourself

How cute--yet more inane comments from you to me.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
4.1.13  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.12    one month ago

did u learn a new word../?

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.14  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @4.1.13    one month ago
did u learn a new word../?

Do you need me to enlighten you?

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
4.1.15  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.14    one month ago

Tex, with a fckn FLAMETHROWER, you would not enlighten me

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.16  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    one month ago
I dont think you have much credibility to criticize opposition viewpoints

And?

 
 
 
bugsy
4.1.17  bugsy  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @4.1.6    one month ago
At least John directs his negative thoughts at Trump

I invite you to re read post 4.1 and 4.1.3, then come back and post that again with a straight face.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
4.1.18  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  bugsy @4.1.17    one month ago
I invite you to re read post 4.1 and 4.1.3, then come back and post that again with a straight face.

John was calling Trump a liar, crook, bigot, moron, and cheat.  He wasn't calling you or your friends those things.  Besides, I'm the one who usually calls you and your friends those things.  

In addition, did you even hit the link John provided @ 4.1.3?  If not, here you go:

Will you stop pestering me?  I am not going to be part of normalizing Donald Trump. Its never going to happen. 
If you want to normalize him seed or write your own articles. 

If Texannumbers is upset about that, then I'm going to suggest that he might want to have his Xanax prescription refilled.  Immediately if not sooner.

 
 
 
bugsy
4.1.19  bugsy  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @4.1.18    one month ago
I dont think you have much credibility to criticize opposition viewpoints.

So you think THIS is directed towards Trump?

Weird...

And this was 4.1

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.20  Texan1211  replied to  bugsy @4.1.19    one month ago
So you think THIS is directed towards Trump?
Weird...
And this was 4.1

Oh, wait a minute here.

You expected everyone to read the posts?

LMMFAO!

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
5  Sean Treacy    one month ago

I think these articles are great for they put a nice mirror up to how Democrats have behaved for the Last 20 years. Bill Clinton’s presidency was the template for trumps and the people who enabled Clinton now act surprised when their tactics are used against them..

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6  Nerm_L    one month ago

Well, it's necessary to state the obvious.  An entrenched, unelected bureaucracy ain't democracy.  And weakening an entrenched bureaucracy that sees itself as a politically unaccountable and independent fourth branch of government isn't an attack on democracy.

The bureaucracy has been empowered to legislate, create policy, and perform central planning for society in an undemocratic manner.  The bureaucracy has obtained sufficient independent power to challenge the President, Congress, and the Judiciary.   The bureaucracy has become a de facto fourth branch of government without Constitutional basis or authority.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
6.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Nerm_L @6    one month ago

If you had a sane president, you would have a better argument.  Trump removes people who can demonstrate that his policies are ill advised and often self serving. He appoints people to replace them who are underqualified lackeys. All that supercedes your technical analysis. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
6.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1    one month ago

And you continue to make sweeping and false generalizations that you can't or won't back up with facts or examples.

You don't have any logical or rational argument(s) at all.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6.1.2  Nerm_L  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1    one month ago
If you had a sane president, you would have a better argument.  Trump removes people who can demonstrate that his policies are ill advised and often self serving. He appoints people to replace them who are underqualified lackeys. All that supercedes your technical analysis.

The key word in that comment is 'appoints'.  And political appointment of bureaucrats is not a democratic process.  Perhaps it would be wise to do a little research on the Federal Senior Executive Service before throwing around descriptions like 'underqualified'.  The measures of merit within the bureaucracy are not what they superficially seem.

 
 
 
bbl-1
7  bbl-1    one month ago

Trump does not like institutions.  Has a fear of them.  Private life Trump spent fortunes battling against American laws, standards and accountability.  Perhaps this is why the Putin regime considers him an asset of sorts. 

 
 
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