Monday, May 29, 2017

Republicans and Trump Are Chumps! Back From Litchfield and Palmetto Bluff. Have A Memorable Memorial Day.

The uniqueness of Israel! A wedding picture.

A fashion model serves!
The WSJ editorial is sound advice for those wimpy Republicans who put their tails between their legs and run from Democrats who are always ready to dig their heals in and fight.

The best way to respond is do what you were elected to do but that is difficult because it means putting aside personal interests and doing what is best for the nation. (See 1 below.)

I also agree with the WSJ's op ed regarding Trump's acting like a weasel when it comes to carrying out his campaign pledge regarding Jerusalem.

As long as America and the West cater to Palestinians demands and shield them from reality the charade will continue and we will pay more as we hold ourselves hostage to our own stupidity. (See 1a below.)
We have just returned from Litchfield and then a few days at Palmetto Bluff.  Hope everyone has a memorable Memorial Day.

More to come but just a few items for now.
1)A Republican Survival Strategy

The best defense against Trump scandals is to pile up policy victories.

Republicans in Congress can’t control President Trump’s rolling controversies, but they are getting plenty of bad advice on how to handle them. Democrats and Never Trumpers agree that the GOP should denounce Mr. Trump, try to remove him from office, and if that fails wait for the Pelosi Democratic Congress to arrive in 2018. This is supposed to be requisite punishment for trying to work with a duly elected if deeply flawed President.

We trust Republicans will reject this counsel of suicide, because there is a better way: Get on with passing the agenda they campaigned on. The Trump investigations will proceed at the same time, and Republicans can respond to new facts as they develop. Whatever happens on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Republicans have an obligation to fulfill their reform mandate while they still have the political power to do so.


This has the added advantage of being good for the country. The U.S. has struggled with subpar economic growth for more than a decade, and Republicans won in part because they said they’d do better.

Tax reform and deregulation are prime opportunities to unlock the growth and business investment that increase middle-class incomes. On Obama Care, the GOP can provide relief from surging insurance premiums and diminished choices by replacing the failing entitlement with a more market-based system.
Confirming conservative judges would correct for President Obama’s progressive tilt on the federal bench and perhaps restrain the runaway administrative state. And rebuilding the military is crucial to U.S. security in a world of increasing threats.
Going on policy offense is also the best defensive politics. Democrats want to talk about Mr. Trump all the time because they know this gives the public the impression that nothing else is happening in Washington. Paralysis is their strategy.
If Republicans start to move on policy, they automatically change at least some of the political conversation away from Mr. Trump. Debating tax cuts sure beats discussing Michael Flynn. Democrats would have no choice but to respond on the issues, and even the media would have to cover the tax and health debates. OK, maybe not the media, but that would also mean less relentless opposition on policy.
Speed is also increasingly vital as Mr. Trump’s difficulties mount. Perhaps he’ll recover if the Russia charges are overblown, but the news could also get worse and the media will play up every detail as potential impeachment fodder. Republicans can’t wait for Mr. Trump’s approval rating to rise.
Health care and tax reform would ideally both pass this year so their impact will be visible in 2018. The tax cut should be effective immediately so it doesn’t delay investment decisions as businesses wait for lower rates to kick in later; no phase-ins as with the 2001 George W. Bush tax cut.
Republicans also have to assume they’ll contest next year’s midterms with an unpopular President and a Democratic base eager to repudiate him by retaking Congress. Republicans are bound to suffer some collateral damage if the Trump scandals are still florid, but that’s all the more reason to have something else to talk about. The best defense against scandal by association with Mr. Trump is to point to accomplishments that Republicans and independents will support. That’s also the only way to get enough GOP voters to the polls.
Democrats and the Never Trumpers will continue to berate Republicans for not being sufficiently anti-Trump, but Republicans shouldn’t apologize for trying to work with a GOP President on shared goals. His character flaws aren’t theirs. Republicans in Congress ran on their own agenda, and House Republicans won millions of more votes than Mr. Trump did. They have every right to follow through on that agenda.
It would certainly help if Mr. Trump behaved better and controlled himself, but Republicans can’t count on that. Their best option is to plow ahead anyway and present Mr. Trump with legislation to sign. That’s what Democrats did when they controlled Congress while they investigated Richard Nixon, and they piled up significant policy wins.
No one knows how the various Trump investigations will play out, but Republicans can adapt and criticize or defend as new facts arise. Whatever happens, they’ll be in a stronger position if they don’t squander their current majorities as Democrats hope they will.

1a) Trump Wavers on Jerusalem

He reneges on a promise to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

Donald Trump made many campaign promises in his run to the Presidency, but none sounded more sincere than his commitment to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The week of his inauguration he repeated the pledge to an Israeli news outlet, adding, “I’m not a person who breaks promises.”
This promise will go unfulfilled when Mr. Trump visits Israel on his current trip to the Middle East. Administration officials have conveyed in the past week that, once again, the time isn’t appropriate for the move. Mr. Trump hasn’t explained his reversal, so we are left to assume that the reason for reneging is the same one U.S. Presidents of both parties have given back to the Clinton Presidency : The move might imperil the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Israelis no doubt will welcome Mr. Trump enthusiastically when he arrives, because he follows after the explicit hostility that Barack Obama displayed toward this important Middle East ally and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Still, breaking this important public promise is difficult to understand.
Mr. Trump deepened the promise when he named New York lawyer David Friedman as his ambassador to Israel. Mr. Friedman said he would work to renew the bond between the two countries, “and I look forward to doing this from the U.S. Embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
It is now evident that even a commitment of this much presidential prestige has been overturned by the U.S. State Department’s famous determination to continue the peace process with the Palestinians to the end of days. The history of this greatest of all diplomatic mirages extends back decades, but let us give the short version of why it won’t happen: The Palestinians claim Jerusalem as the capital of any future state, and the Israelis will never concede that claim.
Given this intractable stand-off, we would argue that Mr. Trump is more likely to break the peace-process gridlock if he makes good on his promise. It might make clear to the Palestinians that the wheels of history are not moving in their favor, and the time has arrived to enter into a credible negotiation with Israel.
The Administration officials who pushed Mr. Trump off his campaign promise no doubt argued that it risks alienating America’s Arab allies in the region. But allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan already have recognized that their priority has shifted away from Israel and Palestine and toward the existential threat of Iran’s nuclear program, its push for Shiite-led regional hegemony, and the rise of Islamic State. They are engaging Israel in ways that seemed impossible not long ago.
It has been 22 years since Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, requiring State to relocate the embassy. Every six months since, a U.S. President has signed a waiver to delay the move. It’s unfortunate see that President Trump, too, has wavered on this commitment. The least he can do for those who believed his campaign promise is to explain why he now believes he can’t keep it.

No comments: