Trump Does the Same Awful Stuff as Other Presidents But He Does It a Bit Too Much

All presidents commit crimes against decency. Donald Trump doesn’t do much that other presidents didn’t do too. But his obnoxious style makes him feel worse than all the rest.

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About Ted Rall

Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at ANewDomain.net, editor-in-chief of SkewedNews.net, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.

28 thoughts on “Trump Does the Same Awful Stuff as Other Presidents But He Does It a Bit Too Much

  1. To Alex_the_tired:

    Obumma’s “legacy” ephemeral?

    The essence/effects/precedent of the following elements of said “legacy” will not go away anytime soon:

    1) Called the Bush family “good people.” Said their many atrocities should not be prosecuted because, apparently, there was so little time and so many NEW, “signature” atrocities for HIM to commit, as below.

    2) Ordered the Democratic congress to make permanent the temporary, if budget crushing, Bush tax cuts. Then sincerely pledged “to fight” to reverse them. (What came first “liberal” or radical-reich gaslighting?)

    3) Obtained a number of immigrant deportations greater than all previous presidents combined.

    4) Engineered whistle blower prosecutions in numbers greater that all previous presidents combined.

    5) Coordinated federal and local law enforcement might and intelligence to smash peaceful dissent. (With surplus military equipment AND tactics.)

    6) Hired terrorists as proxy US military and provided logistics support.

    7) Created doctrine that any person killed by US military, was, by mere fact of their demise, a terrorist.
    (see “liberal” gaslighting, above.)

    8) As purported 13-D chess master (AND constitutional scholar) insisted that millions of ILLEGAL foreclosures was a crime too complex to prosecute.

    9) Lobbied for, and received, the presidential authority to indefinitely detain US citizens on US soil.

    10) Claimed and exercised presidential right to extra-judicially assassinate US citizens on foreign soil.

    11) Set the legal framework to extend #10, above, to US soil. (Can we hazard a guess who will “ripen” this right?) http://www.tinyurl.com/y9x32h7t

    12) First Nobel Peace Prize winner to bomb another.

    • That’s quite a legacy falco ; Mr Obama will no doubt go down in history as one of the US best presidents….

      As a foreigner, may I point out that the «right» to extrajudicially assassinate foreigners, whether on US or less divinely blessed soil, seems never to have been in question….

      Henri

      • Hi Henri,

        No doubt … one of the MOST exceptional presidents!!! A real, inspirational model for those to come.

        This especially when he proudly crowed in the 2015 State of the Union address “we have destroyed the Russian economy.” (loose quote)

        Could you imagine if Rootin’ Tootin’ Putin had 1) attempted to destroy the US economy and 2) arrogantly boasted that he had, whether or not it was true?

        WHO would have squealed “he admitted war crimes” to justify vitrification of all of Russia.

        Not to make too fine a point but the right to extra-judicially assassinate (#10) pertained to US citizens. And, no, there was no congressional debate … this is the stuff of which neo-Stalins are made!!!

        And, of course, the US right to assassinate foreigners, wherever we please (and it pleases us immensely, everywhere!) to which you refer, has been a central facet of US policy since roughly 1492.

    • @falco – the ostensible constitutional scholar also deprived people of life without due process. (including UBL) That’s your ’10’ – I just added “the constitution.”

      THAT really irks me, Dumbya had the flimsy excuse that he never actually read the Constitution, but Obomber bragged about his creds in that very subject. That sheer level of brazen hypocrisy is nothing short of astounding.

      • Hey, falco – we don’t really disagree on all that many subjects. It’s just more fun to discuss the ones we disagree on.

    • As I do not work for the New York Times, I will thank you for your corrections and acknowledge my error. (If I did work for the New York Times — hardly likely, as I have never plagiarized nor slept with a source nor gotten the dates of MLK’s assassination and the first Moon landings wrong — I would attempt to argue for a couple of weeks about it. William Safire made a cottage industry of such sickening evasiveness when he collected a paycheck from the Times, but I digress. …

      I will emend my original posting to “what little he did THAT WASN’T MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE.” No. Wait. That won’t work either. Shit. Maybe anyone who works for the New York Times could chime in with a tortuous evasion that allows me to be correct?

      Okay. Until one of the Times’ sharpest knives chimes in, I”ll just accept that I was wrong.

  2. Trump’s behavior, as Ted points out, isn’t unusual. What’s unusual, frankly, is how coarse Trump is.

    But here’s the big problem. For a lot of people, being on the receiving end of being screwed over hurts just as much regardless of how “civilly” and “respectfully” it is done. Bill Clinton did just as much damage to the middle class as Reagan and H.W. Bush ever did. Obama? What little he did was so ephemeral it’s already being wiped away, and there’s no way someone as sharp as Obama didn’t KNOW that was going to happen. But to criticize Obama (much like criticizing Hillary) is against the order of things and not permitted.

    I look forward to the midterms. I suspect a lot of the talking heads are going to be shocked, shocked, that the Dems who ran on Clinton Centrism did so badly. “It’s almost as though people want universal healthcare. (Pause while everyone cracks wise for 10 seconds.) But we know from taking dictation at Hillary’s feet (wait for David Reid to make some smirking reference in that headline-ese style of gibberish in which he talks) that people who aren’t the Clintons need to accept that they can’t have quality healthcare (let Anderson Cooper make some quip and close with a Scooby-Doo chuckle by the entire panel as CNN breaks away for a commercial for antacids).”

    • «But we know from taking dictation at Hillary’s feet (wait for David Reid to make some smirking reference in that headline-ese style of gibberish in which he talks) that people who aren’t the Clintons need to accept that they can’t have quality healthcare (let Anderson Cooper make some quip and close with a Scooby-Doo chuckle by the entire panel as CNN breaks away for a commercial for antacids).»

      It might be instructive to quanticise the above by once again comparing health expenditures and outcomes for the three OECD countries that spend the greatest proportion of their respective GDPs on health care, i e, the US, Switzerland, and France. As measures of outcome, I have chosen life expectancy and infant mortality, respectively (but other measures are available here).

      Health expenditure as a proportion of GDP :
      US : 17.2 %
      Switzerland : 12.3 %
      France : 11.5 %

      Life expectancy :
      US : 81.1 years (2016)
      Switzerland : 85.6 years (2016)
      France : 85.5 years (2015)

      Infant mortality (deaths per 1000 live births) :
      US : 5.9
      Switzerland : 3.6
      France : 3.7

      I submit that the above figures suffice to demonstrate that ways to manage healthcare which are both better and cheaper than the manner in which it is currently done in the United States are available….

      Henri

      • Hi Henri,

        I took the liberty of converting your %GDP figures above into expenditure/person. This does not change your conclusion but merely illustrates it in a different way.

        GDP per capita figures are from an article in wikipedia.^^^ (www.tinyurl.com/853uzk8)
        These were multiplied by the percentage you have given.

        The figures are reported in “international dollars” (see article) but still give accurate relative spending per capita. I used an average of the figures from the three sources presented in the article: World Bank, IMF and our new savior, the CIA!

        Int. Dollars per person spent annually on healthcare:

        USA 10,236
        Switzerland 7698
        France*** 4996

        The USA expenditure is low by the percentage of persons without health insurance, now about 10%. Presumably this percentage will be rising wildly in the near future as the unfettered GOP congress get into high gear in its attempts to allow natural selection to purge the population of our biological inferiors. I assume the two other pinko countries are so effin’ ideologically devoted to essential weakness as to tyrannically provide 100% health coverage.

        —————
        ^^^ NOTA BENE: Be VERY careful, wiki is known to peddle consensus truth and, as such, reading this article may cause, severe itching, confusion, blindness or death.

        *** STILL miserable frogs BUT remaking themselves nicely in our exceptional image due to widespread public, virulent hatred of Muslims.

      • «Int. Dollars per person spent annually on healthcare:

        USA 10,236
        Switzerland 7698
        France*** 4996»

        Interesting to see those figures, falco. One would think that economic rationality on the part of legislators would motivate them to consider alternatives to a «health» system which costs more than twice per capita than that used in France and which produces poorer outcomes. On the other hand, if one’s «campaign contributions» are largely funded by insurance companies and others which profit immensely from the current system and they offer lucrative retreat posts after one’s political career is over, «personal economic rationality» argues for supporting its contiuation. Some people call this «democracy» and maintain that it is the highest of all possible political systems…. 😉

        Henri

      • Hi Henri,

        Rationality in the US, if it ever existed (see, e.g., “Anti-intellectualism in American Life” by Richard Hofstadter) has been in free-fall for decades.

        As the radical-reich has said for some time: “democracy is not free.” This was presented to be PERCEIVED as a bracing philosophical defense of the founding mission.

        Now, a bit too late, it has become clear that it actually meant that democracy had been commodified and all supplies were securely in control of the 1% (max).

      • «Now, a bit too late, it has become clear that it actually meant that democracy had been commodified and all supplies were securely in control of the 1% (max).» Indeed. and Mr Bezos is «worth» a 100 thousand million USD….

        In my earlier reply, «contiuation» should be read as «continuation». I do wish Ted would allow us to edit our posts, even if only under a limited – say 10 minute – period !…

        Henri

    • Sorry. NOT David Reid. The blow-dried empty-header mouther of words I was trying to think of was David Muir, who does the ABC Disney-cast(TM). God, he’s just nauseating to listen to with that almost-believable sincerity he emits from his pores.

      And just in case anyone thinks I’m completely unwilling to admit there are journalists who are capable of genuine emotion, I offer this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S68ksghDNg4).

      I wish every talking head on TV could understand that the reason so many people scream “Fake News” is because most of the emotional responses made by television “journalists” sound fake.

  3. Trump is really quite typical for a president.

    But Trump loses points for style, and style is as deep as most Americans are ready to look.

    Bring up policy and politics on a substantive basis (outside of the theme and costume party regimes) and the most likely response will be “What’s that got to do with baseball?”, or some other inanity.

    • «But Trump loses points for style, and style is as deep as most Americans are ready to look.» Glenn, you are on the ground an I am not, so I must defer to you, but that being said, it seems that while Mr Trump’s style does indeed cause him to lose points among certain sectors of the electorate, it seems to win him no small amount of points among other sectors….

      Am I misinformed ?…

      Henri

    • > Trump has had the courage

      Wrong again. Prejudice is based on fear, not courage.

      Trump is hardly straightening anything out, rather making an even bigger mess than when he arrived. When even the jackbooted ICE thugs start complaining, you know something’s not right.

    • The real crisis is how human technology outstrips human ability to use it without killing ourselves.

      So the Rs and Ds try to substitute real crises with the fake crises of immigration and foreign meddling in elections.

      • «So the Rs and Ds try to substitute real crises with the fake crises of immigration and foreign meddling in elections.» But the show does keep the public distracted – and the corporate media have a field day….

        Henri

    • Yes, the immigration laws are a mess. That’s pretty much axiomatic though. If they WEREN’T a mess, we wouldn’t be having such a debate about the issue in the first place.

      Much of the “mess” however, is due to decades of congressional ass-sitting.

      I have a simple fix.

      If you’re coming to this country as an immigrant, part of the process is that someone in this country has to post a surety bond for your not fading into the woodwork or forgetting to file your paperwork promptly or make appearances.

      So, if you’re a student, the university that is admitting you will have to post a bond. They have to guarantee that you’ll be at class and they will have to keep tabs on you.

      If you’re a performer coming here to star in a television program? The production company will have to sponsor you with a bond.

      You’re coming in for a medical procedure? Hospitals are whiz-bangs at paperwork. What’s one more form?

      Just want to emigrate to the U.S.? No problem. Just make sure there’s someone here with something that can be forfeited if you disappear.

      The benefit to this system is that ALL the people who keep screaming at the top of their lungs about how the borders shouldn’t exist and everyone should be allowed to come and go wherever they want will be able to put their money where their mouths are.

      If the hardcore Trumpites are correct, the number of defaults will resolve the issue, as companies, schools, hospitals, etc., will shortly realize they’re losing their shirts.

      If the hardcore Trumpites are wrong, the number of defaults will be so small that they will become a rounding error in the corporations, schools, etc., that sponsor those immigrants.

      In either case, all the people with nice large homes who ARE NOT taking in immigrants right now will finally be forced to admit to their hypocrisy or actually open up the guest room for someone desperate for asylum.

      • Glad you included asylum seekers there, Alex, they shouldn’t be grouped with other generic immigrants’ Hate is the *cause* of the ‘humanitarian crisis at our border’ – more hate is absolutely not the solution.

        There is another group of innocents in this discussion. That is ‘migrant farm workers.’ They’ve been part of our agricultural scene for over a hundred years – we actively invited them in during our world wars. Many grew up in that life and know no other.

        They don’t have any intention of settling here, and often return home during down times. They are paid under the table, get no benefits, and work for far less than US folks.

        If it weren’t for them, we’d be paying twenty bucks for a head of lettuce. Yet the haters hate them just as much as they hate crying two-year-old girls who only want to be held by their mommies.

        Even worse, the haters treat migrant workers the same way they treat any other “Mexican rapist.”

      • That’s an interesting proposal, Alex.

        I teach an occasional college class, and before Trump, the number of foreign students who would not leave or not even show up for class was overwhelming.

        Americans are tired of the sob stories, people who have overstayed their welcome and now cry about being deported.

        They are also angry at the venom which new minted “citizens” have toward this country; for example, the rants of Therese Patrice Okoumou, who is enjoying a far better life here than she ever would have in the Congo.

        These problems have given rise to Trump just like they gave rise to Brexit.

      • > Americans are tired of the sob stories

        Speak for yourself. Decent Americans are moved by those stories, and try to help as best we can. The other kind turn a deaf ear and a blind eye. Y’know, like Jesus taught.

        > They are also angry at the venom which new minted “citizens” have toward this country

        Fail. The overwhelming majority of newly minted citizens are very happy to be here. That’s why they came here in the first place … duh?

  4. But Mr Trump does seem to be doing something different, Ted, in his attacks on the multinational institutions that the US set up – for its own benefit, of course – in the immediate post-war period. The distinction is not merely rhetorical, but one of policy, in which Trump, not satisifed with the impunity that the US has in practice enjoyed when it violated the rules of these institutions, from the UNO to the WTO, etc, etc, wants to destroy even the notion that US options can be limited by its membership in such multilateral institutions. All agreements in which the US participates are in principle to be bilateral in nature, which means that in negotiations, that country will always manage to come out the «winner», due to its economic – and not least, its military strength – when compared to any other party negotiating on its own….

    What, to the contrary hasn’t changed at all is the notion of US exceptionalism – quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi….

    Henri

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