Author Topic: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting  (Read 93602 times)

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Offline El Barto

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2730 on: June 14, 2018, 03:56:48 PM »
I'm no fan of Trump, I don't like the bull-in-a-china shop style of negotiating, even if I understand it better than some of you seem to (Canada and Merkel are not going to all of a sudden ditch the US economy and "switch sides", I promise you) but this continuous narrative that he's a dolt that doesn't know what the f*** he's doing is getting tired.  Fine, don't agree with the strategy/tactics, but it's not necessary to continue to resist even the most basic of objective observations.

I'm not going to pretend I have any negotiating experience, but I kind of think Trump negotiating with Kim worked on some level because they are similar.  Trump's attacks on twitter actually kind of worked.  Fire and fury, Trump used the same way of intimidation that NK uses on us.  He got a lot of flack for it by the media, rightfully so as our president shouldnt be taunting world leaders on twitter, but the end result kind of worked.  I say kind of because I'm hesitant to label this a success without seeing things play out, but it got them to negotiate surprisingly.
On what basis do you think that? We got an outcome that's something ≥ to zero, but that's not necessarily a success and doesn't consider other outcomes. How do we know that without the idiotic button talk there wasn't a much better outcome to be had? Or, as I've been saying all along, this wasn't just the simple culmination of Kim's plan?

I can only go off whats happened and what's reported so I can't make any assumptions about what better outcomes there might have been, but considering there's been many presidents who have failed to bring NK to negotiate, I have to assume Trump did something the others have not (and the tweets immediately come to mind, but maybe there is more to the story than I can see).
He did do something others would not. He agreed to do it. Our long-standing policy regarding DPRK was to not legitimize them. Kim Jong-Il was really keen to meet Clinton, and as had been our policy for quite some time, Clinton told him not without legitimate concessions on his part. The Kims have always wanted to have relations with us. We were simply not willing to do so while they were acting like dicks. Hell, up until he found out it wouldn't happen it was Donny's position, too.
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Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2731 on: June 14, 2018, 04:26:57 PM »

I don't know that there's anything "wrong", per se, but I know that I don't at all rate the "photo-op" as highly as you (and admittedly, many others) do.   As I was told (rightly) by someone who posts here, the world is different now. It used to be that we could sort of operate in a vacuum, and our allies would  glad hand us, and the Soviet Union would rattle their swords, then crush us in hockey.  .    Now there is a new world order, in the form of the China-Russia-US/NATO-ish  triumvirate.    If we continue to play games with photo-ops, we're going to win the battle and lose the war.  China doesn't give fuck one about photo-ops.   I personally do not at all think that Trump gave away the farm in exchange for "nothing".   He got a commitment that now the NORKs (and China) have to contend with.  He "gave" a photo-op.   The exercises are a form of posturing.   Kim knows what we have and what we can do.   Now he's being tempted by the riches of the west, and China knows that. 



I'm presuming that 'someone' was me, and you summarise my posts accurately, but I'd like to add to them a little here by way of addressing a couple of ideas expressed in this thread.

Firstly, to save having to find ways to cobble together a coherent overview of my points for context, I'll just post here what I wrote elsewhere for anyone interested. Post 1 (it was in reply to something Stadler wrote):


"^^ That's not my reading of the last page at all, I don't think anyone was suggesting "Trump decided we'd all be best wearing dark grey jumpsuits and we're going to line the northern and southern borders with nuclear warheads". Personally, I think Trump handled the personality side of the meeting amazingly well. Kim Jong-un is probably a very difficult person to bond with, because he simply doesn't know how this side of international politics works (notice how every time Trump offered his hand, Kim would take it but then immediately smile at the camera and not at Trump, because he had his thoughts on how this would play back home, while Trump was always trying to get his eye contact and giving him non-aggressive pats on the shoulder or back to relax him). Showing Kim 'The Beast' (the limo) will have been Trump's idea, and it was a good one. Always being the first to offer his hand will have been Trump's idea, and it was a good one. Trying to put the kid (which, let's face it, is what he is) at ease in what for him will have been an unknown situation will have been Trump's idea, and it was a good one. I wrote on the last page - Trump is probably a very good and instinctive reader of people. You have to be, given his former line of work. He will know when to raise the tension and when to decrease it. When to trash someone and when to schmooze them. But I don't think it's unwarranted for me to express extreme cynicism at what I see as the hypocrisy of the rationale in ripping up the ironclad and impeccably-vetted Iran agreement while celebrating such a vague North Korea agreement. This isn't bashing Trump. This is expressing scepticism. If I were in the satire business I'd be setting up a twitter account to warn America of impending Tomahawk strikes on the 'People Starving Animal Kim' (re: the 'Gas Killing Animal' Assad) and telling America you "shouldn't be friends with him" (as Trump did to Russia over Assad). All my working life I have worked towards the goal of making people understand this point: do you see now that geopolitics is not a Disney cartoon? That America can't criticise Russia for its strategic friendships with Iran and Syria while suddenly finding it convenient to fellate a genocidal despot like Kim Jong-un on Twitter"


Post 2 (in reply to someone else who replied to post 1):

"By 'impeccably-vetted' I meant that literally everyone from the UN to the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran had been following its end of the agreement to the letter. An agreement almost entirely created by America. Yet now America (against the strenuous advice of literally every country and organisation on the planet except peace-loving Israel and Saudi Arabia...who, by the way, made their first grab for a port town in Yemen yesterday) has decided to tear up that agreement. Very well. It's dishonest and hypocritical, but whatever, that's par for the course. But why has the USA torn it up? Because Iran is a "rogue state" who can't be trusted to not build nukes further down the line (turns out you're right, last month after Trump's announcement they started enriching uranium again with Russia's help. Well done, I guess). Massive economic pressure is, apparently, the way to go. Which ignores a point I have made in the past, that sanctions only work in a very particular set of circumstances, yet they have now become the default tactic of US foreign policy. Russia and its allies have Iran's back at all times, as they had Syria's. Sanctions will not remove that regime, and so what is the aim here? What is Trump's goal? That's a serious question, I'm not looking for a testy argument (I admit to not being informed on this subject, I know only what I read on simple websites), you likely know more than I do about the American thinking behind this. What aim does the USA have (I say again, removing the regime will not happen, so what else is the aim?), and how does it plan to achieve it?

I guess what I'm looking for is someone in the current White House administration to explain to me why ripping up the Iran agreement (without having a coherent Plan B) is a logical move, while making concessions to North Korea and trying to get pally with Kim Jong-un based on "gut instinct" and "trust" (Trump's own words) makes sense. There's no consistent strategy on display here. One day your president is walking away from agreements because rogue states "can't be trusted", and the next day he's withdrawing the American military from the Korean Peninsula because he "trusts" Kim to be true to his word (that word being, according to DPRK side, that Kim's nukes aren't going anywhere, despite what Pompeo keeps saying). It is dangerous (to you, the USA) to be this incoherent and inconsistent in your strategy"


And post 3 (a reply to the same person. The first sentence is his, and what I'm replying to):

"I reject wholesale this rebuttal that in order to undo a bad deal, something must replace it"

I could agree with this if such a deal were only between two parties, but these things never are. The USA abandoning its leadership of the Iran deal doesn't mean it all goes to hell, it just means someone else steps in. As has been seen. America walked away from the deal and sanctioned European companies from doing business with Iran. What happened next? Those companies simply upped their trade with a grateful Russia (Peugeot, Airbus, Total and Volkswagen all signed new deals with Russia following Trump's order that they stop business in Iran). This American obsession with 'sanctioning' is simply mindless in my opinion, there is no political logic to it. Back to the issue of having a Plan B: there are many reasons America lost in Syria but one of them is that there was no coherent plan for what you planned to do once Assad was gone. And such a plan was necessary in order to get the relevant factions within Syria on your side. America is no longer the unchallenged global hegemon, you have competitors again. You can't keep on leaving vacuums like this, and walking away from alliances. There are other powers ready to step in now. That's what I meant by the danger of inconsistency and incoherence. On the day of the G7, Putin pointedly went to Beijing to celebrate Xi's birthday with him and have some big lavish shots of their bromance beamed around the world, the message being: there's an alternative to the USA now, world. Come deal with us.

Time will show. I am not qualified to write about whether the agreement was good or bad, and it's not even my point. It's about an unclear geoplitical strategy from the US. Nobody has any idea what on earth you're going to decide to do on a week to week basis, and I think that's dangerous to you"



Ok, so the main point within all that is that relations between states are constructed along strategic lines ("We do not have friends. We have only interests" - Churchill is reported to have said that), and I may be wrong but it seems to me from what I read and hear that a number of Americans actually believe that the reason America is, how shall I put this, 'involved in the business of other countries' is to "solve their problems" or "stop human rights abuses". This is nonsense (amazing how so many "human rights abuses" and "terrorists" seem to appear in places that have strategic ports and airbases and not those land-locked central African fundamentalist states that are of no geopolitical importance whatsoever). America rents parking space for its military. Only that. It couldn't give two fucks what any other country does to its citizens (see Qatar and Saudi Arabia as two prominent examples of American hypocrisy). There are 4 criteria given for being the world's super power. Several countries fulfill 3 of those criteria (Russia, France, the UK, and now China), but only 1 country meets the 4th and most important one: the ability to put your military at any point in the world at a moment's notice. Only the USA can do that, and this is why the USA is the super power. So when people ask "Why are we in this or that country?", the answer is: because you have to be, if you want to maintain your position as the most powerful country in the world. Your unmatched wealth (source of your power) is based upon your foreign policy (yes you have amazing technological innovation, but good luck selling it around the world without the unopposable influence you have to command countries what to buy and sell and who to do business with). Your power is founded on the fact that you are everywhere in this world. It is not because you are kind-hearted souls who care about 'helping' others, that's just fatuous jingoistic horseshit your government sells to simple people. The money your government puts into 'developing nations' is strategic. 700 US troops were sent to Norway (Norway, for Christ's sake!) earlier this week not because of any 'human rights abuses' or 'fears of Russian invasion' (700 troops would prevent that?) but to maintain a presence and an influence in that particular theatre.

So back to the gist of those posts of mine that I pasted: there is a loose concept in geopolitics called 'enemy deprivation syndrome' (the condition of becoming weak and complacent because of the lack of a serious rival), and it is generally considered by us that the US now suffers from it. Since around 1991 America has had no real competitor on the global stage, allowing it to do pretty much whatever it wanted, and over time, their 'skills' (not exactly the right word, but it'll have to serve) have degraded. And in my opinion it is true, because I see it myself, almost every day across the border there in Ukraine, and how easily Crimea has been taken back, or another example, in Syria, where you have been beaten with surprisingly little effort. You've become very rusty over the last 25 years, while new powers have been emerging (primarily China). All you ever seem to know how to do now is impose 'sanctions'. I repeat what I wrote in an above post: this American obsession with automatically reverting to sanctions is mindless. Every single time your senate imposes another round of sanctions on (for example) Prigozhin (the guy behind the so-called 'Kremlin-bot' group - I think he's on his 4th raft of sanctions from you guys now) the dude laughs his ass off. Every time you order (for example) German companies to cease trading with Russia, we simply go to China and India. You ordered Total to cease trading with Iran; they signed a deal with Russia 6 days later. We honestly don't get it. It's a foolish tactic except in a very particular set of circumstances, yet it has become the default tactic of American foreign policy.

And so to Iran/North Korea, and the question of coherence and consistency. This is no longer a world where the USA can abandon leadership of agreements that America itself insisted upon. 20 years ago you could. Now, you once again have powerful competitors ready to step in and fill the void you're leaving; countries which have spent the last decade preparing for this, while you (in my opinion) became complacent. In my opinion you are willingly abandoning your position as leader of a set of alliances that are in large part the very reason you became the super power in the first place. Too many of your people do not know the most fundamental things about how America became the global super power and what conditions are necessary for maintaining that position. It seems to me you don't teach this in your schools, but you should, because then the moment Donald Trump (only for example, I'm not ragging on him personally) starting prattling on about 'America First' and 'withdrawing from other countries', everyone in the room ought to have said: "Wait a second, that bullshit about how we're giving charity to the world is good for propaganda purposes, but let's be serious here: that's not actually what we're doing, and it would be madness to come away from the Korean Peninsula, Central Asia, East Africa, the Middle East, etc". In short: my experience is that your government has always spoken at a silly level to its people, presenting itself as the good guy in a Disney movie, but now they are speaking at a stupid level to each other, and to other states, and that's a sign of degradation in my opinion.

This ended up rambling and I'm not happy with how clear I've been (I've tried to be mindful that most people here don't know me; these general ideas have been discussed by myself, Stadler, Barto and a few others here for many years on another forum, and they're used to my sometimes combative 'anti-American' style and know not to take it personally), but whatever, I'll leave it up. And as I wrote earlier: the next time your Commander-In-Chief decides to play sanctimonious nuclear brinkmanship on twitter with Russia over its "friendship" with the "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, I will be sure to post pictures of that same Commander schmoozing the 'People Starving Animal' Kim and fellating him on twitter. In the interests of consistency and a disdain for galling hypocrisy.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 05:44:31 PM by Dave_Manchester »
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Offline cramx3

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2732 on: June 15, 2018, 07:18:26 AM »
I'm no fan of Trump, I don't like the bull-in-a-china shop style of negotiating, even if I understand it better than some of you seem to (Canada and Merkel are not going to all of a sudden ditch the US economy and "switch sides", I promise you) but this continuous narrative that he's a dolt that doesn't know what the f*** he's doing is getting tired.  Fine, don't agree with the strategy/tactics, but it's not necessary to continue to resist even the most basic of objective observations.

I'm not going to pretend I have any negotiating experience, but I kind of think Trump negotiating with Kim worked on some level because they are similar.  Trump's attacks on twitter actually kind of worked.  Fire and fury, Trump used the same way of intimidation that NK uses on us.  He got a lot of flack for it by the media, rightfully so as our president shouldnt be taunting world leaders on twitter, but the end result kind of worked.  I say kind of because I'm hesitant to label this a success without seeing things play out, but it got them to negotiate surprisingly.
On what basis do you think that? We got an outcome that's something ≥ to zero, but that's not necessarily a success and doesn't consider other outcomes. How do we know that without the idiotic button talk there wasn't a much better outcome to be had? Or, as I've been saying all along, this wasn't just the simple culmination of Kim's plan?

I can only go off whats happened and what's reported so I can't make any assumptions about what better outcomes there might have been, but considering there's been many presidents who have failed to bring NK to negotiate, I have to assume Trump did something the others have not (and the tweets immediately come to mind, but maybe there is more to the story than I can see).
He did do something others would not. He agreed to do it. Our long-standing policy regarding DPRK was to not legitimize them. Kim Jong-Il was really keen to meet Clinton, and as had been our policy for quite some time, Clinton told him not without legitimate concessions on his part. The Kims have always wanted to have relations with us. We were simply not willing to do so while they were acting like dicks. Hell, up until he found out it wouldn't happen it was Donny's position, too.

So the only difference is really then that Trump is saying the concessions this time are legitimate?  Did Kim offer denuclearization to Clinton?  I'd think denuclearizing is a big enough concession to do the meet and greet.

Offline axeman90210

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2733 on: June 15, 2018, 07:55:51 AM »
I'm no fan of Trump, I don't like the bull-in-a-china shop style of negotiating, even if I understand it better than some of you seem to (Canada and Merkel are not going to all of a sudden ditch the US economy and "switch sides", I promise you) but this continuous narrative that he's a dolt that doesn't know what the f*** he's doing is getting tired.  Fine, don't agree with the strategy/tactics, but it's not necessary to continue to resist even the most basic of objective observations.

I'm not going to pretend I have any negotiating experience, but I kind of think Trump negotiating with Kim worked on some level because they are similar.  Trump's attacks on twitter actually kind of worked.  Fire and fury, Trump used the same way of intimidation that NK uses on us.  He got a lot of flack for it by the media, rightfully so as our president shouldnt be taunting world leaders on twitter, but the end result kind of worked.  I say kind of because I'm hesitant to label this a success without seeing things play out, but it got them to negotiate surprisingly.
On what basis do you think that? We got an outcome that's something ≥ to zero, but that's not necessarily a success and doesn't consider other outcomes. How do we know that without the idiotic button talk there wasn't a much better outcome to be had? Or, as I've been saying all along, this wasn't just the simple culmination of Kim's plan?

I can only go off whats happened and what's reported so I can't make any assumptions about what better outcomes there might have been, but considering there's been many presidents who have failed to bring NK to negotiate, I have to assume Trump did something the others have not (and the tweets immediately come to mind, but maybe there is more to the story than I can see).
He did do something others would not. He agreed to do it. Our long-standing policy regarding DPRK was to not legitimize them. Kim Jong-Il was really keen to meet Clinton, and as had been our policy for quite some time, Clinton told him not without legitimate concessions on his part. The Kims have always wanted to have relations with us. We were simply not willing to do so while they were acting like dicks. Hell, up until he found out it wouldn't happen it was Donny's position, too.

So the only difference is really then that Trump is saying the concessions this time are legitimate?  Did Kim offer denuclearization to Clinton?  I'd think denuclearizing is a big enough concession to do the meet and greet.

North Korea has promised to denuclearize several times in the past. Some of the agreements have had much more specific language and provided guidelines for inspections to verify compliance. North Korea has just continually reneged on their promises.
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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2734 on: June 15, 2018, 08:24:16 AM »
Exactly. Madeline Albright had told Jong-il that Clinton would be happy to meet with them once they took legitimate steps towards denuclearization. Those would just never happen and therefore neither would the meetings.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2735 on: June 15, 2018, 08:36:59 AM »
I'm no fan of Trump, I don't like the bull-in-a-china shop style of negotiating, even if I understand it better than some of you seem to (Canada and Merkel are not going to all of a sudden ditch the US economy and "switch sides", I promise you) but this continuous narrative that he's a dolt that doesn't know what the f*** he's doing is getting tired.  Fine, don't agree with the strategy/tactics, but it's not necessary to continue to resist even the most basic of objective observations.

I'm not going to pretend I have any negotiating experience, but I kind of think Trump negotiating with Kim worked on some level because they are similar.  Trump's attacks on twitter actually kind of worked.  Fire and fury, Trump used the same way of intimidation that NK uses on us.  He got a lot of flack for it by the media, rightfully so as our president shouldnt be taunting world leaders on twitter, but the end result kind of worked.  I say kind of because I'm hesitant to label this a success without seeing things play out, but it got them to negotiate surprisingly.
On what basis do you think that? We got an outcome that's something ≥ to zero, but that's not necessarily a success and doesn't consider other outcomes. How do we know that without the idiotic button talk there wasn't a much better outcome to be had? Or, as I've been saying all along, this wasn't just the simple culmination of Kim's plan?

But - somewhat  devil's advocate - so what  if it was?  This isn't a zero sum game.   This is the difference with the Trump form of negotiating (and why I said I sort of understand it).  It's never personal.  I don't mean that to say that all the suppositions about Trump's ego are wrong - they are likely not - but the ACTUAL negotiation isn't personal.   This idea that has permeated (outside of Trump, I mean generally) that all negotiations are about CRUSHING the other side is a fallacy.    Trump has a goal, whatever it is, be it "Nobel Prizes", peace, money, legacy, sticking it to China, flirting with Putin, whatever.   You want to make sure you give less (from YOUR perspective) than you get (from YOUR perspective) but I pretty much guarantee you that there is very little concern for whether Kim "gets his way" or not.  It's just not a factor.   

I sometimes question what Trump's objectives are - as do many, and  rightly - but unlike others, I don't question his negotiation skills.  I think those that do are putting their own personal "win/loss" criteria on the discussions and assuming Trump should and does think like they do.   That's a recipe for failure.   

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2736 on: June 15, 2018, 08:47:20 AM »
For the record, it was Dave I was referring to, and with a tremendous amount of respect and agreement.

I have differing opinions on the "hypocrisy" angle that Dave talks about in his last paragraph; I don't at all disagree that it exists, but I disagree that it is avoidable, given the other things he said about "friends vs. interests".   

On the rest, I agree.   We ARE complacent.  We ARE unused  to having a real potent competitor.  It's why I think the recent emphasis on "Russia!" as bad guy is so dangerous.  No, they are not our "friend".  No, they are not our "ally".  But we DO need to have a working relationship with them and need to have them unified with us in our opposition of China, who clearly and without pause want to destroy our hegemony.   I don't think North Korea is about "Trump" or "Kim", it is about CHINA.  Maybe not right this minute, maybe not tactically, but strategically, it is ultimately about CHINA, and  should be looked at in that light.   

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2737 on: June 15, 2018, 08:49:23 AM »

But - somewhat  devil's advocate - so what  if it was?  This isn't a zero sum game.   This is the difference with the Trump form of negotiating (and why I said I sort of understand it).  It's never personal.  I don't mean that to say that all the suppositions about Trump's ego are wrong - they are likely not - but the ACTUAL negotiation isn't personal.   This idea that has permeated (outside of Trump, I mean generally) that all negotiations are about CRUSHING the other side is a fallacy.    Trump has a goal, whatever it is, be it "Nobel Prizes", peace, money, legacy, sticking it to China, flirting with Putin, whatever.   You want to make sure you give less (from YOUR perspective) than you get (from YOUR perspective) but I pretty much guarantee you that there is very little concern for whether Kim "gets his way" or not.  It's just not a factor.   

I sometimes question what Trump's objectives are - as do many, and  rightly - but unlike others, I don't question his negotiation skills.  I think those that do are putting their own personal "win/loss" criteria on the discussions and assuming Trump should and does think like they do.   That's a recipe for failure.

First, I don't know what you mean by 'zero-sum game' in this context.

Second, shouldn't Trump's goal(s) - AS POTUS - be in the best interests of the American people?  Everything you listed are self-centered goals, very little of which have to do with the best interests of 'Murica.  How does ending Military exercises in the peninsula help America in this new age 'cold war' with NK?  As for his skills in negotiating, I haven't seen anything that suggests he has personally negotiated a great outcome in any situation as POTUS.  How'd that Carrier "deal" workout - I think they still had a bunch of layoffs.  What did he get (for America) out of last week's negotiation with Little Rocket Man?  What he gave KJU was a lot of material to use as propaganda (which I see as helping him maintain a firm grasp on his rule over the nation), as well as an end to military exercises (which I see as a path for increased military action on the part of KJU, as well as a less prepared SK/Allies).
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2738 on: June 15, 2018, 08:50:53 AM »
I'm no fan of Trump, I don't like the bull-in-a-china shop style of negotiating, even if I understand it better than some of you seem to (Canada and Merkel are not going to all of a sudden ditch the US economy and "switch sides", I promise you) but this continuous narrative that he's a dolt that doesn't know what the f*** he's doing is getting tired.  Fine, don't agree with the strategy/tactics, but it's not necessary to continue to resist even the most basic of objective observations.

I'm not going to pretend I have any negotiating experience, but I kind of think Trump negotiating with Kim worked on some level because they are similar.  Trump's attacks on twitter actually kind of worked.  Fire and fury, Trump used the same way of intimidation that NK uses on us.  He got a lot of flack for it by the media, rightfully so as our president shouldnt be taunting world leaders on twitter, but the end result kind of worked.  I say kind of because I'm hesitant to label this a success without seeing things play out, but it got them to negotiate surprisingly.
On what basis do you think that? We got an outcome that's something ≥ to zero, but that's not necessarily a success and doesn't consider other outcomes. How do we know that without the idiotic button talk there wasn't a much better outcome to be had? Or, as I've been saying all along, this wasn't just the simple culmination of Kim's plan?

But - somewhat  devil's advocate - so what  if it was?  This isn't a zero sum game.   This is the difference with the Trump form of negotiating (and why I said I sort of understand it).  It's never personal.  I don't mean that to say that all the suppositions about Trump's ego are wrong - they are likely not - but the ACTUAL negotiation isn't personal.   This idea that has permeated (outside of Trump, I mean generally) that all negotiations are about CRUSHING the other side is a fallacy.    Trump has a goal, whatever it is, be it "Nobel Prizes", peace, money, legacy, sticking it to China, flirting with Putin, whatever.   You want to make sure you give less (from YOUR perspective) than you get (from YOUR perspective) but I pretty much guarantee you that there is very little concern for whether Kim "gets his way" or not.  It's just not a factor.   

I sometimes question what Trump's objectives are - as do many, and  rightly - but unlike others, I don't question his negotiation skills.  I think those that do are putting their own personal "win/loss" criteria on the discussions and assuming Trump should and does think like they do.   That's a recipe for failure.   
I don't question his negotiating skills. I question how he uses them and to what end. I think the answer, and I suspect we all agree, is to embiggin his own standing. This is an example, assuming there was actually any negotiating whatsoever done, which there wasn't.

Honest question, in a situation where they are not compatible, do you think Trump cares more about the welfare of the country or his own ego?
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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2739 on: June 15, 2018, 08:52:52 AM »
Honest question, in a situation where they are not compatible, do you think Trump cares more about the welfare of the country or his own ego?

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Offline bosk1

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2740 on: June 15, 2018, 08:56:43 AM »
Honest question, in a situation where they are not compatible, do you think Trump cares more about the welfare of the country or his own ego?

I know it wasn't directed to me, but I have to say, "I'm not sure."  The cynical part of me tends to lean toward the latter.  But I just don't know and couldn't speculate.  I suspect that the truth may ultimately be that it depends on the issue.  On a good number of things, public perception aside, I have no reason to believe he couldn't subordinate his own interests.  In other areas, it might be much more of a challenge and might not come out the same way.  And in fairness, I don't honestly feel that I would answer the question any differently had Hillary taken the White House.  In fact, I think I might be just a tad more cynical in that scenario.
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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2741 on: June 15, 2018, 09:01:59 AM »

But - somewhat  devil's advocate - so what  if it was?  This isn't a zero sum game.   This is the difference with the Trump form of negotiating (and why I said I sort of understand it).  It's never personal.  I don't mean that to say that all the suppositions about Trump's ego are wrong - they are likely not - but the ACTUAL negotiation isn't personal.   This idea that has permeated (outside of Trump, I mean generally) that all negotiations are about CRUSHING the other side is a fallacy.    Trump has a goal, whatever it is, be it "Nobel Prizes", peace, money, legacy, sticking it to China, flirting with Putin, whatever.   You want to make sure you give less (from YOUR perspective) than you get (from YOUR perspective) but I pretty much guarantee you that there is very little concern for whether Kim "gets his way" or not.  It's just not a factor.   

I sometimes question what Trump's objectives are - as do many, and  rightly - but unlike others, I don't question his negotiation skills.  I think those that do are putting their own personal "win/loss" criteria on the discussions and assuming Trump should and does think like they do.   That's a recipe for failure.

First, I don't know what you mean by 'zero-sum game' in this context.

Second, shouldn't Trump's goal(s) - AS POTUS - be in the best interests of the American people?  Everything you listed are self-centered goals, very little of which have to do with the best interests of 'Murica.  How does ending Military exercises in the peninsula help America in this new age 'cold war' with NK?  As for his skills in negotiating, I haven't seen anything that suggests he has personally negotiated a great outcome in any situation as POTUS.  How'd that Carrier "deal" workout - I think they still had a bunch of layoffs.  What did he get (for America) out of last week's negotiation with Little Rocket Man?  What he gave KJU was a lot of material to use as propaganda (which I see as helping him maintain a firm grasp on his rule over the nation), as well as an end to military exercises (which I see as a path for increased military action on the part of KJU, as well as a less prepared SK/Allies).

"Zero sum game":  one winner, one loser, and the more I "win" the more you "lose".  Finite amount of "spoils".   We're not splitting a poker pot here, we're each trying to get into a better position than we were before.  As long as that position isn't a single seat on the bus - where only one of us can sit, and it's not - then we can BOTH win, to varying degrees.   

As for the rest, I was simply trying to focus the argument.  I'm not interested in trying to parse out what's in Trump's head.  The RESISTERS! are convinced it's tits and ass, and won't be swayed.   The Trumpers are convinced it's "MAGA-ing" and won't be swayed.  I'm somewhere in the middle, and while I am open to being swayed, it's not going to be by a RESISTER and their pat arguments, or a Trumper and their pat arguments.  I think they are both specious in their own way. 

For every "Carrier", there are ten or more companies that are making different decisions, longterm.  GE for one (I was reserving a small space in my head that they would move headquarters to somewhere in the UK at one point).  The Carrier thing was a photo-op; companies don't move that fast or that reactionary, and most people understand that.   For the "war games" thing, please.    One, they actually HAVEN'T been given the order yet, so there's that (as of Thursday morning; that may have changed) and can be re-started in literally the time it takes to dial a telephone.   I also am not going to lament the state of our state-of-the-art military after 50 years of exercises and given even a one-week break in JOINT exercises. It's not as if the American troops are relieved of their duties and will now be playing cards and making martinis in a home-made still ala Hawkeye and Trapper John.     

Offline Stadler

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2742 on: June 15, 2018, 09:05:01 AM »
Honest question, in a situation where they are not compatible, do you think Trump cares more about the welfare of the country or his own ego?

I know it wasn't directed to me, but I have to say, "I'm not sure."  The cynical part of me tends to lean toward the latter.  But I just don't know and couldn't speculate.  I suspect that the truth may ultimately be that it depends on the issue.  On a good number of things, public perception aside, I have no reason to believe he couldn't subordinate his own interests.  In other areas, it might be much more of a challenge and might not come out the same way.  And in fairness, I don't honestly feel that I would answer the question any differently had Hillary taken the White House.  In fact, I think I might be just a tad more cynical in that scenario.

What he said.    I don't see any difference between legacy programs like "Obamacare" - which, when compared with what SHOULD have been will be a historical curiosity and nothing more - and any of the things it's de rigueur for anti-Trump advocates to criticize as "selfish" programs.

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2743 on: June 15, 2018, 09:09:37 AM »
You know, something else that hasn't been said here or, to my knowledge, elsewhere:   there is something to a face-to-face meeting, in terms of understanding and insight.  I can personally point to easily five or ten times that I have been in negotiations via phone or transfer of documents, and after a personal meeting found great insight into what it would take to get to a "yes".   That doesn't always mean that I win more, or give less, but it does mean that you can gleen insight in what it might take to move the other side in a way that is advantageous, or more importantly, get the other side to NOT move in a way that is DISadvantageous.   Someone - I think it was on CNN, might have been Fox News (I watch both, periodically) said, "as long as we are talking, we are safer, even if by degrees".     

I don't care how you parse it, in SOME way, Trump now knows more about Kim Jong-un than Obama, Bush and Clinton COMBINED, simply for having been in the same room and dealing with him face-to-face.  Whether it is a material difference or not has yet to be determined, but it IS a difference.

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2744 on: June 15, 2018, 09:48:41 AM »
"Zero sum game":  one winner, one loser, and the more I "win" the more you "lose".  Finite amount of "spoils".   We're not splitting a poker pot here, we're each trying to get into a better position than we were before.  As long as that position isn't a single seat on the bus - where only one of us can sit, and it's not - then we can BOTH win, to varying degrees.   


Gotchya... and I get that.  Total brain-fart on my part initially, I read "This is a zero-sum game"... so I was all #wtf??

One, they actually HAVEN'T been given the order yet, so there's that (as of Thursday morning; that may have changed) and can be re-started in literally the time it takes to dial a telephone.   I also am not going to lament the state of our state-of-the-art military after 50 years of exercises and given even a one-week break in JOINT exercises. It's not as if the American troops are relieved of their duties and will now be playing cards and making martinis in a home-made still ala Hawkeye and Trapper John.   

Gotchya again... but these points then delegitimize his authority to execute and be held accountable for the agreements he strikes - which I suppose we should just get used to.  In which case, Singapore was nothing more than a glorified photo-op, in which case, Little Rocket Man definitely comes out as the "winner".
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2745 on: June 15, 2018, 10:05:38 AM »
You know, something else that hasn't been said here or, to my knowledge, elsewhere:   there is something to a face-to-face meeting, in terms of understanding and insight.  I can personally point to easily five or ten times that I have been in negotiations via phone or transfer of documents, and after a personal meeting found great insight into what it would take to get to a "yes".   That doesn't always mean that I win more, or give less, but it does mean that you can gleen insight in what it might take to move the other side in a way that is advantageous, or more importantly, get the other side to NOT move in a way that is DISadvantageous.   Someone - I think it was on CNN, might have been Fox News (I watch both, periodically) said, "as long as we are talking, we are safer, even if by degrees".     

I don't care how you parse it, in SOME way, Trump now knows more about Kim Jong-un than Obama, Bush and Clinton COMBINED, simply for having been in the same room and dealing with him face-to-face.  Whether it is a material difference or not has yet to be determined, but it IS a difference.

That's a pretty good point. Not sure if it amounts to much, but that's not really the issue right now. Information is valuable.
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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2746 on: June 15, 2018, 02:36:14 PM »
One, they actually HAVEN'T been given the order yet, so there's that (as of Thursday morning; that may have changed) and can be re-started in literally the time it takes to dial a telephone.   I also am not going to lament the state of our state-of-the-art military after 50 years of exercises and given even a one-week break in JOINT exercises. It's not as if the American troops are relieved of their duties and will now be playing cards and making martinis in a home-made still ala Hawkeye and Trapper John.   

Gotchya again... but these points then delegitimize his authority to execute and be held accountable for the agreements he strikes - which I suppose we should just get used to.  In which case, Singapore was nothing more than a glorified photo-op, in which case, Little Rocket Man definitely comes out as the "winner".

I don't think it necessarily means "delegitimize"; it can be an ongoing conversation. 

As for the last, if even one person in China thinks "oh fuck, that little fatso is going to have a Trump Casino in our front fucking yard!" then I think it's at best a draw.   Again, can't look at this personally, can't look at this as a snapshot in time, and can't look at this in a (geographic) vacuum. 

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2747 on: June 20, 2018, 06:08:34 AM »
Does anyone want to talk about the liberal media machine that has blown up the border family separation? I don't want to debate the morality of separating children from their parents (who are breaking the law of our country) but more so the conveniently timed escalation of this story by the media right after Trumps meeting with North Korea and the revelations of FBI shenanigans. I am more troubled by the apparent collusion of the media to mindfuck the American people than anything Trump has done or said. Take out the Twitter and Trump has actually done a decent job yet the Media and it's Hollywood hooligans will stop at nothing to manipulate us. Now you have Hollywood actors calling for a boycott of working with Fox studios because of their  affiliation with Fox News which the right arm of Trump's propaganda machine. I mean how hypocritical is that? Foxnews has a right lean for sure, but why call them out with you have MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and CBS acting as the entire body of the liberal propaganda machine? Seriously, I'm just fed up with the media which is why I pretty much don't watch anything on network tv. Also, can someone explain where this outrage was when Obama was in office because the separation of children at the border is not a new thing that Trump made up.

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2748 on: June 20, 2018, 07:27:50 AM »
Does anyone want to talk about the liberal media machine that has blown up the border family separation? I don't want to debate the morality of separating children from their parents (who are breaking the law of our country) but more so the conveniently timed escalation of this story by the media right after Trumps meeting with North Korea and the revelations of FBI shenanigans. I am more troubled by the apparent collusion of the media to mindfuck the American people than anything Trump has done or said. Take out the Twitter and Trump has actually done a decent job yet the Media and it's Hollywood hooligans will stop at nothing to manipulate us. Now you have Hollywood actors calling for a boycott of working with Fox studios because of their  affiliation with Fox News which the right arm of Trump's propaganda machine. I mean how hypocritical is that? Foxnews has a right lean for sure, but why call them out with you have MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and CBS acting as the entire body of the liberal propaganda machine? Seriously, I'm just fed up with the media which is why I pretty much don't watch anything on network tv. Also, can someone explain where this outrage was when Obama was in office because the separation of children at the border is not a new thing that Trump made up.

Pretty much agree with this.  However, with all of our resources we should be able to come up with some solution that is just and humane.  BUT anytime a rich, elitist politician screams "but the children" you know it is political BS.
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2749 on: June 20, 2018, 07:49:04 AM »
The zero tolerance policy was announced in April.

Offline XJDenton

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2750 on: June 20, 2018, 07:54:23 AM »
Protip: If your first response to finding out children are being put in cages is to complain about the "liberal media", you might be a tad too deep in the propaganda pool.


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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2751 on: June 20, 2018, 08:00:42 AM »
Does anyone want to talk about the liberal media machine that has blown up the border family separation? I don't want to debate the morality of separating children from their parents.
Think this was pretty much all you needed to say.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2752 on: June 20, 2018, 08:02:36 AM »
Protip: If your first response to finding out children are being put in cages is to complain about the "liberal media", you might be a tad too deep in the propaganda pool.

Not hardly.   Some of us had our "shock" wear off after eight years of the "Deporter In Chief".    My heart aches for those kids, but the solution is CONGRESS.   If the general collective feels there's a better way of handling this, then pass a law.  Period.   

The problem for me is less the "liberal media" than it is the general politicizing of MORAL issues.  This has been the hallmark f the Democrat platform for a while now (what else is "deplorable" than a moral argument?)   Everyone is pointing at Trump, yelling at him "DON'T YOU HAVE CHILDREN?!?!?!?!" (conveniently in front of the cameras; the guy yelling at Trump yesterday even turned to make sure the cameras were watching him as he yelled at Trump) as if that's the only standard that matters (it's not).   Forget that those parents are knowingly and willingly putting their kids in that position.   Forget that Chuck Schumer has waffled on "Executive Orders" more than Mike Portnoy has waffled on what his "main band" is.    Chuck was apoplectic about the use of "Executive Orders" when it went against his agenda, but now that it's awesome sauce that Trump is taking the heat for his failure to build a consensus, it's all "He can solve this with a stroke of his pen!"  (He even had the gall to say "Here, Mr. President, I'll even lend you my pen!")   I know, I know, wrong thread, but there's a special place in hell for opportunists like Chuck Schumer.   

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2753 on: June 20, 2018, 08:06:48 AM »
The policy of separating families was not Obama's.  As has been pointed out, the zero tolerance policy was enacted in April and indications are that it has been planned since Trump's inauguration.  Of course his administration can't seem to get their stories straight.  Some say separating infants and toddlers from their parents isn't happening at all.  Some say it is 'Biblical'  ::)   Some say they can end it right now if the Dems will allow a 'big beautiful wall' to be built to appease someone's ego.

You all can decide which side of history you want to be on.

I know I have.

Offline XJDenton

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2754 on: June 20, 2018, 08:12:23 AM »
Quote
The problem for me is less the "liberal media" than it is the general politicizing of MORAL issues.

The problem is caused by policy and how it is enforced. The moral issue is already politicized. This is the same weak-ass criticism that have people decrying "politicizing science", as if the science doesn't require or recommend solutions that inherently require the political process to get implemented.

Forget that those parents are knowingly and willingly putting their kids in that position.

Yes, these asylum seekers really should be more considerate of their child's safety when running from drug cartels and war zones.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2755 on: June 20, 2018, 08:18:26 AM »
Protip: If your first response to finding out children are being put in cages is to complain about the "liberal media", you might be a tad too deep in the propaganda pool.

Not hardly.   Some of us had our "shock" wear off after eight years of the "Deporter In Chief".    My heart aches for those kids, but the solution is CONGRESS.   If the general collective feels there's a better way of handling this, then pass a law.  Period.
A law that says what, exactly? All that's required is to exercise some discretion in how it's enforced. He's ordered ICE to enforce zero tolerance for a class C misdemeanor. State police won't even arrest those cases anymore (with a few racial exceptions). You issue a ticket and deal with it later. If a cop arrests some woman in Austin for jaywalking and ships her kid off to foster care while she serves 30 days most people are going to object on common decency grounds. You'll blame the woman, and I can understand your reasoning, but sometimes there's an expectation of discretion that's not unreasonable. When that happens I'm going to blame the cop and the person that ordered him to do that and not the law that she violated.

And I'll say again, when you openly state that it's intended to serve as a deterrent you lose the "hey, we have no choice. We're just doing our job" argument.
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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2756 on: June 20, 2018, 08:23:55 AM »
Stads (and Kaos)... forget the politicing for the moment (because I can't overly disagree with some of those comments).  Where do your own morals stand on the matter?  For whatever reason, this issue didn't get any representation/attention in the past.  If the "liberal media" is to blame now, where was Fox to point this out and slam Obama if this was happening just as equally bad from '08-'16?  You don't think they would have played this card as hard as the "liberal media" is now if this is mostly simple propaganda?   ::)  I have trouble about that lack of equivalency if this is indeed not a new issue/stance of the administration.

Secondly, both parties and both branches are talking about how they hate it and how it can be solved.  Clearly they're just politicing, because if they were all genuine on the issue - in and of itself (ie, not using it as a means to something else) - then it would/could be fixed.

I'm sorry, but the US political system has brought your society and culture crashing down all around you, no one in power seems to care enough to act differently, and shit like this is your new norm.

Sad.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2757 on: June 20, 2018, 08:29:14 AM »
Stads (and Kaos)... forget the politicing for the moment (because I can't overly disagree with some of those comments).  Where do your own morals stand on the matter?  For whatever reason, this issue didn't get any representation/attention in the past.  If the "liberal media" is to blame now, where was Fox to point this out and slam Obama if this was happening just as equally bad from '08-'16?  You don't think they would have played this card as hard as the "liberal media" is now if this is mostly simple propaganda?   ::)  I have trouble about that lack of equivalency if this is indeed not a new issue/stance of the administration.

Secondly, both parties and both branches are talking about how they hate it and how it can be solved.  Clearly they're just politicing, because if they were all genuine on the issue - in and of itself (ie, not using it as a means to something else) - then it would/could be fixed.

I'm sorry, but the US political system has brought your society and culture crashing down all around you, no one in power seems to care enough to act differently, and shit like this is your new norm.

Sad.
The issue didn't get any attention in the past because it wasn't US policy, nor did it happen with any real frequency. Stop listening to fake news.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2758 on: June 20, 2018, 08:40:19 AM »
You can complain about the liberal media all you want, but the right is doing absolutely nothing for this cause. Ingraham saying they're analogous to summer camps? Please. Massachusetts' governor and North Carolina's governor have pulled their national guard from the border, and this morning Steve Schmidt announced he leaving the GOP over this. This is not exclusively a liberal media issue by any stretch. The issue is that the few news sources the right has refuse to cover anything with Trump's name on it in a negative light. And yes, children were separated from family under Obama, but not at this scale. Not with the "no tolerance" policy that didn't go into effect until more than a year after Obama was out. Thinking this was somehow cooked up and saved to counter Trump's NK visit is ridiculous. Nothing was accomplished there and all satellite imagery we have of the region shows that there is nothing going on at the sites that NK promised to immediately start decommissioning.

I'll concede that I'm sick of hearing these referred to as concentration camps. I'm rather disgusted by that actually, even if technically by definition it is correct. The media is using it in a context that I don't necessarily agree with.

The biggest question I have is that these families have no paperwork and parents are getting shipped to other states while their children are staying behind. How are we going to go about reuniting all these people once the smoke clears?

Online RuRoRul

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2759 on: June 20, 2018, 08:48:25 AM »
Protip: If your first response to finding out children are being put in cages is to complain about the "liberal media", you might be a tad too deep in the propaganda pool.

The problem for me is less the "liberal media" than it is the general politicizing of MORAL issues. 
But political issues have moral consequences. I can understand not letting every moral issue become one of your key priorities, and not shifting your entire political alignment every time a politician finds a reason to say "Won't somebody please think of the children." But the fact is that actions have consequences, and just because there are layers of abstraction between political choices and the outcomes of policies doesn't mean the connection somehow isn't there. If you have two theoretical candidates who are identical in every respect except for one will save you an extra $1 in taxes every month but supports or condones some particular human rights abuse, then when you decide between the candidates you have a moral decision on your hands. Real political decisions are not so simple because there are in fact a myriad of differences between candidates and a great number of interacting issues to consider, and I can definitely sympathise with people who have differing ideas about the morality of certain policies or about the level of priority of an individual moral issue. But just because it's more complex doesn't mean that the connection between decision and consequence is somehow gone. You seem very keen on the idea that moral responsibility somehow completely ends at the voting booth, but at a certain point doesn't the party of personal responsibility have to accept being personally responsible for the policies enacted by the people they support?


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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2760 on: June 20, 2018, 08:57:14 AM »
My biggest argument around bringing up the media is the timing of the outrage. It's clearly staged.

As far as the moral aspect goes, I don't see the point of separating them. If they cross together they can be sent back together.

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2761 on: June 20, 2018, 09:08:48 AM »
I'm rather disgusted by that actually, even if technically by definition it is correct.

And so begins the downfall of western civilisation.

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2762 on: June 20, 2018, 09:11:37 AM »
I'm rather disgusted by that actually, even if technically by definition it is correct.

And so begins the downfall of western civilisation.

Oh c'mon, dude. If you had a child with down syndrome, would you like me greet you with a "Hey! How's your retard been lately?"?

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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2763 on: June 20, 2018, 09:14:10 AM »
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Re: Trump's Presidency thread. v 100 days and counting
« Reply #2764 on: June 20, 2018, 09:19:53 AM »
My biggest argument around bringing up the media is the timing of the outrage. It's clearly staged.

As far as the moral aspect goes, I don't see the point of separating them. If they cross together they can be sent back together.
So the media should be staggering when they report Trump's clusterfucks? How often has the dude done something batshit insane that only serves to take away from something positive that he's done? It goes all the way back to Comey when the guy had a pretty decent week and then brought the house down right before the weekend.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
E.F. Benson