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KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 02:58 PM Jan 2016

Something that has been bothering me: just how bad would a President Trump or

President Cruz be, presiding over a (presumably) Republican Congress with the power to appoint members of SCOTUS and the federal judiciary (with few or no blocks to their confirmation)? Would there be any remaining institutional checks on a President Trump or Cruz?

One of my Socialist comrades posted this in response to my stating my fears: "one party temporarily holding a strong majority (does not) mean a 'one-party fascist state' ". He pooh-poohs the idea that a President Trump or Cruz would be demonstrably worse than a President Sanders or Clinton. He therefore implies that I am letting my fears get the best of my good sense.

So why am I so frightened of a Trump or Cruz presidency? Are my fears overblown? Or am I correct to be scared shitless?

24 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Something that has been bothering me: just how bad would a President Trump or (Original Post) KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 OP
That scenario is precisely why the process to change the constitution is so arduous, with shraby Jan 2016 #1
I understand your point, but would remind you that the Weimar Republic KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #4
well take a gawk at wisconsin and its idiot gov and assembly and senate dembotoz Jan 2016 #2
I guess what I'm wondering is whether it is 1933 Germany bad or something in between KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #3
You are so frightened of a Trump or Cruz presidency because the Democratic Party's Maedhros Jan 2016 #5
Hold up there a sec. I'm a real Democratic Socialist and not a faux one like the KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #8
Yes - it was intended as a universal 'you.' Maedhros Jan 2016 #12
Hmm. I do appreciate your calming perspective. If I hadn't seen footage of KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #13
I suspect that establishment Republicans will find a way to undercut Trump. Maedhros Jan 2016 #21
yeah, Weimar was marked in its latter years by much KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #24
really? A supreme court filled with 7 scalias is not scary? they will remove MariaThinks Jan 2016 #16
One only needs to look at the disasterous period when bu$h and Cheney started 2 wars liberal N proud Jan 2016 #6
Thank you. I'm trying not to freak out too much but I know too much KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #10
Well, if guys like Cruz temporarily controlled all 3 branches of govt... phantom power Jan 2016 #7
Yeah, it looks like my and your thoughts trend in the same gloomy direction. Not KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #11
The last time "All Three Branches" happened was George W and all the disaster that came with it. HughBeaumont Jan 2016 #9
Yet the country survived. Maedhros Jan 2016 #22
Kansas Orangepeel Jan 2016 #14
?? Something does not compute. - nt KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #17
i am not nearly as afraid of trump as i am of cruz restorefreedom Jan 2016 #15
Hmm. I pay as little attention as possible to either of those two yo-yos, so I'm KingCharlemagne Jan 2016 #18
trump is a complete narcissist. restorefreedom Jan 2016 #20
Haven't you heard, Trump will make America great again. Great Again B Calm Jan 2016 #19
Supreme Court and other Federal appointments Retrograde Jan 2016 #23

shraby

(21,946 posts)
1. That scenario is precisely why the process to change the constitution is so arduous, with
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:01 PM
Jan 2016

the states and the congress involved.
The idiots you named cannot do much on their own, or even with the help of congress. They need a majority of the states to also agree.

 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
4. I understand your point, but would remind you that the Weimar Republic
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:06 PM
Jan 2016

also had a constitution (of sorts) but that did not stop Hitler from getting his Enabling Act passed.

The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) was a 1933 Weimar Constitution amendment that gave the German Cabinet – in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler – the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. It passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat on 24 March 1933, and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg later that day. The act stated that it was to last four years unless renewed by the Reichstag, which occurred twice. The Enabling Act gave Hitler plenary powers. It followed on the heels of the Reichstag Fire Decree, which abolished most civil liberties and transferred state powers to the Reich government. The combined effect of the two laws was to transform Hitler's government into a de facto legal dictatorship.

The formal name of the Enabling Act was Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich (English: "Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich&quot . This legislation was ostensibly passed at the Kroll Opera House, where the legislators were surrounded by, and threatened by, members of SA and SS. The Communists had already been banned and were therefore not present and not able to vote, while several Social Democrats were kept away as well. In the end, nearly all the parties present voted for the act, with the Social Democrats being the only ones voting against.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act_of_1933 (Emphasis added)

 

dembotoz

(16,922 posts)
2. well take a gawk at wisconsin and its idiot gov and assembly and senate
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:02 PM
Jan 2016

now that they have gotten the hang of it

it really is bad

 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
3. I guess what I'm wondering is whether it is 1933 Germany bad or something in between
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:04 PM
Jan 2016

that and the Bush Junta.

 

Maedhros

(10,007 posts)
5. You are so frightened of a Trump or Cruz presidency because the Democratic Party's
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:07 PM
Jan 2016

sole campaign strategy is to make you so afraid of the Republicans that you don't look too closely at the Democrats' capitulation to corporate America.

To paraphrase from Aaron Sorkin's The American President (1995):

(The Establishment Democrats') problem isn't that (they don't) get it. (Their) problem is that (they) can't sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, (Establishment Democrats are) not the least bit interested in solving it. (They are) interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.
 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
8. Hold up there a sec. I'm a real Democratic Socialist and not a faux one like the
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:12 PM
Jan 2016

Social Democrat Bernie Sanders.

So unless you are using the 'you' rhetorically and not for me personally, I'm all too aware of the Democratic Party's devil's dance with capitalism.

That said, I would remind you that Hitler first eliminated the Socialists and Communists before he turned his attention and malevolence to the Jews and other "undesirables". So there is more than a little self-interest involved in my post.

 

Maedhros

(10,007 posts)
12. Yes - it was intended as a universal 'you.'
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:36 PM
Jan 2016

I agree with your friend: our fear of a Trump/Cruz Presidency is probably worse than the actuality. Prediction as argument is fraught with error.

Would it be bad? Of course. Will it be THE WORST THING EVER AAAGGHHHHH!!!!! ?? Probably not.

 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
13. Hmm. I do appreciate your calming perspective. If I hadn't seen footage of
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:45 PM
Jan 2016

those Trump rallies (and Trump's defense of his supporters afterwards), I doubt I would be quite as worried.

California is so thoroughly blue throughout (except of pockets of red) that I have a hard time envisioning Trump or Cruz actually implementing the ethnic cleansing they hint at here. But, I'm sure residents of Berlin in 1933 pooh-poohed the possibility that things would get as bad as they did.

 

Maedhros

(10,007 posts)
21. I suspect that establishment Republicans will find a way to undercut Trump.
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 04:04 PM
Jan 2016

They've been chafing under the lunacy of the Tea Party for years now - they created a monster, and lost control of it. I doubt they want to give Trump the keys to the kingdom.

Consider the cannon shot that the National Review just fired across Trump's bow:

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/trump-nationalreview-218079

National Review is dedicating a special issue of its magazine, one week before the Iowa caucuses, to stopping Trump. “Against Trump,” blares the magazine cover. Inside, a blistering editorial questions Trump's commitment to conservatism, warning voters that backing him is tantamount to allowing the conservative movement to have “fallen in behind a huckster.”

"Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones,” the editorial reads.


I agree that Trump's rhetoric is about as disgusting as is possible for an American politician, and the fact that he can openly call for Nazi policies and be cheered is indicative of a problem that is bigger than Trump himself. But our system of government is not quite as shaky as the Weimar Republic - yet.
 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
24. yeah, Weimar was marked in its latter years by much
Sat Jan 23, 2016, 03:26 PM
Jan 2016

structural instability. Add to which the fact that Weimar was still in its infancy, whereas the U.S. is at least in adolescence (perhaps perpetual, eh?

MariaThinks

(2,495 posts)
16. really? A supreme court filled with 7 scalias is not scary? they will remove
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:52 PM
Jan 2016

union rights, dismantle all worker protections, get rid of ACA and any hope of single pay medicine, remove environmental protections.

I'm not sure what would scare you.

Since I'm in the top .5% i'll benefit financially, but will feel bad for the rest of the country and the world.

liberal N proud

(60,476 posts)
6. One only needs to look at the disasterous period when bu$h and Cheney started 2 wars
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:09 PM
Jan 2016

That would give us a glimpse of how bad it would be, wars, recessions and poverty beyond compare would be the expectation if Trump or Cruz get in the Oval Office.

Your fears are not overblown.

 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
10. Thank you. I'm trying not to freak out too much but I know too much
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:14 PM
Jan 2016

Last edited Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:45 PM - Edit history (1)

history to remain entirely sanguine (as I did to my regret in 2000).

I think prudence suggests we hope for the best but plan for the worst. But I'm still noodling on this.

phantom power

(25,966 posts)
7. Well, if guys like Cruz temporarily controlled all 3 branches of govt...
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:10 PM
Jan 2016

they could undo basically everything good that happened in the last 100 years, if they so chose.

They could destroy social security. They could get us into some more endless wars. They could sell off every acre of federal land to extraction industries. They could make abortion and birth control illegal....

I'm sure I'm forgetting some good stuff, but you get the idea.

And that's assuming they don't just take control, "handmaid's tale" style, or Nazi style. In my opinion, anybody who thinks Trump wouldn't attempt that isn't paying attention to what he's saying and doing, and what his fans are like.

 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
11. Yeah, it looks like my and your thoughts trend in the same gloomy direction. Not
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:24 PM
Jan 2016

sure where to go from here, but I appreciate your thoughts and they echo some of my own.

HughBeaumont

(24,461 posts)
9. The last time "All Three Branches" happened was George W and all the disaster that came with it.
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:13 PM
Jan 2016

Need we say more?

 

Maedhros

(10,007 posts)
22. Yet the country survived.
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 04:05 PM
Jan 2016

Heck, we even progressed on some issues (e.g. LGBTQ rights). In spite of, not as a result of, Bush of course.

restorefreedom

(12,655 posts)
15. i am not nearly as afraid of trump as i am of cruz
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:52 PM
Jan 2016

trump is a pragmatist, he likes to get things done, make "deals," and put check marks on his "stuff i made happen" list. i think he will disappoint a lot of his rw supporters by being quite reasonable and centrist.

cruz is a flat out lunatic. he worries me.

 

KingCharlemagne

(7,908 posts)
18. Hmm. I pay as little attention as possible to either of those two yo-yos, so I'm
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:55 PM
Jan 2016

unable to distinguish between them in practical or realistic terms. I only know about Trump's proposal to ethnically cleanse undocumented Latinos from the U.S. I don't really know much about Cruz other than what I read here and on Daily Kos.

restorefreedom

(12,655 posts)
20. trump is a complete narcissist.
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 04:00 PM
Jan 2016

he likes victories, and he likes to be accomplished. he prides himself on getting along with everyone and making great deals. he can't do that if he acts like the petulant obstructionist R congress. So he will make deals, he will trade, he will even give ground on occasion to get the big W in his column and add to his fantastic list of "great stuff i did as president".

cruz is the penultimate conservative bordering on fascist. he is a totalarian bully amd brat, and i think he will collude with a repub congress to screw us over and give the corporate masters what they want.

just my two cents.

 

B Calm

(28,762 posts)
19. Haven't you heard, Trump will make America great again. Great Again
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:56 PM
Jan 2016

at pollution, more income gap, lower wages, more outsourcing, etc.

Retrograde

(10,318 posts)
23. Supreme Court and other Federal appointments
Fri Jan 22, 2016, 04:09 PM
Jan 2016

Someone else mentioned a court full of Scalias - I dread a court with more Thomases echoing Alito's reactionary opinions.

Aside from Federal judgeships, the president gets to appoint cabinet secretaries and ambassadors who reflect his policies. Can you picture a cadre of Palin clones representing the US abroad?

The president also has veto power. Even if the electorate come to their senses in 2018 and elect a solid majority to both houses a Republican president can still veto anything they decide to do. (unless the majority is so large they can override vetos)

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