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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Era of Trump?

I have not felt motivated to blog in over four months. And most prior topics have been event or issue driven. I have mostly eschewed using this venue for political musing. But with no class to absorb my venting this Spring, I thought I'd break tradition and share a few of the voices I entertain in my head.

I can think of scenarios where Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination if not the presidency could end up being something other than a “worst case scenario” (my personal designation as an extinct political moderate).

  • Trump has voiced some positions on some issues that are not consistent with the far right drift of his party in recent years. To the extent that his policy thoughts are more moderate, this could produce interesting clashes with a Republican controlled Congress if that is what is elected along with him. For example, what Congress is going to pass Trump's tax reform ideas? Maybe a Democratic Congress, but surely not anything like the current 114th. And how will Trump enforce his immigration control notions? As I understand them, they will require some international treaties or agreements. They would also require Congressional agreements if not highly contentious executive orders.
  • In fact, some of the most extreme Teaparty Republicans might not win their Congressional seats with Trump as the top name on the party ticket. That is to say that the Congress elected along with Trump would possibly differ from a Cruz or Rubio Congress.
  • One policy area that could become “worst case scenario”-involves the third branch of government, the judiciary. Who would Trump agree to “hire” onto the Supreme Court? How would the confirmation process go with the next Senate? And what about all the other federal judgeships? Would he throw some bones to Senate Republicans and senior Republican House members? Or would there be Apprentice-like scenarios to select loyal judges?
  • And what would the Executive Branch look like under Trump? Would he eschew typical Republican insiders to run State, Defense, Treasury and Justice? If so, who would these “best and brightest” he picked instead be and how would they get confirmed?
  • So to the extent that I think of myself an objective outside observer I say, bring it on. Something has to step up and replace Downton Abbey. As a teacher of political processes, it would certainly be interesting to watch and analyze.