Has the Trump administration done anything positive?

Of course I have to start this post with the obligatory disclaimer that I despise Trump and almost all of his administrators, have no truck with the Republican party, and will be voting for Biden/Harris in November. I’ve said these things often enough that readers should know where I stand, but for a post like this I have to repeat it. (I’m still called an “alt-righter” by some miscreant emailers.)

There are some people or media outlets that despise Trump even worse than I, if that’s possible, and would never admit that his administration could accomplish anything positive. HuffPost is one of these sites.

But over the past four years, I can name exactly three things that the Trump administration did that I consider positive accomplishments. The first is an act of the administration itself, and almost certainly did not take place on Trump’s initiative. The second is an agreement between two countries that the administration (and possibly Trump, though I’m dubious) might have had a hand in. The third is expressing support for the workings of democracy versus a dictatorship in Venezuela.  I can think of no more.  Your job as a reader is to either criticize my choices, leaving no positive accomplishments of this administration, or add to it, justifying why your addition was a positive act.

Here we go.

1.) Changing the Title IX provisions for colleges and universities. You can read my posts on these changes here, and why I think they’re positive ones. (They ensure a fairer adjudication of accusations of misconduct in colleges and universities.)  In a poll, most readers tacitly agreed with the provisions of the changes, in particular the new use of the “clear and convincing evidence” standard instead of the “preponderance of evidence” standard promoted by the Obama administration, but only after the criminal courts have investigated the charges. These changes came out of Trump’s Department of Education, headed by Betsy DeVos.

2.) The agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations. This agreement not only reduces tensions between the two countries, shows that an Arab country can move forward making peace with Israel, but, crucially, had Israel agree to immediately stop making plans to annex parts of the West Bank. To me, this is a hopeful sign that Israel may even relinquish control of much of the West Bank, which is absolutely critical if there’s to be peace between Israel and Palestine, and the brokering of a two-state solution, which I fervently desire.  But the Palestinian government(s) rejected this accord, which was certainly brokered with the help of the U.S. Department of State, so while I think in the main this is a good agreement, I really don’t think it will promote peace between Israel and Palestine. As always, I despair of such a peace.

3.) Supporting Juan Guaidó instead of the dictator Nicolas Maduro as President of Venezuela, followed by an embargo and an indictment of Maduro for “narco-terrorism”) (not to mention sending humanitarian aid there, which has been blocked). This was an explicit statement by Trump, and although saying you “support democracy” doesn’t count for much, and Maduro still hangs onto power, the statement was followed by tangible and, in my view, positive acts.

 

135 Comments

  1. dd
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Would it be true to say that there are no new wars (during his administration)?

    • Simon Hayward
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Not if you live in Kenosha (for example). A lot of these episodes feel like aspects of a civil war and Trump’s attitudes clearly contribute to the trouble. I do wonder if the looters and “militias” are stirred up by outside actors – it seems like the sort of thing a Russian disinformation campaign might manage. If so does that make it a sort of Cold War?

      • dd
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        “Here is a prediction about the November election: If Donald Trump wins, in a trustworthy vote, what’s happening this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, will be one reason. Maybe the reason. And yet Joe Biden has it in his power to spare the country a second Trump term.”

        https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/08/how-biden-loses/615835/?fbclid=IwAR3VKBS6VOqoC0uRzrSEZhcDOCzmMTPlSxpV18dCVxTrQK9nfBkUkFYJdQo

        • Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          “what’s happening this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, will be one reason. Maybe the reason.”

          Sad but true. Because when racial injustice starts interfering with NBA playoffs, Independents and even some Democrats will be sorely tempted to turn to the dark side.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            The ballers ain’t buyin’ none o’ that “shut up and dribble” noise no more.

          • GBJames
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            I think you have it backwards.

          • Mark R.
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

            Trump won’t get a bump from civil unrest (quite the opposite) and he won’t get a bump from ignoring coronavirus (quite the opposite).

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Not starting a war is not usually counted as a plus for someone, but in this case Trump voters can be congratulated for probably reducing the risk of nuclear war by electing Trump.

      It is highly likely that he lacks the attention span and the mental capacity to follow the procedure of entering the nuclear codes.

    • savage
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I credit Trump for his non-interventionism, which he seems to see (rightly) as a loss for the US despite his sad fetish for military power. It was awful to see how much opposition he got for it.

      Bolton and Mattis clashed with him over his opposition to start new wars of aggression. How traitorous not to kill 150 Iranians because of a drone shot down! And surely withdrawing from Afghanistan after a criminally stupid and wasteful war of almost 20 years is exactly what Putin wants, so the war must go on! Trump actually listened to ordinary soldiers there at one point, ordering all officers to leave the room first. I’ll give credit where it’s due.

      Trump also cared less about opposition to gay marriage and universal healthcare than his GOP rivals.

      • Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        He does seem to like the rattle more than the saber itself. So far, he’s kept the peace as part of his anti-Obama program. With all his tough talk about the military, I suspect he would eventually start a war.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Be nice if he gave a shit about Putin putting bounties on the heads of US GIs in Afghanistan, but then the illiterate prick would’ve had to have read his Presidential Daily Brief to be aware of it.

        Would’ve also been nice if Trump hadn’t left our staunch allies, the Kurds, to the tender mercies of Erdoğan, al-Assad, and Putin.

        • savage
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          The Kurds are not “our staunch allies”. They fight for self-interest and they were “betrayed” before as the US tends to change the factions it supports quite a lot. Turkey has been an ally for decades, though. How is the brilliant war in Syria going? Can we give it a few more years? Diplomacy is for traitors.

          The Russian bounty story would never justify a war, but a few subtle diplomatic moves that Trump was probably too lazy to implement. Surely Russian involvement in Afghanistan was no secret, but known for years? The timing of that leak was suspicious. Note that Putin’s personal involvement is an unproven exaggeration that is not supported by the facts. The US itself has contacts with the Taliban (some intentionally and quite a few accidentally) and does not refrain from killing Putin’s soldiers or stay out of Russia’s internal affairs.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

            The Kurds have fought beside us for years; they’ve not once betrayed US forces on the battlefield. Donald Trump betrayed them on nothing more than a whim and a phone call from Recep Erdoğan.

            True, Turkey has been our ally for years, but it has grown evermore autocratic (and evermore theocratic) under Erdoğan, and the more autocratic Erdoğan becomes, the more Trump bends to his wishes.

            The Russian bounty story has been adjudged to be reliable by the US intelligence community. (That’s why it was included in Trump’s PDB.) If you understand anything about Russia, you know that the GRU wouldn’t have hatched a scheme like that on its own, without Putin’s approval.

            NO ONE has suggested, least of all me, that it warranted a full-blown war. But it merited some American response. Instead, Trump has had at least a half dozen telephone conversations with Putin since US intelligence broke the story, and has not mentioned it even once — just as he has failed even once to warn Putin not to interfere in this year’s US elections (as Putin indisputably interfered in our 2016 election).

            Donald Trump will insult any adversary in the most vulgar, vile terms — be they Democrats, Republicans, allied world leaders, Miss World for gaining a few pounds, Megyn Kelly for asking an impudent question, anyone. But I defy you to post in response to this a single instance of Donald Trump saying something even mildly reproachful regarding Vladimir Putin.

            There is something profoundly unholy at the core of the Trump-Putin relationship. It is constantly on display (in Helsinki, worst of all), but we know not what it is, because we have no idea what Trump’s financial and personal entanglements with Russia may be, given Trump’s adamant refusal to make the most basic personal and financial disclosures every US president before him has made.

            • rickflick
              Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

              I’d forgotten about that sordid affair with tRump cutting off our ally on a whim to help him bond with another autocrat. If I forgot such a vivid horror, what chance is there for our misbegotten fellow citizens on the right remembering it? One or two horrors per week, and after a while the populace gives up and assumes that’s just the way the world works. Four more years of it? Sure, why not?

            • Ruth
              Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

              “The Kurds” in this case are not “the Kurds”, who have varying political affiliations, they are the PKK and its offshoots, cultish authoritarian ultranationalist militias whose leaders killed hundreds of “traitors” among their own as well as teachers in village schools in Turkey and financed themselves via the drug trade and money-laundering in Germany, who used to style themselves communists, now libertarian anarchists.

              The Islamist radicals the US encouraged to try to topple Assad (who had the guts of being allied with Russia) turned out to be so uncontrollable that the US began to use the PKK as ground troops instead, financing and arming terrorists yet again and alienating Turkey so much that you have probably lost this staunch ally forever.

              Trying to get out of Syria was one of the redeeming features of Trump.

  2. GBJames
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  3. Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    The Venezuela business is merely financial, I am led to believe. One is always suspicious when the USA interferes in Latin America. How about this – Trump’s hard line on China, particularly with regards their South China Sea island grab?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Donald Trump has foreign financial entanglements much more vast than any of his 44 predecessors.

      Trump is also the first president since Richard Nixon to refuse to make meaningful financial disclosure, including by releasing his income-tax returns. (Trump refused to release those returns on the ground that they were “under routine audit.” This is a completely bogus excuse, since every sitting president’s returns are, by statute, routinely audited by the IRS — meaning that every president running for re-election would automatically have a ready-made dodge for refusing to release his latest returns. The excuse is also certainly no longer applicable, if it ever was, given that Trump never so much as released an “audit letter” from the IRS. And, although Trump promised US voters in 2016 that he would release his returns as soon as the audit was over, he has spent the last year, ultimately unsuccessfully, fighting tooth and nail to keep his taxes and financial information secret.)

      Donald Trump is also the first modern US president to refuse to place his assets in a blind trust while in office. Taken together, this all means that US citizens have no earthly idea what financial conflicts of interests may be motivating Donald Trump’s official decision-making.

      We do know that he isn’t above profiting personally from the US presidency — look no further than the Emolument Palace hotel he has in the old post-office building right down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, where all the ranking fixers, foreign and domestic, book banks of rooms whether they have need of them or not. And we know he charges the Secret Service and other federal employees full freight every time they’re forced to rent a room or a golf cart at one of the Trump country clubs he so frequently visits.

      And it’s recently come to light that Trump had the US ambassador to the Court of St. James’s — one “Woody” Johnson, a big-dollar Trump donor with not a lick of diplomatic experience — lean on the UK powers-that-be in an effort to host the British Open at Trump’s Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, which has been bleeding pounds sterling ever since Trump bought it, for cash of dubious provenance, in 2014. (This is the resort near the airport at which US military aircraft have been inexplicably stopping to refuel, forcing their flight crews to stay at Trump’s cash-strapped resort, where Trump can then hoover up their GI per diems). The assistant to our British ambassador — a respected career diplomat and civil servant — was run out of Trump’s State Department for warning the ambassador that such activity constituted a gross breach of ethics.

      In any other administration, this latter episode would be grounds to open an impeachment inquiry. In Trumpworld, it got lost in the news, a trickle competing with a fire hose.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        The American legal system seems to have been made for Donald Trump. It is a joke. The Manhattan DA is still screwing around with the courts to get the documents. If anything has proven to be on the side of the crooks and corruption in is the legal system in this country. It is simply garbage.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        The Biden team would do well to shine some light onto the refueling location and other such things that line the Dolt’s pockets.

        Hillary’s campaign should have gotten some traction from the spots about contractors that he had stiffed, but those ads – there were at least two that I remember – disappeared quickly, I suspect because of threatened lawsuits against the featured contractors, but there would be no such problem with this, and I think a reasonable number of those in his camp would be outraged to learn that.

      • Mathew Goldstein
        Posted August 29, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        The question we are being asked to address is the harder question regarding what is good about Trump, so your posts here are misdirected, they are addressing the easier question of what is bad about Trump.

    • Mathew Goldstein
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      I agree, his China policy is positive. I also think, however, that his China policy is politically convenient because it is popular among his constituents.

      • Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        How is his China policy positive? His tariffs have done nothing. China hasn’t done much to live up to their promises and Trump is powerless to do anything about it but falsely declare victory. China wants to (and must) trade with the world. The best way to get them to change is to gang up with other countries and make them a deal they can’t refuse (ie, refusing will cost them). Instead, Trump went alone with nothing. Furthermore, there is a huge, largely untallied, cost to American consumers in the form of higher prices for lots of Chinese goods. It’s a lose-lose situation for both US and China. Tariffs have been shown to be like trickle-down economics, nice story but ineffective.

        • Mathew Goldstein
          Posted August 29, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

          China retains its non-market economic structure and state-led approach to trade and investment.

          China promised during the Obama administration that it would stop government-directed cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial gain and restated the same promise in the first two years of the Trump administration, the report said. In late 2018, however, the U.S. and a dozen other countries reported that China was hacking computers to target intellectual property and steal business information.

          Since the 1980s, Beijing has signed multiple international agreements to protect intellectual property. Despite this, more than 63 percent of the world’s counterfeits originate in China, inflicting hundreds of billions of dollars of damage on legitimate businesses around the world.

          It would be much better if the international community would coordinate a common response and collectively press China to adhere to its agreements, but instead a lot of countries continue to look to do business with China because Of their large market, and THAT is the problem.

  4. jezgrove
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    “Has the Trump administration done anything positive?” – it has positively screwed up the US’ response to coronavirus and its approach to climate change has been positively atrocious, too…

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes, he even tested negative for corona,”but in a positive way” too!

  5. Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    You may have forgotten that he pardoned a couple of turkeys on Thanksgiving. Otherwise your list seems pretty good, though I do wonder how much Trump was really involved in the UAE/Israel deal. I’ll admit that I have no idea but just doubt Trump as a matter of educated habit.

    • jezgrove
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      But we don’t know what role the turkeys played in liaising with Putin in 2016, so those pardons may not be entirely altruistic…?

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      He actually did do some good stuff on prison reform. It was led by Jared Kushner and done in cooperation with Democrats. I don’t think he had much to do with it, and he doesn’t talk about it much because his base wouldn’t like it, but it was good. A lot of people, especially black men, had their sentences reduced or commuted if they were in prison for non-violent crimes.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Otoh, his murder of tens of thousands of citizens because of his failure to lead in the COVID-19 pandemic puts everything else in the shade.

      • Mathew Goldstein
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        Trump did actively lobby Congress for the First Step Act, and that does merit inclusion as one of his positive accomplisheents.

  6. Ken
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    The appointment of Jim Bridenstine as the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Dr. Kelvin K. Droegemeier, Director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Both have managed to do their jobs to the benefit of the American people, science, and industry.

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I was surprised that Bridenstine hasn’t turned out to be the usual Trump pick. When it happened, I figured Trump would see NASA as a waste of good “wall money” and it would be the end of the space program. I still can’t imagine Trump as a fan of space exploration. We should be quiet about it around Trump so perhaps he won’t notice.

      • Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        It’s because he wants the first hotel on the moon to be a Trump Tower Hotel!

        • Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          Ha! I probably won’t be around to see that. Neither will Trump, I’ll bet.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, Christopher Wray has been an honest cop at the FBI, too.

  7. Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Jonathan Freedland, writing in the Guardian argued that the peace deal between the UAE and Israel was bad because it “give Trump a win shortly before the election”. That’s a common take from the left, and a completely stupid one. Completely and utterly stupid.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen Israelis think it means Trump supports them. It’s certainly in order to acknowledge Trump’s supposed role and officially thank him, but it should be obvious to everyone by now that Trump has no coherent strategy or position on anything and doesn’t know where or what Israel is.

    • jezgrove
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Trump probably thought Tel Aviv was the capital of Israel until he helped Netanyahu by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. (Fun fact: despite the Cold War, when they were first established the US and Russian embassies were on different floors of the same hotel in Tel Aviv. Both flags flew side by side on the hotel’s roof.)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Trump doesn’t give a damn for Israel, anymore than he gives a damn for anything else regarding formal US policy.

      He simply sees the world in stereotypes. He thinks anything he does for Israel could help him draw big-dollar Jewish donors and will placate the evangelicals, who think the existence of Israel assures them end-times access to the site of the final battle of Armageddon as foretold in the Book of Revelation.

      That’s what SecState Pompeo’s (blatantly illegal) convention speech from the balcony of Jerusalem’s King David Hotel was all about.

      • Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Trump has probably noticed that some Muslims and a large part of the left get upset when Israel is mentioned, and that there’s some connection between Israel and Jews.

        This means he knows more about the Israel-Arab conflict than he does about any other conflict in world history.

    • Ruth
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      I always thought of Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian as a neoliberal neoconservative, it’s a strange world where these people are now “the left”, together with identity politics cultists.

  8. BobTerrace
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I would guess that with some deeper research, all three of those actions have something that personally benefits Trump. I would doubt he cares at all for the benefits that those agreements have for other people.

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      The UAE deal seems to be tied up in secret F35 sales brokered personally by Donald Trump Junior. I am 100% certain that this will merit a brokers’ fee under the table to the Trump family for many millions of dollars.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m tempted to quote President Dwight D. Eisenhower when asked about the contributions of his vice president and would-be successor, Richard M. Nixon — “Give me a week, and I might think of one”:

    Nevertheless, I’m in general agreement with the three you’ve cited.

  10. Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    tRump has made some small but good steps on prison reform. Perhaps he knows that prison will be his new home once he is turfed out of office.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Trump has touted himself as being a “sentencing reformer” (and he did a good thing, bidden by a Kardashian, in commuting the life sentence of convicted drug-trafficker Alice Johnson).

      But at the very same time, he has urged that the winning strategy for the US drug war would be to follow the lead of his pals Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and Xi Jinping of China by imposing the death penalty on anyone convicted of a drug crime. Go figure.

      Incoherency, thy name is Trump.

      • Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        The coherency is that he likes to take token actions in opposition to his general policy directions. That way, he has stories to make both sides happy. If someone says he has no compassion or is racist, he can point to his pardons. At the same time, everyone who watches him carefully knows that he is, in fact, a heartless racist. It’s all transactional.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          I was speaking of coherency in terms of policy; once you comprehend that Trump is an incompetent narcissist, everything is coherent from a psychological standpoint.

          In the words of Tony Montana, “The World is Yours.”

  11. Curtis
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    1. The economy did well before coronavirus with low inflation and unemployment.
    2. The First Step Act was a modest criminal justice reform.
    3. Banned bump stocks for guns.
    4. Has made improvements to VA management.
    5. The middle east is in better shape with ISIS mostly defeated without using American troops. He has been much less horrible than his predecessors Bush and Obama who helped create the disastrous Iraq and Syrian situations.
    6. Has slightly decreased the American military presence abroad and not started any wars.
    7. Negotiated a deal with Gilead to donate medication for 200,000 AIDS patients per year.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I have to take issue with no 5. It was the YGP/SDF that defeated ISIS, well under way before Mr Trump’s inauguration. US comrades in arms. He then betrayed them. Nothing positive there.
      No 1 is, of course a continuation of the trend that started by the end of 2009. His only positive is that he did not f..k that up, until the first serious crisis (Covid) that is.

      I only see no 2 as really positive.
      That would make 4 positives, added to Jerry’s three.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        a 4th positive

      • BobTerrace
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        I agree. 90% of ISIS was eliminated under Obama and the plan continued. The economy was also due to Obama and ruined under Trump by his gross, criminal mishandling of the pandemic.

        Trump claims the best economy under him when it ranks 5th or 6th. Obama had better quarters than Trump.

        Fact checking on Trump’s acceptance speech shows that every claim and every statement about Biden was either an outright lie or misstatement.

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Oh there are hundreds of ‘greats’, if you are a cult member: https://www.frcaction.org/accomplishments

    • Robert Van Orden
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      #4 is a modest accomplishment. The Choice Program now used by the VA was started under Obama and Trump made some tweaks to it. I don’t know the finer details but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that they were improvements.

      But then Trump is so tacky with they way he’s exaggerated what he did since then, and throws dirt at his predecessor.

      Trump’s boorish behavior tarnishes his paltry accomplishments.

  12. Barry Lyons
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I can think of two more things:

    1) The First Step Act, which provides services/programs for certain ex-prisoners who are reentering society.

    2) The legalization of hemp. No, not marijuana. Hemp. Cannabis is one of the most versatile plants in the world, and the non-psychoactive variant can be used for making plywood, clothing, plastic, and oils. Good.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Any idea how difficult (red tape) it is to grow hemp now? Specifically in North Dakota, where there was once an initiative for that, with forms to fill out etc, but that AFAIK went nowhere.

  13. Sarah
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I thought Nikki Haley was an unusually good appointee as rep to the UN.

    • Sarah
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Ambassador, I mean.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Trump mostly left Haley alone to do as she pleased at the UN — mainly because Trump doesn’t give a goddamn about the United Nations (other than that it has an iconic building anchoring the property values in the Turtle Bay neighborhood on the east side of Midtown Manhattan, where Trump has one of those godawful glitz towers of his own).

      • Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        He doesn’t know what the UN is. He thinks it must be something like the United Arab Emirates. When he got laughed at by the UN General Assembly, he said in a press conference: “There were many highly professional people there, from many countries, including the United Nations.” No one picked up on it because journalists aren’t accustomed to talking to 5 year old children.

        • jezgrove
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          I remember watching the 1977 Disney movie The Rescuers in which mice have a parallel international headquarters beneath the UN’s one. Mice sit behind desks with the names of their countries on them, and one desk has the label “Africa”! No wonder many from outside the USA believe 25% of Americans can’t find Canada on a world map. Although in 2002, 11% of US children couldn’t even find the US, so maybe it’s true? https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/11/geography-survey-illiteracy/

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Yet now she’s a hapless Trump sycophant. Everything he touches…

  14. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I see almost no redeeming qualities in what Trump has done and there are hundreds on the other side of the ledger. In foreign policy he is the laughing stock of most other world leaders and has disgraced the U.S. throughout Europe. His Iran policy could not be worse. His North Korean nuclear policy stinks and I am pretty sure Japan and South Korea agree. Being an agent of Putin kind of paints the picture for everyone. Domestically it is all downhill and going fast.

    I do not agree with the Title IX business because I don’t believe the colleges should be involved with rape and sexual assault crimes. Leave it to the professions please. And running the kangaroo court trials for sexual harassment is closer to a joke than anything. The current system will cause most sexual harassment to remain unreported. Again, hire some professionals who know and are expert in sexual harassment in the work place and let them take over. College administrators simply are not trained or prepared for this job.

  15. phar84
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand, I asked a Trump supporter friend if he could think of something that Trump did wrong…he couldn’t come up with a single thing.

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      He should have thrown in at least one in order to maintain a minimum of credibility.

    • sugould
      Posted August 29, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Would it be positive to say some of Trump’s actions were so outrageous, so morally repugnant; his in-your-face lying so egregious; and his demeanor so “F anyone who didn’t vote for me,” that the Democratic Party finally showed some semblance of unity?

      He did get their attention, after all. In a way a Mike Pence wouldn’t have.

  16. Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I’d add something: For better or worse, Trump’s is the first administration since Reagan II to not instigate a war *or* a military intervention with profound international consequences. Bush the Elder: Gulf War I and Panama; Clinton: Kosovo (ushered in “regime change” backed by US military preponderance, permanently altering Chinese and Russian views of US post-Cold War military ambitions and expansive foreign policy goals) and post-Monica bombings; Bush the Younger: Iraq and Afghanistan; Obama I and II: continuation of same and “regime change” in Libya (although odious, Gadaffi fully shared Western interest in checking Islamist extremism; Libya is now an anarchic mess and a refuge for said said Islamist extremists and for slave traders); sought “regime change” in Syria, but was blocked by Congress and overwhelming popular opinion.

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      …and diminished tensions with North Korea. For a progressive assessment of this, see James Carden in The Nation.

      • BobTerrace
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        If being played for a fool and breaking every promise N. K. made to Trump is reducing tensions, then yeah.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        The DPRK has continued apace to develop fissile material, nuclear devices, and mid-range ballistic missiles. And all Kim Jung-un has had to do in return is give Trump a precatory page of prose to wave around (whilst demanding “where’s my Nobel Peace Prize?”) and to write Trump the occasional fustian love letter.

        Trump has been played for the fool that he is on North Korea, going so far as eliminate our annual military exercises with SoKo and to waddle across the DMZ to kiss the ring of Dear Leader.

        • Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          I think this is all fine, much better than nuclear war now. There is no way that North Korea will ever give up its nukes, nor should it, as long as the US freely supports forced regime change in other countries. Our history of wars and coups has driven N Korea to get the bomb; we have to live with it.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            Sure, Lou, but let us take an honest, policy-driven approach to the issue.

            Instead, Donald Trump took office with a pledge that never on his watch would NoKo be allowed the capacity to launch a nuclear first strike, telling “Little Rocket Man” that he (Trump) had the bigger nuclear button, and threatening to rain “fire and fury” upon the DPRK the likes of which the world has never seen. Then, apropos no meaningful change in North Korean policy, Trump turned on a dime, giving Kim equal standing on the world stage, while laying down and letting him continue to do what he’s always done, only worse.

            This is not only incoherent; it’s dangerous.

            • rickflick
              Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

              Just one more tRump horror.

            • Posted August 29, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

              What was the alternative? Press the big red button? I’d rather see the US played for a fool that start a war.

              • Posted August 29, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

                oops “..than start a war.”

              • GBJames
                Posted August 29, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

                You might have a point if all prior presidents who had to deal with NK had been pressing red buttons. There are clearly other options.

  17. drosophilist
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Here’s one more: Trump has signed into law a bill that made cruelty against animals a federal crime. The only reason I know about this is that I signed an online petition asking him to sign the bill, and then he did (not as a result of the petition, I’m sure). Frankly, I was shocked that animal cruelty wasn’t a federal crime already, but now it is. It’s the kind of thing that is unequivocally good without costing Trump anything.

    Other than that, I’m struggling to think of anything good that Trump has done in office, apart from providing comedians and talk show hosts with plenty of material.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Signing a bill that Congress has passed it’s not really an accomplishment of president. Refusing to sign a bill that Congress has passed it’s definitely a negative.

      Besides, who could be an advocate for cruelty to animals? That would be analogous to being against motherhood.

  18. Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    To grow this list much further, we’d have to add bad things Trump has failed to do yet. 😉

  19. Gingerbaker
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I have to applaud every move Trump has made in regard to Israel:

    * moving the embassy to Jerusalem
    * recognizing Israeli sovereignty over its Mandate borders, thereby defining the notion of occupation out of existence
    * Proposing his Peace Plan which reduces territory benefits for the PA for the first time in 72 years
    * Supporting the acquisition of parts of the Golan for defensive purposes
    * Supporting the UAE-Israel Peace treaty

    All the while mindful that Trump’s motivations re Israel come not from any deeply held convictions in support of the state, but rather because – as he recently admitted in a speech – he did it “for the Evangelicals”.

    • Ruth
      Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      “* recognizing Israeli sovereignty over its Mandate borders, thereby defining the notion of occupation out of existence”

      If it’s not occupation, it’s colonialism or an apartheid state. The non-Jewish population of the area doesn’t have equal rights and cannot aquire them by simply demanding citizenship.

      I think occupation is actually the nicer term.

      • Ruth
        Posted August 30, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        I should have written: applying for citizenship.

        Not my first language.

  20. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s actions in Syria as an agent of Putin have been very good. He has now nearly removed us from Syria and turned over all of our assets to Russia. All of our friends in that part of the world are either gone or dead. Just an outstanding job.

    How are those farmers doing with his China policies. If we were not giving millions of rich farmers taxpayer money even they would go broke. I think the last report on GDP is it is down 32 percent. This has never happened before.

    • jezgrove
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      GDP – grossly depressing president?

  21. Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    David Frum’s take on Trump’s real re-election platform seems correct and on point:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/08/new-gop-platform-authoritarianism/615640/

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Good piece by Frum. He’s one principled conservative who’s had Trump clocked from the jump.

    • Mike
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      And he’s Canadian eh?

  22. Jon Gallant
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Come on, people! Even under Trump, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, and the U.S. Board of Geographic Names all continue to function. And probably function well, if we only knew what they did. And also remember: even Benito Mussolini’s regime was credited with making Italian trains run on time—although questions have been raised about that.

  23. merilee
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  24. phoffman56
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    He’s made countries all over the world feel better about themselves by comparing themselves to the US. That’s perhaps not going to get him a whole lot of extra votes, I suspect.

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      It’s true that many countries have now realized that they can’t rely on the US. Perhaps that will turn out to be a net good.

    • Mike
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      Here in Canada there is a notable population of poutine-eating maple-syrup-drinking patriots who definitely feel superior to (and at the same time sorry for) USians in general. We tend to be a kinda smug bunch anyway, and Trump brings out the smug in us. Do you have a few minutes for me tell you about our Lord and
      Saviour single-payer health care…?

      • phoffman56
        Posted August 29, 2020 at 4:12 am | Permalink

        Changing to serious mode, I don’t think we Canucks have anything to brag about on covid in general, despite doing about twice as well as USians on the deaths/million number (creeping up to about 2.3 since the US began this new descent into larger Drumpfian Mass Murder beginning 5 or 6 weeks ago).

        The worst of it is what seems to have been caving in over the years in the two largest provinces to the nursery home industry, combination of lack of decent regulations and lax enforcement. So really horrid death statistics in Ontario and especially Quebec for nursing home residents. I doubt there are many ‘western’ large geographical areas with a worse deaths/million than Quebec’s (about 800/million), except for several northeastern US states, who were hit with it early and woefully unprepared, bringing on a mass murder by omission, quite deliberate by the Drumpf version of the Republican party last April.

  25. rickflick
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Trump officially established the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces — the Space Force. I don’t know enough about this move to criticize it. But, it appears the purpose is to protect US assets in space. This could be important and I rather suspect has been in the works for many years. The Russians and China are the adversaries that could potentially destroy US satellites, such as our GPS assets. This would leave us vulnerable to an attack, the reasoning goes, although, I think our military has backups for the GPS system.
    Exactly why the current military branches could not assume the responsibility, I couldn’t say. But, the administration has done a poor job of explaining or justifying it.

    • savage
      Posted August 29, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      I bet Trump did it because it sounded cool. Like Reagan liked his Star Wars program.

      • Posted August 29, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        For his legacy! Future historian: “He was the worst President in history but he did create the Space Force.”

  26. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    A lot of doubt has been removed.

  27. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    2.) The agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations.

    That is the big one that sounds good, however much they contributed (or not).

  28. Mark R.
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Positive accomplishments?
    For me, it depends on the 2020 election. If it’s fair, he loses, if it’s not fair, it’s a toss-up and we’ll see.
    But if he loses fair and square, then his greatest achievement will be the destruction of the GOP and a stronger democracy in the process.
    Another achievement (should he lose) is the revelation that political “norms” need to be backed up by legislation. And “new norms” like not heeding congressional subpoenas, emoluments clause violations and Hatch act violations need to be enforced with teeth.

    Looking back, I believe one of Obama’s biggest blunders was not investigating the Bush administration and not proactively holding them accountable. Instead he looked ahead, let bygones be bygones. Bad move. If Biden wins, they need to go after Trump and his cronies all the way to the bank…and the Kremlin.

  29. Mathew Goldstein
    Posted August 28, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Although his overall lack of positive actions on COVID is a big problem, he did pre-purchase 100 million vaccinations doses from Moderna and made arrangements with Johnson & Johnson and several other US companies to support the large-scale manufacturing of their vaccines. That could help the economy recover faster if any of those vaccines pass phase 3 trials.

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 28, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      I’ve read this entire thread by now (I was late to the party) but one fact runs through it. The majority of “positive” actions here cited were either handed to Trump to sign with no input from him, or just a simple action that any President from either party would have accomplished without fanfare. As I wrote above, the only far reaching positive accomplishments he can make are those that his corrupt Presidency creates in backlash.

      • Mathew Goldstein
        Posted August 29, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        That is backwards wrong, the pre-purchase of vaccines and initiatives to assist in building large scale Manufacturing capability of future vaccinations was entirely an initiative of the Executive Branch and it reflects a policy that was endorsed personally by Trump.

    • Posted August 28, 2020 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Maybe but I live in a blue state, so Trump will let us have it last or charge us extra.

      • Mathew Goldstein
        Posted September 7, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        The department of Health and Human Services has said that everyone will receive th3 vaccinations for free.

        The U.S. government plans to buy 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech, assuming the two drugmakers’ lead candidate wins FDA approval or Emergency Use Authorization. It’s paying $1.95 billion, which amounts to a price of $19.50 per dose.

        Spreading that $1.95 billion cost across roughly 119.5 million taxpayers comes to a little over $16 per taxpayer. However, you’re really paying more than that.

        In March, HHS announced that it would provide $456 million in funding for Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The department committed up to $483 million in April for Moderna’s (NASDAQ:MRNA) experimental coronavirus vaccine.

        In May, HHS agreed to pay up to $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) to support the development and manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222. And in July, the U.S. government signed a deal with Novavax to get 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in exchange for funding of $1.6 billion.

        Just last week, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline won a deal with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of their vaccine candidate that’s currently in preclinical testing. The price tag of this agreement totaled up to $2.1 billion, including funding for the clinical development process.

        In addition to these agreements, HHS is paying Emergent BioSolutions $628 million under an existing contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Some of this amount targets manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine, but some also will go toward Emergent BioSolutions helping make therapeutics for the novel coronavirus disease.

        Even if we exclude the HHS deal with Emergent, the U.S. government is paying more than $6.1 billion in total for COVID-19 vaccines. That means each American taxpayer’s portion of the bill comes to over $51. Clearly, the “no-cost” coronavirus vaccine that hopefully is on the way won’t really be free.

        Now as to the assertion that no one is supposed to talk about this because the content is not anti-Trump, I am not going to play that stupid game. We can chew gum and walk/run at the same time, or at least I can. If you can’t then that is your problem.

        • Posted September 7, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          I’m not sure why you are telling me all this. Sounds like you are making a case that Trump has a good vaccine plan. Trump’s plans for the future often look reasonable, partly because they are designed to look that way and partly because he lets other people make these plans and some are actually competent or at least know what people want to hear.

          The problems occur when the plans are to be put into action. He will manipulate those plans to pay off supporters and penalize his detractors. He may balk at the cost as it hurts his economic numbers. It is possible that the vaccine he’s put all his faith in will turn out to be a failure. He will try to suppress this news, of course. He won’t want to admit failure and endure the cost and indignity of buying vaccine from Europe or Asia. There are a million ways for Trump to screw it up and he’ll find them.

  30. Jim Danielson
    Posted August 29, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I’ve read “Trump hasn’t started a war.” in a few comments.

    The USA is at war with Russia, a country that wants to expand it’s influence soviet style. It’s headed by an autocrat that murders journalists and opposition members, probably a great deal worse behind the scenes.
    Russia has some responsibility for American deaths in the US and abroad. Russia has been stoking fears, conspiracies and extremism.
    Russia has actively hacked American voting, by disinformation, sowing discord (including fake rallies and attempting to start riots between groups) and by hacking voter machines.

    Trump has done little to nothing push back against his friend Putin. As political lines in the US further harden and extremism grows, Putin is pushing a disinformation campaign, in the US and around the world. Putin’s disinformation campaign is fomenting violence and discord in the US and abroad.

    Trump has alienated NATO allies and indicated he may abrogate NATO obligations. Trump interfered in the war in the Ukraine for an opportunity for personal gain, holding up supplies for dirt on the Bidens, concocted or real. Trump is allowing Russian expansion.

    Trump backed out of the Iran deal. Iran is now closer to producing nuclear weapons than ever.

    Trump announced pull outs of US military from various places without any planning or notice to the US military. They found out via tweets or via general announcements. This does not make the geopolitical arena more secure, it does the opposite. In some places Russia moved in. In others it remains to be seen if the withdrawals will actually occur. Then there is the question, have those withdrawals made the world safer?
    The US has the right to withdrawal troops but for the sake of our allies one would think they would be notified before hand so they could prepare.
    Is a deal with the Taliban in the interests of America or a more stable world? I would suggest not. Certainly a stronger Taliban puts several nations in more danger including Pakistan, a nuclear nation.
    This causes more stress between Pakistan and India.

    Trump has made the world more dangerous for democracy and safer for dictators and autocrats.
    Trump has moved the world a little closer to nuclear Armageddon.
    Trump may not have started a shooting war but the world is at war and Trump appears to be doing very little beyond appeasing his puppet master Putin.

    I could also point out that Trump’s (and Republicans) abject failure on Covid-19 and their partisan politicization of same has badly damaged the US economy much worse than it should have been. We will only begin to see the problems in the next while. This will likely last a generation. America’s economic pain will ripple across an already fragile world economy. His tax cuts (and Republican’s previous tax cuts) have severely curtailed Americas ability to respond with any of Trumps (supposed) stimulus packages as debt climbs to truly unprecedented levels, even before Trumps negligent response Covid-19.

    If Trump has done anything right, and I admit he has done a few things, they are erased by everything he has done wrong through negligence, incompetence and corruption.

  31. Greg Geisler
    Posted August 29, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Any “positives” that this abhorrent administration has accomplished are offset by the hundreds of things he has done to destroy our democracy, institutions, rule of law, international standing, and simple human decency. And then there are the COVID fatalities.

    We should not even mention any seemingly positive thing he has accomplished. It’s like saying Hitler was kind to cats.

    • Posted August 29, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking also about how stopped clocks are right twice a day. Trump is bound to sometimes accidentally achieve a positive outcome but give him time and he’ll probably undo it.

    • Mathew Goldstein
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      The federal government spending on vaccination manufacturing https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/explaining-operation-warp-speed/index.html. Assertions that Trump is abhorrent therefore he is like Hitler are not particularly compelling. Hopefully he will lose the election three months from now and, but if he his re-elected anyway I am unlikely to move to another country. The people who live here and make no effort to leave even though he is president and could be re-elected lack credibility when they call him a Hitler.

      • Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Most Germans didn’t try to leave their country when Hitler came to power either. It all depends on whether you think you are in dear leader’s sights. Just because you aren’t in Trump’s sights doesn’t mean he isn’t a Hitler. As with all historical parallels, one can’t take them too far, but I don’t find the Trump/Hitler comparison far-fetched. Though Trump’s health, and lack of ambition beyond wanting adulation, may limit the damage even if he wins a second term.

        • Mathew Gokdstein
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Are you willing to call President Nicolás Maduro a Hitler? More than three million Venezuelans have fled poverty, hunger, violence, and persecution in recent years. This Hitler stuff is nonsense on stilts. Trump is authoritarian, and this was apparent, at least to me, before he was elected, when he was campaigning against Obama. For every Hitler there were thousands of authoritarians.

          • Mathew Gokdstein
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            Correction: When he was campaigning against Clinton.

          • Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

            So what do you get when you subtract Trump from Hitler? What’s left? In your mind, what are those characteristics that are crucial to calling someone a Hitler?

            • Mathew Gokdstein
              Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

              Do you live in the U.S.? Why are you still living here if you think Trump is equivalent to Hitler? Isn’t unethical to be paying taxes to the reincarnation of the Third Reich? The differences are so numerous that answering your questiin would require a book. And which one of the other current leaders of other countries are also a Hitler? Or is only Trump a Hitler?

              • Posted September 5, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

                You didn’t answer my question. It wouldn’t require a book. That’s pure BS. Name someone who you think passes the Hitler threshold. If you can’t do that, name some characteristics that are diagnostic for a Hitler. If you can’t go that far, there’s really no point in having a discussion as you are refusing to state your case.

                As to why I go on living in the US even though I can compare our current leader, Trump, to Hitler, I can answer that easily. First, I still have hope that Trump will no longer be our leaders soon. Second, I’m not in Trump’s target groups. I am an immigrant but I’ve been here since childhood, I’m a US citizen, and a white male. Our government has always done things that I do not approve. I suspect pretty much everyone in every country would say the same. What could Trump do that would cause me to leave the country? Not sure but he hasn’t done it yet.

                The problem with Hitlers and Trumps is that we might leave it too late, either to get rid of them or leave the country. Many Jews thought about getting out of Germany but left it too late. It’s hard to give up on your comfy situation because of fear of something that might not come to pass.

          • phoffman56
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            I have many times here given that asshole president the name Mass Murderer donald. I can definitely justify that name. Do you regard that as really the same thing as calling him Hitler, in your silly assertion about running away from the US as the only non-hypocritical response?

            You needn’t talk about the difference between being centrally responsible for deaths in the 100’s of thousands versus the millions, unless you think you can make a definition of mass murder which somehow draws a line between those numbers. But that would need to be explained.

            There is also the question of intentionality, clear in the case of Hitler, but I think also in the case of Mass Murderer donald.

            • Mathew Goldstein
              Posted September 5, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

              Donald Trump is not the COVID-19 virus. Talking about the virus a# of it equivalent to the systematic murder of Jewish communities all over Europe and beyond is absolutely and totally sick.

              • phoffman56
                Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

                Once again a considerable (pretty close to lieing) exaggeration from you with the word “equivalent”.

                But tell us, do you really regard the criminal behaviour of the Mass Murderer donald to be a foible?

              • phoffman56
                Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

                Expand my “criminal behaviour” to “criminal behaviour with respect to covid”, to be more precise.

  32. Mathew Goldstein
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Trivializing Hitler’s obscene crimes as is required to equate them to Trump’s often pathetic foibles, like you are doing here, is untenable. Your race and sex are irrelevant. The number of people who left Germany after Hitler became Chancellor is also irrelevant. You have no substantive argument for why Trump, and only Trump, Qualifies as a Hitler or why you remain in a U.S. ruled by a Hitler.

    • phoffman56
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Yes, of course, why didn’t I think of it?

      The killing of people in their 100s of thousands, with a considerable degree of deliberateness, is merely a “FOIBLE” now, just a “pathetic” one indeed.

      And I am not saying every covid-crisis-caused death is due to Mass Murderer donald and his henchmen, just a substantial proportion of them.

      • Mathew Gokdstein
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        By that standard there are multiple Hitlers in different countries today. Trump is not the only government executive who has promoted falsehoods that deny or misrepresent the risks of the virus, or who has promoted false remedies, or who has blamed others without taking responsibility. But that behavior by itself is not what made Hitler Hitler as distinct from the run of the mill authoritarian that are a dime a dozen.

        • phoffman56
          Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          You are unable or unwilling to discuss any of:

          1/ the additional US time compared to e.g. Italy and Spain;

          2/ the dreadful deaths per million statistics in US compared to countries like Germany and Norway which had much less warning time than US, but slightly more than Italy;

          3/ the actual policies and well documented attitude towards, for example, New York,

          in your attempts to minimize the criminality of Mass Murder donald’s behaviour (in this respect–must be said, in view of all his other crimes) since the beginning of 2020.

          We shall eventually see this even more clearly when the actual additional deaths versus statistically expected deaths become available and reasonably accurate.

          I have no doubt that Bolsonaro in Brazil, for example, is just as guilty as Mass Murderer donald in this respect. No one has said Mass Murderer donald is completely unique here, despite your implication of that being my opinion. (This “MMd” must be frequently repeated, not just written by his niece in her book, to wake up some milk-toast idiots.)

          But sugary and misleading words by you in attempting to see a similar mass murder in unnamed other countries are certainly to be expected from Mass Murderer donald’s supporters, which may or may not be what is in your mind. Maybe coming clean on that would be appropriate–if a USian voter, how will you vote? In fact, if not, how would you if you were?

          • Mathew Goldstein
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Comparing those two guys to Hitler is sugar coating Hitler. I am disputing the claim that either of those guys is another Hitler because they prioritize the economy and their re-election over protecting citizens from the virus (although Trump also opted to spend government money to increase vaccination manufacturing capacity which has the potential of saving lives). That type of behavior is not what made a Hitler Hitler versus yet another of a long list of authoritarian demagogues throughout history, like, for example, Huey Long.

            • phoffman56
              Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

              Note your minor misuse of the word “comparing”, since I could compare them by saying any of many different things, such as they are a billion times better than Hitler.

              But much worse, by not reading what I said, in which I did no such explicit likening of Mass Murderer donald to Hitler, you are confusing who it is you are replying to.

              However I much earlier did ask you whether you regarded calling the asshole by the name Mass Murderer donald to be the same as saying he is another Hitler. You have never answered that, nor have you answered several other quite specific questions. An example is whether your word “foible” by MMd would include his actions on covid.

              I think those “prioritize the economy” words by you (Jesus, maybe I should now think of MMd as second only to the best of the Catholic saints!) pretty much says it all. So we need not bore others anymore with this arguing between an ‘obvious MMd fan’ versus ‘a person to whom it is clear that MMd is by far both the worst US president ever and worst ‘western’ world leader in 70 years’ (and a mass murderer, as his niece writes).

              • Posted September 5, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

                Even when Trump “prioritizes the economy”, he only does it because he knows that many people will use it to measure his success as President. In other words, he doesn’t really care about our finances, only his own. Even though the pandemic rages, many people are out of work, and whole industry segments are struggling, he points to the stock market as the sole measure of his economic success. All presidents would tend to do the same under the circumstances, of course. The difference is that a normal president would be working to improve things and turn the negative measures into positive ones. Trump has neither the skill or the motivation to do those things. If something is negative for him, he simply ignores it or lies about it. He is America’s worst president by a long margin. All the others are not even in the running.

    • Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      You are good at naming irrelevant factors but still fail to name what you consider relevant. You don’t argue in good faith. Good day to you sir.

      • Mathew Goldstein
        Posted September 5, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        On the one hand, you are asserting that Trump is a danger to peace and prosperity on par with the person who started WW II for the purpose of creating a single planet-wide government ruled by himself, which is an assertion that is rooted in ethics. Then on the other hand your are asserting that because Trump is not targeting you personally you are nevertheless going to remain in the country, which is an argument that prioritizes your personal convenience while dispensing with ethics. I do not find that kind of dual stance particularly compelling.

        • Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          In a country the size of the US, there are people doing unethical things at every moment. Should I consider leaving because of them? Of course not. Yes, Trump is our President but not staying in the country should not be considered condoning his behavior. In fact, just the opposite. I need to stay here so I can vote against him in November and encourage others to do the same.

          • Mathew Goldstein
            Posted September 5, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            Good boy, stay and vote Hitler out of office. The Enabling Act on 23 March 1933 gave Hitler dictatorial powers. The Reichstag was turned into a rubberstamp legislature comprising only Nazis and pro-Nazi guests. The next election occurred after Germany was defeated.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 5, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      “ pathetic foibles”?

      You going for the Understatement of the Year award?

  33. Mathew Goldstein
    Posted September 5, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Utah Senate President Stuart ‘Hitler’ Adams and House Speaker Brad ‘Hitler’ Wilson oppose a face mask requirement.

    South Dakota Governor Kristi ‘Hitler’ Noem has rejected the idea of forcing people to stay home, closing businesses, and requiring masks be worn in public.

    Belarus President Alexander ‘Hitler’ Lukashenko refused to order lockdown, social distancing, or quarantining requirements for residents.

    Mexican President Andrés Manuel López ‘Hitler’ Obrador struck a defiant tone. The virus wouldn’t do much harm in his country. Those who spoke of the health risks were met with criticism by Obrador, who accused them of playing politics. López ‘Hitler’ Obrador recommended praying and good luck charms, which he carried around himself, including Catholic scapulars and a U.S. two-dollar bill.

    Our planet must be infested with Hitlers. Where is the Overstatement of the Year award for equating Trump with Hitler?


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