Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Jarring New Level of Confrontation and Conflict?

I don't think so, actually.

We've had hyper-partisan conflict virtually 24/7 since 2009, when Barack Hussein took office, and only slightly less so under G.W. Bush. Going back further, Bill Clinton was impeached in December 1988, by a GOP House that took power after the earthquake midterm elections of 1994. Politics has long become partisan warfare. It certainly seems even more intense now, because President Trump has upended all expectations since he announced his campaign in June 2015, and it's been a relentless roller coaster of political terror for the left ever since.

It's been, what, 11 days since the new regime took over? And with the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the populist-nationalist-conservative right is firing on all cylinders. It's unbelievable. The elation you're seeing even among raving critics of Trump during the campaign --- the "Never Trumpers" --- gives you a powerful idea of just how significant the victories for the right are at this moment. Leftists are being devastated. Hence, the Democrat-Media-Complex has a vested interest in portraying the intensity of partisan sniping as unprecedented. The pace is faster, sure, but that's about all. Trump never seems to sleep, and all the up and downs, the volleys and shots he throws across the bow of the collective left, are looking much more carefully choreographed than people thought possible during the campaign. He's just hammering the radical left!

All of this is absolutely breathtaking and I'm just floating right now. If Mitch McConnell announces the nuclear option to get Gorsuch confirmed, in the face of threats of a Democrat filibuster (and amid the boycott today on Trump's cabinet nominations) --- it's going to feel like the freakin' first time, man!

In any case, see perhaps the hardest hit, the New York Times, "A Jarring New Level of Confrontation and Conflict Hits Washington" (at Memeorandum):

WASHINGTON — President Trump made clear in his fiery inaugural speech that he was going to challenge the Washington establishment. Now the establishment is quickly pushing back, creating a palpable air of uncertainty and chaos in the opening days of his administration.

The new president fired an acting attorney general who refused to defend the administration’s executive order on immigration. Democrats on Tuesday boycotted Senate confirmation hearings to prevent votes on cabinet nominees. State Department employees opposed to the administration were urged to quit if they didn’t like Mr. Trump’s direction.

Even after years of unbreakable gridlock and unyielding partisanship, it was a jarring new level of confrontation and conflict, and it was contributing to a building sense of crisis just as the new president was to disclose the identity of a new Supreme Court nominee — a selection certain to further inflame tensions.

Republicans, adjusting to the new era, seemed blindsided by the rapid pace of events and the worrying failure of the new administration to engage in the information-sharing and consultation that would typically accompany the issuance of a potentially explosive proposal like the freeze on visas for refugees and immigrants from select countries.

“It’s regrettable that there was some confusion with the rollout,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan told reporters Tuesday, noting that top Republicans learned of the contents of the order only as it was being issued.

That secretive, closely held approach may be the preferred choice of the president and self-proclaimed disrupters like his senior adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, who is quickly emerging as the power in the West Wing, but not by more conventional politicians who definitely don’t like to be caught off guard.

Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, said similar failings had emerged in the early days of previous administrations but would not be tolerated for long.

“You get a brief period you’re allowed for a learning curve, but after that, you have to get your act together,” Mr. King said.

One veteran of past Republican administrations, acknowledging the Trump White House was still in its “shakedown” phase, encouraged the president’s staff to focus more on consultation to avert confusion. “Process matters,” said Kenneth M. Duberstein, who served as chief of staff to Ronald Reagan. “You are dealing with not just senior management, but with a variety of constituencies and a board of directors of 535 people.”

Still, the main Republican objection seemed to be with the handling of the executive order by the inexperienced and understaffed White House rather than the actual content of the order...
Keep reading.