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16 August 2015

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Tyler

I think Obama has finished breaking the separation of powers that began under Bush II. I don't see Trump as one to say "Oh okay I'll try to unbreak the pot". He would know he is elected to be a "man on a white horse" and run roughshod over the coastal elites and act accordingly. I'm sure when the communists in the 9th Circus decide the INA violates the 14th Amendment somehow and enforcing immigration law is illegal, he will ignore them and and his response will be Jacksonian. The Borg will rant and rave but the people will love him. Ave Caesar and all that.

I like this state of affairs not at all but that's where we are right now. The Republic is dead and is currently running on inertia. To play by the rules while the other side "reinvents America" is a game we can't win.

Richard Armstrong

COL - I wish I could find the citation however I must be off to work. I seem to recall that SECDEF Harold Brown told the JCS to ignore any orders from Nixon that did not come through him. During Watergate of course. About that time I had asked my father, (active duty) what would happen if Nixon declared martial law - would the military obey. Dad just shook his head and softly said "I don't know. Maybe some units, but I just don't know."

I have to say though that 7 Days in May was on everyone's mind. (Great movie).

But Trump? No way.

Richard Armstrong

Re: Trump

I'm fairly certain that he would receive no less than 27% of the popular vote should he get the nomination.

ISL

Dear Colonel,

Uour analysis is certainly correct, the president is heavily constrained; however, I wonder if The Donald is unaware. Commonly, ignorant political wannabes from the business world claim to want to bring their business expertise to the federal govt, which as often pointed out on SST is a cost center. The Donald has avoided that standard pitfall, issuing provocative statements that rile up a broad base of support. Perhaps he has (and listens to in private) good advisors.

Alternatively, he is not a handmaiden of the health insurance complex like the current POTUS, and may even have a weird idea that when a giant bank fails due to bad investment decisions bankruptcy and reorganization are the order of the day - you know as once upon a time happened in the S&L crisis. So, waiting for an on-topic Donaldism to drop. Or, I wonder, would he tell the AIPAC lobby "you're fired?" rather than taking it in the *^&*^ as even Bernie is happy to do.

Don't know, but all very entertaining.


turcopolier

Richard Armstrong

Brown's message to all senior commanders was just a caution, nothing more. I was obviously on active duty then and there was no chance of the armed forces acting extra-constitutionally. An idiot cadet at WP said something like that to me during the crisis, bleating about "his" commander-in-chief and how dare these people get between him and his leader(fuhrer) An officer board expelled him from the academy as unsuitable. This "encouraged" the others. OTOH a LTG of my acquaintance once said to me that he would lie to Congress to serve the CinC. Well, he, too was an idiot. pl

turcopolier

ISL

The implausibility of his total ignorance causes me to suspect that the distraction to the GOP started as some sort of ploy, but now is "out of hand." I stand by my belief that if elected he would be impeached for usurpation. pl

Larry Kart

Wasn't Harold Brown SECDEF under Jimmy Carter rather than one of the several occupants of that office under Nixon? My recollection is that that warning to commanders about orders from Nixon came from Alexander Haig.

Bobo

The Omission of Hillary is most interesting. I assume it follows your view or the jungle telegraphs that her e-mail problem is the gift that keeps on giving and her death knell in the end.
The "Donald" tops out in the 20 to 30 percent range which will get the crowd down to a half dozen or so in a months time. Oh, there will be laggards hanging around such as Santorum on someone else's money so here is my prediction come October 1st when Silly Season ends from top to bottom: Trump, Kasich, Rubio, Walker, Carson & Bush. The "Donald" will not win in the end and the Republican Party will have a lot of work to do to keep him running as an Independent. How does VP sound?

robt willmann

Here we go on the subject of who was Secretary of Defense and when--

http://history.defense.gov/DODHistory/SecretariesofDefense.aspx

It looks as if during Richard Nixon's time in office they were Melvin Laird, Elliot Richardson, and James Schlesinger.

I had read somewhere that Henry Kissinger -- the errand boy for Nelson and David Rockefeller -- had told some officials to ignore such orders from Nixon, but I do not remember from what source.

I think Alexander Haig said one time that, "I'm in charge now," or words to that effect, but I do not remember when or in what context. I think that Haig's remark did generate some laughter.

SteveG

RA
Maybe. Jesse Ventura won here in
Minnesota and Trump is loosely being
compared to his phenomal rise and
election. Ventura stated the electorate
is 20% Dems and equally Repubs with
60% independents that vote either way
depending on the current issues and
personalities. Maybe Trump is staged to
"Shock the world" as Ventura did. The
pundit concensus has the electorate fed
up with the current crop. Iowans inter-
viewed at state fair reflect this fatigue.
Interesting times nonetheless.


r whitman

I think Haigs "Im in Charge now" was right after Reagan was shot.

SteveG

robt willman
Haig said that the day Reagan was shot.
As he was the most senior official in DC
at the moment he assumed he was in charge.

William R. Cumming

An alternative view perhaps correct and perhaps not. Disclosure: I never really got Presidential politics until George W. Bush succession.

But here goes: The MSM no longer driven by need for analysis with some deriving much more from the entertainment side of their corporate owners as opposed to newspapers or print. So the entertainment factor of the DT means air is gone from most of the other Repyblicans and IMO will stay gone.

The MSM now labeling DT not TRUMP but the THUMP.

Disparagement aside the popular will in Presidential politics thwarted a number of times by either the Electoral College or House of Representatives. Andrew Jackson won the popular vote in 1824 but lost in the House to John Quincy Adams.

The elites in America worried terribly over what Jackson might do as President. He did a lot and IMO some good and some bad. But the childless Jackson was no doubt a father figure to many Americans.

Fearing politicians captured by the need for campaign funds and lobbyists fund, the American people may well sense independence in Trump others may not have or be able to afford.

I think he has staying power. He does seem to know people and that expertise not money should be a driver in policy.

The policy and legislative process in Washington grinds slowly but not surely.

Evidence of his skill in mastering the world of commercial real estate, even his corporate bankruptcies, might well be consider evidence that in a Washington filled with people on the make for power not virtue he may well pick able people.

After all how the President listens to his advisers more important than what he knows now!

Could be wrong of course.

bth

Haig's statement was made the day Reagan was shot.

bth

The Donald's threat to run as an independent leaves him with essentially veto power of the Republican nominee. An independent run would cause the Republicans to lose with a split vote. Consider Donald the king maker instead of Donald the king.

Harper

In reply to Richard Armstrong: In fact, it was James Schlesinger who was SecDef at the time of Watergate, and he did give that order to the Joint Chiefs. But it was Constitutional, because the recently ratified 25th Amendment provided for a consensus of Cabinet members and key White House staff to consider whether a President was physically or mentally unfit to continue serving. There were legitimate concerns that Nixon was going mad and could take irrational extreme measures, like declaring martial law or starting a bigger war somewhere to divert attention and hold on to office. While the 25th Amendment was not publicly invoked, because Nixon chose to resign, wisely, it was in play. Twice during President Reagan--once after he was shot and a second time towards the end of his second term when there was concern he was losing it mentally, the 25th Amendment was considered. Howard Baker, who ironically played a central role in forcing Nixon's resignation, was White House Chief of Staff late in Reagan's second term, and he has recounted how he had to consider whether to recommend invoking the 25th Amendment.

The 25th Amendment was drafted by Birch Bayh and Emannuel Cellers and was passed by both Houses of Congress in 1965 and ratified by 39 states in 1967. It was written in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination for obvious and appropriate reasons.

Tyler

Trump's immigration plan is revolutionary in that it assumes America is for Americans first and foremost.

Amazing.

Pete Deer

Haig made that statement in the hours after Reagan was shot by John Hinkley. I'm pretty sure VP GHW Bush was surprised to hear that.

Pete Deer

turcopolier

Harper

It doesn't matter who was SECDEF at the time. The message to all senior commanders was clear in its import that they were not to move troops without consulting SECDEF and the Chiefs. They understood. pl

ex-PFC Chuck

I think it may have been Haig, who was Nixon's last chief of staff before he resigned the presidency. The president was allegedly taking frequent and extensive comfort in the bottle during those days and nights.

As for the "I'm in charge now," that took place when Haig was Secretary of State early in the Reagan administration. It occurred when the president was shot and the VP, G.H.W. Bush, was out of town and perhaps out of communication for a time. Haig appeared personally in the press room and said that. It would have been more wise to send the press flack out to announce the shooting and temporary disability of the president and that the continuity of the government is taking place according to the provisions of the XXV Amendment.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Roger Stone who was Donald Trump’s campaign manager until he resigned or was fired 8 days ago is a political dirty trickster who goes way back to President Nixon’s CREEP. This election campaign started out as Donald Trump’s new reality TV show. But, when the people latched onto him as an alternative to the bicoastal internationalists who now rule Washington DC; he started running seriously. I think we will get what he says he is. A bull in the china shop.

The rise of the Dead Zone from Libya to Ukraine happened on Joe and Hillary’s watch. If Donald Trump guarantees to find everyone jobs, not to cut pensions, and build strong borders; he will be the next president despite the broken porcelain. Bernie Sanders will join Ed Muskie and all the other “ratf**ked” democrats.

robt willmann

Harper,

This is the 25th Amendment (if the url link works)--

https://www.congress.gov/content/conan/pdf/GPO-CONAN-REV-2014-10-26.pdf

Dismayed

I agree completely, Tyler.

Trump could use executive orders to get a lot done (and fire or remove security clearances from executive branch employees who won't play ball 1) without bringing on impeachment. I think he's smart enough to push the boundary without going over the line.

The Supreme Court should simply be ignored when it issues lunatic pronouncements against what the majority of people want. I consider that a valid means of 'check'. If the SC doesn't like it, their constitutional redress is to call for impeachment. By design, they have no *direct* recourse of their own. The majesty of the Supreme Court is a kind of currency. They have spent unwisely and now they are flat broke.

I doubt Congress is going to impeach Trump for deporting illegals or exploiting loopholes in treaties and trade agreements. 'Creative interpretation' and the design and exploitation of loopholes is business as usual in Washington DC. I certainly don't mind if it's actually done on behalf of the American people for a change instead of for foreign and transnational interests. I expect that Trump is smart enough to know he would have to leverage his popular support to keep the pressure up on Congress (this assuming he successfully builds a coalition from across the political spectrum to get elected).

We are already in a multi-decadal Constitutional Crisis in which our nation is getting frog-boiled. I have no problem with Trump turning up the temperature to make everyone notice. Even if all he did after getting elected was to get impeached for doing exactly what he said he would (and for doing what would have gotten him elected in the first place) the result might still be positive: the waking up of a majority of Americans that the system we have now is seriously faltering because of both right and left wing internationalist extremism and that we need a revised or new covenant.

1 Firing Washington DC bureaucrats in job lots is hardly going to be an unpopular sell on main street USA if they are seen as hindering policies that a majority of people strongly support.

wisedupearly

Trump appears to be attracting adherents the same way a cult leader attracts followers, except that he is rich enough to demonstrate munificence. Seems the the Church of Trump is at hand.

steve

Waiting to see how he will pay for it. When the end around and come across the northern border, how will he pay for a fence there also?

Steve

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