Just one of the many mixes of comments and publications I see at AB in the comments sections. Not sure where EMichael got the Goldwater comment.
“What’s wrong with the Green Lantern Theory of the Presidency?
Basically, it denies the very real (and very important) limits on the power of the American presidency, as well as reduces Congress to a coquettish collection of passive actors who are mostly just playing hard to get.
The Founding Fathers were rebelling against an out-of-control monarch. So, they constructed a political system with a powerful legislature and a relatively weak executive. The result is that the US President has little formal power to make Congress do anything. He can’t force Congress to vote on a bill. He can’t force Congress to pass a bill. And even if he vetoes a bill Congress can simply overturn his veto. So in direct confrontations with Congress — and that describes much of American politics these days — the president has few options.
Green Lantern theorists don’t deny any of this. They just believe that there’s some vague combination of public speeches and private wheedling that the president can employ to bend Congress to his will.”
We’ve certainly seen this theory pushed in here many times over the last decade (and we’ll see it down the road), but I bring it up here now as it explains another mental issue trump has.
He believes in the green lantern theory. You can see it many, many times over his first two years. And it now appears in Andrew McCabe’s book:
“After we agreed on a time to meet, the president began to talk about how upset he was that Comey had flown home on his government plane from Los Angeles—Comey had been giving a speech there when he learned he was fired. The president wanted to know how that had happened.
I told him that bureau lawyers had assured me there was no legal issue with Comey coming home on the plane. I decided that he should do so. The existing threat assessment indicated he was still at risk, so he needed a protection detail. Since the members of the protection detail would all be coming home, it made sense to bring everybody back on the same plane they had used to fly out there. It was coming back anyway. The president flew off the handle: That’s not right! I don’t approve of that! That’s wrong! He reiterated his point five or seven times.
I said, I’m sorry that you disagree, sir. But it was my decision, and that’s how I decided. The president said, I want you to look into that! I thought to myself: What am I going to look into? I just told you I made that decision.”
Then again, there is also just plain mean:
“Toward the end of the conversation, the president brought up the subject of my wife. Jill had run unsuccessfully for the Virginia state Senate back in 2015, and the president had said false and malicious things about her during his campaign in order to tarnish the FBI. He said, How is your wife? I said, She’s fine. He said, When she lost her election, that must have been very tough to lose. How did she handle losing? Is it tough to lose?
I replied, I guess it’s tough to lose anything. But she’s rededicated herself to her career and her job and taking care of kids in the emergency room. That’s what she does.
He replied in a tone that sounded like a sneer. He said, “Yeah, that must’ve been really tough. To lose. To be a loser.”
In the 1964 elections we saw the Dems employ this against Barry Goldwater:
“In your guts, you know he’s nuts.”
A Johnson campaign barb.
It needs to be brought back for 2020. But 1964 and Goldwater was the beginning of the modern GOP, and that is easily shown by:
“In 1960, Goldwater’s book, The Conscience of a Conservative, publicizes his views—including strong opposition to creeping Communism. His message taps into post-war anxieties about the communist revolution in China, expansion of the Soviet Union, and a growing club of nations armed with nuclear bombs.
At the ’64 Republican convention, Goldwater wins the presidential nomination over objections from centrists. Many are worried he could start a nuclear war-and worried with good reason, given Goldwater’s record of comments such as, “Let’s lob one into the men’s room at the Kremlin.” The Johnson campaign uses groundbreaking TV ads to zero-in on voter anxieties.
On election night, Johnson wins by a landslide. Goldwater picks up Arizona and five Southern states, where white Democrats like his opposition of the Civil Rights Act of ’64 (a position consistent with Goldwater’s view of states rights). The election is a political watershed. After ’64, the South becomes a dependable Republican stronghold, contributing to the election of seven Republican Presidents during the next 10 elections.”