Trump is running on animus autopilot

Step Two: Trump’s original policy is successfully challenged on legal grounds.

It’s possible that no president has fared worse in court than Trump. His apologists blame “the resistance,” but often the real culprit is Trump himself. He proudly tweets his own unlawful intentions and sabotages his lawyers’ best arguments. Many of his orders, moreover, cannot withstand even cursory factual or logical review.

.. Step Three: The Trump administration engages in animus laundering.

When Trump loses in court, he doesn’t walk away. Instead, he grudgingly allows his lawyers and advisers to undertake a series of bogus, ends-driven “reviews.” As demonstrated by the travel ban and transgender ban cases, the goal here is to put just enough lipstick on the pig to pretend it isn’t a pig anymore. Often that is achieved by drafting a new order that uses slightly more polite and legalistic language to express the raw bigotry underlying Trump’s original decision. Justice Department attorneys can then insist in court that the (minimally revised) policy has been certified as legitimate by an assorted handful of Cabinet secretaries.

.. It has become fashionable to insist that advisers such as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chief of Staff John F. Kelly can pacify Trump’s most destructive instincts. With respect to the president’s animus-laden orders, however, they have displayed little interest in that role. Kelly publicly championed Trump’s travel ban. And it is rumored that Mattis, despite opposing the transgender ban, deemed this fight unworthy of his political capital. As a result, Trump’s agencies have largely run on animus autopilot.

This new Trump book could do even more damage than Michael Wolff’s. Here’s why.

  • Trump has a tendency to do whatever his advisers most strongly advise him against, and they even have a term for such behavior: his “defiance disorder.”
  • He, out of nowhere, tweeted his decision to ban transgender people from the military before a scheduled meeting with then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to discuss his options on the matter. “Oh my God, he just tweeted this,” Priebus reportedly said.
  • His aides were similarly blindsided by his accusation, also via Twitter, that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump during the presidential campaign.
  • Trump was strongly advised not to dispatch then-press secretary Sean Spicer to dispute stories about Trump’s inaugural crowd size and later admitted, “I shouldn’t have done that.”

.. He wrote a column last month arguing that journalistic mistakes had allowed Trump to “shred the media’s credibility.” He has defended Trump’s Twitter attacks — even ones viewed as being sexist or advocating violence — as responses to the “battering” the president has taken.

.. The fact that the guy who made this argument early in Trump’s presidency is now relaying anecdotes — apparently via anonymous sources — about chaos behind the scenes in the White House should not be lost on anyone.

.. But what is described above is a president who is acting haphazardly and without the guidance of his aides, making major allegations and policy decisions on whims and — in the case of the inaugural crowd episode — deliberately pushing false narratives despite apparently knowing better. The juiciest bit so far appears to be “defiance disorder, “a term that could only arise out of repeated instances of Trump being perceived as acting not in the interest of the country but in the interest of defying those around him and trying to prove that he’s smarter — or that he can get away with things they say he can’t.

Austin Ruse: Trans in Military Is Based on Fake Science

President Trump did the right thing in overturning the Obama policy of allowing the gender confused in uniform to defend our country.

First and foremost, there is no scientific evidence that transgenderism is a real thing, except insofar as someone feels or thinks they are the wrong sex. There are no reputable studies that show any physical reality that leads someone to believe they are the wrong sex. There is no transgender gene, no part of the brain that is different

.. “Currently, there is a significant lack of neurological evidence that defends or disputes the idea that the brain is sexually dimorphic, and if so, where exactly ‘gender’ and ‘sexual’ identities are located.” What she means is there is no brain proof for or against the notion that there are two sexes. Something that even children know is somehow beyond this academic. Though she goes on to admit there is no blood test, MRI, or answers to questionnaires that are capable of making a diagnosis.

Let’s Make a Wall Deal

The House passed a bill that would pony up nearly $1.6 billion for the first stretch of Donald Trump’s pet project.

.. And the release of a government report that estimates the Department of Homeland Security would have to screen 750,000 applicants to meet the president’s target for new Border Patrol hires.

.. And the discovery that Trump’s sudden announcement about barring transgender volunteers from the military was actually all about getting money to start building the … barrier.

.. But final passage was being held up by social conservatives, who were trying unsuccessfully to add an amendment barring the military from paying for gender reassignment surgery.

.. The vision of what the president wants in a wall keeps shifting. At first it was a 2,000-mile, 50-foot-tall concrete monolith. Then it became maybe a little shorter, and something with solar panels.

.. Trump also wants to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol officers, which the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general estimates would require the screening of 750,000 applicants. The jobs, it seems, can be both demanding and extremely boring. Clearly, the only answer would be to bring in foreign workers. As our president said when he was explaining why Mar-a-Lago keeps getting special visas to hire cooks and cleaners from abroad, “It’s very, very hard to get people.”

.. It’s not clear he thinks building it would do any good, but he certainly believes it makes him look good.

.. But Trump was fixated on his promise to make Mexico pay for the wall — not actually making it happen so much as making Mexico say it would happen. Or that “we will work it out.” Or just not mentioning that Mexico was never going to put up a dime. (“… you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that.”)

.. So it’s all about image.

.. The chances we’ll ever see this $20-billion-plus project completed are minimal. But just keeping up pretenses will mean an enormous waste of money and effort. Maybe we could make a deal like the one Trump was trying to urge on the Mexicans. Whenever the subject of the wall comes up, we would all agree to say, “Hey, you never can tell.”