About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Galston Column Takes Opposite Approach To RTE

The series of recent posts regarding problems I document with Trump's term in office so far has concentrated on 1) Trump being the biggest deficit spender per year in the country's history, 2) Trump having no constitutional, statutory, or historical basis for asking Pence to not certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election on January 6, 2021, & 3) Trump leaving thousands of people in Seattle to fend for themselves against a band of marauding thugs for over three weeks in the summer of 2020.  

Die-hard Trump supporters commented that voters don't care about these issues citing some they do care about such as "inflation, high gas prices, & high interest rates - can't buy a house" as if Trump spending $3.6 trillion in 2020 was of no consequence compared to Biden spending $1.9 trillion in 2021 as the cause of the resulting inflation & high interest rates.  Trump skates by these die-hard supporters after spending nearly twice as much money as Biden did over these two years.

None of the lists of issues that voters supposedly care about that die-hard Trump supporters presented to me included Social Security & Medicare's solvency problems.  Trump sees no problem - a position that will hurt millions of people, either with benefit cuts or much higher payroll taxes.  Not good leadership on Trump's part & a definite unawareness on the part of his followers of an issue they will care about in a big way one day soon.

With regard to voters not caring about January 6 - please remember that with the authority I cited in the last post Trump could have called up the DC National Guard instead of saying that Pelosi was in charge of Capitol security & there was nothing he could do.  Not a picture of a strong president.  Better yet I alway wondered why Trump would not have called off the perceived danger if it was thought so unsafe that calling up thousands of troops was necessary.

In fact, the die-hard Trump supporter who wrote the original comment defending Trump's summer of love dereliction of duty in Seattle saying "Trump could not just go into cities unless asked by the governor" - went off this track after I presented documentation of many of the cases where presidents did "go into cities" uninvited by changing the topic to "election fraud that is going on in the midterms" & that we should "Stop the fraud, so we can have trustworthy elections" which I take to mean elections his candidate wins.  Because his comments rambled so much I'm not sure this commenter even recognized he was the one that led me to research the Insurrection Act in the first place.

I know that there is a substantial percentage of die-hard Trump supporters who dismiss anything & everything that does not put Trump in a good light - Mike Huckabee, everyone on NewsMax, & some on FNC for instance.  But there are several people who could deliver all of the pro-American policies without the baggage & divisiveness of Trump.  Just look @ Senator Mullin ready for a fistfight on the Senate floor.  Representative Comer was in a heated dispute also & the media encourages this behavior.  We need substance not bluster & Trump is more bluster than substance.

Using all of the above as background I was surprised to read Wliiam Galston's weekly column (below) in the Wednesday WSJ that, like Sunday's RTE post, reviewed the Insurrection Act of 1792 & the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.  What timing. The difference is that I presented the authority for Trump to federalize the National Guard to enforce the laws of the United States during the summer of 2020 in Seattle as something that should have been done to protect American citizens while Mr. Galston presents this same authority as a danger to constitutional liberties that we all take for granted when in the hands of a person suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. 

Donald Trump's Insurrection Act Gambit 
By William Galston

In June 2020, President Trump considered—and was talked out of—invoking the Insurrection Act against protesters who took to the streets after the murder of George Floyd. Now Team Trump reportedly is preparing the ground to use this law whenever necessary after he retakes the White House.

Like most Americans, I knew little about the Insurrection Act until recently. But the more I learn, the more I worry about its potential to erode our fundamental liberties.

The Posse Comitatus Act, enacted in 1878, mostly barred the U.S. military from the role in civil law enforcement that it had played during the Civil War and its aftermath. The act permitted legislated exceptions, however. The most important of these is the Insurrection Act.

This act gives the president the authority to deploy the military to assist law-enforcement agencies in three situations: when a state government requests federal aid to suppress an insurrection in that state; when the president deems military deployment necessary to "enforce the laws" of the U.S. or to "suppress the rebellion"; and when the president deems such deployment necessary to suppress "any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy" in a state whose government is unable or unwilling to enforce the constitutional rights of its citizens or "opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws."

I quote from the statute to make a point: Its scope, which is both broad and vague, gives the president enormous discretionary power. Key terms—insurrection, rebellion and domestic violence—aren't defined. As an analysis by the Brennan Center shows, the president alone may decide whether these prerequisites for deploying the military have been met, and the Supreme Court has said it has no authority to review the president's decision.

To be sure, a 1932 Supreme Court decision held that courts may review the lawfulness or constitutionality of acts the military performs after it has been deployed, but in the swirl of events basic liberties may be curtailed well before the judiciary can step in.

Consider this scenario: After a divisive campaign, a presidential candidate opposed by half the country is inaugurated, and a massive protest breaks out in Washington. While observers and authorities report that the demonstrators are mostly peaceful, the new president disagrees, federalizes the National Guards of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and deploys them with orders to suppress the protests.

Or this one: After police in a large city kill an unarmed black man, protests break out and spread to other cities. Although the protests are peaceful at first, the president argues that similar events in the past have turned violent in a manner that exceeded local and state capacity to suppress them. He then orders the deployment of military forces to break them up before threats to life and property arise.

In situations such as these, fundamental rights such as the freedoms of speech and assembly are at stake, and the potential for the arbitrary and capricious use of the Insurrection Act is evident. This possibility should disturb anyone who doesn't trust every president to use his authority prudently and within constitutional restraints. After 2020, Congress should have reformed the Insurrection Act to prevent future presidents from using it to suppress basic liberties.

In one of the most enduring lines of the 2016 presidential campaign, veteran reporter Salena Zito wrote of Mr. Trump that "the press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally." She implied—plausibly—that his supporters, not the press, were reading him correctly. But that was then, when his plans were relatively unformed and his understanding of how to staff his administration wasn't informed by any government experience.

Things are different now. In his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in March, Mr. Trump declared that he had learned a great deal during his first term about who is strong and who is weak, about who can be trusted and who can't. With the help of such groups as the Claremont Institute and the Heritage Foundation, Mr. Trump's team is busy formulating policies and making lists of people on whom it can rely to staff his administration.

A second Trump term would be much more effective than the first, a prospect that thrills his supporters and sends shivers through those who fear, as I do, that his re-entry into the White House would trigger the biggest threat to constitutional governance since the Civil War. Let's take him literally as well as seriously.


  1. Hi Doug - More good anti-Trump stuff. I can’t argue your positions, however, two qualities Trump holds & if his luck continues will give him four more years is, the folks like & trust him…

  2. Beautiful article, everything well presented.

  3. Hi Doug,

    I understand your points but if the alternative is Trump or Biden, there is no choice.

    And yes, I pray the Republicans pick someone other than Trump.

    But if it is between the 2 of them the choice is obvious.

    We can't have a senile old man, who was never too bright to begin with, and has been running an extortion racket for decades in Delaware, remain as President.

    Let's call it the lesser of 2 evils.

    I think a big part of the problem is as always, emotion and perception.

    The charges they have brought against Trump are not very convincing.

    They have also set up a very dangerous precedent. They made Trump a martyr.

    The simple reason Biden has to run is to keep his kid and other family members out of jail.

    But by bringing these charges against Trump, they may have overplayed their hand.

    They leave themselves open to being brought up on charges once they are out of office.

    Pelosi, Biden, Clinton, McConnell, etc. The floodgates may be opened.

    Retribution can be a bitch.

    In effect The Democrats decided to act as Banana Republics do.

    And left the nation open to a very ugly upcoming election. This election in my view may be reminiscent of 1860.

    One final point, you call out Trump for excessive spending. I agree.

    We have to keep in mind this is our fault. We elect these fools who have overspent since LBJ.

    They have hooked Americans on overconsumption.

    I would venture that 95% of the politicians in Washington and Congress are just as much, if not more guilty than Trump, in regards to spending.
    You know better than me that once the politicians learned they could get rich by buying votes from lemmings (a/k/a the public), their career and finances were set. The jig was up.

    It will take a very unusual leader and a willing public to clean up this mess.

    The odds of that are slim and none as Americans have been weaned onto government welfare programs, individuals and corporate.

    Hopefully voters will wake up (also known as a miracle) and pick 2 different candidates.

    We live in very interesting times.