Switching Horses Midstream

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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14 Responses

  1. Dark Matter says:

    With eleven weeks until the election, Trump can’t win without a massive Clinton stumble or a powerful black swan event.

    I would hope this was true for many weeks before this point. 🙂

    RE: Picking good people.
    Yes, his picks thus far have been poor… although to be fair, I’m more impressed with the ‘fire the failures‘ thing he’s got going than I was with W’s ‘he’s failed, but he is loyal, keep him on‘.

    A lot of this is because it’s Trump’s first time being a politician and/or running for anything. Note this *also* wouldn’t imply good things for a President Trump, he’d make a bunch of ‘rookie’ mistakes and it’d be years before he figured out the job.Report

    • El Muneco in reply to Dark Matter says:

      The Seattle Seahawks made an (astonishing) NFL-high 284 player transactions during 2010, their first year with John Schneider as general manager and Pete Carroll as head coach.

      Only four seasons later, they would have won the Super Bowl if they had had either (1) decent clock management in the two-minute drill, (2) decent execution on a bang-bang pick play, or (3) called a fishing run from the 1-yard line.

      Sometimes “cast a wide net for talent and ruthlessly get rid of anyone who seems like they might not make the grade, sooner rather than later” is a winning strategy.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to El Muneco says:

        I take your point: a search for talent may well require going through a lot of candidates, creating higher turnover rates than might appear on the surface to be ideal.

        The football team analogy would hold if during week 3 and then again in week 11 of the regular season, the team fired and replaced its head coach. Knowing nothing else about the talent of the players, is such a team likely to go on and win the Super Bowl that year? The simple fact that there’s that much turnover at that position so fast.suggests a losing team rather than a winning one — a team that in all probability, has no business in the playoffs.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to El Muneco says:

        Hm… this strangely seems to neglect that the Seahawks did indeed win a Super Bowl prior to not having won it.

        But, you are talking about a 4+ year span. The analogy would hold if we were looking at Trump having made multiple runs at elected office. Or if the Seahawks made those 284 transactions in 2010 and won the Super Bowl that year.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter says:

      Note this *also* wouldn’t imply good things for a President Trump, he’d make a bunch of ‘rookie’ mistakes and it’d be years before he figured out the job.

      I dunno about that. If Hillary Clinton is caught eating babies three days before the election and Trump somehow wins, I have a feeling that Trump is either:

      a) going to be the first president to resign without it being due to scandals. (Oh, there will be plenty *of* scandals, but he’ll be resigning because he’s bored.)
      b) not actually going to consider himself president in the sense of doing anything. He’ll probably just sign whatever the Republicans put in front of him, and 3/4th of the times we would normally expect to see the president doing things it would be Mike Pence instead.

      I fully expect Trump to have the assumption he can go on vacation and leave Pence in charge, and it will have to be explained to him that the power of the presidency does not devolve to the VP unless the President is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties ‘ of the presidency, either by a written declaration or by the judgement of Congress.

      Bonus points if he tries to send a written declaration of that to get out of working, and then Congress tries refusing to give him the presidency *back* when he wants it, by refusing to accept his declaration he’s fit for office. Under Section 3 of the 26th amendment, they don’t have any *right* to refuse that, but he has no way to force it, and he doesn’t technically return to power until they do. Constitutional crisis time!(1)

      But anyway, I have a feeling that Trump isn’t going to make ‘rookie’ mistakes, because Trump literally doesn’t care about anything, and he always thinks he knows what he’s doing. He’s going to make *completely absurd* mistakes, when he bothers to do anything.

      1) To resume power, both under section 3 voluntary step down and a section 4 step down where the executive branch votes that he is unfit, the president can result power by transmitting an ‘I actually am fit’ letter to congress, which is just assumed correct under section 3 and voted on under section 4. But the problem is, um…that guy is not the president at the moment, so, uh, he really doesn’t seem to have any official channels to ‘transmit’ anything to Congress if they don’t want to listen to him. Congress has to accept things from the office of the president, they don’t have to accept things from ‘Random guy who is not currently the president’. Yet another Oops in the constitution.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC says:

        It’s easier for me to see him managing the country to help his business interests than him stepping down. But yeah, I can totally see him delegating everything the president does (other than the microphone) to minions.

        The thing is, I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. It worked decently well for Reagan.

        My expectation is he mimics Arnold Schwarzenegger on steroids. There are big picture things that should be done, he doesn’t really know what they are or how to do them, dude just wants to be popular.Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    Maybe Trump’s business and real estate and legal executives enjoy longer tenures than this, more time to get results.

    Of course they do, because it’s not the same thing. To pick the simplest difference, big business deals don’t usually have hard deadlines. Even deadlines that appear to be hard can often be renegotiated. Donald and (now) Conway and Bannon can’t say, “We need to futz with the financing a bit, and work out a couple of side deals to keep the neocons happy; let’s put the election off until late January.”Report

  3. Trump’s staff does seem to have some limits; at least they’re not doing “Twitter essays”.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    I think a lot of these supposed “shake-ups” are meaningless because Trump is just replacing the former with a version of itself. Jennifer Rubin’s column that Will placed in linkage is right. Replacing Manafort with the head of Breitbart is not moderating or changing focus but going deeper into the fever dreams of the far right and their cultural resentment. If anything, Bannon is more of a bully than the previous two.Report

  5. Kazzy says:

    A technical question: Why take to Twitter to make this argument? I mean, 30 tweets! Why not pen an quick essay here or a Facebook post and Tweet out a link? I ask this genuinely… I’m barely on Twitter so I don’t really know how it works. Are there advantages to this approach?Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

      Because I’m trying different things out to see how they work.

      I didn’t realize this would be so objectionable. Something like, a dozen people have protested that I did it this way. Some a bit less mildly than this.

      I’ll never do anything like this again. I promise.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Oh, please know I wasn’t objecting! As a non-Twitter user it seems batty to me but I’m a non-Twitter user so I don’t know the norms and such. Good on you for trying things on. I’ve seen other runs of 20+ Tweets so I know this is done regularly and not some major deviation on your part.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

          Got it. Still, based on the amount of “WTF are you doing, Burt?” I got back, some friendly like yours and some markedly less so, I think I’ll not be doing a twitter rant quite that long again.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Burt Likko says:

            I don’t mind a twitter rant per se.

            The actual annoyance isn’t that it’s from twitter, it’s that there’s tons of reptitition. Oh, good to know every quote is by @burtlikko, is indented, and is in fact a quote thanks to those giant quotation marks…and then numbered, and then whitespace, and then ‘— Burt Likko (@burtlikko) August 19, 2016’, apparently we need to know that for each thing, and then a *huge* amount of whitespace. Next time, more like this:

            Here is the twitter rant I had about Trump:

            Trump fired him. Manafort ran campaign for 60 days. On same index, Manafort raised Trump’s chances from 12% to 12.6%.

            This tells me something about the kind of President Donald Trump would be. It makes me wonder about his business leadership.

            But this all reflects poorly on Trump, because he’s consistently chosen executive leaders who haven’t executed well.

            There. Much more readable. It’s just a series of short sentences. Just give those to us.

            Also…why the hell does the numbering skip one each time?Report