Cruise the conservative blogosphere and Internet political message boards and it won’t take long for you to come upon the harsh admonition set forth in the above title. The gist of it is that HRC supporters need to get over the fact that their candidate lost and stop whining about Trump’s behavior since his win.
The “stop whining” putdown is well past galling, coming as it does from an assortment of people who began their own kvetching about Obama before he ever set foot in the White House. Remember “birtherism”? The make Obama a “one-term president” as Mitch McConnell’s first priority? Eight solid years of obstruction and talk of Obama’s “imperial presidency”, his lawlessness and disdain for the Constitution? You have to be a hypocrite on a grand scale to have participated in any part of that to then advise others to “stop whining”.
Now that Trump is in office, what are Progressives supposed to do; roll over, utter not a peep of protest and simply allow the new president to do whatever he wants? No, that’s not the way our two-party system works: The party not in power takes on the role of the “loyal opposition” (1), seeks to influence policy, offers their support when that is deemed appropriate, and holds the president accountable when he behaves badly or especially illegally.
The sad fact is that during barely two months in office, Trump has taken at least two steps backwards for every one that was forward, giving those who oppose him plenty of specific issues to “whine” about: Some members of his administration and close circle are likely targets of at least one of three separate investigations into their possible illegal contact with Russia. Trump’s travel ban was so badly written that it failed to survive scrutiny by the 9th Circuit Court. These examples merely scratch the surface and cannot be outweighed by one good speech to the joint session of Congress last Tuesday night. That address was taken, optimistically, as a sign that Trump had turned the corner and would now act presidential. It didn’t last, a topic covered in a recent blog posted at this site (2).
Added to the foregoing is the growing impression that temperamentally, Trump is not up to the job of being president. His twitter-storms are being seen as the kind of outbursts you would expect from a hypersensitive, petulant child. His claim that in 2016, then-president Obama had his phone tapped is paranoic and drew stern denials from former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and current FBI Director Comey. This is not the cluster of personality traits you would want to find in the one person who has control of our nuclear arsenal.
So, taking all this into account, what should we expect? If Trump’s struggles with acting presidential increase, expect even more symptoms of dysfunction to become apparent. In that same vein, if the findings from ongoing investigations bring illegality to the doorsteps of White House, that is apt to trigger more questionable behavior. And lastly, do not expect the “whining” to stop. It goes with the territory as Obama found out. Too bad, that thus far, Trump hasn’t handled it with the grace that the former president did.
1,2. A blog on the “loyal opposition” was posted at this site many months ago. The blog “Consider the contrasts” is of much more recent vintage; published here on 3-2-17.