Thursday, October 20, 2016

No Mr. Trump: You can't, you won't and there isn't

Above is the graphic that I accidentally clicked into earlier today from Breitbart. Let's take this one item at a time.

Term limits: Trump cannot create term limits for Congress. Only Congress can impose those limits on itself and that is probably not going to happen.

Lobbying loopholes: Based on an email that I received earlier in the week, Trump is talking about banning staff from engaging in lobbying after they leave the employ of the government. He claims to want a lifetime ban on lobbying on behalf of a foreign government; something that would never hold up in court.

Bill Clinton had a five year ban in place. Before leaving office Republicans took control of both houses of Congress and The Decider was to take up residence in the Oval Office. I should be kinder to W. Next to Trump he looks like Ted Kennedy. Getting back to Clinton, the staff complained bitterly that they had no path to employment so Clinton rescinded the ban. Even as lobbyists they were going to have a hard time just getting telephone calls returned. I should mention that Clinton's chief of staff John Podesta and his brother own a very prominent lobbying firm which might have influenced Clinton. Two years later Podesta ended up running Center for American Progress which he founded. We don't know if he was a lobbyist in the two preceding years.

George W. Bush had no restrictions whatsoever.

President Obama's appointees sign an agreement restricting lobbying for two years after they leave government employ. It extends to political appointees at government agencies. Nevertheless, staff have found loopholes that have enabled them to work as lobbyists.

Should Donald Trump miraculously become our next president it seems unlikely that he will fair much better than Obama and possibly worse. People are not going to come to work in the White House or in senior agency positions if it means that they will be barred from earning a living when they leave government service. There is a delicate balance between putting some brakes on the revolving door and attracting the best people.

Foreign campaign money: This is nonsense. The intended inference is that Hillary Clinton's campaign is financed by interests outside of the United States. Foreign nationals are already prohibited from donating money to any U.S. election.

The hypocrisy is stunning. Trump openly solicited the assistance of the Russian government to help him defeat Sec. Clinton. He refuses to even acknowledge that the Russian government is Wikileaks' provider let alone to condemn them for doing so.

Hopefully this is all just an academic exercise because Donald Trump will get no closer to the Oval Office than a visitor's pass allows. I am counting the days until this awful election is over. In my lifetime no candidate for President has ever been so convincingly unqualified as Donald J. Trump.

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