It frankly stuns me when people say that Trump is a worse president than Bush 2. Taking just the first term (to compare the comparable), 9/11, the Patriot Act, the Iraq war. And by the way, being very subservient to Putin. (Obviously, it’s no analogy to half a million dead in the Iraq war. I’m mentioning it as an aside.)

What has Trump done that can even begin to compare?

Yes, I know, Bush never sent any mean tweets.

40 thoughts on “Comparisons”

  1. Who cares about the dead Iraqis or even still remembers them? The most important thing is that “Progressives did not suffer under President George W. Bush”.

    In addition,

    “In person [Bush] appears to be what one might term a “nice man,” however misguided his policies may have been.”

    Were not progressives supposed to be the ones scorning “he looks like a nice man” voters?

    Now had a frightening thought: were progressives forced to choose between Bush and Trump for the next president, would they have chosen the former?


    1. We’ll know the answer to this question when it becomes clear if the Democrats seek to impeach Trump. If he’s impeached, president Mike Pence will be as close to Bush 2 as it gets.


  2. W was a familiar opponent, the battle lines were already well drawn, for progressives opposing him was like a well-choreographed dance.
    Trump is something new and they’re not sure how to oppose him effectively and since each new tactic fails they’re progressively losing their shit and descending further into madness….


    1. I wonder. If Trump manages not to invade anybody until the end of his term. That would be pretty exceptional. Is there anybody here who doesn’t agree that the US foreign policy has been ridiculous with invasions for decades? Nobody, right? If Trump manages not to invade, won’t that be a pretty big deal? At this time in his presidency Obama was already bombing the shit out of people. And helping the engineers of the Recession get away with their crimes. I love Obama but two years into his presidency, he frankly did a lot of shitty stuff that Trump hasn’t done yet. And Bush was the worst US president in my lifetime.

      Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing but between the Iraq war and the recession, I’m not seeing anything comparable going on right now.


      1. “If Trump manages not to invade anybody until the end of his term”

        That would be a great and wonderful change of pace for the US to not get bogged down in more useless conflicts, but word is the awful neocons (who never met an invasion they didn’t like) have their hooks in him… so I’m hopeful, but hardly optimistic at this point….


  3. Bush wrecked the country and destroyed a lot of its institutions but people didn’t see it clearly enough because they were so freaked-out by 9/11 (I am the only one not, it seems, because I’ve been in countries where bombs went off before). But you had to acquiesce, it seemed, because of the 9/11 dead. Trump is more vocal about wanting dictatorial-type powers, and also about destroying the land itself, and is as insulting as he can be to almost everyone. This is how he gets seen as being worse than Bush. But you know what I say: Reagan started the dismantling, Bush did some real destruction, and now Trump is here to finish as much of the job as he can. They were all pretty outrageous, and Reagan said nasty things too, although people do not remember since he has been rehabilitated as this kindly grandpa.


    1. Agreed. And Obama fully participated, too. He’s as neoliberal as it gets and sincerely so.

      I love Obama but what he did in Yemen, what he did during and after the Recession is indefensible.


      1. Afghanistan, Honduras, etc., and keeping the Patriot Act & related legislation in place, and ICE, etc. There is something awful in the ramping-up of general hatred we get with T., though…


  4. Trump separated young children from their parents and put them in concentration camps.

    Yes I know it was nowhere near comparable to the suffering caused by the Iraq war, but we don’t measure those things purely by their consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As for this “babies in cages” trope, I’d like to ask: what alternative does anybody see to this practice? I’m very tired of moaning and groaning on the subject because it’s never accompanied by any suggestion about what the alternative should be. The only possible alternatives are either not to let people with children in at all, turning them all around at the border, or letting them in and not detaining in any form at all, which would encourage human trafficking and swell the Dreamer class enormously. Which option do you like better?


      1. “Which option do you like better?”

        I notice this comment gets you some down arrows…. and no suggestions. I have no useful alternative suggestions either but at least I realize there’s no nice option available that won’t ultimately increase the problem.


        1. I don’t see the down and up arrows on my app but I do notice that nobody ever has anything to say on this subject that goes beyond useless emoting. And that’s precisely what causes the problem. Don’t the people who are suffering at the border deserve at we at least try to figure out how to change things? There can’t be political solutions unless somebody cares enough to think about what they might be. I can’t help but think that people enjoy the status quo because the suffering of the immigrants is a politically useful mobilizing point. It’s so easy and pleasing to wail about “babies in cages” while not even bothering to think about an alternative.

          There is so much hypocrisy.


          1. “I don’t see the down and up arrows on my app but I do notice that nobody ever has anything to say on this subject that goes beyond useless emoting.”

            Yep, only 18 comments so far on this post (counting mine), and yet a whopping FORTY-ONE total down or up arrows! Obviously, some (most?) of your posts are being read by a multitude of lurkers who pay attention to the comments but never post a reply.


              1. And lurkers, commenters, everybody. I’m still waiting for an answer. Saying what you don’t want to happen while having no idea what you do want to happen instead is a sign of extreme psychological immaturity. Spend time with a toddler, and you’ll see that exact behavior.


              2. “It sounds like fun things are happening with those arrows, and I never even see them.”

                Why don’t you just open your Internet browser and type in the URL Then you’ll see your web pages and comments, arrows and all, just like everybody else.

                (We’re not supposed to give away trade secrets like this, so I’m posting this comment anonymously.)


              3. That’s too much hassle, really. You’ve seen how many comments there are every day. And I honestly try to read every single one. If I start going to the browser to check out upvotes on every comment, I’ll never do anything else.


              4. “If I start going to the browser to check out upvotes on every comment…”

                Don’t worry, you get mostly downvotes, anyway, now that you’re turning Republican! 🙂


              5. That makes me happy because I cringe at the idea I’ll get stale and will start spouting things that everyone agrees with because they heard it a million times before.


      2. You don’t have to incarcerate the parents. Then you don’t have this problem of children not being allowed in adult prisons. Let them go where they were going, to friends or relatives. Or if none, have shelters not incarceration. Give them a court date. See whether you want to give asylum or not at that point. No need to incarcerate in the meantime. Shelters are way cheaper than prison.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If everybody who crossed the border with a child automatically avoids detention, this will create a) an explosion in human trafficking of very small children (especially ones who don’t speak) who will be used as a way to enter the country freely. After that, the children will be sold or tossed, and b) the Dreamer class will explode.

          Turning a child into a ticket to entry is transforming a child into a valuable commodity. Until entry is gained, that is.

          How is this a desirable outcome?


          1. Up until Trump started the incarceration, we were handling it somehow. It is important to remember that not everyone wants to come here and not everyone is a trafficker. Quite a few of these kids really did come with their parents.


              1. Bad analogy. The child detention / family separation policy is new and is not necessary. The past could have been handled better, and the future, too.


          2. “Turning a child into a ticket to entry is transforming a child into a valuable commodity”

            A few years ago I was puzzled by accounts of African migrants (by boat) threatening to throw children into the sea unless rescuers guaranteed them passage to Europe. I didn’t understand until an article explained that some bought children in Africa because traveling with small children facilitated asylum and provided a ready made hostage to threaten if the authorities weren’t accomodating enough….


            1. Everybody agrees that Central American countries are extremely dangerous places. Everybody agrees there are gangs that terrorize people. Everybody agrees people flee from violence created by gangs.

              But it never occurs to anybody that gangs might want to follow the people fleeing them right across the border. And that they can do vicious things at different geographic location.

              Now that “babies in cages” have turned into a rallying cry of anti-Trumpists – in the absence of anything else whatsoever – this will never get solved. People will do all they can to have a chance to keep talking about “babies in concentration camps.”


        2. “Let them go where they were going”

          So… open borders.

          “shelters not incarceration. Give them a court date. See whether you want to give asylum or not at that point”

          The problem there is that if they suspect they won’t get asylum then they’ll just disappear and not show up for the court date. how are you going to keep track of them between accepting them and deciding what to do with them?


          1. Disappear, forget, get distracted, get too busy, not understand the instructions, not care about the instructions, move from one state to another, etc.

            It’s been said a hundred times, many of the people who cross don’t even speak Spanish. Where are they going to go?

            It was hard for me to adapt in a new country, and I speak the language perfectly and have massive amounts of educational and cultural capital.

            This is not how things work even in a disorganized nation-state. People don’t just roam aimlessly and unaccountably. Especially if they have children. There is a whole history here of how the nation-state imposed sedentary life and how that increased life spans, etc. Once you accept people into a state, you become responsible for their basic welfare. They have to be accounted for. And the problem is that nobody knows how to do that right now. Nobody has a good answer. Everybody is simplifying a situation that is not simple.

            And there is yet another issue, which is that it’s really unfair to Mexico, a country that has its own challenges, to turn it into a transit station. The more alluring it gets to cross Mexico towards the US border, the more people will do it. And at some point, the saturation point will be reached – both in the US and Mexico. And try explaining that to folks who made this horrible trek because they were given false hope.

            In the face of this really difficult situation, what I’d like to see is less emoting both of the “an invasion is coming!” and “babies in cages!” variety. Instead, I’d like to see a frank discussion of what we think borders are for, why some countries have a much higher standard of living than others, whether we want to preserve the nation-state and what that would entail, etc. But it’s precisely the people who are most qualified to discuss this who emote the hardest and formulate the least.


      3. I’ve always said which alternative I preferred, except in comments like the above which were supposed to be kinda pithy. So the only reason you think that “it’s never accompanied by any suggestion about what the alternative should be” is that you don’t follow me.

        I’ll quote myself from Twitter last summer:

        <<Don’t separate children from parents. Change the law and build facilities so you can intern families together.

        Until that’s done, catch and release. Yes, that allows immigrants to enter, and it creates a temporary incentive encouraging more, but the alternative is evil. >>


  5. Replying to Comparisons:

    Upon reflection, it seems to me that the parallels between the USA in 2018 and Germany in 1933 or 1934 are compelling. Nonwhite people I know are more and more terrified.


    1. I find this kind of comparison very offensive, to be honest. Americans love to appropriate the suffering of others and pity themselves in the midst of comfort and opulence.


  6. Latest news:

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    In protest of Gaza ceasefire and efforts to reach an arrangement with Hamas, Defense Minister Lieberman resigns and quits the government; Israel is ‘buying short-term quiet, with the price being severe long-term damage to national security,’ he charges.,7340,L-5401885,00.html

    With photos:

    // Gaza border residents slam ceasefire with Hamas
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