Patterico's Pontifications


Fox Business Host: Americans Need To Understand Their Obligations To Trump

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:26 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In spite of the idea of an “elective monarchy” having been rejected when it was proposed at the Constitutional convention, it has been disturbing to watch Americans act as if Trump is akin to a king with extensive powers presiding over the land. It’s far more disturbing, though, to see said king be deified by Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs:

“This is a president who’s already — in my opinion, he’s already historic, but in my opinion, he’s also already one of the greatest presidents and with another four years, in which to get more done, he’s already set a standard, Congressman, for presidents that most mortals won’t be able to meet. He outworks them. He outthinks. He is remarkably resourceful. He’s bright. His judgment is second to none.”

The above statement was made by Dobbs four days ago. And while you might write him off as little more than a nut job, Dobbs recently reached 40 consecutive months as the most-watched cable business host, so clearly someone is watching. While he may not have the audience that a Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson have, he is nonetheless influencing Americans with his fantastical propaganda.

Two days after Dobbs made the above statement, he stepped further into the murky muck of delusion when he dared to to take Americans to task for not understanding their obligations to this president:

“We’ve seen in the Republican Party great unity behind this president, great strength in his leadership. It is a shame that this country which has — is benefiting so much from this president’s leadership does not understand their obligations to the leader who is making it possible for all of us.”

Dobbs is spectacularly befuddled if he truly believes (and I think he does) that Americans have any obligations whatsoever to this president (or any president, for that matter):

In a constitutional republic, the people have no obligation to any politician, not even the president. He works for us. We give him the job and pay his salary. It is our duty as a self-governing people to monitor what he does and make our own decisions as to whether that policy is in our personal interests and the collective national interest. We have no obligation to overlook the president’s crimes because the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up. That’s core to Dobbs’ appeal here, tailored for business leaders who’ve made money while the president attacks the separation of powers undergirding our system of government and extorts foreign governments into attacking our elections and monetizes his office for personal gain. The only way we would have such a mandatory devotion to The Leader is if we now believe the president is the state, and that patriotism is allegiance to the current political leadership rather than the Constitution of the republic. This is possibly the most un-American sentiment possible, but it’s certainly starting to take hold.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Defense Secty. Contradicts Trump: No Iranian Cultural Sites Will Be Targeted (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:02 am

[guest post by Dana]

On Saturday, President Trump caught administration officials off guard when he warned that Iran’s cultural sites would be targeted if there was retaliation against the U.S. for the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani:

Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!

In spite of concerns raised from national security experts and legal scholars, Trump doubled-down on his threat the following day:

“They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people,” he told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One. “And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way.”

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper contradicted the President, saying that no cultural sites would be targeted:

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. will “follow the laws of armed conflict.” When asked if that ruled out targeting cultural sites, Esper said pointedly, “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”

Esper’s public comments reflected the private concerns of other defense and military officials, who cited legal prohibitions on attacks on civilian, cultural and religious sites, except under certain, threatening circumstances.


[T]he 1954 Hague Convention says nations must “take all possible steps” to protect cultural property and shall refrain “from any act of hostility, directed against such property.” It also says nations must not use cultural sites for any threatening purposes that would make such locations a military target.

UPDATED: It looks like President Trump has accepted Esper’s clarification regarding cultural sites:

“If Iran does anything that they shouldn’t be doing, they’re going to be suffering the consequences, and very strongly.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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