Presty the DJ for May 17

First,  for those who believe the British are the height of sophistication and are so much more couth than us Americans: This was the number one song in the U.K. today in 1986:

The chicken is not having a birthday. Pervis Jackson of the Spinners is:

So is drummer Bill Bruford, who played for Yes, King Crimson and Genesis:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for May 17”

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Benjamin Franklin and Friedman

Lost in the observance (note I didn’t write “celebration”) of the 30th anniversary of my graduation from UW–Madison yesterday was the first day of what Wisconsin Public Radio reports:

Tuesday Wisconsin residents with children under the age of 18 can apply for a one-time, $100 tax credit. The credit comes at a cost of about $130 million, and at a time when Gov. Scott Walker is gearing up for his re-election bid.

Parents and guardians will have from May 15 to July 2 to apply for the rebate. Caregivers are eligible for the $100 tax credit for every child they have living in their home under the age of 18 as of December 31, 2017. They can apply online or over the phone through the state Department of Revenue.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler said he thinks there’s going to be a lot of interest. It should take less than three weeks for applicants to get their credit once they’ve applied, and the DOR will have staff available to help process the requests.

Chandler said this is part of the Walker administration’s continued efforts to provide tax relief for those who need it.

“It will really help middle class families, especially working families with children,” he said. “And that’s where we think there’s a tremendous need for tax relief, and this takes care of that.”

Along with the child tax credit, Walker used his veto power to expand the late-summer sales tax holiday from two days to five days.

The website is here.

The Presteblog’s official position on tax cuts mirrors Milton Friedman:

While permanent (or as permanent as possible in the world of politics) tax reform is preferable, such tax breaks as this rebate is better than the alternative, which WPR also reports:

Democrats have criticized Walker’s move, saying it was politically motivated.

Assembly Minority Leader Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, said there are better ways to spend this money.

“And of course with $130 million we could have fixed lead pipes,” he said. “We could have tested all the rape kits that are sitting around. We could have expanded rural broadband, or we could have kept our budget intact given that we face a pretty significant structural deficit heading into the next year.”

Hintz said this shows Walker is trying to gain favor with voters heading into the election in November.

Attempts to gain favor with voters before an election? That never happens! (/sarcasm) Using Hintz’s “logic” maybe to get our tax money back we should have elections every year.

Democrats, the party of unlimited spending, taxation and regulation, would claim that we stupid taxpayers don’t deserve any of our own money back, of course. Those of us who pay Hintz’s salary should want our own money to do with as we please, because we know better how to spend our own money than Hintz and other Democrats do. And thanks to Walker and Republicans, we’re getting at least some of our own money back, one Franklin (you know, the $100 bill) per child.

 

 

This is how you get more Trump

University of Virginia Prof. Gerard Alexander:

I know many liberals, and two of them really are my best friends. Liberals make good movies and television shows. Their idealism has been an inspiration for me and many others. Many liberals are very smart. But they are not as smart, or as persuasive, as they think.

And a backlash against liberals — a backlash that most liberals don’t seem to realize they’re causing — is going to get President Trump re-elected.

People often vote against things instead of voting for them: against ideas, candidates and parties. Democrats, like Republicans, appreciate this whenever they portray their opponents as negatively as possible. But members of political tribes seem to have trouble recognizing that they, too, can push people away and energize them to vote for the other side. Nowhere is this more on display today than in liberal control of the commanding heights of American culture.

Take the past few weeks. At the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, the comedian Michelle Wolf landed some punch lines that were funny and some that weren’t. But people reacted less to her talent and more to the liberal politics that she personified. For every viewer who loved her Trump bashing, there seemed to be at least one other put off by the one-sidedness of her routine. Then, when Kanye West publicly rethought his ideological commitments, prominent liberals criticized him for speaking on the topic at all. Maxine Waters, a Democratic congresswoman from California, remarked that “sometimes Kanye West talks out of turn” and should “maybe not have so much to say.”

Liberals dominate the entertainment industry, many of the most influential news sources and America’s universities. This means that people with progressive leanings are everywhere in the public eye — and are also on the college campuses attended by many people’s children or grandkids. These platforms come with a lot of power to express values, confer credibility and celebrity and start national conversations that others really can’t ignore.

But this makes liberals feel more powerful than they are. Or, more accurately, this kind of power is double-edged. Liberals often don’t realize how provocative or inflammatory they can be. In exercising their power, they regularly not only persuade and attract but also annoy and repel.

In fact, liberals may be more effective at causing resentment than in getting people to come their way. I’m not talking about the possibility that jokes at the 2011 correspondents’ association dinner may have pushed Mr. Trump to run for president to begin with. I mean that the “army of comedy” that Michael Moore thought would bring Mr. Trump down will instead be what builds him up in the minds of millions of voters.

Consider some ways liberals have used their cultural prominence in recent years. They have rightly become more sensitive to racism and sexism in American society. News reports, academic commentary and movies now regularly relate accounts of racism in American history and condemn racial bigotry. These exercises in consciousness-raising and criticism have surely nudged some Americans to rethink their views, and to reflect more deeply on the status and experience of women and members of minority groups in this country.

But accusers can paint with very wide brushes. Racist is pretty much the most damning label that can be slapped on anyone in America today, which means it should be applied firmly and carefully. Yet some people have cavalierly leveled the charge against huge numbers of Americans — specifically, the more than 60 million people who voted for Mr. Trump.

In their ranks are people who sincerely consider themselves not bigoted, who might be open to reconsidering ways they have done things for years, but who are likely to be put off if they feel smeared before that conversation even takes place.

It doesn’t help that our cultural mores are changing rapidly, and we rarely stop to consider this. Some liberals have gotten far out ahead of their fellow Americans but are nonetheless quick to criticize those who haven’t caught up with them.

Within just a few years, many liberals went from starting to talk about microaggressions to suggesting that it is racist even to question whether microaggressions are that important. “Gender identity disorder” was considered a form of mental illness until recently, but today anyone hesitant about transgender women using the ladies’ room is labeled a bigot. Liberals denounce “cultural appropriation” without, in many cases, doing the work of persuading people that there is anything wrong with, say, a teenager not of Chinese descent wearing a Chinese-style dress to prom or eating at a burrito cart run by two non-Latino women.

Pressing a political view from the Oscar stage, declaring a conservative campus speaker unacceptable, flatly categorizing huge segments of the country as misguided — these reveal a tremendous intellectual and moral self-confidence that smacks of superiority. It’s one thing to police your own language and a very different one to police other people’s. The former can set an example. The latter is domineering.

This judgmental tendency became stronger during the administration of President Barack Obama, though not necessarily because of anything Mr. Obama did. Feeling increasingly emboldened, liberals were more convinced than ever that conservatives were their intellectual and even moral inferiors. Discourses and theories once confined to academia were transmitted into workaday liberal political thinking, and college campuses — which many take to be what a world run by liberals would look like — seemed increasingly intolerant of free inquiry.

It was during these years that the University of California included the phrase “America is the land of opportunity” on a list of discouraged microaggressions. Liberal politicians portrayed conservative positions on immigration reform as presumptively racist; Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, once dubiously claimed that she had heard Republicans tell Irish visitors that “if it was you,” then immigration reform “would be easy.”

When Mr. Obama remarked, behind closed doors, during the presidential campaign in 2008, that Rust Belt voters “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them,” it mattered not so much because he said it but because so many listeners figured that he was only saying what liberals were really thinking.

These are the sorts of events conservatives think of when they sometimes say, “Obama caused Trump.” Many liberals might interpret that phrase to mean that America’s first black president brought out the worst in some people. In this view, not only might liberals be unable to avoid provoking bigots, it’s not clear they should even try. After all, should they not have nominated and elected Mr. Obama? Should they regret doing the right thing just because it provoked the worst instincts in some people?

This is a limited view of the situation. Even if liberals think their opponents are backward, they don’t have to gratuitously drive people away, including voters who cast ballots once or even twice for Mr. Obama before supporting Mr. Trump in 2016.

Champions of inclusion can watch what they say and explain what they’re doing without presuming to regulate what words come out of other people’s mouths. Campus activists can allow invited visitors to speak and then, after that event, hold a teach-in discussing what they disagree with. After the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that states had to allow same-sex marriage, the fight, in some quarters, turned to pizza places unwilling to cater such weddings. Maybe don’t pick that fight?

People determined to stand against racism can raise concerns about groups that espouse hate and problems like the racial achievement gap in schools without smearing huge numbers of Americans, many of whom might otherwise be Democrats by temperament.

Liberals can act as if they’re not so certain — and maybe actually not be so certain — that bigotry motivates people who disagree with them on issues like immigration. Without sacrificing their principles, liberals can come across as more respectful of others. Self-righteousness is rarely attractive, and even more rarely rewarded.

Self-righteousness can also get things wrong. Especially with the possibility of Mr. Trump’s re-election, many liberals seem primed to write off nearly half the country as irredeemable. Admittedly, the president doesn’t make it easy. As a candidate, Mr. Trump made derogatory comments about Mexicans, and as president described some African countries with a vulgar epithet. But it is an unjustified leap to conclude that anyone who supports him in any way is racist, just as it would be a leap to say that anyone who supported Hillary Clinton was racist because she once made veiled references to “superpredators.”

Liberals are trapped in a self-reinforcing cycle. When they use their positions in American culture to lecture, judge and disdain, they push more people into an opposing coalition that liberals are increasingly prone to think of as deplorable. That only validates their own worst prejudices about the other America.

Those prejudices will be validated even more if Mr. Trump wins re-election in 2020, especially if he wins a popular majority. That’s not impossible: The president’s current approval ratings are at 42 percent, up from just a few months ago.

Liberals are inadvertently making that outcome more likely. It’s not too late to stop.

Presty the DJ for May 16

Today in 1980, Brian May of Queen collapsed while onstage. This was due to hepatitis, not, one assumes, the fact that Paul McCartney released his “McCartney II” album the same day.

Today’s rock music birthdays start with someone who will never be associated with rock music: Liberace, born in West Allis today in 1919.

Actual rock birthdays start with Isaac “Redd” Holt of Young–Holt Unlimited:

Nicky Chinn wrote this 1970s classic: It’s it’s …

Roger Earl of Foghat …

… was born one year before Barbara Lee of the Chiffons …

… and drummer Darrell Sweet of Nazareth:

William “Sputnik” Spooner played guitar for both the Grateful Dead …

… and The Tubes:

Richard Page of Mr. Mister:

Krist Novoselic of Nirvana was born one year before …

… Miss Jackson if you’re nasty:

Finally, Patrick Waite, bassist and singer for Musical Youth, which did this ’80s classic, dude:

Shorter version: Grow up

Sarah Hoyt writes to worshipers of both The Donald and his predecessor:

The President is not your daddy. Do I really have to say this? To supposed adults? To people qualified to vote in a democratic republic? There are two items I came across this week that seem to indicate that indeed I do. No one ever taught these people to reason their way out of a paper bag, or even told them why they should.

Instead, they were given a set of beliefs that define “good people” and if they stop believing in those things, they are “bad people.”

I’d say these are not adults in any sense of the word, but that’s not exactly true.  Throughout most of the history of our species, adults had a set of beliefs it was best not to question, whether it be “our tribe is better than the next tribe” or “we have to eliminate all the suede-eaters” or even “this is how we tie our glurk and display our brek” because humans are tribal, and displaying your tribal loyalty has been way more important than actually being, you know, rational and asking if things really work that way for… most of history.

The problem is that we’re not in a society (or societies if you extend this to all of Western civilization) that can survive this kind of quasi-religious denial of logical thought.  We’re not in a society (or societies) that can hold on tight to the idea that all cultures are the same, when, say, the Oktoberfest is being cancelled throughout many cities in Germany because migrants can’t get it across their heads that a woman not covered like a sofa is NOT, in fact, asking to be raped. We’re not in a society that can survive voters being misinformed by the high priests of the leftist religion on the nature of good and evil either, or the nature of the presidency. But that is the society we live in and misinformation is rife.

See, when you remove rationality and true research and information as a way of forming your opinion, and instead you know in your heart of hearts you have to believe a set of precepts to be a “good person,” you are not fit to live in a representative republic, or to have your vote counted.

But in our society, your vote does count. And chances are you’re not shy about displaying your infantilization on Twitter either.  Note this, with name not removed because this person tweeted it for all the world to see.

Note this person has 495 retweets and 1858 likes for something that’s not just absolutely nonsensical but ridiculous and should be shameful for any free and thinking adult to proclaim.

This person thinks Obama was her father? Why? First of all, she could not have lit on a worse person than the child-president, himself forever ready to act like a peevish adolescent to be her “daddy.” Second, seriously  You want the president to be your father? Why? He’s the executive of the republic at the federal level, a level that should be remote enough from your everyday life that you really have very little contact with him. (Yeah, sure, the feds have been getting their noses in everything. But they’re not supposed to.)  Third, sure thing, some of the functions of the president, like the power to direct the military, are supposed to be protective and therefore “father like” but then again, Obama was remarkably reluctant to protect anyone, so why this attachment to him as “daddy?”

The last time I was on Wisconsin Public Radio, my opponent kept referring to her favored politicians by their first name. The only time I would ever refer to a politician by his or her first name is because I was speaking to them directly.

He’s a boor, but he’s our boor

John Yi passes this on from “Jack Rains”:

My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum. They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.”

Here’s my answer:

We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.

We tried statesmanship. Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain?

We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?

And the results were always the same. This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatreds because racial hatreds serve the Democratic Party. I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks. I don’t see anything “statesman-like” in weaponizing the IRS to be used to destroy your political opponents and any dissent. Yes, Obama was “articulate” and “polished” but in no way was he in the least bit “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.”

The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ‘60s. To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale. It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – the violent take-over of the universities – till today. The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war. While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety. With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end. Donald Trump is America ’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

During wartime, things like “dignity” and “collegiality” simply aren’t the most essential qualities one looks for in their warriors. Ulysses Grant was a drunk whose behavior in peacetime might well have seen him drummed out of the Army for conduct unbecoming. Had Abraham Lincoln applied the peacetime rules of propriety and booted Grant, the Democrats might well still be holding their slaves today. Lincoln rightly recognized that, “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

General George Patton was a vulgar-talking, son-of-a-bitch. In peacetime, this might have seen him stripped of rank. But, had Franklin Roosevelt applied the normal rules of decorum then, Hitler and the Socialists would barely be five decades into their thousand-year Reich.

Trump is fighting. And what’s particularly delicious is that, like Patton standing over the battlefield as his tanks obliterated Rommel’s, he’s shouting, “You magnificent bastards, I read your book!”

That is just the icing on the cake, but it’s wonderful to see that not only is Trump fighting, he’s defeating the Left using their own tactics. That book is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – a book so essential to the Liberals’ war against America that it is and was the playbook for the entire Obama administration and the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis. It is a book of such pure evil, that, just as the rest of us would dedicate our book to those we most love or those to whom we are most indebted, Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer.

Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do. First, instead of going after “the fake media” — and they are so fake that they have literally gotten every single significant story of the past 60 years not just wrong, but diametrically opposed to the truth, from the Tet Offensive to Benghazi, to what really happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri — Trump isolated CNN. He made it personal.

Then, just as Alinsky suggests, he employs ridicule which Alinsky described as “the most powerful weapon of all.” … Most importantly, Trump’s tweets have put CNN in an untenable and unwinnable position. … They need to respond. This leaves them with only two choices. They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery. The problem for CNN (et al.) with the former is that, if they were to start honestly reporting the news, that would be the end of the Democratic Party they serve.

It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive. Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorists (William Ayers), the mafia (Tony Rezko) or the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s church. Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up. So, to my friends on the Left — and the #NeverTrumpers as well — do I wish we lived in a time when our President could be “collegial” and “dignified” and “proper”? Of course I do. These aren’t those times. This is war. And it’s a war that the Left has been fighting without opposition for the past 50 years. So, say anything you want about this President – I get it – he can be vulgar, he can be crude, he can be undignified at times. I don’t care. We can’t spare this man. He fights for America!

The alleged “blue wave”

CNN has bad news for Democrats:

The generic congressional ballot has continued to tighten, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, with the Democrats’ edge over Republicans within the poll’s margin of sampling error for the first time this cycle.

About six months out from Election Day, 47% of registered voters say they back the Democratic candidate in their district, 44% back the Republican. Voters also are divided almost evenly over whether the country would be better off with the Democrats in control of Congress (31%) or with the GOP in charge (30%). A sizable 34% — including nearly half of independent voters (48%) — say it doesn’t matter which party controls Congress.

The Democrats’ advantage in the generic ballot dipped from 16 points in February to six points in March to just three points now. The party’s advantage has waned among enthusiastic voters as Republican enthusiasm has grown (in March, 36% of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters said they were very enthusiastic about voting; that’s up to 44% in the new poll), but the Democrats still have a double-digit lead among those most excited to vote this fall (53% of those who are very enthusiastic about voting say they’d back the Democrat in their district vs. 41% who say they favor the GOP candidate). Those enthusiastic voters also say by a 10-point margin that the nation would be better off with Democrats in control of Congress than Republicans.

By 48% to 43%, registered voters say they would rather back a candidate who opposes Donald Trump than one who supports the President. That margin has narrowed from the 52% who opposed Trump to the 41% who supported him in January. …

The results come from the same poll this week that found nearly six in 10 saying that things in the country are going well amid improving approval ratings for the President’s handling of major issues, including the economy, immigration and foreign trade. Trump’s overall approval rating, however, held steady at 41%. …

On more traditional issue priorities, voters are now more apt to say the nation’s economy will be an important factor in their vote than they were in February (84% call it extremely or very important now, up from 79% in February), with immigration (from 72% important to 76% now) and taxes (from 67% important to 73% now) are also on the rise. At the same time, health care has dipped somewhat as a priority (from 83% important to 80%, with the most meaningful shift coming in the share who call it “extremely important,” which dipped from 53% in February to 46% now), along with sexual harassment (from 64% to 58%) and the Russia investigation (from 45% important in February to 40% now).

The latter is the one prediction I will make — voters’ evaluation of the economy as of November will determine which party’s candidates they vote for Nov. 6.

M. Joseph Sheppard adds:

The latest YouGov/Economist poll (May 6-8), one of a few that comprehensively breaks down support by ethnicity, has some frightening news for the Democratic Party.

While President Trump’s approval holds steady among registered voters at 41 percent, his support among blacks in this poll is striking. If it holds for 2020, it could be devastating for Democrats. Among African-Americans, 16 percent approve of Trump, 10 percent are not sure, and 75 percent disapprove.

While that sounds highly negative, these are high positives for a Republican politician among black Americans. Approval of 16 percent is 8 points higher than the 8 percent of black voter support Trump received on election day 2016, and 9 points higher than the black vote Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received in 2012. The “Not Sure” at 10 percent is staggering, and the 75 percent “disapprove” rating is consistent with the low 70 percent aggregate found in any YouGov poll among this demographic.

The same poll, with their rounding, reported in January that Trump approval was at 10 percent among black Americans, 15 percent were not sure, and 74 percent disapproved, so the numbers are not only steady but improving in Trump’s favor.

This result may actually be underreporting Trump’s black support, as this records “all voters,” which consistently has lower figures for Trump in all categories, as opposed to registered voters. YouGov/Economist gives Trump a 40 percent “All voters” approval rating four points lower than their registered voters findings (RealClearPolitics favors the registered voters results across the polling companies it reports).

Of course, one polling company’s report could be a fluke. Some firms use different methodology, and some don’t break down approval ratings by ethnicity, but the bigger picture is clear.

Marist’s March 19-21 approval for Trump among black Americans was 6 percent; 17 percent were unsure, and 77 percent disapproved. The Quinnipiac poll, which is consistently negative to Trump, on March 21 found black approval at 11 percent, “Don’t Know” at 4 percent, and disapproval at 84 percent. Taken in the aggregate, the three polls have Trump’s approval at 11 percent, at 12 percent for not sure or don’t know, and disapproval at 77 percent. Again, while the negatives are high, the positives are higher than is typical for Republicans, and if black Americans vote in accord with these approval ratings it would be easily enough to tip a tight election.

The threat to the Democratic Party is obvious based on these results and their upward trend for Trump. If Trump could win Pennsylvania despite a turnout for Hillary in Philadelphia that was only three points less than President Obama received in 2012 and “The best turnout without Obama on the ballot I’ve ever seen,” then any further bleeding of black support in that state could ensure Trump’s re-election, even if he lost Florida but kept his rust belt wins. If the current support level holds and turns into actual support (or anywhere near it), then Democrats are in profound trouble—possibly even for the midterms.

In Michigan and Wisconsin, Hillary underperformed Obama with blacks. Trump’s margin in Ohio was so high that any further slippage among blacks would lead to landslide territory. …

Given the 2016 results, that might be enough to ensure good numbers for Trump among African-Americans in his next bout at the polls, but there may be much worse news for Democrats. There are three key dates from the official black unemployment figures: in February 2010, the height of the financial crisis, black unemployment was 16.8 percent; in February 2016, it was 8.7 percent; and in February 2018 it was 6.9 percent. The last figure is the lowest since records were kept.

Certainly the lower trend began under the Obama administration, but the economy is far enough along in the Trump administration to ascribe the remarkable level of employment to Trump’s policies. This indisputable fact has led to this spin: “Yes, black unemployment is low, but blacks value more than just work opportunities.”

Due to economic considerations in 2016, and in the absence of overt racism from Trump’s administration, a chunk of black voters seems to have hesitatingly moved to Trump and his promise of jobs. Their “try it and see” or, as Trump put it, “What have you got to lose,” has been well rewarded so far.

If black support for Trump gets into double figures, the Democratic Party will have to look for different themes than Russia or Stormy Daniels and other such nonsense. Their failure to present an economic focus in 2016 contributed greatly to Hillary’s loss. To do so again, especially with black voters, could end in utter disaster.

Un-Baracking the U.S.

David Harsanyi:

It’s strange that a president who had such a transformative effect on our national discourse will leave such a negligible policy legacy. But Barack Obama, whose imperial term changed the way Americans interact and in some ways paved the way for the Trump presidency, is now watching his much-celebrated and mythologized two-term legacy be systematically demolished. This, in many ways, tells us that American governance still works.

When Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran deal, he could do so without much difficulty because the agreement hinged on presidential fiat rather than national consensus. But Obama’s appeasement of Iran was only one in a string of unilateral norm-busting projects that deserve to be dismantled.

You’ll remember the panic-stricken coverage we endured when the United States withdrew from the faux international Paris climate agreement last year. It’s true that the deal was oversold as a matter of policy (by both parties for political reasons), but it was symbolic of how the Obama administration concerned itself more with international consensus than domestic compromise. We know this because the president would never have won ratification for a deal remotely similar to the one he entered — nor did he attempt to. Obama, despite the hagiographic framing of his scandal-ridden presidency, had about as much interest in genuine concession as his political adversaries did.

Obama allies at home incessantly pointed to poll numbers as a justification for his executive abuse, mostly because the only polls that really mattered, congressional elections, continued to soundly reject his agenda. The defense rested on the idea that the Republican-led Congress had failed to “do its job” and act on issues Democrats had deemed vital. But Congress, of course, “acted” all the time by checking the president’s ambitions. This was not only well within its purview, but in many ways the reason the electorate handed the GOP Congress in the first place.

Even if you substantively supported Obama’s actions — as I do on legalizing the children of illegal immigrants, for instance — the reasoning that girded these supposedly temporary executive decisions was soon revealed to be abusive. In 2012, Obama told the nation that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which by any standard was a stand-in for legislation, was merely “a temporary stopgap measure.” By the time Trump overturned it, the measure represented “who we are as a people.” That’s because by “temporary” Obama always meant “until Democrats can make it permanent through the courts or electoral victories.”

Even when implementing laws Congress could pass, Obama and his allies relied on coercing participation through mandates. But when it became inconvenient, they began arbitrarily implementing parts laws. Administrative discretion became administrative abuse. When the president decided the Obamacare’s employment mandate was politically inconvenient, for example, he simply skipped it for expediency.

The Constitution doesn’t say “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law unless liberals tell us it’s super important.” Yet, shortly after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration realized it would need more subsidies and asked for an appropriation from Congress.

When Congress, then teeming with politicians elected on the promise of overturning Obamacare, refused, Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew ordered the administration to begin making “cost-sharing reduction” payments anyway without any public legal justification. Obama created a $7 billion per year appropriation for insurance companies participating in the supposedly self-sufficient and competitive state health-care exchanges. Not a single liberal pundit that I know of concerned himself with this norm-breaking.

One federal court found the Obamacare subsidy unconstitutional, and the case is working towards the Supreme Court. But, then again, no administration in memory was stopped more often by courts, often by unanimous SCOTUS decisions. Whether it was ignoring the Senate in making appointments or claiming to rewrite employment law, Obama tried to function without constitutional restraints.

None of this even breaches the unprecedented regulatory regime Obama built to circumvent the legislative branch. Even The New York Times characterized his governing as “bureaucratic bulldozing, rather than legislative transparency.

Fortunately, it is also unsustainable. As we now see, this kind of governance not only corrodes constitutional order but undermines stability as new presidents busy themselves overturning the executive actions and international agreements enacted by the previous administration. While most Americans aren’t sticklers for process, it seems they are content with destroying legacies built on the rickety foundation of unilateralism for political reasons.

That’s fine, too. It means that if Trump engages in similar legislative efforts through the executive office, his agenda will also be dismantled one day. That’s as it should be.