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Not So Easy After All

Travel Ban Banned
Written by Stephen Roberts

Matt Drudge loves to tell a story with his headlines on Drudge Report.

While such stories have slanted heavily in Donald Trump’s favor in the past year, recent key headlines tell a very different tale:



Top of the left column: “Trump launches blistering attack on judges in ‘disgraceful’ travel ban hearing…

Top of the right column: “Republicans Push Carbon Tax in White House Meeting…

Just below that headline: “BORDER WALL WON’T BE BUILT ALL AT ONCE…

Notice a theme? Three of these headlines highlight delays: “wait,” “stall,” and “won’t…all at once.” The two other headlines speak to setbacks on two key issues for the Trump administration. In other words, for all the bluster of the Trump campaign over the past year, things don’t move nearly as quickly on Capitol Hill as they do on the free market. This is not the fault of our politicians, but the design of our system of government.

The fact that President Trump assumed that a good negotiator would speed this process up shows a certain naiveté—similar in some ways to our last president. Change, whether it be the utopian sort dreamt up by President Obama or the iconoclastic form envisioned by President Trump, is not easy in a representative democracy. Our system of checks and balances, opposing parties, and legislative processes all conspire against speed.

Take the aforementioned examples from Drudge Report. Obamacare must be meticulously repealed and replaced because it is so intertwined with both the market and millions of people. A border wall—especially if paid by tariffs on Mexico—will entail a good bit of diplomatic wrangling. Tax cuts and carbon taxes are both issues that will have to be hammered out between the president and his own party. Even broad agreement on those issues requires the slow work of crafting specific provisions in legislation.

With regard to the travel ban, the judicial branch—whatever the merits of the recent injunction—is exercising its power to check the executive. The fact that the Trump administration seemed not to anticipate this possibility again highlights a lack of realism. Perhaps this will be what wakes up President Trump to the arduous reality of governance and he’ll be more prepared next time.

Or he could not learn at all and simply try to override the system.

The only way to bypass these delays is by assuming more power within the executive branch—through executive orders and broad interpretations of certain laws by executive bureaucracies. The Obama administration was particularly liberal in utilizing the mechanisms to unilaterally effect “change.” You better believe that after President Trump uses some of these mechanisms to deconstruct some of those destructive acts of the last eight years, he’ll be tempted to use them continually, as well.

However the Trump Administration responds to these painful realities, we must appreciate the fact that this is inevitably what happens in the United States government. While Matt Drudge offers his not-so-subtle rebuke of President Trump’s tardiness, the president himself is learning the art of political patience. These delays should not be viewed as failures of the president, the GOP Congress, or Democratic obstructionism. Rather, they should be viewed as the abiding success of American democracy.

Let’s guard this success, rather than critique it, and prove worthy of this Republic, if indeed we can keep it. Such a system may not be easy, but over long and hard years, it has proven to be the best.


Stephen Roberts is an Army Reserve chaplain, writer and evangelist living near Milwaukee. He is a regular contributor to Political Storm.

1 Comment

  • Obamacare must be meticulously repealed? Nonsense. This is an excuse to drag it out and hopefully make it impossible to repeal. It is pretty simple. Repeal removes all the mandates but does not cancel any policies. All of the policies can continue because they are written by private companies. Insurance can be sold across state lines to improve competition. Health savings accounts can be established. Insurance companies can write policies as they used to, giving people what they want and can afford. Millions will be happy to drop their expensive Obamacare policies. Subsidies can continue on existing policies for maybe 3 years to give insurance companies and customers time to make the adjustment.
    One thing must be clearly understood by all. Insurance is by definition protection from something that may happen in the future, NOT something that has ALREADY happened. Pre-existing conditions have already happened. They cannot be insured. In that case you are just asking somebody to pay your bills for you. Some of these cases will require a needs based government program to get care, maybe just Medicaid, maybe something else. This can be worked out in the 3 years. Nobody loses their insurance, nobody is required to buy something they don’t need or don’t want. Everybody is required to be more responsible for their medical care. If someone refuses to buy insurance, a new arm of the government will pay the bill, and will be authorized to garnish wages and confiscate personal and real property to recoup the expense. Such a person retains his freedom to do what he wants, but also retains responsibility for himself.

    With regard to the travel ban, the judiciary has authority to interpret the law as written, not as they would like it to be. In writing an opinion they are required to address the law that was used as a basis for the executive action and explain why the action is not lawful. None of the four judges did this. They placed the injunction because they didn’t like the action. This is raw politics not judging, and is forbidden to judges. These four judges deserve to be impeached. Trumps executive order is legal and realistic. The President should not be required to have to anticipate and allow for corrupt judges.

    Just build the blinkin wall or secure the border for real, any way you can. Tariffs are needed too but are a separate issue. Securing the border can begin immediately.

    The Democrats, who bitterly decried Republicans doing their best to obstruct Obamma, are now giving tit for tat. So what! Trump has already done more to keep his promises than anybody dared hope, more than any President in history. There is much, much more he can do in changing oppressive regulations issued to enforce deliberately vague laws, even as far as Obammacare is concerned. He ain’t messin’ around. He’s just gettin’ started. He’s had a marvelous 3 weeks.

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About the author

Stephen Roberts

The Rev. Stephen Roberts is a chaplain (Captain) in the United States Army Reserves and an evangelist with Falls Presbyterian Church near Milwaukee, WI. He works with a non-profit in Malawi, Africa and has deployed to Afghanistan. Rev. Roberts has written for The Washington Times online, The Federalist, and Modern Reformation. He is married to his best friend and has two adorable little kids.