One mandate to rule them all?

PvO has an article in The Australian supporting Trump – specifically supporting Trump’s mandate to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as Donald Trump’s biggest supporter, which makes writing this piece harder than usual. But if ever an American president had a mandate for a policy, surely it is Trump’s plan to build a wall across the border with Mexico.

To be fair – PvO is being consistent here.  We do hear a lot about “mandate” especially when politicians have the high moral ground i.e. a mandate. But I am becoming less convinced.

Liberal democracies tend to have political mechanisms that divide and separate political power and decision making. That means that there are multiple mandates. Sure Trump has a “mandate” to build the wall. But … that mandate does not extend so far as to force the Congress to vote the money to build that wall. (In any event, as I recall the Mexicans were going to pay for the wall – but I digress). Trump has to convince the Congress to appropriate funds for the purposes of building the wall. To that end he needs to convince, coerce, pay-off, threaten, bribe, log-roll, whatever it takes to get the votes in the Congress. I’m sure many people would find this to be distasteful and vulgar and inappropriate etc. Yet that is precisely how our system of government is designed to operate.

The executive administers legislation and proposes money bills and the legislature votes on those bills. This is less obvious in Australia (and other Westminster style  parliaments) where the majority party in the lower house also nominates the executive.  Here in Australia we often have the executive railing against the upper house (unrepresentative swill and the like). In the US that charge is clearly nonsense – the House and the Senate are very clearly and distinctly different from the executive.  It is nonsense here too. Admittedly it is annoying from time to time but it is a safeguard built into our political system.

We are all better off because the executive cannot simply force the legislature to pass legislation – especially money bills.  Only the electorate can do so via a election.

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40 Responses to One mandate to rule them all?

  1. When Trump said Mexico will pay for The Wall, I doubt very much that he was being literal. But of course like Abbott haters, Trump haters will always follow the rules set out by Alinsky.

  2. mh

    Trump needs to declare a state of emergency. The facts are there for all those who wish to open their eyes.

    |___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|__
    ___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|__
    _|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|__
    ___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___BUILD IT!___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|__
    _|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|__
    ___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|__
    _|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|__
    ___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|_

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    Trump does seem to have a popular mandate for the wall.

    Poll: 79 Percent Of Americans Think Border Is In ‘Crisis’ Or Is A ‘Problem’ (9 Jan)

    Not all think a wall is the answer, which isn’t surprising since 90% of the media is hostile to anything that Trump says. However the Democrats have offered exactly nothing to address the border problem. Indeed some of them like AOC want to make it worse.

    On that basis, since Trump is offering a well thought out and reasonably priced plan, and since there is no alternative plan, it should be funded by Congress. Especially since the law is already on the books and has been for quite some time.

    If it doesn’t work, well then not much money has been wasted, compared for example to our own subs boondoggles.

  4. Herodotus

    Trump has to convince the Congress to appropriate funds for the purposes of building the wall.
    In the US congress, this is done more or less by the Richo dictum “whatever it takes”, so complaining about the methodology is a bit precious.

  5. Peter

    Can someone please bring me up to date? Why didn’t the Republican controlled house put forward a wall funding proposal?

    Thanks

  6. Herodotus

    It’s a sad day for Monty when even Van Wrongselen doesn’t agree with him.

  7. Entropys

    Cause there is a small nest of RINOs in the republican congress, Peter.

  8. Tel

    But of course like Abbott haters, Trump haters will always follow the rules set out by Alinsky.

    There’s a big difference. Abbott wrings his hands and apologizes over nothing, then kowtows copiously. Trump knows that this is not about ideals, it’s a pushing match and he’s happy with that.

    So you see the Trump haters making a big deal about the difference between a concrete wall and a steel wall … and we have our Monty coming along thinking this is clever. But the only people impressed by this are the ones who wouldn’t support Trump in a million years. People who want ILLEGAL immigration stopped don’t give a shit how the wall works, they just want it to work. The more the Far Quits talk about try to make a big deal out of trivial stupid stuff, the more the practical people move over to Trump’s side because they see that the Democrats have revealed themselves to be fruit loops.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    Why didn’t the Republican controlled house put forward a wall funding proposal?

    They have. Passed in the House about a week before Christmas.
    Stalled in the Senate because of the filibuster rule requiring a 60/40 majority for it to come to a vote.
    Dem bastardry as usual.

  10. Tombell

    Can someone please bring me up to date? Why didn’t the Republican controlled house put forward a wall funding proposal?

    Apart from the RINOs there’s the small problem of the cloture Rules in the Senate. In short you need 60 votes. Some talk of the so called nuclear option being invoked a la Supreme Court nominations. But not done. The House did pass a bill of sorts which had some provisions for border security. There are a lot of Dems in the House whose electors expect them to so vote. But no way Trump can get 60 votes in the Senate.

  11. mh

    Pelosi and Schumer don’t want to hear the facts on border security even though they clearly agreed with them only a few years ago.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=81&v=_kAFjFXM_A8

  12. Tombell

    Remember too that the first several hundred miles of barriers erected on the Mexican border – let’s not call it a wall!- were built and funded under legislation sponsored by one Pres. Bill Clinton.

  13. There’s a big difference. Abbott wrings his hands and apologizes over nothing, then kowtows copiously. Trump knows that this is not about ideals, it’s a pushing match and he’s happy with that.

    I was talking about the usual Abbott etc haters and Turnbull etc lovers. They hate conservatives and love Leftists.

    However, there’s a vast difference in how the Australian political system vs the US political system works. The roles of Abbott (as PM) and Trump (as President) are apples and oranges.

  14. Sinclair Davidson

    The roles of Abbott (as PM) and Trump (as President) are apples and oranges.

    Trump is making decent appointments, deregulated the economy, and cut taxes.

  15. Tombell

    Trump is making decent appointments, deregulated the economy, and cut taxes.

    He also constantly reminds the people who put him in the WH that he’s still on their side. His actions are consistent with that.

  16. stackja

    FDR ordered Japanese be moved from USA West Coast as USA faced an invasion. Mexican border faces an ‘invasion’. Dems don’t want to defend USA.

  17. John Brumble

    Just like Turnbull, right Sinclair?

    Oh wait.

  18. mh

    When Trump said Mexico will pay for The Wall, I doubt very much that he was being literal.

    Although terms of trade may improve with the NAFTA replacement, the funding for a wall still needed to be approved by Congress and Senate.

    The state of emergency provision is there for situations exactly like this.

    (Probably) 😉

  19. mh

    Constitutional law professor on whether Trump has authority to build a border wall without congressional approval

    The statutes are very clear, says John Eastman, constitutional law professor at Chapman University.

    https://video.foxnews.com/v/5987756170001/?#sp=show-clips

    (Not sure if that Fox headline is correct either as the spending bill was held up in the Senate after passing through Congress easily)

  20. C.L.

    (In any event, as I recall the Mexicans were going to pay for the wall – but I digress)

    Come on. Don’t be silly.
    They will pay for it eventually by other means – that is what Trump clearly and obviously meant.
    He didn’t mean Mexico would cut the US a cheque or send them crates of cash.
    I’ve noticed this newly minted fake gotcha has been issued forth from the DNC in the last 24 hours and dutifully presented in reportage by the Democrat Party’s PR wing (meaning the media).
    It is exactly on a par with the ABC holding Tony Abbott to account for not “shirt-fronting” Vladimir Putin (by which Abbott meant personally confront, not – qua ABC – physically assault).

  21. Infidel Tiger

    The mexicans will definitely pay for it.

    Every Mexican that has to stay in Mexico is a cost on them, not the US.

    This is basic stuff.

  22. Leo G

    We are all better off because the executive cannot simply force the legislature to pass legislation – especially money bills. Only the electorate can do so via a election.

    So the electorate at election times force the subsequent passing of legislation. Doesn’t that suggest that elector support for executive policy initiatives via the ballot box is the basis of policy mandates?

  23. mh

    Just seen Justin Langer at a press conference.

    Looks like a man under pressure.

  24. Siltstone

    To that end he needs to convince, coerce, pay-off, threaten, bribe, log-roll, whatever it takes to get the votes in the Congress. I’m sure many people would find this to be distasteful and vulgar and inappropriate etc. Yet that is precisely how our system of government is designed to operate.

    our system of government
    ?? we are US voters new??

  25. Confused Old Misfit

    Yet that is precisely how our system of government is designed to operate.

    I’m not certain that that is how the Westminster system was designed to operate.
    However, it is certainly an unintended consequence for any Prime Minister as well as the POTUS.

  26. Congress has passed the spending bill for the five billion and did that before Botox Pelosi took over. Republicans now have a majority of fifty three to forty seven and can’t pass it in the senate because they need to get sixty votes there for it to pass so assuming all the republicans vote in favour he needs seven democrats to vote in favour as well. But it appears to me that as when McCain fried his chances of getting rid of Obummer Care that not all republicans are to be relied on to vote en bloc whereas theRats are

  27. Trump is making decent appointments, deregulated the economy, and cut taxes.

    Tel me, how could Abbott have done the same given that our parliamentary system is completely different to that of the US? Apples and Oranges.

  28. Herodotus

    I’ll make you pay for that! is a figure of speech, a rhetorical device, not meant to be taken literally.

  29. md

    We are all better off because the executive cannot simply force the legislature to pass legislation – especially money bills. Only the electorate can do so via a election.

    That’s the theory, but the reality is that we vote out governments (after we can no longer take their abuses) rather than vote in oppositions. The new crowd gets in and then looks after their own interests and that of their mates and donors, all the while taking us for fools and treating us dismissively, and then we churn through another one at the following election. Thus we lurch from one bad government to the next and with each new government our society declines a little further.

  30. Mother Lode

    Tricky thing with using a single election to bestow the sacred imprimatur we assign mandates is that would mean that the mandate applies to every policy put forward. There is no way to separate out which precise policies are the ones the people want, and which ones they might have had to accept from a candidate to get the ones they do.

    That said, this was very much a front rank policy, widely discussed and challenged, and I think it is pretty clear that most people want the wall.

    How the opposition responds to it becomes one of the things that will win or lose them support, and I must say that the Democrats are doing themselves no favours. There will be some die-hards (the kind of people who think Occasional-Cortex a political giant so brash she will be able to out-brash Trump and carry the White House), but overall it doesn’t look good for the Democrats.

    But they are so accustomed to doing what they want and leaving the MSM to polish the turd that, now the MSM is considered a turd too, their ridiculous behaviour is there for all to see.

  31. Mother Lode

    But they are so accustomed to doing what they want and leaving the MSM to polish the turd that, now the MSM is considered a turd too, their ridiculous behaviour is there for all to see.

    Actually, an analogy might be that it is like a blind burglar who sneaks into houses and has the advantage that he needs no light to find what he wants, but when the home owner turns the light on they can see him comically still creeping silently across the floor convinced of his invisibility.

  32. I agree with everything you say, Sinc, except for this – Yet that is precisely how our system of government is designed to operate.
    I think you were talking about the USA, not Oz.

  33. bruce

    Campaigning in 2015/16 “build that wall” was one of Trumps major platforms which gave him a resounding victory, as Abbott had earlier achieved with his “axe the tax” campaign. There’s no argument both were given strong public support to implement these.
    Opposition to these is only there for one purpose, to be able to spruik, if successfully blocked, “see, we told you he’s a liar”.

  34. Natural Instinct

    In any event, as I recall the Mexicans were going to pay for the wall – but I digress

    Sinclair fell for the trap set by TDS sufferers all over MSM.
    Yes Mexicans will pay for the wall by a surcharge of 0.1% on all remittances going USA -> Mexico. But that tax revenue will go into consolidated revenue, and thus Congress is required for Trump to get that money out. Thus…
    Yes Americans will pay for the wall in the end (but with money from Mexicans)

  35. Cynic of Ayr

    Notice how VanO says it’s “harder to write” in agreement with Trump.
    In other words, it’s much easier to write absolute bullshit, because he likes it.

  36. rickw

    Stopped clock right twice a day?

  37. rickw

    It’s hit 20,000,000

    We The People Will Fund The Wall

    Trump and GoFundMe might have just produced an interesting new iteration of the American Republic.

    The rest of Government just made themselves redundant.

    “This week I paid no tax and GoFunded medical supplies for the local hospital and paint for 30sqft of one of our aircraft carriers!”

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