Take Care (Of Trump) Blog

Over the years, much has appeared here that was slightly less than flattering of the Carrie Nation of revenge porn, Mary Anne Franks. It was never about sloughing off the problem, but her flagrant dishonesty, intellectual and factual, in pursuit of her cause. When questioned as to the First Amendment implications of her advocacy, she lied and denied, calling her challengers sexists, misogynists, racists and perverts.

Franks, despite not being a lawyer, is a law professor, and she used that credential to delude as many people as she could, at a time when others in the Academy were deathly afraid of speaking ill of a woman academic, lest the social justice warriors burn down their careers. It’s not that there weren’t substantial swathes of scholars who cringed at her lies, but the times were changing, and academic integrity was a cheap commodity compared to the advocacy of social justice causes.

Lie for the right side of social justice and all was forgiven, no shame attached. The search for truth was replaced with the search for justice, as long as it was the approved flavor of justice. Truth is the first casualty of war, and this was war.

And then came Trump.

This wasn’t possible. Conservative academics recognized that he lacked the competence and principle to be trusted to govern. Progressive academics lost their shit because he was the embodiment of evil. Yet, he was elected president. My view is that America preferred an unknown outsider of dubious psychological status and certain cluelessness to the progressive Utopia of the New World Order. Your mileage may vary, but that’s not important here.

Since the election, and before, insufferably partisan academics have been pulling a Mary Anne Franks on the public. promoting the cause by using their academic cred to pander and deceive. They have now chosen to institutionalize it in a blog dedicated to why Trump is horrible.

Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution commands that the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Take Care is devoted to insightful, accessible, and timely legal analysis of the President’s adherence to that duty. We undertake this mission in direct response to recent assaults on the rule of law in America by President Donald J. Trump and his Administration.

If this was a legitimate effort, it would be welcome. There is little doubt that President Trump lacks a grasp of law, Constitution or governance that would enable him to “take Care” in a competent principled way. While he couldn’t be further from the regular joe, he approaches the job with a similarly clueless and simplistic grasp of how this nation and its government happen.

This has nothing to do with Trump’s policies, which you may or may not like at any given time, but with his ability to drive the Mack truck of state without crashing into walls. Some will see his lack of competence as a stand-alone virtue, that he won’t be the same old politicians that have paralyzed government and failed to address the needs of regular people. Maybe it’s time, some reason, for crashing into walls, Maybe it’s time for some walls to be knocked to the ground. Fair enough.

But that doesn’t preclude a fair disagreement as to what the government should be doing or how it should be accomplished. Will this new legal blog provide the voice of that fair disagreement?

The list of bloggers is long and impressive, consisting mostly of prominent liberal constitutional law professors. The contributors page lists 52 bloggers and 15 interns, so it promises a lot of content.

Initial posts already up at the site include Presidential Bad Faith by Larry Tribe, Desuetude and Immigration Enforcement by Jamal Greene, See You In Court 2.0 by Leah Litman, Trump’s Approach to Crime & Punishment by Chiraag Bains, Faith in the Ninth Circuit by Daniel Hemel and Youngstown Zone Zero by Leah Litman and Ian Samuel.

By no means do I suggest that Harvard con law prawf Larry Tribe isn’t a brilliant scholar. But I do suggest, no, assert, that he is so deeply dedicated to the advocacy of progressivism and hatred of Trump that he will say anything, no matter how false and absurd, to attack his enemy. How far will he go? How about calling SDNY United States Attorney Preet Bharara a “hero” for no better reason than his refusal to be fired by Trump.

On its first day of existence, the Take Care Blog demonstrated that it can’t be trusted, that it will distort and deceive to pursue its advocacy ends. It will likely be spotty in this regard, given that 52 academics will have differing degrees of shamelessness, and some might be less willing than others to put on their pink hotpants and strut down Progressive Boulevard in their effort to find a willing john.

At the same time, it will become the “go-to” source for advocacy journalists, the ones who self-righteously leave out facts and arguments that fail to prove how evil Trump is and how his every move, from his proposed budget to his most inanely irrelevant twit, proves he’s the embodiment of fascism. Much like resort to the Southern Poverty Law Center as the “go to” resource to “prove” who’s really a White Nationalist racist neo-Nazi because he didn’t wear a pink knit cap at the Women’s March, reference to the Take Care Blog will be the new and easy means of imputing academic credibility to every anti-Trump scream.

There have long been blogs, not to mention putative “news” sources, that are up to their eyeballs in progressive politics. This isn’t new, and it isn’t wrong. Whether you agree or not, it presents a perspective as worthy of consideration as conservative or liberal. But the Take Care blog is different. Instead of trying to be an honest broker of legal analysis, its mission is to exploit scholarly cred to present false analysis for the sole purpose of attacking Trump.

Trump deserves to be attacked and challenged at every turn. Every president does. But the challenge should be honest and accurate, not any feces academics can throw at him to see what sticks.

The first post at Take Care by (guess who?) Larry Tribe says:

But can it be seriously believed that Trump does anything “faithfully”?

And with that absurd hyperbole, the mission of this blog is revealed. Sadly, the academics who post there will be forever tainted by having sold their integrity for their cause.*

*Or, as noted in the comment below, celebrated.

45 thoughts on “Take Care (Of Trump) Blog

  1. Gregg

    “Sadly, the academics who post there will be forever tainted by having sold their integrity for their cause.”

    You misspelled “celebrated.”

  2. Allen

    The thing I have enjoyed about Trump being in office is that people have been taking their masks off. It’s always nice to know what’s behind the veneer (real wood or particle board.) It will be interesting to discover what generates such fear in people.

    1. SHG Post author

      I don’t know whether the word “enjoyed” applies. I find it terribly sad. These aren’t stupid people. These aren’t badly intentioned people. But then, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and they are surely heading down that road by their dishonesty.

      1. Gregg

        Not to mention the risk that they drag some of the legal profession’s remaining credibility to hell with them.

      2. Allen

        Fair enough. Perhaps I am just less inclined to hold a charitable view of their dishonesty on these matters.

      3. Pragmatic42

        Do you think their intentions are good?

        I haven’t for some time now. I think that the left is dealing in basic duplicity.

        1. SHG Post author

          Both sides are up to their eyeballs in duplicity. Just because hypocritical bullshit favors the side with which you agree doesn’t mean it isn’t hypocritical bullshit.

          1. Pragmatic42

            Oh, don’t misunderstand – I am not one for giving the right a pass. I am well aware of their limitations and abstractions. But I guess I’m past the point of wanting to play along with any of it. Further, in fairness, I don’t see anyone out there giving the right the benefit of the doubt in the way that they routinely do with the left.

            Thanks for engaging, though. I am glad someone is still willing to discuss.

            1. SHG Post author

              The forces of social justice seem to have a stranglehold on social media. I’m not sure that it’s a right/left thing, as much as progressive v. any thought that doesn’t adhere to its orthodoxy of the moment thing. Its intolerance for heresy, combined with its facile resort to any claim, not matter how false or irrational, is obvious to anyone who isn’t a strict adherent of the religion.

  3. Jacob G

    There are many things to say against what Trump has done/is doing that one doesn’t have to make stuff up. Anyone with eyes and ears doesn’t exactly have to search far and wide to find examples of Trump being Trump.

    1. SHG Post author

      This is a point I’ve tried to make since Trump was elected. Why make up reasons to hate him? Why shriek over every trivial bit of nonsense? There will be real things, serious things, to deal with instead of making crap up.

      1. B. McLeod

        Hilariously, the grand new site of fresh-faced kids who will be fixing the world for us does not allow comments, so nobody can correct the forays into fantasy on the site where they are posted.

      2. Brett Bellmore

        Because they’re concerned that their real reasons for hating him might be exactly why he’s loved, so they need to make up things that his supporters won’t like.

  4. Greg D

    It’s interesting that you link to Blackman’s post to support your argument that “it can’t be trusted.” In that post, Blackman explains that he didn’t include a citation to a case which supported his assertion of exclusive executive authority to exclude. If you read the case, you will find that the Court never refers to the exclusive power of the executive, but to its inherent power shared, in some form, with Congress. In other words, the case which Blackman failed to cite does not support his assertion.

  5. clonedaddy

    Your shameless criticism of the competition lays bare the fact your legal blog medallion has become nearly worthless in the face of this new Uber blog.
    Suck it up and sell.
    My bid is $5 and a cloned puppy.

    1. SHG Post author

      In the old days, absolutely. Today, confirmation bias trumps integrity every time. No matter how stupid or deceitful the argument, as long as it comes out the right way combined with the facial cred of academics, that’s all that matters.

    2. B. McLeod

      You totally don’t need integrity to sell things you don’t have. In the market, it’s known as “shorting”.

  6. Pragmatic42

    I tend to think that if the blog were “legitimate” it would allow for a discussion of its presented ideas via a comments section. It doesn’t.

  7. Peter George Stewart

    Good analysis. I’d just quibble that, “America preferred an unknown outsider of dubious psychological status and certain cluelessness to the progressive Utopia of the New World Order”

    In fact Trump as a person must be one of the most “known quantities” for ordinary television-watching people in America – far better known, more intimately known, more regularly seen, in all sorts of circumstances, than nearly anyone else, certainly anyone else in politics.

    Also, he spoke about his policies at every rally, and in the same way (with variations) at every rally. His political message was clear and consistent.

    1. SHG Post author

      His political message was vague, grossly simplistic and grandiose. For some, that’s good enough. For others, it was obvious that he had grand schemes and no clue how to get there. Saying “jobs” is easy. Making them happen is hard.

      1. MarkJ

        Gee, for a second there I thought you were really talking about Barack “Greek Columns” Obama.

  8. Brett Bellmore

    I found “Desuetude and Immigration Enforcement” particularly amusing, on visiting that site. A site named “Take care”, and an essay concerned with the possibility that Trump might actually *take care that immigration laws be faithfully upheld*. Seriously, that was the fear expressed in that essay: That Trump might enforce the laws on the books.

    1. SHG Post author

      That’s one of the more curious disconnects. Apparently, take care only applies to “good law” because bad law is bad.

  9. TBlakely

    I thought at the beginning of this election cycle that the biggest losers were conservatives. You had a soft-left candidate versus a hard-left candidate.

    So why is a historically soft-left person embracing some conservative goals? The first reason is pragmatism, doing so was the only way they could win the election since the hard-left candidate had sown up the left vote. The second reason is revenge, Trump hates to be mocked and has a long memory. It’s also the reason he hasn’t bailed on his promises like so many politicians do. He’s going to cram those promises down the throats of the people who mocked him.

    There is a delusion that Trump is incapable of running the government. A rather strange delusion given that he has successfully managed a large conglomerate for decades. The previous inhabitant of the White House was a ‘community organizer’ (I still don’t know what that entails). I think Trump has a leg up on Obama in that area.

    The elites hate Trump because he isn’t one of them. He’s always been an outsider even though rich and successful because he didn’t kowtow to their sensibilities. He’s loud, obnoxious and loves to shock people. Basically it’s his style to throw everyone off balance and then get his way.

    Will Trump be a successful president? Hard to say, his enemies are legion. The entire left is batshit crazy with their hate, 95% of the media has made it their goal to destroy him and the Republican establishment despise him. The only people who support him are a large group of citizens who are tired of the same old, same old in DC bs. They fervently hope that Trump can shake things up and are more than willing to overlook his periodic faux pas.

    As they say, we are living in interesting times.

    1. SHG Post author

      Managing a conglomerate is not remotely the equivalent of being president. That doesn’t mean he won’t be successful at the latter, but the analogy is inapt. If Trump had a basic knowledge of law and governance, he might have avoided the fiasco of his first travel ban EO, and he almost certainly would have been more circumspect in some of the stupider utterances. Throwing people off balance by being loud and obnoxious doesn’t simultaneously require that he say the stupidest possible thing.

      The serious question (as opposed to the hater argument that everything he does is horrifying) of whether Trump can handle the presidency isn’t due to any delusion. Many Republicans and conservatives doubt his capabilities as well. He came in with a clear lack of institutional knowledge (which some find refreshing) and has demonstrated in myriad ways since that his lack of knowledge impairs his words and deeds. Doesn’t mean he will fail, but it’s hardly just the haters’ delusion.

      1. TBlakely

        So if managing a conglomerate isn’t remotely like being a president what is? What occupation prepares you the best for the presidency? Lol, community organizer?

        You ignored my comment about his enemies. His first travel ban EO was fine legally, you just had a judge stopping it for personal/political reasons. The press will distort and even lie about anything related to Trump for partisan reasons. This has been demonstrated time and time again. Because of that I pretty much ignore every breathless ‘revelation’ about Trump and wait a long time to see if that ‘revelation’ is real or just more media bs.

        You can measure the quality of a man by his enemies. So far Trump is looking pretty good.

        1. SHG Post author

          Wrong question. I realize logical fallacies aren’t everyone’s strong suit, but you’ve asserted a false analogy. That doesn’t raise a question, as the options aren’t binary, but begs a question. Managing a conglomerate proves neither competency nor incompetency. Nor does being a community organizer (or a senator). It neither proves nor disproves your point.

          I didn’t ignore your comments about his enemies. I had nothing to add. But measuring the quality of a man by his enemies is fortune cookie wisdom. As with your conglomerate point, it proves nothing either way. Basically, you’re just spewing the stuff the morons who love Trump spew. No better than the morons who hate Trump. Both sides have their morons.

          1. Sgt. Schultz

            So there’s Maurice Syndrome on one side. Is there a name for it on the other? Or is all stupid the same, but comes in different flavors? How about TBagism?

      2. geokstr

        What fiasco? Their Beloved Bringer of Light instituted a similarly worded ban against almost the same countries without any uproar. The judges who blocked Trump’s ban ignored the law and cited his pre-victory campaign statements as evidence of his animus against Muslims – their feelz became their reasons for the stays. If his first EO had been to change the toilet paper in the WH
        “gender-free excretory relief rooms” from Cottonelle to Charmin the outrage would have been just as loud.

        The federal judiciary is now clearly as weaponized against non-Progressives as the bureaucracies, and both share the same guaranteed lifetime tenure.

        1. SHG Post author

          There are two things you need before trying to argue if you don’t want people to think you’re a blithering idiot. First, know the facts. Second, know what your talking about. The first EO included LPRs and Visa holders. That was shockingly foolish and incompetent, not “similarly worded” and was indefensible regardless of whether it was a Muslim ban or a travel ban.

          More to the point, a competent executive understands the politics as well as the policy. This is the politics Trump faces. If he can’t figure out how to work with it or around it, he ends up with a fiasco.

          1. Dave Mc

            Maybe “shockingly foolish and incompetent” you say, but how was it unconstitutional? The order was based upon the powers delegated to him by a Congressional statute as well as his inherent authority over matters of foreign policy. Politics? What does politics have to do with whether the EO was constitutional? Are you admitting the judges made political decisions?

            1. Sgt. Schultz

              Don’t blame Dave. It’s impossible to see anything down the rabbit hole. At least he didn’t ask you to explain why Trump has small hands. Maybe psychotropic drugs could help. Or maybe that’s the cause of his problems?

            2. SHG Post author

              What’s interesting about Dave’s comment is you can almost see the downward spiral into insanity unfold before your eyes. Impressive.

  10. RHD

    Persuasive and timely critique. Thanks.

    As for Trump, he is vulgar, thin-skinned, superficial, and uninformed. That was clear enough during the campaign, and he got elected anyway. His winning question to the voters was, what the hell have you got to lose? Enough people looked at Hillary! and concluded, anything was better than her and four more years of what had been going on. So here we are.

    The team around him is better on all of those counts. But what matters is what he and his team can accomplish. So far, there are some big misses and some big wins. The wins — Gorsuch nomination, his EOs on reorienting the administrative state and undoing Obama Admin overreach (waters of the US, Clean PP, an emphasis on taking regulatory costs seriously). He isn’t reluctant to act, that’s clear.

    Others will tally it differently, which is fine. But given the low expectations going in, he and his team seem to have accomplished a lot in 70 days. Whether any of it will stick or bear fruit, time will tell.

    1. SHG Post author

      Time will tell. If nothing else, his election shakes up the complacency and paralysis in Washington. Hopefully, that will be lesson, though we’re still a long way off from politicians accepting this as more than an anomaly and bad mistake.

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