Reason: Trump or Clinton Worse?

They asked a lot of people, and got almost always the expected answer: Clinton is the least worst of the two horrible, horrible options. There was one exception:
Glenn Reynolds
professor of law at the University of Tennessee and blogger at
"I favor Trump over Clinton, on the theory that he will bring in a fresh crop of thieves, while Hillary will enable the current crop to burrow in deeper."
I remain convinced that Clinton is worse, but I can see from the responses that my reasoning is not shared by anyone there. They all think Clinton will be more controlled, and maybe even more controllable. Virginia Postrel writes, for example, that "Clinton would still be subject to the checks that system provides, including the demand for a modicum of deference to the law. For the very reason that she is such a conventional politician, her opponents would know how to effectively oppose her."

I think that the opposite is true. Clinton would be completely immune to the system's checks. As long as you lacked the supermajority necessary to remove her from office in the Congress, Congress would be powerless against her. She would have a progressive pure majority on the Supreme Court to back her every play. I can't imagine that she could be stopped from doing anything she wanted.

Trump, on the other hand, has set himself up with a very ordinary Republican as his Vice President. If he proved as bad a President as is likely, there's no reason his own party wouldn't go along with replacing him with President Pence. Pence could even run for two more terms as President, allowing him to stand for office with all the advantages of the incumbent until the 2028 election. So the checks on Trump will be extraordinarily strong, because it would be in the interests of both parties to remove him for any abuse.


E Hines said...

They all think Clinton will be more controlled....

They've got the verb right, just not the tense.

Virginia Postrel writes, for example, that "Clinton would still be subject to the checks that system provides, including the demand for a modicum of deference to the law.

Sure. Subject in the same manner as Obama has been, and she's bragging that she'll not only do more of the same, she'll do even more more of it.

It's hard to believe this woman doesn't know that.

Eric Hines

Matt said...

I expect Trump will also entirely lack the support of the Federal bureaucracy. While both Clinton and Trump have demonstrated contempt for laws (and people) who disagree with their vision, I expect Clinton will try to ignore the laws and regulations in ways that the bureaucrats agree with (and will not object to), while Trump will try to ignore the laws and regulations in ways that the bureaucrats strongly disagree with, and will meet fierce resistance. Our body of regulations is so complex nowadays that I expect the bureaucracy can easily find enough red tape to immobilize itself for the duration of a Trump presidency just by choosing to apply the most restrictive interpretations of the law already on the books, and I doubt that replacing the top-level political appointees over would be enough to effect the organizational cultural change necessary to push a radical agenda through. Clinton would encounter no such resistance.

Grim said...

That's an excellent point, Matt. I think Tom sometimes says that there's a real sense in which the bureaucracy is the government. The Clintons will be partners in extracting wealth and power for the bureaucrats. Trump will be seen as a foe to be stymied.

E Hines said...

There's a way to defeat that that's simple in concept if not in execution--execution will take several more Conservatives elected to the House and the Senate.

Congress has only to rescind its delegation of rule-making to the Executive Branch and defund the several unnecessary Cabinets and Agencies and then to delete them.

Eric Hines

james said...

Government workers and public service worker unions have a vested interest in expanding the role of government. It takes a little character to think beyond an iron rice bowl and look for what's good for the people. (I don't know that we're good at teaching good character--don't know that anybody ever has been, but from time to time people have tried.)

Since of the two main political parties one is OK with government expansion and the other is enthusiastically in favor, it isn't hard to figure which one the bureaucracies side with.

Trump says so many disjointed things that I don't know what he'd really do with the office. It's kind of like playing Russian Roulette with 3 rounds in the cylinder. Winding up with Hillary would be like playing it with an automatic.

Ymar Sakar said...

Another reason why the Libertarians are the Left's stalking horse. Even if they themselves think they are Objective.