Publisher's Note: One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our mission. Please make your gift to the 2021 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

Political Editors / February 10, 2017

Can Trump Win by Losing?

He’s kept his opponents distracted and off balance. Now for good policy.

There’s no question the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling Thursday night upholding the stay against Donald Trump’s lawful order on travel was entirely political and had nothing to do with Rule of Law. But Donald Trump didn’t help his own legal case — either by promising a Muslim ban on the campaign trail (which the three-judge panel almost surely took into consideration) or by taunting the judiciary over the issue. That’s not to say he was wrong on the merits of his criticism, but judges are human too and reacted accordingly.

Furthermore, as David French writes, “Critically, the Trump administration issued a significant executive order (and then defended it in court) without laying any real factual foundation for its finding. Next, the administration enforced the order in a haphazard and unnecessarily cruel manner, initially including even green-card holders in its scope. By slamming the door (at least temporarily) in their faces, it created a crisis atmosphere that not only ramped up the political stakes, it told the court that the administration didn’t exactly know how to interpret its own order. This invites judicial meddling.”

The judicial meddling was absolutely egregious. The court essentially opposed Trump’s order because the judges don’t like it, and in the process they usurped presidential authority on matters of national security. They used possible harm to individuals to make a ruling about an entire class of people, which makes a hash out of the Supreme Court’s doctrine on legal standing.

Trump could have executed this better, and the courts absolutely got it wrong. But it’s important to realize that this was also strategically calculated to play out in one of two ways: Either Trump got his way with the order (he didn’t), or his base is (rightly) fired up about an activist judiciary just in time for Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Trump wins either way. And along the way, Trump successfully diverted media attention to a very temporary travel moratorium — i.e., not the most critical issue. (Unfortunately, he diverted his own attention from tax or health care reform to do that.) The charitable view is that this is an example of one of Trump’s deal-making trademarks, “managed chaos,” in which he keeps his opponents off balance, distracted and unaware of the right hook that is, ultimately, going to win the match. Let’s hope he takes a step back, crafts a better vetting order, and does just that.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.