���A willingness to fight���: Win or lose, Trump���s push for a citizenship question in the Census is red meat for his base

���A willingness to fight���: Win or lose, Trump���s push for a citizenship question in the Census is red meat for his base

© Evan Vucci/AP
President Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for his Bedminster, N.J. golf club, Friday.

The government had begun printing Census forms, the Commerce Department had publicly announced its legal surrender and Justice Department lawyers had rested their case in court. But President Trump wasn’t ready to give up the fight.

With a tweet that sent much of his administration scrambling over the July 4 holiday, Trump decided to unilaterally revive the government’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

It’s a move that fits into a long pattern of Trump going to the mat — and occasionally overruling his own administration — to force a fight over controversial issues. While the strategy has so far yielded mixed results, it nonetheless allows Trump to cast himself as a relentless change agent — an image that has become central to his reelection bid.

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“We’re fighting very hard against the system, that’s a very difficult system but we’ll make a decision,” Trump told reporters Friday, adding that he was “thinking of” issuing an executive order to add the citizenship question to Census forms.

The Trump administration, which told a federal court Friday that it would reverse its plans and continue pursuing the citizenship question, faces long odds. The Supreme Court last week blocked the government from moving ahead with asking about citizenship, after saying the administration’s stated rationale was “contrived.”

Stung by that legal rebuke, and facing fast-arriving deadlines to move forward with the Constitutionally-mandated census, Trump’s government publicly decided to drop its effort to add the citizenship question. On Tuesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the decennial population tally, said the administration was abandoning its effort and had begun printing the census forms without the citizenship question.

But the appearance of a premature surrender — and the backlash it caused among conservatives — was enough to cause Trump to intervene.

“The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE!” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.”

The president has repeatedly rushed into the brink with last-minute reversals in similar situations, creating the impression that he is saving his administration from throwing in the towel on key priorities before exhausting all options.

In December, after Trump’s congressional negotiators had agreed to support a bipartisan spending deal to keep the government open — without providing funding for building new border barriers — Trump overruled them.

© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
President Trump stops to talk to reporters as he walks to board Marine One to depart from the South Lawn at the White House on Friday.

A 35-day partial government shutdown ensued, with the president and lawmakers locked in a stalemate over border-wall funding. Trump used the battle to attempt to bolster his political prospects, running digital ads to inform voters about his hard-line position.

When Trump did finally agree to give in and sign a spending bill, he coupled his surrender with the announcement of a national emergency declaration that he said would allow the government to repurpose existing funds to build the wall.

Several federal judges have since ruled against Trump’s effort to spend taxpayer money without congressional approval.

Despite the legal setbacks, the president can still tell voters he is fighting as hard as possible for his priorities, said Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the Republican House leadership and the Republican National Committee.

“For a big part of the base, activity is achievement,” he said. “Demonstrating a willingness to fight is not just as important but, to a big part of the base, more important than having a cohesive strategy to win.”

For Trump, losing quietly on certain issues is more personally offensive than going down with a dramatic fight, said Tim O’Brien, author of the Trump biography “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald.”

“This is a president who always thinks theatrically — he doesn’t think strategically,” he said. “The second any issue gets perceived or portrayed as ‘Trump lost,’ is almost a guarantor that he’s going to change course pretty quickly.”

For a president who promised voters they would be tired of winning, Trump has shown no hesitation to take on losing legal battles. Courts have struck down his attempts to strip money from sanctuary cities, block congressional inquiries into his finances and overturn several environmental regulations.

In all, federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration more than 60 times over the last two years.

Trump usually appeals negative rulings against him, often with the goal of reaching the Supreme Court — a strategy he described in transparent detail after his national emergency declaration in February.

“We’ll have a national emergency, and we will then be sued and they will sue us in the Ninth Circuit,” he said in a February news conference in the Rose Garden. “We will possibly get a bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake, and we’ll win in the Supreme Court.”

In the legal battle over the census, the high court did not serve as Trump’s buffer against lower courts. Opponents have argued before federal judges that the citizenship question would result in an undercount of millions of people who fear acknowledging that a noncitizen is part of their household. Hispanics would be disproportionately affected.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion that the Commerce Department’s stated purpose for adding the question — that it was requested by the Justice Department to aid in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act — did not past muster.

But where his lawyers saw defeat, Trump saw an invitation to try again.

“I have a lot of respect for Justice Roberts, but he didn’t like it, but he did say, ‘Come back,’“ Trump told reporters Friday at the White House. “Essentially he said, ‘Come back.’”

© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
President Trump stops to talk to guests as he walks to board Marine One to depart from the South Lawn at the White House on Friday.

Heye said Trump will not hesitate to use negative court rulings to his political advantage, by casting himself as a victim of an unfair system.

“If you’re in Trump’s base, everything that he does reinforces his central argument that the system is rigged,” he said. “So if the court rules in his favor, it’s a big victory for Trump. If the court rules against him, Trump can say, ‘This is how rigged the system is against you.’ Win or lose, he still can move that argument forward.’’

While the base-first strategy has helped solidify Trump’s support, it’s not clear if the president’s approach does more harm than good for his electoral prospects.

But Trump’s willingness to push the limit to fight for his priorities might also come across as chaos to some moderate voters.

On trade, Trump revived a skirmish with China with new tariffs last year after his treasury secretary said publicly that the U.S. was “putting the trade war on hold.” Trump banned transgender troops from serving in the military and announced he was pulling troops out of Syria without getting buy-in from then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who abruptly resigned in December after the decision.

And on immigration, he has threatened to shut down the southern border, impose tariffs on Mexico, and reinstitute family separations.

Accusations that he is politicizing the Census, or sparking a potential constitutional crisis by defying a judge’s ruling to add a citizenship question, could add to the sense of White House disorder that has turned off swing voters, O’Brien said.

“Immigration is an issue where there is an overwhelmingly broad public consensus,” he said. “People support immigration as long as it’s well-managed, and they don’t want to see it politicized.”

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July 06, 2019 at 11:47AM
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Dreamer’s World October 02, 2018 – Improved Writing Tool With Grammarly For Google Docs

Dreamer’s World October 02, 2018 – Improved Writing Tool With Grammarly For Google Docs

I am thrilled to note that Grammarly is finally available for Google Docs. I have waited for this moment for over a year because I love Grammarly as a spell-checking and grammar tool. The drawback was that I disliked the Grammarly web interface with no choice of fonts which made it rather tiring to use when compared the the pleasant visual experience of Google Docs.
I believe that the addition of Grammarly to Google Docs will get me writing more each day. I will explore the features and see how well they have been integrated into Google Docs. The first thing that I notice is that the spell-checking is awesome, as expected. However, I have not seen the grammar and context correction occur yet. I am notorious for using the passive voice, but I have not seen it alert me to that so far. I am certain that if this is not currently in the Google Docs option, it will be soon.
It is an exciting time to be a fan of Google. I am waiting for the announcement of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones a week from today. I have not made up my mind about upgrading immediately, but it will be nice to have the information available to help me make my decision. There are rumors that a new Pixelbook will also be announced, and while I would love to get one, I don’t have the money to make that purchase right now.
Over the years, I have gravitated away from Apple products, and that was because of the prices that Apple wants to charge for each incrementally advanced new product they release. Sadly, Google is approaching Apple territory when it comes to pricing. I hope that Google keeps their prices below those of Apple for a long time to come.

Tags: Life, Post, Writing, Blogging, Technology, Blog
October 02, 2018 at 09:01AM
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Dreamer’s World October 01, 2018 – Changes

Dreamer’s World October 01, 2018 – Changes

    I have been so busy today that I forgot that today is the first day of October. Today signifies the start of a new month and the progress of the year 2018. I know that October represents post-season baseball, and football games too numerous to count. For me, October has some other important events as well.
    The new season of Doctor Who premieres next Sunday. Jodie Whittaker will become the first female Doctor Who in the long history of the program. I am excited, as I always am, whenever a new actor takes on the role of The Doctor. I predict a thrilling season is ahead for all Whovians. I have zero problems with a female lead. It is 2018 after all.
    October also means that Google will unveil their new phones and laptops. For a tech weenie like myself, this is especially interesting. I have not made up my mind about upgrading anything, but it always fun to see what new stuff is available.
    The weather starts to change this month. Cooler temperatures at night mean that the leaves begin to change colors. The allergies will commence, and I will wish that I lived in a desert for several days at least before things settle down.
    Sweaters will come out of storage, and the shorts and t-shirts will be put away. Jackets and coats will be checked for usability, and replacements found if needed. October is a month of change, so enjoy it!

Tags: Life, Post, Writing, Seasons
October 01, 2018 at 03:04PM
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Dreamer’s World October 01, 2018 – Don’t Get Stuck In A Rut

Dreamer’s World October 01, 2018 – Don’t Get Stuck In A Rut

    One of my work computers seems to be stuck in a rut. The computer is going through endless reboots, and there is nothing I can do about it until Wednesday at the earliest when I go to visit the client because it is their laptop. This situation made me think about the way we handle things in our own lives. What do we do when we are stuck in a rut and repeat the same steps over and over?
    While a pattern for our lives is generally a good thing, making ourselves too dependent on that pattern is a mistake. We lose the ability to think on our feet and become paralyzed when the process breaks down, much like the computer. Unlike a computer, we can break free of the broken pattern. Unfortunately, we fall back into the same process far too often.
    I will wait and see if the computer finally breaks free of the routine that has it stumped. But I will also go on with my day on the other laptop because the impediment doesn’t exist there. It amazes me to check on the client’s machine and see that it is making no progress as I move through my day. I realize that is because I gain perspective on things when I choose to move on with something else rather than focus all my energy on something that is not working. Moving on to other things allows me to see the futility of waiting for something to happen.
    Waiting for something to happen when all the evidence says move on will always be a mistake as far as I am concerned. Time is precious, and we can’t waste it on things we cannot control.
    Live life and take charge of things. Enjoy, be kind, and respect one another.

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October 01, 2018 at 08:14AM
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