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Trump’s Amazon Tweet

So, there was this from the President of the United States

Several thoughts comes to mind.

  1.  It is almost certainly the case that shipping due to online shopping has been a boon to the USP and other shipping companies.  Indeed, this is probably especially true for the Post Office given the general decline in the usage of snail mail for other purposes in the last decade or so.
  2. If shipping rates go up, those costs would likely be passed on to the consumers.
  3. How odd is it for a “conservative” president (or, as least, a Republican one) to be calling for more government revenue at the expense of the private sector.
  4. This is really about Trump’s beef with Bezos, both in terms of petty jealousy but because Bezos owns the Washington Post–which makes this part of Trump larger, and highly problematic, attack on the press.

 

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Gustopher says:

    Amazon has higher approval ratings than Trump.

    Just saying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  2. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: Yeah, but who doesn’t have higher approval ratings than Trump? Used car salesmen and cable television companies have higher approval ratings than Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. James Pearce says:

    I almost made the mistake of taking Trump’s tweet seriously, but then it occurred to me that Trump almost certainly has no clue what he’s talking about and it’s nakedly obvious that it’s a swipe at Bezos.

    We should take his twitter feed seriously, huh?

    No.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  4. Senyordave says:

    @James Pearce: We should take his twitter feed seriously, huh?

    I think other people here have commented on this, but I’ll pile on.

    He’s the POTUS, the most powerful person on the planet. How the hell can anyone say we shouldn’t take what he says seriously?

    So we should have the Obama standard, where everything he says is parsed to the nth degree, and then the Trump standard, where people say “Oh, that’s just trump”? It is bad enough that the WH basically say that, but the media and the American people should take everything Trump says very seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  5. James Pearce says:

    @Senyordave:

    He’s the POTUS, the most powerful person on the planet. How the hell can anyone say we shouldn’t take what he says seriously?

    Have you heard that “there’s always a tweet” joke about Trump?

    The punchline is that for every Trump tweet, there’s one that contradicts it somewhere in the past. The target is probably Trump’s hypocrisy, but what makes that joke work is that Trump’s tweets are literal bullshit. When he’s kissing up to Anna Wintour, he’s being as genuine as he is when he’s slamming her, ie, he’s not being genuine AT ALL.

    And I understand the argument that we should pay attention to his tweets because he’s POTUS, but I’m not persuaded. POTUS is a clearly delineated job with certain powers and responsibilities. It’s cute when he acts like a “social media influencer,” but he’s, like, bound by the constitution now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  6. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce: A president’s tweets should be taken as seriously as any other statement they make.

    If Señor Trump were at a podium, or one of his rallies, proposing that the government punish the owner of a newspaper that criticized him, it would be seen as chilling and an erosion of our political structure. The fact that he does it in a tweet makes no difference.

    Yes, he’s an idiot that spouts off about anything. Yes, he has no filter. Yes, he’s like an evil, racist, sexist version of Joe Biden (I love Joe Biden, but the man does like to listen to the sound of his own voice a bit more than he likes to listen to that inner voice that says “stop talking now”). But, that doesn’t make it alright.

    This isn’t normal, and we shouldn’t treat it as normal.

    (Biden would be fine, because although he speaks whatever he is thinking without considering whether he should, he’s not thinking terrible things…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  7. Gustopher says:

    Meanwhile, of course, we have learned the reason the FBI started investigating the Trump-Russia collusion, and it wasn’t the dossier. It was the coffee boy.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/30/us/politics/how-fbi-russia-investigation-began-george-papadopoulos.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

    And the Washington Post counts 24 lies in a 30 minute Trump interview. Which might have annoyed Señor Trump enough to wistfully wish for higher package delivery rates for Amazon.

    And the police shot an innocent man as he answered his door, because someone called in a bogus 911 call after an argument on the internet, demonstrating once again that police really are not being trained for this policing thing, and that someone on the internet is horrible. One of those things can be fixed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. CSK says:

    What could be more pathetically obvious than that this is a swipe at Bezos?

    @James Pearce:

    Come on, James. We have to take Trump’s Twitter feed seriously, even if the content is ludicrously infantile. It’s a direct , unfiltered reflection of what passes for the thought processes of the president of the United States. The fact that it’s comedy gold is just one aspect of the danger it represents.

    Every goddamn day of the year this man reveals to the world in explicit detail just what a buffoon/ignoramus he is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  9. James Pearce says:

    @Gustopher:

    A president’s tweets should be taken as seriously as any other statement they make.

    As we approach Twitter’s 12th birthday and its first (maybe) profitable quarter, I don’t feel comfortable, given our current president’s tweeting habits, even pretending that tweets are all that important.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  10. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    It’s a direct , unfiltered reflection of what passes for the thought processes of the president of the United States.

    Ah, but that’s the thing. Trump’s Twitter isn’t actually a window into his thought processes. Twitter is where Trump will say anything, including the thing that contradicts that other thing he said and didn’t really believe.

    Twitter is how our unscrupulous president mentally tortures his fellow citizens. Block him. Be happier.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Twitter is how our unscrupulous president mentally tortures his fellow citizens.

    Perhaps some people are tortured, but many more probably just point and laugh at the fool, and by extension, those who voted for him…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. @CSK:

    It’s a direct , unfiltered reflection of what passes for the thought processes of the president of the United States.

    Yup.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yup.

    Or they’re kayfabe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  14. Kari Q says:

    Not that it’s the point, but the reason the Postal Service is losing money is because Congress requires them to prepay retiree pensions and health care. The US Postal Service lost $5.6 billion last year, because it was required to fund (in advance) retirement benefits of $5.8 billion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. MarkedMan says:

    @James Pearce: Kayfabe? Or, put another way, he’s actually outwitting every at 11 dimensional chess. You know, for a guy who claims to be anti-Trump, your posts pretty much mimic everything his supporters say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. MBunge says:

    Hmm. I wonder why people, including Steven Taylor, have so much more to say about a Trump tweet than they do about the protests currently rocking Iran. Or the disaster in Yemen. And isn’t this place supposed to be at least quasi-libertarianish? It makes the lack of interest in Trump’s assault on the regulatory state kind of odd.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  17. Gustopher says:

    @MBunge: I wonder why you don’t want to discuss the fact that when Lincoln Logs were first produced, they came with instructions for building both Lincoln’s Cabin and Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Or that they were created by the son of Frank Lloyd Wright?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: Exactly! And why aren’t we discussing why we drive on parkways and park on driveways?! Huh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  19. KM says:

    @Gustopher:

    And the police shot an innocent man as he answered his door, because someone called in a bogus 911 call after an argument on the internet, demonstrating once again that police really are not being trained for this policing thing, and that someone on the internet is horrible. One of those things can be fixed.

    This is a great example of why we should take things like stupid Tweets seriously. Somebody *died* because internet stupidity got out of hand and crossed over into the real world. What you type matters – it’s not just a brain fart into the void. One moron managed to cause a situation that resulted in heavily armed police laying siege to a completely uninvolved innocent’s home and death occurring – one random moron. What kind of chaos can the man who controls the damn military cause with his words? Whether or not he’s speaking ex cathedra, Trump can cause damage with 150 characters or less.

    What’s the old saying – it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. KM says:

    @Kari Q:
    Exactly. It’s kinda hard to be profitable when there’s deliberate sabotage in play. If you think about it, the Post Office is doing remarkable well considering who’s trying to kill it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. Matt says:

    So I made a comment responding to @James Pearce:

    Which included a link to a tweet from Pakistan’s foreign minister stating they (the Pakistan government) were preparing a response to Trump’s tweets as evidence that James opinion is irrelevant because our allies and enemies take Trump’s tweets very seriously.

    It’s caught up in the spam filter for some reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. al-Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    Hmm. I wonder why people, including Steven Taylor, have so much more to say about a Trump tweet than they do about the protests currently rocking Iran. Or the disaster in Yemen. And isn’t this place supposed to be at least quasi-libertarianish? It makes the lack of interest in Trump’s assault on the regulatory state kind of odd.

    Mike

    We agree.
    I’m not sure why anybody would pay attention to the President of the United States.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Matt says:

    @Matt: I work with a Pakistani immigrant who loves this country and all that. He confirmed today that the people he knows back in Pakistan are well aware of the tweet and not happy at all.

    So yeah James tell us how Trump’s tweets are irrelevant….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. DrDaveT says:

    @James Pearce:

    I don’t feel comfortable […] even pretending that tweets are all that important.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, It’s Not About You.

    Your quaint fixation on medium over message does not change the actual impact of Trump tweets in the real world. Do you also discount things written in colors of ink other than blue or black, or using pencils with hardness ratings other than #2? Things spoken on cable TV, as opposed to the more traditional and ‘serious’ broadcast networks?

    Ironically, you don’t have to go back very many years to hear exactly analogous comments about things said in emails. After all, who could even pretend that email contents are all that important…?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0