Banana republic watch

In which country is a politician more likely to get into trouble for not showing sufficient loyalty to the president?

1. Venezuela
2. Switzerland

Here’s the WaPo:

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) came under fire Tuesday from the far-right flank of the House Republican caucus, who accused her of disloyalty to President Trump and later called on her to step down from her leadership post.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus chided Cheney, the chair of the House Republican Conference, for supporting Anthony S. Fauci and breaking with the president on recent foreign policy issues. Cheney stood her ground in the closed-door meeting, firing back that the conservative agitators were the ones who typically lack loyalty to Trump and fellow Republicans.

Did I fall asleep and wake up in a different country? Is this now our system of government? People in the legislative branch are now supposed to show “loyalty” to people in the executive branch? How about the head of the FBI; should he also show loyalty?

PS. Here’s Switzerland’s current president:



9 Responses to “Banana republic watch”

  1. Gravatar of Olivier Olivier
    21. July 2020 at 23:59

    You forgot to mention that Simonetta Sommaruga is a socialist, which explains why Switzerland is such a well functioning country…

  2. Gravatar of jamie jamie
    22. July 2020 at 03:10

    20 minutes in Venezuela and you would be on your knees crying, praying, and hoping to god that Donald J Trump saves you from arbitrary detention and faux criminal documents manufactured to keep you in prison. If you are fortunate enough to stay at of jail, you may find yourself joining a drug gang because the number of job opportunities are close to zero. Either that or starve to death. Your choice. US is NOT EVEN CLOSE. NO SIMILITARY WHATSOEVER!

    If you haven’t noticed both parties play identity politics. The Senator from Main – pivotal vote in the Kavanaugh case — was nearly decapitated when she crossed the aisle.

    Both sides play that game. Its not just DJT.

  3. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    22. July 2020 at 06:13

    Scott Sumner may have misfired on this one.

    “Rand Paul calls Liz, Dick Cheney ‘unrepentant warmongers’ who need to ‘fade into obscurity'”–Fox

    This warmonger-multinational-globalist crowd has detested Trump from Day One, for his wanting out of Iraqistan and suggesting the uS leave Korea (you think? 70 years after armistice) cutting troops in Germany and so on.

    Oh, and for Trump’s distrust of the Beijing-CCP and trade arrangements between multinationals and the CCP. You know, the globalist vision.

    Trump is in many ways not only an awful person but a heresy to establishment DC.

    The Cheneys would prefer the Clinton-globalists back in power—bombs away on Libya and the re-affirmation of the US military as a global guard service for multinationals, and foreign policy as an adjunct to multinational prerogatives. Remember, Dick Cheney said Iraq was about the oil.

    Trumo’s lawyer (AG Barr)just said Disney kowtows to Beijing. Barr said it out loud, naming Disney by name! You think Disney (which sells movies, goods in China) wants Trump in office?

    Fascinating times.

    And yes, America is a banana republic. Like a banana republic, decisions made by the unelected seem to control the fate of the nation…the candidates for office seem ever more pathetic, exhausted, unable to directly face real issues, even balmy.

    Cynicism is regarded as a virtue, and only a chump does not cash in on the system.

    Good luck everybody.

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    22. July 2020 at 08:09

    Olivier, Good point. You want a presidency that is so weak that even a socialist can’t screw things up.

    Jamie, You said:

    “and hoping to god that Donald J Trump saves you from arbitrary detention and faux criminal documents manufactured to keep you in prison.”

    LOL. You do know that Trump encouraged Xi to put the Uighurs into concentration camps, don’t you? I guess not.

    You said:

    “If you haven’t noticed both parties play identity politics. The Senator from Main – pivotal vote in the Kavanaugh case — was nearly decapitated when she crossed the aisle.”

    Yes, there’s no moral difference between loyalty to a politician and loyalty to a political cause.

    Where do these commenters come from?

    Ben, Your post has no relationship to anything in this post. Did you even read it? Or do you lack reading comprehension?

  5. Gravatar of Trevor Trevor
    22. July 2020 at 13:06

    I don’t agree with the insinuation. Party loyalty has always been a factor in politics. Maybe less so in the United States than in other democracies which have stronger party discipline, but it’s still a factor and trump is the defacto leader of the republican party. This is hardly the first time someone has been accused of disloyalty to the president, and even if you think politics would be better off without this kind of thing it’s still a far cry from a banana republic.

  6. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    22. July 2020 at 13:17

    I have been asking myself for some time now why Switzerland is always so hyped up. Every political side interprets its fairy tales into this small nation.

    What would this 8 million nation look like if it were a 320 million nation?

    Spontaneously, I would say very much like the US: a great deal of autonomy, not to say every state does what it wants.

    Low taxes.

    Lots of guns.

    And elections are held, but don’t change much, if anything at all, because the party system is very rigid.

    The similarities between the two nations are striking once you control for population. The biggest difference would probably be universal healthcare.

  7. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    23. July 2020 at 01:47

    Scott Sumner:

    I have very good reading comprehension.

  8. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. July 2020 at 08:36

    Christian, The biggest difference is that our health care system is more socialist than theirs.

    Trevor, You said:

    “Party loyalty has always been a factor in politics.

    Who said anything about party loyalty?

    And I assure you that Congressmen were not terrified of criticizing Bush back in 2006.

  9. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    23. July 2020 at 09:33


    yes I agree the US health care system seems to be more socialist than theirs. At least it’s not less socialist.

    But that question is “only” a matter of degree, a matter of being more or less socialist, while univesal healthcare or not might be more of a yes-or-no question.

    Either you have it or you don’t, whereby one might of course argue about whether the US (at least since Obama) does also have some form of universal healthcare by now.

    About 27 million or 8.5% of Americans don’t seem to have insurance, the fewest will probably be millionaires, so I think healthcare in the US is still not universal.

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