The Attack of the Smugnorant

Thursday, August 11, AD 2016

At the Cranky Conservative I coined a term: “smugnorant.” As I wrote:

[Stephen] Colbert and his former partner in crime at Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, represent some of the very worst aspects of our culture. They are the heroes of people whom I would designate as smugnorant – the noxious combination of smug and ignorant. They’re the types of people who will take to social media to decry those illiterate yokels in the hinterlands while displaying a keen lack of any depth of understanding of who their “opponents” are or what drives them as well as a deeply flawed (if that) grasp of American history. For years these two have taken to the airwaves to peddle a brand of humor based on ironic detachment and one-line snark meant to demonstrate the utter foolishness of the other side. They are the forerunners of generation meme, who think one-line slogans slapped onto funny pictures are genius insights that can shut down any argument. It’s the bumper sticker mentality given a new face in the information age.

I’ve been fortunate to come across a blog post that has plenty of smugnorance in both the main post and the comments. It comes from the Friendly Atheist over at Patheos – yes, I know you will be shocked that there could be any smugnorance over at Patheos (apologies to David Griffey, who is a rare voice of reason over there). The blogger Hemant Mehta wrote of an “illegal” Ten Commandments display the state of Arkansas is about to place on the grounds of the capitol. I’ll just gloss over Mehta’s seeming inability to distinguish the concepts of illegality and unconstitutionality to highlight this comment:

After all, the government is forbidden from promoting Christianity, which is all this monument would be doing.

This is the kind of sentence that almost literally gives me a headache because there’s just so much to unpack. I suppose he is referring to the establishment clause of the first amendment to the constitution, which does not mention anything resembling a ban on “promoting” a religion (not to mention that Christianity in and of itself is not a religion, but a group of religions, often with conflicting creeds). The erection of a monument does not establish any state religion. It does not signify material aid to any religion, which is generally what concerned the framers of the amendment as well as similar documents such as the Virginia statute for religious liberty. But I’ll again gloss over this constitutional conundrum to focus on this:

promoting Christianity, which is all this monument would be doing

So a monument to the Ten Commandments, or as Jewish people might refer to it, the Aseret ha-Dibrot, first written down in the Torah in the book of Exodus, which otherwise commemorates the Hebrew people’s flight from Egypt, surely only promotes Christianity. There just ain’t no other religious group who might be interested in this monument? There’s just no other religion that holds this set of commands in esteem? I mean I’m racking my brain, but there’s just got to be some other group or religion being, ahem, promoted here.

Now to be fair the post itself primarily evidences only one-half of the smugnorant combo. Have no fear though, we’re talking about Patheos, and thus there are always the comments. And we dive right into the very first comment, one which received no less than 13 upvotes:

Does it include the Commandment about not worshiping graven images?

Is it protected from irony chariots?

Does it explain why so many of the Commandments would be unconstitutional if made into laws in America?

Will they include the examples of bearing false witness that will be necessary to approve the idol of the words of the Gods?

There must be nothing quite like the pride someone like “Rogue Medic” feels when he/she/it/cis/cer slaps out an irrefutable jumble of logic like this one which completely eviscerates the other side’s point of view. Well, only if you disregard the fact that nobody is worshiping a graven image in this scenario, the “irony chariots” comment is just word vomit, the idea that commandments would be unconstitutional is a non sequitur if we’re being generous. and the stuff about bearing false witness is just logically incoherent. Other than that, it’s the sort of stuff Edmund Burke, John Locke, FA Hayak and countless other philosophers throughout history can only dreamed to have written.

Or how about this true monument to detached irony written by truth warrior ORAXX:

I would be astonished if they [conservative Christians] ever read any part of the Constitution other than the Second Amendment. They certainly don’t understand that document in any kind of a historical perspective. The commandments, probably, because they can be read in less than a minute, and that is more in keeping with their attention spans.

Yes, that’s right, there’s nothing like dissing the cumulative intelligence of an entirely diffeent group of people while commenting on a post that confuses “illegal” and “unconstitutional” and doesn’t seem to grasp that people other than Christians might be appreciative of a Ten Commandments display. Hooray for hipster irony, just not in the way the poster intended.

I’ll spare you further brain damage by posting more comments, including the long thread about gun owners and how totally stoooooopid they all are. You can read them for yourself, if you’re so inclined. There is absolutely nothing in the comments that betrays even a hint of understanding of what conservatives and/or Christians truly believe, or truly grapples with the constitutional issues of a Ten Commandments display on state capitol grounds. But we have an awful lot of smug jokes about how dumb the other side is. Yep, those yokels in hill country are just bubble-dwelling idiots with no comprehension of history, the constitution, the true words of the Bible, and logic. Yep, it’s those “others” who are just plain ignorant.

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14 Responses to The Attack of the Smugnorant

  • “But the best of all is to let him read no science but to give him a grand general idea that he knows it all and that everything he happens to have picked up in casual talk and reading is “the results of modem investigation”.”

    CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

    Ignorance and arrogance is a particularly nauseating combination.

  • The tragedy is that they vote.
    .
    Welcome to the Idiocracy: a maelstrom of infallible ignorance and extreme allergies to the facts. Call a whambulance!

  • Smugnorance seems to be, with damned few exceptions, the requisite virtue over at Patheticos. But Patheticos is a mere symptom of a more severe problem not only in the. Catholic blogosphere, but in Catholic media overall.

  • The propaganda of the modern culture is strong. The secret is to not make it overt, but just have it so every time a religious or conservative person is on screen, they’re evil at worst, just wretched at best and make it clear that the “good ones” are the exception, not the rule.

    Do it long enough, and the impression sticks to the mind even with the most truth-obsessed individual.

  • The innate sovereign personhood of the human being institutes government. The state capital and Arkansas belong to the taxpayers as all public land and waterways do in joint and common tenancy.
    Government that acts to own its constituents is totalitarian.
    People choose for themselves what their relationship will be with the truth and true God. Government does not choose for it constituents, how the citizens will respond to the gift of Faith from “their Creator.”…from THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES, ratified by every state.
    Any violation of our FOUNDING PRINCIPLES is a miscarriage of Justice.
    Whereas the atheist, as a person, must be tolerated until he becomes a death bed convert, atheism is unconstitutional. Atheism is antithetical to The First Amendment and obliterates, abrogates and annihilates all of the human beings’ innate, God–given unalienable human rights. Innate human rights become the constituents’ civil rights. This does not change the sovereign person. This changes the government instituted by the citizen. “The rights the state gives, the state can take away” Thomas Jefferson
    Perhaps The Second Amendment is the only amendment the smugnorant comprehend sufficiently to fear. So be it.

  • The reference to Jon Stewart reminded me of a question I have had for a long time.

    I have watched a good deal of Stewart’s Daily Show. And I have read many criticisms of him. That he is smug. That he is hypocritical in where he directs his fire. His line about being just a comedian. I once saw a video where Bill Whittle of PJ Media challenged Jon on the facts regarding Hiroshima. And stories of him being rude to people.

    Yet, when it comes to his shtick of playing clips of conservative politicians and Fox News pundits, and then going back through the record to accuse them of being hypocrites, I don’t think I have ever seen one of his targets respond by saying “this is why I am not a hypocrite on this topic”. I know Hannity did a bit recently where he attacked Jon in general, but I dont think the bit addressed his specific argument.

    This is not me trying to be smug, nor am I saying “I have not found the kind of response I’m, looking for, therefore I deny there is one in existence”. I am honestly asking if such a clip or article exists, from an interest in seeing the back and forth. And not one that says “but the other side does it too”, or attacking Jon in the general sense of the word. What I am looking for is something, preferably from a figure on Fox that Jon has accused of hypocrisy (or bigotry, getting the facts wrong, etc), responding to Jon pulling up a clip, and responding to the specific point Jon brought up.

  • Excellent insights DRM. What you say is the basic mentality of the mass media who love to engage in their snarkathons about all the bozos in the flyover hinterlands. This is why our country is becoming pagan and stupid. One can only think it will all end badly. One last thing. The fact that the snarkers dislike Trump has to be a point in his favor.

  • Watcher7789 The victims of Jon Stewart’s Pearl Harbor backstabbing attack have every right to defend themselves any way they choose.

  • Sadly, young voters like Watcher7789(?) get their “history” and their “news” from comedians/court jesters like Jon Stewart, et al, and from the lying, liberal (I repeat myself again) media. The problems are lack of context and distortions, omissions, etc. both of the historical record/context behind the issues and of the contemporary circumstances and facts.
    .
    The SOP: edit 11 seconds of videotape and fabricate whatever lie necessary to distort popular (uninformed) perception.
    .

    Welcome to the Idiocracy.

  • Watcher7789, will this suffice to answer your question or do you require more?

  • @Nate Winchester the Hannity response one finds through the first article you listed was very much what I was looking for. Thank you. As to the second part of your question, I am certainly curious and willing to check out any other response clips you may know of.

  • Perhaps not directly in response to Watcher’s question, but here’s one example of someone discussing how he was deceptively edited by the Daily Show.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkBpCWdT3EM

    There are much more egregious examples than this. Another here:
    http://ijr.com/2014/02/113492-daily-show-guest-explains-how-jon-stewart-deceptively-edits-interviews-to-smear-conservatives/

  • Watcher—I’m going to take a long shot here because I detect sincerity in your quest for an answer to something. I want to ask you to prayerfully consider what you find important which underlies your post about Jon Stewart and who said what. As I see it, as an older man and once a fool for the culture, the question you want answered is a symptom of the problem. Turn off that program, read good books on history and read literature which provokes nuanced thinking. Watch a good movie if that be your preference. Bring joy into your idle time so that it may be constructive and not filled by the musings of men smug in their deeply held and cherished ignorance and self importance. Nourish your curiosity which i can see you possess. Let’s focus on the right questions, the first things, and not the dangerous silliness of the Jon Stewarts of the world—of which there are many and of varied political stripes. In lieu of a Jon Stewart “please entertain me with your vulgarity and cynicism” episode, read a short story by Flannery O’Connor. Seek out good things and then you will see that the likes of Jon Stewart, et al, are mere chatter, a toxin which compromises one of God’s gifts to you—your intellect. I know that a post can come across as ham handed but I truly hope you’ll consider what i’ve said.

  • When I was a kid and spent my days riding my bike, building roads in my dad’s dirtpile with my steel toy trucks and watching Loony Tunes, the Flintstones, Speed Racer and Superman, I thought teens and young adults were dumb.

    I thought the same thing when I was a teen and a young adult. This was the late ’70s and the 1980s and while Reagan was popular with some of the young set, I found too many of them were too concerned with slopular culture.

    Today, slopular culture IS religion with the Millenials and the people who were young before them. Mainline Protestantism is dying. The Catholic Church is in trouble and junk science is treated with more respect than real science. The Daily Show, never menat to be anything but a parody, morphed into “hard news” for the impressionable young who have skulls full of, not mush, but raw sewage. Covered with tattoos, convinced gay is “cool” piercings in lips and holes in ears big enough to shove a ping pong ball through, this is the handiwork of the Left.

    Stewart and Colbert need a John Wayne type to walk up to them and belt them in the mouths.

David Daleiden Cleared of All Charges

Tuesday, July 26, AD 2016

Via Red State:

The man behind the undercover sting videos that exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby parts for profit scheme, David Daleiden, was indicted on sham charges of attempting to purchase baby parts from Planned Parenthood. These charges are viewed by many as a smoke screen to pull attention away from Planned Parenthood, and cast shade on Daleiden.

But now, Daleiden has been cleared of all charges by the Harris County DA. This after a Harris county judged completely dismissed the case against Daleiden.

This is a logical conclusion, seeing as how Daleiden and his associates followed the law when creating these videos. It should also be noted that the DA who filed these charges against Daleiden was working with Planned Parenthood to discredit and hopefully, end Daleiden’s career.

The damage has already been done, as intended. Purely political prosecutions such as this are not about actually getting convictions – though if you can get one, as in the case of Tom Delay, all the better. Daleiden has effectively been Rick Perry’d, as his work has been discredited in the eyes of an ignorant public who likely will not see stories about the charges being dropped.

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4 Responses to David Daleiden Cleared of All Charges

  • In the mean time, Hillary Clinton had no intention to willfully disregard the law when she negligently sort of accidentally on purpose left a crapload of classified information lying around on her homebrew email server that wasn’t at all about circumventing public records laws.

    But don’t you dare try pulling that off. You have to be a professional screw-up to get away with that kind of larceny!

  • Praise the Lord! Prayers answered. An innocent man goes free.
    Justice is not complete: what about the court costs, the lawyers’ fees, loss of the indicted’s income, etc.? The DA should be disbarred and dismissed from her office. PPH continues to operate in the state of Texas; the slaughter of innocents continues.

  • Contributing to his attorney’s fees was one of my best spent donations. I don’t say this as prideful self glorification, no. I mentioned it because when a man stands up to battle Goliath and doesn’t balk at the repercussions, he is a living and breathing hero in my book.

    The farce from Houston knew this wouldn’t stick from the very beginning as Don had pointed out. They were sending their best effort to try to keep others stagnant and deter others from whistleblowing or setting up “gotcha” moments. To hell with them!
    If anything, their offensive move just proved what slacked jawed morons they are.
    Dead baby parts for sale and distribution.

    Hate is too strong…but I do hate the Worse than Murder crowd. They stink.

The Cranky Con Returns

Monday, July 25, AD 2016

Having spent some time away from blogging or even looking at news stories for a couple of months has refreshed my batteries, so to speak. So, renewed by re-reading the Federalist Papers and biographies of the founding fathers, I have begun blogging again at the Cranky Conservative. Long time readers will undoubtedly be familiar with my former nom de plume.

Don’t worry, it’s not going to be just “Trump/Hillary are awful posts.” I’m hoping to criticially re-examine what it means to be a conservative and I will hopefully present a cogent defense of conservatism, especially as a response to increased authoritarianism present in both parties.

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6 Responses to The Cranky Con Returns

The Solid South Goes for Trump

Wednesday, March 16, AD 2016

Donald Trump’s clean sweep of southeastern states has taken many pundits by surprise, but it shouldn’t have. Trump’s performance in the south among evangelical voters is actually quite in keeping with the strain of evangelical conservatism prevalent in the bible belt.

Many moons ago in a prior blogging life I wrote a multi-part series detailing the different strands of American conservatism, and reading it now I may have forecasted the rise of Trump. First, I noted a type of conservatism (cranky conservatism) that seems to typify the Trump voter.

On the other end of the spectrum, the paleo-conservatives and crankycons seem to hate everything.  And yet they are most comfortable with populist schemes that betray the Framers’ original plans.  Their anti-elitism runs so deep that they would bequeath to the masses enormous power.  Their enemies are the ghouls in the academies with their fancy ideas.  But while they would have you believe that they are the true inheritors of the conservative mantle, their philosophy is a deep betrayal of the republican tradition.  Their ultimate designs are no less radical than the hated neocons they so regularly disparage.

Sounds like a typical Trump supporter to me.

As related to religion and conservatism, this is what I wrote back in 2005 (please ignore the horrible misspelling of hear as “here”):

Traditional conservatism is generally less concerned about the temporal world.  This strain of conservatism dates to Augustine, who saw utopian schemes for the foolishness that they were.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that the intellectual impetus behind this brand usually comes from the Roman Catholic Church, or its near neighbors in the Episcopalian version.  Buckley, Kirk, Ponnuru, Reagan: all thinkers who are Catholic or whose religion was close to that of Roman Catholicism.  This is no mere coincidence.

We here a lot about religion and the conservative movement, and indeed religion has played a crucial role in all conservative parties throughout the world.  But what many fail to understand, principally because they fail to understand Christianity is that there are crucial differences in the religious outlook of Evangelicals and Catholics, and these differences play out in the political world.  The steadfast pessimism of the Catholic faith is mirrored in the political outlook of most conservative Catholics.  They see this as a fallen world.  And while we should strive to make this world as good as we can, our expectations for the temporal world should not be so high.  Consequently, we should not put much stock in government and its ability to change the world.

I am not as well-versed in Evangelical religion to speak authoritatively, but it seems to me that the Evangelicals are much more optimistic about reshaping this earthly realm.  Their fervor for conversion seeps into their political consciousness, thus they have grander visions for reform than does the Catholic conservative.

It would be easy to simply paint as the essential demarcation in conservative thought as the interplay between Catholic and Evangelical theology.  It would be easy because it is essentially correct.  We share many of the same values, but at some point there is a rift in our fundamental vision of the government because there is a fundamental rift in our theological outlook.  That is not to say that all Catholics are all of a particular political stripe, and all Evangelicals of another.  But if one wants to understand the divergence in American conservative thought, there would be worse starting points than this examination of the difference between Catholicism and Evangelical religion.

None of the developments of the previous decade has changed my thinking on these matters. To be sure, not all Evangelicals are utopian, nor are all Catholic conservatives necessarily fierce opponents of “big government.” Indeed the lone remaining standard bearer of traditional conservatism is Ted Cruz, a fervent Evangelical himself. Yet the populist appeal of Trump in the south indicates there is something to this distinction. Meanwhile Cruz has done better in the southwest and midwest, areas of the country that have a more libertarian hue and better represent the traditional strain of conservatism.

Contrary to the narrative, this primary is far from over. Trump is likely to be the nominee, but Cruz still has a fighting chance. This is the ultimate showdown of the two types of conservatism I detailed many years ago. Regardless of who wins, I believe we’re just seeing the beginnings of a much fiercer war for the heart of conservatism.

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11 Responses to The Solid South Goes for Trump

  • Eight years ago there was a lot of talk about how the Republicans would turn toward libertarianism in order to win the presidency again. After eight years of Obama, they would drop their losing social issues and then return to power as libertarians.
    I always thought this was wrong. I thought that eight years later we would see a big movement toward economic nationalism (anti-free trade, anti-immigration) that would be combined with not reducing the size of the government. Essentially the opposite of what libertarians propose on economic issues.
    These views on fiscal issues would need to be combined with views on social issues. Here was where I was wrong. I figured the person would be a fairly conventional social conservative as we see them today (anti-abortion, pro-guns, etc.). What we got was George Wallace 2.0 (racism, talk of crime, downplaying of abortion and gay marriage).
    I was thinking someone in the mold of Mike Huckabee, not what we have in Donald Trump. Not that I would have been happy with Huckabee, as I am a more conventional conservative and free trader. However, in the general I could probably have supported him because of the social issues. With Trump I don’t even have that.

  • Reading this again now, Paul, I am reminded of how quickly and seamlessly I adopted your articulations. Ultimately, what you four gave me was a way to express what I had come to understand to be true. For that, I am most grateful.

  • Thomas Sowell – conflict of visions – might be time to read that, Paul. 😉 Oh and if we’re compiling list of conservatives – Sowell [unknown], Jonah Goldberg [secular jew], Kevin Williamson [catholic], Charlie Cooke [atheist], John Derbyshire [atheist], John C Wright [catholic] (off the top of my head) – actually maybe we should establish what our criteria is. Ponnuru is the one that throws me off your list since he’s pretty “recent” as far as writings go (otherwise I agree with the Kirk-Buckley-Reagen).
    .
    As I’ve seen, there’s nothing really dividing the anointed vs tragic (Sowell’s terms) and certainly nothing endemic to any Christian branch that inoculates against either style (need we go fishing on Shea’s facebook or the st blogs for plenty of examples of what we might call utopian Catholics?)
    .
    I think the answer may simply be pride. Utopians ultimately believe themselves or their systems far better and more capable than they can ever be

  • Ted Cruz and his preacher father Rafael Cruz propose a different kind of “let’s change this world” ideology. Trump preaches something like the prosperity gospel of Joel Olsteen, Joyce Meyer and Creflo Dollar: “We’re gonna’ make America great again / you name you claim it.” Cruz is a Seven Mountains Dominionist. Such Dominionists believe God has called on his elect (i.e., these Protestant fundamentalists) to punish secular society and redistribute wealth from the ungodly to the godly. I have watched You Tube videos of Rafael actually preaching stuff like that, and then praying over his son, saying that he is anointed to become one of these Godly kings who will do exactly that.
    .
    We are rightly repelled by Trump’s foul mouth, uncouthed antics, his ignorance of conservative principles and American history, and his personal life of philandering and adultery. But we should also be concerned about giving the reigns to a Seven Mountains Dominionist. Of course, of the two, I prefer Cruz. He mouths words about Constitutional adherence and so far has a good trackk record. Yet when push comes to shove after he’s given the reigns of the Presidency, let’s see what he is going to do.
    .
    Of course, the GOP could have a brokered convention and give the nomination to Mitt Romney who for Mormons would be the fulfillment of Joseph Smith’s White Horse Prophecy (yeah, I know that the LDS Church disavowed that prophecy in 1916, I think, but nevertheless, let’s see what happens).

  • My Catholic faith is not pessimistic, Jesus lived died and rose to bring hope. That is what the Mass is about… And we are given the mission to go out and give the Good News. Catholics know from the spiritual and corporal works of mercy that we are to do good works to a good effect for Love. The Catholic outlook is one of doers, of people who know that faith is reasonable and that faithful reason can make the difference in the lives of people even in this vale of tears.
    There used to be a common canard about catholic guilt – a Protestant view of Catholic understanding – seeing Catholicism as pessimistic may be similar more secular misunderstanding of accepting God’s will about what can’t be changed
    Catholic faith is optimistic- not the cockeyed optimism of the health and wealth preachers, but the optimism that made Catholics facing plagues build hospitals, and fight the Crusades, and build great schools.
    As far as the so called evangelicals of the south going for Trump, I think they are just that- so called.
    Cranks are cranks anywhere but the Catholic viewpoint has had a positive effect on thinking evangelicals and on the world.
    Catholics know that God is good and that we are called to the same. We are not concerned about conservatism for conservatism’s sake, but for the sake of what it is conservatism today is protecting.

  • Such Dominionists believe God has called on his elect (i.e., these Protestant fundamentalists) to punish secular society and redistribute wealth from the ungodly to the godly.,/blockquote>
    .
    Good. He ought then to get along fabulously with Catholic preferential-option-for-the-poor social justice warriors.
    .
    He said exacerbatedly

  • If I’ve learned anything during this primary, it’s that I was clearly wrong about the meaning of Evangelical. I thought it had something to do with living the commandments and being pro-life and things of that nature. Obviously if Donald Trump can be their standard bearer I was wrong.

  • Folks, evangelical Protestantism is a heresy. That does not mean that all Protestant evangelicals are wilfully heretical. But it is an error against the Faith – many errors in fact. For instance, they deny the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. True, most of them so deny because they were taught error from birth and know nothing else. But their errors are fundamental and at the very root of authentic Christianity. So of course they surround a demogogue like Trump who offers fruition of the prosperity gospel nonsense which the likes of Joel Olsteen teach.
    .
    Catholics are similar when they go all liberal and embrace the social justice nonsense of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. It’s the same prosperity gospel idiocy just with a different name. And those Catholics similarly to their Protestant brethren likely don’t really believe in the real presence, either. It’s just a communal cracker after all. If they believed, then they would not abort and contracept like their Protestant cousins.

  • And I like to wear black and tan on St. Patrick’s Day.

    /sarc

  • Good analysis Paul Z. Now instantly to the bottom line. I think Trump and Cruz would be just the right ticket to compromise the internal Republican war and settle Hillary’s hash. It would be in both their interest to make this happen soon. As far as religion is concerned the two of them are about as religious as the Pope.

  • http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/february-web-only/why-max-lucado-broke-his-political-silence-for-trump.html

    @ Donna Ann.
    I came across this today.
    Might help to shed some light on evangelical trump-pet.

National Review Endorses Ted Cruz

Friday, March 11, AD 2016

No doubt this will only embolden a portion of you to oppose Ted Cruz all the more, but NR’s editorial endorsing Cruz lays out, with eloquence, the case for Cruz (and saves me a lot of time writing).

We supported Cruz’s campaign in 2012 because we saw in him what conservatives nationwide have come to see as well. Cruz is a brilliant and articulate exponent of our views on the full spectrum of issues. Other Republicans say we should protect the Constitution. Cruz has actually done it; indeed, it has been the animating passion of his career. He is a strong believer in the liberating power of free markets, including free trade (notwithstanding the usual rhetorical hedges). His skepticism about “comprehensive immigration reform” is leading him to a realism about the impact of immigration that has been missing from our policymaking and debate. He favors a foreign policy based on a hard-headed assessment of American interests, one that seeks to strengthen our power but is mindful of its limits. He forthrightly defends religious liberty, the right to life of unborn children, and the role of marriage in connecting children to their parents — causes that reduce too many other Republicans to mumbling.

That forthrightness is worth emphasizing. Conservatism should not be merely combative; but especially in our political culture, it must be willing to be controversial. Too many Republicans shrink from this implication of our creed. Not Cruz. And this virtue is connected to others that primary voters should keep in mind. Conservatives need not worry that Cruz will be tripped up by an interview question, or answer it with mindless conventional wisdom when a better answer is available. We need rarely worry, either, that his stumbling words will have to be recast by aides and supporters later. Neither of those things could be said about a lot of Republican nominees over the years.

Of course the Trump forces will just say that this is proof that Ted Cruz is really a member of the Establishment (as indeed one wag on Twitter suggested immediately upon seeing this news), but basically anyone who doesn’t think Donald Trump is the Messiah is deemed to be part of the evil Establishment by Trump supporters.

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23 Responses to National Review Endorses Ted Cruz

  • I’m independent. Cruz has been my choice from day one. Second was Dr. Carson.

  • Cruz, even without the much needed charisma.

  • Too late

  • A republic, if we can keep it….

  • “Of course the Trump forces will just say that this is proof that Ted Cruz is really a member of the Establishment (as indeed one wag on Twitter suggested immediately upon seeing this news), but basically anyone who doesn’t think Donald Trump is the Messiah is deemed to be part of the evil Establishment by Trump supporters.”

    Funny thing is, the Republican Establishment hates Cruz more than it does Trump.

  • CRUZ! CRUZ! CRUZ!!

  • I believe that Cruz is a man of integrity who stands by his principles regardless of pressure to do otherwise. He would make a good president, but I feel uncertain whether he can beat Clinton because I fear he will not go on the offensive and attack strongly and relentlessly as Trump will. Trump will continuously make media headlines, keeping him before the public eye. Whereas Cruz has not demonstrated this ability. He could use an expert to help him in this area. I am still upset at the way Romney wimped out and did not hit Obama strongly regarding his Benghazi negligence.

  • Interesting and noteworthy. Now that Rubio has imploded, Cruz is the best option About time Catholics took a stand. Obama was elected by professed “Catholics” despite being the most antii-Catholiic president since the Know-Nothings.

    the third entry is also interesting.. It was an answer on Jeopardy last night. I had never heard about it

  • Cruz’s wife Heidi works for Goldman Saks, and is a member of the Globalist Council on Foreign Relations. Funny how no one ever speaks of this. He is a long time insider and was a staffer on the Bush Campaign. He is just another politician.

  • First of all, it’s spelled Sachs, and Trumbots repeat this meaningless bit of information roughly every three minutes.

  • I fear he will not go on the offensive and attack strongly and relentlessly as Trump will.

    There is literally nothing in either man’s respective backgrounds that would suggest the above is true. If anything, Cruz has already demonstrated a far greater willingness to go on the offensive against Hillary than the man who invited her to his wedding.

  • By way of full disclosure, I have been a subscriber to the National Review since my puppy-hood Goldwater campaign days. WFB Jr. has gone to his reward but his spirit yet guides his absolutely not establishment magazine. Anyone who thinks NR is establishment is a borderline anarchist. Of course, I generalize.

  • I feel uncertain whether he can beat Clinton because I fear he will not go on the offensive and attack strongly and relentlessly as Trump will.

    The guy called Mitch McConnell, the leader of his own party, a liar. On the floor of the Senate no less.
    .
    I don’t think you have to worry about Cruz unless your idea of a strong, relentless attack is calling Hillary Clinton a nasty, shriveled old hag or some such.

  • What did Mrs. Cruz say in her involvement with the CoFR?
    http://www.cfr.org/canada/building-north-american-community/p8102
    I support the Task Force report and its recommendations aimed at building a safer and more prosperous North America. Economic prosperity and a world safe from terrorism and other security threats are no doubt inextricably linked. While governments play an invaluable role in both regards, we must emphasize the imperative that economic investment be led and perpetuated by the private sector. There is no force proven like the market for aligning incentives, sourcing capital, and producing results like financial markets and profit-making businesses.
    This is simply necessary to sustain a higher living standard for
    the poorest among us—truly the measure of our success. As such,
    investmentfundsandfinancingmechanismsshouldbedeemedattractive
    instruments by those committing the capital and should only be developed
    in conjunction with market participants.
    Heidi S. Cruz

    I can see how someone supporting property rights, business at the service of people, and subsidiarity would be horrifying to those who think Trump does great stuff with his business choices, but it’s not the track I’d use for arguing how evil a lady’s husband is on a Catholic blog.

  • Subtly put madam. Too subtly perhaps.
    .
    But then, I’m a blunt instrument. Or an obnoxious, loudmouthed jerk.
    .
    take yer pick

  • I’m happy for National Review writing this, but seriously…this has got to be the easiest call in my lifetime, in terms of primary support. Usually you have to balance the issues, the personalities, who you’d like to win versus who you think can win in the general election, et cetera. This time around? There’s one candidate who is as good or better than each of the others in every aspect that would drive my vote. It’s not a choice between the legal conservative versus the social conservative, between the candidate with experience versus the one with vision. I was discouraged at this campaign early on because it looked like the best people weren’t getting any traction. I’m discouraged now, for a different reason, but I couldn’t be happier with the lever I’m going to pull this time around.

  • They could have attacked Hillary and Bernie for not denouncing the violent attacks on Trump’s First Amendment campaign activities.
    .
    Who on Cruz’s stellar staff advised him to execrate Donald Trump for suffering attacks organized by Black Lives Matter, Moron.Org, and terrorist bomber Bill Ayres?
    .
    I will file it under “bad form.”

  • Bad form, yes. And also failure to correctly identify the enemy. I forgive him.

  • T – Has National Review ever failed to criticize Hillary or Bernie?

  • Yes, Paul. What he said. This is not a fine point in an academic debate, and it’s not a matter of casual speculation. Calling on your supporters to commit assaults always leads to the same thing. We can’t say “he’s a thug but he’s our thug”, because the fact of being a thug means he’s not ours. He is opposed to our founding principles of liberty and justice, and he campaigns on his opposition to them, and his campaign embraces the opposition to them as a matter of practice.

    This country is a rarity: we have believed that no one should be able to gather all our possessions up, even if they promise to allocate them out in our favor At least, one party has believed that. whether by erosion of principles or fear of the other guy’s thugs, a part of our party has come to believe that we need a thug of our own. But there’s no such thing as a thug in defense of self-governance.

  • Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is supposed to be holding a nationally televised “town hall” meeting in Springfield IL on Monday, the night before the IL primary, but to date she hasn’t announced where it’s being held or who’s been invited. A secret town hall meeting? Guess she’s not taking any chances….

  • BTW, Cruz finished fourth in the DC primary. If ever finishing last was better than victory, this is the time. It’s the equivalent of an anti-endorsement. Yes, DC cronies prefer Trump to Cruz.

    Rubio won the DC primary. I don’t think the Mondale map is what he envisioned as the path to victory.

Georgetown University Finds a New Low

Thursday, March 10, AD 2016

Just when you thought the dissident “Catholic” university couldn’t find a new low, it manages to surpass even our lowest expectations.

The Lecture Fund at Georgetown University is planning to host Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President Cecile Richards on campus this April, The Cardinal Newman Society has learned.

“This is the latest in a long history of scandal at Georgetown University,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Disguised as an academic event, this is nothing more than a platform for abortion advocacy at a Catholic university and under the nose of the Catholic bishops, featuring a wicked woman who defends the sale of baby body parts and is responsible for the deaths of millions of aborted children.”

It would be one thing to invite Richards to a debate, but here she is given the floor to spew her pro-abortion propaganda. And with Ms. Richards, we’re not talking about someone who happens to favor abortion but who is discussing a different topic. No, she is the head of an organization that is responsible for the murder of over 300,000 unborn children per year, not to mention the selling of body parts. Planned Parenthood is just about the most anti-Catholic institution on the face of the Earth, and the head of this organization is being given a platform by an institution that deems itself to be Catholic.

How outrageous is this decision? The Archdiocese of Washington even spoke out against the decision.

In any case, this is not our issue here. What we lament and find sadly lacking in this choice by the student group is any reflection of what should be an environment of morality, ethics and human decency that one expects on a campus that asserts its Jesuit and Catholic history and identity.

One would prefer to see some recognition by this student group of the lives and ministry, focus and values of people like Blessed Óscar Romero, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Pope Francis in place of that group’s seemingly constant preoccupation with sexual activity, contraception and abortion. The Archdiocese of Washington is always open and ready to dialogue with the students, faculty and administration of the University on issues of such significance.

The apparent unawareness of those pushing the violence of abortion and the denigration of human dignity that there are other human values and issues being challenged in the world lends credence to the perception of the “ivory tower” life of some on campus. This unfortunately does not speak well for the future. One would hope to see this generation of Georgetown graduates have a far less self-absorbed attitude when facing neighbors and those in need, especially the most vulnerable among us.

When even this Archdiocese condemns an action, you know you’ve gone too far.

I do not normally encourage vocally protesting a speaker, as I generally find it obnoxious. This is a case where I can make an exception.

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11 Responses to Georgetown University Finds a New Low

And Then There Was, Let’s Face it, One

Tuesday, March 8, AD 2016

There have been roughly 456,343,455 articles written explaining the Trump phenomenon. My estimate might be off by one or two, but it’s in the ballpark. While I’ve long maintained that Trump is the most inappropriate vehicle possible for those who rightly feel dissatisfied with the Republican party, to me the anger expressed in the pro-Trump movement is entirely justified.

You would think by now that Republican party boosters would have a firm grasp on the political culture in which we’re operating in. Alas, based on the continued intransigence of a certain subset of the #NeverTrump movement, it is clear that they are as pigheaded and foolish as any Trump supporter.

#NeverTrump, for those of you who (smartly) don’t use Twitter, is a hashtag to express the solidarity of a movement that not only seeks to deny Trump the nomination, but which has also indicated its unwillingness to support Trump in the general election, no matter what. This group – and I am or was a part of this movement – has advocated strategic voting meant to deny Trump the ability to win the needed delegates before the GOP convention to secure the nomination. Many anti-Trumpsters advocated strategic voting wherein people voted for non-Trump candidates that were not necessarily their first choice but who had better chances in select states. So, for example, Cruz supporters should back Rubio in Florida, while Rubio backers were advised to go with Cruz in Louisiana.

We are now nearly two-fifths of the way trough the primary season, and it has become manifestly obvious to all but the most strident of Rubio and John “let them bake cakes” Kasich boosters than Ted Cruz is the only viable option to Donald Trump. Cruz has now won six states, and finished ahead of Trump in another. He has, moreover, won in the northeast, the northwest, and the heartland. In other words, the GOP electorate is coalescing around Cruz, while Rubio and Kasich struggle to even win enough votes to garner delegates. Cruz continues to poll the strongest against Trump, and regularly maintains an advantage in a two-man race.

Unfortunately Rubio supporters have acted much like Homer Simpson chasing the pig in the clip above. They deny the reality of the situation, and instead insist on strategic voting despite evidence that such a strategy will, at best, simply deny Trump getting the required 1,237 delegates. If this strategy works we’re left with a nominee being selected at the convention. If that nominee is anyone other than Donald Trump (unless it’s someone like Cruz who garners a similar amount of delegates during the primary season), then the result would be just as disastrous for the long-term future of the Republican party as a Trump outright win in the primary.

Considering the mood of the electorate – Democrat and Republican alike – a brokered convention that nominates Marco Rubio or, even worse, John Kasich, would completely turn off not just Trump supporters, but a fair number of other voters as well. Sure, it would be within the rules (as people are fond of repeating), but such a nominee – again, if it’s someone who didn’t have at least 1,000 or so delegates going into the convention – would be utterly damaged. Whatever your opinion of Trump supporters, completely turning them off and making them feel disenfranchised is an awfully stupid election strategy.

No, this thing needs to get settled in the primary, and the only two men who can win the Republican nomination outright are Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Rubio backers have relied to a great extent on the argument that Marco Rubio is the most electable Republican in the general election. This argument from pragmatism – which is dubious to begin with – is countered by another pragmatic reality: Rubio is not nominateable. Neither is Kasich. It’s over for them, and any process that gives them a nomination through the back door of a contested convention will damage any general election chance they have.

So if you live in Ohio, Michigan, or Florida, and you don’t want Donald Trump to be the nominee, here’s your strategic play: vote for Ted Cruz.

NB: Rubio backers might argue with some credibility that Rubio’s poor numbers are due to strategic voting. While I can’t deny that there might be something to this, it’s hard to believe that the enormous gap between Cruz  and Rubio/Kasich is due to any great extent to Rubio/Kasich backers voting strategically. Voters are not quite that sophisticated.

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29 Responses to And Then There Was, Let’s Face it, One

  • Dumb question time. Is a brokered convention the only way one candidate can pass delegates to another candidate? If Rubio were to bow out in the primary, could he say he endorses Cruz and passes his delegates to Cruz? I’m thinking the answer is no.

  • Delegates are obligated to vote for their candidate on the first ballot. After that they are free agents.

  • “So if you live in Ohio, Michigan, or Florida, and you don’t want Donald Trump to be the nominee, here’s your strategic play: vote for Ted Cruz.”

    I disagree. If you live in Ohio vote for Kasich. If you live in Florida vote for Rubio. If you live anywhere else vote for Cruz, probably. Cruz is not winning those states and since they are winner take all it is important to keep their delegates from Trump.

  • In Michigan, I took your advice this morning before I read it.

  • There’s another famous traditional “pig saying” in America-l (sometime it is about an ox) … that saying is:
    .
    “When the pig is in the ditch, get the pig out of the ditch”
    .
    A great old saying and one of my dad’s favorites… get to work and do something about the problem instead of continuing the fear talk and what if talk
    Lets start talking positive about Rubio and Cruz and not talking so much about trump, except to point out his slipperiness. Cruz and Rubio and Romney are trying to do that but so many people would rather talk about the phenom than the good possibilities we have to move forward as a country.

  • “If you live in Ohio vote for Kasich. If you live in Florida vote for Rubio. If you live anywhere else vote for Cruz, probably. Cruz is not winning those states”

    Only because of people voting as you suggest.

  • Good advice Anzlyne. I hope to get something more substantive up about Cruz in the coming days.

  • “Only because of people voting as you suggest.”

    Do you think Cruz has a chance of winning Ohio and Florida outright?

    Cruz is doing well in large part because of strategic voting, but if you make a suggestion that people strategically vote for someone other than Cruz, all of a sudden it is a bad idea.

  • I was going to say something about either Kasich or Rubio delivering the nomination to Trump on the second ballot in a madcap dash for the bucket-o-warm spit boobie prize. . .
    .
    . . .bur Anzlyne told me not to!

  • Paul is right, by the way. Voting for Kasich instead of Cruz in Ohio and Rubio instead of Cruz in Florida only serves to encourages both also rans to remain in the race as spoilers. They may or may not succeed in denying Trump the necessary number of delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot. They will succeed in preventing Cruz from closing the gap and overtaking Trump.
    .
    Personally, I think the GOPe we’re all knocking here looks on that prospect as a feature and not a bug.

  • I swear I closed that tag

  • 🙂 no wrath here

    You’ll get plenty of positive Cruz stuff on Christian radio!

    1. immigration
    2. 2nd ammendment
    3. anti-establishmentarian

    my thoughts:
    rubio good on immigration, end amendment, best on international concerns, Catholic outlook, practical on working together with people, seeking good advisors, independent thinker -not a pre-determined template for tea party nor establishment. he has a lot to offer
    its not a two man race yet- I started out for Cruz but something niggles- don’t know what.
    when things seem a foregone conclusion in human thinking, I sometimes think of God’s overnight change 2 Kings 7 — actually chapters 6 and 7

  • “They may or may not succeed in denying Trump the necessary number of delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot. They will succeed in preventing Cruz from closing the gap and overtaking Trump.”

    The first statement is a lot more important than the second. Also keeping Trump from adding 165 delegates helps with Cruz overtaking Trump.

    While Rubio dropping out helps Cruz, I’m not sure Kasich dropping out before New York does help. Kasich does well in states that Trump is likely to beat Cruz, so he keeps Trump from reaching 50% limits. Kasich also does less well in states where Cruz is liable to do well thus keeping him from winning winner-take-all states like Arizona. I think this is why Cruz hasn’t put any pressure on Kasich to drop out like he has Rubio or why Cruz has not really made any effort in Ohio. My guess is that Cruz is fine with Kasich staying in until after Connecticut but before Indiana.

  • thanks for the link- I think that was a pretty biased reporter buying all the tea party aghast at the attempt of Rubio to work across the aisle–
    but I don’t really think Cruz could win nationally against a Democrat. He is polarizing. His brand of Christian doesn’t like too many other brands of Christian. HIs brand of republican doesn’t really like other brands of conservatives.

  • Here are 2 paragraphs from an article By Ed Morrissey that make a good argument:
    “Both Rubio and Cruz have had high and low points in Washington. Rubio’s low point came with the Gang of Eight bill, which he admits now was a mistake. Cruz led a poorly conceived shutdown over the fantasy demand that Barack Obama sign a budget defunding ObamaCare, which ended up leaving Republicans on the defensive in 2013 and nearly overshadowed a catastrophic failure in the program’s rollout. Neither of these mistakes did any long-term damage, but the two mistakes reflect a key difference between the two candidates. Rubio tried too hard to work with others and made a bad deal but eventually recognized that, while Cruz doesn’t work well even with members of his own party and makes the kind of impossible-to-keep promises that end up disillusioning voters.”
    and
    “Rubio, on the other hand, saw a way to block crony payoffs to the insurance companies that pushed for that mandate with the restriction on funds for “risk corridor” payments. Rubio demanded a rider on the 2013 “cromnibus” that blocked general-fund payouts under that program, limiting them to taxes collected specifically for that function. Rubio’s effort remains the only effective Republican legislative limitation of ObamaCare since its March 2010 passage, and the one that has pushed most of the government “co-ops” out of business.”

    from http://hotair.com/archives/2016/02/29/caucus-time-why-i-choose-marco-rubio/

  • I’ve never bought that Cruz can’t win in a general. First of all, the polls consistently show him ahead of Hillary. Admittedly such polls are not incredibly meaningful, but honestly Hillary is such a damaged candidate any actual Republican should be able to defeat her in a general election. For all of his supposed unlike-ability, Clinton is markedly moreso, and might also be under indictment.

    A Cruz-Sanders showdown would be multiple levels of fascinating.

  • fascinating,but not very funny ! ( remembering 🙂 “Laugh-In”)

    The fact that she might be under indictment is not a deterrent to some– but if she were Actually hauled in by the FBI- that would be any Republican’s ticket to ride.
    .
    The division among voters between those who want to carry on Obama’s legacy and those who don’t doesn’t break 50/50. conservatives are at a disadvantage because of the division in the ranks, and they need to find a way to gather a crowd.
    .
    Trump’ does pull people in- they are the happy “hell-yes voters” who are having fun just b being kids again.. It looks to me like Cruz may represent some very angry voters – and their anger may frighten other voters- even more than Trumps voters do since Cruz’s see themselves as Righteous and smarter than everyone else. Talk to Cruz supporters and you see that while Trump’s are against the secular establishment, Cruz’s are against the secular. Americans will not vote for a theocracy. that’s why I say he won’t win nationally.

  • sorry Ernst- didn’t follow my own advice

  • In case you were wondering what the optimal strategy is if you live in Illinois:

    https://twitter.com/justkarl/status/707309429620801536

    move to a different state.

  • Now that the floodgates are opened: You know what the strongest ticket would be to overcome the polarization /enthusiasm gap through base turnout?
    .
    . . . wait for it . . .
    .
    Trump/Cruz
    .
    (particularly if the GOPe presses ahead with their brokered convention strategy)

  • Anzlyne, it isn’t that Cruz cut a bad immigration deal, it is that he sponsored a bill that was so awful that everyone involved should be unemployable.

    The bill was horribly constructed, both internally and externally inconsistent. It referenced sections of law that have been abolished, or would be by the bill itself. It included provisions that barred immigration authorities from pursuing fraudulent filers, from using statements and documents presented in other proceedings, and circumventing security checks. It even included a provision for waiving ALL fraud… Not just fraud in filing for Amnesty but all fraud… Of every type.

    Now, I know that holding together a 1000+ page text is a challenge and I am well aware that most legislators have about as much to do with legal drafting as I have over car repair, once the vehicle is in the garage BUT, Rubio was charged with serving our interests and either should have known or did know that the bill was so very bad.

    Do we ignore such derelictions of duty under a rubric of “yeah, but he can beat our opponents?”

    I just don’t think saying “I should have mad a different deal, sorry… My bad” covers it.

  • I guess an essay that bemoans mid 20th century anti-catholic rhetoric about divided/subverted loyalties of Catholics before going on to employ precisely the same kind of rhetoric could be described as provacative.

  • Good post. Good comments. BTW, Cruz is a Seven Mountains Dominionist. He believes in a sort of Baptist theocracy. Visions of Oliver Cromwell come to mind. Maybe that is what we need. The Catholic Church in America (as well as the Vatican from the Seat of Peter on down) needs a drastic pruning (Romans 11). I am not saying Cruz would do that. But he is a Protestant fundamentalist.

  • He’s also a Constitutionalist who respects Freedom of Religion. Unlike the current occupant of the Whitr House or either of his would-be successors on the Democrat side.

  • That’s what I am hoping for, Ernst, but even if he is a theocrat I would vote for him just to see Democrats go into stroke on his winning.

  • Looking at the returns in the Mormon portions of Idaho and in other polling data so far, Mormons at least are not buying Trump at all.

Donald Trump: Unfit to be Commander in Chief

Friday, March 4, AD 2016

There was a horrifying moment during last night debates (there were several cringe-worthy moments as well) when Donald Trump said he would order soldiers to kill women and children. If you remain unconvinced that Donald Trump is singularly unfit to be Commander in Chief after this debate, then perhaps the words of a retired soldier will do the trick.

Tonight, in the Detroit debate, Donald Trump went further.  He doubled down on his claim that American Soldiers should be in the business of assassinating innocent women and children because of the actions of their husbands/fathers.  This is wrong.  This is a war crime.  This is an illegal order.  When he was told U.S. troops do not obey orders to commit war crimes, he responded in typical Trump fashion. “I know leadership, I tell them to do it and they will do it.  I’m a leader.”

This is not just a bad idea.  This is not just embarrassingly stupid.  This is even further trashing of the honor and dignity of the members of the world’s best military.  No Soldier I trained would ever obey that order.  Even worse is to contemplate the soul destroying reality for any that did obey it.  Killing a combatant in defense of yourself and your battle buddies is right and just, but it never leaves you.  In the back of your mind is always the realization that you took a human life, no matter how justified.  How could anyone contemplate putting Soldiers in the position to live the rest of their lives seeing the faces of dead innocent children in their dreams every night?

Donald Trump cannot be the Commander in Chief of the United States Military.  If nothing else convinces you to be #NeverTrump, think of the men and women who offer their lives in defense of your freedom.  Think of what Trump as President means to them in light of what he said at the debate.

In case I was not clear: American Soldiers as a group will NOT obey illegal, unconstitutional orders to commit war crimes.  They will not, and anyone who would consider asking them to should shut up and go home.  Anyone who would consider that does not deserve the votes of the Republican party or of the American people.

This isn’t a joke. “Sticking it to the Establishment” ain’t worth the cost of losing your soul.

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78 Responses to Donald Trump: Unfit to be Commander in Chief

  • Paul,
    I agree about Trump but can you envision a sane commander bombing a high level ISIS residence in Raqqa based on international law:
    Geneva Convention IV
    Article 28 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.”

  • I am beginning to see the light.

  • That’s more gratifying to hear than you could possibly know, Michael.

  • My question hangs in the air then but is based partly on the 1986 attempt by the Reagan administration on Quaddafi’s life which actually killed his adopted daughter.

  • Sorry Bill, I just wasn’t clear on the question. Are you saying it would be considered a war crime? I don’t think so. Morally, the the difference is intent. One has to decide how much, if any, collateral damage is acceptable in going after military targets. What we’re talking about in relation to Trump is the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians.

  • Where’s the specific situation he was responding to?

    Because the situation Bill Bannon is talking about isn’t a war crime, it’s not trying to kill women and children because of what the man in their life has done. They’re collateral damage if they’re killed. (Our reluctance to do that is well known to be abused.)

    I can’t find the quote of what Trump was responding to anywhere, and heck no I didn’t waste my time on the debates.
    ****
    Found it, after much fighting with search engines, in– of all places– the NYTimes.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/transcript-of-the-republican-presidential-debate-in-detroit.html?_r=0

    Trump is a moron. Per my husband– who, amusingly enough, is going to work in uniform this week for annual tour– gave a bright smile and said “hey, if you ever wanted to SEE the military uphold their oath….”

    It’s about specifically targeting those related to a terrorist, not about them being killed in the process; he clearly knows it’s a bad thing, because he keeps trying to switch it around to waterboarding the terrorist, and away from those who happen to be related to him.

  • To Bill’s question, this mirrors the theological question of secondary effect. A person cannot morally kill an innocent in war. A person can morally do an act in war which has the secondary effect of killing an innocent. Detonating a drone to kill a terrorist? Yes. Detonating a drone to kill a terrorist in a place where his family may also be killed? Possible, although if the terrorist can be killed without killing the family, that’s better. Detonating a drone to kill a terrorist’s family, where the primary motivation is to discourage future terrorists? That’s terrorism.

  • Bill Clinton to Donald Trump in 2014; “We will reimburse you plus 10 points of each dollar you spend if you run for the Republican ticket in ’16.”. Donald; “Make it 17 points!”.
    Bill; ” Done.”

    Fly on the wall fiction that is looking more plausible ever day.

    Donald Trump is insane.
    A write in candidate must be organized soon.
    Or else!

  • Hillary Clinton is also not morally qualified to be commander in chief (Benghazi nor Sanders.
    Any of the three Republicans running could be trusted with the job.

  • If Trump is insane, what does that make his supporters?

  • I wrote an open letter to Trump Supporters here: http://sardonicexcuria.blogspot.com/2016/03/funs-over-lets-decide.html

    His original quote was from before the debate. Trump said this:

    We’re fighting a very politically correct war….And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. They, they care about their lives. Don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.

    When he was asked about whether the military would obey this command during the debate, he said:

    “They won’t refuse. They’re not gonna refuse me. Believe me.”

    I don’t think he could be any more plain. Unless, somehow, “take out their families” means something other than the apparently plain meaning.

  • I do not know what to think about this. It is horrifying to me to think that an American military person would be ordered to kill a woman or child. Yet there have been many cases where a woman or child is used to threaten military personnel in the field – women carrying suicide bombs, 12 year old boys aiming automatic weapons at soldiers, etc. In circuumstances like that our troops have to espond with deadly force. I do not like that and I do not advocate that.
    .
    As Robert Heinlein said, “All is fair in love and war. What a contemptible lie!”
    .
    BTW, for all those faint of heart, did not God tell Joshua to kill every man, woman and child when he went into Canaan to conquer a city? Again, this does NOT mean Trump is justified to do the same with our military, but precedence has been set, in this case by God Himself, albeit for very special circumstances. Personally, however, I am horrified by what Trump is alleged to have said (I watched the debate but obviously missed that).

  • With Trump, you never know. Nor can you ever know.

    That said, he’s not wrong about political correctness influencing the way we fight.

  • Potential for non-combatant casualties must be taken into consideration and mitigated consistent with the mission. But, that is not the issue here … or should not be.
    The question is about his belief that the military will follow ANY order he gives. That is absolutely not true, underscored by the folks who were hanged and shot after WW II, whose defense was, ” I was only following orders.”
    Also, substitute going after ‘terrorists’ families’ with going after ‘ Tea Party member families’. THAT open issue has been hanging out there for some years, given the lawlessness of the Obama Administration.

  • The way to think about this is that it’s typical Trumpean bombast & hyperbole. Trump’s opponents hear him say that and start having visions of a bloated, beshadow Brando talking about diamond bullet thoughts on the utility of ruthlessness. Trump’s supporters hear De Niro shouting he wants terrorism DEAD! Terrorism’s family DEAD! terrorism’s house BURNED TO THE GROUND!
    .
    Is it a debate gaff? Yes. Will it hurt him? Probably not before the general election, but Hillary was going to call the eventual nominee The Worst Person in the World EVER anyways, whoever he is, so even then it won’t hurt that much.
    .
    Did he mean it? At the time. He’s like the Clintons that way.

  • IS it a debate gaffe?

    We’re fighting a very politically correct war….And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. They, they care about their lives. Don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families. – Fox and Friends, December 1 or 2, 2015

    Asked again during a later CNN debate, he said:

    But Trump didn’t flinch, saying that he “would be very, very firm with families” and repeating his view that terrorists “may not care much about their [own] lives.” But, he added, “they do care, believe it or not, about their families’ lives.”

    And then he confirmed those statements during the debate, and stated that the military would not refuse the orders…could not.

    No – this is not a debate gaffe.

  • The GOP establishment majority in Congress funded Obamacare; funded executive order lawlessness; funded PP; voted for the latest, huge Federal budget. The establishment GOP is one wing (the Dems are the other) of a bloated bird (big government): which bird is an insatiable buzzard.

    No, this isn’t a joke. Sticking with the loser GOP Establishment isn’t worth another lost election and a Hillary presidency.

  • The Bear asks if Trump is a psychopath.

    This is not the position of a man who doesn’t get something. It’s the position of a man who doesn’t get anything.

  • Be clear on the enormity of what Trump is saying here. He’s not saying that we should make an airstrike or dronestrike on a terrorist target even if women or children are present. He spun a (false) story about how the 9/11 hijackers had wives and children living with them in the US (they didn’t) and sent them back to the Middle East right before the attacks. Trump proposes that in such a situation, we should send military revenge missions out specifically to kill those family members in order to teach terrorists a lesson.
    .
    That’s not just against the laws of a war, though it’s certainly that. Even at a strictly utilitarian level it’s a really stupid, non-productive mission on which to risk the lives of American men and servicemen.

  • Does anyone think Hillary is above the killing of others?

    If Trump and Hillary are the candidates, how to choose the lesser evil????????

    We are in big trouble in the US. God help us. Please.

  • Lucius,
    On the Canaan massacres, it is not a precedent to be repeated since such is moral only if God clearly orders humans to do such ( He takes c.151,000 humans into the next life each day of the week)…which ordering He has not done since the Old Testament with 70 A.D. Jerusalem being different…an intersecting of God’s punishment with a Roman reaction to rebellion. The modern hierarchy at the non infallble level has erred on Canaan with Pope Benedict saying it was simply human sin in Verbum Domini sect.42 in 2010 and with the Pontifical Biblical Commission saying in a 2014 paper….that it never happened literally ( different than Benedict ).To hold those positions, both had to deny multiple biblical verses that had God commanding it…e.g. Wisdom 12:6 ” you willed to destroy by the hands of our ancestors”.
    God kills such groups only when their sin is complete in His eyes and He tells us that in Gen. 15:16 while talking to Abraham (” the wickedness of the Amorites is not yet complete”) which was over 400 years til completed sin for them ( a standard that humans are incapable of judging … and Christ repeats that standard in Mt.23:32 as does Paul in I Thessalonians 2:16 as to Jewish leader sins being complete for the punishment of 70A.D. Relatedly as to God’s lordship over life: Ezekiel 18:4 God says, ” All souls are mine”…Deut.32:39 ” It is I who bring death and life…and from my hand, no one can deliver.”
    Wisdom 12:10 tells us that during that 400 plus years, God was trying to convert the Canaanites by lesser punishments….only then does He finally kill a group as such. Til 70 AD it was over a thousand years of offenses by the Jews prior to completed sin with God wooing them all that time.

  • No – this is not a debate gaffe
    .
    Headline: Trump: “I will order the military to commit war crimes”
    .
    Pretty sure that’s a gaffe. Whether its a Kinsley gaffe or a conventional gaffe I’ll leave for others to decide.

  • Sticking with the loser GOP Establishment isn’t worth another lost election and a Hillary presidency.

    I guess I don’t understand what that means in context.

  • “There is a class of people — men, women, and children, who must be killed or banished.”

    –General William Tecumseh Sherman

    Was General Sherman insane while waging his “total war” against the South?

  • That OR in there matters

  • Ernst Schreiber asked; ” If Trump is insane what does that make his supporters? ”

    Desperate?(!)

    Kill them all and let God sort them out…oh that’s not it at all. Well, justifiable genocide is a trait of the left…see Abortion on demand supporters. If he is not insane he is delusional. I do not believe him to be right in the head or heart.

  • President Truman deliberately targeted civilians to achieve peace and end the war.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Once Sherman got into the business of burning down houses and farms, the inevitable result was the killing of civilians. Therefore, it is almost impossible for him not to have committed war crimes. Indeed, someone who says “War is hell” and proceeds to make war on civilians sounds more like a fiend than a human being.

  • Without doubt, the “entire” population of some Middle Eastern countries is hostile to the United States, just as it was in Japan. Invading any country there to try to bring peace would be next to impossible – an obvious morass, such as Iraq. ISIS could be stopped, or significantly slowed, by dropping 1-2 small nuclear weapons in the vicinity.

    Forever may we avoid that action.

    I liken Truman’s…and Trump’s…statements to the following:

    A Mafia boss is besieged in his house. In the house with him are his family (wife, several children), several other mob bosses, and some friends of the children who just happened to be playing there at the time. In addition, every room is guarded by an underling. Taking the house would involve massive loss of life. If the boss is allowed to escape, he will continue a dangerous drug smuggling operation.

    Therefore…the local police choose to firebomb the house out of existence. They plant C-4 at all the corners. They douse the house in kerosene, and light the C-4. It kills or horribly burns everyone in side. But, the police and other innocents are safe.

    Based purely on a utilitarian calculus, this makes sense. If “our” lives are worth more than “their” lives, even of the innocents among them, then it also makes sense.

    I suppose one could also analogize and say that eventually, the mafia don surrenders because the police begin executing his daughters one by one. After 3 of 4 daughters are dead, he surrenders.

  • More to the point, ‘our’ culture advances mankind, ‘their’ culture diminishes mankind … see also Islam. Per force, war between the two can envision only one winner, the more violent and persistent. So far, that would be Islam.

  • Ginny.

    Are we there yet?
    Do the killings of Christians in the middle East, the killings of the 9-11 attack, the US Cole, Benghazi, all terrorist attacks on the US allow you or me a clear conscience to flatten families believed to be terrorist?

    Yes we have suffered. More so the Christians in the Holy Land, but do we start a retaliation campaign that kills by association?

    Is this sound?

  • Trump has now reversed himself today on both torture and killing families..first reported by the Wall Street Journal two hours ago but here is CNN link:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/04/politics/donald-trump-reverses-on-torture/index.html

  • “Once Sherman got into the business of burning down houses and farms, the inevitable result was the killing of civilians.”

    Except that Sherman never killed any civilians. He was speaking of partisans in Kentucky who were raiding Union lines and under the rules of war at that time were subject to immediate execution. The Confederates pursued similar policies in regions of the Confederacy that supported the Union, including East Tennessee, Western Virginia and Western North Carolina.

  • JTL,
    Since you used the plural…imbeciles…and have no idea what each person has been outraged by over the past years, your post is nothing but indirect self promotion. You’re trying to impress readers that you are the real deal yet your post tells us explicitly that you enjoy spite. Take your post and show it to a good priest and follow his advice. May God bless you.

  • I am sure you ran a similar headline when Obama was running either time. 54% of the Church attending Catholics admitted to voting for him.?

  • JT, your comment consisted of nothing but gratuitous insults, so it was deleted, and you have been prohibited from commenting further.

    Other comments about this blog or blogger in particular not being equally condemnatory of President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or the left in general are laughable.

  • Phillip,
    It is not sound. We cannot win without prayer to cultivate charity in the hearts and minds of humankind. But we have lost the belief and regard for the supernatural and have fallen away into paganism. Unless God soon comes to our aid, the end of civilization is at hand.

  • I agree with the author. We cannot elect a narcist and self loving individuals. Trump does not care for anyone except himself. He a a little boy in a man’s body. He needs to mature to become a leader. It is very dangerous to elect this man after you saw him endorse by his children at the CBN appearance. How can one elect Trump when his morality is in the gutter. I am not judging Trump, but observing his behaviors and track records. It doesn’t matter if one elect this man for economic reason, morality comes first, and utmost respecting life. Trump supports planned parenthood, this shown this man is ignorance of Jesus, who died for our sins. Everyone one of us will be judge by Jesus and how we elect our presidence, since the repercussion will affect many lives and souls.

  • The rise of Trump is more than just about “Sticking it to the Establishment”. If that were the only, or even the main, reason, Cruz would be running away with the nomination. In fact, I get the sense the Establishment would rather see DaDonald get the nomination than Cruz. After all, they had to know that Romney’s speech would have the effect of helping Trump. It has more to do with the Cult of Personality worship that has become so ingrained in society. Hell, you even see it in the Church. If the Establishment were serious about stopping Trump, they would tell Rubio and Kasich to get out and throw their support behind Cruz.

  • You anticipate PopeWatch tomorrow Greg!

  • How about voting for Hillary Clinton who supports the mass murder of babies? Will that be a cause of the loss of you soul?

  • How can one elect Trump when his morality is in the gutter? Easy. When his opponent’s morality is in the sewer.

    Not everyone will agree that choosing the gutter over the sewer is defensible, or that opting not to choose between the gutter or the sewer is an honorable position. And that’s . . . okay.

  • Personality worship is only part of it. What people are really looking for Deliverer to save them from our feckless ruling class.
    .
    Everything implied by “Deliverer” fully intended.

  • is a Deliverer
    .
    (This typing one handed stuff ain’t easy, y’know)

  • “You anticipate PopeWatch tomorrow Greg!”

    I am nothing if not ahead of the curve.

  • How about voting for Hillary Clinton who supports the mass murder of babies? Will that be a cause of the loss of you soul?

    Yes. Any other questions?

  • I was in the car most of today, listened to the news radio stations and NPR. NOT ONE PEEP was to be heard about this statement by Trump.
    A few minutes ago I was in a restaurant which had CNN on the wall with no sound but the moving transcript was on. biggest deal about this story appeared to be how Trump has backed away from his original statement.

    If Cruz or Rubio had made this statement, the MSM would be crucifying them right now. Why not Trump? It may be Teflon, or that radiation-resistant cockroach DNA, but then again, it may be because Trump is one of them. The media knows its own, and they know that Trump like Clinton will protect that which is most dear to them. Everything else can go to hell.

  • Why not Trump? Because they’re saving it for the general.
    .
    And Trump is almost certainly more “them,” than “us.” Which only goes to show you how damaged “our” brand is.

  • “Why not Trump? Because they’re saving it for the general.”

    Yeah, I think so too.
    I wonder if Trump is running to fail on purpose and throw the election to Clinton? Hmm?

  • That’s a check his ego can’t cash, however many zeroes the Clinton’s write on it.

  • I was in the car most of today, listened to the news radio stations and NPR. NOT ONE PEEP was to be heard about this statement by Trump.

    Because they *want* him to run.
    The guy is a Clinton friend. I still can’t figure out why, on earth, anybody believes that he’s what he claims to be– someone who will stick it to the man. (Well, I could form a way of making that work, given my skills from the Navy, but this is a family-friendly sorta blog and I’m trying to be a lady, not a sailor.)

  • The Constitution says otherwise.

    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

  • Unfit: adjective
    1. not fit; not adapted or suited; unsuitable.

    “He is legally allowed to run” says nothing about if he’s suitable, although if the best argument that can be offered to support him is “he’s not legally barred” then that says rather a lot.

  • Ginny – Without God, the end of civilization is always at hand. Does that justify killing innocents? How is killing innocents possibly a move toward God and toward civilization? Isn’t civilization the opposite of random slaughter? Isn’t holiness?

  • I still can’t figure out why, on earth, anybody believes that he’s what he claims to be– someone who will stick it to the man.
    .
    Because he’s not a career politician, and a political outsider to boot, he gets the benefit of the doubt. His supporters accept the fact that he might be a liar because they know the other guys are all liars.
    .
    Whether that’s a true assumption is completely irrelevant.

  • Ernst – Still, you’ve got to admit it’s wierd. The last Republican candidate couldn’t get elected because he bought his wife a horse. This guy buys wives and people think he’s trustworthy?

  • Pinky,
    I think you misunderstood my earlier comments which were my half-witted attempts to put into perspective Donald Trump’s remarks and the ensuing gasps of horror, shock, and allegations of insanity. He has talked in this vein before and I think he meant the families and others closely associated with the terrorists who are often not just out picking daisies.

  • Excuse my description of Trump being insane.
    Too harsh. After he flip-flopped on his own remarks yesterday he demonstrated sanity.

    He was in our town yesterday for a town hall meeting. So was Bernie.
    Trump’s draw was triple to that of Bernie.

    My knee jerk reaction to Trump’s remarks is a form of disgust. With him less words would be soothing to a voter who is remotely and reluctantly considering him in lieu of a Clinton face off.

    I can not sit out a vote when I know Hillary will springboard from what Obama has already done to incorporate “change.” The frustration from Midwest conservative voters is fueling Trump. I don’t like him, but I’ll pick him to lead over Hillary all day long.

    M

  • The truly insane thing is to vote for Hillary. I’m with Phillip.

  • Phillip,
    Are you in Kansas? Great state. My daughter graduated from KU. We are all fans of the Jayhawks and KC Chiefs.

    I unenthusiastically voted for Trump in SC primary. I don’t understand why the establishment wants open borders which has created a civil war in the GOP. Cheap labor, I understand, but the rich will have to pay for all the illegals’ government services.

  • Good morning Ginny.

    No. I’m from Michigan. This week is our primary. Trump is not my choice. Kasich is, but it I feel that Divine intervention is what it might take to see him against Hillary. Trump has so much momentum.

    On immigration he is weak in relationship to Trump…big time weak, however I believe a fair compromise on illegals who are already here can be reached and implemented. As far as stopping more from entering, I can’t imagine how that can be accomplished without a wall.

    Kasich first.
    In the big game on November it will probably be Trump.

  • Every condemnation and criticism now heaped on Trump, and worse and more serious, did not prevent Barry Soetoro aka Obama from being elected and then reelected. Look good and sound good on a screen, no matter how amoral or demonic, and you can get elected in the USSA. Especially noted Catholics coming out now and saying “You cannot vote for Trump becasue__________” are consummate hypocrites – they never came out and stated that you could not vote for Obama and the Democrats-who as the PartyOf Death, the Party of Intrinsic Evil, are ever so much more damnable than Trump. I will most probably write in a 100% prolife person if it is Trump vs Hillary – but Pleaseeeeeeeee, do NOT tell me why I cannot vote for Trump, implicitly campaigning for the libCatholic, Democatholic prodeath candidate. Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas USA

  • Especially noted Catholics coming out now and saying “You cannot vote for Trump becasue__________” are consummate hypocrites – they never came out and stated that you could not vote for Obama and the Democrats-who as the PartyOf Death, the Party of Intrinsic Evil,

    I have an 11+ year blogging history that says otherwise.

  • Paul Zummo & Donald McClarey & those like them are in the minority in the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope publicly denigrates Donald Trump in an interview with reporters on a plane from Mexico to Italy, but he publicly embraces a murderous abortionist in Italy and says not one word against abortion and sodomy in his speech to the US Congress last year – not one rebuke of the baby murdering and sodomy sanctifying liberal progressive politicians. But he talks all about the evils of capital punishment. I am well beyond disgusted. Pope Francis is the Catholic Church’s Donald Trump as far as I am concerned, and if not Trump, then perhaps Her Bernie Sanders.
    .
    Let the Catholic Church get its house in order before speaking about Trump (not a reference to Paul Zummo’s post against which I cannot disagree). Depose and anathematize this heretical Pope first, then go after the wicked politicians. But have your house clean first!

  • Come on , people!
    .

    Keep writing comments and you can raise the comment count to 666!
    .
    Latest from the establishment GOP and the draft Mitt committee: Trump’s hair is hiding the mark of the beast!
    .
    If only Mitt and the clown crowd had vehemently opposed Obama equally as they hate Trump . . .

  • Thanks T. Shaw.

    Now the befuddled look on Christies face from last week makes perfect sense. Sulphur smell wafting into Christies nostrils. He definitely look like he was owned by the Donald.

    One post closer to 666.

  • Ginny,

    .
    The chamber of commerce, corporate-board-room, crony-capitalist, country club, establishment GOP support untrammeled immigration because they want low wages and, to a lesser extent, to avoid being called racists by the lying, Dem-controlled media, which was one reason (really they were making big money) GW and most elected GOP stooges were all-in for the subprime housing boom/bust which caused the financial crisis which spawned the Great Recession. Worstly, they don’t give a tinker’s dam about working Americans or our way of life.

  • My facebook page had a poll thingy to draft Mitt. I was about to put in an (expletive-deleted) comment, but already I get too much useless stuff on that page.
    .

  • Glenn Greenwald points out that the Donald’s statement only reflects how comfortable Americans have gotten with torture during the Bush, Chaney and Obama years

    https://theintercept.com/2016/03/04/trumps-policies-are-not-anathema-to-the-u-s-mainstream-but-
    an-uncomfortably-vivid-reflection-of-it/

  • Perhaps the Trump insurgency will persuade the establishment types to embrace Cruz whom they would otherwise resist. It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good.

  • HI William – Words seem to get a life of their own. Is young Marco, little Marco now an establishment type?
    Buss words are like buzz saws sometimes. It is just understood right across the county that gosh we all hate the establishment. But don’t we really need an establishment?

  • “[G]osh we all hate the establishment. But don’t we really need an establishment?”

    No, the establishment does very little except to protect the interests of those that run it.

    Is Cruz really an option as an anti-establishment candidate? No. He and his wife are both former members of the Bush administration. He funded his senate campaign with loans from Goldman Sachs and his wife is a managing director of Goldman Sachs. How much more establishment can you get?

  • I suppose you could invite Hillary Clinton to your wedding. That might boost your Establishmentt bona fides.

  • “How much more establishment can you get?”

    The GOP establishment would prefer Donald Trump to Cruz who they hate with an unending passion.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/01/is-the-republican-establishment-ganging-up-on-ted-cruz/425145/

    Cruz actually means what he campaigns on, and to most politicians there is no greater threat than a politician who means what he says and who will fight with all his strength for it.

    Trump is simply an ignorant buffoon who swiftly changes his positions under media pressure. No establishment has anything to fear from such a creature.

  • “The GOP establishment would prefer Donald Trump to Cruz who they hate with an unending passion.”

    Could this be why Rubio and Kasich are still in the race?

  • Kasich I think is still in the race to be Trump’s Veep if he gets the nomination. For now I think Rubio is still in the race because he thinks he can still win, as delusional as that is. If he loses Florida and stays in, that would be a sign he is deliberately acting as a spoiler for Trump against Cruz.

One Image Says It All

Wednesday, March 2, AD 2016

Last night went moderately better than expected, so you’re stuck with me for a little while longer.

While there were some disappointments, such as Trump blowout wins in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama (thank you Benedict Sessions!), there were bright spots such as Cruz’s larger than expected win in Texas, as well as him edging out Donald Trump in Alaska despite Sarah Palin’s endorsement. The absolute highlight of the evening, however, was Chris Christie looking forlorn behind Donald Trump as he gave his victory speech. This vine video might be the funniest thing I have ever seen, and captures the utter ridiculousness of the entire farce. This is especially good if you are a Curb Your Enthusiasm aficionado.

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9 Responses to One Image Says It All

  • That is priceless!

    Shart the pants Christie?
    Funny stuff.

    Talk about being a stooge.
    New Jersey is screaming for the dope to come home and pretend to care about his “duties.”

    What a bad dream. Three stooges episodes running on a continuous loop. That is American politics in 2016. Pull the plug. Please.

  • Chris Christie gives unprincipled rank opportunists a bad name. He can taste that Supreme Court nomination if Trump gets to the White House. He doesn’t understand that Trump has gotten all his value from him and that he is now just one of the Trump courtiers. Who knows, if he pleads enough maybe Trump will contemptuously toss him a bone.

  • It will be a four year verbal bullying contest between the two against reporters if Christie becomes vice president. It will be obnoxious overload. It would be like loud mouth mixed martial artist Conor McGregor marrying Ronda Rousey.

  • Is Christie wearing a clip-on tie?
    His facial reactions to Trump’s speech were just bizarre. Slate or one of the other leftoids had a still captioned “we have a hostage situation”.

    I finally watched the mini series John Adams and I’m thinking that if Trump makes Christie VP the Senate might want to resurrect the title “You Rotundity”.

  • “Wondering who can possibly watch the 2016 presidential clown show, and think, ‘Yes, I want the political process to control ever larger parts of my life!'” Radley Balko

    .
    Only the 48% of voters that believe it’s the government’s duty to provide for the, Radley.

  • That said it all T. Shaw.
    48% are comfortable with being told what they are worth. What they can eat. Where they can go. Next, the 48% will conform to the government telling them whom they should worship and how. Why not? They are eating up the programming that their brainwashed minds crave…television programming… Indoctrination at all levels of formal education…acceptance of all forms of sexual depravity…then the execution of life in the womb brought about from their choices.

    When asked how Sanders would bring about Free Colleges. Free Health Care. Equal Pay.
    The 48% say, “you know…government will foot the bill.” Welcome to 75% income tax.

  • Christie has that “I just got did by DaDonald!” look on his face.

  • I would say Cruz winning Alaska despite Trump getting the endorsement of Ditz Palin. DaDonald and DaDitz, now there’s a general election ticket. Sorry, Chris, Sarah’s hotter than you! I had a lot of respect for Sessions before he pulled that Benedict Arnold.

  • One thing is certain. The complaints about Trump destroying the Republican Party by the other candidates and others are completely insincere. The truth is they put themselves ahead of the party. What should be done now, if they were sincere, is all but Cruz should withdraw in order to defeat Trump. Here we have another case where selfishness trumps loyalty. Who has the credibility? Let’s have it out: Cruz vs Trump. Stop the nonsense.

I Will Not be Cowed into Voting for Trump this November

Thursday, February 25, AD 2016

Roughly eight percent of the Republican delegates have been doled out thus far, but evidently it’s all over but the shouting. We might as well make piece with GOP nominee Donald Trump, we’re told. Whether or not one is ready to so readily concede, I’ve already seen the message pivot on various social media platforms. Despite the fact that a majority of Republican voters do not like or simply loathe the man, the quadrennial ritual is about to take place. Yes folks, it’s time for another lovely round of “Vote Republican in November or else.”

Oh I’m just as guilty as anyone as playing this game before. I almost made it through 2012 myself before regretfully folding and pulling the imaginary lever for Mitt Romney (more on that later), and I did the same for McCain in 2008. I’ve made the same arguments now being put forth by Team Vote GOP or Die, so I understand them. I personally find it rather amusing that the same people who have kvetched the most about this strategy in the past are now the ones wielding it, but so be it.

There are two core arguments being put forward as to why we need to get in line for Trump: the courts, and “OMG! Hillary!” (Yeah, Bernie too, but establishment Democrats are ironically better at putting their thumbs on the scale to thwart grassroots sentiment than the not quite so Machiavellian GOPe, so forget him for the time being).

Normally I’d fall in line with this way of thinking, but not this time. Let’s address the courts first.

Antonin Scalia’s death has made the Supreme Court, and the corresponding presidential appointment power, even more pressing of an issue than it normally is. Assuming Senate Republicans actually hold the line – and to their credit, I think they will – then the next president will not only choose his replacement, he or she might get to fill two other vacancies, if not more. Do we want Hillary to make those appointments? Donald Trump may not be counted on to make suitable choices, but at least with him we have a fighting chance. Sure he hasn’t demonstrated any familiarity with constitutional law, or a deep understanding of originalism, and on several high profile cases (such as Kelo) he took the anti-Constitutional side. But he will surely have the best men and women advising him, and we can trust that he will pick good people to pick good people.

To which I reply: The infinitesimal chance that Donald Trump will astutely nominate jurists whose philosophies echo Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, or – dare a girl dream – Clarence Thomas, does not counter all of the other negatives associated with Donald Trump. When speaking of constitutional issues Trump seems barely more coherent than a high school kid who has not done his social studies homework. It’s easy to make too much of his comment that his radically pro-abortion sister would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice, but it underlines his fundamental lack of seriousness on the courts and constitutional issues. He may mouth platitudes about appointing “pro life, conservative” justices, but even when he’s trying to say things he knows his supporters want to hear, he still betrays his complete lack of understanding of what the courts are about. I don’t want “pro life, conservative” justices, I want constitutionalists who will adhere to the document as written and originally understood by its framers. Such justices would naturally decide in a manner that would overturn the social justice engineering wrought by the courts, but would also consistently vote so as to keep the courts out of other areas that are not their concern.

It’s also folly to count on Trump picking excellent advisers to assist him with these picks. We’re left hoping that he picks the right person to pick the right people. Hey, I have an idea – let’s cut out the middleman. Maybe instead of Trump we could have a president who, say, has argued (and consistently won) before the Supreme Court and thus might actually know a little but about constitutional law. Oh, I know, that’s crazy talk. Better to roll the dice, cross our fingers and pray that Trump picks the right person to pick the right person.

Even assuming Trump hits the jackpot and chooses a suitable replacement for Scalia, guess what – he’s likely gonna have to repeat that process multiple times. I would be surprised if Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy don’t resign during the next Republican administration. Ruth Bader Ginsburg might try to hang on for another four years in case Trump wins, but even she might walk away. So not only are we relying on Trump getting it right to simply hold the line, we might need him to make the right call when it comes to appointing someone who could switch the court’s basic composition.

Wait. There’s more. While we focus obsessively on the Supreme Court we forget to scores of lower court appointments that will be made. As Danel Horowtiz details, less than one percent of cases make it to the Supreme Court, meaning that most cases are decided on the appellate level. And as Horowitz shows, President Obama has completely remade the lower courts.

While most people focus exclusively on the Supreme Court and how that institution has reached rock bottom with some of the decisions of the past term, the situation in the lower courts is even worse.  And remember, only 1% of this country’s cases ever make it to the land’s highest court.  Obama has now appointed 54 active appeals court judges, which represents 30% of the appeals court benches.

As of 2016, nine of the 13 circuits are comprised of majorities of Democrat-appointees.  In totality, there are 92 Democrat circuit judges, 77 GOP judges, and 10 vacant seats.  The all-important D.C. Court of Appeals—the second most important court in the land on constitutional issues—is now 7-4 majority Democrat-appointees, with four judges appointed by Obama alone.

On the district level, Obama has now appointed 260 judges, 39% of the federal district bench.

Even if we trusted to Trump to somehow have a better batting average of appointing constitutionalists to the bench than Ronald Reagan and the Bushes, it probably won’t matter. The courts are so fundamentally broken that even appointing the right people – which we can’t even trust Trump will do – won’t solve anything.

Which brings us to the final point. The judiciary has usurped the legislature’s role in deciding social issues. It has become a super legislature, far beyond anything imagined by the framers of the Constitution. Even if the courts decided rightly on these major social issues, we should question why they are even deciding so many of these issues in the first place. Major judicial reform is necessary, including such ideas as jurisdiction stripping. While I wouldn’t expect even a President Cruz to succeed in this arena, at least not as thoroughly as one would hope, there is no chance in Hades than a President Trump will get behind any initiatives to reform the judiciary. In the end, the courts are simply too far gone to think that electing Donald Trump can make any difference whatsoever.

Which brings us to the “but Hillary” argument. Yes, Hillary Clinton is a sociopathic, charisma vacuum who would almost literally (maybe not almost) kill someone who stood in her way of obtaining office. She has no scruples, would say anything to get elected, lies as easily as any of us breathe, and is a doctrinaire leftist.

But I also kind of just described Donald Trump (except for the charisma thing – I’ll give him that).

Phillip Klein laid out a pretty exhaustive list of Trump’s political failings. It’s hard to see in this list precisely where he’s markedly better than Hillary Clinton. In fact both are political chameleons who seem to thirst after power, and will do and say anything to attain that power. In the end, President Clinton or President Trump will do nothing to repeal Obamacare, and both seem to be fine with ideas to further socialize health care. Neither is going to reign in the judiciary, nor are they going to halt the expansion of executive powers. And on and on.

As mentioned above I held out for much of 2012 before finally succumbing to the “he’s better than Obama” argument as applied to Mitt Romney. The thing is, Mitt Romney is Edmund Burke, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan rolled into one compared to Donald Trump, not to mention his clearly superior moral character. Mitt Romney, for all his faults, truly was a superior alternative to Barack Obama. I cannot say the same about Donald Trump as compared to Hillary Clinton.

So that is why no amount of pleading will ever get me to vote for Donald Trump. If it makes you feel better I live in a state that has zero chance of going Republican in a general election, so it also won’t matter. As I said in my previous post, Donald Trump actually could and maybe even likely will defeat Hillary Clinton. God help our nation that this is our choice.

NB: If Tuesday goes as poorly as I fear it might, this will be my final post on presidential politics until election day in November. I don’t think I can stomach eight months of coverage of these two fundamentally loathsome human beings.

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42 Responses to I Will Not be Cowed into Voting for Trump this November

  • My guess is that an Art. V convention is our last, best hope.

  • “Vote GOP or Die”, eh?
     
    Well work hard for a decent candidate, Paul Zummo, else you’ll have no GOP candidate to vote for this fall. Trump isn’t Republican, he’s Fauxpublican–not even enough of a Republican to be RINO. Work very hard because your time is running out.
     
    P.S. I’m glad Paul Zummo repented of his Romney’s Not Good Enough For Me attitude. But now he gets to experience a weakened Republican Party as his penance.

  • An Article V convention is a horrible idea. Once called the Convention could not be limited to a single topic, everything, including the Bill of Rights would be up for grabs.

  • There are so many issues that it can be heard to see where to begin. Our Republic looks to me like a town flattened by a tornado.

    If one were serious about restoring the Republic, one would begin with the Separation of Powers… No one but Rand really talked about that. (Cruz test floated that issue but America yawned.)

    Everything else is irrelevant in comparison.

    Trump wants a facade as fake as Rock Ridge’s in Blazing Saddles. Clinton wants to rebuild a mansion for her to live in and look down on the huddled masses. Bernie wants to give up and borrow tents forever.

    Not one of the candidates is interested in the Constitution or, if they are, have the courage to say so.

    Long ago, we gave up education to the Left. They stripped it of Civics and we are now an ignorant people… Regular Eloi.

  • That great social conservative W. Bush declared during his presidency
    abortion is settled law and part of the U.S. Constitution. The social conservative
    phonies control the Republican Party. They will never overturn Roe vs Wade.
    Not long ago 7 of the 9 justices on the Supreme Court were appointed
    by Republicans. Most of them were appointed by the liberal pro-abort
    Bush family. And still the Republican Supreme Court refused to overturn
    Roe vs Wade. American conservatives are the most manipulated group of
    human beings on the planet, which explains their rage and support for Trump.

  • Good post, Paul. I hope you are wrong. I fear you are right. 🙁

  • I’ve worried about opening that pandora’s box myself, Thomas, but as I was reminded when I expressed those concerns, 3/4 of the states would have to ratify any amendments or wholesale changes. If three-quarters of the states are willing to scrap the Bill of Rights, well, we’re in trouble regardless. That’s not to say I’ve fully signed onto the Article V convention quite yet, but it’s becoming more palatable idea.

  • “That great social conservative W. Bush declared during his presidency
    abortion is settled law and part of the U.S. Constitution.”

    Citation?

    Bush senior appointed Clarence Thomas, perhaps the most ardently pro-life member of the Court. Earlier in his career he had not been pro-life, but as President he was quite pro-life.

    Where Republicans control state legislatures a steady stream of pro-life legislation has emerged. In regard to the Supreme Court, blame Ted Kennedy. He began the Democrat Jihad against Republican Supreme Court nominees, beginning with Judge Bork. If Bork had been confirmed, Roe v. Wade would now be an ugly footnote. To get nominees through the Senate Republican presidents, when the Democrats control the Senate, have resorted to stealth nominees like Kennedy and Souter who have been immense disappointments. All the foes of abortion on the Supreme Court have been Republican nominees, with the exception of Whizzer White who was appointed by JFK.

  • W. Bush and phony social conservatives like him believe abortion
    is part of the U.S. Constitution. So when these slick phonies declare
    their support for the constitution they also mean abortion. Thomas is
    a great pro-life justice of the Supreme Court and so would have Bork were
    he confirmed.

    However, that does not deny the fact that not long ago 7 of the 9 justices
    on the Supreme Court were appointed by Republicans and Roe vs Wade
    is still the law of the land.

  • Franco, you merely repeated your first comment. Exactly when did George W. Bush declare that abortion is part of the Constitution? Citation please,

  • “But we must remember that Cabinet officers, including the U.S. Attorney General,
    serve at the will of the President of the United States. In this instance, George W.
    Bush has never said that he would, or even wanted to, overturn Roe. To the contrary,
    he has said he thinks the American people aren’t ready for that yet. He certainly
    made it clear that respect for the sanctity of human life is not a requirement for his
    nominees to the federal bench and the Supreme Court.” Republican National Coalition
    For Life – January 19, 2001

    Also, that other great social conservative H W Bush recently attended a gay marriage.

  • “Bush senior appointed Clarence Thomas, perhaps the most ardently pro-life member of the Court.”

    And probably the most originalist member of the Court.

  • “But we must remember that Cabinet officers”

    Still waiting for that citation Franco where George H. W. Bush declared during his presidency that abortion is settled law and part of the constitution. Since you have been unable to support that claim with a citation I will assume that your statement was a false assertion by you.

  • Paul Z.:
    Play it as it lays. Make the best of it. Be part of the game. It’s not over till it’s over.
    All the cliches oppose folding your tent and going home.

    Considered in it’s best light, Trump, despite his loathsomeness, is doing a great service for the country by inaugurating what amounts to a new Independent Party that will encourage more folks to participate in a presumably less corrupt political process which Trump is attempting to blow up. The subversiveness of it all is what appeals to me along with the hope for an eventual better government where the will of the tax paying public is acted upon.

    Heady days are ahead Paul. Go for it. We need your contribution.

  • I can not vote for a pro abortion politician like Donald Trump.

  • My “Mortal Sin Vote Democrat” creed does not translate to “Therefore vote for a GOP candidate.” The creed applies to the entire Devil’s Brigade, all the members of the Party Of Death; each and every candidate and office holder of The Party Of Intrinsic Evil in simple terms – ALL DEMOCRATS; but also to some individual independents and some republicans. Sadly, you can always not vote; and you can always write in someone. Bill-comment above-what you say applies to ALL DEMOCRATS even those hypocrites “personally opposed.” This Party of Death and of Evil is the Satanic Choir of Abortion. No stronger message to follow. Guy McClung, San Antonio TX USA

  • but Guy, not voting IS a vote for Billary Hussein – and this issue of POTUS is much larger than Trump himself- it is the complete removal of the immoral incompetent circle of black wrong doers … Rice, Holder,Jynch, Jeh[sic] Johnson, black wannabee’s Mcdonough,dreese, murray, Sunstein,stern, holdren,axlerod and of course Queen Jarrett- imagine all this wasted human flesh replaced with competent leadership in their own fields…. Energy being focused to heal and bind the nation and her people rather than divide as these folks do?

    appointments to the Supreme Court is a crap shoot regardless – I and many of you have been amazed at how ‘ learned judges ‘ can become so obtuse and unable to resist embracing judicial legislation ….. but the current vacancy AND at least 3 more, not with standing any decision by the Supreme Being to bring more of these people to Justice , will be crucial to any significant period of religious revival and a return of this wayward people to the One True God. I still await any listing of particular in this blog as to what’s wrong with Trump- adulterer ? yes, crude and direct? yes ? a baby killer who calls on Gods Blessing for Planned Parenthood? no – objects to the amount of debt we carry -yes? – believes in strong borders- yes- 2nd and 4th amendment – yes- where is the objectionable part that would force you to not vote at all and thereby vote for any Democrat ? all purveyors of death?
    as Guy so accurately points out

  • I’m with you, Paul. If Trump wins the GOP nomination, I will find a third party to support or not vote in the Presidential contest. I absolutely will never vote for him, and a GOP that nominates him deserves to lose.

  • Paul Z. You did the right thing in ’08 and ’12. In a previous comment on your previous post about Rubio I said I did the same think.
    You’re feeling disenfranchised…like you have no real choice. Well, you do. You can do what millions of voters did in ’08 and ’12 and contribute to a 3rd term of continued socialism boarding on communism, or vote for someone that might do the right thing. We all know what Hillary will do.
    Please do stop posting on politics if your goal is to dissuade your fellow Catholics.

  • stop posting on politics if your goal is to dissuade your fellow Catholics.

    You don’t make the rules here, I do. Toodles.

  • I’ve been praying that God influence the election outcomes, and I choose to trust that He is bigger and more powerful than either candidate, and can certainly use them and circumstances according to His plan. That said, I don’t have the stomach for the circus either.

  • “You can do what millions of voters did in ’08 and ’12 and contribute to a 3rd term of continued socialism boarding on communism…”
    .
    A vote for Bernie Sanders is an outright vote communism (otherwise called socialist democracy) wherein one is equal in poverty and misery except for the elitists in government and academia.
    .
    A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote feminist socialism that masculines females and emasculates males – androgyny on steroids.
    .
    A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for corporate socialism that enriches politicians and corporate executives while impoverishing those who work to earn.
    .
    Question: What exactly is the substantive difference?
    .
    Answer: In how fast you the lobster want to be boiled while alive.

  • 2 comments here- Donald – your shot on Kennedy and his assault on Bork was a bullseye – the Chapaquiddick kid had no shame as he assaulted a man so far above him in talent, morals and intelligence – i recall Kennedy berating while questioning Bork for why he left the bench to go into private practice for a short time and then returned to public service- Bork for the first time, revealed that his wife at the time was dying of cancer and the Judge had to go earn money to pay her medical bills- yet the disgusting likes of theodore Kennedy, the abortionist and adulterer who abandoned his wife joan when she needed help the most, gets a pontificall send off from the church upon his death , with the good cardinal in attendance……
    2- ahhh… Lucius, “there you go again”… to quote that certain actor.

    ‘A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for corporate socialism that enriches politicians and corporate executives while impoverishing those who work to earn.’

    He won 46% of the Latino vote in union strangled Nevada/ clark county! That speaks volumes of the down troddens’ view of being pillaged by that Socialist –
    – i fear less the robber baron than i do those who are committed to killing the weakest , the youngest and oldest in my community. I can deal with the captains of industry’ i think. – i cannot stop people in power who find rights in our Constitution where there are none.and make them ‘ laws of the land ‘ – “decided law” my God, have mercy on us….

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  • Christie is like a hired hit man for Trump. What an ugly attitude.
    Many, maybe most, Democrats don’t like their front runner, and many, maybe most, Republicans don’t like theirs. Both parties are broken really.
    The Democratic party is already split – democrats /socialists. The Republican electorate has to decide not to split – in other words Not To Choose Trump.
    A few months ago people were worried about Trump forming a third party– but he and his supporters may actually force a third party if things keep going his way.
    I know regular rank and file Democrats and Republicans who are sick about their apparent (so far) nominees. Unless Republicans coalesce around Rubio- the one who really can unite the party as well as bring in disaffected democrats who love America, Trump may be the nominee. What an embarrassment.
    There are some voters who love the idea of “sticking it to” their respective party leaders more than they love their country…they will go for Trump.

  • Don,

    You may view my statement about W. Bush’s comment as false. But I did hear him
    state that abortion is settled law and part of the constitution. This happened about
    12 years ago. I believe W made this statement during an interview on CNN or Fox News.
    W. Bush gave me the impression that he considered pro-life advocates as single
    issue voters, whom he dismissed as eccentric.

    To me there is very little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans,
    except the Democrats will tell you their evil intentions if elected while the Republicans
    engage in deception.

  • If he had made such a statement Franco it would be all over the internet and easy for you to find. That you can’t find it indicates that your memory is faulty. I disagree with you profoundly regarding the Republican party. There are certainly elements within it that actively oppose a conservative agenda, but there are many more people within it who support that agenda, unlike the Democrat party which is simply beyond hope from the point of view of conservatism.

  • Pray without ceasing. Trump threatens to kill the Republican Party by dismemberment and Hillary threatens to kill the country by suffocation.

  • Don and Paul

    I found the citation. The following quote is from the “Presidential Campaigns, Slogans,
    Issues and Platforms,The Complete Encyclopedia, Volume I”, copyright 2012, by Robert
    North Roberts, Scott John Hammond and Valerie A. Sulfaro

    “In the campaign of 2000, the Democratic Party and their nominee, Al Gore, spent
    millions of dollars to highlight Gore’s strong pro-choice position. The success of
    this effort helped Gore to win a popular-vote majority. (Republican nominee, George W.
    Bush, on the other hand sought to avoid discussions of abortion, referring to Roe v. Wade
    as “settled law”).”

  • You still haven’t found the citation Franco. You need to link to the actual speech where Bush allegedly said it, not link to where a third hand source claimed that he said it.

  • Don,

    I was up until 3 AM last night looking for the quote. I knew I heard W. declare
    abortion settled law. And there it was in some obscure political encyclopedia.
    I doubt that W. made this statement in a speech. However, he did use the
    terms “settled law” and “part of the constitution” when discussing abortion
    during an interview on either CNN or Fox News.

    At least my memory is not faulty.

  • People like Franco disgust me. George W Bush was a GOOD President and Barack Hussein Obama is a traitor. EOM.

  • I deleted your cut and paste wall of text Franco since it did not contain a link to a speech where President Bush said what you have claimed.

    Oh, and the doofus organization you quoted from is so extreme that they regarded Antonin Scalia as a pro-abort, indicating that they completely misunderstand the Constitution and have no clue why Roe was an unconstitutional usurpation of power by the Court:

    http://prolifeprofiles.com/antonin-scalia-and-abortion

    They also regard National Right to Life as being pro-abort:

    http://prolifeprofiles.com/national-right-to-life

    Such CloudKuKoo nuts do nothing to help the pro-life cause.

  • Lucius, you’re in the penalty box and way out of bounds. I’m declaring a personal foul and assessing a 15 yd penalty. Franco – I applaud your tenacity and share your sense. I’ve often thought the republican congress and executive could have ended abortion- how else do you read article III sec 8 of the constitution- In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, ” with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make””.

  • Paul Coffey, I do not give a hoot about your fracking boxes.

  • “how else do you read article III sec 8 of the constitution- In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, ” with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make””.”

    Actually no one knows. There has been no definitive court cases on the issue. Of course taking away abortion from the Supreme Court would have no impact unless Congress took abortion away from the entire Federal judiciary. Then the state courts would still have to be contended with. In any case it isn’t going to happen until the Republicans have control of Congress and at least 60 votes in the Senate to break a filibuster. Since Roe a Republican Congress and a Republican President have existed for a whole 4.6 years. In the .6 year portion the Republicans had a majority due to Vice President Cheney until Jeffords went over to the Democrats and established a Democrat majority by one vote. From 2002-2004 the Republicans had a two seat majority, and from 2004-2006 a ten seat majority, in neither case close to enough votes to break a filibuster by the Democrats.

    A handful of bills including jurisdiction limitations have become laws, while hundreds have been proposed and languished in Congress.

  • Anyone who would not vote for an R against Killary is a complete waste of time.

  • Well my conscience is clear since Donald Trump is not, in fact, a Republican.

Marco Rubio Would be an Election Day Disaster

Tuesday, February 23, AD 2016

I am bucking both conventional wisdom and my own stated feelings in coming to the conclusion that Marco Rubio, if he somehow wins the Republican nomination, would lose to Hillary Clinton (though possibly not Bernie Sanders). I have long held that just about any Republican can beat the charisma vacuum that is Hillary, but now I have grave doubts about Rubio’s ability to win in November.

Let me first concede that polling data suggests the opposite. Right now the Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Rubio up by 3-4 points over Hillary, with Ted Cruz a little less than a percentage point over Hillary, and Donald Trump several points behind Hillary. The polls over the past couple of months have been fairly consistent, with both Rubio and Cruz holding edges over Hillary, but Hillary holding an edge over Trump (with Sanders beating everyone).

But general election polls nine months out before everything has been decided are not quite reliable. That said, the polls do confirm what many feel to be the case. Hillary Clinton has not one jot of her husband’s political skills or appeal, and if just about anyone besides a 74-year old socialist were her primary opponent, she would be toast by now. Sanders has a certain appeal to the millennial crowd, and the general electorate is likely unaware of the full extent of his radicalism.

For the Republicans, Rubio has a superficial appeal that would seem to sway more independent voters. He is not perceived to be as much of an ideologue as Ted Cruz, and apparently has a more vibrant appeal than the supposedly dour Cruz. Trump, meanwhile, reviles people on all sides of the political spectrum. I for one have not only sworn I would never vote for the man, but have said his nomination would cause me to disassociate myself from the Republican party. In that I am hardly alone. If he can’t even get Republicans to vote for him, then how could Trump possibly win?

As much as it pains me to say, Trump not only can win a general election, it’s possible he would even be a favorite to beat Hillary. Of all the reasons I personally dislike Trump and pray fervently he is not the nominee, his lack of electability has never been one. Even if a decent chunk of conservatives refuse to vote for him, he can actually bring in enough disaffected, middle class whites to offset the loss of Republicans. Besides, don’t doubt that more than a few people vowing not to vote for him will, in the end, blink.

We’ve just alluded to Cruz and his ideological rigidity and lack of charisma. Very many people, even on the right, seem to have a visceral hatred of the man.

So why would either be more likely to win in November than Rubio?

In the 1997 movie The Devil’s Advocate,  the main character (and son of Satan, but we don’t need to get into the plot right now – but the movie’s worth checking out if only for Al Pacino’s amazing hammy scene at the end) Kevin Lomax is a defense attorney for a man accused of murder, played by Craig T. Nelson. That the man he is representing is a loathesome, New York real estate tycoon is not at all connected to the point I’m about to make, but it’s a funny coincidence. Anyway, during opening arguments, Lomax (played by Keannu Reeves) offers his opening remarks:

What I need to tell you won’t take very long at all. I don’t like Alexander Cullen. I don’t think he’s a nice person. I don’t expect you to like him. He’s been a terrible husband to all three of his wives. He’s been a destructive force in the lives of his stepchildren. He’s cheated the city, his partners… …his employees. He’s paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties and fines. I don’t like hm. I’m going to tell you some things during the course of this trial that are going to make you like him even less.

But this isn’t a popularity contest. It’s a murder trial. And the single most important provable fact of this proceeding is that Alexander Cullen was somewhere else when these horrible crimes took place.

I want one thing from you. That’s it. One thing.I want you to ask yourself: “Is not liking this man reason enough to convict him of murder?”

When an angry Cullen confronts Lomax about these remarks, Lomax replies (pardon the very crude language):

I’m gonna bust my ass make sure they hate you. Because as long as you’re boning Melissa, you’re not home killing your wife!

There’s something to be said about laying your cards out on the table. It’s been established that Trump is, well, not a nice guy, and yet he’s winning over Evangelical voters (a topic for another day after a few rounds of heavy drinks). Cruz – not nearly as unlikable as he’s portrayed, but whatever – is also something of a known commodity. As Matt Walsh points out, Cruz is still able to win over voters through the strength of his ideas despite the lack of a strong charismatic appeal (though admittedly this was written after the Iowa caucus when things were looking a bit rosier for Cruz).

The point is though that Cruz and Trump have reputations that precede them. And that might be a good thing for their general election prospects. The voters already have a sense of what these candidates are (even if it’s exaggerated in Cruz’s case, but again, whatever), and yet Cruz still holds his own in a potential election matchup against Hillary. Moreover, one gets the sense that both Trump and Cruz will be able to withstand the blows that Hillary is going to land in debates and in the incessant advertising and media blitz to come. The thing is, people already have a good sense of who these men are, and there’s not much more that the Democrats can do to bring them down. And both men also will be quick to hit back just as hard. Neither man is a boy scout, and for general election purposes, that’s a good thing.

Which brings us to Rubio. The opposition dump that is to come on Marco Rubio is going to make whatever Right to Rise did look like a day at the beach. This has nothing to do with any personal issues that will get dug up, but rather how the Democrats will inevitably go after his “extremism.” Well all those Rubio supporters here in the primary pointing out Rubio’s conservative voting record are going to have to scramble when that voting record is suddenly more deeply explored by the media and the DNC – but I repeat myself. Sure they’ll do the same to Cruz, but again, that’s already known about him. Suddenly the squeaky clean boy wonder won’t look quite as “moderate,” and when his foreign policy bellicosity is added to the mix, suddenly he looks even more extreme than Cruz.

And how would Rubio respond to the attacks that are to come? This is where the rubber hits the road and my lack of confidence in Rubio comes to the fore. Does Rubio have what it takes to take on the Democratic party/Clinton machine? What I’ve seen of Rubio thus far does not impress me. His speaking style inspires some, but has me thinking he needs to hit the decaf. More seriously, I don’t see in him the type of person who can take an attack head-on and deftly go on the counter-attack. Even if one thinks the debate flub against Christie became an exaggerated talking point, it demonstrated a weakness that will be exploited in the general election. I don’t happen to think Rubio is dumb or programmed, nor am I confident that he has the chops to go mano y mujer against Hillary.

What’s more, I don’t think he will pull in as many non-Republicans as Trump, nor will he do as well among Republicans as Cruz. Will conservatives stay at home on election day if Rubio is the nominee? Not necessarily, but as was the case with Romney, I don’t think his nomination will help mobilize the base to engender even greater Republican turnout. Rubio will be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as just another Establishment Republican. He’ll get most on the right to dutifully go to the polls for him, but will they knock on doors for him? Will they hit the phone banks?

I’m not even certain Rubio will outperform Cruz among non-Republicans. There is a bitter anti-Establishment mood in this country, and Cruz is a much better vehicle for that feeling than Marco Rubio. Let’s be blunt – are the angry, white middle-class Americans going to storm the polls for one of the leaders of the Gang of Eight? Rubio supporters can roll their eyes if they wish at another invocation of the dreaded Gang of Eight, but it’s a stench that will not leave Marco. And while it’s a stench that will drive away disaffected independents, it will not draw in minority voters.

So I’m bucking conventional wisdom to say that of the three main Republican contenders, Marco Rubio is the most ill-suited to win this November election. Could I be wrong? Of course, I’ve gotten plenty wrong before – except about Jeb Bush not being the nominee. Go me. Therefore if your primary motivation for voting for Rubio is electability – first slap yourself for playing this stupid game because you probably voted for Romney and McCain for the same reasons, and second, know that you’re betting on the wrong horse.

 

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71 Responses to Marco Rubio Would be an Election Day Disaster

  • The single most salient fact for me when it comes to Rubio is that, like Romney before him, he is spectacularly compromised on the most crucial issue of the election.
    .
    Good analysis. Thanks

  • I entirely agree and add one observation: he isn’t all that savvy or smart.

    I offer as evidence the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that he co-authored.

    I did a line-by-line review of the bill and categorically state that it was the single most convoluted, internally and externally inconsistent, poorly written, poorly researched and analyzed, bill I have ever seen. It was the very worst that I have seen in 22 years of government service.

    Now, there are a couple of possibilities here: 1) Senator Rubio knew how bad it was and let his leadership make him their fall-guy. 2) Senator Rubio knew it was bad but trusted the Dems when they said that it would be fixed during Reconciliation. 3) Rubio didn’t bother to read any of it and was content to take “credit” for something he had no idea about. Or 4) Rubio thought it was a good bill.

    None of those answers come out well for Marco.

    My personal view? Rubio is an Establishment stooge with no principles or ideas in his noggin. His voting record suggests to me that “safe” turf is the only legislative space he cares to occupy.

    Will I vote for him if he is the nominee? Yes since voting for the GOP Establishment is the lesser of two evils, a legitimate Catholic position as long as the preferred position is not a moral evil. In the Primary though, I will vote for Cruz.

  • I think a republican nominee is going to win; neither Sanders or Clinton will win.
    I hope the republican nominee is Marco Rubio. I like what I heard him say about foreign policy. I don’t like ” squeaky clean boy wonder” kind of name calling, although I do think he is both very talented and he has good moral qualities that I wish others also had.
    I do pray for him, whether he wins or not.

  • I thought it was nice when Ben Carson didn’t hear his name and Trump went and stood by him until he was called again. But conceding the point that Trump is not nice, so what? Many effective presidents have not been warm and fuzzy. I think he can beat either one of the Democrat candidates, and will learn a lot between now and election day. Rubio looks like a kid. He’s sharp, I’ll give him that, but Christie was able to be effective against him in debate. I just don’t see him in the White House. Cruz has the personality of wet cardboard, and his quickly getting a reputation for sleazy campaigning. Is the citizenship issue real or not? Too early to arouse much interest for me. People are so sick of this administration, which has Hillary’s fingerprints all over it, they will vote for Trump if they have to hold their noses.

  • The problem with Trump isn’t that he’s not nice, it’s that he’s a statist virtually indistinguishable from Clinton.

    quickly getting a reputation for sleazy campaigning

    A completely unmerited one, mostly being spread by campaigns infinitely sleazier than his.

    Is the citizenship issue real or not?

    No.

  • Good essay Paul Zummo.

  • Paul, Lucius, one of you were the one this girl called?

    https://youtu.be/CoAmll3ViQA

    In public: SHAME ON YOU.

    *whisper* good job

    XD

  • Nate Winchester, my wife, in her most psychoanalyst voice, says “dear, show me on the doll where the freedom of speech touched you.”

  • Get over it and get with the program. Trump is going to be the next President. And let’s stop with all the bashing. Give the guy a chance. I like it that that he is successful in business. This makes him practical. If politics is about compromise, Donald–Art of the Deal–Trump is our guy. If anyone has a chance of making America great again it is Donald. Besides that Donald will appeal to many working class Democrats and union members so he will have a great opportunity of bringing our country together. Donald will make us feel better about ourselves after eight masochistic years of Obama. And another thing, and this is important, his employees like him.

  • Thanks Mike for the message from the Trump Cult. Trump is a complete ass who made his money through crony capitalism of the worst sort. A conventional New York liberal, he is as Republican as Obama is:

    https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/01/deace-donald-trump-a-typical-new-york-city-liberal-then-and-now

    A Trump Presidency would be a disaster from start to finish. If he is the GOP candidate every conservative should stay home.

  • Donald. I like your direct assessment.

    All the conservatives I know favor Trump. We have to get beyond these liberal/conservative ideological arguments which are tearing our country apart. People want problems solved not arguments won.

  • “Trump is a complete ass who made his money through crony capitalism of the worst sort…. he is as Republican as Obama is”

    I cannot help but draw parallels between Trump and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Chicago hedge fund gazillionaire who, like Trump, had been pretty much a conventional wealthy liberal all his life until he suddenly got the itch to run for an executive office as a Republican, peddling an appealing but rather vague message of “reform” and “shaking up” state government.

    I won’t bore non-Illinois residents with all the details, but suffiice it to say that he’s left the state with no budget for 8 months and counting, and it’s reaching the point where the state university system, various human services, and other functions are nearing collapse. He insists that the Democrats who control the state legislature are actually to blame, but whether you blame them for not approving his “turnaround” agenda or blame HIM for picking an unwinnable fight depends on your point of view, I suppose.

    Now, there are important differences between Trump and Rauner: Trump, as far as I know, does not despise unions with the same passion that Rauner does (anti-public employee union measures are a core component of Rauner’s agenda). Also, it’s not likely that the Democrats would regain control of both houses of Congress in the same election that Trump wins, so he would not be faced with an implacably hostile legislative body. Still, both men are great at telling people exactly what they THINK their audience wants to hear, while offering little or no adequate explanation of how they plan to accomplish their goals. I could not bring myself to vote for Rauner because I simply did not trust or believe him, and recent developments only confirm my suspicions. I feel the same way about Trump at this point. He may be somewhat less odious than Hillary or Bernie, but that’s about the best I can say about him.

  • Populism frightens me. That is the truth of the thing.

    When the crowds chant, I cringe.

    FDR was wildly popular and it cost us our Constitution. Obama was an all-to-human “savior.” Now I hear the same sort of un-earned adulation heaped upon a man who was, until ten months ago, held in contempt.

    What, pray tell, does Mr. Trump offer in terms of plans? I suggest it is nothing at all. His ideas amount to “saying what everyone is thinking.” There is no cohesiveness, no philosophical underpinnings, and no effort to hitch anything to the Constitution or the powers of the presidency.

    Mr. Trump is dangerous because he knows nothing and cares nothing for the Republic. That scares me terribly and my vote will not be included with those placing a populist dictator in the Oval Office as our last elected president.

  • The next comment, tweet, blog, or article I read offering a substantive, detailed reason why anyone should vote for Trump will be the first.

  • @David Spaulding – lol Nice. I see now why you put a ring on it you lucky dog. 😉

  • The next comment, tweet, blog, or article I read offering a substantive, detailed reason why anyone should vote for Trump will be the first.

    Here’s a reason:
    .
    Because his State of the Union addresses are going to be more entertaining than the latest Wrestlemania.

  • Because his cabinet will likely consist of Miss Universe contestants?

  • Trump is a life long Progressive with a record to prove it. He donated to Planned Parenthood. He brags of being a serial adulterer. He is playing the populism/nationalism technique as did a venal zealot who emerged from the chaos of Weimar Germany. T-Rump appeals to anger, blind rage really, of those who feel betrayed by establishment Republicans and the mendacity of the DemoncRats.
    They cannot be reasoned with, their emotional turmoil has them in high dudgeon. T-Rumps very high negatives among people concerned about constitutional government may indicate that he would lose badly in the general election. Only Clinton’s legal problems promise hope of a DemoncRatic defeat.
    Rubio is a proven Trojan Horse for illegal immigration. Phyllis Schlafly, a former booster, has detailed his many betrayals quite well. He is a Jeb Junior if you care to vote for more Bush style pRogessivism.
    Cruz believes in God and the Constitution passionately. He has all his life.
    There is only one choice for Christians.
    I have never voted for a DemoncRat but shall never vote for T-Rump or Rube-io.

  • The reality is that we can’t vote Hilary. The courts are gone if Democrats win in Nov. GONE. I’ll vote for the most “electable.” I can’t for the life of me decide who the heck it is now! Hellllllllp!!!

  • Another Trump/Rauner parallel that bears watching: both men are wealthy enough that they have little to fear, and perhaps much to gain, by destroying “the system” in order to “save” it, while those of us with fewer resources suffer all the consequences.

  • Because his cabinet will likely consist of Miss Universe contestants?

    Let me tell you, Secretary of Transportation Heidi Klum will be the classiest, most elegant Secretary of Transportation this country has ever seen.

    Seeing more freakout reactions like that of the SJW Nathan linked to will also ease the pain somewhat.

  • Here letter to the editor published in the New Yorker. It summarizes why I like Trump. Maybe some of you might agree.

    Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2016 19:16:02 -0500
    Subject: THE NEW YORKER article

    “Who is Donald Trump?” The better question may be, “What is Donald Trump?” The answer? A giant middle finger from average Americans to the political and media establishment.
    > Some Trump supporters are like the 60s white girls who dated black guys just to annoy their parents. But most Trump supporters have simply had it with the Demo-socialists and the “Republicans In Name Only.” They know there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Hillary Rodham and Jeb Bush, and only a few cents worth between Rodham and the other GOP candidates.
    > Ben Carson is not an “establishment” candidate, but the Clinton machine would pulverize Carson; and the somewhat rebellious Ted Cruz will (justifiably so) be tied up with natural born citizen lawsuits (as might Marco Rubio). The Trump supporters figure they may as well have some fun tossing Molotov cocktails at Wall Street and Georgetown while they watch the nation collapse. Besides – lightning might strike, Trump might get elected, and he might actually fix a few things. Stranger things have happened (the nation elected an[islamo-]Marxist in 2008 and Bruce Jenner now wears designer dresses.)
    > Millions of conservatives are justifiably furious. They gave the Republicans control of the House in 2010 and control of the Senate in 2014, and have seen them govern no differently than Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Yet those same voters are supposed to trust the GOP in 2016? Why?
    > Trump did not come from out of nowhere. His candidacy was created by the last six years of Republican failures.
    > No reasonable person can believe that any of the establishment candidates [dems or reps] will slash federal spending, rein in the Federal Reserve, cut burdensome business regulations, reform the tax code, or eliminate useless federal departments (the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, etc.). Even Ronald Reagan was unable to eliminate the Department of Education. (Of course, getting shot at tends to make a person less of a risk-taker.) No reasonable person can believe that any of the nation’s major problems will be solved by Rodham, Bush, and the other dishers of donkey fazoo now eagerly eating corn in Iowa and pancakes in New Hampshire.
    > Many Americans, and especially Trump supporters, have had it with:
    > · Anyone named Bush
    > · Anyone named Clinton
    > · Anyone who’s held political office
    > · Political correctness
    > · Illegal immigration
    > · Massive unemployment
    > · Phony “official” unemployment and inflation figures
    > · Welfare waste and fraud
    > · People faking disabilities to go on the dole
    > · VA waiting lists
    > · TSA airport groping
    > · ObamaCare
    > · The Federal Reserve’s money-printing schemes
    > · Wall Street crooks like Jon Corzine
    > · Michelle Obama’s vacations
    > · Michelle Obama’s food police
    > · Barack Obama’s golf
    > · Barack Obama’s arrogant and condescending lectures
    > · Barack Obama’s criticism/hatred of America
    > · Valerie Jarrett
    > · “Holiday trees”
    > · Hollywood hypocrites
    > · Global warming nonsense
    > · Cop killers
    > · Gun confiscation threats
    > · Stagnant wages
    > · Boys in girls’ bathrooms
    > · Whiny, spoiled college students who can’t even place the Civil War in the correct century… and that’s just the short list.
    >
    > Trump supporters believe that no Democrat wants to address these issues, and that few Republicans have the courage to address these issues. They certainly know that none of the establishment candidates are better than barely listening to them, and Trump is their way of saying, “Screw you, Hillary Rodham Rove Bush!” The more the talking head political pundits insult the Trump supporters, the more supporters he gains. (The only pundits who seem to understand what is going on are Democrats Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell and Republican John LeBoutillier. All the others argue that the voters will eventually “come to their senses” and support an establishment candidate.)
    >
    > But America does not need a tune-up at the same old garage. It needs a new engine installed by experts – and neither Rodham nor Bush are mechanics with the skills or experience to install it. Hillary Rodham is not a mechanic; she merely manages a garage her philandering husband abandoned. Jeb Bush is not a mechanic; he merely inherited a garage. Granted, Trump is also not a mechanic, but he knows where to find the best ones to work in his garage. He won’t hire his brother-in-law or someone to whom he owes a favor; he will hire someone who lives and breathes cars.
    >
    > “How dare they revolt!” the “elites” are bellowing. Well, the citizens are daring to revolt, and the RINOs had better get used to it. “But Trump will hand the election to Clinton!” That is what the Karl Rove-types want people to believe, just as the leftist media eagerly shoved “Maverick” McCain down GOP throats in 2008 – knowing he would lose to Obama. But even if Trump loses and Rodham wins, she would not be dramatically different than Bush or most of his fellow candidates. They would be nothing more than caretakers, not working to restore America’s greatness but merely presiding over the collapse of a massively in-debt nation. A nation can perhaps survive open borders; a nation can perhaps survive a generous welfare system. But no nation can survive both – and there is little evidence that the establishment candidates of either party understand that. The United States cannot forever continue on the path it is on. At some point it will be destroyed by its debt.
    >
    > Yes, Trump speaks like a bull wander[ing] through a china shop, but the truth is that the borders do need to be sealed; we cannot afford to feed, house, and clothe 200,000 Syrian immigrants for decades (even if we get inordinately lucky and none of them are ISIS infiltrators or Syed Farook wannabes); the world is at war with radical Islamists; all the world’s glaciers are not melting; and Rosie O’Donnell is a fat pig.
    >
    > Is Trump the perfect candidate? Of course not. Neither was Ronald Reagan. But unless we close our borders and restrict immigration, all the other issues are irrelevant. One terrorist blowing up a bridge or a tunnel could kill thousands. One jihadist poisoning a city’s water supply could kill tens of thousands. One electromagnetic pulse attack from a single Iranian nuclear device could kill tens of millions. Faced with those possibilities, most Americans probably don’t care that Trump relied on eminent domain to grab up a final quarter acre of
    > property for a hotel, or that he boils the blood of the Muslim Brotherhood thugs running the Council on American-Islamic Relations. While Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s greatest fear is someone giving a Muslim a dirty look, most Americans are more worried about being gunned down at a shopping mall by a crazed [islamic] lunatic who treats his prayer mat better than his three wives and who thinks 72 virgins are waiting for him in paradise.
    >
    > The establishment is frightened to death that Trump will win, but not because they believe he will harm the nation. They are afraid he will upset their taxpayer-subsidized apple carts. While Obama threatens to veto legislation that spends too little, they worry that Trump will veto legislation that spends too much.
    >
    > You can be certain that if an establishment candidate wins in November 2016, … [their] cabinet positions will be filled with the same people we’ve seen before. The washed-up has-beens of the Clinton and Bush administrations will be back in charge. The hacks from Goldman Sachs will continue to call the shots. Whether it is Bush’s Karl Rove or Clinton’s John Podesta, who makes the decisions in the White House will matter little. If the establishment wins, America loses.
    >
    > We are that close to losing it all……. >
    >
    > John (Jack) McCandless
    > “You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”
    > David Foster Wallace

  • Nate Winchester,

    Excellent video. As I posted elsewhere, two supporters of Bernie Sanders came to my front door a week or so ago. I took their pamphlet, tore it apart in front of their spoiled brat millennial faces, yelled at them for being communists, and chased them to their car. As the Lord is my Savior, I will not stand for these Marxists. My wife was watching from the upstairs window. She said they ran away from me scared. Good. She was embarrassed, however, and reprimanded me for not treating them like human beings. Well, commie pinko leftists are not human. They lost their humanity when under Soviet Socialism they murdered 20 million Ukrainians in the great Holodomor and under National Socialism they murder 6 million Jews. I ask you: what would Phinehas have done (Numbers chapter 25)? What would Mattathias have done (1st Maccabees chapter 2)? I won’t go that far and initiate violence nor do I advocate such, but nevertheless I for one will not stand for traitors on my property. Let them emigrate to North Korea where they belong. Those rotten useless imps won’t ever return to my place unless they want more tongue lashing.

  • LQC – I saw that comment and that’s why I thought of you when that girl started crying. 😉

    I was wondering if you remembered those supporters’ faces and if one of them was in that video.

  • No, Nate, they were both male (I think but with a Democrat, who knows?) I cannot say they were men because manhood is something that the Democrat Party emasculates.

  • You mean they “self-identified” as male you evil cis-gendered oppressor hater you! (is that how it goes? they’ve passed my ability to parody any more)

  • I have a higher opinion of our readership than to think that New Yorker letter could possibly persuade anyone. For a more insightful take into the phony that is Donald Trump, here’s Daniel Horowitz asking where Mr. Make America Great Again was during the 2013 Gang of Eight fight.
    https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/02/where-the-hell-was-trumps-bellicose-voice-when-we-needed-it

  • Hey Paul maybe you will like this argument. Check it out.

    http://wmbriggs.com/post/18070/

    Having fun yet Paul? This is America, it’s all about sales and success. I love the whole thing. It’s the best reality show we have going.

  • Convince me to dislike Trump even more? Yes, Michael, it has.

    Keep posting, though Michael. If people aren’t convinced that the Trump candidacy is fueled by a strong cult of personality, and juvenile people who think what American politics needs is more WWE-style mayhem (and I’m a wrestling fan), then I’m sure you’re repeated postings should do the trick.

    It’s the best reality show we have going.

    Yes, because further destroying the republic and leaving it a heap of ruin for my children is worth it for your entertainment.

    Join the rest of us when you grow up.

  • I would be loathe to vote for that philandering, adulterous, foul-mouthed playboy gambler. The only thing that would tempt me is if Bernie the anti-nuclear, eco-wacko, commie pinko geriatric wins the Democratic nomination. My reason is entirely selfish and in that I am a sinful man. I am employed (and have been for 40 years) in nuclear energy and the commie will shut my industry down. I need to feed my wife and children, so since the adulterer won’t threaten my job in that way, I would selfishly vote for him as a last resort only. May God forgive me my selfishness.

  • LQC. You make an excellent point and a practical one , too. One must do what one can to keep the home fires burning. But you must admit, Lucius, that Trump, despite it all, has charm. And another thing, isn’t Trump the perfect guy to square off against our Pope who in many ways is just like Trump: arrogant, bombastic, heretical, insulting, and the opposite of Papal just as Trump is non-Presidential. The Pope and Trump, what a pair. You couldn’t make up anything this bizarre.

  • Part of me thinks that Obama should appoint Trump for Supreme Court RIGHT NOW just to watch what would follow (it would be a clever move to possibly force a threat to the Dems off the campaign trail).

  • Pingback: WEDNESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  • I have thought for a while that the difference between electability in the general between Cruz and Rubio was minimal at this point. A large predictor of how well either Republican would do would be based on how much of an implosion Hilary has or how the economy is doing.

    However, what I am concerned with is that Cruz could not beat Trump but that Rubio could. I know that this is not consistent with conventional wisdom. How could Rubio do better in the primary over the more conservative Cruz but not in the general? I think the only way that Trump is stopped is if the “Establishment” comes down on him, and they will not do that for Cruz. Also I know some moderate Republicans who would vote for any Republican in the general, but would have preferences along the lines of Rubio-Trump-Cruz. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am supporting Rubio because of he is the most likely to beat Trump.

    Worrying about who will win the general is like trying to line up your pitching staff for Game 1 of the World Series when you are down 3 games to 0 in the NLCS.

  • It pains me to disagree with you, Don. You are such a thoughtful guy. I have been a Rubio supporter since he ran for the Senate. Trump would be a disaster. I’ll leave it at that.
    Watch out for the Dems managing to run Biden and Warren. Double Disaster!

  • However, what I am concerned with is that Cruz could not beat Trump but that Rubio could.

    In a two-man race, I believe the opposite is true, and again this is buttressed by polling data. The majority of Rubio supporters would switch to Cruz absent Rubio, but the opposite is not necessarily true of Cruz supporters. Perhaps Kasich voters would go overwhelmingly to Rubio, and I’m not sure what Carson voters will do. Long story short, while I think either man could beat Trump if it’s just one-on-one, Cruz is better positioned than Rubio at this point to do so.

  • Just to clarify, Donald did not write this post, I did.

    Oh, Trump would be a disaster, but sadly one who very plausibly will be an elected one.

  • I have not seen any recent polling data on second choices of Republican primary voters. Rubio has better favorability ratings which would suggest voters would be willing to accept him if forced to choose.

    I haven’t seen any polls to support this but I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the Kasich voters would prefer Trump to Cruz, whereas they probably would choose Rubio over Trump.

  • The Bear’s with Michael Dowd on Trump. But then, he would be.

  • Also I get an email popup with every comment. I clicked on “manage subscriptions,” but it said I lacked a valid key. I would sooner view comments when it is convenient for me than get an email every time in an active thread.

  • I don’t have the poll in front of me, but it showed the 2nd choice for each person surveyed. For the Rubio supporters, a plurality (this is before Bush dropped out) went to Cruz, and something like 20% went to Trump. For Cruz supporters, more went to Trump than to Rubio.

    Another poll (again, I’m sorry, I can’t seem to locate it) had Cruz beating Trump 57-40 in a one-on-one race. I believe it also had Rubio ahead, though by a somewhat smaller margin. This was conducted about two weeks ago, so obviously things could have changed.

  • Respectfully, how can one say Cruz’s opponents are the ones stirring up the scandals against him? Point taken, at the debate, Trump and Rubio were both weak accusing Cruz of “lying all over the place”, true; but cropped photos of Rubio shaking hands with Obama, the video of Rubio walking by and commenting on the Bible? How about these? And the Bible incident I think is largely bogus because I understand it was a retweet or something. So big deal to that.

    I am for Cruz, I was for Scott Walker before. Now it appears that like Walker’s campaign, the Cruz campaign is shooting itself in the foot. I would still vote for Cruz and consider him “TrusTed”; but all of this is nonetheless, disappointing.

  • I’m googling around and failing to find it, but I thought I recalled seeing head to head GOP primary polling suggesting that either Rubio or Cruz could poll mid to high 50s against Trump is the field were clear. The problem is that it isn’t.

    I take you point on Cruz’s debating. I’ve been impressed with him in the debates, and although I agree more with Rubio than Cruz on the issues, that’s the one thing that has me hesitating. I think Cruz would take it to Clinton much more effectively in the primaries.

    But on the general election… Well, all I have to point to is polling that we’ve both seen, but it seems to me that as by far the most well known of the candidates, it’s hard to imagine Trump getting much better than he is doing now in head to head match ups — unless Hillary goes to jail or something. So my take from that would be that while Trump would steal working class white votes from Clinton in some areas, he’d lose more potential GOP voters than he’d gain.

  • Political success is based on practical realities. There is no such thing as a “perfect” candidate. Trump, Cruz and Rubio are the only realistic candidates the GOP has now. Clinton will be the Democratic candidate unless she is indicted, and maybe even that won’t stop her. Trump is an amoral jerk and has no track record of supporting pro-life causes. Even before the kerfuffle last week with the Pope he was saying some irritating things about Catholics, such as “accusing” Cruz of being a secret Catholic. Rubio is at least solidly conservative, pro defense and Catholic. Rubio is not perfect on immigration, but I find myself agreeing with him on 90% of issues that are important to me. Cruz is just so unlikeable (does he ever smile)that he could not ever win a general election. He also is not particularly friendly to Catholics, given he particular brand of evangelical Protestantism.

  • Cruz and his preacher father believe in and espouse the heresy of the Seven Hills Dominion theology. You can google it if you like. Cruz’s brand of Protestant fundamentalism is anti Catholic, but he himself has not (I think) made anyi Catholic noises (yet).
    .
    But even given Cruz’s heresy, he is infinitely preferrable to the Nancy Pelosi / John Kerry / Ted Kennedy / Joe Biden type of heretics. So if Cruz wins the nomination, then I will vote for him.
    .
    PS, I also voted for non-Christian Mormon Mitt Romney.

  • Here is a Protestant rebuke of Ted Cruz’s Seven Mountains Dominionism:
    .
    https://themarshallreport.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/cruz-and-his-seven-mountain-dominionism-is-not-in-my-bible-is-it-in-yours/
    .
    That won’t stop me from voting for him in order to vote against Livia or the Commie. But we should be aware of what he believes (certainly no weirder than various Mormon ideas that Mitt Romney had).

  • Diane Marshall sounds like a fruitcake:

    Dianne Marshall says:
    I heard him later say he has, but it was a personal matter for him. I respect that. Why should he cast his pearls before SWINE. The real test in a man’s faith is in his walk. Trump speaks the truth and has a lifetime of doing great things for others.

  • I don’t care to say a negative about anyone but I’ve read that blog before and “fruitcake” definitely is going in the right direction per the Marshall Report.

  • Perhaps it might help to desiminate the information contained in the film you can find and review in the web field of this message.

    I am glad to hear others feel the same about trump. Please review the film by Dana Loesch.

    More importantly, I believe is extremely important to distribute this infirmation in the catholic but as well as outside the Catholic relm.

    God bless!

  • Remember on election day:
    McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan would have been better than the disaster of Hope and Change Obama.
    We have Ross Perot to thank for two terms of the Clintons.

    Don’t stay home on election day and don’t vote for a third party candidate.

  • Remember on election day:
    McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan would have been far better than the disaster of Hope and Change Obama.
    We have Ross Perot to thank for two terms of the Clintons.

    Don’t stay home on election day and don’t vote for a third party candidate.

  • Didn’t vote for Romney or McCain, but my first concern is electability, and come on. There is a certain amount of out of touch, just in a lived sense, you have to be if you look at Cruz and think he is actually more electable than Rubio to the general election voter. Come on.

  • *And, I didn’t vote for them in primaries. Generals, of course

  • Well Clay, when you make such a strong argument as “come on,” I think I’ll now have to rethink my position. Yours is a fully thought-out, well articulated position, and I have no choice but to mull it over.

  • While I’m not about to rescind my post, the Marco Rubio we saw tonight would beat Hillary. Thanks to both Senators for exposing that fraud. Hopefully it’s not too little too late.

  • Cuomo is giving Trump the leeway to spin. I though Trump was the one who choked and repeated tonight-
    how great he is, how great he is– you know the tune.

  • “While I’m not about to rescind my post, the Marco Rubio we saw tonight would beat Hillary. Thanks to both Senators for exposing that fraud. Hopefully it’s not too little too late.”

    That was a grand debate Paul. I kept wondering where this Cruz, and this Rubio, have been? The way they tore into a hapless Trump was a joy to behold! They would be a formidable team.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/02/26/rubio-cruz-tag-team-trump-at-fiery-gop-debate.html

  • It is correct that if Rubio were the nominee that Hillary would win.
    .
    Rubio can not carry his (and my) State of Florida, because he has lied to us too many times. (Promised one thing and done the exact opposite.)
    He is a real flim flam artist of the worst kind.
    .
    As of 2/25, Rubio is polling at less than 21% in FL.
    Many people in FL would stay home rather than voting for “lying” Rubio in the general election.
    And this would give the State to Clinton, since FL is usually close in a general election anyway.

  • At the 2/25 debate – both Rubio and Cruz were raising issues from 7 years to 33 years old regarding Trump, rather than anything even somewhat current.
    And this is what they do in their attack ads as well.
    .
    This is the oldest trick in the book.
    Typical lying politicians – pretending these were current.
    .
    People change over time.
    Even Reagan was a liberal Dem at one time, and did not become GOP until he was 51 years old.
    .
    In addition the official Senatorial records of both Rubio & Cruz (Rubio from 2011, and Cruz from 2013, – going forward to date)
    are very different than their campaign rhetoric.
    And this makes them liars.

  • At the 2/25 debate – both Rubio and Cruz were raising issues from 7 years to 33 years old regarding Trump,

    They were raising current issues, including Trump being sued NOW for fraud, and his current lack of any substantive healthcare plan (or lack of any substantive plan regarding anything). Donald Trump’s comments re: single payer and wanting the government to pay for everyone were uttered during this campaign.

    Typical lying politicians

    As Ted Cruz said, lying about someone else being a liar makes you a liar.

    Even Reagan was a liberal Dem at one time,

    Do not compare Donald Trump to Ronald Reagan. Reagan spent decades studying politics, governing as a conservative, and making forceful arguments on behalf of conservative principles.

    In addition the official Senatorial records of both Rubio & Cruz (Rubio from 2011, and Cruz from 2013, – going forward to date)
    are very different than their campaign rhetoric.


    Again, you are the one who is lying, at least as it relates to Cruz (Rubio has been a bit more slippery). There is no difference between the actions and deeds of Senator Cruz and candidate Ted Cruz.

  • “At the 2/25 debate – both Rubio and Cruz were raising issues from 7 years to 33 years old regarding Trump, rather than anything even somewhat current.
    And this is what they do in their attack ads as well.”

    Asking Trump what his plan in regard to health insurance reform is from 7-33 years ago? They raised quite a few issues where the empty headed Trump could only fall back on his trademarks of bluster and insults. Trump is an empty suit with a bad toupe.

  • I’m constantly surprised at my fellow Catholics who say they won’t vote for Trump if he were to win the Republican nomination. If you stay home or vote third party you’ll be pulling the lever for Hillary/Berny. That’s exactly how we got Obama for 8 miserable years. Do you want 8 more years of this disaster? I have even heard a so-called conservative associate of mine say they’d vote for Hillary over Trump.

    My vote in the primary will be for Cruz but I will vote for any Republican in the general over Hillary or Berny. Voted McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan because I knew what kind of disaster Obama would be…sadly too many of my fellow Republicans did not vote or even voted 3rd party.

    Trump is far from perfect and has historically held liberal views and supported liberal causes in the past, there is no getting around that. Today though, his views have changed. Do I believe him? Not really, but at least he says he’s pro-life and pro-second amendment. You don’t get that from Berny or Hillary.

    If a Catholic votes for a democrat in the primary or general they should bow their heads in shame. Saying that welfare and healthcare is more important then the right to life or to defend yourself is bat-s***-crazy.

    There is a huge problem of illegal immigration and Trump has caught that train from the beginning of his candidacy, that reason alone is why he’s doing so well in the polls and election results. Rubio says that we can’t deport 12 million illegal immigrants. Well, we can. Eisenhower deported 6 million illegal immigrants during his time in office….it can be done and should be done.

    A major overhaul of the H1-B visa program also needs to be addressed. Did you see that former Disney IT guys testimony to the Senate yesterday? Simply unbelievable whats being done to regular Americans…all in the name of the all-mighty dollar.

  • If you stay home or vote third party you’ll be pulling the lever for Hillary/Berny.

    I read comments like this and I wonder why I bother writing content, especially if people won’t even bother reading beyond the headline.

  • ” I for one have not only sworn I would never vote for the man, but have said his nomination would cause me to disassociate myself from the Republican party. In that I am hardly alone. If he can’t even get Republicans to vote for him, then how could Trump possibly win?”

    Did you not write that Paul??? Common man!
    I read your entire article and happen to agree that Rubio would not do well in the General election.

  • Paul,

    I wouldn’t expect you to necessarily change your view from the debate on whether Rubio could win the general. However, does it make you feel less inclined to think that Trump could win the general? Hillary could make at least some of the same points about Trump and Wolf is not going to come in and save him when it is Hillary as the other candidate. Besides the media will actually do the necessary ground work for her as opposed to Cruz and Rubio having to do it all themselves. I think things like the Polish workers and his pressuring that woman to leave her house are going to be issues that will resonate with Independent voters.

  • Michael D,

    With regards to Rubio – as I commented above, it did make me rethink how he would do in the general, though I still think he’s not as good a general election candidate as Cruz. With regards to Trump, well, again, what you see is what you get. The public already knows who he is, though there might be a whole litany of things that has yet to be uncovered. You’re right about the media, and they will seek to destroy him- but I still see him wooing the disaffecteds. And again, I hope I don’t get to see how this prediction plays out.

  • I’d urge people to read Pat Buchanan’s latest column; Trump attracting crowds like no Presidential candidate has, perhaps ever…Democratic voting in small numbers. Check their primary numbers. Yes, we hear about the polls showing how the candidates run against each other.

  • The Donald’s Odds Against Hillary
    Thursday – February 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm
    By Patrick J. Buchanan

    In a Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump race – which, the Beltway keening aside, seems the probable outcome of the primaries – what are the odds the GOP can take the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court?

    If Republicans can unite, not bad, not bad at all.

    Undeniably, Democrats open with a strong hand.

    There is that famed “blue wall,” those 18 states and D.C. with a combined 242 electoral votes, just 28 shy of victory, that have gone Democratic in every presidential election since 1988.

    The wall contains all of New England save New Hampshire; the Acela corridor (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland); plus Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin in the Middle West; and the Pacific coast of California, Oregon, Washington – and Hawaii.

    Changing demography, too, favors the Democrats.

    Barack Obama carried over 90 percent of the black vote twice and in 2012 carried over 70 percent of the Hispanic and Asian votes. These last two voting blocs are the fastest-growing in the USA.

    A third Democratic advantage is simple self-interest.

    Half the nation now receives U.S. government benefits – in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, student loans, rent subsidies, school lunches and Earned Income Tax Credits, etc.

    Folks who rely on government benefits are unlikely to rally to a party that promises to cut government. And as half the nation pays no income tax, these folks are unlikely to be thrilled about tax cuts.

    Bernie Sanders, who promises free college tuition and making Wall Street and the 1 percent pay for it, knows his party.

    While these realities of national politics would seem to point to inexorable Democratic dominance in coming decades, there are worms in the apple.

    First, there is the strangely shrunken and still shrinking Democratic leadership base. As the Daily Caller reports, under Obama, Democrats have lost a net of more than 900 state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 U.S. House and 13 Senate seats. Such numbers suggest a sick party.

    Republican strength on Capitol Hill is again as great as it was in the last years of the Roaring ’20s.

    Second, due to Trump, viewership of the Republican debates has been astronomical – 24 million for one, 23 million for another.

    The turnout at Trump rallies has been unlike anything seen in presidential primaries; and what’s more, the GOP voter turnout in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada set new records for the party.

    Yet voter turnout for the Clinton-Sanders race has fallen, in every contest, below what it was in the Clinton-Obama race in 2008.

    Bernie’s millennials aside, the energy and excitement has been on the Republican contest, often a sign of party ascendancy.

    Not only would Trump at the top of the GOP ticket assure a huge turnout (pro and con), he is the quintessence of the anti-Washington, anti-establishment candidate in a year when Americans appear to want a wholesale housecleaning in the capital.

    As a builder and job creator, Trump would surely have greater cross-party appeal to working-class Democrats than any traditional Republican politician. Moreover, when Bernie Sanders goes down to defeat, how much enthusiasm will his supporters, who thrilled to the savaging of Wall Street, bring to the Clinton campaign?

    This is the year of the outsider, and Hillary is the prom queen of Goldman Sachs. She represents continuity. Trump represents change.

    Moreover, on the top Trump issues of immigration and trade, the elites have always been the furthest out of touch with the country.

    In the 1990s, when Bill Clinton fought the NAFTA battle, the nation rebelled against the deal, but the establishment backed it. When Republicans on Capitol Hill voted for most-favored-nation status for China, year in and year out, did Republican grass roots demand this, or was it the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable?

    On immigration, where are the polls that show Middle Americans enthusiastic about increasing the numbers coming? Where is the majority demanding amnesty or open borders?

    The elites of Europe are as out of touch as America’s.

    Angela Merkel, Time’s Person of the Year in 2015, is at risk of being dumped in 2016 if she does not halt the next wave of Middle Eastern refugees who will be arriving on Europe’s shores when the seas calm in the spring in the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

    If we believe the immigration issue Trump has seized upon is explosive here, look to Europe. In the Balkans and Central Europe, even in Austria, the barriers are going up and the border guards appearing.

    Mass migration from the Third World to the First World is not only radicalizing America. It could destroy the European Union. Anger over any more migrants entering the country is among the reasons British patriots now want out of the EU.

    America is crossing into a new era. Trump seems to have caught the wave, while Clinton seems to belong to yesterday.

    A note of caution: This establishment is not going quietly.
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  • Pat likes a chess game and likes to figure the ins and outs, but I think when he pulls the curtain behind him as he enters the voting booth he would personally do the right thing. I don’t really think he would support a bad man because he thought he would win. He would do the right thing.

  • Rubio has clear flaws and could lose (his “broadening” appeal seems very surface-level,) but that doesn’t mean Trump or Cruz would have an easier time. With Trump, any new, atypical voters he draws in could be offset by those he repels, both in driving up Democratic turnout & alienating Republicans who will not vote for him. Cruz meanwhile just strikes me as a base fantasy candidate. His arguments are entirely tailored to people who are already fully onboard.

    I know the argument is that this doesn’t matter, it’s all about driving up turnout and there aren’t as many swing voters these days. But posts like this seem to treat the general election as mostly a matter of intra-conservative politics. I am not convinced that the balance of power in this country so easily favors Republicans in presidential years currently, regardless of Hillary not being the candidate Obama was.

  • Pingback: Is The Time Coming for Rubio to Drop Out and Endorse Cruz? – The American Catholic

11 Responses to America the Beautiful Open Thread

  • If the Republican nominee can’t bring in Democrats and Independents we are done as a Nation. We need to hold back the tide of the Communist/ Socialist takeover of our Country. I like Ted Cruz a lot a whole a lot!! but I don’t see him doing it. He does have some issues that don’t sit well with many Independent type voters like his citizenship. I have talk to people that bring this up all the time. It is a real fact that he gave up his Canadian citizenship right before he declared he was running for President. It is a real issue out there and it could have a huge effect on him losing if he is the nominee. Natural born citizenship is required to be President of the USA . Even John Mc Cain had to get a declaration from Congress to lawfully state he was a Natural born citizen. The democrats will totally bring it up. Don’t think because Obama got away with his citizenship issues that Ted Cruz will have such luck. However the one I do see getting the Independents and Reagan type democrats is Donald Trump he doesn’t have a Natural born citizenship issue like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio but he still has a heck of a battle and some hard edges to smooth out and fine tune I don’t believe for a second Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum got paid anything to go to the Veteran event that Donald Trump hosted . I watched the entire event I believe it was sincere and they aren’t all wrapped up in this hatered against Donald Trump. This Ad hominem against Donald Trump is really horrible and beneath us as Catholics. Donald Trump is getting support from some high pro-life conservatives. That says a lot to me. They see him as a diamond in the ruff sorta person. So I’m going to highly consider voting for him even though by the time I get to vote for the Republican nominee it will most likely be chosen. Please ..Don’t fall for the socialist propaganda campaign against Donald Trump by beliving in conspiracy theories that are infiltrating into the social conservative circles like that Donald Trump is really a Hillary Clinton plant to sabotage the Republicans blah blah blah. These socialist democrat new world order types see what is at stake here and are pulling out all the stops to push forward a communist globalist utopia.
    The Rebulican nominees whomever he is will have to win by a landslide in order to get conservative social and economical values passed. We all better wake up and battle this Communist beast another way. Stop with the holier than thou attitude towards Donald Trump. First he is not a practicing Catholic but a fallen away Protestant. So I don’t hold him up to the standards of someone claiming to be a Catholic or a practicing Protestant. He could actually be ripe for a conversion to the Catholic faith or at best to a sincere social conservative. I’m not falling for the media biases against him or the sound bite comments put out on him. I have taken time to watch his rallies in full coverage. I believe Donald Trump does love the USA and loves his family and that is why he is truly running for the Republican nominee for President. He has pride that is for sure and a whole lot of optimism and ego but what successful business man or athlete doesn’t especially an east coast New Yorker? It could come off as intimidating to some or bring out the gloves in a rival male which you do have in sports and politics. That is the way I see him and the debates. He is a very independent alpha type male. Could be good or bad depending on the situation. He understands this and will reign some of that in as it gets closer to choosing the Republican nominee.
    The Catholic bishops have failed and in many cases have caused the serious moral situation we are in as a country. We shouldn’t be in this situation if they were Faithful to Jesus Christ and His Church. The Church is in huge mess from top(pope) to bottom (laity). The US bishops have for some decades now pushed a intentional socialist policy and failed to uphold the Teachings of the Catholic Faith. Many of them are morally corrupt and are allowing a lot of priests to live lives of depravity .. homosexual lifestyles. They promote the seam less garment heresy.. Like abortion and immigration are the same level. We all better take a hard look at ourselves as well for not holding them accountable and fighting back.
    It is time we fight back for the soul of our country .. gentle as doves but coy as snakes way. Please please vote whomever the Republican nominee is and be a total cheerleader for him. We need a strong United force! We gotta hold back the socialist globalist tide to overthrow our Country.

  • “Feeling a little bit better about my country tonight for some reason”

    Nothing to do, of course, with Ted Cruz winning the Iowa caucus 🙂
    ,

  • One of the most amazing things about this election cycle that has witnessed many amazing things is watching Trump supporters parrot the McCain/Romney line about electability. Despite the absence of any evidence that Donald Trump is remotely more “electable” than either Rubio or Cruz, it has become an article of faith that Trump is somehow the only man capable of defeating the Democrats. This despite polling data repeatedly showing the opposite – Trump trails all other major GOP candidates except perhaps Jeb Bush in all head-to-head general election matchups and has, to borrow a phrase, huuuuuuge negative scores with all, including Republicans, many of whom will never cast a vote for the Donald.

    This is par for the course for the dizzying contradiction that is Trump mania. This all started because Republican voters were rightfully upset by the wimpy Republican establishment. So some voters gravitated towards Trump. Only it turns out he’s more establishment than just about everyone else. Only now it’s supposedly a net positive in his favor, according to his adoring fans. And the fact that Trump is himself decidedly non-conservative – once again, now this is a good thing. So now, in what is a turn of events that surely even some of Trump’s most sycophantic supporters has to chuckle at, the part of Mitt Romney in this year’s election is being played by Donald Trump. Yes, Trump is the “moderate” who will win the hearts and minds of other moderates, and therefore ought to be the nominee because he is the most electable. And in the same breath as the Trumpsters are making this argument, they will declare all who oppose Trump to be members of the McCain/Romney GOPe.

    It’s simply enough to give you vertigo.

  • INothing to do, of course, with Ted Cruz winning the Iowa caucus

    Mayhaps, Don. Frankly 75% of the Iowa caucus-goers rejecting Trump is enough to put a smile on my face. Of course this is all fleeting, as the Donald very well could win New Hampshire seven days out. But even if he does, at least it makes South Carolina and the SEC primary become that much more important. We have a true race, and suddenly have real hope that Donald mania will pass.

  • My favorite quote; “I could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters.”- The Donald.

    I guess he was talking about the amount of liberal bystanders walking about 5th Ave.

    He would be correct then! After all, killing is an act of freedom.

  • Paul, Mc Cain didn’t’ have the cross appeal he was dry not enough moxie and a career politician going up against Obama very hard to be honest. Romney the same dry personality plus being a Mormon many hard core Protestants stayed home, I thought he had the best chance because Obama’ s record and there was definitely cheating going on in many places by Obama supporters.
    So I never thought for one instant they had cross over appeal to Regan democrats and Independents. Sadly we are in this situation in this country. I do see a cross over appeal with Trump he is speaking in plain language on what is frustrating a lot of people. I have watch several of his rallies not just sound bites or biases from other campaigns. We are no longer have the luxury in voting on one issue in order to stop the legalization of abortion. We voters totally have been betrayed by those who were supposed to defund Obama Care etc.. and looked what happen chicken out! The Republican nominee needs to win by a landslide is what I believe in order to hold back the tide so we can fight another day. It will by us some time to stop the socialist takeover of our Country. Language Culture and boarders. We need boarders because there is an invasion of this country by many people to cause division a lot of them don’t have loyalty to this country and many are being used by politicians so they can keep their power to destroy this country morally and economically! All this PC garbage coming from the hierarchy in the Church is going to get us killed. We need to think wisely here in this election of a Republican nominee and not go all kamikaze. We need get behind the winner 100% whomever it is. I’m just looking at this from another perseptive and taking in the past elections and so far Trump has that cross over appeal even though he didn’t win Iowa caucus. Reagan didn’t win it either. He will have to reign in some of his bravado. I think he will if he wants to win. We need to be honest of the situation in the Church and in our country. God Bless

  • Once again, there is no evidence whatsoever that Donald Trump has this great crossover appeal. Quite the opposite in fact. He also repels a large number of Republican voters.

    And again, you bring up a litany of issues where the GOP has “betrayed” us, using Obamacare as an example, meanwhile Trump is an open advocate for single payer. The mental jujitsu his supporters have to go through to defend this phony defies reason. Say what you will, and least Ron Paul supporters were ideologically consistent. Generally.

  • It does look like Trump has reigned in his bravado I saw his speech last night and thought it was pretty good.

  • I have watched his rallies and he said Obamacare finished. I will at least give him a chance and take his word of promise. Trump also hates Common core and he will put a General Patton and General Macarthur in charge of our military. Watch his rallies. He is not for going into wars to lose! I will not bash him or any of the other Republican candidates.

  • Ron Paul a good guy too but does he have the crossover appeal? He could bring over the 18-40 years old voters. he might make a good running mate for Trump? I don’t know we have wait and see.

New York Values

Friday, January 15, AD 2016

Well this campaign season just keeps getting better. Last night the Republicans had the latest in a series of presidential debates. I personally thought the top three contenders – Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump – all acquitted themselves very well. Even Donald Trump, as off-point and rambling in his answers as ever, was basically coherent. Jeb Bush continues to look like a hostage forced to run for the presidency against his will. Chris Christie did well even if he completely dissembled about his record and once again complained about people debating during a debate. John Kasich is still permitted to participate in these things for reasons that elude most sane people. And Ben Carson, well, Dr. Carson is an extraordinarily humble man of great character, and I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to say anything too mean.

There were some fierce exchanges, and perhaps the biggest moment of the night occurred Ted Cruz deftly handled the question about his status as a natural born citizen. He even got Trump to concede that he only went there because of Cruz’s standing in the polls. It was beautiful to see the crowd actually boo Trump as he tried to continue down this foolish path.

The other Trump-Cruz exchange arguably did not go quite as well for Cruz. On the stump Cruz had dissed the Donald for upholding “New York values,” a line of attack he continued during the debate. Cruz concluded with the line “Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan,” a line which was actually a subtle jab at Trump’s remark that “not a lot of Evangelicals come out of Cuba.” Trump hit back, going to the 9/11 well to talk about how New Yorkers stood tall and united after the terrorist attacks. It was certainly a well-crafted response by Donald, and it caught Cruz a bit off guard. Video of the exchange can be seen at this link.

Now there’s been some back-and-forth in the social media world about Cruz’s “New York values” line of attack – a phrase, by the way, uttered by Trump himself a few years ago. Many New Yorkers are supposedly upset by the remarks as evidenced by this Daily News front page (link does not go to the Daily News*).

*I remarked on twitter that if the New York Times had a lobotomy, the result would be the New York Daily News. I was in error. The Daily News is the result of the New York Times getting drunk. 

Now, I happen to be a native New Yorker, born and raised in the mean streets of Queens. I attended high school in Manhattan and worked there for a couple of years after college. My family still all live in New York. I loved New York, and still get a little weepy sometimes when I hear Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York.” I remain loyal to my New York sports teams, particularly the Mets. Donald Trump was absolutely right about the spirit of New Yorkers, and their great resiliency. There is a great charm in New York bluntness. Having lived in several other large cities, and having regularly traveled throughout the country, I still think in many ways that New York is the greatest city in the country, especially if you are a certain age. The combination of arts, entertainments, business, food (the best food of any major city, or at least the city with the best diversity of good food), and just the general vibrancy of the city are unmatched. And even as Democratic as the city might be, there is a great working class charm to the outer boroughs where the residents are not so easily typecast. There is a reason New York City did not elect a Democratic mayor for two decades, and why the one who served for 12 years shortly before Giuliani (Ed Koch) was hardly a doctrinaire leftist.

All that being said, let me relay a statistic for you. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the abortion rate in 2010 for women aged 15-44 was 17.7 per 1,000 women in the country. New York’s rate was 35.3, second only to Delaware. No other state was in the thirties. I am willing to bet a small fortunate that the rate in the city was much higher than upstate.

Abortion rates of course don’t tell the whole story, though there is a definite correlation between high abortion rate states and “blue” states. There are demographic, economic and other factors at play in the statistic as well.

But let’s be clear about something. Ted Cruz was getting at something all of us understand in our hearts. There is a certain value set among urbanites and other people on the east coast that clashes with the values of folks in much of the rest of the country. Of course not everyone who happens to live in New York holds the same values as the urban elites, and even holding those values does not make you, ipso facto, a bad person. Believing in socialized medicine does not render you incapable of rising to the occasion in moments of great stress, or of helping in times of crisis. But when it comes to the world of politics, and in understanding the role of government, or in holding certain cultural values, New Yorkers and the like generally clash with the values and ideology held by the majority of Republicans, and definitely of conservatives. All the crocodile tears shed in the world will not change this stubborn fact. Even if you cringe at the hint of a suggestion of some kind of culture war, you have to acknowledge the difference in value sets. And no matter how much Donald Trump has pulled the wool over the eyes of many voters, his history and his actions show he’s from a different world (metaphorically speaking) than traditional conservatives. And that’s Ted Cruz’s point, and it’s a point that is absolutely correct.

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42 Responses to New York Values

  • I still don’t get this whole natural born citizenship attack.

    8 USCS § 1401. Nationals and citizens of the United States at birth

    The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

    (d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;

    I am assuming Cruz falls under (d), and if he doesn’t, should be easy enough to prove.

  • Zummo, hence the term we all cherish, “fly-over country”. We, the Peasants,..
    . (Even tho I live in the SF Baytheist Area, where the elites eventually land, my heart remains in Indiana.)

    Zummo, you are also overlooking my dear and ever-favorite candidate, Mike Huckster-a-bee, the stealth candidate, who is making his big move—he’s fooling everyone by holding steady @ 2.5% (RealClearPolitics Average on Jan. 13), ready to pounce on Trump, Cruz & Co. Umm, except he doesn’t have a real campaign structure, does he?

  • The only people offended by the NY values comment are New Yorkers, and they ain’t swinging GOP anyway.

  • [N]o matter how much Donald Trump has pulled the wool over the eyes of many voters, his history and his actions show he’s from a different world (metaphorically speaking) than traditional conservatives. And that’s Ted Cruz’s point,
    .
    A point that Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo and Bill Di Blasio have all helpfully reinforced by standing with the Donald in his moment of butt-hurt.

  • abject apologies for not closing the italics

  • There’s New York and there’s New York. Downstate and it’s affiliate northern New Jersey are one place, Upstate another. As for Upstate, the Hudson Valley’s an appendix to New England and the rest is Rustbelt. There really is not any such thing as ‘New York values’ unless you’re confining your discussion to the City and it’s environs. The state’s political culture is wretched due to the interaction of two dissimilar and unsympathetic parts. Essentially, shady characters from Downstate like Shelly Silver run everything and everyone else has just given up.

  • I still don’t get this whole natural born citizenship attack.

    It’s pleasing for Democratic Party lawfare artists and for the usual self-aggrandizing cranks, including the fellow who told me he’d taught ‘the subject’ for ‘thirty years’ and that ‘natural born’ requires ‘jus soli’ and ‘jus sanguinis’. No, he did not point to his law review publications on the matter; he was posting under the handle ‘anonymous’. Statutory legislation enacted in 1790 regarding the status of those born abroad to American parents give evidence to contemporaneous usage of the term ‘natural born’.

  • Cruz is right on NY values. Our thug Governor Cuomo recently told anybody that is pro-life (opposes murdering babies/woman’s health), that is pro-Bill of Rights (opposes his make-believe ban on assault weapons), that is pro-traditional family/marriage (opposes pretend gay “marriage”) that they are no good/pure evil and should get the Hell out of NY. Plus, the politicians running (into a ditch) the city and state hate cops.
    .

    Take it for what it’s worth. I heard on the radio that the Dems and their Siamese twin/media lie factory hate trump; but they fear Cruz.
    .
    Regarding 9/11: If Trump was in NYC that day, he was far away from ground zero. I doubt he ever went below 59th Street. You know he didn’t volunteer to help with anything that was going on in the days, weeks and months after.

    Plus, Trump dissed every fire fighter, police officer and first responder outside of NYC buy intimating that running into the WTC was solely a NY virtue.

    .
    Another thing, you didn’t smell death down there. You smelled chemical fire smoke. The smoke was blown south and west. So, Trump never got a whiff of any smoke.
    .
    On 9/11 and every day for months after, one thing (aside from the mourning we all went through) was how downtown was a wreck and a war zone; for months armed troops everywhere, smoke noxious gases/odors, lines of huge dump trucks carrying out the debris.. And, even on 9/11 as we moved out, and later if you had the opportunity to go uptown for a meeting or whatever, it was like R&R uptown it was as if nothing had happened. Trump uptown may as well have been in Palm Beach after 9/11.
    .

  • it just seems like narcissism ….my cousins live in Queens . They are so proud of being New Yorkers like that is some kind of achievement.
    I think they hate the idea of Iowa New Hampshire and South Carolina as all three states are rubes of three different flavors, but still rubes.

  • Apparently, Senator Cruz felt the need to apologize and have some fun with morons. Quoted at Instapundit.
    .

    “I apologize to the hard working men and women of the state of New York who’ve been denied jobs because Gov. Cuomo won’t allow fracking,” Cruz continued. “I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-Second Amendment New Yorkers who were told by Gov. Cuomo that they have no place in New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are. I apologize to all of the small businesses who’ve been driven out of New York City by crushing taxes and regulations.
    .

    “I apologize to all of the African-American children who Mayor de Blasio tried to throw out of their charter schools instead of providing a lifeline ot the American dream. And I apologize to all the cops and the firefighters and 9/11 heroes who had no choice but to stand and turn their backs on Mayor de Blasio because Mayor de Blasio over and over again stands with the looters and criminals rather than the brave men and women of blue.”
    .

    And:
    ‘.

    “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio have all demanded an apology and I am happy to apologize. I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state,” Cruz told reporters as he left the University of South Carolina.
    .

    Instapundit, “That neatly lumped Trump, Cruz’s main rival for the GOP nomination, with the leading Democratic candidate.”

  • T Shaw,

    One of the things that has always stuck with me was my first trip back to New York after 9/11 (which, incidentally, was my first time back in the city after I moved to DC in August). It was the second Saturday after the attack, and I went down to Ground Zero. I remember walking down Church Street, several blocks before the World Trade Center, and seeing buildings still covered in ash. The most haunting visuals were the Missing Persons posters that were still up then.

    A couple of my brothers helped with the cleanup, and one of them was both physically and emotionally affected by it for some time.

    I would like to think this is one thing Trump would not lie or exaggerate about. If he did . . . God help the poor man.

  • When I think of New York values the words tougher, smarter, richer come to mind, i.e., successful, winning. Folks are buying into Trump because he is a winner. Enough already with losers! America always used to be about winners. The folks want that back. That’s why The Donald is their man, the Babe Ruth of politics.

  • I lived in New York state most of my life, in Western N.Y. We had a little farm there. Most of the people who live near the Buffalo area have little love for New York City or the politicians of the state who are morally bankrupt. In fact, a lot of people there wish NYC would become a separate state or
    fall off into the Atlantic.

    NYC is the abortion capital of the USA. Gov. Cuomo (who should be excommunicated from the Catholic Church) pushed same sex “marriage” and got that passed, and he is big time supporter of abortion, with hardly a word from Cardinal Dolan. The Cardinal marched in the St. Patrick’s day parade with a homosexual group ( a pro-life group was denied to march). NYC Mayor de Blasio is more like Bernie Sanders…a Socialist, who trashed the NYC police.

    So, I am from New York and I support Ted Cruz, because I know exactly what he is talking about.
    I now live in the south in a more Conservative state and hopefully will stay that way!

  • I still think Cruz was setting up for the longer haul–NY values being a buzz-phrase for the “liberal Northeast.” It is fly-over country and the South that must be won to be the nominee–not Manhattan.
    The Donald has yet to insure that he has many of those conservative values and if Cruz does his job right over the near-future, he’ll pound home the reality that the Donald may even oppose those dearly-held values. King of making deals doesn’t quite cut it.

  • NYC Mayor de Blasio is more like Bernie Sanders…a Socialist, who trashed the NYC police.

    Sanders made his bones as Mayor of Burlington, and was capable enough in that position that he reshaped the contours of the city’s politics. He’s also been mindful of his constituency in certain ways (e.g. staying the heck away from cultural posturing on guns a la BO). It is not fair to Sanders to equate him with someone as witlessly destructive as deBlasio. Sanders is more like the late Frank Zeidler: wrong on the issues in general but not a bad guy within certain circumscribed limits.

  • Most of the people who live near the Buffalo area have little love for New York City or the politicians of the state who are morally bankrupt. In fact, a lot of people there wish NYC would become a separate state or fall off into the Atlantic.

    Just to point out Debbie, central Rochester is not a crime-ridden latrine because of anything done by Downstate politicians. Monroe County’s stupidities are it own.

  • I’ll qualify that: Downstate politicians are bloody responsible for turning county governments into conduits with scant control over their finances. Now ask yourself what someone like Maggie Brooks has ever suggested which would correct that situation, or what she or Lovely Warren would do if they did have the discretion, or how suburban voters would react if a proposal for a metropolitan police force were put in front of them or what some lunkhead like Robert Duffy would do if he found himself in charge of such a force.

  • I lived from 1986 to 2007 in NYS. I worked at the Indian Point 3 Nuclear Power Plan downstate for a little more than a decade, and at the James A FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant upstate for a little less than a decade. Downstate – NYC, and Orange, Rockland, Westchester and Putnam Counties are all vehemently liberal progressive, pro-abortion, anti-Christian and anti-nuclear energy. Upstate – at least where I lived on the shores of Lake Ontario – is loyally conservative, pro-life, pro-Christian, and pro-nuclear energy. Therefore, I would amend Senator Cruz’s statement to be more precise: regardless of the WTC attack and destruction, and NYC’s response thereto, NYC values are the issue. Yes, NYC residents heroically responded to the WTC attack. Bu within two weeks they were back at murdering unborn babies and wallowing in sodomite filth. True, NOT ALL are like that. But a sufficient majority are, and the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah comes to mind as fewer and fewer real Christians remain therein.
    .
    PS, the real cause of the problem with NYS values is Roman Catholic clerics like Bishop Hubbard of Albany and Cardinal Dolan of NYC who will NOT preach from the pulpit the authentic orthodox faith once delivered unto the Saints, and who ingratiate themselves with the popular culture of infanticide and sexual perversion at large. The cry of the Gospel is, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” It is not social justice, the common good and peace at any price.

  • This reminds me of Peewee Herman ” I know I am but what are you”.
    .
    I will remind us of all the midwesterners, rocky mountain westerners and southerners who drove their firetrucks and utility trucks to NYC because of that great sense of unity that wrapped us all at that time.

  • What are you talking about, Paul? Upstate is the home of suburban and mossback Republicans who haven’t a political thought in their head other than complaints about their property taxes. You’ll find people who fit your description, but they’re not that common. I had north of 15 years living in small towns in central New York. Maybe 20% of the nominal Catholics therein can be found at Mass on a Sunday, if that. The protestant congregations are in worse shape. I suspect rates of observance in the cities might be better. As for the Church, Upstate, explicit and implicit teaching is less irritating in Syracuse than is the case in Albany or Rochester, but the liturgy compares unfavorably to Rochester’s (though not Albany’s). Stick to the Eastern rites, or Latin Mass Communities. Your chance of encountering a dignified service in Syracuse would be about 15%. Try Chenango County. Bps. Moynihan and Costello would keep traditional priests away from people by posting them there.

  • Art,
    .
    I agree that cities like Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo are mainly liberal progressive. And you are correct about the low likelihood of finding a dignified Mass in Syracuse. Typically, when I go to visit my children in the Syracuse / Liverpool area, I find a parish on the outskirts that is more orthodox. I remember when I lived in the boondocks north of Syracuse, my 12 step sponsor was a devout orthodox Catholic and my priest-confessor was orthodox as well (he too was a 12 step member – I got away with nothing). But I do not have anything to go on except personal experience. If you say that the statistics are thus and so, then maybe you are right.
    .
    I will point out one personal example of a confrontation I had at a family gathering on Long Island. At the time I was working at the Indian Point 3 Nuclear Power Plant and Andy Cuomo’s father Mario had as governor successfully shut down the newly built but never run Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant on Long Island. One of the family members at this gathering was a corporate lawyer in NYC. He was very well educated – smart, intelligent, well-informed EXCEPT when it came to nuclear. He had fully supported the Shoreham shutdown even though that impoverished energy supply on Long Island, increased electric bills exorbitantly, and resulted in more fossil fuel air pollution. He also opposed Indian Point Units 2 and 3 in Westchester County. So I took him through ever design safety feature at Indian Point 3 (I taught the training courses for the Reactor Protection and Engineered Safeguards Systems to I&C Technicians at the plant, so I knew something of the subject matter). I explained the storage of used nuclear fuel (I was the radiation monitoring system engineer, so the spent fuel storage building was important in my assigned system), and how use nuclear fuel can be reprocessed for use in fast neutron burner reactors. I explained the virtually impregnable security (without revealing any classified safeguards information – having been an I&C technician, I had worked on virtually every security electronic system), and how Containment walls were so many feet thick of concrete and steel that even a jet aircraft impact, while making a mess, would NOT cause a reactor accident. I explained the emergency plan to him (I was the radiological engineer on my emergency plan role assignment, so I knew something about that too), and how even if there was no Indian Point, Westchester County would still need a plan for evacuation because of all the toxic chemical industries in the area, and the possibility of a failure in the old Kensico Dam just north of White Plains.
    .
    This smart man followed every explanation, every description and all my hand-drawn diagrams on napkins and shreds of paper with full understanding. He acknowledged that each of his individual objections to nuclear energy were resolved: safety, security, spent fuel storage, aircraft impact, radiation monitoring and protection, etc. But in the end, he said, “I am glad Shoreham is shut down, and I still want Indian Point shut down because it isn’t safe.” I convinced him on every little tiny nit, but the overall religion of anti-nuclearism that liberal progressive leftism teaches I could not overcome. This is the New York attitude, New York values. It is also the attitude and values of those on the left coast like the Californicators who shut down San Onofre units 2 and 3 (imagine voting for failed governor Jerry Brown from the 1970s into office again!), and the Portlandians in Oregon who have a Che Guevara highway (and a lesbian bisexual pervert as governess), and OSU in Corvallis, Oregon who invented the phrase “flying spaghetti monster” to deride Christianity. This sickness that is liberalism is unconquerable. It must be excised as cancer is surgically removed.
    .
    Yes, downstate NY people will help each other out in an emergency, But when it comes to something like this, they like their left coast komrades are freaking stupid. They would rather have explosive natural gas pipelines routed through their neighborhoods as long as it provides spinning reserve for useless worthless green energy solar and wind than to have a completely benign and safe nuclear energy facility. Just look at Bernie Sanders and Livia Caesar – I mean Hillary Clinton.
    .
    I NEVER observed this kind of attitude among upstate New Yorkers except in cities like Albany and Syracuse (liberals congregate in cities because they could never survive on their own in the country). People in the country often called hicks and hill-billies generally have the common sense to see and understand the truth. But not a rich lawyer boy working in Manhattan and living in Long island. I have often called people like that metropolitan barbarians.

  • Ah the real northern New York. I owned a lake property Just south of Malone for years (actually a small deep trout pond in the Adirondack Park) from which I could view the St Lawrence R. We had a Nun in charge of three little churches with a different visiting priest (from the seminary at Ogdensburg?)each Sunday. Once, I recall, she was the homilist during Mass and proceeded to talk admirably about her hero, Teilhard de Chardin. After that I ceased making contributions, though I must admit that I’ve never seen so many men with their rural families singing as well as she had them doing.

  • I agree that cities like Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo are mainly liberal progressive.

    Albany, perhaps, given the large corps of state employees conjoined to the state university. Not the others, if you examine the entire dense settlement and not just the core city. Your problem is not some infection of ‘progressives’. Your problem is ordinary people and how they think about (or fail to think about) their environment.

    (liberals congregate in cities because they could never survive on their own in the country).

    You fancy ‘liberals’ will perish in a house with a well and a septic system rather than municipal water and sewerage? or is it the weekly trip to the county dump you fancy is going to kill them? The head of co-operative extension in Madison County told me about 20 years ago that there were 700 farmers in her county. There were about 15,000 households in the countryside in Madison County at that time; there were another 10,000 in small towns and service villages. People who live in the country commute to work various places like people who live in suburbs. They’re just more likely to own a pick-up truck with a blade on it or hire a plough service (and to have a higher tolerance for long commutes and an affection for certain sorts of yard work).

    You mean you encountered a highly educated lawyer who was not willing to admit error or to stop engaging in virtue signalling? Surprises me not in the least. Yes, you do not find many such people in small towns and rural areas where, as David Brooks pointed out, “the self is small”, and the lawyers you meet are rank-and-file people who deal with mundane problems and are not anxious to pick fights with potential clients. Now, I can introduce you to college town denizens who are perfectly insufferable: they have tenure and do not have to make rent on their office.

  • We had a Nun in charge of three little churches

    Seen that in Altamont (Diocese of Albany), and Bp. Clark in Rochester was notorious for his ‘pastoral administrator’ (always a dame) / sacremental capon configurations. Didn’t know it was done in Ogdensburg. Not done in Syracuse.

  • I am grateful that the attempts of the Pennsylvania Democrat Party to turn our Commonwealth into a New York State clone have, thus far, failed.
    Philadelphia envies NYC. They are separated by 95 miles of former Pennsylvania Railroad and have the same worldview. Philly’s suburban counties were once Rockefeller Republican, switching in part when Hilary’s husband was selling nuclear secrets to Beijing and not kicking out Islamists who overstayed their visas.
    Outside of Allegheny County, Democrats have become as popular as deer on the interstates in Western Pennsylvania.

  • Penguins Fan,
    .
    On a side note, your home state is 2nd in nuclear energy within the nation, much to the disappointment of Democrats.
    .
    http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=PA
    .
    And in spite of the TMI accident (which neither killed or injured anyone) in that state back in 79, Pennsylvanians do not seem to have the maniacal opposition to all things nuclear that New Yorkers typically have.
    .
    NY values – Gov Cuomo telling pro-life conservatives they are not welcome. Fear not, Cuomo, for we are leaving as you sterilize yourself out of existence with sodomy and abortion. Maybe however God will hasten your demise. He did so to Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • I heard, somewhere, that Cruz’s mother renounced her U.S. citizenship, but I have no idea. If she did, therein may be the problem, if she did so BEFORE Ted’s birth.

    I live an hour away from Indian Point in New York. I feel like a stranger in New York. Whatever Cruz said, because I have not at all paid attention to the presidential race, does not phase me. I may not even vote. I am sick of both parties.

  • Really, you heard somewhere? I know what my old friend Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez would say about that!

  • that Cruz’s mother renounced her U.S. citizenship,

    His father took out Canadian citizenship, not his mother, at a time when he had an American residency permit but Cuban citizenship. A newspaper reporter tracked down his mother’s first husband to ask if she took out British citizenship during the time they were married, as they resided in Britain after 1958; he said she did not.

  • That reporter sounds like an amibtious fellow. Maybe he can track down whomever it was who told Harry Reid that Mitt Romney was a tax cheat.

  • Yeah, just like the reporter who nailed down the details on Mitt Romney pranking a high school classmate in 1965 (and published them over the objections of said classmate’s surviving relatives). For whatever reason, there was no reference to this scandal in Sarah Palin’s e-mails.

    We now know, courtesy that reporter, that Ted Cruz brother was not the issue of his mother’s first husband but of some unknown man she knew in the interval between her divorce in 1963 and her marriage to Rafael Cruz in 1969; we also know that his brother died of crib death in 1966, and not in 1965 as Ted Cruz had thought.

  • Yes Karl! The two parties are not helping us find the best leaders!
    Washington warned about party system in farewell address

  • After a minute search I find also this- from john Adams
    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
    .
    Now we have the two parties arrayed regionally – Boston to DC plus West Coast versus all other. Plus president rejoices at turning Texas blue.

  • “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

    Adams soon cured that evil by being so politically inept that he led his Federalist party down the path to extinction, leaving Jefferson’s Republicans as the sole dominant national party until Jackson and his Democrat party. Contrary to the Founders, factionalism, as they would have called the party system, has not been the main political problem in this nation. What has been is the tendency of the American people not to elect giants until a crisis comes.

    Washington was a very great man, perhaps the greatest in secular history, but he never understood that in a free society political parties are inevitable.

  • I hear you – the fundamental issue may well be the lethargy of the citizenry until crisis time . But it does seem logical that the “factionalism” and accompanying propagandizing exacerbates our problems.

  • Now left thinkers are licking their chops seeing NYC and East Coast, West Coast more and more likely blue, as liberal bases. This is to some extent a product of immigration policy in those states and cities by the party mostly influential there…a grand type of gerrymandering from the ground up- instead of imposition by a mark on a map. And the media largely resides there (except many bloggers)
    The body politic in those places has the great influx of immigrants that Democrats try to appeal to. I think Conservatives can appeal to them too- in a different way
    What conservatives could take away from this “values” brouhaha is not to condemn the other but to convert. Recognizing that we do actually share values and that we still do have a common identity is what helps us find the best among us to lead us.

  • The two parties are not helping us find the best leaders!
    .
    The system isn’t designed to produce good leaders. It’s designed to keep anti-leaders from misleading us into tyranny and oppression. Which is why nearly or very nearly every Democrat President since Woodrow Wilson has had little or no use for the letter of the Constitution, much preferring, like all diviners, it’s so-called spirit instead.

  • Which is why nearly or very nearly every Democrat President since Woodrow Wilson has had little or no use for the letter of the Constitution, much preferring, like all diviners, it’s so-called spirit instead.

    I think if you expect any working politician to make an effort to restore pre-1929 political economy, you’re bound to be disappointed. The only one who would seriously consider such an effort would be Ron Paul, who has many ancillary enthusiasms (e.g. goldbuggery and fanciful WWii historiography).

  • It’s designed to

    It was designed to split the difference between competing plans and interests. The rest was sales, more or less. Regarding presidential elections, the convention’s plan worked as expected precisely twice.

  • Be more accurate to say the plan ceased working when George Washington was no longer the presumptive nominee, wouldn’t it?

    As for the political economy, I personally favor dusting off and Article Fiving the entire site from orbit.

  • Be more accurate to say the plan ceased working when George Washington was no longer the presumptive nominee, wouldn’t it?

    No, unless it be your contention that it was not supposed to work unless Washington was the nominee.

    As for the political economy, I personally favor dusting off and Article Fiving the entire site from orbit.

    What? Which entire site?

  • it’s the only way to be sure
    .
    (lame movie reference about what a Constitutional convention fight might look like)

Friendly Fire

Wednesday, December 30, AD 2015

When Rick Perry dropped out of the presidential race in 2o12 it was an easy decision to back Rick Santorum. Santorum was easily the best of the remaining field of candidates, as his political ideology closely mirrored my own. I have no desire to fe-fight the battles of 2012, though I will say that I thought some of the attacks on Santorum, particularly by some on the libertarian-right who depicted Rick as a big government conservative, were unfair.

Santorum is running again for the presidency, and thus far is gaining almost no traction. Considering that GOP runners-up have historically wound up being the man nominated next time, this is somewhat curious. It’s true that the field is (or was) much stronger, but Santorum had established a decent base of support. It’s also worth noting that while Donald Trump has rocketed to the top of the polls largely based on his strong rhetoric vis a vis illegal immigration, Santorum, unlike the Donald, has consistently been an immigration hawk. Even with Donald’s bluster, Santrum still holds the strictest line on immigration – legal and illegal. And yet he flounders, barely registering in the polls.

Whatever the cause for his stagnation, he and his supporters still hold out hope that he can make the same kind of poll comeback in Iowa as he did four years ago. Indeed he is in about the same spot in the polls as he was at this time, roughly five weeks before the Iowa caucus. Yet it doesn’t seem likely that Santorum will come from back of the pack this time, and one of the primary reasons is Ted Cruz. Cruz has garnered the support of the evangelical and conservative wings of the party, and what’s more, he has developed the sort of ground game in Iowa and elsewhere that makes it very unlikely he will fade from the race.

I am most certainly not the only Santorum supporter who prefers Cruz this time around. Though I still like Rick, there are a few key differences between the two that make me prefer Cruz. I’ve always been a bit bothered by Santorum’s more bellicose foreign policy views, and Cruz seems to fit a happier middle ground between the Paulite and McCainiac extremes of the party. Santorum has also backed ethanol subsidies and the Export-Import bank, two corporate welfare schemes that belie the idea that he is not in fact a big government conservative.

With Santorum being desperate to start gaining ground, he has decided to go after Cruz on social issues. Santorum, like Mike Huckaphony Huckabee last week, has tried to take advantage of a Politico hit piece news story purporting to show Cruz being two-faced on social issues.

In June, Ted Cruz promised on NPR that opposition to gay marriage would be “front and center” in his 2016 campaign.

In July, he said the Supreme Court’s decision allowing same-sex marriage was the “very definition of tyranny” and urged states to ignore the ruling.

But in December, behind closed doors at a big-dollar Manhattan fundraiser, the quickly ascending presidential candidate assured a Republican gay-rights supporter that a Cruz administration would not make fighting same-sex marriage a top priority.

In a recording provided to POLITICO, Cruz answers a flat “No” when asked whether fighting gay marriage is a “top-three priority,” an answer that pleased his socially moderate hosts but could surprise some of his evangelical backers.

Aha! You see – Cruz isn’t as committed to social issues as his public statements make him seen. He’s a fraud!

Except, as Patterico points out, everything Cruz said in private is what he has been saying publicly for months on the campaign trail. First, Patterico provides the full quote from the fundraiser:

Q: Can I ask you a question? So, I’m a big supporter. And the only issue I really disagree with you about is gay marriage. And I’m curious: Given all the problems that the country’s facing — like ISIS, the growth of government — how big a priority is fighting gay marriage going to be to a Cruz administration?

CRUZ: “My view on gay marriage is that I’m a constitutionalist and marriage is a question for the states. And so I think if someone wants to change the marriage laws of their state, the way to do so is convince your fellow citizens — and change them democratically, rather than five unelected judges. … Being a constitutionalist is integral to my approach to every other issue. So that I’m very devoted to.

Q: So would you say it’s like a top-three priority for you — fighting gay marriage?

CRUZ: “No. I would say defending the Constitution is a top priority. And that cuts across the whole spectrum — whether it’s defending [the] First Amendment, defending religious liberty, stopping courts from making public policy issues that are left to the people. …

I also think the 10th Amendment of the Constitution cuts across a whole lot of issues and can bring people together. People of New York may well resolve the marriage question differently than the people of Florida or Texas or Ohio. … That’s why we have 50 states — to allow a diversity of views. And so that is a core commitment.

There’s more at the link. Long story short, there is absolutely no inconsistency between what Cruz said in private and what he has said in public.

Santorum, though, has decided to attack Cruz for his federalist-inspired approach.

“It’s basically that he’s not the social conservative that he’s portraying himself to be and is the answer is he’s not,” added Santorum, citing aPolitico story where Cruz said on a secret tape at a fundraiser that he wouldn’t make fighting same-sex marriage a top three priority in his administration.

“If people want to do drugs in Colorado, it’s fine with him,” said Santorum. “If people want have different kind of marriages, it’s fine with him. He doesn’t agree with it. If you want to have an abortion, it’s fine with him, he doesn’t agree with it, but he’s not gonna fight it. That’s not what people are looking for. They’re looking for someone who has a very clear vision of what’s right and what’s wrong and be able to lay that vision out for the American people.”

This is at best a gross mischaracterization of Cruz’s beliefs. What’s more, as streiff at Redstate says:

There is nothing non-conservative about saying that you are willing to allow the voters of Colorado to legalize drugs or the voters of Massachusetts to legalize homosexual marriage. That doesn’t make those decisions right but what social conservatism is about is creating a space where people of faith are free to campaign to have their view be the dominant one. On abortion that means fighting in all states to have abortion outlawed. It doesn’t mean you have to win in all states. It means getting the Supreme Court out of these issues and not imposing Anthony Kennedy’s perverted view of human sexuality upon 300 million people.

I’d go a step further than streiff and note that Cruz’s approach is far, far more likely to lead to social conservative victories than is Santorum’s. Sad to say, Santorum is living up to his image as a would-be nagger in chief. Cruz’s approach, meanwhile, is one that would get the courts out of the social policy game. If the states are left to their own devices to set policy, then we would have a much greater chance of seeing abortion outlawed or gay marriages not sanctioned than we would now. That is not to say that we stop fighting the cultural values – just the opposite. It’s just that the primary objective of a president is to appoint justices who respect the 10th Amendment and would thus allow those fights to be had on a local level. It would then be up to social conservatives to spread their message in New York, California, Massachusetts, etc.

I understand why Santorum said what he said, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Yet I’ve been constantly disappointed by the need people seem to feel to absolutely denigrate every presidential candidate that is not their first choice, but that’s another discussion.

 

 

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44 Responses to Friendly Fire

  • Santorum has always been a Boromir with federal power, another politician believing the problem of big government is not its size but who wields it. My disagreement with him is not with social issues, but in many other issues, primarily the relationship of the fed and our money. I agree with him in the role of government at all levels in helping maintain a strong moral fiber.
    .
    The 10th Amendment should be honored, but realize many issues cross state boundaries. No man is an island, and neither is a state. There is a strong tendency for conservatives, wounded from massive losses on social issues for two decades, to embrace the 10th Amendment as a salve. There are moral issues without state boundaries worth fighting for, e.g. abortion, one man/one woman marriage, harmful substance use, religious freedom, etc.
    .
    There were times in America we excused social moral crimes as a state issue. We should learn from history the value of the necessity of those confrontations and the benefit of those victories.

  • Mr. Edwards. You need to fix the site. Hopelessly buggy.

  • It’s often said that Republican runners-up are guaranteed the next nomination, but the truth is more complicated than that, at least in the modern (post-Watergate) era of primaries. Let’s review. Reagan wasn’t granted the nomination in 1980 without a fight. In 1988 and 1992, Bush ran as an incumbent. In 1996, it was Dole, not Buchanan, who was fast-tracked for the nomination. In 2000, there wasn’t a strong previously-ran, and Bush won. In 2008, McCain got the nomination after having lost to Bush eight years earlier. In 2012, it was Romney rather than Huckabee who rode his previous runner-up status to the nomination. Now, in 2016, neither Perry nor Santorum have been able to build on their base from the last presidential cycle.

    So, what do Dole, McCain, and Romney have in common? And which wing do Reagan, Buchanan, Huckabee, Perry, and Santorum call home? It makes sense that the establishment of the GOP would be more likely to reward party service. It also makes sense that the Party’s right votes more on loyalty to ideas than on loyalty to party.

  • Is this the same Santorum that believes Bruce Jenner is woman because Bruce Jenner says he is? Bit rich for him to call Cruz two faced on social issues.

  • Is the term “friendly fire” apropos when talking about Republican tradition?. Maybe true among conservatives too.
    People of the Left seem more “liberal” with each other. More tolerant. Willing to forget if it means winning.

  • Cruz may be the best of a bad lot, and Santorum has no chance but what he said about Cruz rings true. Defending Federalism in the context of gay “marriage” or abortion are great in theory, but useless in practice in the post Roe and post Obergefell eras and Cruz, one of the most brilliant Harvard law students liberal prof Alan Dershowitz said he ever had knows, that perfectly well. To declare that the states should decide on gay marriage means absolutely nothing in our current legal environment; an environment that Cruz apparently will do little if anything to change. Maybe he believes he can’t. Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean that Santorum was wrong to point out Cruz will leave social conservatives disappointed.

  • That’s precisely the point, Chris. The judicial branch has ruled by judicial fiat on these issues, and Cruz wants to disentangle the judicial branch from social policy making, thus returning these matters back to the states. The idea that Cruz would “do nothing” to change the current legal environment is the complete opposite of reality.

  • The battle against gay marriage has been utterly lost. It was lost when Griswold v. Connecticut was decided. Any President, not matter how conservative will just be wasting resources fighting against it. Reversing Griswold et seq. would require fifty years of Supreme Courts composed of Clarence Thomas clones. Not likely.

    Otoh, we have had quite a few successes with restrictions on abortion at the state level.
    The next big battle for conservative will be religious liberty — an issue I think Trump couldn’t care less about.

  • A big reason I don’t support Santorum this time around is because it is way too easy to dismiss ANYTHING he says with a “you’re just saying that because you’re Catholic” attack, and he’s not good at defending against it. Hostile media, yeah, but he’s still not good at it.

  • Santorum was thrown out of office in 2006. He has no chance at receiving the GOP nomination. He has no base in Pennsylvania, the state he represented. What base he had here is gone, knowing that he lived in Leesburg, Virginia while in the Senate. Yes, I know he has a big family, but Santorum excoriated Doug Walgren for living full time in Virginia when Walgren was the US Representative from the South Hills of Pittsburgh.
    Santorum runs to be a voice for his issues. He is a good Catholic but his days as an elected officeholder are over and have been for almost ten years.

  • Paul, I’m sure that Cruz along with most social conservatives would like to disentangle the Supreme Court from legislating on social issues, but with regards to gay “marriage”, are you aware of any proposal he is making to achieve that end such as a constitutional amendment, or congressional action to deprive the federal courts of jurisdiction over the matter of marriage? Rand Paul has talked about the latter. Frankly I have the impression that most GOP candidates as usual, will say just enough to entice social conservatives to support them, while being little prepared to make things happen. Santorum seems to be calling them on it, starting with Cruz.

  • are you aware of any proposal he is making to achieve that end such as a constitutional amendment, or congressional action to deprive the federal courts of jurisdiction over the matter of marriage?

    In the immediate aftermath of the Obergfell decision Cruz indicated that only the states that were parties to the decision had to abide by it, but that all other states could ignore it.
    http://therightscoop.com/ted-cruz-says-states-should-ignore-same-sex-supreme-court-ruling-twitterati-debates/

    A constitutional amendment regarding marriage has zero chance to pass. The slow process of transforming the courts, tedious and daunting as it is, remains the best course of action.

  • The slow process of transforming the courts, tedious and daunting as it is, remains the best course of action.
    ==
    You’re problem is not only the courts, it’s the legal profession (leaving aside rank-and-file general practice lawyers) and the professional-managerial class of which they are a part. This notion of ‘transforming the courts’ has been implemented assiduously for over 30 years and haphazardly for 15 years before that. How is it working out for all of us?
    ==
    The constitution is defective and institutional habits people adhere to within it are even more so. If you want to take a whack at this problem, you have to disrupt the daily routine of people like Anthony Kennedy and tell people like John Roberts that they better pick a side, because it’s game on. First things first would be to tell particular federal districts and circuits that their geographic jurisdiction is one square yard in the middle of Sunset Blvd, or Castro Street, or 6th Avenue. Next would be to tell particular districts that they’ll have to hire someone out of pocket to enforce their decisions, because all the U.S. Marshalls have been transferred elsewhere, but maybe you get them back if Judge X resigns. Another would be to inform particular districts that they will, henceforth, be paid in potatoes. Dumped on their lawn. Once a year. Oh, you’re getting death threats? Well, sucks to be you. Buy a pistol and learn how to use it.

    As for the constitution itself, it’s a broken down wreck. An Article V convention is the only solution within its terms.
    ==
    Memo to Mr. Edwards: Many thanks.

  • Excellent writing, Zummo; my favorite pithy Zummoism (of many): ‘…like Mike Huckaphony Huckabee “.

    What a snake-oil salesman, the Huckster. Go back to your tax-avoiding Florida-haven mansion and rake in more $$$ off all the dupes.

    Happy New Year and Octave of the Nativity, everyone.

  • I, too, was in Rick’s corner in 2012…but his problem is that when he’s wrong, he’s off-the-charts wrong. The bellicose foreign policy is one thing (and it’s shared by pretty much everyone except Cruz and Paul), but he just can’t keep his Inner Purity Scold under control.

    That’s hobbled him his entire career, but it’s worse when he can’t make up for it with retail state-level politicking, which he was pretty good at.

    The rounding-on-Cruz thing is a great example of this. I’m sure he’s doing it for slightly better motives than Huckabee (a quite nasty politico underneath the folksy shell), but it’s still the wrong move.

  • I’m not understanding the Huckabee hate fest here.

  • knowing that he lived in Leesburg, Virginia while in the Senate
    ==
    I think Richard Armey had a cot he slept on in his office, and Barbara Mikulski used to commute on the Metroliner. These aside, it is pretty standard for members of Congress to have a Washington residence. Unless his Pennsylvania residence was phony (and Richard Lugar, Pat Roberts, and Robert Packwood were all caught doing that in flagrant ways), I’m not seeing how this is an issue.

  • Rick Santorum may espouse solidly orthodox positions on various social issues but he presents himself as a self-effacing person on the verge of utter success. Trump seems a polar opposite who will utterly fail. I may change my mind tomorrow.

  • I like Rick Santorum. The more I go to hear him in person the more I like him. He doesn’t stump like most others.. each time is different and not what you just hear in the tiny amount the media gives him. He has more to say and is terrific with questioners. We sent some money for his campaign today. I figure if I don’t even try to do the right thing- well then, I will not have even tried. I can’t just blow off steam, but I have to try to participate for the good.

  • Trump seems a polar opposite who will utterly fail.

    If you take survey research at face value, four candidates have lost ground since last July (in the cases of Gov. Bush and Gov. Huckabee, about 2/3 of their body of respondents have deserted them). As for the rest, Mrs. Fiorina and Gov. Kasich have persuaded < 1% of those not previously declaring for them to change their minds and support them. Regarding Gov. Christie, about 2.5% have done so; regarding Dr. Carson, ~ 3.5%; regarding Sen. Rubio, ~5.5%; re Sen. Cruz, 13%; re Donald Trump, 20%. If he's going to 'utterly fail', he's going to have to register a radical reversal of fortune.

  • Huckbee, is a huck-a-phony, because like many other conservative-pretender-snake-oil salesmen, he has made himself a multi-millionaire, by posing as a serious political opponent: first in 2008, pretending to seriously oppose McCain; later in 2011, teasing everyone that he would run against Obama before self-fizzling; and now in 2015-2016, running again only to get more air-time and attention for the advertisers for his mediocre radio show (Motto of his show; “Conservative, but not angry about it.” Sweet.)
    ..
    He was of modest financial circumstances when he left the governorship of Arkansas, and now enjoys his $3 million Florida mansion in between fake money-raking runs for office—of which he will always bow out, because he is a gutless poser. He is not alone—throw in Lindsay Grahamnesty, John McVain, and several others. But the country needed a serious candidate to defeat Obama in 2012, and after the Huckster cluckingly fled, we ended up with the most gutless candidate in recent history, the Mitt.

  • I know many here have read about Hitler and his capacity to mesmerize and strike utter fear into his opponents after direct encounters with him—Napoleon was another who did the same, notwithstanding his physical lack-of-height—but Obama, who I am convinced has a devil, really must do something to make grown men like all these I have mentioned shrivel up inside and cower like fearful children.

    The only three I have seen who do not act like this with Obama are Trump, Cruz, and Carson. Most of the others, to varying degrees (I will except Santorum—I have seen his fearly face-to-face debate on partial-birth abortion with Barbara (I am not a dog) Boxer, and he intellectually eviscerated her). But we need someone with steel guts because time is running out for the country.

  • He was of modest financial circumstances when he left the governorship of Arkansas, and now enjoys his $3 million Florida mansion in between fake money-raking runs for office—

    My suggestion was that you all offer a reason for your complaints. “Reason” is not a synonym for ‘fictions and resentments’.

  • AD, aren’t you the one who sounds surprisingly resentful? At the facts I pointed out, that is? Several, out of just a few facts, of the Huckster’s self-aggrandizing career:

    Huckabee was a man of modest means, worth only 6 figures, when he left the Arkansas governorship in 2007 to run for president. After gaming the campaign with McVain, he folded in March, 2008. The Florida mansion purchase, if you check, occurred in Dec. 2010, after he abandoned his faux campaign but which enabled him to previously secure a lucrative Fox News position. He parlayed that into taking over the slot for the Paul Harvey commentary with “The Huckabee Report”. He then spent a few months of 2011 as pretender to run against Obama in 2012, pushing up ratings and advertising on his radio show and Huckster Report sales. I had been a Huckster supporter until he, again, quit and left the field to nice-guy loser Mitt Romney.
    ….
    Then, like clockwork, in Sept. 2014, he started revving up interest that he was thinking of running in 2016. After milking that speculation for some months, in early 2015, he announced and his supporters developed a Super PAC. One of the things you are apparently unaware of is that he specifically targeted “po’ people” donations, seeking $25 a month donations, saying something like, “I will ask you to give in the name of your grandchildren.” He is a shameless carnival barker, and he will drop out after again milking it for all the money he can get thru HuckPac. But you didn’t know all that. As a former Huck supporter, I do, and one gets a feel for the cheap-suit-fold-o coming on.

    So, apparently all these facts are “resentment” and probably meeaan-spirited. Facts they remain, and I wish I had my money back to this guy. And, keep it up, AD, you will be in fine fettle with the progressives—whenever a criticism surfaces, the birds on the line start chirping, “Ohhh, that’s re-seeeent-ful.” 🙂 Happy New Year!

  • Huckabee was hired by Fox News in June of 2008. His house in Florida was paid for with the proceeds from the sale of his house in Little Rock and the income from his employment with Fox. It had nothing to do with any political campaign he did not run.

    Huckabee quit the race in March 2008 for a simple reason: it was over. McCain had the votes. Nothing odd or sinister about that.

    From the time Mike Huckabee was old enough to hold a job to the present day, eighteen individuals have run passably competitive campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination. There are usually three such candidates each season bar when an unchallenged incumbent is running. To be able to do so is not a prevalent skill set. For every man who manages it, there are one or two other prominent politicians who set up campaign committees, raise some money, and sink without a trace (see John Connolly, Jack Kemp, Lamar Alexander, Phil Gramm, Orrin Hatch, Fred Thompson, and Tim Pawlenty for examples). Somehow, in your mind, Mike Huckabee ginned up a business plan whereby he runs for President, makes quite a show, and then uses that as a launching pad to persuade Fox News to hire him (even though the number of quondam presidential candidates who had built a lucrative career for themselves as television commentators is around about zero), and them makes even more money running phony presidential campaigns which either never happen or fail just in the same was as other campaigns which are in your mind non-phony. I will be plain: this has no reality outside the space between your ears and is delusional.

    Also in your mind it is something sinister that he raises money in small donations from ordinary people. (I have little doubt that if he’d gotten a wad from Sheldon Adelson, you’d attack him for that too).

    You have no facts, Steve. You just put frames on ordinary public data which no ordinary person would consider the least bit worthy of comment. That’s your problem, not mine or his.

  • Well, then, benedicamus Domino, glad to hear you aren’t resentful or inclined to angry attacks sparked by a different view of the facts! And Happy New Year, Happy Art D!

  • At this point, we have but a single-minded anxiety. Hillary Clinton should not be elected President. After two disastrous terms of Obama, the election of Hillary would be like changing engineers on the down-bound train to destruction. The Democrats are clever. Their faux debates are predetermined to nominate Hillary. The Republicans are not so clever. Their debates resemble circular firing squads. By the time the nominee is determined he or she will be on the political equivalent of life-support. I wish I could be more optimistic but I think this is a job for Saint Jude.

  • I’d suggest you consult national polls and prediction markets. Hildebeast has an intermittently appearing notional lead over the four main Republican candidates (as in 1% point). Only with regard to Trump might she be outside customary confidence intervals (and not in half the most recent polls). The prediction markets still give a generic Democrat and advantage, but it depends on how you frame the question. For Hildebeast to win the Presidency, she has constrain Democratic losses to 3.9% of the popular vote, give or take. That doesn’t usually happen in these circumstances. It has happened just once in the last century, and that was one of FDR’s re-election campaigns.

  • sparked by a different view of the facts!

    You have not one intra-office communication which indicates that Gov. Huckabee had any objects other than those the other candidates had in 2008. All but 11 of the 50-odd states and territories had already voted at the time he discontinued his campaign in 2008 and these comprehended 85% of the population of the United States. He remained in the race 4 weeks longer than Gov. Romney. Alan Keyes and Ron Paul maintained pro-forma campaigns after Gov. Huckabee withdrew. Everyone else had departed the race earlier. Gov. Huckabee won 7x as many delegates as the sum of Paul and Keyes delegates and more delegates than did Gov. Romney, yet somehow in your head his campaign was some Rube Goldberg gambit to get on Fox News. That’s not derived from ‘a different view of the facts’.

  • As for the constitution itself, it’s a broken down wreck. An Article V convention is the only solution within its terms.

    Professor Turgeson and Frank Sinatra approve!

  • For those perhaps like Zummo, certainly like myself and others (Art the Indecorous, take a break, I am not to be held responsible for making you use up all your BP medication early this month) who can see that Huckabee the Huckster is only orchestrating the present run to keep himself economically viable after he then inevitably bows out as a candidate in coming months, here is a good summary of Huckabee’s incessant worries about money—which is what fundamentally drives him:
    ..
    https://www.yahoo.com/politics/eyeing-the-white-house-again-huckabee-cant-118167936046.html
    ..
    Holly Bailey gives a good review of Huckabee’s issue of living beyond his means (getting the $3M custom-built Florida mansion with its $16400/mo payment and its coming balloon payment), his teasing the public as a populist representative of the poor (while earning reputedly $500k annually at Fox News), and his “struggles” to make ends meet — hence, the pandering latest book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy”, he released a year ago when he announced his run. Steve Deace, a conservative radio show host in Iowa has commented, “Had [Huckbee] run in 2012, the sea would have parted for him.” But the Huckster dropped out. Obviously Deace is another Rube Goldberg with little but delusion between his ears.

    Yet it is hard to understand how, in barely 8 years, someone who earned $74K/year as Arkansas governor and was worth perhaps at most 6 figures in 2007, has parlayed that into a current worth of $5M. And he still owns the mansion in Little Rock, worth about $450k (he sold a $350K vacation house for the down on the FL mansion—not the original residence) , of which he moans about the utility and other bills he has to pay. (We all suffer with him so.)

    That is why he has sponsored pricey trips to Israel (reputedly starting at $5k a head) and come under fire for pumping up and then selling his e-mail list. (Oh, by the way, Sheldon Adelson already awarded him an honor in 2012—I hope it had a financial component: Huck seems to always need the cash.) The Huckster can out-Gantry Elmer.
    ….
    So my 2016 prediction is: After again milking the present run for all the name-recognition, PR and e-mail subscribers that he can, he will shop himself around to one of the Alphabet Networks or Fox News in the unfolding election year as a qualified moderate Republican commentator, and drive up his salary again for a new high-dollar contract.

    Ave, atque, vale.

  • I need no blood pressure medication.

    You’ve condemned Mike Huckabee for running a competitive presidential campaign but losing. You’ve condemned him for not running a presidential campaign. You’ve condemned him for running a failing presidential campaign. You’ve attributed the same mercenary motive to him on all three occasions. That’s not because that explanation makes any sense except as a guide to what you’ll resort to to justify your animus.

    It’s not that difficult to understand where Huckabee’s assets come from: broadcasting pays well for the favored few. His salary at Fox was $500,000 per annum; he earns money from radio syndication; and he can command fairly high speaking fees, taking in $90,000 in a good month. It makes no sense for him to be holding on to a house that’s stupidly large for an elderly married couple and no sense for him to leave his lucrative job at Fox if financial worries are driving him. Much simpler than running another presidential campaign would be to remain employed at Fox and sell the house. (And, while we’re at it, he sold his house in Little Rock quite some time ago).

    You are obsessed with this man’s books, and impute all sorts of ugly motives to him. The problem is yours, not his.

  • Here’s another article from Amanda Carpenter on Elmer Gantry, excuse me Mike Huckabee. It’s certainly possible that the mountain of evidence that indicates Huckabee is a back-biting, self-interested, big government promoting fraud is all mere coincidence, of course.

    https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/01/mike-huckabees-selfish-evangelical-campaign

  • While we’re beating up each other, Obama’s climate deal harms (Tell the Pope) blue collar and rural Americans. “Take that, bitter clingers.” See Instapundit.

  • Well, here goes the rest of Indecorous Art’s nerve meds for the month! Fair warning.

    Actually, Elmer Huckabee Gantry would be at the max fed income tax rate of 39.6%, plus the max Ark state income tax rate of 7%, and if he earned $500k, he might be lucky to net around 50% of that— And don’t forget huge property taxes, because Huckster lives large–so where did the estimated $5M net worth come from (in about 8 years) of the Huckster? Certainly that was behind his moving to tax haven, no-state-income-tax Florida.

    Yet he is always strapped for money: so what does he do? From amping his speaking fees, to his sale of email lists, to his pandering books, and thus elevating his PR—now Indecorous Art appears to agree with me on those points— and harvesting fools’ money by conducting or appearing to conduct a presidential campaign, about every four years. Soon the train will leave the station again; and I just marvel at how many people continue to be taken in, as was I for quite a while.

    Watch for his new lucrative TV contract in coming months, as soon as he inevitably drops out.

  • Here’s another article from Amanda Carpenter on Elmer Gantry, excuse me Mike Huckabee. It’s certainly possible that the mountain of evidence that indicates Huckabee is a back-biting, self-interested, big government promoting fraud is all mere coincidence, of course.

    You mean we have it on the authority of a quondam member of Mr. Cruz’ staff that a Huckabee campaign operative was (eight years ago) slamming a competitor’s campaign over the phone, that Huckabee and surrogates have criticized Cruz’ position on a given issue making use of public information, that… well, that’s it. You’re pulling my leg, right?

    As for components of your complaint that whatsherface does not address, when one utters the words ‘big government’, I think it’s incumbent upon one to have an idea in one’s head about what ‘small government’ is, brass tacks. For a number of years, I’ve been poking and prodding purveyors of the ‘big government’ discourse to offer some specifics on ‘small government’. These are the answers I get:

    1. Vulgar Rand: e.g. the woman who told me that people who could not afford to pay their medical bills should die in the gutter.

    2. Romantic babble about financing common provision through voluntary donations (complete with Davy Crockett homilies). William Voegli and (in a more qualified way) Marvin Olasky peddle this.

    3. Fanciful alternative history: cue Ron Paul on why it was wrong to enter World War II

    4. Fanciful current history: that would be the libertarians who seem to think we’re going broke enforcing drug laws and maintaining an ’empire’. Less than 2% of public expenditure is attributable to enforcing drug laws. Military deployments abroad might account for a mean of about 10% of public expenditure if measured over the whole of the last 75 years. In real time, it’s less than 5%.

    5. A list of complaints and suggestions which, while valid, save about $1.95 per fiscal year. A retired political science professor (theorist, natch) indignantly offered me this some years ago.

    6. Complaints about the other guy’s stuff. This would be she who shall not be named, who seems to think that higher education priced below marginal or average cost is something other than what it appears to be (if you’re an Arkansas state resident with an intense enough catalogue of resentments).

    There’s a lot of crap in public sector budgets, but you are bound to be disappointed if you expect Gov. Huckabee or any other working politician to rebuild the sort of political economy that was to be found in 1928. Sorry to be repetitive on this point. You can click on Sen. Margaret Chase Smith here:

    http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964

  • on one to have an idea in one’s head about what ‘small government’ is, brass tacks. For a number of years, I’ve been poking and prodding purveyors of the ‘big government’ discourse to offer some specifics on ‘small government’. These are the answers I get:

    If this list is your honest assessment of all that you’ve taken out of years of dialogue, then I don’t know what to tell you. I think we’re done with this conversation.

  • Thank you, Zummo, for the Conservative Review article—of which I was aware, but prior to reading, had already an idea of the Huckster’s’ m.o. He’s smooth.

  • Huckabee’s property tax liability at current rates in Walton County, Fl. is about $42,000 per annum. Florida has no state income tax. If he’s like anyone else with that amount of money, he employs an accountant who assists him in finding the optimal balance between minimizing tax liability and sound investment, so he isn’t paying any 40% rate on his taxable income. For someone in Huckabee’s age bracket, municipal bonds are generally recommended as an investment vehicle. The interest income therefrom is exempt.

  • If this list is your honest assessment of all that you’ve taken out of years of dialogue, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    My ‘honest’ assessment? Paul, that’s what people tell me when I ask. If you want them to say something else, complain to them. If the regulatory state is what concerns you, that’s a legitimate point. However, regulatory agencies seldom have large budgets. Your government might be less officious without this or that agency, but it won’t be appreciably smaller.

  • “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horacio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet, I, 5, 166-67.

    .
    Now, stop it. As Hamlet and his father’s ghost required, keep silent on this. It serves no useful purpose when the fate of the Republic stands in peril of four/eight more years of psychopathic narcissism and nefarious nihilism.

    Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Never speak ill of a fellow Republican.
    .
    N.B. Sanders isn’t clawing away at Hillary; and I am independent.

  • Are the Indecorous, It is clear you do not understand federal income tax law, so let me help you a bit. If Huck has annual earned income of $500,000, that earned income is subject to the maximum federal income tax rate of 39.6%, no exceptions. Once that income has been subjected to tax, any savings he can invest it perhaps in nontaxable municipal bonds. However there is a new Obama surcharge tax as of 2014 of 3.8% for incomes over $250k, and even so (as I mentioned to you b4), if he has no state income tax, he will be a paying minimum rate of 43.4%: plus I am glad you noted the $26k annual or so in Fl property tax, and he still has to pay property tax on his AR mansion. He may have netted about $200-250k per year. But Huck lives large, as we’ve seen, and expects the gullible poor to pay his way.

    Any way you cut it, it is hard to to fathom how he got from perhaps $300k net worth in 2007 to $5M now…. except for running as a phony candidate every 4 or so years, and gunning up his PR for his next TV position.

    Anyway, like Zummo, I don’t expect you to understand, so I am done here.

  • All this talk about Huckabee is discouraging. We are in crying need of honesty and integrity.
    .
    T.Roosevelt July 4, 1903:
    “In civil life we need decency, honesty and the spirit that makes the man a good husband, a good father, a good neighbor and a good man to work alongside of or to deal with.
    That makes a man, consequently, who does his duty by the State. The worst crime against this nation which can be committed by any man is the crime of dishonesty, whether in public life, or whether in private life, and we are not to be excused as a people if we ever condone such dishonesty, no matter what other qualities it may be associated with.”

    I see my favorites, Santorum, Cruz, Rubio as honest men as described above. Trump may be forthright in what he says but I can’t categorize him as reliably honest because of his changing positions which are pandering and a type of lie.

    As for honesty among the D candidates, it would be Jim Webb.

  • Hey Steve P- you made my day!!

    back to Santorum for a moment- one of our many problems is short memories- I’m still angry at Santorum for ARLEN SPECTER – remember that chameleon miscreant and Santorums’ support thereof ??

Horizontal versus Vertical Orientation

Wednesday, December 9, AD 2015

Nicholas Frankovich has a very astute post in National Review’s Corner blog about the amazing technicolor light show from the Vatican last night. In it he argues that the real battle in the Catholic world is not between the right and the left, but rather between those who are vertically oriented and horizontally oriented.

Two years ago on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis traveled to the neighborhood, Piazza di Spagna, which is near Rome’s highest-end shopping district, to pray and preach against neglect of the poor. On that occasion too, his politics overshadowed his spirituality. In general, he does a bad job of integrating Christianity’s horizontal message, “love thy neighbor,” with its vertical message, “love God.”

His intentions may be noble, but what he usually ends up communicating is that the horizontal message is primary. His assumption, which was fashionable among Jesuit educators in the 1970s, is apparently based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: You can’t expect someone to listen to your theology and philosophy if he’s cold, hungry, and sick. So the first duty of a teacher and of a preacher is to be, in effect, a social worker and political activist.

The poor we will have always with us, however. The implication of Jesuit social activism is that we must constantly postpone our attention to their spiritual needs. In many quarters, including the Vatican under this pontificate, the institutional Church has lapsed — or crashed, with a thud — into its besetting sin of valuing temporal over spiritual power. The political popes of the Renaissance would understand Francis well.

Contemporary Catholicism is mainly divided not between the political Left and the political Right but between the horizontally oriented and the vertically oriented. The latter are often pushed to the margins of Catholic circles. Last night, while up at corporate headquarters the princes of the Church were garishly attempting to ingratiate themselves to global political elites, the Institute of Christ the King, an order of traditional Catholic priests, led a stately Marian procession through the streets of Rome.

I noted in my critique of Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical that it really lacked a firm theological message, and that the encyclical was too secular in its language. Frankovich crystallizes why Pope Francis’s message seemed so hollow to me.

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10 Responses to Horizontal versus Vertical Orientation

  • “I noted in my critique of Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical that it really lacked a firm theological message, and that the encyclical was too secular in its language. ”

    That’s an understatement. I would say it employs the same “Ideology runneth over my theology.” mindset that we have seen from most of the world’s bishops for over four decades.

  • Not right or left, but vertical or horizontal! Of course that it! That says it perfectly.

  • This “horizonatlization” (hope that’s a real word) was the primary reason behind Bugninni/Paul VI’s destruction of the liturgy. And with the reorientation of the liturgy, all else followed. This is the reason behind why Francis hates the Catholics, i.e. what he terms the traditionalists.

  • Thanks Paul Zummo for bringing this horizontal, vertical metaphor of secular/religious orientation to our attention. It captures the picture of Pope Francis’ messages and himself, for that matter, perfectly. Pope Francis is all about the ‘here’ while Christ was all about the here and the hereafter. If Pope Francis was smart he would put much more emphasis on the ‘hereafter’ as the deal is, most folks can’t do much about the ‘here’ but they can make it valuable by offering it up for the ‘hereafter’.

  • I believe that the emphasis on social justice, beginning around the turn of the last century with movements like Le Sillon and La Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne, was itself a reaction to what had been happening since the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
    As Mgr Ronald Knox put it, “In the various European countries where the Church was still strong, she found herself everywhere attacked by the same people who were using the language of humanitarianism and of reform. Men were slow to distinguish her, and perhaps it must be admitted that she was slow to distinguish herself, from those parties of mere reaction which the new Liberalism assailed.” The same could be said for the Americas.
    Thus, Jacques Maritain was able to write of the French Bourgeoisie, “the class in question had among its most solid members a number of practical atheists, more or less brought up by Voltaire and Béranger. They called themselves Catholic, though in all their principles of conduct they denied God, Christ and the Gospel, and upheld religion for merely temporal and political reasons — preserving social order and prosperity in business, consolidating their economic power, and keeping the lower classes in obedience by means of a virtuous rigor sanctioned from on high.” It was their existence that reached its zenith, if not its caricature, in the “Catholic atheism” of Charles Maurras and l’action française.
    One recalls the scathing words of Maurice Blondel: “A Catholicism without Christianity, submissiveness without thought, an authority without love, a Church that would rejoice at the insulting tributes paid to the virtuosity of her interpretative and repressive system… To accept all from God except God, all from Christ except His Spirit, to preserve in Catholicism only a residue that is aristocratic and soothing for the privileged and beguiling or threatening for the lower classes—is not all this, under the pretext perhaps of thinking only about religion, really a matter of pursuing only politics?”
    If the reaction, like most reactions, overstates the case on the other side, this is hardly to be wondered at.

  • Well, I believe the pope’s horizontal emphasis is based on his lack of faith. It is also the height of irony that his horizontal prescriptions will guarantee that there will always be a need for more horizontal prescriptions. I mean, ban carbon energy sources or make them more expensive and you will have more poor to whom you can preach more horizontal salvation. I use the word “salvation” intentionally because listening to this pope you would truly think he believes his social policies will save our souls.

  • Maslow’s heirarchy is upside down. It’s love of God that moves us to love our neighbor, not vice versa.

  • Ernst S: Agree 100%. Christ tells us the first great commandment is to love God with all our being and with all our might. The second is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
    .
    When we do corporal, charitable works we do them out of love of God and neighbor. If God is not the motivation, it is not Christian Charity. Horizontal liberals confiscate money and give it to others, not for God or love, but for control and power.
    .

    Sometimes a really-smart atheist can contribute to our Faith formation. Orwell in his essay, “Reflections on Gandhi”, writes about the horizontal, “. . . the belief that Man is the measure of all things and that our job is to make life worth living on this earth, which is the only earth we have.” A long paragraph later, ” But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic ideal is ‘higher.’ The point is that they are incompatible. One must choose between God and Man, and all ‘radicals’ and ‘progressives,’ . . . have in effect chosen Man.”

  • Orwell really had Ghandi’s number, didn’t he?

  • Great insights in each of the prior comments.

    Nicholas Frankovich on P. Francis’ sermonizing: “…On that occasion too, his politics overshadowed his spirituality..”
    ..
    Q. Is there a “core” there to P Francis’ words where there really is a profound relationship with God? I am asking the question because as the months and years have ground on, I have increasingly doubted that there is.

    In his now-famous interview by America magazine Sept. 30, 2013, I was especially disturbed and concerned about P. Francis for the first time: He said:
    “…In this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good.”

    P. Francis clearly is uncomfortable with persons who have a certainty of having met God: from that we may infer that he definitely lacks that same certainty;and he even practically makes a virtue of doubt, in praising uncertainty.

    Having watched him now for soon-to-be 3 years, I think there is no core there, that Jesus Christ and God are “props” to his politics, which are what really revs him up, and that he is in fact certain of little or nothing: which makes total change of anything perfectly acceptable.

Trump Freakout Number 999

Tuesday, December 8, AD 2015

No doubt jealous that President Obama was getting all the attention for his latest inane speech, and worried that Ted Cruz had passed him in the polls in Iowa, Donald Trump offered his latest off-the-cuff, incendiary policy proposal: prohibiting Muslim immigration and foreign travel to the United States. There are five key points to make about this and the reaction to it.

1. It’s stupid and unworkable. A blanket ban on all Muslim immigration fits in well with Trump’s basic approach to politics, which is to use a jackhammer to screw in a nail. Not only does the proposal cast all Muslims together as the enemy, it could have potentially adverse foreign policy implications, as Ben Shapiro explains:

Kiss Our Intelligence Apparatus Goodnight. We need to work with Muslims both foreign and domestic. It’s one thing to label Islamic terrorism and radical Islam a problem. It’s another to label all individual Muslims a problem. That’s what this policy does. It’s factually wrong and ethically incomprehensible. Donald Trump has just transformed into the strawman President Obama abused on Sunday night.

It’s unworkable for all of the reasons Reihan Salan suggests:

So I understand Trump’s anxiousness, and I share in it. Where we part company is on how the United States ought to treat people who identify as Muslims going forward. I use this awkward locution (“people who identify as Muslims”) advisedly, because the screening mechanism Trump seems to have settled on is to ask travelers if they are Muslim and to turn away those who say yes. There is something almost quaint about this approach, as if we should expect that people who are trying to do us harm will play by the rules Trump has laid out and openly profess their religious beliefs, knowing all the while that it would lead to their exclusion from the country. Granted, there are many Muslims who would never deny their faith, even if it meant that they wouldn’t be allowed into the country. Indeed, I can imagine such professions sparking a social media campaign designed to discredit the exclusion of Muslims, and to celebrate principled resistance to it. The trouble is that terrorists rely on deceit to achieve their objectives, while the kind of people who’d never dream of lying about their religious convictions generally fall in a different category.

<br>

As usual, Trump is speaking off the cuff. Perhaps he is not entirely serious about simply asking people if they are Muslims or not, in which case he could rely on country of origin. Shall we exclude travelers from Muslim-majority countries? This approach would exclude Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, animists, and other religious minorities, and it would ignore the Muslim citizens of non-Muslim-majority countries, like India, Britain, or France. We might instead exclude people with Arabic surnames, as this is generally a good marker of Muslim ancestry, though not a perfect one: this approach would exclude some nontrivial number of non-practicing Muslims, converts to other faiths, atheists, and agnostics, not to mention a large number of Muslims who reject Islamism and Islamist violence.

Now I can already here the Trumpeteers shouting: aha, so that means you’re with Obama and just want unfettered Islamic immigration. Trump supporters and sympathizers have an unusually Manichean worldview: if you don’t support Trump that means you must support Jeb, if you disagree with banning Muslim immigration you’re for open borders, etc. On the contrary, it’s quite possible to disagree with the proposal to ban all Muslim immigration while simultaneously viewing President Obama and the left as dangerously naive when it comes to the problem of Islamic radicalism.

2. Trump doesn’t even mean it. As I wrote elsewhere, if Donald Trump became dictator tomorrow this ban would never occur, just as most of his over-the-top immigration proposals would never see the light of day. Trump offers up this red meat in the hopes of getting his supporters riled up while also getting his opponents to lash out in over-reaction. As usual, he accomplished both missions, and so in that respect Eric Erickson is correct in calling this a brilliant political move.

If you truly believe that this is a well thought out proposal, here’s the Donald explaining how it would work:

Willie Geist: Donald, a customs agent would ask the person his or her religion?

Donald Trump: They would be probably, they would say, ‘are you Muslim?’

Geist: And if they said, ‘yes,’ they would not be allowed in the country?

Trump: That is correct.

Wow, that’s almost as foolproof as asking immigrants if they are terrorists. This will certainly ensnare any would-be evil doers.

3. No, this will not help Isis. It has became all the rage to denounce all unpopular policy ideas as things that would be recruiting tools for ISIS. We were told that the refusal to allow Syrian refugees into the country would be used as a recruiting tool, and now we’re hearing that Donald’s proposal will only create more terrorists. I suggest we turn this idea around: I think that using the no-fly list as an excuse to deprive people of their second amendment rights without due process will only enable the terrorists, and will clearly create more jihadists.*

*No, I don’t actually think that, but it’s no less absurd.

You know what fuels the terrorists: our very existence. Some damned fool idea by a loud-mouthed American is not pushing anyone over the edge to jihad.

4. No, this is not unconstitutional. There seems to be an insistence in some quarters that all bad policy ideas are ipso facto unconstitutional. Jim Geraghty, for one, has been banging the drum on the proposal’s lack of constitutionality. Sorry to say bu the US government can pretty much restrict immigration to whoever the hell it wants. There is no constitutional right to emigrate here, and neither the first amendment or the ban on religious tests for public office speak to this issue. Unconstitutional does not mean “icky ideas.”

Now there has been some confusion as to whether Trump has lumped American citizens into this blanket ban, but it seems at the moment that this is confined to non-citizens overseas.

5. Only one person has not taken the bait. Like night follows day, the denouncements came in from all sides. Twitter quickly filled up with angry tweets, and presidential candidates giddily joined the fray. Jeb Bush, Lindsay Graham, Marco Rubio and pretty much the rest of the remaining GOP field quickly jumped in to declare how horrible a person Trump was.

Jeb Bush getting on twitter to denounce Trump might be the most tone-deaf political maneuver one can imagine. Donald Trump’s position as the lead horse in the GOP field is almost entirely due to Jeb Bush’s existence in the race. Bush’s continued delusional run – and lump Graham, Kasich, and most of the others in there – is what is keeping Trump atop the polls. Narrow the field to three candidates, or even four, and suddenly Trump’s 25 percent doesn’t look so impressive. Yet not only does Bush persist, he does the one thing Trump desires most: he gave him negative attention.

Only one GOP candidate didn’t take the bait, and it’s the one person who seems to know what the hell he’s doing. Ted Cruz didn’t denounce Trump, but instead chose a softer way to distance himself from the Donald:

“I do not agree with his proposals. I do not think it is the right solution,” Cruz said in the Capitol. “The right solution I believe is the legislation that I have introduced.”

More on what Cruz has proposed here.

So not only did Cruz refuse to poke the bear, he made his own policy proposal the centerpiece.

Amazingly Cruz is being roundly denounced himself by some for refusing to do his own denouncing. While it’s certainly possible that this is a cynical ploy not to anger Trump’s supporters for fear of alienating them down the road, it also happens to be the proper strategy, and one that other Republican candidates would be well advised to employ. Yet only Cruz seems to have the wits to understand this. That almost in and of itself is why Cruz is now in position to surpass Trump sooner or later.

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92 Responses to Trump Freakout Number 999

  • Given that the United States Government virtually banned immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe after WWI, I don’t want to hear that Muslim immigration can’t be stopped.

    if Cruz passes Trump, great. Cruz is smart and he is no ass-kisser of the GOP Establishment. If he doesn’t pass Trump, I’ll vote for Trump in a heartbeat to keep the Hildebeast out of the White House.

    I respect Mr. Zummo, but I have grown to like Trump because he tells off the people who need being told off. To hell with political niceties.To hell with the GOP Establishment and their K Street electioneers who shove losers like Dole, McCain, Romney and Jeb down our throats.

  • If Trump is the GOP nominee, I will not be voting for a president. I sincerely hope Cruz gets the nod and can be persuaded to vote for the dunderhead, Rubio.

    Your post is spot on and I hadn’t thought about the wisdom of NOT denouncing. That is a smart idea that hadn’t occurred to me.

  • If Trump is the nominee I might actually go third party, but I’m certainly not voting for the man. That said, I don’t think he will be the nominee.

  • I could never vote for Trump, but a large part of his popularity is due to the obvious fact that our political class simply will not address many of the issues that need to be addressed. Political cowardice and blindness ever paves the way for demagogues. I agree however that Trump will not be the nominee.

  • I’m thinking Trump is a liberal plant. That statement took the negative attention away from Baghdad Bob/Sergeant Schultz Obama and Hillary.
    .
    If the USA were not a dictatorship disguised as a democracy, she would be in prison in 2016. But, Hillary will not disappoint me, as any of the GOP establishment picks will. I’m prepared for the apocalypse.

  • Cruz keeps doing stuff to make me like him. 😀

  • Not voting for the republican nominee would be a mistake.
    .
    As a start, the U.S. could restrict immigration from Muslim countries.

  • You are mistaken if you don’t think all Muslims are the problem. Their goal is to establish sharia law wherever they can claim a majority. Don’t think it can happen in a democracy? Think again. It’s a ‘religion” of jihad and they want to either enslave or destroy you.

  • If the Republican establishment really wants to rid itself of the Trump “menace” they should convince five or six of his competitors to leave the race forthwith. The fact that they probably will not just shows the level of their own selfishness and lack of candor about what they say about “the Donald”. If we want a real horse race lets get rid of the horses asses.

  • Steve D wrote, “You are mistaken if you don’t think all Muslims are the problem. Their goal is to establish sharia law wherever they can claim a majority…”
    So why did the Turkish Republic, with an overwhelming Muslim majority, abolish Sharia law in 1926 and replace it with the Swiss Civil Code, the German Commercial Code and the Italian Penal Code?
    Why have not Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan – all Muslim majority countries – replaced their Soviet era civil, commercial or criminal codes with Sharia law?
    Why has not Albania or Kosovo done so?

  • Lord Macaulay showed a sound understanding of human nature, when he wrote:

    “If, indeed, all men reasoned in the same manner on the same data, and always did what they thought it their duty to do, this mode of dispensing punishment might be extremely judicious. But as people who agree about premises often disagree about conclusions, and as no man in the world acts up to his own standard of right, there are two enormous gaps in the logic by which alone penalties for opinions can be defended….
    “We do not believe that every Englishman who was reconciled to the Catholic Church would, as a necessary consequence, have thought himself justified in deposing or assassinating Elizabeth. It is not sufficient to say that the convert must have acknowledged the authority of the Pope, and that the Pope had issued a bull against the Queen. We know through what strange loopholes the human mind contrives to escape, when it wishes to avoid a disagreeable inference from an admitted proposition. We know how long the Jansenists contrived to believe the Pope infallible in matters of doctrine, and at the same time to believe doctrines which he pronounced to be heretical. Let it pass, however, that every Catholic in the kingdom thought that Elizabeth might he lawfully murdered. Still the old maxim, that what is the business of everybody is the business of nobody, is particularly likely to hold good in a case in which a cruel death is the almost inevitable consequence of making any attempt.
    Of the ten thousand clergymen of the Church of England, there is scarcely one who would not say that a man who should leave his country and friends to preach the Gospel among savages, and who should, after labouring indefatigably without any hope of reward, terminate his life by martyrdom, would deserve the warmest admiration. Yet, we can doubt whether ten of the ten thousand ever thought of going on such an expedition. Why should we suppose that conscientious motives, feeble as they are constantly found to be in a good cause, should be omnipotent for evil?”

  • “So why did the Turkish Republic, with an overwhelming Muslim majority, abolish Sharia law in 1926 and replace it with the Swiss Civil Code, the German Commercial Code and the Italian Penal Code?”

    Because of Kemal Ataturk whose legacy is under siege in Turkey.

    “Why have not Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan – all Muslim majority countries – replaced their Soviet era civil, commercial or criminal codes with Sharia law?”

    Largely because they are ruled by oppressive authoritarian regimes reminiscent of the old Soviet regimes they replaced. Life in these lands is not a happy one for most of the inhabitants, a sure recipe for the growth of Islamic radicalism.

    “Why has not Albania or Kosovo done so?”

    Albania largely because only 58% of the population is Islamic, rising prosperity, a large percentage of the population leaving Albania and because most of the Muslims are nondenominational, following no sect of Islam, and the legacy of the years of Enver Hoxha’s rule which saw an attempt to eliminate all religious identity in Albania. The UN created state of Kosovo has not embraced Sharia and seems to be doing well as a democracy. The moral I guess is that Islamic majority countries, other than Indonesia, can resist radical Islam if their regimes are authoritarian or they are in Europe with small populations.

  • “Why have not Azerbaijan…Why has not Albania…” They have not done so…yet. They may well do so in the future. Turkey replaced her Islamic laws some years back, but has been drifting back to them.

  • The fact that they probably will not just shows the level of their own selfishness and lack of candor about what they say about “the Donald”.

    Or it is proof that the “establishment” is a lot less powerful than a lot of frustrated people believe. Maybe it all really is just a bunch of people making it all up as they go along.

  • I can think of another reason why Trump’s proposal is a bad idea: if it were ever made permanent U.S. policy it could easily be turned against Catholics, Jews, evangelical Protestants, or other religions based on some teaching of theirs that was deemed contrary to American values or rights. I could easily imagine some future far-leftist administration deciding, for example, that conservative Catholics were too “intolerant” of women’s rights (abortion) and gay rights to be allowed into the country. Let’s not forget that in the 1850s there was a bona fide popular political party, the Know Nothings, devoted to the idea that Catholic immigration was a dire threat to national security — even though, AFAIK, there was not any kind of “Catholic terrorism” going on at the time.

    Yes, I know that today’s militant Islamists are far more of a threat than the most “militant” Catholics of today are (the one group that could possibly be classified as “Catholic” terrorists, the IRA, were entirely political in their aims; they just wanted the Brits out of Northern Ireland, not to force people to convert to Catholicsm or to establish a worldwide Vatican State ruled by the Pope). Still, one can’t underestimate the potential for a religion-based immigration policy to be grossly misused.

  • “it could easily be turned against Catholics, Jews, evangelical Protestants, or other religions based on some teaching of theirs that was deemed contrary to American values or rights.”

    If such a regime were in power they would make such an attempt notwithstanding what is done in regard to Muslim immigration today. Of course throughout the history of the US, up until 65, immigrants from Europe were favored and immigration from other areas was disfavored. In regard to the current administration it could be argued that when it comes to the Middle East Christian immigrants are disfavored.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/228670-no-room-in-america-for-christian-refugees

  • There is a good article by Fr Longenecker about Donald Trump:
    .
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2015/12/ten-ways-donald-trump-reflects-america-today.html
    .
    It would be entirely possibe for the next election to be between a blowhard caricature of a businessman on the right and a murderous crook or commie pinko on the left.

  • Donald R. McClarey wrote, “Because of Kemal Ataturk whose legacy is under siege in Turkey”

    Of course, but why? Why would Ataturk wish to antagonize the country’s overwhelming Muslim majority, if, indeed, it was likely to do so? Is not the real answer that he believed it would be popular with a significant and influential section of the public, Muslim to a man?

    “Rising prosperity”

    Indeed. Thus, Fadela Amara, herself a Muslim, when she was French Secretary of State for Urban Policies described fundamentalism as something clung to by some people through ignorance and isolation in ghetto communities that will vanish when they are given better opportunities of intellectual enlightenment and of acquiring elementary knowledge in history and the sciences.

  • A 1950’s Rock song had lines: “Don’t know much about History . . .”

    “it could easily be turned against Catholics, Jews, evangelical Protestants, or other religions based on some teaching of theirs that was deemed contrary to American values or rights.”

    Also, Dear Leader Obama has a de fact ban on Middle East Christians who are in danger of genocide by peace-loving Muslims.

  • “Of course, but why? Why would Ataturk wish to antagonize the country’s overwhelming Muslim majority, if, indeed, it was likely to do so?”

    Because Ataturk was a Turkish nationalist who viewed Islam as a cause of his nation’s weakness and backwardness. He was very much in the Peter the Great mode of modernizers and could care less whether the reforms he was sponsoring were popular with the masses, which is why Turkey was effectively a one party state under his rule.

  • “Thus, Fadela Amara, herself a Muslim, when she was French Secretary of State for Urban Policies described fundamentalism as something clung to by some people through ignorance and isolation in ghetto communities that will vanish when they are given better opportunities of intellectual enlightenment and of acquiring elementary knowledge in history and the sciences.”

    This statement is a gem of miscomprehension of human motivations based upon a materialist view of history. Actually the jihadis are disproportionately from well to do or middle class families. Farook of San Bernardino infamy was a graduate of California State and was earning 70K a year inspecting restaurants.

  • Amazingly?? Our modern society is built on denouncements. To fail to denounce is the gravest of crimes.

  • Let me expand on that. If you’re a good guy, you’re denouncing bad guys. That’s the defining characteristic of good guys. If you’re a bad guy, you exist to be denounced. If you’re someone who doesn’t denounce, then you’re hard to classify. You have to be denounced for not denouncing, because the only merit the good guy has is the quality of his denouncements.

  • Pinky has just described liberal progressivism – the politics of dragging everyone else down flat on his face in the mud and lifting up no one to proudly stand free and independent on his own two feet.

  • It’s unworkable

    There’s a list of 25 or 30 problem countries to whose passport holders you can close the door. You can apply an algorithm to applicants from other countries. (Danish citizen named Mohammed… hmm). Hermetic sealing is not possible, but closing the valve most of the way is. (Not that its a capital idea).

    See R.M. Kaus on this point: a way to defang Trump is to take his issue away from him. The only one who has made an effort to do that is R. Santorum. Maybe it’s donor pressure or maybe its just the way the GOP elite is in our time. My policy is anyone but Hellary.
    ==
    Memo to Tito Edwards: the site’s gotten hopelessly buggy.

  • ‘… ban on Middle East Christians who are in danger of genocide by peace-loving Muslims’
    .
    Yes, all this talk is happening while specifically Christian Syrian families who sought refuge in the US are being returned to the place they left ( due to brutal, unspeakable torture ) by some branch of the Federal Government.
    As I learned this last night during an impassioned prayer request for these families from Fr. Pacwa on EWTN, I thought about how great their struggle for Hope becomes when no Christian leader in the mix is able or willing to choose these families scheduled for return to Syria for sanctuary. More sick world news as cathedral doors open.

  • It would be entirely possibe for the next election to be between a blowhard caricature of a businessman on the right of the center-left and a murderous crook or commie pinko on the left.

    .
    FTFY as they say. Trump may be to the right of Bloomberg, but I’m not sure he’s to the right of Giuliani.
    .
    Personally, I find it hard to argue with Ed Driscoll.

  • It doesn’t look like Fr Longenecker likes/repsects us any better than Trump or Obama does.
    .
    I admit we have been gullible – very gullible! but I think that is over.
    .
    and I think Fr Longenecker’s estimation of us can be shown false.

  • “It doesn’t look like Fr Longenecker likes/repsects us any better than Trump or Obama does.”

    Can we add “simplistic” for the good Father.

  • Hey, even loose cannons hit their targets a day, or something like that….
    Seriously, Trump represents the failure of rational responses to our nation’s corruption at the highest political levels. The political system so corrupted it no longer works. I don’t believe many of his “supporters” really like the man.

  • Re: Don L.

    I find that my really orthodox Catholic friends really like Donald Trump. Trump stands for a the new CEO who inspires confidence and enthusiasm in the company’s employees. I remember the very first meeting Lee Iacocca had with the top 300 execs. You could feel the change in the air as he talked, from depression to jubilation. When he finished I think every one thought we had a real chance of making it. That’s Donald Trump.

  • Penguins fan – spot on. Elaine; not so much from my view MHO. I applaud Trumps position purely because it is an aggressive, reasonable forward step toward a national recognition and conversation that the real battle here is with Islam,; we call these characters ‘ terrorists’ – they don’t. they refer to themselves as good fundamental, traditional, Q’ran thumping muzzis. When is the last time you saw a traffic jam caused by Islamists protesting Islamist treatment of Christians in Mosul. or the yizzi’s , or the tragic kurds………
    Put another way – jerusalem @700A.D- vienna @1500 Rome 2XXX – These folks are continuing their war against us…… and won’t stop or rest nor stop ; not with standing those attaturk – ottoman genocidal anatoli greek armenian slewing “capitalists”.
    Choose between Communist law and Sharia law. you say….??/ that’s cute, like there is a difference…….Heavy water or deuterium, make a choice,

    and you would not vote for a Trump? if he is the best [ theory of relativity ] this pagan, zombie loving ,baby killing elderly punishing ,bankrupt, sick,evil mediocore cultural morass can put forward, you simply won’t play the hand you are dealt? is that how you render to Caesar? and let the obamatites continue- ?? just when our congress has finally voted to gut PP Federation and the Affordable care abomination? really- that is how you see your civic duty? that shakes me to my core…… Tactical play is so crucial in this war – you recall Morgan and the cowpens – Trump is not an end game. WE ARE AT WAR! read the bishop primate of syria, again. and again….
    Trump is one tactical step back toward a presbyterian/ protestant based , defined borders national identity, albeit a very long road …..

    I say warn their civilians, drop the booklets and launch the squadron[S] . i’m flexible on the warning aspect… then let [ fund$’s ]the Israeli’s bringing in their housing construction teams. and put the saudi’s on notice.

    We back shale oil big time and define a national policy to get us off oil and onto methane or electric or hydrogen……. [ see dept. of energy 1972; the myth] Trump is a point in time. James k. Polk,anyone? #11 – 1845-1849. the point man for a new nation, right or wrong.

  • I get Trump’s appeal. When led by the feckless, decisiveness is attractive.

    Trump is unhinged and unreliable though. What does he stand for? I don’t know and I’ll warrant that those who think they do are in for a surprise if he becomes president. He is pure populist and loves controversy. He says that thing no one else does. He’s that guy you’d be embarrassed to bring home to Mama’s for dinner but roar about when you hear his antics.

    He has the potential to be quite dangerous as a world leader, our own little despot.

    No thanks.

    Leave the first true despot to Progressives, vote Cruz.

  • Trump’s main talent is his ability to annoy liberals and GOP losers, er, establishment types.
    .
    On TV this morning, an economist made a metaphor/statement on the Muslim immigration issue. He said something like, If you were offered a bowl of m&m’s and knew that ten of them were poison, would you eat any from the bowl?
    .
    It seems the people calling Trump, “Hitler” believe scores or hundreds more dead Americans are acceptable losses (“They Were Expendable”) so long as we don’t anger any more Muslims or add, as if already they don’t have enough men and women to cause us harm, more recruits to ISIS.

  • In a sense, T. Shaw, I agree.

    I despise the GOP Establishment and find it to be only distinguishable from the Dem Establishment on some, narrow culture issues. Even there, Boehner, Ryan, McConnell and Company left their backbones in their other suitcases.

    My problem with Trump’s hateful remarks come from two quarters: 1) they are, essentially trolling, intended to get press. They surely do this so his aim to keep the spotlight on him IS good politics. And, 2) if he doesn’t mean them, he is just another liar, masquerading as a principled champion. If he DOES mean them, he is either terribly naive or outright dangerous.

    Turning the engine of the State on a group is dangerous as hell. That dog, once unleashed, WILL turn on the one who thinks he is its master. The pragmatist in me rebels against the hubris-laden claim to be able to control mob rule with personality alone. The Framers knew better and we should heed their warnings.

    No, Islam is an ideology and loosely a religion crafted by a diabolical pedophile with a violent streak as wide as the road to hell. I fundamentally disagree with the Church on how to deal with the menace. BUT, Trump would feed the patient an deadly dose of poison to rid us of the virus. There is more Jim Jones than Hitler to Trump and I, for one, will not drink from his Dixie Cup.

  • “. . . .Boehner, Ryan, McConnell and Company left their backbones in their other suitcases.” My take is the same but a bit different. Each needs to request from her gynecologist two testicles.
    .
    Agreed. However, unlike Obama I believe President Trump will not rule by executive order and will not ignore the Constitution or create laws and regulations out of his whims. We live under a dictatorship disguised as a democracy. It’s just that it is so ineffective being run by halfwits and useless scum, i.e., Democrats. .

  • Trump is unhinged and unreliable

    Is he? I thought that was just a character he just played that on TV.

  • And, 2) if he doesn’t mean them, he is just another liar, masquerading as a principled champion. If he DOES mean them, he is either terribly naive or outright dangerous.

    Well said, Dave. I wish his supporters grasped how he’s playing them for fools. What’s ironic about it is that so many of his supporters come from people who are (rightfully) frustrated with the GOP letting them down, yet they are backing a guy who is even more disingenuous.

  • If Trump is so clearly playing people for fools (and I believe he is) why haven’t the GOP candidates (Rubio, Cruz et al) been able to effectively expose it. The fecklessness of the GOP establishment and the the presidential candidates are a big reason why the fraud that is DaDonald candidacy is still gaining ground.

  • “if Cruz passes Trump, great. Cruz is smart and he is no ass-kisser of the GOP Establishment”

    The Republican establishment despises Cruz–mainly because he won’t play their games in relation to giving Obama everything Obama wants. There are a myriad of examples. Here is one.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/07/24/cruz-on-senate-floor-accuses-gop-leader-mcconnell-lying.html

    Also, Cruz is absolutely brilliant.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/09/dershowitz-tex-cruz-one-of-harvard-laws-smartest-students/

    “n private practice in Houston, Ted spent five years as a partner at one of the nation’s largest law firms, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice. Ted has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court. During Ted’s service as Solicitor General, Texas achieved an unprecedented series of landmark national victories”

    http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=about_senator

    If you want to see some vintage Ted Cruz, be sure and watch the You Tube video entitled “BLOWOUT! Ted Cruz vs. Dianne Feinstein. It is so much fun watching Ms. Feinstein go beserk under Ted’s gentle questioning. 😀

    Cruz is an international debate champion–and it shows–all of the time.

    Another great example of vintage Cruz is his announcement speech for his presidential run given at Liberty University.

    I am behind Cruz 100%. However, I love his father even more!! 😀

  • “You are mistaken if you don’t think all Muslims are the problem. Their goal is to establish sharia law wherever they can claim a majority. Don’t think it can happen in a democracy? Think again. It’s a ‘religion’ of jihad and they want to either enslave or destroy you.”

    It already IS happening here in the US.

    The word “stoning” in this article means hitting very hard with full water bottles because no stones were available. I guess you would call it “bottling.”

    http://m.clarionproject.org/analysis/dearborn-no-go-zone-where-islam-rules-and-christians-are-stoned

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/06/arab-americans-become-majority-on-dearborn-mich-council/3460591/

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2004/04/michigan-its-christian-bells-vs-muslim-prayer-calls

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/1118274/posts

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/01/28/voluntary-sharia-tribunal-in-texas-this-is-how-it-starts/

  • “If the Republican establishment really wants to rid itself of the Trump “menace” they should convince five or six of his competitors to leave the race forthwith. The fact that they probably will not just shows the level of their own selfishness and lack of candor about what they say about “the Donald”. If we want a real horse race lets get rid of the horses asses.”

    We elected a Republican majority US House & Senate–just to watch establishment Rs be put in charge of those bodies who promptly preceded to give Obama everything he wanted.

    The establishment is hoping that they can excoriate Cruz & Trump to the point of making both unelectable. Meanwhile, the establishment Rs are smiling kindly at us and politely telling us what they think we want to hear–while sticking multiple knives in our back and continuing to implement freedom revoking Socialistic policies that are robbing us blind.

  • “Steve D wrote, “You are mistaken if you don’t think all Muslims are the problem. Their goal is to establish sharia law wherever they can claim a majority…”
    So why did the Turkish Republic, with an overwhelming Muslim majority, abolish Sharia law in 1926 and replace it with the Swiss Civil Code, the German Commercial Code and the Italian Penal Code?
    Why have not Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan – all Muslim majority countries – replaced their Soviet era civil, commercial or criminal codes with Sharia law?
    Why has not Albania or Kosovo done so?”

    Just because the written civil law itself is not full Sharia does not mean that Sharia is not being implemented and regularly practiced, in part or in whole, among a given Muslim population. Muslims often have an alternative court system and legal/governmental system being implemented and executed along side civil laws–similarly to the Jewish high preists in the New Testament ruling the Jewish population in Jerusalem despite being technically under Roman rule and law.

    They are already beginning attempts at this here in the US.

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/01/28/voluntary-sharia-tribunal-in-texas-this-is-how-it-starts/

  • “I can think of another reason why Trump’s proposal is a bad idea: if it were ever made permanent U.S. policy it could easily be turned against Catholics, Jews, evangelical Protestants, or other religions based on some teaching of theirs that was deemed contrary to American values or rights. I could easily imagine some future far-leftist administration deciding, for example, that conservative Catholics were too “intolerant” of women’s rights (abortion) and gay rights to be allowed into the country.”

    Christians from Syria, who have and are facing unimaginable slaughter and suffering to the point of being stamped out through genocide, are being systematically denied entry to and political asylum in the United States by the Obama administration RIGHT NOW.

    The courts and congress have allowed the currently elected president to have explicit discretion over immigration in regards to numbers and who can come. Of course, congress is supposed to pass the funding for these type decisions and has to this point, to my knowledge–although I have read of a very recent effort to block funding for the current Obama admin efforts to bring 10s of thousands of Syrian Muslims to the US over the time Obama has left in office.

  • “I can think of another reason why Trump’s proposal is a bad idea: if it were ever made permanent U.S. policy it could easily be turned against Catholics, Jews, evangelical Protestants, or other religions based on some teaching of theirs that was deemed contrary to American values or rights. I could easily imagine some future far-leftist administration deciding, for example, that conservative Catholics were too “intolerant” of women’s rights (abortion) and gay rights to be allowed into the country. Let’s not forget that in the 1850s there was a bona fide popular political party, the Know Nothings, devoted to the idea that Catholic immigration was a dire threat to national security — even though, AFAIK, there was not any kind of ‘Catholic terrorism’ going on at the time.”

    It is a very good idea to place a temporary moratorium on bringing people into the US who are from regions of the world where Muslims have been and are being radicalized. It only took 19 Muslim men, who came in on Visas, to kill 3000+ Americans and destroy the World Trade Center and much more. If that moratorium were in place, those 14 Americans from San Berdino, CA, would still be alive.

    Good God! We are at war!! How many more Americans are going to have to die before people acknowledge what is actually taking place?

    Dead people have no rights!

  • Re: Barbara Gordon
    “The establishment is hoping that they can excoriate Cruz & Trump to the point of making both unelectable. ”
    What you say is true. Big Business runs the show. Dem’s and Rep’s are two sides of the same coin. Big Business needs employees who work cheap, friendly tax laws, enough welfare to keep the natives from getting restless and a general atmosphere of fear so the public will support a strong military and local police and not rise up against the establishment in any meaningful way. Remember the most important thing is to keep the world safe for money making. Big Business doesn’t care whether you are Republican, Democrat, Socialist, Liberal, Conservative, Communist, etc.

    Remember the movie ‘Network” where CCA chairman Arthur Jensen, who explicates his own “corporate cosmology”. Jensen delivers a tirade that suggests Jensen may himself be some higher power—describing the interrelatedness of the participants in the international economy and the illusory nature of nationality distinctions. There’s lots of truth in ‘masters of the universe’ idea. For example, terrorism will not end until it is decided it is “bad for business”. Cockroaches and corruption are always with us.

  • Just so no one misses it in my comments above. Trump and Cruz are the Howard Beales of our time and they gotta go–too disruptive of the status quo, can’t have that, you know.

  • Let’s be clear that big business in all its forms is no friend of conservatives and anyone with “traditional” values. Big Entertainment, Big Media, Big Insurance, Big Anything. Bill Gates is the big guy behind Common Core, which is Math By Satan. Gates backs Worse than Murder as well. I HATE using Microsoft.
    Since the US Govermnent already limits immigration and visas from many parts of the world – citizens of Poland must apply for a visa to visit the US, but not the Czech Republic – slowing down immigration from Muslim countries, allowing only persecuted Christians is a good idea. Of course, Obama wants Iraqi Catholics deported. Still not a peep from the USCCB.

  • An excerpt from Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope, published in 1868.
    “Many who before regarded legislation on the subject as chimerical, will now fancy that it is only dangerous, or perhaps not more than difficult. And so in time it will come to be looked on as among the things possible, then among the things probable;–and so at last it will be ranged in the list of those few measures which the country requires as being absolutely needed. That is the way in which public opinion is made.”
    “It is no loss of time,” said Phineas, “to have taken the first great step in making it.”
    “The first great step was taken long ago,” said Mr. Monk,–”taken by men who were looked upon as revolutionary demagogues, almost as traitors, because they took it. But it is a great thing to take any step that leads us onwards.”

  • “Of course, Obama wants Iraqi Catholics deported. Still not a peep from the USCCB.”

    Included in Big Business is the Catholic Church and it’s stand-in, USCCB Pope Francis has the role of CEO and President. The part about being Pope was broomed in interest of ecumenism and one-worldism. After all, being too Catholic is not good for business.

  • It came in !05 minutes to three minutes (7 to 9 December 2015) media minutes bashing Trump versus laudatory coverage of horrid ISIS speech. ANd, the GOP piled on big time.
    .

    Unexpectedly, Trumps’s numbers immediately rose, especially South Carolina.
    ..

    Why is he rising? It may be that the GOP donor class, the chamber of commerce, the Bush dynasty, GOP Obama (Ryan) enablers, et al don’t control sufficient primary votes to trash him.

  • Penguin Fan on Thursday, December 10, A.D. 2015 at 5:33am (Edit)

    Let’s be clear that big business in all its forms is no friend of conservatives and anyone with “traditional” values. Big Entertainment, Big Media, Big Insurance, Big Anything.

    Can’t agree.
    Business is just people. Big, small, transitory– they’re all just groups of people, with the strengths and weaknesses of the same.
    It’s easier to notice when they do something bad, because it’s bigger, but nobody even blinks at the good things being bigger too. Usually they don’t even notice.

  • I suspect a sociological study of corporate elites (compared with data Stanley Rothman collected a generation ago) would show large cultural shifts. What’s interesting is that a mess of attitudes you saw a generation ago in academe or in the public interest bar or in newsrooms now seem to have swept the legal profession and the boardroom.

    Twenty-three years ago, I was invited to a dinner gathering. One of the guests was an AC-DC Episcopal priest. He was telling us (among many stories) of a corporation executive in his circle of friends who had showed up for work one day (a decade or so earlier) with an ear-stud and been summarily fired. Nowadays, Brendan Eich is ejected from the company he founded for having contributed to an organization which resisted the grotesque mutation of matrimonial law. The boardroom is not your friend.

    Now, if you’re talking about you’re local hardware dealer, that’s something different.

  • Yes – both good and bad can become “Big”. “Big accrues power.As in seven sticks bound togethr by a leather strap are very difficult to break, but individual sticks can be snapped. Then the moral valence must be considered. Like everything else, goodness is the required ingredient.
    It would be great if that goodness was inspired by the culture but increasingly the “culture” is ambivalent about morality. When the communists attacked the Church as a way of attacking the West, they went for the jugular.

  • Re” Foxfire

    “Business is just people. Big, small, transitory– they’re all just groups of people, with the strengths and weaknesses of the same.
    It’s easier to notice when they do something bad, because it’s bigger, but nobody even blinks at the good things being bigger too. Usually they don’t even notice.”

    Not true. Big Business is not just people. Big Business or the Corporate Person is morally indifferent or amoral; it is entirely secular. They pay benefits for gay couples, pay for abortion, back both Republican and Democrat. They are religiously indifferent. Big Business is in bed with the unions, the politicians in office, the government. Basically they have the morals of the Democrat party. Big Business will do anything to make money short of getting caught breaking the law. If you work at these places you better tow this line or you are gone.

  • hey Foxfire- Penguin Fan on Thursday, December 10, A.D. 2015 at 5:33am (Edit)
    Let’s be clear that big business in all its forms is no friend of conservatives and anyone with “traditional” values. Big Entertainment, Big Media, Big Insurance, Big Anything.
    Can’t agree.
    Business is just people. Big, small, transitory– they’re all just groups of people, with the strengths and weaknesses of the same.
    It’s easier to notice when they do something bad, because it’s bigger, but nobody even blinks at the good things being bigger too.

    Please reconsider that – Ever seen the policy and procedure manual for IBM?- vs. Angelo’s pizzeria? or experienced the budgeting process and marketing plan for a multi division global firm vs. Ed’s hardware- it’s not just people- it is beaurocratic diversity and not in a good way

    further- giant Corp. s multi divsion topology provide”fiefdoms” wherein miscreant V.P.’s get to spend their dollars and groom their people in ways not necessarily aligned with the corporate policy. or with the goals and objectives of the Gospel. American express is a posterchild for this- as is the breast cancer advocate ‘ something for the cure ‘ which name escapes me as i write. J&J come to mind as well…….. Kraft foods …..

  • Not true. Big Business is not just people. Big Business or the Corporate Person is morally indifferent or amoral; it is entirely secular. They pay benefits for gay couples, pay for abortion, back both Republican and Democrat.

    Sudden mental image: a boardroom full of people, screaming “Run, run while you can! We can’t stop it– we have no control over where the money goes!”
    ***
    For the homosexual couples getting benefits, that came because either they got good PR from it, or they’d be sued if they didn’t. (Depending on which company.) Ditto on the abortion. They back politicians based on either a hope of their goals being helped, or out of fear of being harmed.
    That’s ignoring the problem where an awful lot of these “X company supports Y” either predates when the cause was known to be bad, is based off of what the employees privately choose to donate via payroll deduction, or both.
    ****
    paul coffey-
    Yes, I am familiar with a range of small businesses. That’s why I know that it’s a people problem. It just gets a lot more notice when Starbucks chooses to deliberately insult half of the country vs when the owner sets up his mistress as a cook/manager and channels gifts to her through that business, or a cashier routinely “forgets” to apply coupons and pockets the difference.
    The miscreant VP you mention is not uniquely created by ‘big business.’
    ****
    Maybe, instead of finding a scapegoat in “big ___,” we should look at why they do things. I know Starbucks keeps insulting traditional morality because they know that we are unlikely to boycott them in numbers large enough to hurt, while the radicals will not only boycott them (and are a bigger chunk of their customer pool in the first place) but may take illegal measures to express their displeasure.

  • Shorter: Chic-fil-a laughs at the idea that a large company is a soulless entity which cannot be directed by its board of directors. 😀

  • foxfire- you wrote paul coffey-
    Yes, I am familiar with a range of small businesses. [eoq].

    IBM is not what most would consider a ‘small business’. When i was with IBM, we considered Walmart of Canada a small – medium business. That’s condescension for you. We employed more people[ 330k worldwide] than the U.S. Marine Corps.’s 225k. – Size matters; yes it is people on the unit level , but behavior changes in a crowd which is what a large corporate entity is upon inspection. where as at Ed’s hardware you can go in and meet with the entire board of directors and CEO on the shop floor. large entities, perhaps because they are the antithesis of subsidiarity, are fundamentally different. and when they defy Natures law or the laws of Natures God, that could be dealt with almost immediately thru their income stream. big business – hollywoood, disney -starbucks AMEX, not so easy – I know the point is not lost on you, so i’ll stop.

    penguin fan – keep up the laser shots- i find them thought provoking.

  • I suspect a sociological study of corporate elites (compared with data Stanley Rothman collected a generation ago) would show large cultural shifts. What’s interesting is that a mess of attitudes you saw a generation ago in academe or in the public interest bar or in newsrooms now seem to have swept the legal profession and the boardroom.

    All we have to do is vote for Trump with all of our hate, and our journey to the Dark Side is complet