The Trump Takeover

In another thread, I learned that, apparently, I am not to criticize the God-King. Jonah is getting tired of it, too:

What I find so shocking is not so much the capitulation but the terms of the surrender. Or, rather, I should say the term — singular — of surrender, because there seems to be only one requirement expected of Republicans: Lavish praise on Donald Trump no matter what he does or says. Or at the very least, never, ever criticize him. Policy is an afterthought.

Yup. This is a cult (just as it was with Obama). Of course, I feel even more free to dispense such heresies, given that I’ve never even been a Republican. And then, this:

I’m more interested in the psychological factors animating commentators and the rank-and-file Trumpublicans of the GOP.

They also talk about wanting to get things done and the importance of fulfilling the Trump “agenda.” But they reserve their purest passion and most sustained vitriol not for people who don’t vote with Trump, but for people who do vote with Trump but who also refuse to remain silent. The same holds for Trump himself.

Why? Well, in the president’s case, the answer is obvious: his own Brobdingnagian yet astoundingly fragile ego. Because Trump cares so little about policy, he can forgive policy differences quite easily. What he can’t forgive is anyone even hinting that the emperor’s new clothes are, at best, invisible to the naked eye.

He’s a child. I’m glad she lost, I’m glad he’s stealthily rolling back regs, and I’m glad that he’s fixing the judiciary, but I weep at what someone in the same position, not so flawed, could be accomplishing.

139 thoughts on “The Trump Takeover”

  1. “In another thread, I learned that, apparently, I am not to criticize the God-King. ”

    Who says?

    I criticize him. But I also call it out when he does something that I consider good.

    “……but I weep at what someone in the same position, not so flawed, could be accomplishing.”

    Well maybe. The problem is that the more “normal” the person is – the more that person is a part of the Establishment, the likelier it is that the person will fold.

    Rubio is a good example of this. Jeb! is an even better example.

    It’s a spectrum.

    Scott Walker (my first choice) is the farthest from the Establishment and has a track record of bucking the Establishment so he’s less likely to knuckle under and become one of Them.

    Cruz? Not as good as Walker but still at Walker’s end of the Spectrum.

    McCain in 2008? Much closer to the Jeb! end.

    And then there’s the question: even if they stayed true to Conservative principles, do they have the political mojo to get them through the Establishment?

    Rand Paul? True conservative; I didn’t detect the mojo.

    Walker? Yes and yes.

    And so it goes. You can weep for what might have been but it’s isn’t black and white.

  2. Yeah, my first choice also was Walker.

    Jonah’s article was practically unreadable, unbearably smarmy. I used to enjoy his essays (the piece he republishes each Father’s Day is beautiful), but these days he reminds me of David Brooks.

    I think I first heard the following phrase in a Will Smith movie…don’t hate the players, hate the game. I think a constitutional convention is likely the only option available to restore representative government. Until then, even if I cringe at Trump’s style, I count my blessings that he is not Hillary, Rubio, Jeb, Graham, McCain, Romney, Warren, heck there simply is not space to list the Presidential aspirants who are inferior to him.

    1. For me it was unreadable, past the third paragraph. Smarmy yes, but dripping with enough virtue signal to guarantee invites to the best DC parties through 2150. But what’s even more irritating about these never-die never-trumpers is the complete inability to express anything positive without including a gag-response. Something they had no trouble with when Barky was president. Talk about things that are weep-worthy.

    2. ” I think a constitutional convention is likely the only option available to restore representative government.”

      With all due respect what good would that do? I assume by a “constitutional convention” you mean some kind of meeting to decide what amendments to said constitution you want to propose? Good luck but the problem now days is that the guv (especially the feds) pretty much either define said constitutions’ meaning as they see fit or just simply ignore and do as they wish. Look at civil asset forfeiture for instance; two separate amendments to the constitution say you can’t deprive people of life liberty or property without due process; that is found guilty of a crime in court. Yet the process of seizing people assets, money, valuables, sometimes property on mere suspicion of having acquired it illegally being sufficient cause. You have to prove otherwise in court at your expense to get it back; thereby turning the concept of innocent until proven guilty on its head.

      1. I think he means an Article 5 convention of the States – which are much more conservative than DC and the coasts.

  3. The thing is we needed a Trump. He brought the thinly veiled contempt of the establishment out to where no one could miss it. The swamp needed to be burned down to save it. Do you think Corker or Flake would have gone down without Trump?

    1. Like Goldberg and his Brobdingnagian list of bon mots?

      It’s one thing to have a large vocabulary and its another to deploy it in a manner that says your insults are intellectually superior to Trump’s.

      But much like having to explain a joke means it isn’t funny…

  4. Policy is an afterthought.

    Powerful drugs he’s taking. Policy is the point. We have Trump BECAUSE the GOPe (no matter how many we elect) have been ignoring the voters on policy. The voters are angry because the GOP has lied to us about policy. They can plainly see (and are exposed by Trump) because they oppose the policy the voters want.

    Patting himself on the back that he’s so much wiser than the dumb voters on policy is just more of the absolute same disrespect of the voters that they’re angry act. The never-Trumpers are the one’s on this acid trip and just projecting it on the voters The proof is claiming it’s not about policy.

    Somebody should tell Trump about this (and make it a priority for the next A.G.)

    1. It is really hard to claim Trump doesn’t care about policy when some of his largest achievements have been in the policy realm regarding government agencies, the judiciary, and the military. I think people get too focused on whatever the media is showing and not on what is actually taking place.

      I learned an important lesson about writing when I was a TV producer: The audience never knows what you don’t show them.

  5. I don’t mind “my team rocks, your team sucks” when it’s about sports. In politics it belongs in rallies, not daily life.

    Everyone who reads this comment and thinks I just put a sick burn on the other guy, is only half right.

    1. I am not to criticize the God-King.” >>Who says?

      Why is Gregg’s point ignored?

      “my team rocks, your team sucks”

      With all due respect McG, that’s not what’s going on here, but does illustrate the problem. You only get so many chances. When they’re gone, they gone.

      The Trump admin is not normal. We will go back to normal. Does anyone freakin’ remember normal? It wasn’t that long ago. Do you remember the conservative agenda being moved forward during those normal times? Only if you’re so freakin’ deluded you think your nose is a signpost.

      Normal is when all the politicians play the voters and do what-ever-the-hell they want… laughing at the poor schmucks that think voting means anything.

      But now we have one chance to make some major corrections that will affect the next hundred years.

      And the people that think it’s “my team rocks, your team sucks” are calling the rest of us children. I do sympathize with your feeling McG, but the stakes are just too high.

  6. “But now we have one chance to make some major corrections that will affect the next hundred years.”

    More than that. We have a few decades to get established off this planet. If we fail, we’ll probably never get another chance, because we’re unlikely to be able to rebuild an industrial civilization without easy access to fossil fuels.

    Trump’s election may turn out to be one of the most important events in the history of the human race, if it prevents the left from destroying the West for long enough that what they do will no longer matter.

    Would any other candidate be doing so much to roll back the ‘Climate Change’ scam if they’d been elected, for example? Or would they just have rolled over as soon as the left shouted ‘Denier! Denier! Denier!’

      1. Cruz would have tried. Whether he would have succeeded or not is an open question.

        But, not a very productive one. The hand has been dealt. The question is whether you will consider the weakness of the other hands, and remain in the game, or fold.

        If you choose to fold, then bitching and whining about your cards is not helping the ones you would prefer to win, because we all got the same hand, and the opposition knows it.

      2. Cruz would have.

        Grass is always greener. The second coming of Reagan would not have been enough in this current environment.

    1. If we fail, we’ll probably never get another chance, because we’re unlikely to be able to rebuild an industrial civilization without easy access to fossil fuels.

      In this case I’m much more of a optimist (on a good day) because once on mars they aren’t going to let earth expectations limit their accomplishments.

      I think the biggest risk to mars colonization is if govt. gets it’s clamps on the process.

        1. It took a self aware computer for them to revolt. We have no clue how to make those (Sophia is not that great a difference from Eliza with only simulated self awareness, better linguistic parsing and a bigger database.)

          Heinlein had an undercurrent of societal issues that had a huge impact but not the focus. People don’t discuss these societal issues and the impact on the future of mars even though it is the primary issue.

          We have lost the issue of individual liberty on earth. The only illusion of it’s existence is by govt. neglect which they remedy on a case by case basis whenever they want. Push-back when it happens just lasts for a short time before the government reasserts its control.

          The people that love liberty don’t have the will to make it happen. Mars has a slim chance of being different. The reason the west was settled was mostly to get away from govt. The first settlers didn’t go far enough and found the land they made livable was stolen from them by lawyers that never left the east coast. So they pushed farther west and made more land livable.

          With mars they can do something more (and the OST legal framework can help.) They can establish legal principles that don’t allow govt. to take over. They need to be hypersensitive to any govt. nose peeking into their tent. A frontier doesn’t need many laws which are just tools for govt. takeover.

          Martian govt. should be based on one principle: its existence is just to deny other govt. from exercising power over the people. It’s not and never to ‘provide for the general welfare’ beyond keeping other govts. hands off.

          Ownership is absolute. There is no eminent domain. If somebody doesn’t want to sell, you’ll just have to negotiate with their heirs …and murder is still a crime.

  7. It’s amusing me to how Jonah Goldberg, who wrote the much-hated and denounced (by liberal fascists) LIBERAL FASCISM, is now, to the Dumb Trumpkins, part of the Establishment. I swear, these people have the reading-comprehension level of a sloth. One of them called Goldberg “left wing,” which surprised me; I feared that Goldberg had perhaps undergone a Garry Wills-like metamorphosis. I asked for evidence that Goldberg was now “left wing,” and the DT responded with the fact that Goldberg doesn’t like Trump. And my merely posing the question was prima facie evidence that I, too, am “left wing.” There’s iron-clad logic for you!

    1. Bilwick, do you only know one dimension? …and you call them stupid? BTW, have you checked out D’Sousa’s book? (“The Big Lie”)

    2. Johah Goldberg wrote a damned fine book, but he’s not kept up with the rapidly changing culture. Today he’s a cuckservative.

      Here’s a quick lesson for you all – DON’T SHOOT RIGHT.

      It seems to be a modern conservative trait, virtue-signalling to the left who despise them, by attacking other right-wingers. Do you EVER see leftists calling down other leftists? If you don’t agree, at least stop attacking them, leave that job to the progressives. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will never like you and why should you care?

      1. Here’s a quick lesson for you all – DON’T SHOOT RIGHT.

        There is a place for criticism but most of it I have seen lacks substance and is deployed reflexively without good timing or concern for the larger picture.

        Because my first column this week argued for shunning Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, my Twitter feed was already acting like the industrial fan at the end of a sewer pipe.

        Uh, does Goldberg know that helping someone lose isn’t going to bring about the policies he wants in DC? A good criticism would be listing out some specifics but not advocating for withholding support.

        And Goldberg seems to be think skinned about comments on Twitter and it drives his coverage. His piece is filled with spite.

        1. Roy Moore is a bit of an embarrassment. But, the other side has plenty of embarrassments, too. PLENTY…

          The time to attack him was before the die were cast. It’s not doing any good now.

    3. Heh, it doesn’t matter that you support the free market, free trade and deregulation, that you oppose big government, to many Republicans if you dare to agree with the free market principle that businesses shouldn’t get a free ride by externalizing their costs, or that everybody shouldn’t have to live by the social laws that Republicans think that everyone else should live by, you must be a lefty.

      To me being right is about economic and social freedom, being left is about government control over economic and social issues, Most Republicans are economic right (but only when it suits them, and on free trade it doesn’t suit them) and socially left – they demand laws to limit social freedoms.

  8. “I weep at what someone in the same position, not so flawed, could be accomplishing.”

    I agree Trump is flawed. Seriously so. But I wonder: Could someone less flawed have beaten the anointed one?

    Trump very nearly lost. Which non-Trump candidate would have been less likely to sell out to the left and still done better in the general election (ie: exceeded the margin of fraud)?

    1. Would a not Trump being doing the things he is? Not likely. Would congress be any more forgiving? Only on the GOPe side.

      The Democrats would still be rioting in the streets calling everyone NAZIs. The media would still be attacking a not Trump President. The attacks would still be stupid, racist, Russia, and for the rich. It’s just sad to see the Goldbergs out there participating even though they know the game plan.

      1. Are you suggesting we fight with the troops we got? How preposterous! (Using a Bill Burr sputtering old man impression.)

    1. If you are making a reference to Dune, I respect it, but Rand tends to be careful with his words, and I think Rand is right.

      Trump doesn’t want to preside over a group of countries (which would make him an emperor), he wants to be King of America.

      1. He so much wants to be King, that he makes congress do its job rather than keep Obama’s illegal Obamacare payments and Iran deal. He so much wants to be King, that put Gorsuch on the SC. He so much wants to be King, that he is making government agencies reduce punative regulations.

        I don’t think you can run for President without having some ambition or love of power but none of Trump’s actions support the notion he wants to be King.

        1. I don’t think Trump wants to be King. I think he thinks he is one, albeit a frustrated one. I’ve seen little evidence that he actually understands the powers and roles of the presidency.

          1. Not a king. The USA has devolved from a republic into an empire.

            I think Trump understands that in these times, the job is what you make it. After the last eight (or is that 150) years of shredding the rules, why not? Nobody seems to care anymore.

    2. Either way it’s about the pinnacle of offense. You’ve got to give it to Rand. He’s a great wordsmith. I wonder if he notices or intended to be exactly like Trump in this regard?

      1. You’ve got to give it to Rand. He’s a great wordsmith. I wonder if he notices or intended to be exactly like Trump in this regard?

        Do you have any comprehension of what an insult to me this is? The notion that Trump is a “wordsmith” is imbecilic beyond comprehesion.

        He is a con man. And you (as always) are the mark.

        1. So you don’t see the similarity between calling someone a god-king follower and the way Trump labels others? That’s quite a blind spot if true.

          You’ve invested in the idea that we’re all stupid and delusional beyond the point of reason. Are there no other possibilities?

          I’m going to tell you an absolute fact: the people (other than myself) commenting here are the opposite of stupid and delusional. That should mean something to you.

  9. “but I weep at what someone in the same position, not so flawed, could be accomplishing.”

    Are the members of Congress as flawed.
    It seems if we had a congress full of trumps, more would be accomplished.
    I think if Clinton was president, the congress would be accomplishing more, but not accomplishing anything good for American people.

    1. The biggest problem the congress has with Trump is he is trying to do what they have been campaigning on for the last 18 years. The biggest problem congress has in general is not having large enough majorities to move things through without the support of a few Democrats.

    1. Isn’t it strange how Trump using such strong rhetoric in regard to NK when Tillerson uses such measured diplomatic appeals? Its like Trump is such a maniac about to go to war and Tillerson is saying, “Let’s sit down and talk about this. Trump’s crazy! I’m the only one who can help you.”

      In the states, we call this good cop bad cop.

        1. Its like one of those highschool fights and Trump’s all, “Let me at ’em. Let me at ’em.” while his buddies hold him back.

          One guy steps in front and says, “Wow he is seriously upset. I don’t know how much longer they can hold him. It’d really be best if you didn’t try and pick a fight over this. Let’s go talk and maybe I can get him to calm down later.”

      1. You’re suggesting that Trump’s style, with all its flakiness is a carefully thought out strategy to make people the world over, including Americans, think he’s nuts when he’s actually a master tactician? Yeah, right.

        1. He doesn’t look flaky to me. That you think he might do something is precisely the reaction he wants. You can’t micro target that so that just some people think he will respond.

          Obama tried that and it doesn’t work. If one person knows you wont do anything, everyone knows.

          The best thing for diplomacy is having a President with an image that he will back up his rhetoric.

          Tillerson is the carrot, Trump is the stick.

          1. Yeah, I read The Art of The Deal shortly after it came out; nothing Trump has done in the last two years has really surprised me, other than the pleasant surprise of him beating Hillary. I see it in the NAFTA renegotiation too – when you want one cookie, ask for three.

  10. The great bulk of elected Republicans have surrendered to the forces of Donald J. Trump. And they didn’t even put up much of a fight. Has a hostile takeover of a historic institution ever been accomplished with less resistance?

    Surrender? He won. He won the nomination. He won the Presidency. The contest is over. His proposed policies are those the GOP has run on for decades. Why do the Republicans have to rebel against that? Spite?

    I don’t get the notion that Republicans are obligated to fight against Trump doing what Republicans claim they want done.

    Trump said something about the anti-American actions of some NFL players, so congress needs to grind to a halt as Republicans scream into the air? What if we like what he said?

    Goldberg cherry picks rando comments on Twitter and applies them to everyone. He uses insults and strawmen, then when he does get into some specifics in the bottom third, he basically just says Trump’s a jerk. The entire thing was just insult after insult and he wants to tell us who the unprincipled children are?

    When I listen to Hugh Hewitt decry Flake and Bob Corker for their “drama” — but not Trump (!) — I can almost hear him shouting: “Will you all shut up! We’ve got judges to get on the Court!”

    Trump counter attacks. He isn’t out there picking fights with congresspeople, he just responds to their attacks. He does it with everyone from the Mayor of London and Kim Jong Un to CNN and congress. Is there any one thinking Trump wont respond if we or our allies are attacked militarily?

    Maybe Goldberg doesn’t like the manner in which Trump responds but I hate to break it to Goldberg, his Dennis Miller impersonation wouldn’t fly with the normals or be an effective response against the attackers.

    But I do know that political parties and ideological movements are defined every bit as much by what they say as what they do.

    Yes, and while Goldberg can only focus on rhetoric, he should be looking at actions. The same goes for congress. Don’t pick pointless fights with the President, just get your work done while he distracts the media. No one needs to worry that there will be a shortage of people criticizing Trump and they need to do it or no one else will.

  11. OK, to be fair to Goldberg, he did have one kernel of good criticism but also totally failed to explore it in any meaningful way.

    People are directing a lot of criticism at congress.

    What he doesn’t point out is that it is because they can’t get the things done the voters sent them to do. Part of this is GOPe and Democrats obstruction but it mostly comes from having such a slim majority in the Senate that a couple people can stop bills from passing.

    Is it so hard to do actual analysis here rather than just calling everyone retards? Perhaps it would be better for Goldberg to understand why people are upset and the conditions that lead to it?

    But if he did that, people might question why he is advocating surrendering senate seats.

  12. Again, I don’t care if you criticize Trump. He wasn’t my choice for the ticket, but the thing is, neither was Kasich or Jeb!

    Where is Jonah’s criticism of the GOP not repealing Obamacare? Failure to deliver tax cuts. I’ll give Rand credit for his annual critique that spending rate decreases isn’t spending cuts, but Jonah rather talk about Trump than point out Congress’ increased spending. The GOP isn’t surrendering to anyone but the DNC and the DC bureaucracy.

    I’ll make this simple. I find McConnell and his fellow Senators lying to their base to be far more offensive than Trump. I’ll take the clown doing silly things, than the guy with a smile shoving a knife in my back.

      1. That’s a straw argument Rand. My question is where is your claimed offense of McConnell? More importantly, where is Jonah’s?

        You don’t have to like Trump.

        I happen to find Trump to be damn better than McConnell, McCain, Rubio, Flake, Kasich.

        I supported Cruz during the primary, but policy wise, I can’t find anything Trump is doing that I would have just hoped Cruz would make happen.

        1. My question is where is your claimed offense of McConnell?

          I’m no big fan of McConnell, but he has an impossible job, given the nature of his caucus. That is, Trump could in theory be doing much better. McConnell cannot, until a new election.

          1. The reason McConnell can’t do better is because he’s already doing all he can against the voters.

          2. McConnell can and is dong plenty that doesn’t require the next election. All against the people.

          3. Others have already linked to McConnell’s machinations. The art of politics is to get what you want without getting caught and he’s a master.

      1. There’s this capability at NRO that allows you to look up the articles of any of their writers. You can then click on the links, and do word searches. I didn’t listen to Obama religiously, but it wasn’t hard to find what Obama supported and didn’t.

        In short, you asked a question with its basis in straw. You might try a stronger foundation.

    1. Rand is right about McConnell’s challenges in the Senate but Trump can’t really do better for the exact same reason. The two are linked. Goldberg knows that but prefers to toss insults.

      The numbers game aside, you are right about the lying. Eric Cantor even admitted it.

      Trump ran on the same things other Republicans have. There was/is a risk that he would do the same thing they did after elected. The difference is Trump wasn’t tied down to a history of repeated reneging on campaign promises.

      The crazy thing is that Republicans in congress and the media are upset that Trump wants to do what he campaigned on.

      1. This notion that McConnell is weak is laughable. I preferred Cruz through the Republican Presidential primary. But when Cruz ran against David Dewhurst and won the Texas Republican Primary to later run for the Senate; McConnell wouldn’t support Cruz in the general election. If it were up to McConnell, Cruz would have never left Texas government.

        McConnell’s challenges are part his own creation and the response of his ostensible base to his continuing lies in support of conservative policy, particularly economic policy.

  13. Not many people will agree with this, but the fact is, western civilization as we know it today was created by the petty bourgeoisie and the aspirational proletariate, and they own it. Over the past couple of generations, the dishonest politicians they elected have let Marxist progressives stage a massive takeover. Now, at the eleventh hour, they’ve done their level best to save us by electing Donald Trump, much as their counterparts in Britain have voted for Brexit. It was simply the best they could do, with the little power they have left.

    The tragedy of our time isn’t that they elected Donald Trump, it’s that a man like Trump has turned out to be the last, best hope of western civilization. I’m amazed that anyone would think either Cruz or Rubio could have won the 2016 election, since the one looks and sounds like Pat Buttram and the other like Ricky Ricardo. They’re like the clowns in high school who don’t know they’re clowns, and think they’re clever, but are always being beaten up by little bullies. Trump is like the big fat guy who acts like a clown, but who can stand up to the football jocks because he outweighs any two of them put together. That perception is the reason he was elected. Sure he’s not capable of governing, but if he can hold the line for a while and appoint a majority of Federal judges to protect us from the still impending Marxist progressive takeover for a while, that opens the door for somebody more effective, hopefully several such somebodies, to come along and finish the job.

    I was a lifelong Democrat. I voted for Obama in 2008. By 2012, I was so disappointed in what was happening, I couldn’t vote for him again. I left the Presidential ballot blank, but voted for Democrats down ballot. By 2016, I was appalled, and didn’t know what to do until I stood in the voting booth, looking down at the choices. After a few minutes, I colored in the oval next to Trump’s name, then went down the ballot, and for the first time in my life voted for all the Republicans, good, bad, or indifferent. And when I saw that West Point graduate holding up his hat with the sign that said, “Communism will win,” I knew I’d made the only choice I could.

      1. It’s game over either way: the USA won’t exist in fifty years, because it no longer makes sense. Neither will Canada, or any other big, post-industrial state; indeed, I suspect America may outlast Canada, because Canada was a less cohesive nation to begin with.

        The only question I see is how violent the end-game will be. With Clinton in power, we’d probably already have had WWIII. Trump may manage to push things into a relatively non-violent collapse: 50% casualties, at most.

        1. I’d be happy if that prediction came true as I’m a big supporter of self-determination for people in the form of smaller states, I applaud Britain’s attempt to regain her independence from Europe (and I’m not surprised that the European empire builders are doing everything they can think of to impede Brexit), I celebrate the break-up of the Balkans into smaller states and I hope that Catalonia can regain independence quickly and peacefully (if independence is what Catalonia’s want). The problem with the rapid change that you believe imminent is that resistance by the leadership of those large states will be fierce, change is never fast or easy when there are those with power and entrenched interests fighting tooth and nail against it.

    1. I was a lifelong Democrat. I voted for Obama in 2008. By 2012, I was so disappointed in what was happening, I couldn’t vote for him again.

      I was watching a lot of YouTube during the campaign. There are a lot of popular YouTubers with audiences comparable to a typical cable newscast, some larger. The list of them that had left to right conversions is incredible. The common factor in these conversions is the marxism and identity politics that drives the marxism.

      Although, a lot of them don’t necessarily consider themselves on the right due to the effective stereotyping campaign of the Democrats. They still have some pretty negative views of the right that I don’t think are backed up in reality. They are flirtatious with the right while being dead set against the left at it is today. I hope this will lead to some exploration of what American conservatism actually is.

      1. I’m watching a lot of YouTube these days and seeing the same. Moreover, I’m seeing more rational discussion of political issues. I fail to see how Title IX as written supports the creation and implementation of a progressive ladder, but that’s what it is doing, and this is what driving more people to switch their votes.

  14. Rand,

    I’m sure you know the saying among engineers: “The best is the enemy of the good-enough.”.

    Is Trump the best man for the job? Probably not — I would have preferred someone else to be president. But I voted for him to keep Hillary from getting the job, and so far he seems to be “good-enough”.

    (I’m a Life Member of the Libertarian Party of the United States. I was a generous donor to Harry Browne’s campaign for President in 2000, and the Party in its infinite wisdom bestowed life-membership on me. I would have voted Libertarian, but the Party went off into the isolationist, blame-America-first deep-end of the pool after 9/11, and I’ve been wary of voting Libertarian ever since.)

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

      1. Because the stakes are too high. We came within a hair’s breadth of losing the Republic – it was that bad. And, we are not out of the woods by a long shot. You are obsessing on unimportant matters when the issue is our very survival as a free nation.

        1. “We came within a hair’s breadth of losing the Republic – it was that bad.”

          What a load of nonsense, the thing about democracy is that it’s self-correcting, if a government swings too far from the centrist position it gets voted out, if Clinton had won last year and moved too far left, the right would have won easily in 2020. The only concession I give you is that as the US has such a flawed democracy the direction the country took after it swung away from whatever form Hillary’s government took is not clear. Also it’s hard to see how you can overlook the stabilizing influence that congress has, a force against change if ever there was one.

          1. the thing about democracy is that it’s self-correcting

            I’ve got to go with the Greek philosophers over you on this Andrew.

          2. “the thing about democracy is that it’s self-correcting”

            How can democracy be self-correcting when the government bring in hordes of new voters to vote for them?

            Had the Mexican illegals been amnestied and given the vote, there’d never be another Republican President again. Even now, it’s possible that Democrats have pushed demographics so far that Trump may be the last.

            Indeed, I suspect the trigger for the upcoming civil war may be when Americans realize that they no longer have the numbers to outvote the foreigners in their country.

          3. The USA has such a flawed democracy that it isn’t a democracy. It is a republic.

            But, there is one potentially fatal flaw – the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the ultimate unchecked power. Nine unaccountable Justices who have the last say over just about everything.

            It was not specifically laid out to be that way in the Constitution, but it evolved into it. And, Hillary would have tipped the balance irrevocably in a direction that would have virtually rewritten every aspect of the Constitution.

          4. Democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on dinner. The only thing democracy insures in government is that is conforms to the whims of the voting majority.

          5. What a load of nonsense, the thing about democracy is that it’s self-correcting,

            You bring up some good points about our checks and balances. They are good but imperfect.

            I am not sure if you are familiar with the marxism that is deeply entrenched in our colleges. This current strain of marxism is the driving force behind the Democrat party. It seeks to Year Zero our heritage, culture, laws, and very perceptions of reality. It is really impossible to understate what a threat this movement is to our country and Hillary would been a great help to them in the expunging.

            While Obama was President, we had government agencies abusing dissidents and black shirts rioting and beating people in the streets. At every level of society they have been brutal and tyrannical. It would only get worse under Hillary.

            Notice that Democrats say that Trump is a threat to democracy in the USA because he wants congress to do its job, judges to follow the constitution, a government that isn’t punative to the populace, and people free to pursue their interests. Democrats are not upset because Trump is a threat to the country, they are upset he is a threat to their neo-marxist revolution.

        2. And, we are not out of the woods by a long shot.

          Not even close. Socialism is more popular than ever with Democrats. They have been very effective in destroying the historical record. Their embrace of street violence paired with government abuse is not something that will disappear either.

          Its taken them 40 years to get here and will probably take another 40 to cure the cancer. And that is only if we have a society where people are free to oppose them.

          1. “Its taken them 40 years to get here and will probably take another 40 to cure the cancer.”

            We don’t have forty years. A society whose institutions have been taken over by SJWs doesn’t have long to live, because those institutions not only fail to sustain that society the way they were designed to, but actively begin to attack it.

            To last another forty years, you’d need to be defunding every SJW-infested institution right now, starting with schools. And no politician has the balls to do that.

  15. I weep at what someone in the same position, not so flawed, could be accomplishing.

    It occurs to me I feel the exact same way about Elon and mars. Elon has lots of flaws. But focusing on them and ignoring his accomplishments would be counter-productive. Elon has it infinitely easier to move forward than Trump. Elon just has physics and finance to deal with (mostly.) Trump has to deal with machinations of evil that we’ve only had small peaks at.

  16. Compare this 25-year-old Charlie Rose interview with Trump today. Back then Trump was the epitome of an aggressive but urbane New York businessman. Can it be that he’s regressed into the lout he portrays himself today? Nah. It’s all an act. And the act is working for him. He’s driving Democrats bat-crap crazy, keeping Republicans on their toes, and setting himself up for a second term.

      1. Nonsense. He doesn’t attack people who haven’t attacked him first. There’s the judges issue. The focus on rolling back regulations.

        You just don’t like him because he’s vulgar. That’s OK, but it’s tiring to hear constantly.

        1. He doesn’t attack people who haven’t attacked him first.

          Really? Better tell Serge Kovaleski.

          You just don’t like him because he’s vulgar.

          That’s a reason, but certainly not the only one.

          1. Assume that is true, and I’m not sure it is, that is one incident. The vast majority of Trump going after other people have been counter attacks.

            It is another similarity with Obama, who the media said was a great counter puncher. The media used it as a way to not have to say Obama was a dirty campaigner. Now, they are portraying it as a unique evil rather than shrewd politics.

            I think it is good to respond but I am not sure there is an ideal manner because when you trade insults and criticisms, it is hard to do without being insulting or critical.

          2. First Kovaleski called Trump a liar for saying some people in NJ cheered 9/11 which was a fact. Trump counter-punched that Kovaleski didn’t read his own article which confirmed the fact.

          3. Ken: “First Kovaleski called Trump a liar for saying some people in NJ cheered 9/11 which was a fact.”

            That claim was complete bullshit, the only coverage of Muslims celebrating 9/11 was a small group in the occupied territories. If you want to persist with that claim supply some evidence to support it.

          4. Facts never get in the way of a useful narrative for Trump or Ken, so there you are Ken, you can be proud that you and your idol have so much in common.

          5. That’s not true. While there may not have been any large scale celebrations, there are credible reports of various small ones.

          6. I’ve read verification’s of all these reports that go into even further details, but you can look them up yourselves. At worst, Trump is guilty of some hype, but the fact are true.

            So yes Rand, Kovaleski was a counter-punch (or are you going to now claim against your usual pattern that Trump was not ignorant of Kovaleski before he called Trump a liar?)

            The evidence further indicates these groups had foreknowledge of the attacks which is easy to believe of a religious group that has its own channels of communication.

            Interesting choice of words Andrew …the only coverage …

            When has coverage tracked with truth?

            Again Trump scores and the lying media fails.

          7. One other thing… I don’t know if you are doing this with intent or out of ignorance Rand, but I would like to know.

            you cannot stand any criticism of your god-king

            You are accusing me of idolatry. There is no greater sin. This is numero uno. It carries a death sentence. Even rape and murder do not rate as high a sin as idolatry. There is no higher insult and you’ve done it repeatedly.

            Normally I would not assume you to be so ignorant, but in this case it allows me to not feel less of you because I do hold you in high regard.

            I believe you have an understanding of how seriously I hold my beliefs. According to doctors I will die this year by holding to them. My plan is to live another 40, but my plans don’t always work out. Only my mind can leave my apartment as it is now.

            So may I request you drop the god-king snark?

          8. Ken, I had a look at your link and followed its links, it provides no evidence to support your claims. One of the links leads to another Breitbart story which then leads back to the first story, there are references to other people claiming there were celebrations but those are just hearsay.

            There were weddings going on on the day, and evidence that those weddings were interpreted as celebrations of 9/11 by people who didn’t know what they were talking about.

            In short, you continue to believe what you want to believe rather than what the evidence supports.

          9. Bart, did you read the article or just the headline?

            Most claims debunked, the balance with little to no supporting evidence.

            What point are those that try to revive this dead dog trying to make? I’ve no doubt that if a case could be made it would be used not against the tiny few who are guilty of such offensive conduct but rather to smear all Muslim Americans.

            As someone who thinks people should be judged by their actions as individuals rather than this leftist collectivism of guilt mentality, I find such smear campaigns – whether of a racial group or a religious group or any other demographic, hugely offensive. Probably that’s the biggest difference between the Libertarian right and the Conservative “right”, Conservatives are left when it comes to collectivizing people – thinking group membership more important than individuality.

          10. you seem to worship Donald Trump

            In some respects that would be almost as bad. Scripture talks about meat sacrificed to idols. An idol is nothing, so eating meat sacrificed to idols has no effect on it’s nutritive value. However, someone seeing you eat meat sacrificed to an idol might be harmed by their conclusion that the meat eater is worshiping that idol.

            Which is to say you have impressed me with the need to alter the impression I give. I will work on it.

            I can’t speak to it’s length, but the healthy ship has sailed. Thank you for the thought.

          11. just hearsay

            Andrew, try reading the comments of people that also witnessed their own examples, not reported anywhere else, of Muslims cheering 9-11 in this country. That includes co-workers that lost their employment or were just reprimanded.

            This is entirely consistent with the reaction we’ve seen in other countries. Believe what you like. Just don’t claim this refers to all muslims.

          12. No one says no Muslims cheered. Trump claimed thousands did, in New Jersey. That was bullshit. But you continue to demonstrate that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that Trump can do that you find indefensible. He’s right — if he shot someone on 5th Avenue, you’d defend him, and claim self defense. You’re in a cult.

          13. Ken, while your video makes a good case that Trump was not mocking Kovaleski for his disability, it makes a pathetic case that thousands of people in NJ were celebrating 9/11. My suspicion is that many people – such as yourself – are predisposed to wanting to believe some Muslims celebrated those tragic events and were inclined to telescope wedding celebrations on that day prior to the event, and ordinary Muslim people gathering to watch the tragedy unfold, as celebrating just because they were Muslims and an expectation that Muslims would react that way.

            While we associate the phrase “Allahu Akbar” with what terrorists say, it’s actually more commonly used by Muslims in the same way as Westerners use the phrase “Amen” or “Oh my God”, so someone witnessing 9/11 and saying “Allahu Akbar” was almost certainly expressing horror at what was unfolding, but that simple explanation doesn’t suit you does it? You need Muslims to be evil, denigrating and pushing down others is a common method used by people with issues.

          14. “My suspicion is that many people – such as yourself – are predisposed to wanting to believe some Muslims celebrated those tragic events…”

            And, it seems you are disposed to ignore or rationalize away any evidence that would tend to pierce your bubble.

            “Allahu Akbar” means, literally, “God is great”. Get a grip.

          15. Correct Bart – that “Allahu Akbar” means “God is great”, and if you go around praising your God for being great does that make you a terrorist or a fan of terrorism? It’s a phrase that is common in Muslim speech and is on several Muslim nations flags, many Muslims are annoyed that terrorists have expropriated the phrase.

            As for evidence of Muslims celebrating, even back in 2001 video recorders were common, yet there are no videos of these celebrations in NJ, and given how significant a recording of such celebrating would be, if such celebrations were more common than hens teeth I would have expected them to have been made.

            So where’s your evidence? Hearsay or recollections from years later aren’t worth a damn.

          16. “…and if you go around praising your God for being great does that make you a terrorist or a fan of terrorism?”

            Well, yeah, it does when you’re staring off at the plume of smoke emanating from the place where your coreligionists just snuffed out 3,000 kafir.

            Do you hear yourself? Do you have any idea how unhinged you sound?

          17. Andrew and Rand, I consider all people to be on the spectrum of what people are. I have no animosity for any people.

            I did not personally witness anyone in America cheering 9-11, but I did witness mobs in the middle east doing so and it was not a wedding feast.

            Other people, long before I heard Trump say anything about it, personally witnessed these things happening in America. The only question for me is are these claims credible and consistent with what I do know?

            I know the media lied about there being reports because those reports exist. I do know a percentage of muslims did cheer because I witnessed that directly, just not in America. I know there are communities of muslims in this country where it is dangerous for non-muslims (even police) to go.

            I am open to the possibilities consistent with what I do know. Andrew, you have made excuses in the past for the inexcusable. I find the personal witness of many to be credible up to hundreds. Probably not thousands, but even that is within possible.

            The reporter did report muslims in America cheering. That is a matter of record. Trump ridiculed him for playing the “I don’t recall” card about a major story.

            Some people are evil and I will not be gaslighted from reality.

          18. I don’t know that I’d call them evil, per se. But they, particularly recent immigrants from that part of the world, have seen horrible things that relatively few of us cared about, so why should they care particularly when something horrible happens to us? Possibly, even cheer? It’s a terrible part of the world and, rightly or wrongly, a lot of them blame us either for things we did, or things we allowed to happen that they think we might have prevented.

            I’d be willing to bet no small part of the anti-Wall Street segment of our native population cheered the fall of the two towers.

            So, I don’t know why Andrew is so intent on turning a blind eye to verifiable events. It’s not racist or nationalist to recognize things that happened. It’s just dealing with reality.

          19. Bart, “The phrase has been used by Muslims for over a millennium in various cultural and religious rituals, including as an expression of faith, distress call and declaration of victory.”

            Google it. A Muslim woman using the phrase after witnessing the first jet crash into the WTC (at which time it was believed by most to be an accident) is more likely to be using it in distress than celebration. As to whom is unhinged, I’m picking the guy who still can’t produce any evidence to support his faith that thousands of Muslims were celebrating 9/11 in NJ, the same guy who insists that he himself requires absolute proof when other people provide substantial evidence of science contrary to what he wants to believe. If ever there was a candidate for blind religious faith its you (but only when it suits you).

          20. Bart, I’m not saying “Muslims in America were not celebrating”, I’m saying “I’ve seen no solid evidence supporting the claims that Muslims were celebrating” possibly some were, but I am not going to smear a religious faith in the US on the basis of no solid evidence, there’s nothing constructive that can come from the narrative that Muslims in the US celebrated 9/11.

            Ken claims he witnessed mobs in the middle east cheering 9/11, I wasn’t in the Middle East at the time so can only comment on media reports, the only convincing reports I’ve seen are on a fairly small group in the Palestinian Territories and another in a refugee camp in the Lebanon. I agree with Bart though that given the (rightly or wrongly) perception that the US has directly or indirectly caused the violent deaths of many Muslims in that part of the world that it would be unsurprising if many Muslims in that part of the world weren’t, at the very least, quietly pleased at the US being hit.

            It’s easy to disassociate yourself from the human tragedies that you see happening on the other side of the world to people you have little in common with, not so easy to do if it’s happening to people in your own city or a neighboring city in your country – which is why I’m far more skeptical about the stories of US Muslims celebrating than I am of claims of Middle East Muslims celebrating.

          21. Gimme a break, Andrew. People do not say “God is Great” when witnessing something they believe to be a great tragedy.

            “I’m picking the guy who still can’t produce any evidence to support his faith that thousands of Muslims were celebrating 9/11 in NJ…”

            Straw man. As I said in the written record above: “While there may not have been any large scale celebrations, there are credible reports of various small ones.”

          22. And if Sayfullo Saipov was a native English speaker he would have said “Happy Halloween” yesterday, right Andrew?

          23. And again: “In 1997, an Indonesian pilot shouted “Allahu akbar!” moments before his plane crashed, killing all 234 people on board. Some people thought he’d downed the plane on purpose; in fact, the accident was the result of bad instructions from the air traffic controller.”

            Read the whole thing, the phrase is used in many contexts including a reflexive plea to God for support for oneself and others (God help me, God save them)

          24. Ahh, so in English he would have said “God help me, God save them, er, the ones I haven’t already saved anyway”. Got it.

            Pathetic Andrew. Really pathetic. I’m sure you’re convinced you’ve latched onto something really profound here, something that both identifies why the Kiwi’s have avoided a major terrorist attack all these years while simultaneously driving troglodytic islamophobes batty. Trust me, you haven’t.

          25. Nothing profound at all, obviously the phrase has meaning beyond the literal statement, a terrorist using the phrase is saying more than just “God is great” what he’s doing is appealing to his God for support or deliverance, ditto the pilot I mention about, and people also use it to appeal for divine support or deliverance for others.

            While we’re talking religious phrases, since you’re probably a Christian, think about the phrase “God fearing”, does it literally mean one who fears the Christian God?

      1. Agreed. The alternative was a very possibly senile Hillary Clinton, which would have given us two corrupt Chicago Machine POTUS’s in a row. I don’t think that country would have survived as a constitutional republic had that happened.

        I was a Walker guy then a Cruz guy and then I voted for Trump. And I’m with Voltaire: Don’t let the perfect by the enemy of the good.

        1. I was a Walker guy then a Cruz guy and then I voted for Trump.

          That’s about my progression too. I wasn’t even going to vote (good job to Hillary’s depress the vote campaign) until I saw the Democrats organizing violence at events like in San Jose. At that point, especially with how popular Sanders was, it became obvious street lynchings would be the new normal and the government would be acting just as bad.

          Anyone who thinks the Democrats would not be acting the way they are today if not for Trump is dead wrong. They would be treating any Republican the same way.

          1. Let me add: I was a Walker guy then a Cruz guy and then I voted for Trump…

            …but pulled the “L” lever for two decades prior to that.

  17. “Bilwick, do you only know one dimension? …and you call them stupid? BTW, have you checked out D’Sousa’s book? (“The Big Lie”)”

    Not sure what point that opening question is going for. Who am I calling stupid? If you mean that dolt who said that Goldberg is “left wing” (and therefore–in a big leap of mind-reading–I must be, too) because he (JG) dislikes Trump, then, yes.

    Except among leftists and the Dumb Trumpkins (whose reasoning processes are, shall we say, unusual), I don’t understand all the anti-JG hatred anyway. For me, evaluating Goldberg is simple, using my “patented” Bilwick Statist Scale (aka the Coercion Meter). On a scale of 0 to 10, 0 representing pure individualist anarchism of the Robert LeFevre variety, and 10 representing outright bloody tyranny of the Hitler-Stalin-Mao variety–and creatures like Obama and Hillary being about a 7.5, the beginning of what we could call “the State-f*cker Zone”–where is Goldberg? And is Trump higher or lower on the scale?

    1. I don’t understand all the anti-JG hatred anyway.

      I think it is because he is a bit of a pretentious jerk who gets a lot of things wrong and just presses on without any reflection. We could say that we hold the President to a higher standard but Goldberg punches down a lot.

      He tends to get worked up over Twitter comments but does he realize Twitter isn’t representative of anything? He really needs to get out of his Twitter bubble, it is clouding his judgement.

      And is Trump higher or lower on the scale?

      Trump has done more to combat big government than Goldberg has.

      I thought the GOP in congress would be needed to restrain Trump from being too much like a Democrat but it turns out the congress is restraining him from acting too much like a Republican in a campaign year.

      And what is with this budget? We need more Tea Party types in there to deal with the GOPe and a go along Trump.

      1. Agree completely with Wodun.

        I don’t hate JG. Conversely, I see JG’s hatred of Trump as all to consuming of JG’s time and efforts. The only major failures I’ve seen in Trump’s presidency to date is the failure to repeal Obamacare and secure tax cuts; but I repeat myself that those failures are really those of the Senate. Yet JG spends his time complaining about Trump and only writes on Obamacare repeal to support a watered down version of Obamacare that’s literally compared to be better than Sander’s (and Marx’s) version of socialized medicine. Obamacare lite was not what any Republican Senator ran on in the last 3 election cycles, or NRO got behind during those same election cycles.

        1. I see JG’s hatred of Trump as all to consuming of JG’s time and efforts.

          From this link, it looks like he is consumed by Twitter. The Twitter bubble is a powerful thing to Twitter addicts in the media. A large percentage of the comments he doesn’t like probably come from a Hillary/DNC troll farm.

          If anyone thinks that the Democrats didn’t(are) deploy(ing) troll social media accounts during(after) the election, they are naive. Look at how many NeverTrump people base their opinions on Trump’s alleged followers on Twitter.

          I noticed that during the campaign a bunch of white nationalists types of accounts were commenting on Instapundit and PJMedia. After the election? Instapundit has one. I don’t read PJMedia enough to say for every article but the ones I do read haven’t been flooded like before. I think they were targeted by a DNC op to cause division in the GOP.

  18. And no, haven’t read the D’Sousa book. Will probably give it a scan if a copy falls into my hands; although I don’t see where it could cover the territory better than Goldberg, or Erik von Keuhnelt-Leddhin in his classic LEFTISM (now like Goldberg’s book, needing an updating for the Obama-Hillary-“Antifa” era).

    1. I haven’t read the others, but D’Sousa’s book is pretty damning. I particularly liked the part where the Nazis based their race laws on the Democrats’ race laws, but decided the Democrats’ laws were too racist, and rolled them back a bit.

      1. I’m reading it now but it is a little hard to get into. It reads like the Bible, and so and so begot so and so who begot so and so and let me go off on a tangent here and pick up later with why the guy begoton three begotons ago was important.

        His voice is narrating the book in my mind and its just like his movies! And then I realize, his movies are a bit jumbled too. The last one was better though. I hope he has someone help make the script for this one more concise.

      2. The Nazis had to roll them back. A one drop of blood test would have caught too many of themselves in the net.

  19. “Trump has done more to combat big government than Goldberg has. ”

    Not exactly what I asked; although Trump being president he is in far, far better position to do anything about big government than a writer or editor is.

    1. Well, I guess it comes down to words over action. Goldberg says a lot of nice things, even if he is a hypocrite on principles sometimes. Trump is a mixed bag on messaging but also has a good record when it comes to actions. Goldberg has the luxury of never having to live out his ideology as a politician.

      It is like the difference between a business professor and an entrepreneur.

      And in the ranking, shouldn’t we place more weight on the person who actually has power and opportunity to be a tyrant? The measure isn’t how you act without temptation but how you act when facing temptation. You could say that Goldberg ranks higher on personal freedom but since he will never be in the position to affect other’s freedom, it kinda makes the scale a little pointless in this case.

  20. Conservatives are left when it comes to collectivizing people

    Saying some people did something is not the same as saying all people did something. This is often conflated.

    It was a silly thing for people to focus on then and now. But it is a great example of how the media twists and conflates things into having a greater importance than what they really do while also deliberately creating false narratives. They twisted Trump saying something that wasn’t totally true into Trump hates all Muslims, Trump is racist, Trump hates all disabled people.

    This is a case of Trump speaking freely and being wrong without carefully crafting a deceit while the media did carefully craft deceits. Which is worse? Being wrong about something as everyone is from time to time or intentionally being deceitful to twist something to slander someone as being racist, hateful of the disabled, and blaming all Muslims in the USA?

    This is why so many people hate the media and think they work for the DNC. Whenever you drill down into the reporting, the objective facts don’t support the narrative they spin.

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