January 22, 2016

"National Review is dedicating a special issue of its magazine, one week before the Iowa caucuses, to stopping Trump. 'Against Trump,' blares the magazine cover."



"Inside, a blistering editorial questions Trump's commitment to conservatism, warning voters that backing him is tantamount to allowing the conservative movement to have 'fallen in behind a huckster.'"
"Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones,” the editorial reads.

And that’s just the start.

The National Review issue features anti-Trump essays from more than 20 conservative thinkers, leaders and commentators spanning the GOP’s ideological spectrum from David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian-infused Cato Institute, to William Kristol, the hawkish editor of the Weekly Standard, to David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth. All call for Republicans to nominate someone other than Trump.

“This is the time to mobilize,” said National Review editor Rich Lowry, who is also a weekly opinion columnist at POLITICO. “The establishment is AWOL, or even worse, so it’s up to people who really believe in these ideas and principles, for whom they’re not just talking points or positions of convenience, to set out the marker.”
Trump tweets:

Well, obviously.

Meanwhile, at least according to the NYT, "the cadre of Republican lobbyists, operatives and elected officials based in Washington is much more unnerved by Mr. Cruz, a go-it-alone, hard-right crusader who campaigns against the political establishment and could curtail their influence and access, building his own Republican machine to essentially replace them."
[M]any members of the Republican influence apparatus, especially lobbyists and political strategists, say they could work with Mr. Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, believing that he would be open to listening to them and cutting deals, and would not try to take over the party...

Of course, this willingness to accommodate Mr. Trump is driven in part by the fact that few among the Republican professional class believe he would win a general election. In their minds, it would be better to effectively rent the party to Mr. Trump for four months this fall, through the general election, than risk turning it over to Mr. Cruz for at least four years, as either the president or the next-in-line leader for the 2020 nomination.
But what if Trump wins? Somebody is going to have to win. The idea that each one "can't win" makes no sense. The establishment, we're told, is thinking that Trump would be a pragmatist and he wouldn't break their hold on the GOP. To flip that: If you want more disruption, Cruz is the one. 

If you had to choose between Cruz and Trump...
 
pollcode.com free polls

219 comments:

1 – 200 of 219   Newer›   Newest»
sydney said...

The more the political class blasts him, the more I like him.

Big Mike said...

How about "Cruz, because of who hates him."

Xmas said...

Shorter NRO, "I can't believe you guys are backing a philosophically unmoored political opportunist after we've been pushing philosophically unmoored political opportunists for years and years."

I'm enjoying Trump because he is making everyone squeal. He is the Kwisatz Haderach arrived too early.

Big Mike said...

Note that "we love him for the enemies he's made" got Grover Cleveland elected twice!

Saint Croix said...

I love the National Review. Great magazine, always provocative and interesting (and honest!)

Thank the sweet Lord, as a Rubio man, I do not have to choose between Cruz and Trump. What a silly idea before the first primary!

Mark said...

Looks like the right wing journo-list has openly declared their choice.

On both right and left, the old guard desperately and bitterly clings to its remaining power unaware that flyover country has reclaimed it.

Tank said...

If they want to know where Trump and Cruz came from, they can just look at the shit sandwich budget that the REPUBLICAN CONGRESS sent over to Hussein.

How many times do they think they can shit all over us?

Answer: They think the number is infinity; maybe, just maybe, they're going to find out they are wrong.

Original Mike said...

NYT: "[M]any members of the Republican influence apparatus, especially lobbyists and political strategists, say they could work with Mr. Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, believing that he would be open to listening to them and cutting deals, and would not try to take over the party..."

Was the headline "Blind Squirrel Finds Nut"?

Anglelyne said...

A whole issue? Guess they think that somebody out there doesn't hasn't figured out that "populism" and nationalism are anathema to globalists and neo-cons.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

My opinion of Trump can't get much lower, but the fact that he doesn't know the difference between "its" and "it's" is just the icing on the cake. It's time to put this moron out of our misery—good for NR.

Cruz is an acceptable nominee, and it looks like the party is coalescing around him as the non-Trump. If that holds true in Iowa and NH, it's time for everyone else to get out of the race and focus on beating this jackass like a drum.

All that said, I do want to point out the obvious truth that a populist fuckwit is a lot better than a socialist fuckwit, so if Trump gets the nomination: Eyes on the prize, people. The Democrats cannot retain the Presidency. At any cost. You can roll the dice on Trump (if he gets the nomination) or take certain death with Sanders. And that's not a hard call.

jr565 said...

So the argument is NR is the establishment. And they are traitors. I've been reading National review since Bush was in power. They were NEVER on board with Obama (unlike trump who was DONATING to their campaigns).
So the argument that they are more establishment than Trump is laughable.
But now the republican national committee has just told National Review they can't participate in the debates.
Isn't the National republican committee THE ESTABLISHMENT?
So national review are traitors, but the establishment republican organization that everyone says keeps hoisting RINO's on us now sides with Trump. For those agains the establishment, does it give you any pause?
national reviews argument is that the establishment is doing nothing to support actual conservatives and instead is foisting another charlatan on the stage.

Simon said...

jr565, I've been trying to figure out for most of the year what exactly "the establishment" is—I used to think that it was just new coinage for "RINO," but even that seems far too precise. Here's my conclusion: "The establishment" is "anyone I don't like." It's become a way of announcing to the world that one's views are not to be taken seriously.

Original Mike said...

The support of Trump over Cruz by people who think they're conservative is baffling. Well, may be not baffling. But certainly dismaying.

jr565 said...

"NYT: "[M]any members of the Republican influence apparatus, especially lobbyists and political strategists, say they could work with Mr. Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, believing that he would be open to listening to them and cutting deals, and would not try to take over the party..."

sounds pretty establishment to me. So, trump will make deals with the lobbyists better than those cantankerous republican that keep trying to toe the line in Washington.

Original Mike said...

"it's time for everyone else to get out of the race and focus on beating this jackass like a drum."

But that never happens. Everybody stays in until they're down to their last drachma. And this year it will result in a Trump nomination.

Saint Croix said...

And let us all admit and acknowledge that whoever our next President is, he will have zero days of a honeymoon.

Except maybe Ben Carson. If Carson wins Iowa, boy that would shut everybody up.

Tank said...


Original Mike said...

The support of Trump over Cruz by people who think they're conservative is baffling. Well, may be not baffling. But certainly dismaying


I think it's a matter of style. And fun. Trump is fun.

traditionalguy said...

And how does the imminent Citizen Cruz get around being a natural born Canadian citizen and not a natural born American citizen, or is just ignoring it a solution?

Practice Tip for Evangelicals: A Southern Baptist Pulpiteer who does not at the minimum tithe to his local Church is a TOTAL PHONEY, and you can quote me on that.

FleetUSA said...

Professor, You need a none of the above category. I think both are train wrecks unless Bernie is the candidate and even then....

Simon said...

Original Mike said...
"Everybody stays in until they're down to their last drachma. And this year it will result in a Trump nomination."

This year, the candidates have to put the good of the party first. Lookit, there is one acceptable candidate in the field, clearly, but she's polling in single digits. It's all noise until the votes start being cast, so I'm in favor of everyone staying in through Iowa, maybe NH, but for goodness' sakes, unless there's some real upset to the applecart, there are clear winners and losers even if we don't like it, and everyone except Trump and the not-Trump candidate (which obviously ought to be Fiorina but probably won't be) has to get out before Super Tuesday.

jr565 said...

Simon,
Exactly right. Its lazy. Plain used to have a problem with crony capitalists only two years ago:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2013/03/16/palin-on-crony-capitalism-you-are-on-menu-if-you-don-t-have-lobbyist/
And now she's backing the crony capitalist against THE ESTABLISHENT, who is now Cruz.
And the National Republican committee doesn't want Cruz because Trump can actually get things done and strike deals with the lobbyists. If they are both on the same page, then Palin is now the establishment. She was totally co opted by money. And we are on the menu, since we don't have lobbyists.
thanks for that sarah Palin.

Unknown said...

How about this quiz choice for Trump vs Cruz

Trump, because he would win the general election

Original Mike said...

"And how does the imminent Citizen Cruz get around being a natural born Canadian citizen and not a natural born American citizen, or is just ignoring it a solution?"

What's happened to Mick?

Simon said...

traditionalguy said...
"And how does the imminent Citizen Cruz get around being a natural born Canadian citizen and not a natural born American citizen, or is just ignoring it a solution?"

I'm about as sympathetic to the natural-born argument as one reasonably can be, but even I think it's a difficult, murky question, and while I'm not quite sold by Prof. Ramsey's argument (and not at all by that of Katyal & Clement), I don't argue originalism with Ramsey! I think it would be as silly to insist that Cruz is clearly ineligible as it is to insist that he couldn't possibly be. It's a close and difficult case, and for that reason alone might reasonably be thought a question for the voters.

MadisonMan said...

Trump is fun

Fun isn't quite the word I'd use. Interesting to watch, yes, very much so. It's interesting to see what he does, and it's very interesting to see the reactions around him.

Is it interesting enough to vote him to be President? That's what I have to ask myself (and that question is very much tempered by who he's running against, and by his running mate).

Amexpat said...

I think Trump would have a much better chance in the general election than Cruz. He'll appeal more to Reagan Democrats and Afro-Americans. He'll definitely do better with independents and moderates than Cruz as he's not an ideologue and politically he's not beholden to the GOP. In essence, he's an independent third party candidate that chose, for pragmatic purposes, to run as a Republican.

Unknown said...

If you really want to know why so many long term republicans ( 40 years here ) and independents support trump Mark Steyn lays it out for you.

http://www.steynonline.com/7432/the-world-they-made

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignorance is Bliss said...

jr565 said...

NYT: ...

Did you notice the source from which you were quoting? I'm not saying that proves it is false. The New York Times has been known to print the truth from time to time, when it serves their purpose. But you must always ask yourself what purpose are they trying to serve.

Paddy O said...

"A Southern Baptist Pulpiteer who does not at the minimum tithe to his local Church is a TOTAL PHONEY, and you can quote me on that."

Clearly you don't know Evangelicals. Almost every Evangelical pastor I know (and I am friends with them and teach them), would be thrilled if even a small majority of their congregants tithed the "minimum". It's actually a very serious generational issue, as Gen Xers and younger don't tithe to churches at all at the level of Boomers and older. They donate money for causes but only a portion of that goes directly to a church.

Real American said...

The GOP establishment prefers Trump, not because he can be bought, but because they can. Trump has made it clear he likes to do deals and buy weasel politicians.

These establishment types campaign as conservatives and get to DC and when someone like Ted Cruz comes along - someone who actually tries to reduce government - they run and hide and refuse their support because (1) they're big fucking pussies, and (2) they don't mean what they say during campaign season. Then they all line up to say how much they hate Ted Cruz - again, because he actually means what he says while they just pay lip service to it to get elected. fuck them. Fuck Bob Dole. Fuck the RNC. Fuck Donald Trump.

Simon said...

Tank said...
"I think it's a matter of style. And fun. Trump is fun."

I see nothing fun in watching Trump beclown the party that I call home, of seeing him completely eviscerate everything for which we once stood and be applauded for it. Trump will go away, but the lingering damage that he did to the party will not—he has revealed that there are a lot of false friends in this party, people who pay lip service to conservative and libertarian ideals, but who are nothing more than pig-ignorant populists.

Unknown said...
"Trump, because he would win the general election"

I would vote for him if he got the nomination, but he'd lose by twenty points. You're living in a dream world if you think Trump wins in the fall.

Fernandinande said...

This institution functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy.

But they're not perfect!

sydney said...

From the link given by Unknown at 9:38:

The Donor Class decided it would take its contempt for the rubes to the next level ...and now they're surprised that the rubes have decided to take it to the next level, too. They don't care when the insiders say that Trump isn't a "real Republican". To them, that's not a bug, it's a feature. But Rush posits that disenchantment with the only electoral alternative to the Democrats is now so great that they don't even care that Trump isn't a "real conservative".

Jim said...

NR is a magazine dedicated to telling us how we lost. Doing so in an intellectually pleasing manner. Enforcing ideological purity, as they define it, and trying, ever trying, to tie themselves to WFB.
No one really cares what they think or say now. To many decades of intellectual tantrums, and throwing spit balls over the fence. Like George Will, the NR is happy to lose, as long as they get to sit at the adult table afterwards.

Sammy Finkelman said...

It's hard to figure out how to answer that poll, because that gets into hard to make evaluations. Trump would be far more erratic and much more unpredictable, but Cruz also, I don't think, means what he says about political issues. Cruz is long term phony while Donald Trump is short term (and more reversible) phony, and I don't like, and even hate, where both of them are now. I can't even say who is crueler, or encouraging cruelty. Maybe Cruz, right now. Cruz is even managing to sound stupider, but I don't know how long that will persist, and if it carries over to governing.

Maybe I should say Cruz because Donald Trump seems to be far too comfortable with dictators, and, while he may be personally nice to people he deals with personally (if they are nice to him) he doesn't show the slightest trace of compassion.

That said, compassion (or favoritism) might show up in unexpected places with Donald Trump.

LYNNDH said...

I'm a little tired of DEALS. Look where Deals have gotten us. Huge deficits, weak armed forces, EPA, IRS, VA, and others. My original pick has been long gone. My next choice really wasn't viable either but I still like her. I have come to listen to Cruz, but if Trump wins then it is a choice of the Devil or the Deep Blue Sea. I'll take my Devil over their Deep Blue.

Saint Croix said...

What happened to Ben Carson, anyway? There was so much love for him.

Interesting article in Politico puts the blame on Armstrong Williams. Bad advice, a couple of bad movies, crash and burn. Maybe? I don't know, nobody's voted yet. But turmoil inside a campaign is not a good sign for any candidate.

Saint Croix said...

This early process is so heated and angry, I am a little worried that many Republicans might stay home in the general election. Would the Trump fans back one of the other guys if they were the Republican nominee? Would mainstream Republicans stay home if Trump is the head of our ticket? I've already said out loud, "I will not vote for that man." In my entire life I haven't seen a primary this divided and angry.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

I found my old Sarah Palin t-shirt and am proudly wearing it as I type this.

Not a lot to add to the comments except to ditto the very first one and some others along the same lines.

The more Trump pisses off the political establishment, the better I like him.

Ditto Cruz. I greatly prefer him. Wouldn't it be great to have a liberal (libertarian if you insist) in the White House? I just wish this citizenship question could be resolved.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I could think that, at this time, it doesn’t matter too much to some people by what margin Donald Trump wins in Iowa, but it really matters who comes in second.

Donald Trump is going to be the top candidate in New Hampshire anyway, but if Cruz is not among the top two finishers in Iowa, he won’t be such a big contender in New Hampshire. And then people not inclined to vote for Trump would tend to vote for Kasich, or Chrisie or Rubio, and Cruz might come in fourth in New Hampshire, and his whole balloon then deflate.

So it's not maybe so much people warming to Trump, as trying to stop Cruz from being the top challenger to Trump. They can't stop Trump from being one of the top two or three contenders. Maybe they will choose Trump pver Cruz but they are not doing that now, and, in fact, they are careful not to do that now.

Jeff Gee said...

From Scott Adams, this morning:

"You’ll see a lot of debate on whether Trump is a true conservative or not. That is argument by definition. It is the linguistic equivalent of throwing your gun at a monster because the clip is empty."

Fabi said...

National Review is as clueless as many of the establishment GOP boot lickers here at Althouse. If you don't like Trump, don't vote for him -- it's pretty fucking simple. If you like someone else -- promote their qualities. But to tear down the one guy who is not only energizing your base, but broadening your base enough to actually win in 2016, is unfathomable.

Trump has destroyed Hillary -- something that no other candidate could have done. He's putting a stake through the heart of PC -- something that a few of the other GOP candidates must secretly endorse. In short, he's done more for this country in a year than the NR pussies have done in a decade.

Saint Croix said...

And the 11th Commandment is out the window. What would the Gipper say?

Bob Boyd said...

"Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism”

Maybe, mabe not.
But its funny how they put themselves on a higher moral plane. Clearly many voters don't agree with that assessment.

"The Washington establishment is philosophically unmoored, politically opportunististic and have repeatedly trashed the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of the progressive-ism of the donor class”

Roger Sweeny said...

Trump is Ross Perot running as a Republican--if Ross Perot had mad media skillz.

LYNNDH said...

Go over to Don Surber blog. He has a good analysis.

Hagar said...

One thought I have is that Trump is likely to destroy the present Democrat Party by running off with a large number of old fashioned Democrats who otherwise would have remained loyal in opposition to Ted Cruz.

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khesanh0802 said...

One of the things that I miss in the Trump debate is that it is a good possibility that he will actually negotiate with the Congress should he get into office. Wouldn't that be novel?!? I initially thought that Trump was a gas bag that would explode at any moment. As I have watched events unfold I have seen him use many leadership techniques that never even occur to many of the other candidates. Cruz is an ideological crank and we don't need another ideological crank in office right now.

I would venture that Hillary and her crew are scared to death of Trump because he will gladly expose her as being as evil as she actually is. He will neutralize Bill ( or worse). He will ask the Reagan question " Are you better off now than you were 8 years ago"? Many will answer "NO"!

That said, we get to the meat of the primary soon and we will actually know something on which we can base our opinions.

rhhardin said...

NR is the voice of Catholic social dogma.

khesanh0802 said...

@Fabi Well said!

Simon said...

Saint Croix said...
"Would the Trump fans back one of the other guys if they were the Republican nominee?"

Most of them won't, because they aren't Republicans. More than one poll has been done on this, and somewhere between three fifths and two thirds of Trump supporters not only wouldn't vote for anyone else, they aren't even interested in hearing about other candidates. That's the magic decoder ring to this election: Trump and most of his supporters aren't Republicans. They're parasites who have invaded the party and are trying to use it to their advantage.

Anglelyne said...

Unknown: If you really want to know why so many long term republicans ( 40 years here ) and independents support trump Mark Steyn lays it out for you.

I've come to the conclusion that some people don't really want to know, which is why they continue to be "baffled" by "conservatives not supporting conservatives" in thread after thread, no matter how many times it is pointed out to them that they're asking the wrong question.

I'm a bit "baffled" myself, about why they refuse to remove the unproductive, unpredictive, and wholly un-explanatory "liberal vs. conservative" filter when thinking about this allegedly "baffling" phenomenon, but I have a couple of working theories.

Simon said...

Jeff Gee said...
"From Scott Adams, this morning: 'You’ll see a lot of debate on whether Trump is a true conservative or not....'"

To frame it that way inevitably and erroneously makes the focal point the adjective: Is he a true conservative presupposes that he is a conservative. He isn't, he never has been, and fuck him and the horse on which he rode in.

Simon said...

Hagar said...
"One thought I have is that Trump is likely to destroy the present Democrat Party by running off with a large number of old fashioned Democrats who otherwise would have remained loyal in opposition to Ted Cruz."

You're living in a fantasy. Show me one reputable poll that suggests that Trump would peel off one Democratic voter. Hell, show me one Democrat who says that she's voting for Hillary or Bernie unless we nominate Trump, and I'll show you a liar. The Trump people are being played.

Levi Starks said...

Vote?
Fortunately I don't have to.
I think the strongest message I can send to a failed political system is to not legitimize it with my participation.
Frankly my personal life will remain little changed whether we elect a communist or a nazi.
At this point I'm refusing to invest the emotional energy to care.
Imagine what would happen if they held an election and nobody showed up?

I Callahan said...

and it looks like the party is coalescing around him as the non-Trump

Simon, I really wish that were true. Unfortunately, they hate Cruz more than they hate Trump. Just see what some of the establishment Senators were saying yesterday, for example:

“There’s a lot of people who don’t feel he can appeal to people across the board,” [Orrin] Hatch said. “For us to win, we have to appeal the moderates and independents. We can’t just act like that only one point of view is the only way to go. That’s where Ted is going to have some trouble.”…

“An awful lot of us really didn’t like to be targeted as corrupt, establishment bought by the lobby establishment,” [Dan] Coats added. “It sure looks like someone was using it as a way to gain notoriety as the only true conservative in Washington.”…

“I think people are concerned,” [John] Cornyn told CNN. “Because obviously the top of the ticket will have a big bearing on whether we’ll hold a majority of the Senate. We don’t need any headwinds from the top of the ticket. We need some tailwinds.”…

“There’s no doubt he has harmed relationships among people,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee. “I would assume that all members would work with the elected president for the good of the country. But there is no doubt there would be strains in the working relationship.”

"Welp, Trent Lott just told me he'd take Trump over Cruz if he had to choose."

The establishment wants someone they don't have to fight with; someone they can "make deals" with. Cruz won't be that guy. And our country is screwed.

eric said...

You're living in a fantasy. Show me one reputable poll that suggests that Trump would peel off one Democratic voter. Hell, show me one Democrat who says that she's voting for Hillary or Bernie unless we nominate Trump, and I'll show you a liar. The Trump people are being played.

You should check out the Stump for Trump ladies on YouTube. They even have an episode where they changed their party affiliation to Republican so they can vote for Trump in the primary.

I assume many of the people he knows personally who are stars and are working for his campaign were Democrats from Hollywood before they started working for him.

I think you're letting your feelings towards Trump blind you on this. He has a lot of cross over appeal.

Paddy O said...


"Trump has destroyed Hillary -- something that no other candidate could have done."

Ha! Trump has also made the sun rise, the moon set, the rains come, and the geese to fly south.

Hillary destroyed Hillary, any candidate getting coverage is able to step in and point it out.

Bay Area Guy said...

I've been reading Buckley's (RIP) National Review for decades. They are certainly not GOP establishment RINOs. They are rock solid conservatives.

But they are wrong here.

If Trump is as bad as they say (and I don't think he is), the simple solution is to support a candidate who can beat him fairly.

NR didn't come out AGAINST LBJ in 1964, they came out FOR Goldwater -- who got thrashed nonetheless.

The GOP primary this cycle had 13 candidates, covering both ends of the political spectrum, with everything in between. If you wanted a Conservative, you had Ted Cruz, Scott Walker or Rick Perry. If you wanted a Southern Evangelical, you had Huckabee. If you wanted a moderate, you had Jeb or Kasich. If you wanted an outsider, you had Trump, Carson or Fiorino.

Failing to pick and support one non-Trump candidate, if Trump was so bad, was simply an inexcusable mistake. National Review waited too long on the sidelines.

On policy, Conservatives have much right. On politics, though, they are a bit clueless.

So, NO, I am not against Trump. I will likely vote Cruz or Rubio in the primary, because I affirmatively each, flaws and all, would be good for America.

But, if Trump wins the nomination, Hell Yes, I'll be voting Trump in the General, and cancelling my subscription to National Review.

Sebastian said...

NR is right: Trump is no conservative. Conservatives should vote for someone else who may be electable.

NR is also wrong: there aren't many real conservatives in the U.S. A party that wants to win can't appeal only to conservatives.

NR is right: as Simon says, Trump harms the GOP. He is likely to lose a winnable election by failing in FL, OH, and VA.

NR is also wrong: Trump has a shot. If he wins the primaries, GOPers should support him; if he wins the general, he would be better than any Dem. Therefore, conservatives should not burn their bridges.

Thorley Winston said...

What happened to Ben Carson, anyway? There was so much love for him.

I think Carson was popular among voters who wanted to “send a message” but didn’t want Donald Trump to be the one in charge of delivering it. After a couple of debates all but the most recalcitrant Carson supporters realized that while they might think he’s a nice guy,he doesn’t know what he’s doing whereas Cruz had a number of shining moments at the debates that made the voters who just want to “send a message” realize that they had better options.

Fabi said...

I have one such Democrat in my family, Simon. Thanks for suggesting that she's a liar or that I'm being played.

Comments like yours do make me wonder why I'd want to support the same political party and/or candidate as you -- you're completely unhinged.

Original Mike said...

"Frankly my personal life will remain little changed whether we elect a communist or a nazi."

Until you can't get the cancer drug you need because it was never invented because the incentives were stripped out of the system.

Fabi said...

Perfectly said, Bay Area Guy!

MaxedOutMama said...

But doesn't NOT being a true-blue conservative really help Trump in the general election? Most of the potential Republican voters aren't "true" ideological conservatives either!!!

It's hard to believe that Trump won't try to restore border controls and won't try to be a lot more cautious about who we let into this country. That is a very, very important issue to many "swing" voters, including many minorities.

It's also hard to believe that Trump won't try to conduct a more nationalistic trade policy and use some political influence to try to create and keep more production jobs in this country. That is a tremendously important issue to many potential voters, and it is very important to truckers and some union workers.

Most potential older voters want Social Security protected. Everyone wants more of a focus on national security, and almost everyone wants less of a focus on national adventurism.

The major issues Trump is pushing are those of most importance to these voters, and they are also the issues most ignored by the establishment. Those are swing issues that can produce an insurgent candidacy.

I very much doubt that a "true" conservative can win the general, because I do not believe that the moderate-but-frustrated electorate is going to want to bet it all on a Congress dominated by Republicans and a hard-core Republican president. We are just not THAT conservative, nor are we that much in love with the Republican party.

The issue of whether Trump is a "true" conservative is just about the last one that should concern most Republican primary voters. The issue that does and will concern them is "Can I trust this man with the presidency, even if I like some of the things he is saying?"

Note that in the general, if Trump is facing Clinton, that calculation will be really, really changed. "Trust" and "Hillary Clinton" are not two concepts that easily mesh at this point for most non-leftist voters, and I suspect most of the leftist voters don't trust her either. That's why everyone is pushing Sanders.

If these ID10T demos want to campaign against Trump, they need to do it on the grounds that he is a flake without much of a track record, and that it is hazardous to give him so much power. They aren't doing so, because it is hard to look at Cruz and Rubio and not see the same issues. We have no idea what they would do either! Not really!

mccullough said...

Many Republican pundits don't like Trump and many Republican politicians, most notably US Senators, don't like Cruz. And they both are the top two candidates, according to the polls?

Jeb Bush raised the most money in the primary campaign among Republicans. Whoever is fundraising for him (the Rangers or whatever they are now called), whoever is running his campaign, and whatever politicians or groups are supporting him are the GOP establishment. Also, the lobbyists/consulting firms who hire former GOP reps, senators, and staff members are the GOP establishment. Bob Dole didn't go back to Kansas after losing the 1996 election. He moved permanently to DC and peddled influence. This is a common bipartisan strategy. Tom Daschle didn't go back to South Dakota, Bob Bennett didn't go back to Utah, etc. Bill Clinton is the first president to hang around DC. W, to his credit, went back to Dallas.

The Republican Party at the national level is done. If Bernie can beat Hillary, the. The Dem Party is done at the national level.

Original Mike said...

Good post, MOM.

eric said...

Yes, don't burn your bridges.

I've noticed a lot of bridge burning this election cycle.

Why is that? I have a theory.

There are a lot of Republicans, the NRO types, who have a "my way or the highway" attitude. They get pissed off when someone from the tea party gets selected during a primary. So, they attempt to destroy them. They like on during the general election and afterwards say, "See what happens when you don't listen to us?"

This is what is happening now. If Trump or Cruz wins the primary, these guys will continue to tear them down and vote for the Democrat, just so they can say, "See? Next time, listen to us, or else!"

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric said...

They like on during

They continue during....

Amanda said...

It IS a fantasy as Simon points out, to think liberals and Democrats would vote for Trump. And the idea that he is "broadening" the base is ludicrous. He won't get any significant numbers of Black, Hispanic or Muslim votes. I so hope he gets the nomination. Democrats will win in a historic landslide, no matter who our nominee is. If Cruz is the nominee, Democrats will still win in a landslide.

Chuck said...

Fabi said...
National Review is as clueless as many of the establishment GOP boot lickers here at Althouse. If you don't like Trump, don't vote for him -- it's pretty fucking simple. If you like someone else -- promote their qualities. But to tear down the one guy who is not only energizing your base, but broadening your base enough to actually win in 2016, is unfathomable.


Trump is "energizing the base"? I am part of the Republican base. I'll pretty much always vote Republican. I volunteer as a Republican election worker. I'm an activist Republican. And Trump is DIVIDING us. Trump is spending more time attacking Republicans, than Democrats.

I think it is really rich, to hear others in this thread talk about RINOs and "establishment GOP" types who compromise too much with Washington Democrats. Making deals in Washington is literally what Trump has been talking about:

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/01/21/levin-trump-is-running-nixonian-alinsky-ite-campaign-against-cruz/

Original Mike said...

My number one concern is pruning the government Leviathan. I don't see Trump doing that, though I will certainly vote for him in the general if it comes to that.

Fabi said...

Are you serious, Paddy O? Do you think that Jeb would have sent a warning shit across Hillary's bow regarding the war on women card? That was Hillary's armor and Trump ripped it right off. Get a clue.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

Eric,
Trump has no cross over appeal. Trump may not be a real conservative, but liberals and Democrats despise misogynist, narcissistic, bigots and are not fooled by the populist (wolf in sheep's clothing) mumbo jumbo, con man, megalomaniacs.

rcocean said...

NR is a joke. They've been pushing moderates like Dole, Mccain and Romney for years.
Now, suddenly, they believe in conservative purity tests.

Notice that NR isn't that upset with Ryan and McConnell and their sell outs. Notice that they asked Bill "what's wrong with illegal immigration" Kristol to their Trump hate fest.

Notice that Coulter, Steyn, Derbyshire, Rush, and any other actual conservative wasn't invited.

Luke Lea said...

The idea that Trump can't win the general election has no more foundation than the idea that he could not win the Republican nomination. He is a man with extraordinary political skills undeniable, at this point, and a program that appeals to the economic and cultural interests of American working people irrespective of race -- a class composing roughly 80 percent of the population which has been largely neglected for a generation.

Liberal Nationalism, not to be confused with National Socialism, looks to be the wave of the future, not only in the United States but all over the Western world. The worldview of our governing elites, the Davos Consensus you might call it, based on free trade with low-wage countries in Asia and Latin America, mass third-world immigration, multi-culturalism, etc., has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

A fundamental realignment of American politics appears to be taking place because, more than anything else, the American people wish to conserve themselves and what used to be called the American way of life. Bully to them!

Fabi said...

Do you think that you're tantamount to the GOP base, Chuck? I'd suggest that you broaden your horizons. I'm a former local-level Republican Party officer in a Red State and I see tremendous energy. Are there some, like yourself, who can't stand Trump? Of course there are, but he's a huge (Yuuuge!) plus the best that I can assess.

Amanda said...

Luke Lee, yeah sure. That's why Canada and GB just voted in ultra liberal leaders. Australia also rejected the conservative candidates in their latest election.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP

*cough* *cough* Not like all the ineffective assholes under the (R) banner we've supported over the last few years who have consistently told the conservative voters of America to go to hell (by failing to live up to their stated principles or even bother to give the appearance of putting up a fight for same) *cough* *cough* No, THIS guy is the one who'll break the broad consensus up.
Trump is a probably trouble for conservatives, sure, and populism with a right-wing tinge isn't anything close to the same as principled conservatism, but Trump's popularity is a symptom, not the cause of the "broad consensus" breaking up. I understand that it's uncomfortable to have to confront the truth that lots of people (people who in the past might have supported NRO's positions, recommendations, etc) don't trust NRO and their preferred candidates any more...but that's reality, fellas.

The nation chose the form of their destructor, and he's got really weird hair.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Amanda said...Amanda said...

Trump has no cross over appeal. Trump may not be a real conservative, but liberals and Democrats despise misogynist, narcissistic


Pay no attention to the male Clinton behind the curtain! Democrats hate people who treat women badly, they hate narcissists; why, just look at Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy's approval ratings among Dem voters--there's your proof!

Chuck said...

rcocean said...
NR is a joke. They've been pushing moderates like Dole, Mccain and Romney for years.
Now, suddenly, they believe in conservative purity tests.

Notice that NR isn't that upset with Ryan and McConnell and their sell outs. Notice that they asked Bill "what's wrong with illegal immigration" Kristol to their Trump hate fest.

Notice that Coulter, Steyn, Derbyshire, Rush, and any other actual conservative wasn't invited.


How do you know who was "invited"? I expect that Ann Coulter didn't agree with the editorial premise. Which is her right. And it's NR's right to publish what they see as fit for publication.

And why would you say something as demonstrably false as "NR isn't that upset with Ryan and McConnell and their sell outs..." In about 30 seconds I searched and found this:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/426113/budget-deal-no-pretense-fiscal-responsability-whatsoever

As for Dole, McCain and Romney; I think that various NR writers have voiced large disagreements with all of them at one time or another. I am a long-time NR readers, and I don't ever recall them taking sides in a primary. Republican primary voters elected Dole, McCain and Romney as nominees. Not the NR. I can assure you that all three -- Dole, McCain and Romney -- were preferred by the NR to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Is that not the case for you too?

I think that some of you Trump supporters are like your current hero; it does not matter how forcefull you get whapped in the face with an indisputable countering argument. All you care about is polling. It is Clintonian. Which is sort of appropriate, since Trump and the Clintons travel in much the same social circles.

Gahrie said...

As I said last night on another thread:

on behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as The Donald himself,

Good old Rich Lowery would be right at home in the court of Marie Antoinette.

Populism means "support for the concerns of ordinary people". You know, the ones that are supposed to have the power in our system of government, but no longer do. The ones that government is supposed to serve and protect. The movement that is supporting Trump and Sanders is doing so precisely because of this dismissive attitude among the Washington Establishment.

If the wave of populism is heedless and crude, it is only because it has been ignored for so long, instead of listened to and led.

Paddy O said...

"Do you think that Jeb would have sent a warning shit across Hillary's bow regarding the war on women card? That was Hillary's armor and Trump ripped it right off."

People were already saying that stuff! Althouse has been saying that for years! Get a clue?! Ha! Read a little.

(and Jeb? Who cares about Jeb?)

eric said...

, and I don't ever recall them taking sides in a primary.

It's been a long time since they have. All the way back to our last presidential primary where they put a picture of Newt Gingrich as a martian and basically did the same thing to Newt that they are trying to do to the Donald.

Quaestor said...

I think it is really rich, to hear others in this thread talk about RINOs and "establishment GOP" types who compromise too much with Washington Democrats. Making deals in Washington is literally what Trump has been talking about.

Care to name the last compromise the establishment GOP dominate Congress has negotiated with Obama? On taxes, on the budget, on foreign policy? Better a canny dealer than a poodle.

Gahrie said...

I think that some of you Establishment lackeys are like the Washington Establishment; it does not matter how forcefully you get whapped in the face with the anger of the American people. All you care about is power.

Gahrie said...

I think it is really rich, to hear others in this thread talk about RINOs and "establishment GOP" types who compromise too much with Washington Democrats. Making deals in Washington is literally what Trump has been talking about.

We're longing for Republican leaders who make deals with, and seek support from, other Republicans and the Republican base, rather than Democrats.

DavidD said...

Wow. 75% for Cruz. That's awesome.

Quaestor said...

As usual Althouse has designed a poll which automatically distorts reality.

Chuck said...

Fabi; I said that I was part of the Republican base. And that is indisputably true; unless you think that opposing Trump somehow disqualifies someone from that claim.

You, on the other hand, really did claim to speak for the Republican base.

You are as careless with your words -- apparently in the interest of excitement -- as is Trump.

My premise is that Trump is dividing the Republican base. I think that is largely indisputable. Per the cover of the NR. While your premise is the dodgy proposal that Trump can be a winner in November, presumably with lots of blacks, white union Democrats, and otherwise non-voters turning out for him. Your premise presumes a lot more than mine.

Again, what is inarguable is that the NR is correct when they make the argument that "If it is a strong reliable conservative that you desire, Trump should not be your candidate." How is that not correct?

Bay Area Guy said...

Also, let's not lose sight of the curveballs coming down the plate.

This is a winnable election. Hillary is a powerful, but flawed and damaged candidate. Bernie is a 74-year old Socialist.

Any GOP candidate (dare I include Jeb!?) would be preferable to Nurse Ratched or Larry David.

It's looking like Trump, Cruz and Rubio are the top 3. Let's focus on who of these 3 has the best shot of beating these two clowns.

rcocean said...

Lowery, Goldberg and all the other Gucci wearing DC insiders think "Populism" is a bad thing.

Their bloodless conservatism consists of nothing more than: "Invade the world, invite the world" - and support for Globalization, K street, and Wall Street. Plus, a few words now and then about Abortion or coming out against Farm Subsidies. Oh, and cutting social security - that's very important to NR.

Chuck said...

Gahrie: Read the Breitbart link. Find the audio bits from Trump that Mark Levin put on the air. Trump is saying that he doesn't like the Washington gridlock and that he would get people in a room to make a deal.

Trump even said that about guns! I ask you what are the "deals" that need to be made with Democrats on guns? Perhaps you and The Donald have a list of compromises you have in mind. Please tell me about those compromises.

It is fucking unbelievable. You are attacking Washington Republicans for making too many deals. And your man Trump is talking about getting people in a room (a room that assuredly isn't the House Floor or the Senate Chamber) to make deals.

Just how stupid an emotional are you people? I'd like to know what your density level is, so that I know how to structure an argument that works.

Fabi said...

You're reading comprehension really sucks, Chuck. And I'm not a Trumpster -- we've had this discussion before.

Is Althouse a presidential candidate, Paddy O? What's your point? I used Jeb as an example -- none of the others would have been that bold with Hillary, either. In my opinion, that is.

Original Mike said...

"This is a winnable election. Hillary is a powerful, but flawed and damaged candidate. Bernie is a 74-year old Socialist."

Which is why I'm drawn to the guy who wants to eliminate 5 federal agencies. If not now, when?

Gahrie said...


Hillary destroyed Hillary, any candidate getting coverage is able to step in and point it out.


Perhaps true, but Trump is the only one in either party willing to do so.

rcocean said...

People forget that Jonah Goldberg wasn't the least bit upset when McCain floated the idea of having Joe Lieberman as his VP in 2008. And for the last 15 years, NR's opposition to illegal immigration has either been non-existent or half-hearted -as if they forced into it because their readership.

Notice that NR wasn't really that upset about Obama's executive amnesty? Just a few words and then back to discussing Ethanol or whether we should bomb Kizyakstan.

Bill Peschel said...

"It IS a fantasy as Simon points out, to think liberals and Democrats would vote for Trump. And the idea that he is "broadening" the base is ludicrous. He won't get any significant numbers of Black, Hispanic or Muslim votes. I so hope he gets the nomination. Democrats will win in a historic landslide, no matter who our nominee is. If Cruz is the nominee, Democrats will still win in a landslide."

And Amanda wins the thread for the most clueless commentary!

Let's take this point by point (and I'll admit some of this is right, BTW).

"It IS a fantasy as Simon points out, to think liberals and Democrats would vote for Trump.

What's forgotten is that a number of Democrats are white working-class people who've been getting the shaft these past eight years. The middle class blue-collar jobs where you can raise a family and live decently (not luxuriously, but decently) have been destroyed.

Here's why I think this: the blogger at The Archdruid Report, as part of his belief in global warming and the decay in American society, moved to Cumberland, Maryland, a small working-class town. He ingratiated himself into the community (building a network of local ties is part of his strategy for survival) and talked to a lot of people. They're the blue-collar voters I mentioned above who love Trump, because he's the only one who they're hearing talking about the problems unlimited illegal immigration is causing in their neck of the woods.

Here's his story: http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2016/01/donald-trump-and-politics-of-resentment.html

He won't get any significant numbers of Black, Hispanic or Muslim votes.

Not much of an argument, although there are plenty of conservative blacks and hispanics who do not like what they've seen the Democrats do. Whether they can be motivated to vote for the GOP is up to the skills of the politicians.

Democrats will win in a historic landslide, no matter who our nominee is.

As this is supported by nothing and countered by the current approval ratings for Obama, Congress, and the Democrats, I'll pass over this without comment.

Meanwhile, has anyone read the National Review articles? Is it all anti-Trump? Did they endorse any candidate?

I checked their website and there doesn't seem to be any.

In other words, the NR just handed Iowa over to Trump. I can appreciate their anger at him, but by making him the focus of their attack, they've expended their capital on him him him HIM, without saying which candidates do have the proper conservative tattoo.

They're great at telling us what we shouldn't be doing; not so much at saying what we should.

rcocean said...

"Just how stupid an emotional are you people? I'd like to know what your density level is, so that I know how to structure an argument that works."

Well, not as stupid as you. Playing the angry liberal on the internet is no way to go through life.

Gahrie said...

It is fucking unbelievable. You are attacking Washington Republicans for making too many deals

No...I am attacking Establishment Republicans for making the wrong deals...deals with Pelosi, Reid and Obama in which the democrats get what they want, and the Republicans get played. Again.

I long for the day when the McConnell/Boehner/Cantor types hate the Democrats more than they do their own base.

Chuck said...

rcocean: I think you have a perfect right to those views of yours. Don't they fit rather neatly, in the Democrat Party of a Dick Durbin or a Harry Reid or a Chuck Schumer? Best of all, the Bill and Hillary Clinton of old?

I expect that you have some concerns about the new progressivist wackadoodle left Democrats. Okay. But they don't exactly rule outcomes. They got a pretty good guy as their president right now. Thanks in part to white voters who got outvoted in 2008 and 2012 by failing to turn out.

But your views do seem more inline with institutional Democrats. Preserving entitlement spending, protectionist trade policies, trade union co-option, et cetera.

Quaestor said...

Here's the choice Republicans actually face -- barring an indictment (Which we may rest assured will not happen; Obama may hate HRC, but he will never allow any of his associates to be placed in legal jeopardy because of the danger of a plea bargain.) in 4520 hours Hillary Rodham Clinton will be nominated by a narrow majority of super-delegates in Philadelphia. Will you oppose her or vote for Trump? That's your choice. Wake up and smell the coffee. Face the music and dance.

Gahrie said...

so that I know how to structure an argument that works.

Why don't you try:

"Shut up and vote for the establishment guy, or the Democrats will win" again...it has worked so well for you over the last thirty years.

Chuck said...

I long for the day when the McConnell/Boehner/Cantor types hate the Democrats more than they do their own base.

Says the guy whose "Republican" candidate is devoted to trashing his fellow Republicans. Not really policy attacks; rather, nasty ad hominem attacks.

I listened to a bit of Rush Limbaugh yesterday, and for the longest time, all that I heard him rant about was the evil of Republicans. It was like listening to DemocracyNow!

Chuck said...

Quaestor: I know exacty what I will do if Trump is nominated.

First, I will vote for him in November. He's better than a Democrat. I will hold my nose as I fill in the ballot.

Second, I will send a letter to the Republican National Lawyers' Association telling them that I cannot work with them in any public capacity this year, because I do not wish to associate in any public way with Trump.

Third, I will bide my time until Trump loses in the November electoral college, and prepare to come back and sneer, "I told you so!"

Gahrie said...


Says the guy whose "Republican" candidate is devoted to trashing his fellow Republicans. Not really policy attacks; rather, nasty ad hominem attacks.


You haven't been paying attention. I am not a Trump supporter. I compare Trump and Sanders to Hitler and Mussolini, and call them demagogic rabble-rousers.

I merely understand why their supporters support them. I yearn for the party to nominate and support a true Conservative, but they won't do so. The party establishment brought this on by neglecting the base, and they still have their fingers in their ears.

You aren't going to fix things by demonizing Trump...that just drives more people angry at the Establishment into his camp. You have to provide a true Conservative candidate, and convince the base that you will support him.

mccullough said...

Cantor moved his office to K Street so he can make money influence peddling. Any chance Boehner goes back to Ohio?

Politics is an industry for most of these people. It's how they make money. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have grown very rich as Senators. People like Trump have to rent guys like this to make money. It's how the private sector mostly has to do things.

Gahrie said...


Third, I will bide my time until Trump loses in the November electoral college, and prepare to come back and sneer, "I told you so!"


I think you'll find that this is not as satisfying as you think it will be...at least it wasn't for me the last two elections.

Simon said...

Chuck said...
"Fabi; I said that I was part of the Republican base. And that is indisputably true; unless you think that opposing Trump somehow disqualifies someone from that claim."

That is exactly what she thinks. You’re establishment, my friend! Like me, you have met the sole criterion for being part of the establishment in 2016: You don’t want the Republican party to nominate a blowhard New York liberal who will destroy the party and lose by twenty points. Funny old world, huh?

Luke said...
"He is a man with extraordinary political skills undeniable at this point...."

His only demonstrated skill thus far has been to hoodwink a number of people who claim to be conservatives into supporting a liberal.

Eric said…
“There are a lot of Republicans, the NRO types, who have a 'my way or the highway' attitude. They get pissed off when someone from the tea party gets selected during a primary."

That is horseshit. NRO was an enthusiastic supporter of the Tea Party and its candidates. Most of the NRO people are very supportive of Cruz. And the insinuation that Trump is a Tea Party guy is, as someone who was actually around and paying attention when the Tea Party thing happened, farcical. Trump is a repudiation of everything for which they claimed to stand.

And, moreover, that is laughable horseshit when it is the Trump people—not me, not NRO, not any Trump opponent—who are saying “my guy or the highway.”

Amanda said...
“[Trump] won't get any significant numbers of Black, Hispanic or Muslim votes … [;] Democrats will win in a historic landslide, no matter who our nominee is. If Cruz is the nominee, Democrats will still win in a landslide. “

Cruz may beat Hillary; he’d certainly beet Bernie. Carly would slaughter either, but we seem unlikely to nominate her, which I find crazy, but this seems to be the season for crazy, as the ongoing Trumpkin infestation shows.

Chuck said...

The choice is absolutely NOT between "Trump" and "an establishment candidate."

Ted Cruz is the LEAST "establishment" Republican candidate in a generation. Marco Rubio's national political career is built on his having defeated establishment figures (Charlie Crist most of all) to get where he is. Jeb Bush might well be considered "establishment." Of course the Bush "establishment" on presidential tickets has a record of four wins in five chances. (Reagan/Bush 1, Reagan/Bush 2, Bush/Quayle, Bush/Cheney 1, and Bush/Cheney 2.)

The only "Bush" loss in a presidential race came when the Ross Perot vote screwed up the 1996 race and allowed Bill Clinton to win with less than 50% of the national vote. Ross Perot; channeling the disaffected angry nativist white guy vote. Just like Trump.

Simon said...

Fabi said...
"You're [sic.] reading comprehension really sucks, Chuck."

I think that that says it all... "You're reading comprehension really sucks," says the Trump apologist.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...


Blogger Levi Starks said...

Imagine what would happen if they held an election and nobody showed up?

They would just say that you are apathetic and fine with whoever is elected. This just perpetuates the problem.

Want to send a message? Show up at the voting booth on election day and either vote a blank ballot or write in some random name. Your own, your neighbor's or Donald Duck.

That shows that you are not just apathetically approving whoever but that you want none of the above.

Or, you can adopt a policy of just voting against all incumbents of whatever party. Vote against them in the primary and, if they win the primary, vote against them in the general.

If both are newbies, vote whichever you like.

The idea is to get rid of incumbents. If everyone in Congress and 1/3 of the Senate is a freshman they won't be able to get much done. They won't be able to "... erect a multitude of New Offices, and send hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."

"Bu..bu..but they won't be able to pass any laws or get anything done!" some will say.

Yeah. That's the whole point.

John Henry

Fabi said...

Stupid and emotional, Chuck? Talk about dividing the party!

I'm a 'he', Simon. FYI

mccullough said...

How did Jeb Bush get rich?

Simon said...

Gahrie said...
"Perhaps true, but Trump is the only one in either party willing to do so."

Fiorina has been doing it for months, so that's a lie, and she's done it in a way that doesn't look like she's a braggart schoolyard bully. We would do better to nominate a conservative and lose the election than to nominate the liberal Trump and destroy the party as a vehicle or conservatives.

Chuck said...

Gahrie, about your claim that Republicans have done poorly by nominating slacker moderates for president.

Who do you think should have been nominated? In 2012? 2008? Did you oppose G.W. Bush, who won twice? What about candidates to oppose Bill Clinton? I'd like to know who your winners would have been.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Chuck

I actually appreciate your "anti-Trump" position. It's a fair debate that needs to be made.

And, you're right about Limbaugh, Levin et al, who seem to think that Boehner/McConnell Republicans are the enemies, not Reid/Pelosi/Obama Democrats.

Boehner/McConnell are irritants, and appeasers, but they are not the enemy.

It's like focusing too much attention on France, the spineless collaborators of WWII, as opposed to the actual Nazi enemies.

But, I digress.

I don't hate Trump. To the contrary, I've come to actually like him. I think his positions on illegal immigration and radical Islam, if you filter out the impolitic rhetoric, are actually pretty good.

I do think, however, that he carries such baggage, that it is uncertain whether he would beat Hillary in the General. It would require a leap of faith to believe, at this point, that he wins. There are simply too many leftists and Amanda-types in the country, in Cal, NY, Boston, Chicago, etc, etc.

On the other hand, I think Rubio would clean Hillary's clock in the General. Yes, he is a bit squishy, but every candidate has flaws, you just have to hold your nose and work around them.

So, right now, I will likely vote for Rubio in the primary.

But, if Trump wins the nomination, I'm absolutely going to vote for him in the General, and try to dissuade those who would demonize him or sit out the election (which is cowardly).

If Trump wins the Presidency, I will support him too. But, mark my word, he will make deals, he will not be Conservative, he will try to get along with all his New York monied buddies, who just aren't conservative. Prepare to be disappointed, I ruefully say to Trump Partisans. But I can still live this with this, though.

But it is a worthwhile debate, in my view.

Gahrie said...

The choice is absolutely NOT between "Trump" and "an establishment candidate."

Ted Cruz is the LEAST "establishment" Republican candidate in a generation. Marco Rubio's national political career is built on his having defeated establishment figures


The only reason the establishment is not attacking Cruz and Rubio is because they are too busy attacking Trump. I personally would prefer Carly, and would accept Cruz or Rubio...but the only reason they are somewhat acceptable to you establishment types now is Trump scares you more. If Trump wasn't around we'd be hearing about how we must nominate Bush or the Democrats will win.

Fabi said...

Sorry for the typo, Simon. Sometimes my fat manly fingers overwhelm my iPhone and its autocorrect function.

And for the last time: I support Cruz, but I'd vote for Trump.

Chuck said...

Just above, I should have cited the 1992 presidential race -- the GHW Bush loss to Clinton, and not the 1996 Clinton v. Dole race (in which Ross Perot also ran as a third-party candidate).

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Here is an example of what utter shits the GOP establishment is:

Of course, this willingness to accommodate Mr. Trump is driven in part by the fact that few among the Republican professional class believe he would win a general election. In their minds, it would be better to effectively rent the party to Mr. Trump for four months this fall, through the general election, than risk turning it over to Mr. Cruz for at least four years, as either the president or the next-in-line leader for the 2020 nomination.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/22/us/politics/donald-trump-ted-cruz-republican-establishment.html?_r=0

I heard this on an MSNBC clip. Now I find the NY Times repeating it. (Does that make it a meme?) As I understand what they are saying, they would rather have the Demmies win the general than Cruz be the candidate or, worse in their minds, win the general.

Fuck them all. Burn the whole rotten establishment down. Spread salt on the ashes. Then plow the whole mess under and put a 20' thick concrete cap in it. Anything to keep it from rising again.

Ditto the democrat party. It is really all one and the same.

John Henry

tim in vermont said...

Let's see, Davos is scared shitless of Trump, and the GOPe is scared shitless of Cruz, spoiled for choice!

Simon said...

Fabi said...
"I'm a 'he', Simon. FYI"

Oh. Okay. Sorry, it's usually short for Fabiana.

Anglelyne said...

Fabi: But to tear down the one guy who is not only energizing your base, but broadening your base enough to actually win in 2016, is unfathomable.

Nothing unfathomable about it, Fabi. Their interests are opposed to the interests of the dissident base. Party had to fall apart sooner or later. What we're watching here is Conservatism, Inc (which totally doesn't exist!) throwing an entitlement pissy-fit, like the spoiled, out-of-touch brats that they are. The entitlement in question being the votes of the serfs, which they need, but which they have come to believe are simply their due, requiring no reciprocity of any kind on their part.

eric said...

Chuck needs to calm down.

Gahrie said...

Who do you think should have been nominated? In 2012?

I actually supported Romney in 2012 because I considered him to be an effective leader and problem solver. I thought he was the right man for the time.

2008?

I was a huge Thompson supporter.

Did you oppose G.W. Bush, who won twice?

Not in 2004...he was the incumbent, and we were involved in a war. I supported Buchanan (until he left the party) and Quayle in 2000.

What about candidates to oppose Bill Clinton?

In 1992 I supported Bush because he was the incumbent, but would have preferred Buchanan. In 1988 I supported Kemp.

I'd like to know who your winners would have been

See above. The losers were the Republican base and the American people.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...



Luke Lea

Liberal Nationalism, not to be confused with National Socialism,

I assume that you are misusing "liberalism" as a rough synonym for "progressivism"

If so, what is the difference?

That is a serious question. I am not familiar with the term but there is little difference in kind between progressivism and German National Socialism or Italian Fascism. (There is difference in degree though)

Is "liberal nationalism" an attempt to rebrand progressivism/national socialism/fascism? Or is it something different?

John Henry

Gahrie said...

What we're watching here is Conservatism, Inc (which totally doesn't exist!) throwing an entitlement pissy-fit, like the spoiled, out-of-touch brats that they are. The entitlement in question being the votes of the serfs, which they need, but which they have come to believe are simply their due, requiring no reciprocity of any kind on their part.

I agree with this except it is not "conservatives" who are feeling entitled, it is the establishment types. The establishment actually see conservatives as a bigger enemy than the Democrats. It is the whole reason why the Tea Party was created.

Fabi said...

Fabiana is my godmother, Simon. Very astute. It's how my moniker was derived.

Very good points, Anglelyne. I wish that weren't so, but we've long lost any true involvement with our representatives. We're stuck in the do-loop of wanting to vote the bastards out while living in fear of losing our legislative clout. Ultimately our fault.

I Callahan said...

It IS a fantasy as Simon points out, to think liberals and Democrats would vote for Trump. And the idea that he is "broadening" the base is ludicrous. He won't get any significant numbers of Black, Hispanic or Muslim votes. I so hope he gets the nomination. Democrats will win in a historic landslide, no matter who our nominee is. If Cruz is the nominee, Democrats will still win in a landslide.

Well, I don't know if you're right in reference to your prediction if the Cruz is the nominee, but the rest of what you say above is wrong. Black people already like Trump. Black people are against illegal immigration. If he gets 3-4% more than Romney did, it may be enough. Also - what about blue collar democrats who have the same complaint about immigration? Do you think they're going to vote for Hillary or Bernie, who are both for amnesty?

Trump most definitely has crossover appeal. To not acknowledge that is to not know American voters.

eric said...

Chuck, let me give you an example of why I like Trump (am supporting Cruz in the primary).

Last month, the congress and President passed a new law in response to the shooting in California. It had nothing to do with the shooting really, but oh well. The law was an adjustment to the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act). There are a bunch of mostly western European nations that don't need visas to enter the USA. They are part of a program called the visa waiver program. The new law says, if people from these countries have dual citizenship with nations like Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc, then they are not eligible for the visa waiver program.

Great! Right?

Seems like common sense.

Now comes guidance from DHS. If someone attempts to enter on the visa waiver program with dual citizenship from one of these countries, they are inadmissible. We should turn them around. However, if the only reason they are inadmissible is because they don't have a visa (duh, this is why its called a visa waiver) then we are to fill out a form called an I-193, waiver of documents form, and let them in.

See how that's done? And just like that the bureaucracy has made the law null and void.

I don't see anyone, not even Cruz, overcoming this giant beast, except maybe Trump.

Don't think Republicans in Congress knew their law would instantly be null and void? Uh huh. Keep telling yourself that.

Freder Frederson said...

What's forgotten is that a number of Democrats are white working-class people who've been getting the shaft these past eight years. The middle class blue-collar jobs where you can raise a family and live decently (not luxuriously, but decently) have been destroyed.


Really?! You blame Obama for the destruction of middle class blue-collar jobs? Reagan is the one who declared war on his Reagan Democrats and it has continued unabated for the last 35 years. Obama didn't make it any worse (Clinton did) and may have at least slowed the slide (although pushing the TPP is certainly not helping).

I Callahan said...

The only reason the establishment is not attacking Cruz and Rubio is because they are too busy attacking Trump. I personally would prefer Carly, and would accept Cruz or Rubio

They most certainly are attacking Cruz. See my comment at 10:39 AM. No, the establishment is going to coalesce around Trump. As Insty says, "They may hate Trump, but they FEAR Cruz."

I Callahan said...

Really?! You blame Obama for the destruction of middle class blue-collar jobs? Reagan is the one who declared war on his Reagan Democrats and it has continued unabated for the last 35 years. Obama didn't make it any worse (Clinton did) and may have at least slowed the slide (although pushing the TPP is certainly not helping).

Who has pushed open immigration over the last 8 years, Freder? If you don't think that's a factor in this election, then you're delusional.

Beaumont said...

isn't a Bernie vs. Cruz/Trump election an inevitable outcome of our states legislative efforts leading to districts that are increasingly segreted, pure, and extreme on ideological grounds? Wouldn't you expect increasingly polarized national elections analagous to the heightened polarization seen in state legislatures and U.S. congress. Under these circumstances what is the incentive for a professional politician to attempt to recognize and even reconcile differing points of view. Under these circumstances moderation becomes a disease to be stamped out.

Chuck said...

eric, I fail to understand how you think that Donald Trump would get anything done in Washington.

Democrats would loathe him and make it their sole, unending mission to make him a one-term president.

Republicans who had been insulted and diminished by Trump would see themselves as a legislative party, and would seek to distance themselves from a president who is only nominally from their party. If Trump was making "deals" with Democrats, the Republicans would recoil.

The way you get things done in Washington is with someone from your party in the White House, with five more in the Supreme Court, with 218 in the House and with something very close to 61 in the Senate.

Chuck said...

So Gahrie in all of your gnashing of teeth over "establishment" nominees, it comes down to mostly your having been a Pat Buchanan supporter, and that you preferred Jack Kemp to GHW Bush...

Oh, and Tommy Thompson, who lost to Tammy Baldwin in his home state of Wisconsin.

I too liked Jack Kemp, a lot. I expect that there'd have been LOTS of disagreement between the nativist Buchanan and the principled conservative and budget hawk Kemp.

traditionalguy said...

There is a quiet coming over the Campaigns. They are all set up and waiting for the Battle of the Iowa Caucuses to begin.

But the long irrelevant used-to-be's of the Conservative Entertainment Press are using the lull to pop up and grab some attention by being 10 times as rude and personal at Trump as the true gentleman Trump used on The 16 Dwarfs put together.

But my vote will go to The Professor's choice this year. I understand her struggle with the Trumpnado, and I trust her instincts to do the right thing.

marsh said...

MOM, nice post. You could add a few more "popular" Trump positions.
1. Veterans Administration reforms.
2. Tax reform.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Asses to the left. Pachyderms to the right. The People are being brayed and stampeded from both ends of the farm.

Birkel said...

Unless somebody takes on the Leviathan bureaucracy, directly and unerringly, no change of management at the presidential level will matter.

Does anybody think the State Department supported Bush in Iraq? Or did they feign support and undermine war efforts by leaking to WaPo and NYT? And the fact is America cannot win with the current bureaucracy in place: neither at war nor at economics.

Brando said...

If there's one thing that would convince a Trumpist to abandon Trump, it wouldn't be NR coming nag out against him--it would be them endorsing him. A few other points:

1) Trump could appeal to non GOP leaders, but there is no evidence of this happening yet. Polls show him doing very poorly with the country at large, particularly independents and Dems.

2) Trump's lack of conservative conviction normally might give him a good chance with moderates, but like previous "ideologically unreliable" nominees (e.g., Romney, McCain) he's spent a lot of time making sweepingly right wing statements on a number of issues that will work against him in the general election. Thus, he may try to move to the center if he secures the nomination.

3) If against odds he actually gets elected, I expect he'll try to live up to his deal maker rep by cutting some smallball deal with Congress on immigration and taxes that won't really do much but that he can pretend we're "huge" deals and that America is once again great. His fans will buy this, and we will once again be in a place where everyone is entitled to their own facts, contra Pat Moynihan.

But more likely, Hillarys political death has once again been greatly exaggerated (as so often before with the Clintons) and she'll be in office next year.

Jim Nicholson said...

I didn't vote in the poll, because my answer is "Cruz, because I'd vote for anyone rather than vote for Trump."

The way I feel right now, if the election were held today, I'd vote for anyone running as a Democrat before I'd vote for Trump, even though I've voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980. To be fair, however, if I went into the booth today, I can't guarantee that I wouldn't give in to the temptation to vandalize the voting machine.

Simon said...

rcocean said...
"People forget that Jonah Goldberg wasn't the least bit upset when McCain floated the idea of having Joe Lieberman as his VP in 2008."

That's deeply misleading. What Goldberg suggested, as a tactic, was that a pledge to serve one term plus a unity ticket would "expose Obama's fraudulent claims to be a post-partisan uniter and reformer. The party-line, left-wing Democrat has done almost nothing in his short political career to support either claim. He is a product of the profoundly corrupt Chicago machine, not an enemy of it. And his definition of bipartisanship amounts to welcoming the unqualified support of Republicans who support his liberal agenda. The most liberal member of the Senate in 2007, according to National Journal, wasn't even a member of the bipartisan gang of 14. Such a daring move on McCain's part would also signal that the country might enjoy a timeout from partisan rancor. Even the Obama-sycophantic mainstream press would have to admire such a profound gesture. The benefit for Republicans might be substantial. The party could rightly claim to have the bigger tent and the stronger commitment to serious reform. And for movement conservatives, the next four years could be a time for much-needed rebuilding. Obviously, a Joe Lieberman or Sam Nunn would not be the presumptive front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2012. And the lack of an heir apparent would encourage a healthy and vigorous debate for the future of the party."

eric said...

Blogger Chuck said...
eric, I fail to understand how you think that Donald Trump would get anything done in Washington.

Democrats would loathe him and make it their sole, unending mission to make him a one-term president.


Because the power in Washington now isn't Congress but the bureaucracy. The president gets to make over 5000 appointments.

In the olden days, back when Bush was president and before, it used to be that when someone was appointed, they did their job independent of the President. If, for example, the attorney general favored the President it would be a scandal.

Does anyone believe that's how it is anymore? Only Republicans in Congress who have been there 30+ years.

Trump will appoint people and expect they will carry out his vision. When they don't, he will say, you're fired! And when the media comes and says, but, you only fired that person because they were critical of you, Trump will say, so what? And move on.

Simon said...

Jim Nicholson said...
"The way I feel right now, if the election were held today, I'd vote for anyone running as a Democrat before I'd vote for Trump...."

One would have to be an idiot to support Trump in the primary, but one would have to be an idiot to not vote for him in the fall if he gets the nomination. Electing Trump would be a roll of the dice, but electing a Democrat would be certain disaster.

Simon said...

eric said...
"In the olden days, back when Bush was president and before, it used to be that when someone was appointed, they did their job independent of the President. If, for example, the attorney general favored the President it would be a scandal. Does anyone believe that's how it is anymore?"

My goodness, I hope not! You want a body independent of its head? What a horrifying thought! The executive branch are nothing but surrogates for the President; they work for him, or her, serving at his or her pleasure as his or her hands. The whole idea of an independent executive-branch officer is anathema to the Constitution—that's the whole point of the unitary executive doctrine.

Gahrie said...


I too liked Jack Kemp, a lot. I expect that there'd have been LOTS of disagreement between the nativist Buchanan and the principled conservative and budget hawk Kemp.


What is wrong with being a nativist? The country could stand a little nativism and Americanization. I think history has pretty much proven Buchanan to be right on immigration and assimilation.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Eric: However, if the only reason they are inadmissible is because they don't have a visa (duh, this is why its called a visa waiver) then we are to fill out a form called an I-193, waiver of documents form, and let them in.

Who's telling you that?

That is about a 95% lie.

I just checked and the I-193 form is an Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa for an alien who is a legal resident of the United States to reenter the United States without the alien's passport and/or visa.

But I mean it.

Who's telling you that?

(the original source not maybe somebody who unwittingly repeated it)

It's a source to avoid or better yet, analyze the motives of.

Sammy Finkelman said...

And it is not common sense. It is idiotic, especially when it comes to Iraq.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/20/world/europe/bbc-journalist-turned-away-from-flight-to-us-because-she-was-born-in-iran.html?_r=0

Kerry in indeed going around it but a different way. Certain people who traveled on business to Iran (an exception that was debated and rejected in Congress) will get an exemption from the exclusion from the visa waiver program, as well some journalists, aid workers and diplomats. (I am not sure how that's legally done, but maybe they'll get a special no cost no paper multiple re-entry visa)

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/266623-gop-explodes-in-anger-as-feds-create-iran-carve-out-for-visas

The reason that there is a such a big exception granted for travel to Iran is because Iran said that if it was implemented they'd consider an imposition of sanctions, and a violation of the nuclear arms deal.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danno said...

Blogger Amanda said...
Luke Lee, yeah sure. That's why Canada and GB just voted in ultra liberal leaders. Australia also rejected the conservative candidates in their latest election. 1/22/16, 11:18 AM

While Trudeau was recently elected Prime Minister in Canada, you had better spend more time reading world news, as Jeremy Corbyn has not been elected to Prime Minister in the UK, even though he was elected to be the new leader of the opposition party. As for Australia, Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as leader of the Liberal Party and thus, Prime Minister in 2015. However, the Liberal Party is a center-right party in Australia.

Two wrong out of three is pretty bad, but probably beats your track record here at Althouse.

Oso Negro said...

Birkel, you are right! Any group of Federal employees, with the exception of the enlisted in the Marine Corps and the army, are predominantly progressives. Until the are turned out, there is no real change.

Chuck said...

Gahrie, I can respect a little nativism. I tend to think that Pat Buchanan would be about 10,000 times more acceptable to me as a candidate than Donald Trump.

Note that much of my opposition to Trump is personal. It is because he is dumb, and a jerk. And because he is so lacking in principles.

Susan said...

Those who follow Politics closely tend to assume that the lables Republican, Democrat, liberal and conservative have strong connotations to the average person. In my experience what the average person means when they say, for instance, Democrat, is "A Peron who believes/doesn't believe what I do". They don't really care about the lables, as such. It's just a marker. That's why the rank and file don't care whether Trump is a conservative or not. They don't care what he calls himself, now or then. They care what he says he will do.

Additionally, I think there is great dismay over how the ruling class has taken over. If I had a dollar for everytime someone said, "Trump has run a business, he knows what it takes to keep one going." I could afford to stay in one of his hotels. People don't feel like some Harvard graduate who has never done anything but Politics can possibly do as well as someone who has experience running a successful business.

Based on the track record of Harvard graduates in office lately I certainly see the old sheepskin as more of a detriment than asset.

eric said...

Blogger Sammy Finkelman said...
Eric: However, if the only reason they are inadmissible is because they don't have a visa (duh, this is why its called a visa waiver) then we are to fill out a form called an I-193, waiver of documents form, and let them in.

Who's telling you that?

That is about a 95% lie.

I just checked and the I-193 form is an Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa for an alien who is a legal resident of the United States to reenter the United States without the alien's passport and/or visa.

But I mean it.

Who's telling you that?

(the original source not maybe somebody who unwittingly repeated it)


Todd A Hoffman. Executive Director of Admissibility and Passenger Programs.

eric said...

Blogger Simon said...
eric said...
"In the olden days, back when Bush was president and before, it used to be that when someone was appointed, they did their job independent of the President. If, for example, the attorney general favored the President it would be a scandal. Does anyone believe that's how it is anymore?"

My goodness, I hope not! You want a body independent of its head? What a horrifying thought! The executive branch are nothing but surrogates for the President; they work for him, or her, serving at his or her pleasure as his or her hands. The whole idea of an independent executive-branch officer is anathema to the Constitution—that's the whole point of the unitary executive doctrine.


That's cute, Simon.

Perhaps you've already forgotten about this:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy

grackle said...

… he's spent a lot of time making sweepingly right wing statements on a number of issues that will work against him in the general election. Thus, he may try to move to the center if he secures the nomination.

Trump is already at the “center.” Trump is a reform-minded, right of center moderate with some libertarian leanings in regards to foreign affairs. Trump is redefining the center with his Overton window shifts on immigration and other issues.

http://tinyurl.com/o5mrmqm

Just how stupid an emotional are you people? I'd like to know what your density level is, so that I know how to structure an argument that works.

Keep it up, we Trump supporters like to be insulted. It tells us you are desperate.

If it is a strong reliable conservative that you desire, Trump should not be your candidate.

This would be true if we still lived in a pre-Trump campaign world. I wonder if this commentor read the Scott Adams blog on talent stacks. Or Adams’s assessment of the National Review’s behavior as capitulation.

Embrace the cascade!

Michael said...

It would be great if Cruz could win but he cannot. He is as unlikable as Hillary. That's a shame because I have met him and he is actually very likable, but I won't convince anyone of that who has been listening to the establishment. It would be horrible indeed if once again we gave an election away because many stayed home because the "true conservative" was not on the ticket. McCain was horrible and a RINO but.... Romney was white bread and boring and a RINO but....

Any "pure conservative" who stays at home on election day because of his sanctimony should have the shit slapped out of her when Bernie Sanders is the victor.

Simon said...

eric said...
"That's cute, Simon. Perhaps you've already forgotten about this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy"

Oh, I remember that well. Perhaps you've forgotten—or perhaps you're new—that I expressly defended Bush on that point, both here (e.g. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/03/i-havent-written-about-us-attorneys.html) and elsewhere (e.g. https://web.archive.org/web/20071215110017/http://stubbornfacts.us/botj/is_it_legal_yes), pointing out that there was nothing to the story insofar as the President is completely within his rights to fire USAs.

Anglelyne said...

Chuck: Again, what is inarguable is that the NR is correct when they make the argument that "If it is a strong reliable conservative that you desire, Trump should not be your candidate." How is that not correct?

I'm starting to suspect that "Chuck" is Conservative Pundit, occasionally popping over here on a lark from his twitter abode.

eric said...

Blogger Simon said...
eric said...
"That's cute, Simon. Perhaps you've already forgotten about this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy"

Oh, I remember that well. Perhaps you've forgotten—or perhaps you're new—that I expressly defended Bush on that point, both here (e.g. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/03/i-havent-written-about-us-attorneys.html) and elsewhere (e.g. https://web.archive.org/web/20071215110017/http://stubbornfacts.us/botj/is_it_legal_yes), pointing out that there was nothing to the story insofar as the President is completely within his rights to fire USAs.


I think we are saying the same thing. Let me try again.

Bush, and those who supported him (media and political types, not those of us in the internet wasteland) capitulated on such one way arguments. Authority changes. When its Republicans its one rule, when its Definitely mocrats, its another rule.

Do you disagree that this was not a scandal for Bush? Because it was.

Do you disagree that Republicans tend to kowtow to the media, which causes these "scandals" in the first place?

It's like the filibuster. It's one way when Dems are in charge, another way when Republicans are in charge. Because Republicans always want to be seen as playing fair.

My point was, Trump isn't going to put up with that. If someone is running the government contrary to what Trump wants, you're fired!

Most Republicans wouldn't do that, because it would be a scandal.

Anglelyne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anglelyne said...

Michael: It would be horrible indeed if once again we gave an election away because many stayed home because the "true conservative" was not on the ticket. McCain was horrible and a RINO but.... Romney was white bread and boring and a RINO but....

Any "pure conservative" who stays at home on election day because of his sanctimony should have the shit slapped out of her when Bernie Sanders is the victor.



There's nothing wrong with the Republican Party, it's the voters who need to straighten up and fly right. We field totally conservalicious candidates, but the stupid shit voters just won't give them proper respect and appreciation.

The Stupid Party. Always ready for its close up.

Simon said...

eric said...
“Do you disagree that this was not a scandal for Bush? Because it was.”

I don’t disagree that Bush’s critics tried (wholly disingenuously and opportunistically) to make it a scandal. But I wholly reject the idea that it could be a scandal for a President to act pursuant to not only the executive power vested in him by Article II, but also a statute that explicitly authorizes the action (to wit 28 USC § 541(c)); that’s the very acme of Presidential authority under Justice Jackson’s Youngstown framework: “When the President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate.”

I don’t disagree that Trump is likely to fire someone who “is running the government contrary to what Trump wants,” but since I’d like the country and the government to be run by conservatives, not liberals, Trump’s willingness to fire people who disagree with the liberal way that he'd like to run the country is little boon.

And by the way, I'm glad that you brought up the filibuster. When the nuclear option was first brought up by Bill Frist, I denounced it as wholly unconstitutional. The Democrats agreed, and a lot of Republicans excoriated me. Then the Democrats got into the majority and they proposed the nuclear option; I again denounced it as wholly unconstitutional, and this time it was the Republicans who agreed, and the Democrats who were excoriating me. This time, it passed, and in time, control passed back to the GOP. Now here's the problem: The correct position for Republicans is not to use this new power, and, indeed, to expressly repudiate it. What I worry about is that they will instead seize on that power and make use of it—and so the scope of majority power will permanently expand, like an infernal ratchet, because you can be sure that the Democrats will never abjure it. The Trump people act the same way in regard to Presidential authority. To whatever extent one believes that President Obama has overreached, the principled Republican response must be to abjure that power: indeed, to expressly repudiate it. The Trump people, however, seem eager to instead seize this power for their own ends, which will entrench that power and so the scope of presidential power will permanently expand, like an infernal ratchet, because you can be sure that the Democrats will never abjure it. This is why it wold be better to nominate Cruz and lose than nominate Trump and win: Because if Trump wins, there will be no party left that can possibly serve as a champion for actually restraining government.

mccullough said...

The Republicans haven't restrained government since Coolidge. You can't have a 16th Amendment, Social Security, Medicare, and a restrained government.

eric said...

This is where I disagree with you Simon.

I think the only way to roll back the unconstitutional actions that we have been taking is to get the Republicans and Democrats to agree on their unconstitutionalailty.

Trump is likely to unite them in those regards.

To put it another way.

Preferably, we live under a government that respects the constitution.

Worse than that would be a government that has wholly abandoned the constitution.

But worst of all would be a government wherein only one party obeys the constitution while the other party gets away with completely ignoring it.

Amanda said...

Danno, assume much? Did I say that Corbyn was voted in as PM? No, I didn't. As for Turnbull he is far more liberal than Abbott. So YOU are wrong on two out of three, not I. If you think other modern nations are veering toward the right, it's nothing more than wishful thinking.

Chuck said...

eric I don't think that Trump even understands much of the Constitution, to say nothing of his intent to follow it.

He's talking about imposing a vast new system of import taxes. If Obama did that, there'd be talk of impeaching him. Trump is talking about a presidentially-imposed religious test on immigration. Constitutional scholars just laugh at that.

All these things about Trump -- "he's not a RINO;" "he won't capitulate to Washington Democrats;" "he'll restore the Constitution;" "he's a real conservative;" -- they aren't just untrue. They are the OPPOSITE of what the case really is. Trump is the best example of "Republican in Name Only" that has ever gotten this far in a campaign. Trump says himself that he will get people into a room in Washington and make deals. Trump's grandiose plans that he spouts off on the stump are laughably unconstitutional. And you have to ignore Trump's prior positions on about a dozen important topics if you want to think of him as a true conservative.

Nichevo said...



Original Mike said...
The support of Trump over Cruz by people who think they're conservative is baffling. Well, may be not baffling. But certainly dismaying.

1/22/16, 9:20 AM


1) I think Trump will do better in the election - fear Dem machine will shred Cruz - and break the electoral stalemate of GOTV/FUD and the Dem stranglehold on some big states
2) and Trump will govern pretty well, pragmatically
3) I am, I guess, kind of a birther. To repeat myself, my understanding from elementary school was that a NBC was born here of 2 citizen parents. =notCruz
4) I am ignored entirely, or censored, but anyone who advances this notion gets beat over the head and receives what I consider insubstantial, unconvincing, often ad hominem replies
5) Cruz hasn't made a strong argument, which would seem to be in his wheelhouse to do
6) I also like Carson
7) Trump-Carson-Cruz and pick'em
8) See 1). Beat the Dem is Job One. Whoever can best reassure me to that has a big argument. I would prefer analysis to polls.
9) You can call me any names you like. It probably won't make me agree with you.

Simon said...

eric said...
"I think the only way to roll back the unconstitutional actions that we have been taking is to get the Republicans and Democrats to agree on their unconstitutionality. Trump is likely to unite them in those regards."

That isn't how the Democrats think. The Democrats don't believe in limited government—period. They believe that the only limitations on government are individual rights; they may mouth lip-service to limited government when they don't control it, but don't believe it. What they're really carping about—strip away the rhetoric—is that they don't control it; that's why Obama, having spent so much time on the campaign trail carping about Bush's supposed excesses of executive power very happily took all that power and went even further. He didn't care about executive power, he cared that the wrong party wielded it. If Trump is elected and does all kinds of stuff to expand Presidential authority, there is zero chance that the Democrats will wake up and have a change of heart; they will rhetorically savage him as a despot while he's in office, but when they again win the White House, they won't abjure that power—they will happily take it up and wield it. No Democrat ever took a pass on power; no Democrat ever thought that power that they could use was unconstitutional. They don't care about the Constitution.

Chuck said...
'All these things about Trump -- "he's not a RINO;" "he won't capitulate to Washington Democrats;" "he'll restore the Constitution;" "he's a real conservative;" -- they aren't just untrue. They are the OPPOSITE of what the case really is. Trump is the best example of "Republican in Name Only" that has ever gotten this far in a campaign. Trump says himself that he will get people into a room in Washington and make deals. Trump's grandiose plans that he spouts off on the stump are laughably unconstitutional. And you have to ignore Trump's prior positions on about a dozen important topics if you want to think of him as a true conservative.'

+1.

Simon said...

Nichevo said...
"I am, I guess, kind of a birther. To repeat myself, my understanding from elementary school was that a NBC was born here of 2 citizen parents. =notCruz. I am ignored entirely, or censored, but anyone who advances this notion gets beat over the head and receives what I consider insubstantial, unconvincing, often ad hominem replies."

It's unnecessary that both parents be citizens, but I do agree with you that the certitude with which people dismiss the eligibility question that hovers over Cruz is excessive. The question is serious and interesting. As I said above, however, it is also murky and close; compare my thoughts on this with Michael Ramsey's:

http://simondodd.org/blog/?p=1842
http://originalismblog.typepad.com/the-originalism-blog/2016/01/the-original-meaning-of-natural-bornmichael-ramsey.html

Because it's a close and difficult case, and because the courts are not going to intervene and give us an example, it might reasonably be thought a question for the voters, functionally, a political question.

Michael said...

Amanda

I would read the European press were I you to see the direction of politics there.

The UK is likely to bolt from the EU. And the liberals are in such disarray they are left with Corbyn who is to the left of Sanders and less effective. Corbyn, for example, can barely keep a shadow cabinet and his key people are basically in open revolt on immigration issues. And this is from the extreme left. Corbyn won't be around long as you will see. His desire to open "dialog" with ISIL has not resonated with his base.

Using all caps on the internet is generally a sign of having a loose screw.

Birkel said...

Nichevo:

Your position regarding parentage and natural born citizens (NBC) does not make sense. Every child of unknown paternity would not be a NBC by your definition. Does that seem like the reasonable position?

A U.S. soldier knocked up by a German who gives birth in a German hospital is not a U.S. citizen? Is that a defensible position to your mind?

No ad hominem here. Just know that what you typed above is inaccurate, and obviously so.

Amanda said...

Michael making BROAD sweeping assertions about people who occasionally use ALL CAPS is ODD. Who are you the ALL CAPS cop? An occasional word in ALL CAPS is for emphasis. YOUR weird ideas about the use of All CAPS makes me wonder why it bothers you so MUCH.

LOL.

Amanda said...

Hey Michael, I see some other commenters using ALL CAPS too, I think they need your guidance.

mccullough said...

There's a difference between what the constitution means by natural born citizen and who Congress automatically naturalized by statute. Congress can make anyone a US citizen.

The 14th amendment makes anyone born in the US, except children of ambassadors and consuls, citizens regardless of what Congress says.

Cruz has a decent argument that he is a natural born citizen under Article II. Not as good an argument as Obama, who is certainly a citizen by birth in the US under the 14th Amendment and has a stronger claim of natural born under Article II since he was born in the US to a mom who was a US citizen.

Michael said...

Amanda

Point proven.

Matthew Blaine said...

National Review will forever be waiting for Reagan's second coming. Their ardent conservatism has resulted in zero legislative victories and a continual erosion of morality. The only conservative left, Santorum, has zero chance. I might as well put a Bernie sticker on my truck. Right next to the Walker one.

Simon said...

Birkel said...
"Nichevo: Your position regarding parentage and natural born citizens (NBC) does not make sense. Every child of unknown paternity would not be a NBC by your definition. Does that seem like the reasonable position?"

That's partly right and partly wrong. The problem with Nichevo's comment is that (s)he required that both parents be citizens, and that's not a requirement: That wasn't the law at the time of the founding. (Blackstone explicitly notes that "THE children of aliens, born here in England, are, generally speaking, natural-born subjects….") the problem with your reply is that it proves too much: If it's unreasonable to think that a child whose parents are unknown might not count as a natural-born citizen, it's unreasonable to think that a child whose birthplace is unknown might not count as such, but that's not unreasonable at all, and so neither of them is.

"A U.S. soldier knocked up by a German who gives birth in a German hospital is not a U.S. citizen? Is that a defensible position to your mind?"

Here you conflate citizen with natural-born citizen. There is no doubt that said soldier's child is a U.S. citizen, and it's possible that they are a natural-born citizen. (Set aside the "Why" of that for now.) But whether or not they are a natural-born citizen, they are assuredly a naturalized citizen from birth, by operation of 8 USC 1401(g).

Simon said...

mccullough said...
"There's a difference between what the constitution means by natural born citizen and who Congress automatically naturalized by statute. Congress can make anyone a US citizen."

This is precisely correct. There is a serious error that besets discussion on this point (Andy McCarthy made it at NRO a few weeks ago): The misunderstanding that a "natural-born" citizen is someone who is a citizen from birth, as distinct from a "naturalized" citizen, who becomes a citizen sometime later on. That's error. The phrasal adjective "natural-born" had an established meaning at common law, which carried over to the United States from England, where it modified "citizen" rather than "subject," but to the same effect. Thus, the law of England at the time of the founding as to who was a natural-born subject is controlling. By contrast, naturalization was in both England and America, and is now in America, a process by which a statute confers citizenship on someone who is not a natural-born citizen.

For those of you who still have doubts about this, let me try to walk you through it.

Imagine a statute that conferred American citizenship on all people born within the city of London (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrObZ_HZZUc) when they reach their first birthday; everyone would agree that the statute made naturalized citizens. Now imagine that the statute is amended: It now confers American citizenship on all people born within the City of London if they live to be one week old. Still naturalized, right? Now it is amended a third time, conferring citizenship on those born within the City of London at the moment of their birth. That statute still makes naturalized citizens. It's a statute for naturalizing people, it exists precisely in order to confer citizenship upon people who would not otherwise be natural-born citizens, and it makes naturalized citizens no matter when or in what conditions it operates upon them to do so.

And that is precisely what 8 U.S.C. § 1401(g) does: It confers citizenship upon people who would not otherwise be citizens. That it does so freely at the moment of their birth rather than at some arbitrary circumstance or time later is irrelevant. Thus, if Cruz is an America citizen solely by virtue of section 1401(g), I would argue, he's not a natural-born citizen. Fortunately, as McCullough says, "Cruz has a decent argument that he is a natural born citizen under Article II." But that question is murky, and if it is to be resolved in a legal sense (rather than as a political question), it has to be resolved (as Justice Scalia has taught us for decades) in accordance with the original understanding of the operative law. And that's a hard question, which is why you'll notice that I didn't answer it. ;)

Birkel said...

Simon,
My point was to ask Nichevo if his announced position makes sense. You are free to make whatever point you wish. You are not free to tell me what I mean to say.

Nichevo said...

Birkel said...
Nichevo:

Your position regarding parentage and natural born citizens (NBC) does not make sense. Every child of unknown paternity would not be a NBC by your definition. Does that seem like the reasonable position?

A U.S. soldier knocked up by a German who gives birth in a German hospital is not a U.S. citizen? Is that a defensible position to your mind?

No ad hominem here. Just know that what you typed above is inaccurate, and obviously so.

1/22/16, 5:21 PM


Oh no Birkel not at all. Certainly your hypothetical bastard, to use the correct, unkind word, is a citizen. He just isn't, or might not be, a Natural Born Citizen. I'm perfectly fine with the idea that bastards can't run for president, like felons.

Yeah, absolutely, if that's the scenario, than yeah we would be deprived of their services in the office of President. But they're certainly citizens. Even anchor babies are citizens. Just not NBCs.

Sorry if I seem a savage or if I haven't remembered my lessons well. I agree and appreciate that you have been perfectly polite.

Nichevo said...

Oh, and of course also it's preposterous that a US soldier would be impregnated by a German, because women shouldn't be soldiers. And certainly shouldn't be f***** by Germans.

But that's my feelings and sentiments, & I can distinguish between that and what I thought was a fact, about the NBC above.

Birkel said...

You don't seem savage. You are wildly wrong. Blackstone, mentioned above, observed and announced the English legal tradition that informed America's Founding Fathers.

Nichevo said...

And of course it's not bastards per se. If you have two obviously American parents who just didn't marry, but the parentage is known, that's fine.

I don't mean it as an insult. It's a pity to be illegitimate, but it's not your fault.

Nichevo said...

Again I appreciate the responses. I will reread the above, and anything else responsive, and consider. I did get As in social studies, though, so can anyone explain why I would have been taught wrong info? Are there competing schools of thought and my text books were written by the other school?

Birkel said...

The vast majority of learned opinion on this issue is on my side: a child born to an American parent is American.

jr565 said...

Ignorance is bliss,
It's not just the nYT saying that repubs are saying this.
TRUMP IS SAYING IT.
"Trump: And you know what, there’s a point at which, let’s get to be a little bit establishment, because we gotta get things done, folks, okay? Believe me, don’t worry, we’re gonna get such great deals, but at a certain point, you can’t be so strident, you can’t not get along, we gotta get along with people. You know in the old days, Ronald Reagan, and I remember it so vividly, I was a young guy, I helped Ronald Reagan, I really liked him… so what happens, Ronald Reagan would get along with (Democrat) Tip O’Neill, and they’d sit down, and they’d make great deals for everybody. That’s what the country’s about, isn’t it? I mean, we can all be tough but at some point we gotta get our country back on track."

hey, we need to get a little establishment right? Tea partners hated John McCain beciase he kept working with the democrats. But they love trump because he wouldn never do that. Only, yeah, he will.
As he says openly.

I'm just wondering then why someone would be mad at a Mitt Romney, if he wasn't sufficiently conservative. Because we have to be a little bit establishment, you know? That's what this country is all about.

The anger directed at "RINO's" is really misplaced. He's going to be the biggest RINO. And you're going to love it!

jr565 said...

Really, if you are for Trump, and you are ok with its compromise then why would you be mad at Romeny, Rubio, McCain, or any other republican that works with democrats?
id think McCain working with the Dems would be a plus.

Simon said...

Birkel said...
"Blackstone, mentioned above, observed and announced the English legal tradition that informed America's Founding Fathers."

And, critically, Blackstone is right even if he's wrong. For the founders, Blackstone was the authority on the law of England; even if one could prove that Blackstone was wrong about parliamentary supremacy and that Coke's opinion in Doctor Bonham's Case had enjoyed a resurgence, it wouldn't matter, because what counts isn't what was in fact the law of England, per se, but the original understanding at the time of the founding, which was built on (among other things) what the founders understood to be English law, which came almost entirely from Blackstone. A good choice, as it turned out, because Blackstone is not only awesome, but also the house red here at Simon Said Towers.

Incidentally:

Nichevo said...
"Oh, and of course also it's preposterous that a US soldier would be impregnated by a German, because women shouldn't be soldiers. And certainly shouldn't be f***** by Germans."

As someone who has actually "f***** a German[]," in your charming phrase, I recommend it. Good people, the Germans, that unpleasantness in the 1930s and 1940s aside.

Simon said...

Birkel said...
"The vast majority of learned opinion on this issue is on my side: a child born to an American parent is American."

Absolutely no one disputes that. The question is whether they are a natural-born American or an American who was naturalized at birth by statute, and as Ramsey—whose learning no one —has pointed out, that is a murkier question in some cases, and even people like Katyal & Clement don't dispute the basic proposition that not all Americans are natural-born.

Nichevo said...
"Again I appreciate the responses. I will reread the above, and anything else responsive, and consider. I did get As in social studies, though, so can anyone explain why I would have been taught wrong info? Are there competing schools of thought and my text books were written by the other school?"

You're talking about high school? My goodness. High school texts are normally written at a very abstract, general level; as an adult, go back and read one of those social studies texts on the Constitution! (Or for that matter, an undergrad text! I doubt it even occurred to them to go into the complexity. Text books tend to be written for the average needs of people studying at that level, and it surely says very little to say that the sophistication of the average high-school student is somewhere short of scholarly. In terms of specifically-diverging views, I would suggest comparing the Ramsey piece linked above with Clement and Katyal's HLS article, which is cited in my piece, linked above.

Joe said...

How about Trump, because Cruz is a dick who will be ignored by congress.

Joe said...

The naturalization act of 1790, which was written by "the founding fathers", stated:

"the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States."

The naturalization act of 1795 changed the wording in a significant way:

"the children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States"

Removing "natural born" tells me that those alive at the time considered this to be purely geography based and that you can't declare some "natural born" who isn't.

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