May 23, 2017

"If you have good luck with your instincts, you might as well trust them. It’s an emotional art form. It’s not an intellectual art form at all."

Said Clint Eastwood, talking about movies and himself, but he could also be talking about politics and Trump.

He also talked about humorlessness in connection with himself and movies...
“A lot of people thought ['Dirty Harry'] was politically incorrect. That was at the beginning of the era that we’re in now, where everybody thinks everyone’s politically correct. We’re killing ourselves by doing that. We’ve lost our sense of humor."
... and that could also be about politics and Trump.

Now, that doesn't mean that if Eastwood is right about his approach to movies that Trump is right about his approach to politics. Movies and politics are different! One man's movie could fail and it doesn't really matter except to him and to whoever invested in his project. We're all invested — whether we chose him or not — in the President of the United States.

To some extent, it's good for a politician to think that because he's had "good luck with [his] instincts" that he "might as well trust them." That seems like a pretty good statement of how Trump blew past 16 GOP rivals and made the final leap over the keeled-over shell of a woman that the Dems put up for a candidate. But to continue with nothing but trusting instincts and good luck when you're actually President — that would be utterly unethical. I'm not saying that is what Trump is doing, just that it better not be what he's doing.

46 comments:

David Begley said...

"the keeled-over shell of a woman"

Keeled over by Russia! So keeled over she couldn't get to Madison.

Oso Negro said...

Let's not forget that the same news media that is relentlessly shitting on Trump today, was relentlessly promoting him as a candidate in the Republican primary. The move of pimping the preferred Republican candidate, only to turn on him was certainly evident in the case of Romney and McCain, except Trump beat the odds. They also (you participated in this too, Althouse!) were relentlessly negative about Cruz. If one was going to select a candidate to have beaten Hillary, do you still prefer Trump?

rhhardin said...

More intuition, less instinct. Listen to women.

AllenS said...

Cruz would not have beaten Clinton. I know too many union blue color workers that had never voted for a Republican in their life, who voted for Trump, not because he was the Republican, but because he wasn't a politician.

traditionalguy said...

But, if a leader first invests 40 years into the study of government ways and watches the Propaganda methods it hides its corruption behind, then he has worked to create his trustworthy instincts. The result is quick decisions. So what if his critics claim that is impossible and he has just been lucky...again and again.

DJT's genius works like Roger Ailes' genius worked. It sees reality clearly, and makes the right decisions.

Ready, set, go on the ad hominem blitz of slander and ridicule. You can't beat him any other way, so what have you got to lose. Call him an aggresive white man who loves women. That should do him in.

Virtually Unknown said...

Just look at climate models when applied to the real climate, then get back to me how intellectual analysis is superior to instincts honed by ages of evolution.

Pete said...

Althouse said: "I'm not saying that is what Trump is doing, just that it better not be what he's doing."

Until Althouse is elected President, I think I'll pass on her advice on how to be President.

Unknown said...

Trump's luck has run out. In fact, his luck was founded on Trumpski's believing his con-game.

It has been reported recently, for the first time in 17 years Fox News is not the number one cable news channel and has dropped to 3rd place after MSNBC and CNN.

The times are a changing.

Hagar said...

"If you have a choice between being good and being lucky, choose lucky!"

AReasonableMan said...

AllenS said...
Cruz would not have beaten Clinton. I know too many union blue color workers that had never voted for a Republican in their life, who voted for Trump, not because he was the Republican, but because he wasn't a politician.


This was the generally held view at the time and I cannot see any good reason to revise it. Notably, Cruz has toned down his act in recent months, presumably because he as afraid of the electoral consequences for himself.

"[Cruz] was tied at 30 percent with Rep. Beto O'Rourke, an El Paso Democrat who launched his campaign to challenge Cruz last month, in an early poll of the race conducted by the nonpartisan Texas Lyceum. And Cruz trailed Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat expected to announce by the end of the month whether he will also challenge Cruz, by a slim margin of 35 percent to 31 percent."

If Cruz cannot win easily in Texas he is clearly not a national politician.

Michael K said...

Trump is in uncharted territory. He ran against the monster machine that rules everything.

It might as well be The Empire of George Lucas. His instincts have got him this far.

He has chosen a good team but it is small. The Democrats are uniformly hostile and will obstruct everything he tries to do.

A Wall Street Journal reporter started the fake story about Ivanka's Trump's relationship to the World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs.

CNN reporter Jim Sciutto who, even for a former Obama political appointee, stands out for his partisanship, made the false claim that a donation to a World Bank fund was “virtually identical” to the ethical problems raised by the Clintons.

The story is now a DNC talking point as we have seen here.

"Unkonwn" might consider why Fox News is slipping.

Trump has good instincts and, as Napoleon said, lucky generals are preferred in battle.

Bay Area Guy said...

.... over the keeled-over shell of a woman that the Dems put up for a candidate.

This makes me happy. Over the "shrill, power-mad, Harpy" that the Dems put up for a candidate would also work.

Clint is definitely right about political correctness. It's a tool by the Left to impose their values on folks by setting all sorts of cultural, social, and political tripwires. Say the wrong thing, be accused of being a racist or homophobe, get fired. That's how the Left rolls.

wildswan said...

Megan McArdle wrote an interesting article on what it takes to get a big piece of policy through Congress as law. The idea was that that the White House needed a whole logistics train or project timeline in order to lead on a big legislative achievement and the White House doesn't have any logistics or policy leadership. This means that Congress, i.e. the GOPe, will lead on legislation and this in turn means no reform. So that Trump needs more than luck or a feeling for what Americans want, he needs a policy team which can work with Congress.

But ...here's my question. When Trump gets the policy team and it works with Congress, isn't it true that there will still be no reform because Congress does not want reforms? "Working with" Congress means "not reforming." At least my experience with people is that reforming them and getting along with them are two different things.

Or does the problem really quite exist? I mean that maybe Trump doesn't want big legislative achievements because he is trying to undo big government. It isn't about passing a signature piece of legislation on education, for example, it's about getting the Federal government out of education. Abolishing the department. It's about returning power to the states because the Federal government is so big it's gotten silly. The Feds effectively mandated less protein to poor kids in the school lunch program and never fixed the problem. The Feds are discriminating against men in a Title IX program that effectively demands a few men from every campus be sacrificed every year to unconstitutional prosecutions whose only real use is to make some statistics look good for somebody's resume. The Feds say biological realities are social constructs. Common Core teaches the Roman system of numbers and adding in the lower grades instead of the Arabic. But above all, the Feds say that government must regulate, not legislate. It's too big to govern by legislation, they say. But to me this means it's time that government got smaller and closer to the people. Repealing laws, not passing them. Devolving, not engulfing.

And also, why does the White House have to lead on legislation? The White House is the executive branch.

And also I think the Republican party will pass a tax law and repeal Obamacare with or without White House input. It will take awhile but I always thought it would take awhile.

wildswan said...

"Common Core teaches the Roman system of numbers and adding in the lower grades". I mean that is what is being effectively taught, not that Roman numbers are being used.

Mike said...

Trump has a unique mix of talents and experience. The business acumen honed over a long career in property development along with the undeniable success in primetime network television gave Trump invaluable experience in reaching people and getting things done on time. To have retained a kind of everyman persona throughout that is remarkable, but that relatability is what brought out the union voters, the dispossessed, the people like me sick of the same-old same-old Republican party. I like Cruz, but I think Alan S is correct when he says that would not have done it.

Even SNL recognized this aspect of Hillary's weakness when they repeatedly put the line "I'm just a relatable woman sitting on a couch" in Kate McKinnon's mouth, and "...sitting at a bar." Relatable. This was back when HRC was still running for the nomination, but everyone knew it was a problem. Her book didn't sell. The campaign had a least three "launches" and "rollouts" with changing slogans. She'd been in such rarified air since 1992 that she no longer led a life people could relate to.

And yet Trump was relatable. He had this outsize pimp-daddy persona with the ridiculous hair, the hot wives and a fondness for gold. And yet even as the MSM was calling him a "cartoon character" in the debates, he was winning over fans by being relatable. People related to the simple issues, repeated at every event, and to the simple truth that things in the USA could be and should be better. Much of this was done by instinct. Clint recognized that all of Obama's instincts were wrong and was widely panned for his empty chair routine, but he got it right. I don't know if he was commenting on Trump this time but he's right about trusting instinct. Trump also has the ability to pick very good people, and when needed, fire people who don't work out.

We need to see a little more of the latter.

AllenS said...

The only policy help that I could possibly give Trump is this -- don't give up Twitter. When you're told to stop it, double the Twitts.

Mike said...

It has been reported recently, for the first time in 17 years Fox News is not the number one cable news channel and has dropped to 3rd place after MSNBC and CNN.

Because they turned on their audience and went rabidly anti-Trump. I love the lefties here that cry about Sean Hannity and Eric Bolling being so Trumpy but beyond that, what does the Fox viewer get? GOPe types and the usual left-leaners who all agree Trump is deplorable. FNC gave up on the news business to go into Trump analytics 24/7 and it sucks so bad I can't watch. Shep was rolling his eyes long before Andy Cooper did. With Ailes dead and the channel moving on there is no outlet that serves the other half of the country.

It's no surprise Fox is floundering. They became New Coke.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Instincts are not always just "instincts." They can be the result of long-term experience/study in a particular area; when combined with astute observation of the current environment, it can allow an individual to make quality decisions without being an "expert" in a specific situation. That appears to be what you see with Trump.

Michael K said...

"And also, why does the White House have to lead on legislation? The White House is the executive branch. "

Bingo !

Laslo Spatula said...

" They can be the result of long-term experience/study in a particular area; when combined with astute observation of the current environment, it can allow an individual to make quality decisions without being an "expert" in a specific situation"

Reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink":

From his website:

" In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of “blink”: the election of Warren Harding; “New Coke”; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police. Blink reveals that great decision makers aren’t those who process the most."

Pop, but a good book.

Sometimes a situation presents itself where the Google of your brain does a fast search and brings up the relevant information.

Of course, sometimes it just brings up Porn.

I am Laslo.

Jack Wayne said...

"But to continue with nothing but trusting instincts and good luck when you're actually President — that would be utterly unethical. I'm not saying that is what Trump is doing, just that it better not be what he's doing."

This is wrong on so many levels that it can only be seen as trolling. Assuming that no President before Trump has operated this way, I'd expect history to be replete with ethical examples of the great government produced by Nixon, Clinton, Bush and Obama to name a few. Unexpectedly, I can't name any.

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

Virtually Unknown said...
Just look at climate models when applied to the real climate, then get back to me how intellectual analysis is superior to instincts honed by ages of evolution.


What a silly statement. Every single animal with a nervous system has "instincts honed by ages of evolution".

"Intellectual analysis" created the modern world and it's the reason we're sitting in chairs and typing on keyboards instead of sitting in dirt and eating tree bark and bugs.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, if you don't know what Trump is doing or how he does it, how do you know it's wrong?

Fernandinande said...

Laslo Spatula said...
Reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink":


Gladwell of the "igon value"; he's a good example of emotion > intellect because he mostly writes the nonsense that many people want to believe and makes a lot of money at it.

AllenS said...

Grab 'em by the Twitty, Trump!

dreams said...

I think instincts are really important and a lot times I've wished mine had been a little bit stronger or maybe more defined so that I would have avoided a mistake and I guess other people have had the same experience.

dreams said...

I think instincts are based on a person's knowledge from all that he has learned either by prior mistakes or from whatever.

DKWalser said...

Trump didn't just blow past 16 GOP rivals on his own; he had a lot of help from Hilary and the DNC. "Everyone" thought Trump was the worst GOP candidate to take on Hilary -- so the Democrats did all they could to prop Trump up and take down his rivals. They even kept that infamous audio tape in reserve, so they could blow Trump out of the water once he was nominated. "Everyone" was wrong, but that doesn't mean Trump wasn't helped by their efforts.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger DKWalser said...
Trump didn't just blow past 16 GOP rivals on his own; he had a lot of help from Hilary and the DNC. "Everyone" thought Trump was the worst GOP candidate to take on Hilary -- so the Democrats did all they could to prop Trump up and take down his rivals. They even kept that infamous audio tape in reserve, so they could blow Trump out of the water once he was nominated. "Everyone" was wrong, but that doesn't mean Trump wasn't helped by their efforts.


Was Trump not the DNC's "Most Preferred" candidate? Scarcely news, I suppose compared to how many scoops of ice cream.

Mike said...

Democrats did all they could to prop Trump up and take down his rivals. They even kept that infamous audio tape in reserve, so they could blow Trump out of the water once he was nominated. "Everyone" was wrong, but that doesn't mean Trump wasn't helped by their efforts.

I don't disagree with the premise, but I dispute the effectiveness of that effort by the DNC-Media complex. Trump won the debates and got the votes but I don't believe the coverage mattered that much. My hypothesis rests on three facts:

* Even during the primary, coverage of Trump was relentlessly negative, yet he prospered
* The Access Hollywood tape had the opposite effect that NBC intended, actually solidifying support for Trump: it confirmed media bias for his voters who could see that such a thing was never flung at Bill Clinton or any of the womanizers on the D side
* Since the election and inauguration the coverage has gone to 11 and yet people who voted for Trump are still at 97% support for their vote; Hillary's support has eroded steadily over that time

I don't think Trump was helped at all by the coverage. He seems impervious to coverage instead. It's not like the news programs could have froze him out and NOT covered him at all.

Mark Jones said...

"What a silly statement. Every single animal with a nervous system has 'instincts honed by ages of evolution'.

'Intellectual analysis' created the modern world and it's the reason we're sitting in chairs and typing on keyboards instead of sitting in dirt and eating tree bark and bugs."

And intellectual analysis is great for that sort of thing. Science is excellent for learning to understand and manipulate the physical world around you. But politics is about dealing with other people, where that 'instinct' for knowing how to get what you want from people is far more effective than coldly rational analysis. Hilary utterly lacks that instinct, and all the money and media support and "scientific' polling in the world couldn't drag her across the finish line ahead of Trump.

Comanche Voter said...

People with sharply honed instincts who act on those instincts are sometimes called "shrewd". And that's a compliment, not an insult.

We all act on our instincts and to the extent that we assume that we are actually acting in an intellectual, rational, logical way, we are simply rationalizing--so that we can act in accordance with our instinct. Empirically speaking that last statement is like the old Dial soap slogan "99.4% correct".

As for the worm riddled barkentine named Hillary that "keeled over" there were a lot of ethical barnacles on that hull. And as for the person named Hillary, her health was and is such that she keeled over more than once on the campaign trail. My instinct is that Hillary should go off and take a long rest--and leave the country alone.

Anthony said...

Well, he certainly got Obama-as-an-empty-chair right.. . . . .

Virtually Unknown said...

Anybody who can build an empirical and actionable model of future human behavior in novel situations will end up winning the game and owning the world.

If you don't know you can do that, don't come to me telling me that intellectual analysis beats instincts in judging human behavior.

Virtually Unknown said...

Not that having as many relevant facts as possible isn't important. They once found a lost atomic bomb by getting experts to bet fine whiskey on the location based on relevant info and gut feel.

Saint Croix said...

Now, that doesn't mean that if Eastwood is right about his approach to movies that Trump is right about his approach to politics. Movies and politics are different! One man's movie could fail and it doesn't really matter except to him and to whoever invested in his project.

No, wrong, completely wrong. If a movie--or any other great art--fails, it matters to us and to our society. If art is important, than it is a tragedy when the artist fails. To us! Not just to one guy and his money-men. Art is way more than the individual egomaniac (probably) and his greedy backers. Come on, Althouse, you used to be an artist! Defend this bullshit theory that politics is more important than art.

When Godard went political, art lost a genius and politics got an idiot!

We're all invested — whether we chose him or not — in the President of the United States.

I am not invested in the Trump presidency. Not financially, not emotionally. I think way too many people are! My stress was in 2016, when I was way over-invested in that (bleep) election. But for me? 2017 is back to normal, barely paying attention to politics. Wake me up when something happens. Gorsuch nomination (win), Trump speech in Saudi Arabia (win). He's 2-for-2. I think his haphazard plan to give everybody free health insurance will likely be a disaster. If he pulls that one off without wrecking our economy, well, I will be impressed.

I said it before, I will repeat it here.

Free healthcare (not health "insurance") should be given to some (not universally). For instance, people who volunteer for the military should get free healthcare. People who do dangerous work so we can power our electrical grid should get free healthcare (or "nudge" their employers to pay for it). My worry is that Trump always wants to go big and the word "universal" will excite him.

I think liberals and other atheists like to say "universal health care" so they can pretend they are God or something. It's not the universe, idiot, it's just our little neck of the woods. Get over yourself.

Saint Croix said...

To some extent, it's good for a politician to think that because he's had "good luck with [his] instincts" that he "might as well trust them." That seems like a pretty good statement of how Trump blew past 16 GOP rivals and made the final leap over the keeled-over shell of a woman that the Dems put up for a candidate.

Althouse, he's a risk-taker. He's a bullshit artist. He's a guy who loves to win. He's also (I'm convinced) a feeler, a guy with a big heart and powerful emotions.

Successful artists always feel lucky because they know there are many, many artists toiling in obscurity who are more deserving than they are. Who are better artists than they are! And there are a vast number of good people who would like to be artists, or some other fun and cool job. But instead they are doing boring jobs to pay the bills and take care of their families.

(Making a baby is still a more miraculous work of art than slopping some paint on a canvas. Always has been, probably always will be. The good Lord has blessed so many of us with this ability to make a human being. From nothing! So for ordinary people working in a coal mine or a factory or a hospital, keep in mind that creating a human being from nothing is a miracle of creation, and you got to participate in that! Way more exciting than making a movie. Which is cool, too, but not nearly as important).

One of the things that struck me about Trump's trip in Saudi Arabia was the combination of hubris and humility. He has delegated this task to Saudi Arabia and Israel. Fight Isis, fight Iran, make the place safe for your children. I hope and pray they will be able to pull it off. But the humility part is this idea that we really can't do too much.

Since we're quoting Eastwood, "A man's got to know his limitations." And Trump, rather surprisingly, seems to have a good sense of his limitations.

grimson said...

Isn't everybody instinctive and just rationalizing after-the-fact. Those with normally "good" instincts just learn to trust them; those without learn to question them and defer acting on them while seeking additional information.

hombre said...

Unknown: "Trump's luck has run out. In fact, his luck was founded on Trumpski's believing his con-game."

Not exactly. In one regard, Trump will never disappoint: He's not Hillary.

Otherwise, the big difference between Obamadupes and "Trumpskis" is that Obamadupes bought into their guy's BS and must lie about or deny his ineptitude and dishonesty to avoid being discredited or disappointed, or both. Most "Trumpskis" saw their guy as a bullshitter and voted for him anyway to escape Hillary and the lefties and on the chance that he might drain the swamp, keep illegals and terrorists out and give us some decent judges.

Unlike Obamadupes and Berniedopes, a majority of us supported someone else at the outset of the campaign and few of us are into idolatry. We also differ from Democrat lefties in that we don't engage in or condone sedition.

hombre said...

"It's no surprise Fox is floundering. They became New Coke."

I think Fox still leads in total viewers, just not the "demo."

However, Fox's impending transformation is a tremendous opportunity for Trump and others. If he blows off the leftmedia briefings and funnels ALL the releases through a couple of entities of his choice the leftmedia will be momentarily impeded in their smear campaign and the "chosen" will be immediately successful if handled properly.

veni vidi vici said...

"...we're sitting in chairs and typing on keyboards instead of sitting in dirt and eating tree bark and bugs."

Speak for your self, hombre.

veni vidi vici said...

"if you don't know what Trump is doing or how he does it, how do you know it's wrong?"

Because Trump. Next question!

veni vidi vici said...

"Trump didn't just blow past 16 GOP rivals on his own; he had a lot of help from Hilary and the DNC. "Everyone" thought Trump was the worst GOP candidate to take on Hilary -- so the Democrats did all they could to prop Trump up and take down his rivals. They even kept that infamous audio tape in reserve, so they could blow Trump out of the water once he was nominated. "Everyone" was wrong, but that doesn't mean Trump wasn't helped by their efforts."

Actually, anyone who believes that Trump didn't defenestrate the phalanx of GOP primary opponents on his own really owes it to him/herself to go find the video on YouTube about "How Trump insulted his way to the presidency".

You may think it's a highlight reel of cut-downs, which is what it may have sounded/felt like in real time (aided by a press who couldn't stress enough what a dick Trump is).

HOWEVER, a fair viewing reveals the single talent Trump has, and has become famous for: he is a very keen judge of human capital. Every "insult" is less an insult than a guy very quickly and efficiently summing up his opponent(s), zeroing in on their defining flaw/weakness, and exploiting the hell out of it, as though he's poking a finger into their chests and twisting it. And seriously, "Little Marco", "Low-energy Jeb", "Lyin' Ted", "Crooked Hillary", etc... Weren't they pretty much dead-on highlights of each opponent's biggest pause-giving feature? And who can dispute his acumen with human capital: he spent several years piloting one of the most successful television shows of its time, which was based on his hiring and firing people!

Impolite, oh hell yeah. Insult? Maybe; maybe just nailing the other guys' fundamental flaws, though. For some less gifted, visual aids like photos of the other guy looking ridiculous in a tank, or windsurfing in spandex pants are required; for others, a quick wit and sharp tongue will suffice.

veni vidi vici said...

The fact that no one had a response to his style of attack is not a strike against Trump. Rather, it's a strike against all of those 16 GOP candidates, who were thus revealed as being completely unprepared to fight a campaign against the woman for whose political machine the term "Smashmouth Politics" was coined in the 1990s.

He was the only one of 17 who demonstrated to primary voters that he could beat her, because he's the only one who fought like Clintons do. Ergo, as he now likes to say, he's the president and we're not.

Tom Grey said...

" but trusting instincts and good luck when you're actually President — that would be utterly unethical."
This is utterly unsupported by the substance of the post.

Unethical doesn't depend on reason nor instincts, it is more whether your goals are good and you're being honest. And ethics are mostly in actions, not words about actions. If a woman allows you to grab her, anywhere, is that unethical? I don't think so. If you grab and she doesn't allow it, it is unethical.

Obama was totally unethical to claim "you can keep your doctor" -- especially since he knew that was not true.

It's a question about flip flops -- so Dems are in favor of firing Comey, before they're against it.

You need to back up this unethical claim more.