May 3, 2017

Today, NY Magazine's Jonathan Chait and Rush Limbaugh said more or less the same thing about Trump.

1. Jonathan Chait, "Trump Isn’t a Pragmatist. He Doesn’t Understand Ideology."

2. Rush Limbaugh, "How many times during the campaign did I warn everybody Trump is not a conservative? Multiple times a day. How many times a day did I tell people that Donald Trump is not even ideological? Multiple times a day. How many times have I told you, do not expect Trump to be a conservative; he isn’t one. Why did I change the name of my think tank from the Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies to the Institute for Advanced Anti-Leftist Studies?"

36 comments:

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

I think they're both just following Althouse's rule re not claiming, from afar, htat someone is mentally unstable cause that does some sorta harm to other folks w/ certified mental problems.

AllenS said...

Ah, go ahead, Rush, tell us who is a conservative. McCain? Ryan?

Bob Loblaw said...

It's true. Trump isn't ideological at all - how could he be a conservative? He seems sort of conservative because he's 70, but he's perfectly willing to switch parties and switch sides on key issues (like illegal immigration and abortion). He'll implement some conservative policies because he knows that's what his supporters want, but you're never going to see Trump spend political capital on principle.

Dude1394 said...

But strangely enough, he is governing more conservatively than anyone in my lifetime. So what is he?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"So what is he?"

An always rich dude who knows that unsuccessful people are losers who get what they deserve. Plus he's POTUS.




Carry on.

mockturtle said...

Maybe we need some new labels. Rush is right, Trump is no Conservative but he is, contrary to Chait's opinion, pragmatic. I like a common-sense approach to problems rather than and ideological one.

BTW, the GOP leadership fancy themselves Conservatives but they are for big government, as long as it benefits their crony-capitalist friends.

My idea of a Conservative is Ron Paul. He drafted a plan not just to balance the federal budget but to shrink the national debt. Do Ryan, et al, give two hoots about the national debt?

Chuck said...

I always wondered; if Trump was so uncredentialed and so fundamentally unreliable as a conservative, why didn't Rush do more to oppose Trump during the primaries?

Krumhorn said...

I am fully prepared to be disappointed by Trump. However, in my view, he has already produced the only important outcome: The Hildebeast is NOT the president.

I suspect Trump has some core beliefs, and he is likely to succeed with those...whatever they are. But above all, he is clearly a pragmatist. Since he clearly knows why he was elected, I'll be satisfied if he delivers to those counties in NC, FL, PA, WI, MI and OH that got him over the top. While out here in CA, things are hopeless....seriously long term hopeless...I'll celebrate from a distance.

The American Left must be beaten like a red-headed stepchild.

- Krumhorn

mockturtle said...

Chuck, I have never listened to Limbaugh but from the above-quoted excerpt I infer that he supports Trump but admits Trump is not a Conservative.

tim in vermont said...

You mean that the guy who met with Bill Clinton before deciding to run for POTUS, the guy whose wedding Hillary attended, is non ideological? Aaah!

I still think that there was a $1 bet made at that meeting, which resulted in Trump as president, and I bet when Bill paid it off, he was smiling, and I bet Trump was grinning as he accepted the money.

tim in vermont said...

An always rich dude who knows that unsuccessful people are losers who get what they deserve

PB&J summarizes is own comments here for us.

khesanh0802 said...

Rush is full of shit for his own purposes. He is like the Freedom Caucus that would rather go down in"principled" flames than actually accomplish something.

Let's read WSJ's opinion of the deal. What it adds up to is significant change from the last budget go round, but it will never be right until the Congress actually does their job and produces budgets for each department.

From the WSJ: Republicans and Democrats are jousting over who won the battle over this week’s omnibus spending bill, and we’ll give the call to Democrats because they fought to a draw while in the minority. Republicans will be hard pressed to use the power of the purse to set priorities until they return to regular budget order.

The $1 trillion agreement to fund the government through the end of this fiscal year on Sept. 30 is essentially a modest trade: Republicans got a boost in defense spending and a few policy riders, while Democrats got money for some domestic priorities. The agreement provides $15 billion in supplemental defense spending, which is overdue, even if that is only half of President Trump’s military request. The deal does not include Mr. Trump’s proposed cuts to the federal bureaucracy.

Republicans are right that the bill finally breaks the Obama -era rule that every defense dollar be matched by a domestic-spending dollar. Mr. Obama held the military hostage to his domestic agenda, and some Democrats wanted this damaging parity to continue as a price of their votes in the Senate. The GOP made clear this was a nonstarter, which is at least a down payment against military decline.

Democrats are crowing that they killed scores of Republican policy and spending “poison pills” and also won money for their priorities. They blocked funding for Mr. Trump’s border wall, though Republicans included some $12 billion for border and customs security. Democrats got an increase in National Institutes of Health spending, though many Republicans also supported that. Despite their claims, Democrats did not “preserve” funding for Planned Parenthood. The bill contains no direct dollars for that group, but rather funds grants that will be issued by Health and Human Services, which is unlikely to approve any for the controversial abortion provider.

Most of the domestic funding increases and decreases are GOP priorities. The bill contains $45 million to fund three more years of Washington, D.C.’s popular school voucher program, as well as money for western wildfire fighting and disaster-related repairs at NASA.

Conversely, the bill zeroes out dollars to the international Green Climate Fund (set up as part of the Paris climate accord), and it rescinds, consolidates or terminates more than 150 federal programs or initiatives, including such high priorities as the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation or the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program. The bill cuts $81 million from the Environmental Protection Agency, returning it to 2009 levels.

The bill also continues the GOP deregulation drive. In particular, the bill forbids the IRS from spending to issue regulations that would change political standards for nonprofit social-welfare organizations, and it bars the Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing rules that require corporations to disclose political contributions. It also ends the federal attempt to regulate lead in ammunition or fishing tackle—a particular sore point with hunters and rural Americans.

Republicans could accomplish more if they were united, but too many conservative members refuse to vote for any spending bills. This means the GOP must rely on Democrats for passage, which means accepting some of their priorities. The Senate filibuster rule also gives the minority the whip hand unless Republicans want to risk a government shutdown.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "I always wondered; if Trump was so uncredentialed and so fundamentally unreliable as a conservative, why didn't Rush do more to oppose Trump during the primaries?"

Unlike you, Rush wanted to defeat Hillary and he understood instinctively that no other republican candidate would fight back strongly enough or effectively enough against the media, establishment and the dems to achieve that victory.

Drago said...

khesanh0802: "Rush is full of shit for his own purposes. He is like the Freedom Caucus that would rather go down in"principled" flames than actually accomplish something."

I disagree with that assessment.

I would suggest that Rush believes that the republicans have more support than they (the republicans in DC) actually believe. This "fear" based legislating causes the republicans to cave time and again on significant issues giving the dems more political victories than they should have.

I believe that Rush is much more pragmatic than you might give him credit for but there should at least be an effective push back against the dems and Chucks beloved MSM'ers.

YoungHegelian said...

Okay, so from the "non-conservative, non-ideological" Trump we've gotten:

1) Neil Gorsuch to the SCOTUS
2) Jeff Sessions at DoJ
3) Betsy DeVos at Dept of Ed.
4) A soon to be signed EO on Religious Freedom (for what little it's worth)
5) Various hardliners in the National Security Council.
6) Mattis as SecDef.

And I could keep going on, with HUD, SecState, whatever.

Somehow, I think "conservatives" can sleep pretty well at night knowing this crew is at the wheel. Yes, I hear the same stuff on other right-wing radio. But, let's face it: the Right has its professional bitchers & moaners as well as the Left.

Drago said...

3rdgrader: "An always rich dude who knows that unsuccessful people are losers who get what they deserve. Plus he's POTUS."

Hmmm, so the lefties/"lifelong republicans" have discarded the -Trump is not really rich at all- gambit and have tumbled backward to their next talking point?

Interesting. I wonder where they will go next? You never can tell but I'll bet it includes Russians Russians everywhere!

Alex said...

Labels are for shallow thinkers.

David said...

Maybe he does understand ideology. For most people, ideology is a trap, and excuse (or means) to avoid analysis, innovation, challenging engagement, compromise and even action. Ideology has caused some of the greatest massacres and catastrophes in human history. "Ideologue" has become an insult for a reason. Yet we can't structure society without ideology. All would be chaos, or it would soon get there. That Trump guy. He may be on to something after all. As in most things, only time will tell for sure, and even time lies.

pacwest said...

As a fiscal conservative I gotta say that aspect of President Trump is strongly disappointing. My hope is he can do enough damage to the libs and press, and get enough public discussion going that we can actually discuss our fiscal problems rationally someday.

That said-Freedom caucus please hold your ground on ACHA.

Glen Filthie said...

The term you're looking for - or the label if you prefer - is pretty much 'Alt-Right'.

And no, children. You are not going to vote your way out of the coming economic chit storm you have been voting for, for the last 6 decades.

traditionalguy said...

Resolve to win is an inner stubborn courage. The tools to win include his America First Ideology, but include any other ideology necessary to use for a season.

Don't bet against him.

Joe said...

I agree with Drago that there is far more support for "republican" ideals than the GOP gives credit for. However, I think the GOP ignored this for the simple reason that they despise the deplorables almost as much as progressives. Even more simple; the GOP wants to go to the parties of the rich and well connected. And you can do that by doing more than appearing to support the rabble.

traditionalguy said...

The Great Man theory of history points to tipping point events and battles won or lost by man in leadership>

I was remembering that we have had several in our history. In the Revolutionary War there were many, including Washington crossing the Delaware at Trenton, Benedict Arnold, of all men, at Saratoga and the Scots-Irish East Tennessee men at King's Mountain who elected their four Captains.

Reflecting on Jackson at New Orleans suddenly reminded me of Eidson at Bloody Ridge on the critical battle for Guadalcanal.

Both lead men who were attacked by a far superior force that had over confidently approached expecting an easy win and threfore came without supplies for a retreat. Packingham and Kawaguchi both expected to feast on American supplies after they won the battle.

But their attacks were made on concentrated and skilled American firepower coming from a Scots-Irish Miitia Battalion that would not run, and therefore ended in the attacker's own slaughter, followed by a two weeks of a starving retreat of wounded and survivors using a near impossible route over which many more died.

Trump is restoring a very dangerous American Military Machine. And the world Trembles, if you had not noticed.

pacwest said...

"coming economic chit storm"
Good one!

Bay Area Guy said...

Trump may not be an "idealogical" Conservative, like folks who spend Friday nights reading Friedrich Hayek books, but Trump is accomplishing conservative things (Tighter border, SCOTUS, possible school choice with Devos, etc, etc)

Roy Lofquist said...

Trump is not A Conservative, he IS conservative. Back before W.F. Buckley turned conservatism into Conservatism Inc. Russell Kirk was the preeminent voice for sanity in politics. Excerpted from Kirk's essay "Ten Conservative Principles":

"Perhaps it would be well, most of the time, to use this word “conservative” as an adjective chiefly. For there exists no Model Conservative, and conservatism is the negation of ideology: it is a state of mind, a type of character, a way of looking at the civil social order.

"The attitude we call conservatism is sustained by a body of sentiments, rather than by a system of ideological dogmata. It is almost true that a conservative may be defined as a person who thinks himself such. The conservative movement or body of opinion can accommodate a considerable diversity of views on a good many subjects, there being no Test Act or Thirty-Nine Articles of the conservative creed."

As Insty says, read the whole thing.

http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/detail/ten-conservative-principles/

MikeR said...

"As a fiscal conservative I gotta say that aspect of President Trump is strongly disappointing." Word - something is terribly disappointing about this budget extension. Vice President Pence went around and talked about how Republicans weren't defeated - because they got the defense increase! Well, Mr. Vice President, listen up: Lots of your supporters didn't care about that. At all. I would have been perfectly happy with a defense decrease, let the Pentagon clean up it act and stop wasting money, and let NATO make up the difference if they want.
We wanted you to cut government spending, and start draining the swamp. The pro-defense Republicans and the pro-everything else Democrats got together and left us out completely. As usual.
I cut Mr. Trump a lot of slack, because he isn't Hillary Clinton, but I will not put up with this for long.

pacwest said...

"Trump may not be an "idealogical" Conservative, like folks who spend Friday nights reading Friedrich Hayek books, but Trump is accomplishing conservative things (Tighter border, SCOTUS, possible school choice with Devos, etc, etc)"

And deserves credit for it!


MikeR--Hear Hear!

Larry J said...

Drago said...
"lifelong republican" Chuck: "I always wondered; if Trump was so uncredentialed and so fundamentally unreliable as a conservative, why didn't Rush do more to oppose Trump during the primaries?"

Unlike you, Rush wanted to defeat Hillary and he understood instinctively that no other republican candidate would fight back strongly enough or effectively enough against the media, establishment and the dems to achieve that victory.


This is exactly right. During the primaries, Rush was asked why he didn't do anything to stop Trump and to support someone more conservative like Ted Cruz. He replied that he hesitated to criticize Trump because he was the one candidate Rush believed who had a chance at defeating Hillary and that was the most important thing. I don't recall Rush ever saying anything really critical of Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, or many of the other candidates. He did criticize Bush and some of the other squishes. None of them had a chance in hell at defeating Hillary, including Cruz (who I voted for in the primary). Some people like to win symbolic victories rather than make a principled decision. Do you know what you call people who win symbolic victories? Losers.

Lyle Smith said...

Trump is an anti-Leftist; Rush said it himself. That is a much bigger tent than just conservatives.

mockturtle said...

Trump is an anti-Leftist; Rush said it himself. That is a much bigger tent than just conservatives.

The GOP got their big tent because of Trump but now are trying to pull it down.

Kirk Parker said...

AllenS,

Sessions. Flake.

Brando said...

I don't think even Trump's supporters think of him as conservative so much as willing to tolerate conservatism and therefore a better bet than someone who would actually oppose it.

Brando said...

"As a fiscal conservative I gotta say that aspect of President Trump is strongly disappointing."

I've been critical of Trump myself, and while I never had much hope of him being a fiscal conservative, I have to say in his defense a lot of this has more to do with the GOP in general. The budget deal was worked out by Congress and Trump is in the awkward position of either signing it or opposing his own party allies in what would ultimately be futile.

The biggest problem from a fiscal conservative standpoint is entitlements (and to some extent defense as driven by foreign policy). But no one--not Trump and not GOPers in Congress--has any interest in addressing that. So they chip at tiny portions of the budget and try to jam through tax cuts (which can be more accurately described as big tax increases to be paid later).

Welcome to the world of low expectations!

Sigivald said...

Limbaugh is correct, and Chait probably is, too.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, least of all Conservatives - I mean, I follow some Right media (e.g. Instapundit, who is now subsumed in the PJM morass, sadly), and Trump's supporters seemed perfectly aware he wasn't a Conservative.

The only people who seem surprised are Progressives, who fell into the trap of "Republican candidate = Conservative", because why bother to know anything about the Other?

Gospace said...

AllenS said...
Ah, go ahead, Rush, tell us who is a conservative. McCain? Ryan?


I don't listen to Rush all that often. But I don't remember him ever having something good to say about McCain.