Patterico's Pontifications

1/21/2016

Establishment Senators: We Hate Ted Cruz, But Are Warming to Trump!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 pm

CNN has the roll call of Senators who hate Ted Cruz:

“I think we’ll lose if he’s our nominee,” said Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the Senate.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t feel he can appeal to people across the board,” Hatch said. “For us to win, we have to appeal to 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.”

. . . .

“It would be a major challenge because of the wounds that are deep,” said Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, who is neutral in the race so far.

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

. . . .

And Cruz’s accusation earlier this year that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a liar over his deal-making on the Export-Import Bank angered many Republicans.

“Ted Cruz has burned some bridges with some fellow senators,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. “You do see people coming out with more aggressive comments” ahead of Iowa.

Ah, but Donald Trump — now Hatch at least (like Bob Dole) seems to think he might not be that bad:

“I’ve come around a little bit on Trump,” Hatch said Thursday. “I’m not so sure we’d lose if he’s our nominee because he’s appealing to people who a lot of the Republican candidates have not appealed to in the past.”

Here are some other Senators who weighed in:

Sen. John Cornyn, Cruz’s fellow Texas Republican and the No. 2 in his conference, said GOP senators are unsettled by the roiling presidential race and what it could mean for their chances of keeping control of the Senate, where the party has a narrow 54-46 majority and faces several tough re-election races in left-leaning states like Illinois.

“I think people are concerned,” 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.”

. . . .

“His ability to grow the vote of the Republican Party is almost zero,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who dropped out of the presidential race and is now backing Bush, said of Cruz. “He’ll easily be portrayed as ideological to a fault.”

Dan Coats. Shelley Moore Capito. John Cornyn. Lindsey Graham. Orrin Hatch. All of them are lining up to take potshots at the one guy who can stop Trump.

Now let me shift gears for a moment. Stay with me for just a moment. It’s worth it.

Do you remember December 20, 2015, when I related to you how Nancy Pelosi was boasting about how the Republicans had just passed an omnibus bill that surpassed the Democrats’ wildest dreams? I’ll turn the microphone over to the Patterico of last month:

Roll Call:

The omnibus bill does not block or restrict in any way Syrian or Iraqi refugees from coming to the U.S. It does not defund Planned Parenthood. It does not defund Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. It does not defund sanctuary cities. It funds ObamaCare but delays two unpopular taxes under ObamaCare that might fuel opposition to the law. It will increase the debt with spending and tax cuts that are not paid for by spending cuts.

And now, Nancy Pelosi is not just doing a victory lap — she is bragging about how this was shoved down Republicans’ throats before they could learn what was in the bill:

“We’ve had to sort of calibrate how we presented this to members because … we were afraid [Republicans] might pull things out if more Republicans knew about what was in the bill,” she continued, explaining all the hesitation from Democrats in the hours after the bill was made public.

Earlier in the week, she had instructed members in a closed-door meeting to “keep on their long faces” and not speak publicly about everything Democrats won in the omnibus, according to a senior House aide. She wanted them to avoid speaking about provisions they fought to include, as well as poison pill policy riders they insisted be removed, instead suggesting they just say they were “still reading the language” when asked how they planned to vote.

“Now they’re done, that’s it. There’s no way they can change the rule or anything like that; the speaker said it’s closed,” said Pelosi on Friday, “so we feel pretty good about bragging about what’s in the bill to get our votes and also not risking changing anything in the bill.”

OK. So that was last month. Now here’s the fun part. On December 18, The Right Scoop published the Senate Roll Call of those who voted yea and nea on that crap omnibus bill. Here are the Senators who voted “yea” on the recent omnibus. You’ll notice I have placed some of the names in bold.

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Capito (R-WV)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gardner (R-CO)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Lankford (R-OK)
Leahy (D-VT)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Perdue (R-GA)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tillis (R-NC)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)

Dan Coats. Shelley Moore Capito. John Cornyn. Lindsey Graham. Orrin Hatch.

The people who are warming up to Trump? The people who are lining up to give quotes to CNN about what a jerk Ted Cruz is?

Each and every one of them sold you out in December.

Trump supporters: are you starting to get it yet??

On Cruz, Sanders, and Double Standards

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:44 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Have you noticed a weird intellectual duality among progressives this year with respect to the way they view the 2016 election? It goes something like this:

Ted Cruz can’t be elected President; he has hardly any allies in among Republican Party leadership.
Ted Cruz can’t be elected President; he’s never really been a key power broker in the Senate, just a guy that votes as a ideological purist.
Ted Cruz can’t be elected President; we always end up selecting a moderate closer to the center.
Ted Cruz can’t be elected President; he comes from just about the only possible state where a guy like him could be elected.

I think Bernie Sanders has an excellent chance of being elected President this year.

Seriously, try this out on your progressive friends and see if it doesn’t pretty much proceed along these lines.

– JVW

I Will Never, Ever Vote for Donald Trump: A Rant

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Bob Dole, renowned for being a loser in a presidential race, had this to say yesterday:

Bob Dole, the former Kansas senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, has never been fond of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. But in an interview Wednesday, Mr. Dole said that the party would suffer “cataclysmic” and “wholesale losses” if Mr. Cruz was the nominee, and that Donald J. Trump would fare better.

“I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”

“I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress,” he said. “Nobody likes him.”

But Mr. Dole said he thought Mr. Trump could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.”

As if to seal the establishment’s support for Trump, Trent Lott too said he would prefer Trump to Cruz.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about the fraud that is Sarah Palin. She’s the woman who was catapulted to fame by being chosen for a potential VP slot by John McCain, a former POW. Trump is the guy who once mocked McCain by saying: “I like people who weren’t captured.” So the fraud Palin yesterday described Trump as someone who would be a “commander in chief who will respect them and honor them.”

Finally, the man himself flat-out lies, and outrageously so, about Ted Cruz — claiming that Cruz’s alleged cover-up of a loan that Cruz actually disclosed publicly is worse than Hillary’s potentially criminal activity.

It’s enough to make sane people scream.

You might have noticed (or maybe you didn’t) that I didn’t blog about Donald Trump in December 2015 — or indeed so far in January 2016. My reasoning was that Donald Trump is dangerous to the Republican Party, to conservatism, and to this country — and yet he keeps gaining media attention. I thought that, in my own small way, I would register a protest, by not blogging about him at all.

But with the clown show that was the Palin speech, followed by Dole’s and Trent Lott’s boobery, I think it’s high time I made a stand here. Just in case, somehow, I haven’t been clear in my numerous previous tweets and posts denouncing this horrible, awful man.

Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here . . .

. . . .but people who actually support Donald Trump are Exhibit A in why democracy is a terrible way to run things.

I no longer really think I can change any minds with this blog. This is not about persuading Trump supporters. They are impervious to reason and not persuadable. Of anything.

No, this is all about saying “I told you so.” And here’s what I told you — not just last year, constantly, which I did, and you can check the record — but right here, right now, on January 21, 2016. I could write a book about what a narcissistic, nasty, self-absorbed, vapid, shallow, statist, Constitution-stomping prick Donald Trump is. But let’s just consider two issues — just two! — that should be near and dear to the hearts of anyone who cares about liberty: his love of dictators and hatred of free speech.

TRUMP LOVES DICTATORS

First, Donald Trump loves him some dictators.

I know this is old news, but I think Trump’s view on various strongmen around the world is . . . instructive.

Donald Trump, from a 1990 Playboy interview, on China’s crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, killing hundreds or thousands of pro-democracy activists:

What were your other impressions of the Soviet Union?

I was very unimpressed. Their system is a disaster. What you will see there soon is a revolution; the signs are all there with the demonstrations and picketing. Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.

You mean firm hand as in China?

When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world–

Donald Trump on Kim Jong-Un, leader of a country with no free speech and internment camps for political prisoners.

You gotta give him credit. . . .

How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden … he goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss . . . It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. I mean this guy doesn’t play games.

To be fair, Trump did call Kim Jong-Un a “maniac.” But he has also called Ted Cruz a “maniac.”

Then there’s Trump on Vladimir Putin. You all remember this one, right?

“Well, also he’s a person that kills journalists and political opponents and invades countries,” said Scarborough. “That would be a concern, would it not?”

Trump replied by taking a shot at President Obama. “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” he said.

When Scarborough pushed again, arguing that Putin “kills journalist[s] that don’t agree with him,” Trump didn’t budge.

“Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe,” Trump said. “You know, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on and a lot of stupidity.”

Donald Trump has told us what kind of leader he admires, and it’s strongmen. Donald Trump is not concerned about these leaders’ atrocities. If you ask him enough times, you can get him to give lip service to the idea that their atrocities should be condemned — if you can get him to acknowledge the atrocities in the first place. If they stroke his massive ego, he’ll question whether they actually occurred to begin with, just as one of their active supporters would.

I’m not saying that Donald Trump is Putin, or Stalin, or Hitler. But the same ugly emotions that caused the rise of such people are part of human nature, and part of Trump’s success. The people of the Soviet Union supported Stalin. The people of Italy supported Mussolini. And the people of Germany supported Hitler. And people are the same everywhere.

Again, none of this is news. It’s just enough to make you want to grab Trump supporters by the lapels and scream: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?

TRUMP LOVES THREATENING TRUTHFUL SPEECH WITH LAWSUITS

The Washington Post just ran a story about how Trump is a crap businessman. Which he was. Four bankruptcies. How did the Donald reply when the Post asked him for comment?

Trump vehemently denied that the deal represented a personal failing or affected his personal wealth.

“This was not personal. This was a corporate deal,” he said. “If you write this one, I’m suing you.”

And this was hardly an isolated incident. He threatened to sue a T-shirt company for making fun of him.

He even threatened to sue John Kasich “just for fun”:

But the best was when he threatened to sue Jeb Bush’s PAC, because of the super-awesome letter the lawyer sent him in response:

In addition, although RTR has no plans to produce any advertisements against your client, we are intrigued (but not surprised) by your continued efforts to silence critics of your client’s campaign by employing litigious threats and bullying. Should your client actually be elected Commander-in-Chief, will you be the one writing the cease and desist letters to Vladimir Putin, or will that be handled by outside counsel? As a candidate for President, your client is a public figure and his campaign should, and will, be fact-checked. The ability to criticize a candidate’s record, policies and matters of public importance lies at the heart of the First Amendment, as courts have repeatedly recognized. If you have the time between bankruptcy filings and editing reality show contracts, we urge you to flip through the Supreme Court’s decision in New York Times v. Sullivan. If your client is so thin-skinned that he cannot handle his critics’ presentation of his own public statements, policies and record to the voting public, and if such communications hurts his feelings, he is welcome to purchase airtime to defend his record. After all, a wall can be built around many things, but not around the First Amendment.

As the target of several frivolous lawsuits, I can tell you that I have nothing but contempt for people who bring them or even threaten them.

BUT HE WOULD BE GREAT ON IMMIGRATION!

Well . . .

We all know that Trump criticized Romney for being too mean to illegals. He called Romney’s plan of self-deportation “maniacal.” Like Cruz the maniac, or Kim Jong-Un, the wacky and incredible maniac to whom “you gotta give credit.”

Meanwhile, a 2013 tweet emerged today that showed Trump was recently willing to support amnesty:

Not that anything this guy has ever said matters to the buffoons who support him.

Donald Trump has told you what kind of President he would be. I won’t be a part of it, and I have lost respect for anyone who would.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

UPDATE: Interesting that I was driven to publish this post on the morning of the same day that National Review released its manifesto against Trump. Here is Charles C.W. Cooke’s entry: Against Trump.


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