Patterico's Pontifications

3/5/2016

Trump Pulling Out Of CPAC: Simply Unnecessary For His Success Or Too Afraid To Face Tough Questions?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:49 am



[guest post by Dana]

The candidate who frequently touts his deal-making prowess was seemingly unable to close the deal with Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) organizers. In spite of having quickly accepted the invitation to speak at the event, Donald Trump unexpectedly backed out yesterday. His campaign released this statement:

DONALD J. TRUMP IN WICHITA, KANSAS

The Donald J. Trump for President Campaign has just announced it will be in Wichita, Kansas for a major rally on Saturday, prior to the Caucus. Mr. Trump will also be speaking at the Kansas Caucus and then departing for Orlando, Florida to speak to a crowd of approximately 20,000 people or more. Because of this, he will not be able to speak at CPAC, as he has done for many consecutive years. Mr. Trump would like to thank Matt Schlapp and all of the executives at CPAC and looks forward to returning to next year, hopefully as President of the United States.

However, according to reports, Trump was unhappy that he was not given more speaking time, and concerned about having to face tough questions:

Trump also bristled at their insistence that he answer questions from a journalist of their choosing onstage after his speech, according to sources familiar with the planning. “They refused to accept the terms and they asked us to change the terms to allow him to give longer remarks,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, the group that sponsors CPAC. “And we said no to that.”

“Trump thinks everything is negotiable, but this wasn’t,” said the board member, who didn’t want to be identified discussing internal negotiations. “It’s ACU’s policy to have every presidential candidate actually answer questions, not just come and give a stump speech,” the board member said, noting the policy was implemented last year.

Further:

“It was about the fact that every candidate has to follow our ground rules. We made very clear with him, you’re allowed to give a speech, but you have to answer questions,” he explained. “I think that’s fair. And I think here’s the question as the frontrunner he still has to follow all these rules and there are certain ways that we deploy and certain decorum we have at CPAC, and everyone has got to follow them because we’re being fair because this is such a critical moment for conservatives in this nominating contest.”

After Trump’s poor performance at Thursday’s debate and his outrageous statements and immediate flip-flops, it’s not surprising he would rather not face close scrutiny, nor answer tough questions in a setting over which he would have very little control. Or perhaps he was afraid of being embarrassed realized he would not be able to control hundreds of attendees staging a walk-out during his speech. Regardless, neither reaction seems like that of a real winner.

But there is also the possibility that Trump just doesn’t see CPAC as necessary to his success given that he still leads in the polls – including in Kansas and Florida…

–Dana

93 Responses to “Trump Pulling Out Of CPAC: Simply Unnecessary For His Success Or Too Afraid To Face Tough Questions?”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. … Regardless, neither response would seem like the actions of a real winner.

    Actually winners are good at choosing when to fight and when not to.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  3. Cruz needs to start highlight his flexibility while working with principled democrats as a senator. Cruz has been flexible dealing with republicans and democrats when it was for the cause of the people. Most people who don’t like Cruz will say, Cruz can’t work with DC and we will be gridlock. BUT Cruz has worked with both sides when it was in the best interest of the people….. He needs to start highlight those cases. While still clarifying his inability to work with the corruption of DC.

    jrt for Cruz (bc7456)

  4. James B. Shearer,

    To me, if you are touting yourself as a real Conservative, you aren’t going to be afraid to face a roomful of them. Rather you would embrace the opportunity to get your message out, and to solidify your conservative creds. That he appears to be fearful of a possible confrontation over his mess at the debates, impresses me as him knowing he will not be among friends.

    Dana (86e864)

  5. I wish Trump would pull out.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  6. 4… impresses me as him knowing he will not be among friends.

    Isn’t that kind of obvious.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  7. “So, what’s the ticket going to be: Trump/Kasich or Trump/Cruz?”

    Imagine how much “unity” the right’s going to feel on election night in Florida when Trump beats Rubio by four points with Cruz taking 17 percent of the vote. Trump would net 99 delegates, Rubio would probably drop out the next day, and then we’d be off on a long slog in which Trump would beat Cruz head to head in most of the remaining states, either clinching the nomination in the process or giving him something close enough to a majority of delegates that he couldn’t realistically be denied at the convention. I mean, good lord — even Lindsey Graham thinks the party owes it to Trump to nominate him if he gets to Cleveland with most of what he needs:

    “If he got two thirds of what he needs, which I think he’s well on his way to doing — for us to steal from him is not going to help the party,” Graham told Axelrod’s “Axe Files” podcast. “You can lose an election. We’ve lost an election before, but what I’m trying to do is focus on the day after we lose. He would leave — and he’d have a right to leave.”

    In short, Trump defeating Rubio in Florida would set Trump on the path to the nomination by destroying his toughest competition in the blue states to come. Cruz is about to help him do that. Which means either Cruz thinks he’s got a real shot at beating Trump head to head, even in the northeast, midwest, and west, or Cruz is now running for VP.

    If Trump senses his main liability in the general election is being seen as too much of a loose cannon, putting Kasich on the ticket would be a way to signal that he’s prepared to cooperate with known quantities. And Kasich is saying all the right things lately that a would-be veep should say:

    The Ohio governor said that Trump has yet to say or do anything that would disqualify him as the nominee.

    “I mean it is always possible that somebody could do something that is so egregious that I would not want to be behind them, but let’s see,” Kasich said adding, “And I am not counting myself out on that.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2016/03/04/so-whats-the-ticket-going-to-be-trumpkasich-or-trumpcruz/

    sound awake (6ad1ec)

  8. “Rep. Marino: Trump embraces nation’s priorities”

    That’s why I’m supporting him for president.

    The America I know is gritty, plain-speaking and hardworking. It is also generous, patriotic and inclusive. It thrives on common sense and core values and understands the difference between right and wrong. The America I know bears no resemblance to the polite social circles and cocktail parties familiar to the news media, political and legal elites of Washington, D.C.

    America will win again. With the right leadership, we’ll secure our borders, defeat the Islamic State, make trade deals that put our interests first and replace Obamacare while protecting the most vulnerable. Most important, we will grow our economy.

    I am supporting Donald J. Trump for president because he, better than any other candidate, embraces the priorities of the America I know and love.

    Rep. Tom Marino is a Republican from Pennsylvania.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/03/03/donald-trump-president-rep-tom-marino-editorials-debates/81277746/

    sound awake (6ad1ec)

  9. Gee, it will sure be great when we have a POTUS who doesn’t duck the media when things get tough. :\

    L.N. Smithee (178aa6)

  10. Big problem with having Trump and Kasich on the same ticket. They are two big government social moderates that would not be able to keep the conservative movement on the ticket.

    Not to mention Trump would need to watch his back every time Kasich was around.

    NJRob (a07d2e)

  11. 5.I wish Trump would pull out.

    That’s what Melania said.

    Rev. Hoagie™® (eb7063)

  12. To me, if you are touting yourself as a real Conservative, you aren’t going to be afraid to face a roomful of them.

    This statement treats as a fact that CPAC is conservative. You know, just because they have the word “Conservative” in their name doesn’t automatically make them conservative.

    Based on the winners of their straw polls going back to the mid 1980’s, I’d say that is a rather tenuous claim. Here’s the link if you actually care. Mitt Romney is conservative? And if CPAC is not actually conservative, but rather another front for the GOPe to fool conservatives into voting R, then why would a candidate who is winning and views the establishment as the enemy go there? There is no upside (the establishment is doing everything they can to kill his campaign) and potential downside (a whole weekend of “gotcha” BS passing itself off as substantive debate and journalism).

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  13. “Hillary Clinton will find it harder to crush Donald Trump than she thinks”

    The more the elite in politics and the media attack him – however merited – the higher Trump’s ratings go

    In America last week I sought to work out who hates Donald Trump more: Democrats or Republicans. The answer, I soon realised, was Republicans; his own party is in a seething panic about what appears to be the probability of his becoming their presidential candidate.

    A group of them, whose spokesman is a failed presidential candidate from the last two elections, Mitt Romney, are trying to rally support and raise money to stop him. The problem is that they don’t have a plan, and they fail to see what their party is now really like. They also fail to see what an unhappy, troubled, angry country America now is, and how Americans feel their mainstream politicians have not responded to their fears.

    And although the three other candidates in last Thursday’s debate all promised to support him if he won the nomination, there is also talk of a “third party” of moderate Republicans taking Mr Trump on. If the Republican party wants to commit suicide, that would be an ideal way to it.

    Trump is really a New York Democrat, which is why conservatives have lined up against him. They call him a “con man” who is “hijacking” their party. But is the Republican party really theirs any more? Or is it undergoing the sort of change the Tory party underwent in the Eighties, when Mrs Thatcher attracted vast numbers with no heritage of voting Conservative? It smells like that.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/donald-trump/12183862/Hillary-Clinton-will-find-it-harder-to-crush-Donald-Trump-than-she-thinks.html

    sound awake (6ad1ec)

  14. “How Donald Trump Could Be Helping, Not Hurting, the GOP”

    John Feehery is president of QGA Public Affairs and a former spokesman for then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

    Does Donald Trump really represent an existential threat to the future of the GOP?

    I don’t think so.

    Say what you will about Donald Trump, but he has driven more voters to the polls this cycle than any other candidate. Turnout in the GOP primaries is approaching the numbers Barack Obama brought for Democrats in 2008.

    Mitt Romney attacked Mr. Trump on Thursday for a variety of sins, but this is inarguable: Mr. Trump has offered a far more exciting campaign than the Mittster did in 2008 or 2012.

    Republicans would be stupid to needlessly alienate Mr. Trump’s supporters in the nomination process.

    Republicans are having a big, boisterous debate about the future of our country. They are taking on issues big and small. They agree far more than they disagree on many of the solutions.

    Those Republicans threatening to leave the party before anyone knows how this all plays out might want to think twice.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/03/04/how-donald-trump-could-be-helping-not-hurting-the-gop/

    sound awake (6ad1ec)

  15. …according to reports…, …according to sources familiar with the planning…. said the board member, who didn’t want to be identified… noting the policy was implemented last year…

    Special policy? Designed to kick Trump in kenickies?

    It’s the way they govern, too. Dodging responsibility by handing off their job to bureaucrats.

    Reminds me of the NFL creating a new rule every year specifically designed to thwart the Oakland Raiders.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  16. “The answer, I soon realised, was Republicans; his own party is in a seething panic about what appears to be the probability of his becoming their presidential candidate.”

    HAHAHAHAHAH – oh,you were serious?

    felipe (56556d)

  17. “China Loves Trump: Social Media Users Take Favorably to America’s ‘Strongman’”

    Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is quite popular… in China.

    Trump has consistently said he loves China and the that the China loves him. Despite his criticism of the Chinese, accusing them of stealing American jobs and threatening to take them full-on if elected president, it appears the country’s social media users have taken favorably to him — even if it comes at the cost of his own entertainment.

    The Washington Post points out that an article published in a Chinese-language publication online, known as The Paper, Chinese nationals say they view Trump as a “strongman” and “the most human among the GOP candidates. What he says is truth, as even GOP voters know very well themselves.”

    In fact, it appears the people of China and Trump have one major thing in common: their disdain for Washington politics; a sentiment echoed by America’s electorate as both the Republican and Democratic establishment has been given a run. Trump’s path to victory is largely seen as a signal that the people are tired of politics as usual, as the Washington Post points out.

    Also this week, a poll released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)–an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial, and a designated terror organization in the United Arab Emirates–indicated that Trump has more Muslim support than the rest of the GOP field combined.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/03/04/china-loves-trump-social-media-users-take-favorably-to-americas-strongman/

    sound awake (6ad1ec)

  18. At this point, it makes perfect sense for Trump to play a defensive game, staying off the big stage and hammering away in the individual primary/caucus states as their calendar dates approach. I’d be surprised if he participates in another debate. Trump doesn’t need them; Rubio and Cruz do.

    If Trump’s performance in Kansas, Kentucky or some combination of the other contests on tap for today is weak, though, all bets are off.

    ThOR (a52560)

  19. I’m with Shearer. I’m no Trump fan, but he has a shrewdness many pols lack. It’s a highly desirable quality in a head-of-state.

    ThOR (a52560)

  20. “Brother of murdered civil rights leader endorses Trump ”

    Charles Evers, the brother of murdered civil rights leader Medgar Evers, is endorsing Donald Trump for president.

    “I believe in him first of all because he’s a businessman,” Charles Evers said, according to The Clarion-Ledger. “I think jobs are badly needed in Mississippi.”

    Evers’s brother, Medgar Evers, was assassinated in Jackson, Miss., in 1963. His killer wasn’t convicted of the murder until 1994, after multiple trials.

    Charles Evers defended Trump, saying his tough immigration stance does not make him racist.

    “I haven’t seen any proof of him being a racist,” said Evers. “All of us have some racism in us. Even me.”

    He said Trump was a “fair” businessman who respects merit over race.

    He also praised Trump’s religious faith and said he hopes to meet him in person during a Monday rally in Madison, Miss.

    Charles Evers, 93, also has a storied history in Mississippi’s civil rights movement, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/271876-civil-rights-leader-endorses-trump

    sound awake (6ad1ec)

  21. The link is sufficient.

    JD (34f761)

  22. Dana, if you’re touting yourself as a real conservative, you wouldn’t lionize Ben Shapiro as a free speech martyr without addressing the inconvenient fact that he wants to silence and destroy the careers of people he regards as crimethinkers.

    “‘I believe in free expression
    but not for hate speech’ is
    exactly the same as ‘I believe
    in the right to a fair trial
    but not for bad guys’.”
    Pax Dickinson

    “Conservatism” is dead because it turned out not to mean anything.

    scrutineer (9e45b2)

  23. “The Ohio governor said that Trump has yet to say or do anything that would disqualify him as the nominee.” – sound awake

    The same Ohio governor has yet to say or do anything that would qualify himself as the nominee.

    ThOR (a52560)

  24. Get used to it, conservatives and Constitutionalists. This is how President Trump will treat you and your issues.

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. Who Trump isn’t afraid to talk to … MSNBC.

    DRJ (15874d)

  26. I guess they are his friends.

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. Good Luck with Trump/and the postal workers kid/2016

    mg (31009b)

  28. 13. To me, if you are touting yourself as a real Conservative, you aren’t going to be afraid to face a roomful of them.

    This statement treats as a fact that CPAC is conservative. You know, just because they have the word “Conservative” in their name doesn’t automatically make them conservative…

    prowlerguy (3af7ff) — 3/5/2016 @ 8:44 am

    This is true. So it would help if we all defined what we think is conservative. What are we trying to conserve?

    In an American context a conservative should be trying to conserve the gains of the American revolution. Which is why I come down hard on the side of absolutists who insist that where it says in the Bill of Rights “Congress shall make no law” that means, Congress shall make no law.

    But more than that, I’m conservative in a larger sense. Our founding documents are based upon the accrued wisdom of millenia of experience. You don’t just throw that out. You follow the evidence. And if the evidence leads you to a conclusion your preconceived notions would rather reject, you get rid of your preconceived notions.

    That’s the difference between a conservative and a progressive. A progressive rejects the evidence when it conflicts with their preconceived notions, their ideology.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  29. 15. …Say what you will about Donald Trump, but he has driven more voters to the polls this cycle than any other candidate. Turnout in the GOP primaries is approaching the numbers Barack Obama brought for Democrats in 2008…

    sound awake (6ad1ec) — 3/5/2016 @ 8:48 am

    True. Turnout for the GOP primary in Texas was 105% compared to 2012.

    Which would explain why Trump won Texas in a landslide. It was YUUUUGE. What did Trump get? Something like 122 delegates out of Texas?

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  30. In an American context a conservative should be trying to conserve the gains of the American revolution.

    Yes, my friend. We conserve the Constitutional principles that made the Republic. And what makes us the True Progressives is that we build on those principles in an effort to lead the Republic forward. We do not “interpret” the Constitution to mean whatever we want until it means nothing. We don’t need to because there’s a built in mechanism for change called Amendments we can us any time.

    Rev. Hoagie™® (eb7063)

  31. We do not “interpret” the Constitution to mean whatever we want until it means nothing. We don’t need to because there’s a built in mechanism for change called Amendments we can us any time.

    The only functional amendment process we still have is the one where Justice Roberts tells us Congress may use its tax power to require purchase of health insurance, and Justice Kennedy tells us the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize same-sex marriage. The Constitution is a dead letter to the political class, and they pay it some minimal public respect only so as not to terrify us with the realization that we live under an adhocracy.

    scrutineer (9e45b2)

  32. What continues to amaze is how Conservatives are exercised by peccadilloes at the margins and refuse to take up the economy, because they are wholly owned by the US Chamber and prefer the intrigues of giving illegals every chance to assimilate rather than admit there are no jobs for these refugees, they add nothing but strife to our lives and are merely a device to cow us all.

    Another is this obsession with making sure Muslims are accommodated in their need to create terror, a shadow justice system, and cessation of liberties for all to treat terrorism as a criminal justice issue.

    When after all, the problem is American adventurism to plump our military-industrial complex, a GOPe mandate.

    A GOPe victory is not preferable to that of the scum-sucking opposition, it is merely a different poison. And the only outcome of the Conservative agenda is a big fat electoral loss.

    DNF (ffe548)

  33. The populists are taking over republican party. Republicans invited us in and now we are taking over. Trump is a symbol of our take over so attacks on a symbol don’t work Hop on your pogo stick and hop over to the libertarian party with your ayn randist drivel!

    trump 1 (ec86f7)

  34. 32. Conservatives fight 2008’s battle today because they are so obtuse and out-of-touch, the world having passed them by, that they think people will now attend to their reasonings and lamentations because they have a candidate they like, finally.

    No one derides you for wanting to win against all hope. The fact you would trash every chance of doing so because you cannot adapt your cocktail hour to reality is what we point to and laugh hysterically.

    DNF (ffe548)

  35. I wish Trump would pull out.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a) — 3/5/2016 @ 8:03 am

    Considering some of his recent remarks, that could be taken a couple of different ways.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  36. trump 1 (ec86f7) — 3/5/2016 @ 11:55 am

    We letting high schoolers in now?

    Eric in Hollywood (5ff8bf)

  37. My wild guess at Trump’s motive for skipping CPAC; it’s both of the following.
    #1, he felt it wouldn’t help him much, and might hurt him.
    #2, Kansas was looking too close for comfort.

    So, he skipped CPAC and went to Kansas.

    As for CPAC, I found Cruz’s speech interesting, especially the part where he slammed the notion of a brokered convention. I think Cruz, who even his enemies admit is smart, can see that a brokered convention would be against him. If so, what this means is that a brokered convention would be against the interests of both the current frontrunner and the guy running a strong second place right now, which sets up an interesting dynamic going forward. Cruz’s decision to put heavy resources into contesting Florida seems to indicate this calculation has already been made.

    My further wild guess; Cruz will continue campaigning hard to get a majority for himself. However, if at some point he sees that that’s no longer numerically possible, he’d be open for a deal with Trump (assuming Trump is the one ahead of him in delegates), because Cruz knows the establishment (which despises and fears him) would shaft him at a brokered convention, no matter what sort of deal they agreed to in advance.

    Frankly, if Trump is going to be the nominee, I’d much prefer to have Cruz on the ticket with him. I’d also prefer to see Trump as the nominee if the alternative is Romney/Ryan and the establishment stealing the nomination.

    Alternate scenario: Cruz wins a plurality but not a majority of delegates, with Trump coming in second. I highly doubt Trump wants to be VP, but… I’ll bet there’s something Cruz could offer that Trump would love; US Ambassador to the United Nations. The UN happens to be across the street from a massive skyscraper that dwarfs it, Trump World Tower (Not the Trump Tower, where Trump lives). Trump could move, and be across the street from a high profile position where he could let his bombastic tendencies have free reign.

    The only thing I’m certain of is we’re living in interesting times (In the old Chinese curse sort of way).

    Arizona CJ (da673d)

  38. 4… impresses me as him knowing he will not be among friends.

    Isn’t that kind of obvious.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb) — 3/5/2016 @ 8:07 am

    So, you think being a coward when confronted with a room full of skeptics ostensibly on the same side of the aisle he allegedly claims is a good look on him.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  39. 39. Well considered.

    DNF (755a85)

  40. Baron DNF von Adam Smith bestoweth more wisdom upon us.

    Bow down and receive.

    Or, confused mumblings. Your pick.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  41. Well considered.

    DNF (755a85) — 3/5/2016 @ 12:04 pm

    That it is. But Trump is doing this just a little too much- a convenient scheduling conflict whenever the going is looking a bit unfriendly. He’s rapidly proving that he can’t handle bad situations at all. I get he doesn’t like being booed. Nobody does. But if he wants to be President, he needs to stand the eff up and act like one. Running away when a particular reporter or group is going to be there is, as far ai I’m concerned, unforgivable. What’s going to happen when Putin or Xio say “BOO!!”?

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  42. 33. What continues to amaze is how Conservatives are exercised by peccadilloes at the margins and refuse to take up the economy, because they are wholly owned by the US Chamber and prefer the intrigues of giving illegals every chance to assimilate rather than admit there are no jobs for these refugees, they add nothing but strife to our lives and are merely a device to cow us all.

    Another is this obsession with making sure Muslims are accommodated in their need to create terror, a shadow justice system, and cessation of liberties for all to treat terrorism as a criminal justice issue.

    When after all, the problem is American adventurism to plump our military-industrial complex, a GOPe mandate.

    A GOPe victory is not preferable to that of the scum-sucking opposition, it is merely a different poison. And the only outcome of the Conservative agenda is a big fat electoral loss.

    DNF (ffe548) — 3/5/2016 @ 11:39 am

    Conservatives do this? Not Republicans?

    I’m a conservative. I said this just yesterday:

    http://patterico.com/2016/03/03/gop-debate-open-thread-7/#comment-1845322

    …And we can’t do that without first identifying the fact that Islam is their primary motivation. It is the one shared constant. And I’m not going to beat around the bush and say nonsense like “they’ve hijacked the RoP” or some such. No one can say they’ are getting Islam wrong. I don’t just mean Imams Obama, Kerry, Clinton of the US, Cameron of the UK, or Francis of the Vatican city state. There is no religious authority in the Islamic world that can even declare their understanding to be the wrong one. No such authority exists.

    So leaving all that nonsense aside it is entirely possible to figure out what the Muslim terrorists’ understanding of Islam includes or does not include, but only if you are willing to take the critical first step of identifying them as Muslim.

    This is however crimethink in intel/national security/law enforcement circles under the Obama administration. Examining their religious motivations was uncomfortably tolerated under Bush. It will get you reeducated under Obama (by instructors sent to us by the enemy in the guise of CAIR, no less) and then fired if you re-offend.

    Whoever becomes President will have put a stop to this nonsense. They’ll have to purge the bureaucracy of every Muslim Brotherhood-linked individual; ideally, we can join other countries and declare the MB a foreign terrorist organization. There is ample evidence for this, if we take the blindfold off. We also have to cut any official or unofficial ties with CAIR. We can not do business of any sort with CAIR or any of the other unindicted co-conspirators identified in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial. The judge in that case agreed that the list should never have been made public, but refused their request to scrub all the references to their links to the MB/Hamas from the trial transcript because the government had provided ample evidence to prove that these groups were indeed fronts for the MB/Hamas (the latter being a FTO.

    If this hurts anyone’s feelings, this is me playing the world’s smallest violin.

    So, I’m goose-stepping to this program?

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  43. Which is why I come down hard on the side of absolutists who insist that where it says in the Bill of Rights “Congress shall make no law” that means, Congress shall make no law.

    You seem to be a bit of a cafeteria absolutist, though. You give great deference to your own interpretation of some of the amendments, but ignore many other parts. For instance, if you were a strict constitutionalist, you would not put forth your opinion about the meaning of the Constitution, since the power to interpret the meaning of the law is exclusively held by the judiciary, and the Constitution is fundamental law. Your opinion, if you are as staunch as you say, would be so worthless you would not offer it as proof of anything. But yet, here you are, telling us all exactly what the Constitutional Convention members meant.

    To hold the position that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech,” is absolute seems a little silly. After all, libel/defamation laws have a long and established history in common law, were in force in 1789, and are still in force today. But according to you they are unconstitutional. Likewise with speech to incite violence and commercial speech (copyright and trademarks). In fact, the constitution itself gives explicit sanction to copyright. So if the government can’t abridge free speech, how can they grant copyright? Were the framers so dense that they missed this? Or perhaps, your selective focus on only certain phrases and sections is not what they had in mind.

    prowlerguy (3af7ff)

  44. prowlerguy, it’s impossible to unpack all your muddled thinking in one go. So I’ll just focus on the fundamental mistake that leads to your other errors.

    since the power to interpret the meaning of the law is exclusively held by the judiciary

    This is your basic mistake. No, the “power to interpret the meaning of the law” is not exclusive to the judiciary. Just because they now say so doesn’t make it true. You’ve been seduced by an untruth.

    You’ve been convinced we have a system of judicial supremacy. We don’t. We have three separate and co-equal branches of government at the federal level. No branch is supreme. What is supreme is the Constitution.

    When the legislative or executive branches defer to the judicial as if it were supreme that is a dereliction of duty on their part. Their obligation is to the Constitution, not to the judiciary.

    Just as yours is as an officer.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  45. It’s a hard job. It’s why you got the big bucks.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  46. …For instance, if you were a strict constitutionalist, you would not put forth your opinion about the meaning of the Constitution, since the power to interpret the meaning of the law is exclusively held by the judiciary, and the Constitution is fundamental law.

    You do realize the whole point of writing it down was for me, Joe Sixpack, to know when the gub’mint was violating my rights?

    It’s a contract.

    You do know that?

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  47. The whole point of a Constitution is so I can have an opinion about it.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  48. @ sound awake (#), who asked:

    Trump is really a New York Democrat, which is why conservatives have lined up against him. They call him a “con man” who is “hijacking” their party. But is the Republican party really theirs any more? Or is it undergoing the sort of change the Tory party underwent in the Eighties, when Mrs Thatcher attracted vast numbers with no heritage of voting Conservative? It smells like that.

    It only smells like that to someone with no nose or else no knowledge of Margaret Thatcher.

    I’m mid-way through the just-released second volume of a planned three in the most comprehensive and revealing biography of Lady Thatcher yet written, but the proper volume to consult regarding the Tory Party’s internal revolution that brought her to power would be Charles Moore’s Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands (2013). It tells in granular detail of the rot within the Tories, how they had become a party of pretend opposition to Labour, a party that embraced all of the fundamental precepts of the Left (nationalization of important industries, repeated capitulation to organized labor, second-class status as a world power, retreat from Commonwealth connections, constantly growing taxes, economic stagnation, and sweeping systemic inflation attributable to bad monetary and spending policies). So it may be fair to compare the GOP now to the Tory Party then in some regards.

    But Donald Trump in no conceivable way resembles Margaret Thatcher, and what he’s doing to the GOP in no conceivable way resembles what Thatcher did to the Tories.

    She was eloquent — magnificently so, presiding over the give and take in the House of Commons, especially during Question Time, in a manner that left even a hostile press smitten. Trump can’t manage complete sentences without distracting himself, typically with a contradiction.

    Margaret Thatcher had a handful of core convictions that she brought with her into politics from a young age, and to which she remained utterly faithful. Donald Trump can’t make up his mind from one day to the next whether he does or doesn’t want to order the military to commit war crimes by deliberately targeting the families of terrorists; he flip-flops more in any given three-day period than Margaret Thatcher did in her entire lifetime.

    There’s a very good reason why she was called — by no friendly source, it was a Soviet military publication — “The Iron Lady.” Margaret Thatcher had a spine that Wolverine would envy. Trump has a noodle for a spine, but brags about his junk.

    Margaret Thatcher had a very great deal in common with a man who became her dear friend, mutual admirer, and international partner — Ronald Reagan. Among Trump’s many, many lies about his past is his insistence that Reagan knew and liked him, an assertion for which there is zero evidence anywhere, but which has been roundly dismissed by people who actually were in constant contact with the Gipper.

    The Thatcher Revolution presaged, and then influenced, the Reagan Revolution. If you want to look for a historical parallel to what Trump’s doing, not just to the GOP but to the entire nation, you have to look to a different leader across the Atlantic: Benito Mussolini. He’s the closest historical parallel to Trump of the couple or three centuries.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  49. @ ThOR, who wrote (#20):

    I’m no Trump fan, but he has a shrewdness many pols lack. It’s a highly desirable quality in a head-of-state.

    I’d quibble with that term, to the extent that “shrewd” implies wisdom. I’d instead call it a low cunning — the sort of insight, vulgar charm, and compelling nastiness that P.T. Barnum exploited to get people to pay a nickle a head to see the dead two-headed calf and the live conjoined twins. You can’t build a foreign policy on that.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  50. @ prowlerguy: There’s always a student like you in every freshman constitutional law class in law school. Everywhere, at every law school, great or modest.

    He makes everyone else miserable for a day or two, until the unrelenting hostility triggered by his sophistry eventually drives him to shut up.

    Your pretend analysis of the First Amendment was a very good example of that. What’s lacking here is the kind of negative feedback that could ever get you to shut up with it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  51. Just looked at the AoSHQDD. Currently, Cruz is in front of Trump by 23% for Kansas. Yah, that gambit of dumping his CPAC appearance to favor Kansas worked beautifully.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  52. @ Arizona CJ (#39): I agree with your comments about the unlikelihood of a contested convention turning to Cruz even if it were able to stop Trump.

    I don’t believe, however, that there is any universe in which Ted Cruz would agree to be Donald Trump’s running mate. Ted Cruz is no Chris Christie. The million-plus Texans who turned out this past week to re-affirm their faith in him, to reconfirm their decision to send him to Washington in the first place, would feel profoundly betrayed. The ticket would lose, and Cruz’ career would be over.

    I don’t think Trump ever could or would chose Cruz anyway, but there’s no way Cruz could or would subordinate himself to a monster like Donald Trump.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  53. To All the voters today……….A Vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary….

    jrt for Cruz (bc7456)

  54. Your pretend analysis of the First Amendment was a very good example of that. What’s lacking here is the kind of negative feedback that could ever get you to shut up with it.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 3/5/2016 @ 1:35 pm

    I just ignore him, Beldar. He thinks he’s being cutesy and clever when all he’s simply being is tedious and dishonest.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  55. The Drudgereport yesterday had its main headline regarding the Gallup Poll showing the approval rating of [insert name of current president here] above 50%, or well above the meager 35% of George W Bush during his last year in office.

    Beyond the foibles of Trump or Cruz, there is a tremendous amount of broken-down, dumbed-down sentiment out there amongst the public, which provides plenty of wiggle room to the corrupt leftist who won in November 2008.

    Call it Peggy Noonan Syndrome.

    This is one of two reasons why I doubt that Ted Cruz will be the Republican nominee in July, much less the winner in November. Simply put, his ideology will be seen by “centrist” Americans and cocktail-party Republicans as too conservative, and, most crucially, his face and vocal characteristics won’t trigger bouts of the aforementioned Peggy Noonan Syndrome in much of the electorate.

    Trump is a volatile New-York loudmouth in the vein of Howard Stern, combative, thin-skinned (shades of Richard Nixon) and philosophically the ultimate in chameleons. However, he has struck a chord in those Republicans sick of the dishonesty and two-faced nature of political correctness, while being no more amoral and conniving as the current occupant of the White House, not to mention the Democrat’s (likely, guaranteed) candidate. Beyond that, Trump’s left-leaning biases are not as ingrained — as intrinsic — as they are in Bill’s wife or the person she hopes to succeed.

    This is a pathetic time in US history — and has been since 2008 (so when I observe liberals or squishes clutching their pearls and expressing angst about Trump or Cruz, I say, oh, really?). But it does reflect the pathetic nature of an overly large portion of the American electorate.

    Mark (6c93d5)

  56. @ Beldar (#54)

    I see your point, and freely acknowledge that you may well be right. I’ll even concede that you likely are. However, I’ve always been a contrarian, so my guess is there is a scenario where Cruz backs Trump; If Cruz is a strong second, Cruz thinks Trump can win in November, and the alternative to backing Trump by being on the ticket is a nomination outright stolen by the establishment (Romney Ryan, or Ryan/Romney, or similar) which would very likely permanently wreck the party. And, Cruz gets VP, plus gets to oversee Supreme Court nomination process. I think under that scenario, Cruz might take VP. Might.

    Personally, I’m hoping that it’s the other way around; Cruz exceeds Trumps delegate count, and gets the nod via giving Trump the ambassadorship to the UN. That’d be a win-win in my book.

    Arizona CJ (da673d)

  57. @ sound awake: If you’re going to copy and re-post here, word for word, very long comments and links that you’ve already posted at Hot Air or elsewhere, it would be polite to tell the other commenters at all of those sites that you’re spamming, not actually participating.

    On my blog, I used to give one warning, followed by a ban, when that happened, but I don’t know what our host’s preferences are about that.

    However, sound awake’s inapt comparison of Trump to Thatcher in the comment above (#14), which I’ve already addressed (#50), does prompt me to some further historical musing:

    After the fracturing of the Democratic Party in 1968, which continued through Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976, America endured four miserable years of continuous decline. The worst president of the Twentieth Century was, fortunately, a one-term president. And in the end, the best thing that could be said of him, or his presidency, was that they dragged the country through the fiery crucible that was necessary before the country could turn — in what many (including me) thought was an extremely bold leap, a scary one — to Ronald Reagan.

    Reagan was a transformational president who won two mandate elections, and he profoundly changed both the United States and the world — for the better. But there’s an excellent historical argument to be made that a transformational leader can only emerge from genuine chaos and peril.

    Trump is that.

    I hope, and still believe, that Ted Cruz will emerge as the transformational leader. But I’m dead certain he’s the only alternative to Trump that’s left. This nonsense about a contested convention will indeed destroy the party — not just damage it or fracture it, but outright destroy it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  58. It’s dismaying, Bill H, when I think of the VAQ guys I used to work with.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  59. Arizona CJ, I think the odds of a President Cruz appointing Donald Trump to any position of responsibility whatsoever are essentially nil. Ted Cruz has exercised phenomenal discipline in trying to avoid the intrinsic insult rendered to the suckers whenever a con-man is exposed. He certainly won’t do anything to antagonize Trump’s fans, rational or ir-.

    But I am not being melodramatic at all when I say: Ted Cruz surely recognizes that Donald Trump is evil. There’s no deal, no accommodation, to be made with the likes of him.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  60. Kansas, I’m feeling some love for you.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  61. That was pretty striking, Beldar. And weren’t there a BUNCH of news articles suggesting otherwise, just a couple of days ago?

    Why, it’s like the MSM has an agenda, isn’t it?

    Simon Jester (5d10b2)

  62. Gosh, Simon, now that you mention it …. 😉

    Beldar (fa637a)

  63. It’s dismaying, Bill H, when I think of the VAQ guys I used to work with.

    Steve57 (1ace39) — 3/5/2016 @ 2:06 pm

    Civil question: can you expand a little? Ignorance prevents me from even knowing what VAQ is. I’ll understand better once I know what you’re saying.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  64. Hasn’t Cruz dropped the “I have someone in mind to build the wall” line during the last couple or three weeks, basically since SC?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  65. Beldar, I think that we should just give the Orange Toupee an island he can call his own.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Dumpling_Island

    He could call it Trumpling Island.

    It’ll be YUGE.

    Simon Jester (5d10b2)

  66. Seriously, Beldar, I worry very much about “meme warfare,” which is all about repeating things over and over again until they “become” true in the minds of a distracted and disengaged public.

    Simon Jester (5d10b2)

  67. V=fixed wing. A=attack Q=electronic warfare.

    It’s what prowlerguy did for a living.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_EA-6B_Prowler

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  68. Conservatives are getting Goldwatered.

    DCSCA (a343d5)

  69. I don’t put very much weight at all in such things, but the CPAC straw poll today produced this result:

    Cruz 40%
    Rubio 30%
    Trump 15%
    Kasich 8%

    Trumpists will insist that it was rigged and unrepresentative, and spin this as validating his decision to cancel his previous commitment to attend and speak.

    But if it’s such a nothing-burger, why did he previously commit to attend and speak?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  70. V=fixed wing. A=attack Q=electronic warfare.

    It’s what prowlerguy did for a living.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_EA-6B_Prowler

    Steve57 (1ace39) — 3/5/2016 @ 2:30 pm

    Ah, cool, got it. Thank you. Now I can see where your heartburn is coming from. Not specifically Prowlerguy, but….

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  71. @ Simon: We share that worry. But it was true, too, in 1980 with respect to Reagan. His lesson is that the way to penetrate them is to keep plugging your pitch straight to the voters. The media memes eventually come down to, “Who’re you going to believe? Us or your own lying eyes?” Enough voters concluded about Reagan, though, that their eyes weren’t lying — it was the memes, or rather, their makers and promoters.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  72. 71. …Not specifically Prowlerguy, but….

    Bill H (dcdd7b) — 3/5/2016 @ 2:35 pm

    i

    No, really. My problem is specifically with prowlerguy.

    I’m OK with everyone else.

    Hope this helps clear things up.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  73. That is why I say the media wants to shape the news, not report it,
    Trying to make self fulfilling prophecies according to their liking.

    MD not exactly in Philly (deca84)

  74. I used to think that the biggest mistake that Donald Trump supporters were making was in their assessment of Donald Trump.

    But he is a gifted con-man, filled with low cunning, and he’s had unparalleled success so far with this con. So that pretty much explains the mistake made by his supporters. They’re suckers, in varying degrees of innocence and denial, but there have always been suckers, and always will be suckers, and so too there always have been and will be con men.

    The bigger mistake that Donald Trump supporters have made, however, is in their assessment of their fellow potential GOP primary voters.

    Trump’s followers keep telling us things like “you need to get your heads right” and “you’ve got to swallow the fact that Trump is inevitable” because they genuinely believe the rest of us are as gullible as Trump’s fans themselves.

    We aren’t. And there are lots more of us than there are of you.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  75. Bill H. @65, a civil question deserves a simple answer. And I’m afraid I didn’t give an adequate one.

    An aircraft carrier airwing consists of several component parts. Squadrons.

    Fighters, bombers, electronic warfare aircraft to suppress enemy air defenses, and command and control aircraft to optimize our use of the battle space.

    If I’m getting this wrong, prowlerguy will let you know.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  76. Hope this helps clear things up.

    Steve57 (1ace39) — 3/5/2016 @ 2:42 pm

    We be good. Thanks.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  77. Beldar, I have a great story about Reagan I would like to share. I will write to you.

    But your point is straight up. The more we see Trump versus one person, the better that one person will do.

    Not being nasty. Just go to specifics. Over and over again.

    Just ask to defend flip flops. Over and over again.

    If Trump can defend himself, and come up with great policies, wonderful.

    That is how voters should decide: facts, not anger.

    Simon Jester (5d10b2)

  78. Bill H. @65, a civil question deserves a simple answer. And I’m afraid I didn’t give an adequate one.

    This is why I appreciate people like you. I can rely on a straight answer. Like I always tell my customers- don’t be afraid of dumb questions. They’re far easier and cheaper to fix than a dumb mistake.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  79. Beldar wrote;

    “Arizona CJ, I think the odds of a President Cruz appointing Donald Trump to any position of responsibility whatsoever are essentially nil. Ted Cruz has exercised phenomenal discipline in trying to avoid the intrinsic insult rendered to the suckers whenever a con-man is exposed. He certainly won’t do anything to antagonize Trump’s fans, rational or ir-.

    But I am not being melodramatic at all when I say: Ted Cruz surely recognizes that Donald Trump is evil. There’s no deal, no accommodation, to be made with the likes of him.”

    I agree that Cruz wouldn’t appoint Trump to a position of responsibility. I was talking about US ambassador to the UN. :)

    Seriously though, are you certain Cruz wouldn’t consider that? Cruz has already floated the idea of putting one of the Duck Dynasty guys in that position;
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/19/politics/ted-cruz-phil-robertson-un-ambassador/

    However… Cruz has won both of the caucuses we have results for today, and won by a (gotta say it) Yuge, Yuge margin, so this IMHO bodes very well for his chances of reaching 1237 with no deals needed.

    Arizona CJ (da673d)

  80. Excellent advice, Bill H.

    DRJ (15874d)

  81. I saw Cruz say that on TV. Cruz meant it as a compliment but I think he was kidding about appointing Phil Robertson to the UN.

    DRJ (15874d)

  82. Plus, Phil is not evil.

    JD (e4a094)

  83. This is why Trump didn’t go to CPAC: he knew he was in trouble in Kansas.

    I’m coming over to your Cruz side, Patrick. All I want is a fighter to go after Hillary and, more importantly, liberalism. He seems to be willing to do it. Of course we know Trump is too, but…

    Patricia (5fc097)

  84. 43That it is. But Trump is doing this just a little too much- a convenient scheduling conflict whenever the going is looking a bit unfriendly. He’s rapidly proving that he can’t handle bad situations at all. I get he doesn’t like being booed. Nobody does. But if he wants to be President, he needs to stand the eff up and act like one. Running away when a particular reporter or group is going to be there is, as far ai I’m concerned, unforgivable. What’s going to happen when Putin or Xio say “BOO!!”?

    Allowing yourself to be baited into fights on unfavorable ground because you are afraid your enemies will call you a coward is not leadership.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  85. Sure thing, James.

    JD (e4a094)

  86. But if it’s such a nothing-burger, why did he previously commit to attend and speak?

    If CPAC was a nothing burger, why did Trump donate $150K to the organization?

    Dana (86e864)

  87. Allowing yourself to be baited into fights on unfavorable ground because you are afraid your enemies will call you a coward is not leadership.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb) — 3/5/2016 @ 4:01 pm

    Wow. You will say anything to explain away Trump’s cowardice. Christ, if you want a skirt for the White House, choose to back Sir Hillary and be done with it. Me, I want a President who can lead my country without being fearful of a reporter asking tough questions or a group staring him down.

    Bill H (dcdd7b)

  88. The echo chamber has blow up dolls too.

    DNF (ffe548)

  89. 89Wow. You will say anything to explain away Trump’s cowardice. Christ, if you want a skirt for the White House, choose to back Sir Hillary and be done with it. Me, I want a President who can lead my country without being fearful of a reporter asking tough questions or a group staring him down.

    This has nothing to do with Trump. Maybe he is a coward. But refusing to fight on unfavorable terms when he doesn’t have to doesn’t make him one.

    I want a President who isn’t going get us into stupid wars just because a few hawks (like McCain) are yelling for blood.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  90. @ Arizona CJ (#81): Dunno if you’re still following the comments on this post, but if so, thank you — you gave me a good belly laugh! 😀

    Beldar (fa637a)

  91. After Saturday, It should be obvious even to the most harden Trump disciples that Trump didn’t go to CPAC because he was afraid. He’s pitiful when his shenanigans are exposed and ridiculed. At the debate Trump proved that his only constant is change. Yea, got to have those H1B visas, engineers at $15/hr. Trump refuses to expose his secrets in his Tax returns to the light. He refuses to expose his NYSlimes hypocrisy to the light. When the MSM echo chamber starts up on the Donald, we could have a Democrat congress as well as a Democrat President… and look how well that turned out.

    jkstewart2 (8c4cbc)


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