Patterico's Pontifications

1/3/2019

Jonah Goldberg on Trump’s Character

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:42 pm



Many are responding to Mitt Romney’s critique of Trump’s character by saying that all Trump does is tweet mean stuff. Those who say that are laughably and willfully blind. Jonah Goldberg points out a few other glaring problems with the man, and notes the consequences: you will never be able to criticize a Democrat again for bad character, without being laughed at by people who will not forget:

Trump’s inability to hold onto cabinet secretaries of quality; his determination to shrink his political coalition; his refusal to do the minimum due diligence to understand and thereby explain his policy preferences; his incapacity to let insults, real or perceived, go unanswered; his relentless prevarication and insurmountable narcissism; his insistence on denigrating allies; his penchant for conspiracy theories and his unwavering pettiness: All of these things are reflections of his character, too. And they will have consequences for Trump, the GOP, the conservative movement, and the country. Roger can ignore or minimize these all he likes, but it will not persuade anyone who isn’t already a believer.

I often like to ask my AlwaysTrump friends, “What can the next Democratic president do that you won’t look like a hypocrite for criticizing?” No doubt there are some plausible policy answers to this. After all, Trump hasn’t pushed socialized medicine — at least not as president. But in terms of almost every other metric of the president’s role and responsibilities, Trump’s most unequivocal defenders are leaving themselves stranded on very small parcel of ground to stand upon once the Trump presidency is over. And their new attitude toward the issue of character barely leaves enough ground to stand on one foot.

There is much else to admire in Goldberg’s column. For example, he dissects several techniques used by Trump superfans, like whataboutism, box-checking (“to be sure, nobody thinks Donald Trump is a saint…”), the pretense to ignorance (“gee, I can’t remember his attacks on free speech!”), and the like. But the quoted passage strikes to the heart of it.

Read it all.

As Goldberg says, “the transactional defense of Donald Trump is intellectually defensible.” And I know that is the stance of many here. What irks folks like Goldberg and me is when people take the next step and engage in the various dishonest techniques described in this column, just because hey, we have chosen sides.

I long ago lost any respect for such people, and I no longer engage them. I consider discussion to be critical to society, but many people are simply not worth talking to. I liken it to jury selection. It is critical to talk to potential jurors and find out where they are coming from, but any trial lawyer worth his or her salt can easily spot the people not worth spending your limited time talking to. They are already against you and there is nothing more to be learned from further interaction.

So I don’t discuss Trump with such people. I simply don’t talk to them at all, unless it is to mock them for sport.

And when the next character-flawed Democrat comes along, I will be here to remind those people that they have no standing to complain about character.

Those who, like many of you, support the transactional defense — we don’t like the guy but we think he is good on balance and we will not dishonestly defend him — are still OK with me. I might think you’re wrong, but we can talk about it.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

242 Responses to “Jonah Goldberg on Trump’s Character”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. after trashy sleazy George W. Bush killed all those people it’s refreshing to have a president of President Trump’s moral caliber

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. And then there are those people whose commentary makes sense only if they are a years-long walking talking parody.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. Patterico, is HappyFeet actually doing some sort of performance art? I’ve been assuming he’s either a troll or some type of physical-idiot.

    Time123 (306531)

  5. i’m right here you know

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  6. Weren’t Republicans called hypocrites in the 90s for criticizing Clinton’s character flaws? Come to think of it, when have Republicans ever not been called hypocrites for criticizing a Democratic politician’s character flaws?

    bates (dddb3b)

  7. Patterico, is HappyFeet actually doing some sort of performance art?

    It’s the only thing that makes sense.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  8. Weren’t Republicans called hypocrites in the 90s for criticizing Clinton’s character flaws?

    Yes.

    Come to think of it, when have Republicans ever not been called hypocrites for criticizing a Democratic politician’s character flaws?

    Never.

    So?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  9. “you will never be able to criticize a Democrat again for bad character, without being laughed at by people who will not forget”

    Assuming that’s true: And…? Therefore, what?

    Next time a Mitt or McCain clone gets nominated, and a large swath of conservatives refuse to go along as we’ve done in the past, and instead we pout and stammer that we didn’t get our way (following the altNeverTrump example) or we laugh in the establishment’s face — will anyone care?

    No, and neither will I. Why should I?

    Munroe (f18031)

  10. My defense is of the “only port in a storm” variety. This weak reed is all that stands between us and catastrophe and I will not willingly weaken him further, particularly by repeating the calumnies of the Nazgul.

    BUT. Given the chance to replace him with a stronger defender, and maybe one who could last out another 8 years — one who would stand in sharp contrast to this very flawed man — then YES I will gleefully support a change.

    Is Romney it? I doubt it — he has aged considerably. A photo of him yesterday in the WaPo showed an old, shrinking man. I doubt that Cruz will run — too much upside in going along, too much downside in running and losing. Ryan could, but his wonkishness is wrong for the times. Nikki Haley would be very interesting, but she may be too tied to Trump. Mattis would be loads of fun and acceptable to the Trumps in the end. Maybe that’s the way it goes.

    Or maybe it will be Trump again, and me voting now in a state where it matters. Yuck.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  11. Though for the life of me I cannot understand why Trump wants another 4 years of this crap. Stubbornness is my best guess.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  12. Come to think of it, when have Republicans ever not been called hypocrites for criticizing a Democratic politician’s character flaws?

    It’s one thing to be falsely accused. It’s quite another to lean into it.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  13. A photo of him yesterday in the WaPo showed an old, shrinking man.

    he really does look withered like he’s hosting some kind of alien parasite

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  14. following the altNeverTrump example

    So, after badgering everyone and accusing them of supporting Hillary, or Jeb!, and no betting behind the party’s nominee, you’ll (again!) stay home.

    The idea that conservatives showed up for McCain and Romney is one of the bigger lies of our age. Their absence cost both those elections.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  15. *no betting = not getting

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  16. Dialogue is necessary for any agreement. However, what the rhetor faces is an impossible task–overcoming belief perseverance and confirmation denial. All sensible people are Sisyphus now, condemned to push a boulder up a mountain only to have it roll back over them.

    Trump supporters believe in Trump, and that belief will persevere. No evidence of any kind will be admitted to contradict that belief. It’s an uphill battle.

    That is what the con depends on to seduce the mark.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  17. This harangue (and Jonah’s) just makes sense.

    Patterico, is HappyFeet actually doing some sort of performance art? I’ve been assuming he’s either a troll or some type of physical-idiot.

    if happyfeet didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him

    fortunately, he has saved us the trouble!

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. Should we expect our President to generally be civil to political opponents and press, to be a student of the Constitution, to work to understand policy to a reasonable depth, and lead a professional executive branch effort? It seems that many are saying….”no”, especially if those behaviors mean that we don’t get the policies that we want….or see our opposition get a good rhetorical skewering. Some will respond that Trump is only different in that he doesn’t have other people do it for him….and there is no reading between the lines….he’s direct. The problem is political discourse is at the lowest levels of my life. Trump didn’t start its descent but he certainly has accelerated it. People see the President acting badly….and it normalizes the behavior…ensuring that our democracy is mired in the gutter. If this is morally good…or morally indifferent…I’m missing something.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  19. “Well, if this is the conservative movement now, I guess you’re going to have to count me out.” – Jonah Goldberg, NRO, September 5, 2015.

    Three year and four months later: the outlaw Jonah wails.

    So goes life in the Peanut Gallery. You do not lead, cannot follow– so get out of the way or get run over. Welcome to 1964, kid. If you can’t handle the program, change the channel.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  20. “So?”
    Patterico (115b1f) — 1/3/2019 @ 1:17 pm

    Exactly.

    Munroe (b8268c)

  21. If you can’t handle the program, change the channel.

    How?

    Dave (1bb933)

  22. @11. So the whine is make it easier for ‘us’- “don’t run.” But the strategy is ‘go pious’ and challenge on character. Thing is, that battle was fought and lost by ‘conservatives’ in 2016 w/many wounds, self-inflicted.

    So unless Mueller discovers our Captain slipped Vlad the missile codes on a thumb drive, he’ll likely beat any rap. And in this era, the only individual who can beat him at his own game is… Oprah.

    Winfrey/O’Rourke, 2020. Yeah– that’s the ticket…

    “Hip-hooray; the American Way; That’s Entertainment!”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  23. @22. The Food Network is always looking for recipe writers.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. so expanded outreach into African American, latino, and working class doesn’t count,

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tammy-bruce-romneys-trump-attack-rings-especially-hollow-when-you-look-at-his-treatment-of-ric-grenell

    mind you the possum congress was nearly no help at all,

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. actually those that were absent were Reagan democrats, in that cycle, that maverick didn’t give a farthing to encourage, and furthermore his minions, like dennis jones effectively squelched any outreach to, in their attacks on the huntress,

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. Feck Jonah Goldberg and the hair plugs he road in on.

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  27. Strong Backbone has never been used to describe republicans. Hypocrite fits. Nominating 2 oafs like mittens and pauline exposed the 1 party system of gutter trash.

    mg (8cbc69)

  28. Howdy, Col.

    mg (8cbc69)

  29. I read Psalm 34 last week, and it reminded me of happy’s completely adoring commentary:
    1 I bless Trump every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.
    2 I live and breathe Trump; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy:
    3 Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out.
    4 Trump met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears.
    5 Look at Trump; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him.
    6 When I was desperate, I called out, and Trump got me out of a tight spot.
    7 Trump’s people set up a circle of protection around us while we pray.
    8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see – how good Trump is. Blessed are you who run to Trump.
    9 Worship Trump if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness.
    10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry, but Trump-seekers are full of his goodness.
    11 Come, children, listen closely; I’ll give you a lesson in Trump worship.
    12 Who out there has a lust for life? Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty?
    13 Guard your tongue from profanity, and no more lying through your teeth.
    14 Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace – don’t let it get away!
    15 Trump keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan.
    16 Trump won’t put up with rebels; he’ll cull them from the pack.
    17 Is anyone crying for help? Trump is listening, ready to rescue you.
    18 If your heart is broken, you’ll find Trump right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
    19 Trump’s adoring followers so often get into trouble; still, Trump is there every time.
    20 He’s your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken.
    21 The Trump critics commit slow suicide; they waste their lives hating the good.
    22 Trump pays for each slave’s freedom; no one who runs to him loses out.

    Paul Montagu (f9b4fb)

  30. Happy New Year! Teh Year of teh Gonif!

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  31. Paul Montagu (f9b4fb) — 1/3/2019 @ 2:26 pm

    God was sort of a beta version of Donald Trump.

    Dave (fef735)

  32. happy new year coronello, it’s like ground hog day over here, we have red guards like ocasio cortez, threatening to madurize this fair land, and Jonah is playing philosopher king, poppa Goldberg knew what was at stake, and I gather lucianne, is rather sharp on what really matters,

    narciso (d1f714)

  33. if the gope were this diligent in nitpicking and failing to challenge the left control of the commanding heights, back in the 80s, we’d be speaking Russian, and lining up for ration cards,

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/423558-exculpatory-russia-evidence-about-mike-flynn-that-us-intel-kept-secret#.XC0yisc_S_4.twitter

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. I’m a practical moderate independent(yes, that means y’all think I’m a communist and they all think I’m a fascist because nobody GD knows what either of those are any more.)

    There are ways I care about the character of a politician and ways I don’t. Basically, mostly I don’t care about their personal life (barring things like breaking significant laws or current substance or other abuse problems) as long as they have conducted their professional life scrupulously. I care far more about Trump’s unscrupulous business dealings and failures than I do about his marital failures because they tell me more about his professional weaknesses.

    And Trump as President is exactly what I would have expected based on his professional life. He markets great. He’s probably one of the best salespeople of the modern era, but he’ll say anything, anything, to make the sale and a number of his products sounds good and talk about a problem people have, but are actually a bad idea that don’t really solve the problem and are semi-fraudulent or poor quality.

    So that is my character problem with Trump. Not that he slept with at least one sex-worker while he was married, but that I think he’s selling us a bill of good.

    Nic (896fdf)

  35. @35 Apropos that: How Trump Solved the North Korea Crisis by Not Solving It

    Nuclear weapons technology is older than color television, and at this point, any country that really wants nukes and is willing to endure the resulting sanctions and international opprobrium probably can develop them. North Korea wants the status that countries like Israel, Pakistan, and India have attained, possessing arsenals that are in violation of international norms but generally treated as facts of life that no one can do much about. Trump’s remarkable feat, intentional or not, has been in getting the U.S. public to accept North Korea as a de facto nuclear power.

    For most of this past year, it seemed like this con would be unsustainable. Sooner or later, Trump would become so frustrated with the lack of progress toward denuclearization that the name-calling and threats would begin again, so the argument goes. But this may underestimate Trump’s ability to gaslight his supporters, his refusal to concede defeat, and everyone else’s disinterest in upsetting a relatively stable status quo.

    Dave (fef735)

  36. that’s what the framework, that wendy Sherman was about, coincidentally she was also the negotiator of the iran deal, with north korea, 25 years after carter’s category error was ratified by Clinton, this where we find ourselves, one might say that not dispatching aq khan sometime around 1978, might have slowed the process, but the forty years of soviet and Chinese funding and materiel re yong byon, makes that unlikely,

    narciso (d1f714)

  37. I’m guessing it came to dan jones, via fusion gps,

    https://www.scribd.com/document/387915015/Cleta-Mitchell-McClatchy-Email-Correspondence-Google-Docs#from_embed

    the dems want to abolish the second amendment, and make the first irrelevant, they want to shutter our industries, except vaporware like windmills and the like, humoring a fraud at best and scientific malpractice at worst, they want to hamstring the police and all other legitimate security services doing proper work,

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. Strong Backbone has never been used to describe republicans. Hypocrite fits. Nominating 2 oafs like mittens and pauline exposed the 1 party system of gutter trash.

    You must be pretty ticked off that not a single GOP congressman followed President Trump’s recommendation to vote for Pelosi as Speaker, huh?

    I blame Paul Ry… oh, wait … nevermind!

    Dave (1bb933)

  39. Yep, salemanship over substance. And maybe some of that Bombastic foreign policy will, in the long term, accidentally do some good (as in giving cover to South Korea). At least I hope. But I don’t think occasionally accidentally doing good on the long term is a particularly good plan.

    Nic (896fdf)

  40. narciso, the dems want that the same way that the Republicans want coal-dust covered workers standing in breadlines, dying of black lung, and barefoot women pregnant and bleeding to death as they succumb to an ectopic pregnancy miscarriage. It’s just rhetoric with very little foundation in reality.

    Nic (896fdf)

  41. You haven’t actually read their position paper, the appointees who are intent on pushing these policies, would they succeed I dont want to chance it.

    Narciso (69bae6)

  42. For most of this past year, it seemed like this con would be unsustainable.

    the con was how the sleazy mattis military never developed a credible plan to deal with north korea even though they had decades and untold billions of dollars to work on this

    (joke military)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  43. @42 That is the exact same answer I’d receive on a liberal website if I’d given a parallel answer to parallel liberal rhetoric.

    Nic (896fdf)

  44. the con was how the sleazy mattis military never developed a credible plan to deal with north korea

    Why did President Trump appoint such a terrible and incompetent person to such an important job? It seems like borderline treason – does he hate America?

    Dave (1bb933)

  45. The New York Times tried something different the other day for a change.

    There was an article attemoting to analyze patterns in Trump’s lies:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/29/us/politics/trump-fact-check.html

    Sometimes they are close to the truth but whatevee he says he exaggerates numbers and continues to change what he says,

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  46. i think president trump made some deals to keep the sleazy corrupt military in line during a transition that was already being sabotaged by the sleazy men and women of the dirty comey fbi

    i think fancypants mattis was part of that deal

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  47. Yesterday I said of Trump and 2020:

    There is the possibility that its Trump’s success or failure at building his wall that will be the determining factor for his supporters and fellow Republicans looking ahead to 2020 and not whether a president has character, is ethical, has executive experience, and has a complete understanding of history, law, politics, and how government works. Because those qualities obviously no longer matter to the GOP.

    And sadly it’s true. Fine. So be it: Character is an antiquated notion no longer relevant to modern politics apparently. But reading the essay that is the subject of Jonah Goldberg’s post was simply an assault on rational thinking. As I usually do when reading the contorted efforts being made to convince us to think differently about Trump (because we are wrong), and that Trump is something more than what we already know him to be leaves me exhausted. Which is followed by puzzlement at why such a Herculean effort is being made to convince us their rightness and our wrongness? It’s like they forgot that Trump won. Said and done.

    Because a president met some criteria for voter approval (no matter how low the bar), scrutiny of him doesn’t stop after he gets into office, nor should it. In fact, it should increase given that now his decisions (and governing) directly impact Americans. So why the caterwauling that this president, already found lacking by many, is facing continued scrutiny and comes up lacking? Or are we supposed to just shut-up because, hey, we already knew who some of you were electing for president?

    I’m at the point where I can accept that the GOP no longer cares about character moral fiber or principles, or any of the finer qualities to which most of us aspire to build our lives upon. Fine, that’s where the party is today. But at least admit it. Have the decency to stop trying to claim the moral high ground and the religious high ground against Democrats and Progressives and anyone else. At least be honest about it. I’m so tired of the party being unable to straight up admit that the GOP raised up and baptized a sleazy liar to be their leader instead of trying to convince me that it’s my moral compass that is broken. The green light was given by the GOP to descend as low as necessary to win. I just think no one wants to admit just how low that bar was.

    But what do I know? After all, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (which describes itself as “”dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy,”) told me yesterday to shut-up because pointing out Trump’s character flaws just hurts the president:

    Let’s start with the article’s premise that President Trump’s character is more important than his accomplishments or principles. Most Republicans simply don’t accept this argument. Many instead see Trump’s pugnacious and sometimes crude talk as an essential part of his virtue — he fights while other Republicans cower. Others would prefer he tweet less and do more, but still prefer Trump’s fallen angel to a Democratic devil.

    Romney would like you to believe you can have your cake and eat it, too — that you can be against Trump’s character but for his policies. But that doesn’t work in the real world. Railing about character hurts the president, and Republicans know that.

    Dana (023079)

  48. It’s not really a matter of whether Democrats or Republicans are hypocrites. They both are. It’s more a matter of who can you put up with at the moment.

    DarrenM (a4eb00)

  49. For most of this past year, it seemed like this con would be unsustainable.

    But looking at some of the people commenting here, that was obviously wrong. Some people are not only easy to con, they LIKE being conned.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  50. Because those qualities obviously no longer matter to the GOP.

    Not only is this wrong, it’s a libel, at least to the GOP what was. Look at the long list of people who have given Trump a try out of party loyalty and their love of America and have had to walk away shaking their heads. They are the real GOP, not the posers and crooks who surround Mr Trump.

    That remains of the old GOP is a shambles. The people who engineered a 20year march to power — only to have it hijacked by a scoundrel — have quit, been pushed aside, or have gone home to family.

    Rather than paint Trump’s opponents as cut from the same cloth, confusing their imperfections with the slime-monsters now in control, we should be asking instead “How can I help?”

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  51. Dana (023079) — 1/3/2019 @ 4:54 pm

    I love it when I start reading a quote and not only agree with it, admire the writing, and am able to correctly guess who wrote it before reaching the end, but also, the person who wrote it is a guest blogger here.

    That’s when you know you are lucky.

    Patterico (439c68)

  52. That remains of the old GOP is a shambles. The people who engineered a 20year march to power — only to have it hijacked by a scoundrel — have quit, been pushed aside, or have gone home to family

    It me, excepting that I engineered nothing

    Patterico (439c68)

  53. Question, does anyone in the department have the same priorities that you do, it doesn’t seem like even the us attorney who is nominally a Republican does.

    Narciso (69bae6)

  54. Coming in a very distant 2nd place (4 votes) for Speaker of the House was the fake…oops…Latina by injection…Beto O’Ro… Cheri Bustos of IL.

    urbanleftbehind (8241bf)

  55. still prefer Trump’s fallen angel to a Democratic devil.

    Since when is there a difference between a fallen angel and a devil?

    They are two names for the same thing…

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. 56. Very astute, Dave. And might I add, “Democrat” and “Republican” are also two names for the same things. Politicians are not your friends, folks.

    Gryph (08c844)

  57. Robert Francis O’Rourke, not Beto, please.

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  58. 58. “Bobby” doesn’t have the same I’m-a-Latino ring to it that “Beto” does, Colonel. 😛

    Gryph (08c844)

  59. 6. Now the big difference is that *I* consider Republicans to be hypocrites for criticizing Democrats. I didn’t back when I thought Clinton was being criticized on principle. I’m beginning to consider I might have been wrong back then, too.

    Gryph (08c844)

  60. “Because a president met some criteria for voter approval (no matter how low the bar), scrutiny of him doesn’t stop after he gets into office, nor should it. ”

    I continue strongly believing that pre-election scrutiny of Hillary (and Bill) Clinton WOULD have stopped had she gotten into office. The private email server, the uranium deal, the decisions to intervene in Syria and Libya (without new Congressional authorization) … none of these policy matters would be widely scrutinized or criticized.

    ANY president MUST be scrutinized and criticized. And Trump has presented a target to allow a nearly moribund press corp to sharpen their aim upon. This is a very good thing in both the long and short term. Individual members of the press, too, must be scrutinized and criticized and the number of shots taken that miss the mark MUST be jeered and razzed in order to provide the incentives necessary for improvement.

    Pouncer (df6448)

  61. Well let’s unpack this statement, Price turned out unsatisfactory in fact he did little of anything, but he had a solid pedigree, pruitt was pretty successful so was Zinke in his endeavours, you could ask raymond donovan If stepping down or even being indicted by some swamp denizen is indicative of anything.

    Narciso (69bae6)

  62. I’m not going to criticize Patterico or Dana here as their posts would be extremely reflective of my views pre-Trump.

    I didn’t vote for Trump in the primary, nor the election itself.

    I protested by voting for Gary “The Stoner” Johnson and pulled the lever for any independents to deny both the GOP and DNC my vote for nominating the two worst candidates in history.

    When Trump won, my ghast was thoroughly flabbered like everyone else…and, I was convinced that Trump will royally fuck things up.

    Here’s the thing… outside his character issues… what policy issues is it really that problematic for the usual GOP voters? I’m talking about stuff that would’ve happened in a Rubio or Cruz administration.

    Tariffs? Other than that, I can’t think of anything right now…

    Hence, why I’m more of a Trump Transactional Defender™️ than anti-Trumper.

    However, what “broke me” was the shitstorm that is the Kavanaugh hearing. Maybe I was still a bit naive, but since then the Democrats get nothing but obstinate opposition from me as they’re true id was exposed for the world… and that is they would do anything to get back in power no matter who stands in the way.

    As to the thrust of Goldberg’s and this post… it’s not that we don’t care about character issues. We *know* what/who Trump is.

    We just didn’t want HRC to be President.

    Those were the choices. So, instead of “taking the ball and go home” and calvinball the shit out of Trump’s presidency, maybe work with current GOPers to handle the Trump administration. Take the wins as the come and simply weather the storm… especially, since it’s the democrats whom are losing their minds over Trump anything.

    I think the Lindsay Graham/Rand Paul tactic of positive reinforcement towards Trump is a much better tack than to constantly bringing up Trump’s failings, which only serves as fodder by the opposition party.

    Saying we won’t have credibility to criticize future politicians because we didn’t fervently criticize Trump is a weee bit sanctimonious ya’ll. No politician is a saint. That goes for Romney, GHWB and Reagan.

    And frankly, no one will hold you to that for the next candidate. I mean, think this through a bit… if it’s President Booker in 2020 and I bring up alleged sexual molestation by Booker, and what… some of ya’ll would hound me by asking why I didn’t scream as hard when Trump was President? Seriously?

    Can we at least acknowledge that there’s a bit of a “team sporting” in our politics now?

    At this point, we should stop looking for principled candidates and start looking for pragmatic candidates who will advance your policy preferences more than the opponent’s candidates. They are politicians after all… I love Romney as a person…but, people seems to forget how much of a flip flopper he is on policy grounds. The difference here between Romney and Trump is this:

    Romney is a savvy, smooth person who just happens to be a politician, who can mask his flip-flopping positions.

    Trump? He’s a crass man-child “playing” at being a politician. But, don’t deny that he has advanced policies that you prefer.

    So, my ask is really this: Yes, you may despise Trump for all the reasons that I won’t defend, but don’t be afraid to acknowledge the good things he has done.

    Take the win. I promise you, a Democrat holding the Whitehouse or Congress won’t make you feel any better.

    whembly (f68468)

  63. @50. Gee, Kevin, that ‘family values’ con was tasty sucker bait for two decades– and “some people” bought it hook, line and sinker.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  64. @43. The ‘plan’ is a standing order, Mr. Feet: to ask for six more months every six months.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. Romney let a shrew like hilary Rosen attack his wife over her choice of therapy. Then they accused him of having something to do with his employees wife’s death. But he never shows outrage about that.

    Narciso (4e0637)

  66. You speak of authentic and Down to earth
    Th well there was a political figure who was like that 10 years ago, perhaps a little too earnest, in the aw shucks manner they feign with o’Rourke how was she treated again?

    Narciso (4e0637)

  67. Mocking people for sport is a Trump trick.

    AZ Bob (885937)

  68. I’m amazed at how many people apparently believe that Donald Trump, personally, deserves a level of moral concern that he does not extend to others. When Mark Levin expressed moral outrage that people were trying to “humiliate” Trump, I had to wonder: Why is that a problem? It pains me to see people being humiliated if they’ve done nothing to deserve it, but few people in public life deserve to be humbled more than Trump, and few are so quick to humiliate others undeservedly.

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  69. 63 – whembley – well said. I agree with much of what you wrote.

    I also did not vote for him and feel despite all the negatives he’s preferable to the folks who would weaponize the govt., encourage voter fraud, discourage enforcement of the law, smear a judicial nominee etc. because that’s how they roll.

    harkin (d82f96)

  70. Yeah, Trump smears sitting judges, not nominees…

    Dave (fef735)

  71. He also publicly encourages people not to cooperate with law enforcement, and praises those who refuse to do so.

    Dave (fef735)

  72. Jonah you mean the moral character of establishment conservatives who support sending the white working class jobs overseas and telling them if you don’t like it take an overdose of oxycontin?

    lany (11192a)

  73. As for weaponizing the government, do I need to copy and paste Trump’s tweets excoriating Jeff Sessions for not turning the Justice Department on his political enemies?

    Dave (fef735)

  74. lany (11192a) — 1/3/2019 @ 10:21 pm

    Instead of taking an overdose of OxyContin, how about learning to do a job that robots and illiterate Third World peasants can’t?

    Dave (fef735)

  75. The republican base has shown the door to free trade conservative/libertarian neo-con artists and their donor class. Dave the republican party is no longer controlled by free trade donor class. The weekly standard is kaput!

    lany (11192a)

  76. Character is sometimes said to be manifested in “doing the right thing when no one is watching.” Does anyone really believe that Trump would get a decent score on that measure?

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  77. new video is out to discredit alexandria ocasio-cortez by koch brothers operative. it show alexandria ocasio-cortez S……g and even D…..g!

    lany (11192a)

  78. Does anyone really believe that Trump would get a decent score on that measure?

    Trump believes it, and he’s said as much.

    Dave (1bb933)

  79. lany (11192a) — 1/3/2019 @ 10:41 pm

    So are you saying that if someone lacks the skills to get a job earning a competitive wage, it’s the government’s responsibility to solve their problem?

    Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez agree!

    Dave (1bb933)

  80. 80 the people had a choice in 2016 vote for your conservative/libertarian free trade ideology candidates or trump. the voters spoke and said they have had enough of your free trade libertarian crap and vote for trump. your ideology purist ayn randist/ milton freedman trickle down crap was seen for what it was a way to give the top 1% more wealth at the expense of the working class. your luck trump won bernie sanders would have put the wealthy into re-education camps. character indeed!

    lany (11192a)

  81. it show alexandria ocasio-cortez S……g and even D…..g!

    Dipping? Skoal, Kodiak, or Copenhagen?

    JRH (fe281f)

  82. 81 And how’s that working out?

    After two years of Trump, the trade deficit with China is at an all-time record.

    14,000 GM workers laid off, 5 plants closed – thanks in part to his moronic tariffs.

    The problem with your fantasy is that the rest of the world isn’t going to impoverish themselves by giving up trade just because our country elected an idiot.

    The rest of the world isn’t going to abandon productivity improvements and automation for the benefit our 21st century horse buggy workers, either.

    Lenin and Company thought they could repeal the laws of economics by fiat too, but we know who had the last laugh there. The result will be the same every time.

    Here’s a simple fact: if people in the US do the same work done in poor countries, they will have the same standard of living as the people in those poor countries. The per capita GDP of Mexico is $17K; the per capita GDP of the US is more than triple that. Why would we want to do the same work Mexicans do?

    Dave (1bb933)

  83. With Trump, Conservatism loses something basic — a pretense of caring about morality and virtue. Conservatives ought to be asking whether that’s a problem in and of itself (let alone how it will look when they criticize the next amoral Dem). Maybe it’s not a problem. Maybe an amoral leader represents a new path forward in which base transactionalism takes the place of traditional morality. Some might see Trump’s refusal to pretend to be some paragon of virtue as a plus. He’s real, just “is who he is.” I myself do wonder if it’s better than, say, the overweening piety to evangelicals I see from candidates like Cruz and the scripture-tweeting Rubio. I’ll go so far as to say that that kind of overweening piety and over-politicization of Faith is part of the reason we have Trump.

    JRH (fe281f)

  84. Erase “to evangelicals” in that sentence. soz.

    JRH (fe281f)

  85. That is: If Faith/morality is only a box to check off and a tool by which to pander to a certain sector of the electorate, it is no faith at all and is perhaps better cast off. There was something strangely refreshing about Trump not bothering to read the creed at the HW Bush funeral.

    JRH (fe281f)

  86. Some might see Trump’s refusal to pretend to be some paragon of virtue as a plus.

    Huh? Trump has come within a hair’s breadth of claiming that he’s never sinned…

    Dave (1bb933)

  87. Jerry Falwell Jr. (WaPo interview): “Only because I know that he [Trump] only wants what’s best for this country, and I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically conservative, but it’s going to be what’s best for this country, and I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country.”

    Hmmm, it sounds like Falwell….like many others….is willing to give carte blanche authority to Trump to act as necessary…because he’s convinced them that he is selflessly only acting in America’s best interests. One would think that to trust someone with such latitude….that the trust would need to be earned over time…..that a careful examination of word and deed would be required to establish one’s bona fides. But this is what has many of us scratching our heads. Trump’s politics has always been pretty maleable….he would have run as a pro-choice Democrat not too long ago….so Falwell’s trust is not rooted in ideology or any sort of previous political record or political successes….it seems only rooted in a personality attraction…the bravado….the style….the narcissism…Trump’s unplugged nature. So the son of the founder of the Moral Majority…now advocates for “In Trump we Trust”….good thing this isn’t a cult…

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  88. Shut up! Geez Louise! Talking about Trump and character is like talking about fish and fur. He’s a hedonistic, narcissistic, rich-boy, jerkoff who chased after the Presidency the way he chased after casinos, golf clubs, and women of merchantable morals, and a bigger bunch of jerkoffs let him have it. That’s all. The whole story. Beginning, middle, and end.

    nk (dbc370)

  89. If the anti trump coalition had been seriously they would have seriously endorsed Ted Cruz, jeb was dead man walking, but they werent serious because Paul singer wouldn’t let them, yes he was the founder behind some of the crazier insinuations that roger stone picked up from the dirty end.

    Narciso (124c08)

  90. So creepy Steve Cohen wants to abolish the electoral college, and ‘mr Peabody’s introduces impeachment resolution, that’s apparently what we wanted.

    Narciso (124c08)

  91. So alderman burke, key gun control proponent had 23 guns

    Narciso (124c08)

  92. Feinstein endorses Kamala Harris, jusy goes to show the Cavanaugh play was not a one off, but a beta test

    Narciso (124c08)

  93. 63. Fair questions all.

    Trump has a well-documented history of using big government when it suits his own ends. Now he is using the (largely unfulfilled so-far) promise of small government, again when it suits his own ends. Why should this bother us? Because either character matters, or it doesn’t. That in and of itself is a strictly binary proposition. When Clinton was running for office, it mattered. Now, it doesn’t. To me, that says volumes about the electorate that voted Trump in.

    As for policy questions? Still no wall. Still no Obamacare repeal. Etc. Etc. A lot of nice words coming from Mar A Lago-North, but a lot of unfulfilled promises. And you can bet your behind that Trump will run on the same promises in 2020 that he did in 2016.

    Gryph (08c844)

  94. and women of merchantable morals

    the subject of post #94 checks that off in spad…err…real good!

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  95. If I had a dollar for every unfulfilled promise made by a politician – including those made by “muh principles” rock-ribbed conservatives revered by their true conservative fanboys – there’d be a Bugatti Veyron SuperSport parked in my garage.

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  96. And I just love lovey love the sporadic, teasing Twitter courtship conducted by Jonah Goldberg and David French.

    #CruiseshipConservativesUnite!!!

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  97. A lot of President Trump’s cabinet members that are gone were either sleazy mil-filth like General Mattis or John Kelly or they were pompous clueless maladroit losers like Tillerson or Tom Price or they were awesome and wonderful but got hounded out Palin-style like Zinke and Pruitt.

    Beyond that you have to remember that the vast majority – 80+ percent – of america’s ruling class is filth-dirty scum – that’s the well you have to draw from to fill these positions – and a huge number of the “qualified” feckless are either alumni of the dirty corrupt cowardly and murderous Bush admin, or they’re perennial parasitic dirt-slurps like Elaine Chao.

    We owe President Trump a big debt for exposing these people for what they are.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  98. 97. No doubt, Colonel. That is why ever since Trump threw his hat in the ring, I said there was nothing special about him. He is indeed just another garden-variety freedom-sucking politician.

    Gryph (08c844)

  99. This transactional amorality holds up Donny Boy as the poster child for everything that is wrong with Big Business (all too often):

    Tillman (61f3c8)

  100. “Shut up! Geez Louise! Talking about Trump and character is like talking about fish and fur. He’s a hedonistic, narcissistic, rich-boy, jerkoff who chased after the Presidency the way he chased after casinos, golf clubs, and women of merchantable morals, and a bigger bunch of jerkoffs let him have it. That’s all. The whole story. Beginning, middle, and end.”

    That’s a good analysis and I agree to a huge extent, but it’s only the whole story if Trump is a self-contained entity who has no influence over the party he helms. That’s obviously not the case. So what you got is a conservatism divorced from values. Which might be fine, but it’s not what conservatism used to be.

    JRH (fe281f)

  101. (I don’t know how that happened, but I did not intend to push Submit Comment.)

    Here are the flaws of CEO Thinking in our Presidency:

    Self-serving – a CEO only cares about himself and his company at the expense of everything else (and I suppose that that is as it should be). But a president should care about the entire country, not just “me and mine” at the expense of the whole world.

    It’s also shortsighted. CEOs all too often only care what happens in this and the next quarter. There is no long term plan. A whole country can’t be operated that way.

    Those are just to reasons off the top of my head, and I’m not fully awake yet this morning.

    Republicans are letting this brat run over our values and everything we stand for. I hope they have to pay for it more.

    Tillman (61f3c8)

  102. So what does mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy care about, anything we do or just keeping the gravy train moving. I would submit the latter, in point of fact the former doesn’t care about border security, the latter well its wait to be seen.

    Narciso (82a663)

  103. Price was a disappointment, because he left little evidence of his tenure, despite having promised he had a plan. Tillerson is just another establishment tool from the rice scowcroft Kissinger basket.

    Narciso (82a663)

  104. #95 63. Fair questions all.

    Trump has a well-documented history of using big government when it suits his own ends. Now he is using the (largely unfulfilled so-far) promise of small government, again when it suits his own ends.

    I don’t think anyone here would dispute that. That is every GOP candidate ever. So, I’m not saying that we should abandon these wishes… we should just also be pragmatic about it too. So in this regard, Trump is just like every other politician.

    Why should this bother us? Because either character matters, or it doesn’t. That in and of itself is a strictly binary proposition. When Clinton was running for office, it mattered. Now, it doesn’t. To me, that says volumes about the electorate that voted Trump in.

    Sure… but then what?

    The character Trump was a shit sammich.

    The character of HRC was a bucket of vomit.

    Those were the choices.

    If we’re voting for candidates who we’d think would advance our policy preferences, and the only two candidates we have has serious character flaws… then, you’d simply go the transactional route and vote for the one who’s likely advance your policy preferences.

    We absolutely knew what Clinton would do… namely, stack the courts with more liberal judges, continue much of Obama’s policy and her Foundation would go berserk.

    Whereas Trump was a bit of an unknown where we’ve hoped that the GOP party would steer him towards Conservative/Libertarian policies.

    Consider me pleasantly surprised at Trump’s 2 year achievements.

    While I think the Trumpers going overboard in defending everything Trump does… the finger-wagging at those who does by claiming they’ve lost all rights to harangue future candidate’s character flaws is ridiculous. As it ignores that we were faced with two shitty choices to begin with.

    As for policy questions? Still no wall. Still no Obamacare repeal. Etc. Etc. A lot of nice words coming from Mar A Lago-North, but a lot of unfulfilled promises. And you can bet your behind that Trump will run on the same promises in 2020 that he did in 2016.

    Gryph (08c844) — 1/4/2019 @ 7:14 am

    See…the criticism here doesn’t make sense.

    Presidents isn’t the Emprah or King as he need to work with Congress to get much of those policies enacted. Furthermore, that statement ignores the things that he has accomplished, see the list here.

    whembly (b9d411)

  105. #103 (I don’t know how that happened, but I did not intend to push Submit Comment.)

    Here are the flaws of CEO Thinking in our Presidency:

    Self-serving – a CEO only cares about himself and his company at the expense of everything else (and I suppose that that is as it should be). But a president should care about the entire country, not just “me and mine” at the expense of the whole world.

    It’s also shortsighted. CEOs all too often only care what happens in this and the next quarter. There is no long term plan. A whole country can’t be operated that way.

    Those are just to reasons off the top of my head, and I’m not fully awake yet this morning.

    Republicans are letting this brat run over our values and everything we stand for. I hope they have to pay for it more.

    Tillman (61f3c8) — 1/4/2019 @ 8:00 am

    I don’t think your CEO description is accurate. CEOs are so far removed from the trenches, that they don’t make decisions that are designed to impact “now” or next quarter… their job *is* for long term planning.

    In a way, that *is* exactly what Trump is doing imo. Those $1.8 trillion dollar budget for the military won’t all be spent during his tenure. Those massive deregulation changes will be felt way past the next quarter.

    I’m not convinced that the GOP party will pay any price once Trump leaves. No one will be able to replicate “Trumpism” again… so, it’s likely they’re revert back to the pre-Trump status quo.

    whembly (b9d411)

  106. I think that’s a fair reading, now if you can tell me the non trump faction can accomplish real things we want, that cant be done now. Well I’ll chortle.

    Narciso (82a663)

  107. their job *is* for long term planning

    CEOs often get bonuses in pay for good quarters, so they work toward a good showing on the next quarter.

    I’m not convinced that the GOP party will pay any price

    They already have. The last election was proof with the biggest turnover toward Democrats in The House since Nixon resigned.

    Tillman (61f3c8)

  108. #109 their job *is* for long term planning

    CEOs often get bonuses in pay for good quarters, so they work toward a good showing on the next quarter.

    Usually, that a byproduct if their plans they’ve implemented multiple quarters ago, not the last quarter.

    By and large, most CEO plans between year 3 – 10. The management team below the CEO is more responsible for the quarter-by-quarter decisions.

    I’m not convinced that the GOP party will pay any price

    They already have. The last election was proof with the biggest turnover toward Democrats in The House since Nixon resigned.

    Tillman (61f3c8) — 1/4/2019 @ 8:48 am

    Do you subscribe that it was all Trump’s fault?

    Or, the natural ebb and flows of how midterm usually happens?

    I think it would’ve still happened that way had it been President Rubio/Jeb!/Cruz. The amount of hatred by democrats would be the the same imo.

    whembly (b9d411)

  109. Trump has a well-documented history of using big government when it suits his own ends. Now he is using the (largely unfulfilled so-far) promise of small government, again when it suits his own ends.

    Why should this bother us? Because either character matters, or it doesn’t. That in and of itself is a strictly binary proposition. When Clinton was running for office, it mattered. Now, it doesn’t. To me, that says volumes about the electorate that voted Trump in.

    As for policy questions? Still no wall. Still no Obamacare repeal. Etc. Etc. A lot of nice words coming from Mar A Lago-North, but a lot of unfulfilled promises. And you can bet your behind that Trump will run on the same promises in 2020 that he did in 2016.

    Obamacare repeal? Perhaps you should wonder why John McCain, who Romney et al fawn over, was difficult and uncooperative during that process. That is not Trump’s fault at all. Politics is not some world of sacred principles and easy choices. The alternative is two more RBGs on the Supreme Court. That alone is worth just about anything. Good grief.

    bates (dddb3b)

  110. Trump has a well-documented history of using big government when it suits his own ends. Now he is using the (largely unfulfilled so-far) promise of small government, again when it suits his own ends.

    How is this different every Republican President, ever?

    Why should this bother us? Because either character matters, or it doesn’t. That in and of itself is a strictly binary proposition. When Clinton was running for office, it mattered. Now, it doesn’t. To me, that says volumes about the electorate that voted Trump in.

    Shall we review, say, Mitt Romney’s changes of opinion in the past? This is extremely common among politicians. And non-politicians.

    As for policy questions? Still no wall. Still no Obamacare repeal. Etc. Etc. A lot of nice words coming from Mar A Lago-North, but a lot of unfulfilled promises. And you can bet your behind that Trump will run on the same promises in 2020 that he did in 2016.

    Obamacare repeal? Perhaps you should wonder why John McCain, who Romney et al fawn over, was difficult and uncooperative during that process. That is not Trump’s fault at all. Politics is not some world of sacred principles and easy choices. The alternative to Trump is two more RBGs on the Supreme Court. That alone is worth just about anything. Good grief.

    bates (dddb3b)

  111. a lot of people criticize President Trump’s character but they’re incorrect

    so I don’t listen to them

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  112. I myself do wonder if it’s better than, say, the overweening piety to evangelicals I see from candidates like Cruz and the scripture-tweeting Rubio.

    Pop quiz: Who said this? “Nobody reads the Bible more than me.” Wasn’t Rubio or Cruz. It was the “real” Donald Trump, the guy who “tells it like it is” and doesn’t ever pretend to be something he’s not. Right?
    Surely there’s some middle ground between overweening piety and Trump’s overtly self-referential notions of right and wrong, true and false. When someone boasts that he can get away with criminal acts, and openly tells us that his measure of a good public servant is someone who “said GREAT things about me,” etc., is it reasonable to suppose that he is any less self-centered in his decisions about how to act?

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  113. you’re overthinking it

    President Trump is all good things, and that’s obvious just by looking at how kind and loving he is and how hard he works to make America shine like a new penny

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  114. happyfeet (28a91b) — 1/4/2019 @ 9:33 am

    Pure, cheap propaganda. It’s nothing more.

    Tillman (61f3c8)

  115. “The rest of the world isn’t going to abandon productivity improvements and automation for the benefit our 21st century horse buggy workers, either.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 1/4/2019 @ 2:36 am

    Can’t you just smell those “horse buggy workers” when you enter a Walmart?

    Munroe (d4eab9)

  116. Despite the scum sucking nazgul as atty general that montagu sees no problem with, Tim Eyrman was able to deliver the requisite signatures for his petition.

    Narciso (82a663)

  117. You know, nothing obligates a state to choose a winner-take-all slate of Electors. They can send a proportional delegation with x% for poopoohead and y% for doodoohead with the rounding off any way they please. Maine already does it. It’s the same as abolishing the Electoral College, without depriving 538 party hacks of their split second in history.

    nk (dbc370)

  118. Well now they want to abolish the Senate, and if it happens again the presidency, the trench denizens are on the march,

    Narciso (82a663)

  119. Meanwhile Morris dees, grand inquisitor of the splc seems to have been a nasty piece of work.

    Narciso (82a663)

  120. Whembly @63 reflected my views very well.

    The only thing I would add is that American politics since John Adams has been a two-party system. It is the nature of things that one forgives flaws (or at least some flaws) of politicians on your team, as opposed to those on the other team. Trump is a scoundrel, but he is our scoundrel.

    While I agree that he has and will continue to cause damage, the question is, what is the alternative? Hillary Clinton would have, in my view, caused far more damage. (And, frankly, her moral standing is no greater, even if her flaws are of somewhat of a different flavor than Trump’s). And, candidates like Romney and McCain were losers, and even had they won, I strongly suspect that at best their presidency would have been a mere pitstop on the road to socialist/p.c. hell.

    (It is possible to be both a fighter and take the high road. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were both fighters and neither were ideological squishes the way Romney and McCain were. But both lacked the deep character flaws that Trump has.)

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  121. Both the gipper and the iron lady were conviction politicians can you think of a real fundamental belief that Romney or McCain has pushed consistently which is relevant to our circumstances today.

    Narciso (82a663)

  122. In the grand manner of a non-sequitur, all I have to say is that John McCain has returned to the Senate.

    His spirit has left the grave and possessed one Mitt Romney, and this person will b drooled over and fluffed by the Fake News concocters so that Mitty boy will b inspired to higher and greater pronouncements in order to b idolized by each and every one/every publication that loathed him and insulted him and his family, and tore him limb from limb just a few years ago.

    None of that past will weigh on his demeanor, only the constant attention onanistic pleasure the top will provide the bottom–my tendency is to think that the roles will rotated so no one gets butt-hurt (figuratively; no pun meant).

    Amon-Ra (5ec76b)

  123. I believe the Democrat response came from the new Representative from Michigan with firm support from the Speaker of the House.

    Knaves.

    NJRob (4e92b6)

  124. “Which might be fine, but it’s not what conservatism used to be.”

    Which is what, exactly? What has been put into practice since Reagan?

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  125. First let me wish the Colonel a Happy New Year – I did a get a chance to read the transcript of the Tucker Carlson “GDP-” script of the video you provided in the Romney thread and was blown away, plus nary a negative word about non-chessboard peoples. In that sense the sponsors got to him.

    And close second to Narciso’s “if they were really serious…” response. If the Dems were really serious about nevering Trump, they would cast aside the wussy pleas of their LGB-flavor of month and single loose women wings (e.g. PIWs as in Pence is Worsers) and empower Pence and whatever crew he could assemble to perform a time-compressed application of the 25th Amendment.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  126. Huh… my #106 comment is still stuck in moderation. I did cuss a few times… :embarrassed emoji:

    whembly (b9d411)

  127. I released it. The cursing will get you. I wish I could get a filter to distinguish between standard cursing like that (OK) and angry no-content cursing (not OK). But I can’t.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  128. While I think the Trumpers going overboard in defending everything Trump does… the finger-wagging at those who does by claiming they’ve lost all rights to harangue future candidate’s character flaws is ridiculous. As it ignores that we were faced with two shitty choices to begin with.

    Hopefully you’re not referring to me. You are advancing a transactional defense, which I explicitly said in the post is defensible. The ones who lose their rights, not to harangue, but to be taken seriously when they do, are those who defend Trump’s character on the merits.

    You start down that road with this:

    Saying we won’t have credibility to criticize future politicians because we didn’t fervently criticize Trump is a weee bit sanctimonious ya’ll. No politician is a saint. That goes for Romney, GHWB and Reagan.

    I strongly disagree with your whataboutism here. Trump is waaaay further from being a saint than Romney, GHWB, or Reagan, and is in my opinion less moral even than anyone named Clinton or Obama. This “everyone is immoral” argument shows an inability to make distinctions. (The following is an analogy and not an equivalence; although I suspect that Trump is a criminal I do not call him a murderer.) t would be like defending a murderer against attacks on his moral character by saying, hey, everyone commits crimes, just read that three felonies a day book. OK, but there are still distinctions to be made between inadvertently messing up on some obscure section of the U.S. Code that is never used in court, and murdering someone.

    If you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge and fully denounce Trump’s immorality, you forfeit any right to be taken seriously in criticizing the same traits in Democrats. Sure, people would call you a hypocrite anyway, but now you will deserve it, and deserving it matters.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  129. Look we are what a totally prog dominated state looks like we see how they find a way to slough off the murders of first steinle and now Singh, they want an acceptable level of violence.

    Narciso (02db6f)

  130. The opposition – the Democrats – will take your denouncement and wipe their collective ass with it.

    Then what?

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  131. Is the world divided into two types of people–moral and immoral? That view seems simplistic and childish. Also, a blanket statement like that can hardly be discussed or debated. IMHO as President, Trump has not behaved as immorally as Bill Clinton and JFK as President.

    Rather than defend Trump’s morality, I would say it’s less important to me than his Presidential policies, which IMHO have been quite good.

    P.S. I admit to being swayed by Trump’s moral behavior when his daughter married a Jew. I wish my late father-in-law had behaved as well when faced with the same event.

    David in Cal (0d5a1d)

  132. 35. 36 The link has in the middle:

    North Korea’s main aim: a peace treaty formally ending the 1950–53 Korean War.

    This is nonsense. That is an intermediate goal and really not a goal at all. North Korea’s main aim is the conquest of South Korea. He wants to deter the United States from defending South Korea and also probably believes that one or two nulear bombs dropped on some place that is not U.S. territory will not result in retaliation but will prevet reinforcements from reaching South Korea. Now his strategy is to outlast Trump, and in the meantime do what he can to advance the nuclear program, waiting for a president of teh United states where it will look to him like it’s a good risk.

    No one should believe that his nuclear program is general deterrence. The U.S. and South Korea are deterred from doing to him what was done to Quaddafi by the prospect of artillery attacks on Seoul, and conventional war – a war they would win but they don’t want to go through it. The preseence of China also deters complete occupation of North Korea. Libya had nothing that could threaten Italy and other NATO countries.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  133. Americans love to hate their ‘bad boys;’ JR Ewing was welcomed into their homes for years and everything he liked was “immoral, illegal or fattening,” too.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  134. Trump is very much affected by the tone that people take toward him. But international diplomacy is not like a business deal. In a business deal a counterparty may pretend to be interested in something when it is not (something that Trump maybe also has difficulty realizing: witness the Trump Tower in Mowcow which Putin could never let him operate) but nobody signs something they don’t intend to keep, at least at the start, because it would be pointless.

    Everything is governed by law and courts. If someone signs an agreement to sell something – they don’t get the money until it is turned over – and the law ensures that what is sold reallly changes hand – and if someone signs an agreement to buy something they don’t take possession until they hand over the money.

    (Where there is room for dishonesty in business is in loans, where money is borrowed mostly for only a promise to repay – or possibly collateral, but that can have complications – or in being sold something that is no good, or not worth the price.)

    Therefore, while in business it was a good sign of whether or not someone wants to reach a deal how nicely somebody talks, in diplomacy the nice talk may be designed to head off some action, (not usual in business, although this could be done to try to head off a lawsuit, for instance) or maybe even the nice talk is to reach an agreement but there is much more incentive in diplomacy than in business to agree to something but never intend to keep it. Kim and Trump did reach ameaningless preliminary agreement in Singapore. Kim Jong Un wants action first by the U.S. – Trump, guided here by Pompeo and others, is not going to do that. There will not be one sanction lifted before North Korea actually gets rid of some nuclear bombs, although Kim has at least gained a halt in increased sanctions.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  135. All is neatly wrapped up and tied with a pretty ribbon when the power of the state sees fit. But when the world is turned upside down, what is evil is resolutely characterized as good, when the culture, media, education system, and most institutions are implacably lined up against you, where does that leave you?

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  136. It be ankle grabbing time, Col.

    mg (8cbc69)

  137. FDR, JFK, Woodrow Wilson weren’t people of high character, yet their names adorn major schools

    Obama wasn’t a man of high moral character imo because he used government to attack his political opposition.

    Get the policy done, and no one will care. We can run men of the highest moral character and they will be portrayed as racist sexist homophobes. We just got through eulogizing George Bush and he was torn to shreds too.

    I denounce Trump’s morality, did when he was running. He was 17 out of 17 and I never thought he had a chance. He destroyed an entire generation of GOP candidates by clowning them. Made myself ill trying to rationalize a vote in a dark blue state where I know it didn’t matter but it mattered to me. Let me know what he’s done that’s immoral in his execution of the job. Attacked a cheerleader media? the hardcore Trump dolts wouldn’t have to defend if they weren’t getting so much friendly fire. Generic GOP candidate wonky on an issue (immigration dove, pro choice, big government GOP) doesn’t beat Hillary.

    The objections are well noted. The center-right/right needs to move on instead of this “I told you he was a bad person when he was running” which seems more like a defense mechanism that you will be spared when judgment comes. When the left wing hordes finally get the power, we’re all going for re-education, even NeverTrump.

    Jonah has a very logical approach to the personal attack angle that up until the 24 news cycle would have worked: you ignore it. It won’t now. You know what happens then? The story becomes “Candidate ignores accusations of racism.” If they address it, they address it as a real thing “I have minorities on my staff” instead of calling it stupid. It’s all a game and Trump, unlike Jonah, seems to know that. It’s his one saving grace is realizing all politics has devolved into trolling and framing narratives.

    No one *really* thought Trump was assaulting the first amendment. It was pro wrestling. the media were “selling” to get sympathy.

    Donald Trump called the press out as hacks and flacks. I’d love a stiff upper lip Conservative to be able to survive in this environment. He can’t. I’m not saying we need more Trumps but we do need people to take those lessons and show that principle is great, and fighting for that principle instead of expecting people to come to it matters.

    Look at this assortment of Misfit Toys running for the Democratic nomination, each is more vile and shrill and intersectionally aggrieved than the next. You think Wonder Bread Mike Pence survives that with his “morality” or is he a bigot who wants to electrocute gay people?

    Get the policy done. If he won’t because he has no policy ideas, party leaders need to be there fighting for it, because he likes that stuff, not waiting for Trump to make up his mind.

    Use the bull in the china shop to rampage the opposition instead of waiting for him to tire out.

    JH (8c963f)

  138. The essence of the way Trump won votes was by saying ridiculous things that nobody knew how, or nobody wanted, to argue against. (Not even Democrats really)

    Because they were ridiculous, nobody said the same thing, not even Ted Cruz, and if they tried, Trump bid higher.

    While the Republican Party is unwilling to say there is anything bad about Trump (except for Mitt Romney, who did that for show and doesn’t know what’s really bad and what’s not – or is very incoherent about it, the Democratic Party is so far gone in that direction that nobody even comments about it any more. (nobody critized or even now criticizes, Hillary Clinton’s ethics. They may say small things, and it is kind of safe to criticize – vaguely, and never endorsing the truth of trh worse accusations – Bill Clinton’s relations with women,)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  139. “It would be like defending a murderer against attacks on his moral character by saying, hey, everyone commits crimes, just read that three felonies a day book.”

    More like defending a petty criminal who is being treated as if he murdered someone.

    Munroe (b22c42)

  140. JH,

    Your entire comment appears to be a transactional defense of Trump. We don’t agree, but you at least realize that I believe your position is defensible, right? I said so in the post.

    “I denounce Trump’s morality, did when he was running.”

    That’s all I ask.

    In terms of his great successes, we are adding to the debt at an alarming rate and ObamaCare remains the law. Those two issues, and judges, are the main things I care about and cared about in the election. One out of three ain’t good enough to justify defending a cretin like this, in my judgment.

    I do find it amazing how he is able to get away with stuff nobody else could, but it gives me pause to reflect on the very real possibility that his success stems from the fact that he does so much outrageous shit, and tells so many lies, that no single outrageous act or lie has an effect. He can do the craziest damn thing or say the most blatantly false thing, and people just shrug numbly. You may see this as a feature. I see it as a very, very frightening bug.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  141. Mick Mulvaney has probably convinced Trump that the Democrats aren’t serious. And that Nancy Pelosi’s opposition to a “wall” was motivated by her need to ensure her election as Speaker – That’s why a meetng was scheduled for the day after (today).

    Now the problem is that it is symbolism on both sides. When people are fighting over a symbol, it si hard for it to end without somebody caving in. If one side wanted substance and the other wanted symbolism, you could give symbolism to one side and substance to the other. Trump, for instance, could get a meaningless go-ahead on the wall * and the Democrats could get the substance of nothing much being built. Maybe some money would be wasted, but the easy compromise there is both sides getting to pick earmarks. But neither side trusts its voters to look at the substance.

    * Which is where he is now. Trump wants $5 billion for construction of 150 more miles of fencing, and that is not at all shovel ready.

    The worst problem is that Trump doesn’t have any policy goals whatsoever – he only wants to satisfy the strong immigration restrictionnists to the point where they won’t criticize him, and they don’t tell him what their true bottom line is until an agreement is ready. They spring objections on him and want to keep him asking for more.

    The Democrats meanwhile have fixated on a symbol and won’t let Trump claim that symbol, while Trump doesn’t want to lose it. And he thinks his position is popular, although it’s not.

    The Democrats are passing bills in order to seem reasonable but now because they expect anything to happen. Well, Schumer thinks Trump will cave in in maybe two weeks. The Dem proposal now is to fund all departments besides Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year on Sept 30, either in separate bills (regular order) or through continuing resolutions and to pass a separate bill funding Homeland Security through February 8 but without any money for the building of any fencing in a place along the border where there is not now at least a minimal fence. That’s their bottom line in general: No more wall. Not even one mile.

    yews they once endorsed it, but let me ‘splain this. The argument against amnesty was that it would happen again. A wall is supposed to prevent a large number of illegal immigrants from coming to teh Uited States. The only reason for the Democrats endorsing it was amnesty, and not just for people brought to the United States while under X yeasr of age between Year X and Year Y.

    None of the possible compromises are workable. One proposal (endorsed by Lindsey Graham) is money for the wall in exchange for help for the Dreamers. Amnesty for the Dreamers in exchange for money for the wall was on the table a year ago and rejected by Trump. Trump wants two things to go with that: 1) An end to the diversity lottery, which Democratic leaders are willing to give, but only as part of a much bigger deal, and 2) more limits on family re-unification, which Democrats are not willing to give into at all.

    Lindsey Graham’s proposal is a 3-year work permit for the Dreamers. This is a non-starter, even though this would carry things past the next presidential election.

    Right now there is a court case claiming that Trump cannot revoke work permits for the Dreamers because he didn’t follow the Administrative Procedures Act. It’s weak but they are sympathetic litigants. So everything is on hold. If a 3-year work permit were legislated this would throw away the case. The leaders or spokespeople for the Dreamers do to want that. They could lose the case but they are willing to gamble on something saving them. The politics of actually starting deportation proceedings against any of them are very bad. Besides, they want other people included. The Democrats don’t want any opposition from that quarter.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  142. Transactional defense, no jonah makes a ahistorical and irrelevant argument, officials who could not or would not accomplish the goals he set out were fired.
    The response to unrelenting lawfare is refreshing I still think he should end this stupid grishenko snipe hunt as soon as possible.

    Narciso (02db6f)

  143. Thanks for that… I’ll try to be more pg-13 to minimize work for you. 😉

    While I think the Trumpers going overboard in defending everything Trump does… the finger-wagging at those who does by claiming they’ve lost all rights to harangue future candidate’s character flaws is ridiculous. As it ignores that we were faced with two shitty choices to begin with.

    Hopefully you’re not referring to me. You are advancing a transactional defense, which I explicitly said in the post is defensible. The ones who lose their rights, not to harangue, but to be taken seriously when they do, are those who defend Trump’s character on the merits.

    No… not you and I’ve should’ve made that clear… sorry about that.

    You and your other co-bloggers I believe has been more than fair.

    You start down that road with this:

    Saying we won’t have credibility to criticize future politicians because we didn’t fervently criticize Trump is a weee bit sanctimonious ya’ll. No politician is a saint. That goes for Romney, GHWB and Reagan.

    I strongly disagree with your whataboutism here. Trump is waaaay further from being a saint than Romney, GHWB, or Reagan, and is in my opinion less moral even than anyone named Clinton or Obama. This “everyone is immoral” argument shows an inability to make distinctions. (The following is an analogy and not an equivalence; although I suspect that Trump is a criminal I do not call him a murderer.) t would be like defending a murderer against attacks on his moral character by saying, hey, everyone commits crimes, just read that three felonies a day book. OK, but there are still distinctions to be made between inadvertently messing up on some obscure section of the U.S. Code that is never used in court, and murdering someone.

    Pat, I really can’t argue this point and maybe I need to recalibrate a bit. But, there’s something nagging me that I’m having a hard time articulating to you and your readers… and its something like this:
    HRC and Trump were the only two viable options we were offered.

    Trump won.

    So, now what?

    At the time, my mind was going “it’s going to be baaaaaaaaaaaad ya’ll”. Should we disengage from the political process to “hurt” the GOP? (whatever that means). They should be punished somehow as they sorely misread their supporters…

    We wanted a better person… so, we lost that battle at the primary. The next primary should be our next fight.

    Or is it possible, to back the *only* horse despite his/her moral failings, so that your policy preferences has a chance even while acknowledging those moral failings?

    I can make the distinction between the man Donald Trump, which is mostly his visual interactions with public (tweets, interviews, speeches, etc…) vs. potus Donald Trump, which is an aggregate of him and his administration pushing typical GOP POTUS policies (with some caveats of course).

    Again, not you or your co-bloggers, but the usual #NeverTrumpers (ie, Jonah Goldberg, David French, Max Boot, etc..) never let the opportunity go to waste to remind Trump voters/supporters has moral failings, to the point that the unspoken words and attitude is to blame the Trump voters/supporters for Trump tarnishing the GOP and POTUS office. That’s what I was driving at from my previous post.

    I know you panned Kurt Schlichter’s shtick, and yes he’s exhausting that I tune him out at times… but, he has an underlining point. How long can we stay on our high horse, where it feels great emotionally, while our political opponent use every dirty trick/rule change to get what they want…at the expense of pushing our preferred policies?

    I think it was Glenn Reynolds who coined the phrase: They’re not going to like the same rules they’ve pushed on us when we’re in power. (or to some effect)

    If you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge and fully denounce Trump’s immorality, you forfeit any right to be taken seriously in criticizing the same traits in Democrats. Sure, people would call you a hypocrite anyway, but now you will deserve it, and deserving it matters.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 1/4/2019 @ 11:18 am

    I absolutely denounced Trump for his Charlotteville response…

    I absolutely denounced Trump for his verbal spat with that Goldstar family during the campaign…

    I absolutely denounced Trump for being the kind of person who’d cheat on his wife…

    Those are moral failings on a more personal level.

    However, I can separate that from the accomplishments his administrations has achieved.

    All I’m saying is that we go into this with clear eyes… take the wins as they come and weather the storm, because the other side will come after us no matter what *insert generic GOP politician* is in the Whitehouse.

    whembly (b9d411)

  144. That’s also a silly notion, Obama made up this ‘dreamers’ classification on the spot, pursuant to no statute, its just a matter of tails they win, heads you lose, from party apparatchiks

    Narciso (02db6f)

  145. I know John Robert’s decision on asylum claims was procedural but it adds up to a troubling pattern nonetheless.

    Narciso (02db6f)

  146. In terms of his great successes, we are adding to the debt at an alarming rate and ObamaCare remains the law. Those two issues, and judges, are the main things I care about and cared about in the election. One out of three ain’t good enough to justify defending a cretin like this, in my judgment.

    I do find it amazing how he is able to get away with stuff nobody else could, but it gives me pause to reflect on the very real possibility that his success stems from the fact that he does so much outrageous shit, and tells so many lies, that no single outrageous act or lie has an effect. He can do the craziest damn thing or say the most blatantly false thing, and people just shrug numbly. You may see this as a feature. I see it as a very, very frightening bug.

    His ability to p*ss on his supporters’ legs and convince them it’s raining beggars belief.

    Dave (1bb933)

  147. Oops, quoted a naughty word…

    Dave (1bb933)

  148. if you’re in a dilemma and not just a political dilemma it can be a real life one

    all you have to do is picture in your mind what President Trump would do and then do it – do it all up in it the best you can – just like President Trump would

    and you will taste the sweet nectar of success!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  149. all you have to do is picture in your mind what President Trump would do and then do it – do it all up in it the best you can – just like President Trump would

    but lying to people makes me feel guilty

    Dave (1bb933)

  150. he tells the truth a lot

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  151. @152/@153. He’s livin’ his life to the fullest, fellas; if only he liked to read, Mr. Feet. President Winfrey will bring us together. 😉 ‘And you get a vote…. and you get a vote…’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  152. “Still no wall. Still no Obamacare repeal. Etc. Etc. A lot of nice words coming from Mar A Lago-North, but a lot of unfulfilled promises”

    It’s a shame so few people can count all the way up to 60 any more. Republicans should have been forced to not just run on repealing Obamacare but to explain what they would do to incrementally improve the situation if they did not win 60 seats committed to an outright repeal (put that on a bumper sticker!). That would have better prepared the thundering horde and reduced all of the hand wringing. The same goes for the wall except it’s now a 100-foot tall symbol…that neither side wants to let go of. Let’s face it….the political process is hopelessly broken….and Trump lacks the moral authority, popularity, and finesse to pressure Democrats to make a deal….or to make this a winning issue for 2020. The sad reality is that politics is still the art of compromise….and if you have more votes you should negotiate the better deal. But now compromise is a bad word…and shows one lacks backbone…..and isn’t a fighter….and must be primaried. That leads to perpetual stalemate and nothing meaningful ever changing.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  153. yes, the dems can destroy institutions at will, through voter fraud, through lawfare et al, buying off insurance companies, then their wreckage remains, and they promise to do more of it,

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/us-court-rules-for-trump-on-transgender-military-limits/ar-BBRNP8d?ocid=spartandhp

    narciso (d1f714)

  154. Entitlements don’t get repealed, and Obamacare became an entitlement thanks to the Dem supermajority gifted by Bush and a few corrupt prosecutors in the Stevens case. Blaming Trump signals pettiness, nothing more.

    Munroe (5bb48f)

  155. denounce denouncing
    numb-nutted rum besotted
    then grab yer ankles

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  156. I do find it amazing how he is able to get away with stuff nobody else could

    Even more amazing: When Trump says he can get away with stuff and his supporters will still love him, they don’t even recognize that as in insult to their own moral judgment. Instead, they say “heck yeah!”
    We have Falwell Jr. expressing a conviction that Trump could not conceivably do anything bad for the country. Has he said that about anyone else? What other politician (aside from Obama) has been granted such fervent, explicitly unconditional support — and on such a dubious basis?

    Radegunda (694c3c)

  157. “Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives are fed up with The New York Times after weeks of what they see as overtly antagonistic coverage that betrays an anti-Facebook bias”

    Welcome to the party pal!

    harkin (b2849d)

  158. yes, somebody hand him an ale, the problem is as a recent harper’s piece points out, as long as the internet served counter culture progressive ends and means, it was acceptable, as soon as it endorsed nationalist and ethno sectarian criteria of certain stripes it became doubleunplusgood,

    narciso (d1f714)

  159. in other ranch news:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46756996

    narciso (d1f714)

  160. Donald: remember your target audience; when is a wall not a wall?

    When it’s The Steel Curtain.

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/3e/33/11/3e3311c003bf178500697480b3b24429.jpg

    ‘I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.’  – President Trump, 6/1/17

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  161. Blueberry Hill Principle Hill

    I find them shrill
    On Principle Hill
    On Principle Hill
    And how ‘bout you?
    When time stood still
    On Principle Hill
    They lingered until
    Their lips turned blue

    Hot wind in the sails it was
    Fail’s sweet melody
    And all of those plans you made
    Were never to be

    Though we’re apart
    I’m fond of you still
    Triumph of Teh Will
    On Principle Hill

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  162. As has been written, with dat sweet $80B+ in remittances to Mexico and Central America, we could build an impregnable Wall with casinos and such.

    Colonel Haiku (ef3fae)

  163. and a panaderia

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  164. Harry Khachatrian
    @Harry1T6

    Democrats: “Trump is attacking America’s fundamental institutions. Also here is a new bill to abolish the electoral college”

    harkin (b2849d)

  165. and john Dingell, vaguely suggested getting rid of the senate, much like eminence grise avenatti, suggested packing the supreme court, I think we should move on that, why wait for another two years.

    narciso (d1f714)

  166. this is the channel where I got the skydragon motif from:

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/01/03/mars-lays-leftist-fearmongering-on-a-whole-new-world/

    narciso (d1f714)

  167. the grand inquisitor must be given room to destroy lives, and businesses, it’s the American way

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/04/federal-judge-extends-mueller-grand-jury-by-another-six-months-report.html

    narciso (d1f714)

  168. so then there’s this:

    http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=379013

    like an American idol audition,

    narciso (d1f714)

  169. now was she going for the Rosario dawson look or the one in guardians names escapes me now?

    narciso (d1f714)

  170. @Patterico

    No I know you defend it, I’m tired of Jonah and Podhoretz and the others continuing to beat the drum. It’s time for balls and strikes on policy choices.

    I find they had a certain bravery when it comes to hammering Trump and a certain cowardice in admitting Obama was a man of low moral character, not just criticizing actions by this administration or positions or what have you.

    For example, on the Commentary podcast a month or so back, JPod stated that Obama had to start an investigation into Trump because he was legitimately worried that a foreign asset had won the Presidency. Now I have a certain tolerance for b.s. but given that this past administration spied on the press, even potentially hacking Sharyl Atkisson’s laptop regarding Fast & Furious, it seems like a lot of benefit of the doubt to say “Trump’s a lech, but Obama, that guy had best of intentions and was just misguided”

    I enjoy all of Jonah’s work save for this one point he can’t let go. If this were the 19th Century, Jonah seems convinced the Americans didn’t fight the Revolutionary war by the rules of engagement, and we should feel bad.

    I’m probably just venting, but it’s become tiresome from smarter people that they dismiss that over the long haul that Hillary wasn’t an existential threat (due to elections) but give in to Trump being one for either party or country. If that’s the case, the problem isn’t Trump, the problem is that our legislative branch has its own brand of cowardice in leadership and defers.

    JH (8c963f)

  171. 176. Maybe the problem is that Trump is just as much a shyster and charlatan as Hillary. So many people deny that it’s true, but I think when it came down to Hillary and Trump in ’16, the first reaction of most “conservatives” was panic, followed by disgust.

    Gryph (5efbad)

  172. Jonah Goldberg would have been comfortable as a 1939 Brit intellectual, sniffily insisting that Britain had no right to criticize Germany, as long as it held India.

    He would have argued cleverly at Oxford in the 80’s, while shielded by US military power, that America had no superior morality as against the USSR, given its treatment of Indians.

    Further back, he’d have been writing public apologies to King George for that tea in the Harbor.

    He’s moving effortlessly into a befuddled, tedious and irrelevant version of George Will. No risk, all talk, no gain. He and Peggy Noonan can sip tea and reflect how much purer they’d feel, and how they’d be able to hold their heads high, if only Hillary had won.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  173. @50. Gee, Kevin, that ‘family values’ con was tasty sucker bait for two decades– and “some people” bought it hook, line and sinker.

    Oh, bollocks. Both HW and W exuded family values, and their entire clan centered their life around family. They lived what they preached, mostly. Nobody’s perfect but rapists like Bill C and power-mad vipers like his wife were the exception, not the Bushes. Romney, too, and McCain for the most part.

    Were there OTHER Republicans who played fast and loose? Sure. Gingrich comes to mind. Hastert. BUt none of them held a candle to the Lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy sou your whataboutism fails there, too.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  174. Romney and McCain were examples of family values not exceptions. Bad edit placement.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  175. Again, I will point out that there is an opportunity to form a new broad-based party, a lib-lite party favoring small government, federalism with strong states in domestic matters and a strong federal government in foreign affairs and enumerated areas. As both the GOP and the Dems head toward High Statism, differing only in the areas they want to control everyone, there is an opportunity to gather up the massively disenfranchised middle and take it to both of them.

    I’d start in CA, it being a one-party state with a crappy one party.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  176. Instead of taking an overdose of OxyContin, how about learning to do a job that robots and illiterate Third World peasants can’t?

    When there is an AI capable of lawyering, I expect the laws will start to see the problem with this.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  177. Trump is waaaay further from being a saint than Romney, GHWB, or Reagan

    True. A fairer defense would be using Ted Kenedy, Slick Willie and/or the young Robert Byrd.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  178. In terms of his great successes, we are adding to the debt at an alarming rate and ObamaCare remains the law.

    The GOP could have greatly altered Obamacare, stopping it from crushing older folks like it does, if Trump had had the balls to stand up to the one-fell-swoop nitwits would thought they could just repeal it forthwith, ignoring all the broken things in its wake. But he didn’t, likely because he was about 50 IQ points short of understanding. Ans so, instead of a successful Speaker Ryan, he has Pelosi and a terribly divisive and factless impeachment.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  179. paul ryan busted the caps to slop the corrupt mattis piggy-military

    he’s a person with very poor character

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  180. You got it backwards Ryan restored the cuts Obama had tricked him into making.

    Narciso (1b7053)

  181. i don’t even agree with that

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  182. @181. OK, Kevin. I’m a moderate voter in California. All the Republican party had done for me lately is increase my taxes to give money to freaking Bezos (I’m not a single issue tax voter, but it was bit irritating). The Democratic party doesn’t do much for me either, but they don’t punish me or tell me I’m a gold-digger who should give up my job (thanks Tucker). What does your new party have for me?

    Nic (896fdf)

  183. Jonah Goldberg would have been comfortable as a 1939 Brit intellectual, sniffily insisting that Britain had no right to criticize Germany, as long as it held India.

    He would have argued cleverly at Oxford in the 80’s, while shielded by US military power, that America had no superior morality as against the USSR, given its treatment of Indians.

    Further back, he’d have been writing public apologies to King George for that tea in the Harbor.

    And all this time I thought Jonah was one of those filthy (((neo-con))) war-mongers.

    I guess I need to read the Journal of American Greatness more often to keep up.

    Dave (1bb933)

  184. Again, I will point out that there is an opportunity to form a new broad-based party, a lib-lite party favoring small government, federalism with strong states in domestic matters and a strong federal government in foreign affairs and enumerated areas. As both the GOP and the Dems head toward High Statism, differing only in the areas they want to control everyone, there is an opportunity to gather up the massively disenfranchised middle and take it to both of them.

    Over the holidays, I posted a link to this white paper by some former Cato Institute members:

    The Center Can Hold: Public Policy for an Age of Extremes

    Here is a sort of abstract of the full paper.

    I’m not sure it exactly fits your vision, and I think the authors are far too optimistic, but it has some interesting and persuasively argued new ideas.

    nk hated it, but nk hates everything. Narciso seized upon a minor point and tried to use it to discredit the whole work. Otherwise there wasn’t much discussion.

    Dave (1bb933)

  185. Dave, I read the abstract (will try and go back to the full paper later). My initial reaction is that the middle has become perilous in our news media. Do we see FNC or MSNBC pushing for moderate reforms of Obamacare…immigration…..tax policy? Politicians who cross party lines and join gangs-of-insert-your-favorite-number are pilloried….with immediate calls for primarying and ex-communication. To fix our politics…we need to fix our media presentation of politics….to fix the media climate, we need to break the electorate’s addiction to treating politics as sport….and demonizing the opposition. This means toning down Talk Radio and making journalists go back to…well….journalism….rather than gossip.

    The problem is that the news media has become intoxicated in hearing their own opinions….and the viewers only want to hear opinions that conform with their own world views. So we’re stuck….the free market has spoken….and we prefer our ideological bubbles. The problem isn’t that the GOP or DEMs don’t understand the logical power of tacking toward the middle…harmonizing the values of the Right and Left…it’s that the bases have no interest in allowing such compromise….and the media sees more profit in watching the extremes eye gouge. I think there is growing hunger for a new way….but it will take slick marketing and shrewd production to gather the viewer’s attention…..and this ain’t nothing the GOP has ever been good at (minus maybe Reagan).

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  186. 128… back atcha, ULB. Yeah, I thought Carlson laid it down proper. That was a combination call-out and prescription. Those who deride the guy would do well to watch and listen. They may find it compelling.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  187. You complain about fox and a handful of other outlets when the progs have everything else as well as the educational system and so called entertainment you want then to have it all so we are as pitiful as France who was fooled by Macron the apparatchik

    Narciso (1b7053)

  188. Dave, it is an interesting paper (I did read the whole thing, though I skimmed a few parts). I don’t think AJ is wrong though. It would be hard row to hoe. People complain about how the media isn’t covering conservative issues, but there aren’t any conservatives doing actual journalism, they are all doing editorializing. Even conservative sites tend to point at liberal or liberal-leaning sites for numbers and stats and sometimes even analysis of them because at least the numbers and stats are available there.

    People want things to be easy and we keep telling ourselves that they can be and so everyone looks for the easy way. We want things but we don’t want to pay for them, so we get huge deficits or lousy infrastructure. Companies want to maximize profits instead of balancing profits and reinvestment, so they send out bigger dividends rather than fix their infrastructures and work-forces, and we get fires (frex) and people who aren’t up on technology and they want subsidies so they don’t have to pay for their own R&D and so we pay for the R&D through taxes. We don’t want to have to keep up on training or retrain, so industry stagnates and unemployment goes up. Nobody really wants to have to make the hard decisions.

    Nic (896fdf)

  189. Well we get deficits and lousy infrastructure, consider the last stimulus that money went into some body’s pocket. The fires is because in california they have been following the worst combination of policies but those in power can pick and chose their electorate through vote harvesting

    Narciso (1b7053)

  190. I’ll agree that there is some aspect of financialization, (over reliance on private as well as public debt) but the last 10 years made it even worse through quantitative easing.

    Narciso (1b7053)

  191. @197 The Camp fire started in a National Forest probably due to a PG&E powerline problem. US forest service controls national forests, not the state of CA. In fact, most of the recent major CA fires have been due to PG&E powerlines. They’ve now said that they plan to just start shutting down power when they think there will be a problem, which I guess will probably ultimately increase people getting solar panels (which I know you hate) and generators. They’ve probably looked at the cost/benefit and decided that paying off the law-suits and losing some minor business to solar and gas is cheaper than actually fixing or burying their lines.

    Nic (896fdf)

  192. Well pg &e is effectively an appendage of the state of California, so it’s a convenient scapegoat.

    Narciso (1b7053)

  193. It’s a publicly traded company, not a municipal power company.

    Nic (896fdf)

  194. “we don’t want to pay for them, so we get huge deficits”

    The problem is that the national debt and interest payment doesn’t seem real to enough people. Credit card debt is real….people see the balance growing and understand that they are on the hook for it…..and must find some way to reduce spending. But with the national debt, there’s a Chicken Little issue here….wasn’t Perot telling us we were on the precipice of disaster….that was 27 years ago and no hyper-inflation…..no spiraling interest rates….no mad rush to get investment out of the U.S. It doesn’t mean that at some point these things won’t happen…..just that we’ve grown comfortable with deficits and warnings have grown tired. That’s why the GOP could be for more military spending, tax cuts, and border security spending….without even the courtesy of off-setting spending cut proposals. The Left is even more delusional with proposals for single-payer health care, more college subsidies, infrastructure largesse, and expanded family leave guarantees….that are supposedly paid for by the mythical unending pockets of “the rich”.

    That’s why the whole thing is going to have to have a nasty implosion before people come to their senses. Inflation will have to steal purchasing power and erode standard of living before we can collectively say enough is enough. Sadly the GOP no longer meaningfully leads on this issue…..heck Trump would love to spend $1T on infrastructure….then pass the buck. One of the voices of reason…Paul Ryan….got tired of shouting into the wind…and took his ball and went home….tired of playing personality/drama politics and pretending that the Trump path makes empirical sense….and unable to make any progress on fiscal sanity. We the people just don’t care enough…we are too busy voting people on and off islands….

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  195. Again, I will point out that there is an opportunity to form a new broad-based party, a lib-lite party favoring small government, federalism with strong states in domestic matters and a strong federal government in foreign affairs and enumerated areas. As both the GOP and the Dems head toward High Statism, differing only in the areas they want to control everyone, there is an opportunity to gather up the massively disenfranchised middle and take it to both of them.

    I’d start in CA, it being a one-party state with a crappy one party.

    The GOP already fills that role in California. Election after election (long before Trump) has made it clear that California voters prefer big government. You get what you ask for and that’s what they are getting.

    bates (dddb3b)

  196. Really a budget which had higher discretionary spending than even Mulvaney asked for, Ryan might as well not even be there.

    Narciso (ae9f41)

  197. paul ryan has fabulous abs and they glisten softly in the candlelight when Mitt Romney anoints them with oil

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  198. oops that’s not oil my bad

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  199. “Ryan might as well not even be there.”

    Ryan either had the votes to pursue serious budget (entitlement) reform…or he didn’t. This is the awful reality…nobody wants their stuff cut….everybody wants the other guy’s stuff cut. Ryan doesn’t have a magic wand that will suddenly work in the Senate. We bloody and beat up people for things they simply can’t do unilaterally….and then we wonder why good people leave….and why the political tone is so corrosive. We’re stalemated because we’re not serious….prove me wrong

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  200. paul ryan talked a big game about fiscal responsibility but he was a liar and a coward just like John McCain and obamacare

    chalk it up to poor character

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  201. We need a President who will say: “No more Omnibus Bills, no more add-on amendments. You send me a bill that funds more than one thing, it will be DOA. One bill per check, so I can sign the ones I want and veto the ones I don’t.” And you know what? The Congresshacks will love him for it because it will relieve them of responsibility.

    But we need a serious President for that. An unserious one will ask for a “line-item veto” knowing that he’s not going to get it, and if he does some court will declare it unconstitutional.

    nk (dbc370)

  202. No they will whine some more, like they are doing now, and the press goes along with it.

    Narciso (ae9f41)

  203. https://americanmind.org/features/thinking-about-thinking-about-trump/the-breaking-of-the-never-trump-mind/

    Proper response to the current climate, but I don’t think it’ll be taken the was it should.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  204. JFK
    LBJ
    Nixon
    WJ Clinton
    BH Obama

    In my opinion, all had significant character flaws. A couple of them were good Presidents (an admittedly low bar) and DJT fits right in there.
    I think the difference is the media table pounding mixed with the foul brew of elitist never trumping (those who reject everything good Trump does as President because, well if any other President did it, it’d be great, but Trump did it so it is hated… see Bill Kristol)

    steveg (a9dcab)

  205. Sorry, that list was inaccurate.
    It should have been
    BJ Clinton
    ha ha ha gosh I’m almost as funny as Whoopie

    steveg (a9dcab)

  206. SteveG – How could you leave out Jimmy Carter??

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  207. he’s quite forgettable, this was the empty suit, the dems

    narciso (d1f714)

  208. 178. Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82) — 1/4/2019 @ 5:28 pm

    as a 1939 Brit intellectual, sniffily insisting that Britain had no right to criticize Germany, as long as it held India.

    Was theer anybdy like that?

    George Bernard Shaw was like that during the First World War (with reference tio Ireland and other things) but I don’t think in 1939.

    He would have argued cleverly at Oxford in the 80’s, while shielded by US military power, that America had no superior morality as against the USSR, given its treatment of Indians.

    Jonah Goldberg is old enough to have been around in the 1980s and I don’t believe he argued that.

    Jonah Goldberg was on Fox News Sunday today. The one interesting thought he had is that he thought Nancy elosi could nit back down because she’d be removed as Speaker. That’s probably not true, but it si reminderr that Speakers can be deposed.

    Here are ALL recent G_File (till Dec 28)

    https://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  209. “you will never be able to criticize a Democrat again for bad character, without being laughed at by people who will not forget”

    ‘The tactic that never worked on shameless power-grabbers in the past will continue not to work in the future, but I’ll feel bad about it.’

    “What can the next Democratic president do that you won’t look like a hypocrite for criticizing?”

    A Democratic President is nothing but the head of a criminal party by definition. You don’t criticize criminals, unless they’re already so powerful that criticizing them is the only thing you can do for the moment while you reach for a stick. You lock them up.

    “any trial lawyer worth his or her salt can easily spot the people not worth spending your limited time talking to. They are already against you and there is nothing more to be learned from further interaction.”

    Sounds like PROFILING to me, which is very racist. But seriously, “I can already tell which people will and won’t lead to the outcome that I want and I reject those who don’t” isn’t a principled position so much as a mercenary one. And there’s little to no indication that you’re fighting for America as a whole so much as your particular angle on America, which is pretty poisonous electorally.

    “Trump’s inability to hold onto cabinet secretaries of quality”

    ‘quality’ is not a subjective that I’d trust Goldberg or any pop-journo to define.

    “his determination to shrink his political coalition”

    Goldberg’s political coalition is only slightly less electorally toxic than Richard Spencer’s brigades, given their performance in the last election.

    “his refusal to do the minimum due diligence to understand and thereby explain his policy preferences”

    Washington is filled with lawyers and bureaucrats and telling them exactly what you want is simply making their job of prevarication and delay much easier and more focused.

    “his incapacity to let insults, real or perceived, go unanswered”

    “Just ignore him” has never, ever worked when dealing with bullies, “hit back harder” has.

    “his relentless prevarication and insurmountable narcissism”

    This is Goldberg to a T, the man who had his life handed to him on a silver platter criticizing someone who didn’t kick back and let his servants and money manager take care of things.

    “his insistence on denigrating allies”

    If Trump is denigrating you, you were probably never his ally in the first place.

    “his penchant for conspiracy theories and his unwavering pettiness”

    Was it the Trumpers who cooked up an extremely fake RUSSIAN COLLUSION theory and breathlessly reported on it all the past year while flippantly shouting about every overblown MUELLER INVESTIGATION DEVELOPMENT no matter how petty?

    Controlled Opposition (c35acc)

  210. Was it the Trumpers who cooked up an extremely fake RUSSIAN COLLUSION theory

    No, it was Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign manager who conspired with foreign intelligence agents to influence the election, in violation of the law.

    Dave (1bb933)

  211. The only collusion with the Russkies was done by Hillary Clinton, the DNC, the leadership of the DOJ, the FBI, our nation’s intelligence agencies, Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  212. It was an influence op like the zinoviev letter, which that Jonathan Morgan chap used for his own purposes

    Narciso (040a31)

  213. 219… all done in an effort to subvert the duly elected POTUS and help maintain their positions at the trough.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  214. You know they won’t… https://twitter.com/JammieWF/status/1081734203144839168

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  215. How about the fact only 300 showed up to hear red squaw, ah the huge manatees

    Narciso (040a31)

  216. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 1/6/2019 @ 5:30 pm
    JWF needs to get out more, since JWF seems to have missed all the Prog wokees who accused the Bernie/Warren wing of being concerned only about whites.

    Kishnevi (c338bc)

  217. He’s talking about the MEDIA, kishnevi.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  218. They lie with ease and no consequence:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/DavidSPJM/status/1082099438930313221

    Narciso (14c211)

  219. Mon colonel! Who dominates the Media if not the Progressive wokees?

    Kishnevi (e6517f)

  220. Yes, but they modulate their outrage, just like they can invent out of whole cloth.

    Narciso (14c211)

  221. 227… your proggie-wokees are the young, nitwit, SJW snowflake shock troops, kishnevi. They aren’t the MSM.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  222. Who was the Obama representative that said the reporters covering them were young and stupid and would repeat everything Obama gave them as dutiful press agents?

    I’m paraphrasing, but that is still as accurate as ever.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  223. Ben Rhodes, brother of the recently axed CBS news dirextor.

    Narciso (27009f)

  224. “And all this time I thought Jonah was one of those filthy (((neo-con))) war-mongers.

    I guess I need to read the Journal of American Greatness more often to keep up.”

    I meant the “yearning for perfection, while things go to pot,” parallels to be meaningful, but next time I’ll use perfectly apt examples.

    Like my examples, he yearns for mannered perfection–in his case, a perfect conservative who does not exist-and validates Flight 93 Election’s description of “Conservative Inc.,” and “Cruise Ship Conservatives.”

    Meanwhile, illegals pour thru the “border,” and the GOP House slept thru two irreplaceable years.

    While he waits for the Perfect Man, time marches on.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  225. 202: AJ Liberty:

    Nixon tried to cut the deficit in 1969, and was hammered in the midterms. He was not supported for his effort to act for the public good: Democrats and the GOP alike were furious with him. Horrible democrats were elected (e.g., Frank Church). The president’s impoundment power was curtailed, and we have not seen much of a balanced budget since

    Lesson learned: Fiscal prudence is good until someone deficit spends (LBJ) and unions and everyone else upgrade salaries, pensions and contacts to reflect the new flow of money and then…the person cutting is then the villain.

    Democrats were expecting Trump to do a Nixon: try to reverse Obama’s fiscal madness: cut the budget, cause unemployment. But Trump is not playing that sucker’s game. The game Jonah Goldberg and others think he should play. He’s going to either keep deficits for now, or make the democrats sign on to entitlement reform too.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  226. “No, it was Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign manager who conspired with foreign intelligence agents to influence the election, in violation of the law.”

    Those two words, along with ‘collusion’, have been extremely overdefined in a media sense and extremely underdefined in a legal sense and use of them seriously is probably an admission that what you’re accusing someone of is a charge that, to use Comey’s term, ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would bring, for an effect that’s meant more for media than legal consumption.

    The actual memes, rhetoric, and thrust of the media campaign is and was TRUMP IS PUTIN’S PUPPET, DOING HIS BIDDING FROM THE WHITE HOUSE!!!, not TRUMP FAMILY AND ASSOCIATES MAY HAVE BEEN OPEN TO PAYING PEOPLE WHO OCCASIONALLY WORKED FOR PUTIN FOR INFORMATION ON A POLITICAL OPPONENT THAT ONLY PUTIN MAY HAVE HAD, OR HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH THEM TO MAYBE PAY THEM FOR INFORMATION THEY MAY HAVE HAD IN THE FUTURE!!!

    This is a very popular liberal tactic of eliding to the definitional aether when caught, a GLOBAL WARMING to GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE! That just makes you dishonest hype merchants, or assistants to dishonest hype merchants, no better than a Cernovich, a Krassenstein, or a Truepundit, though maybe a little less popular or personable.

    Father Jerry (913af4)

  227. While he waits for the Perfect Man, he tends to the care and feeding of his hair plugs and time marches on.

    FIFY

    Colonel Haiku (3116bd)

  228. Betting old Mitch McConnell votes against the wall and for impeachment.

    mg (8cbc69)

  229. his corrupt pig wife would have to get a real job

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  230. Meanwhile, illegals pour thru the “border”

    But they are going the other way, on average. The number of illegal immigrants from Mexico in the US has been falling since 2007.

    The number of Mexicans apprehended crossing the border is about a quarter of what it was a decade ago.

    Dave (1bb933)

  231. his corrupt pig wife would have to get a real job

    why does president trump hire so many terrible people?

    does he hate america?

    Dave (1bb933)

  232. President Trump loves America and everyone knows it cause it’s so obvious

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  233. 239:

    Nice, but even an alleged ‘reduced level’ of apprehensions from one country (Mexico) was accurate when done, and continuous, its like pointing to the “reduced flow” of water into the Titanic after you put up a mattress:

    Illegals are still pouring across the border: hundreds are dumped into Texas cities b/c DHS is out of room to hold them. And, US citizens are under a continuing obligation, of course, for decades of housing, welfare, medical care, and of course, benefits to US born children.

    LA County alone pays more than 1B annually for benefits to US children born to illegals.

    And lets not forget the ESL classes that will be needed at school, in lieu of music, roman history, civics and AP Bio.

    The claim of ‘reduced’ apprehensions from one country-Mexico- with the implicit suggestion that people aren’t pouring thru the border, seems “suspect”–not to me of course, but to others: guess what number is not going down?

    (A) The number of non-Mexicans rises, and exceeds Mexicans for the third time since 2014.
    Number of non-mexicans rises: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/12/03/what-we-know-about-illegal-immigration-from-mexico/

    And moving the data point up to current day:

    (B), Washington Post has this that might be of interest:
    Record number of families crossing U.S. border as Trump threatens …
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/…number…crossing…border…/fe422800-c73a-11e8-b…
    Oct 17, 2018 – Having campaigned on a promise to stop illegal immigration and build a border wall, Trump now faces a spiraling enforcement challenge with …

    “Record number,” “spiraling enforcement challenge?” Say, that does not sound like the reduction in apprehensions is not what you made it sound like.

    Seriously, with migrant caravans also seemingly becoming a thing, a mere reduction in border crossings (not just apprehensions) from one country at one measuring point, is a kind of “Jonah Goldberg” point–it does not really address the concerns of those concerned, and it seems rather misleading to suggest that it does, and it really ignores the concerns of people who want it addressed. Hence, we got Trump. he may not get it all done, but we know that neither Hillary, nor Mittens would give it a second thought.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.5885 secs.