The Jury Talks Back


Meet Your Blogger: Yours Truly on Trump and More

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:45 am

Shameless Self-Promotion Department: If you’re looking to take a break from the silly news of the day, take a moment to read this interview of yours truly at Fault Lines. The interview is conducted by Scott Greenfield, managing editor of Fault Lines, blogger at Simple Justice, and . . . criminal defense attorney. I think an interview of a prosecutor (which is my day job) by a criminal defense attorney is inherently interesting, no? Since this is a political blog, I’ll tease you with one of the political questions and answers, about (what else?) Donald Trump:

Q. You parlayed your skill and experience with writing into commentary gigs at various websites. (You’ve been published in the LA Times, your blog posts have been covered in the New York Times and Washington Post, and you used to write at Breitbart before it went alt-right.) These days, apart from the blog, you’re best known as a regular at RedState.

Whether at RedState or Patterico’s Pontifications, you haven’t been one to express much support for our current President. You opposed his candidacy, and even deregistered from the Republican Party after he became the GOP’s torchbearer in the general election. By lining up behind Trump, have Republicans betrayed their limited-government ideals? Now that he’s been in office for a few weeks, has he proven as bad as you feared? Is he even worse?

What about the current immigration debacle? Is it the constitutional travesty left-leaning lawprofs claim it is? Do you take as dim a view of plenary power as they do? Was it, perhaps, unwise of Trump to deny re-entry to lawful permanent residents? In the age of Trump, can we expect the same, ahem, scrupulous level of commitment to the Constitution we were used to from Obama?

A. I do not think that support for Trump, by itself, reflects a betrayal of limited-government principles. Plenty of my readers, like me, supported another candidate in the primary, and don’t care for Trump. Many of those people voted for Trump just because he is not Hillary Clinton. That was not my decision, but I understand it and can’t criticize that point of view.

However, on May 3, 2016, the day Ted Cruz bowed out of the race, I instantly saw that the Republican party was going to start conforming itself to Trump’s vision more than I knew I would be comfortable with. Republicans were going to support big government initiatives, worry less about state sovereignty and the Constitution, and defend any number of outrageous Trumpy statements and positions. I wanted no part of it, and I wanted to disassociate myself from a Trump-led Republican Party in a very public and clear way.

My abandonment of the GOP, and my personal distaste for Trump, have been very disturbing to the part of my readership that is more partisan and less concerned with limited government principles. It’s difficult to watch some long-time readers view me as a “leftist” and treat me contemptuously, as if I were the enemy, simply because I can’t stand the demagogue that has seized control of the Republican party. But I don’t change my views to suit my readers. I suspect some other bloggers have — especially those who are dependent on their blogs for income. In that sense, it’s nice to have a day job. It makes it easier to say what I really think.

I despise Donald Trump as a person. I liked that state senator’s description of Trump as a “loofa-faced sh*tgibbon.” He’s obviously a vindictive, nasty, narcissistic, dishonest clown who has probably never read a book in his life. He is the best argument for the irrationality of the American voter we have ever seen. That said, I wasn’t looking forward to Hillary Clinton being in office, and I think Trump has done and will do some good things. His selection of Neil Gorsuch to replace Justice Scalia was brilliant.

You asked about immigration. I’m very sympathetic to Trump’s concerns over an influx of refugees from war-torn Muslim nations. I don’t think that accepting those refugees in large numbers with insufficient screening has worked out very well for Germany. The Nordic countries have seen their very successful cultures threatened by an inordinate number of immigrants with a murderous ideology and a desire to inflict Sharia law on everyone. All that being said, I am a fierce critic of runaway executive power, and I think Trump should be working with Congress on this issue. It’s also beyond debate that Trump’s rollout of this particular executive order was hasty, slipshod, and illegal as applied to green card holders and other visa holders.

There’s more about Trump at the link, including some pretty good jokes about him — but we cover a lot more than politics. Scott asks me about my first trial, why I went to school where I did, the crazies who have come after me because of my blogging, and so forth. I get a chance to mention my group the Constitutional Vanguard, for people who believe in liberty, the free market, and the Constitution (sign up here!). My favorite part of the interview is discussing the songs I have written, some of which have been covered by a few of my favorite artists. One example of those songs is called Wrong Side of the Road, covered by Steve Bertrand of The Tories, the band that did “Time for You,” the theme song for the TV show “Jesse” with Christina Applegate. “Wrong Side of the Road” is a song about going against the grain in life, a theme that is near and dear to my heart. If you like that one, there is a link to more in the interview. (And I have more to come, relatively soon!)

I thank Scott Greenfield for the opportunity, and hope you get a chance to check it out.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


  1. Thank you for sharing, and I am sincerely sorry for all the boorish poo-throwing you will experience as a result of your post.

    As I wrote to you privately, I know you to be a fair and intelligent person. Opinionated, sure.

    But when I find myself disagreeing with you, it’s an opportunity for me to re-examine my thoughts and learn from yours.

    Sadly, that world doesn’t exist any more, does it?

    I enjoyed reading the interview, and I hope to meet you one day in real life. I owe you some kind of adult beverage, for sure.

    Comment by Simon Jester — 2/15/2017 @ 9:51 am

  2. A we move toward Luna federation Simon. It would be nice to acknowledge the underlying statutory authority, admit the eo is a rather minimal course of action, nowhere near his campaign pledge.

    Comment by narciso — 2/15/2017 @ 10:32 am

  3. Very interesting story, patterico, including how you came into blogging

    Comment by narciso — 2/15/2017 @ 10:43 am

  4. > I find myself increasingly irritated by silly partisan arguments coming from “my” side of the aisle.

    I share that sense. Silly partisanship from my allies is way more irritating than silly partisanship from my opponents.

    Comment by aphrael — 2/15/2017 @ 11:43 am

  5. Great article, and not just because it’s about my favorite blogger. Many of the best lawyers I know love music and/or are musically-inclined. Maybe it’s not a coincidence.

    Comment by DRJ — 2/15/2017 @ 12:00 pm

  6. I’m truly sorry for all the awful stuff you’ve faced as a blogger (the swatting, the lawsuits, etc). No one should ever have to face such things for exercising their 1st amendment rights.

    That was a very interesting read!

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 2/15/2017 @ 5:42 pm

  7. Excellent article, P. But you do know that the joke about the library burning down and destroying both books, only one of them having been colored, was used on George W. Bush 15 years ago. Far be it from lefties to develop a new joke over a decade and a half.

    Comment by JVW — 2/15/2017 @ 7:24 pm

  8. Didn’t know that, JVW.

    It’s funnier with Trump because he actually doesn’t read.

    Comment by Patterico — 2/15/2017 @ 7:54 pm

  9. Thanks, Arizona CJ. I appreciate your taking the time to give me that feedback.

    So many on the other thread have taken time out of their day to give me negative feedback that I extra-appreciate it when someone says something positive.

    Comment by Patterico — 2/15/2017 @ 7:56 pm

  10. @ Patterico;

    I took a glance at the comments over at and I see what you mean. I’ve long held the belief that a blog is essentially the blogger’s home, so a commenter should behave as if at a party at a home; show some dang respect for the host (and fellow commenters). To do otherwise is simply rude.

    I don’t always agree with you, but I do respect you, and I also want to say Thank You for all you’ve done, including these two fine sites. Please keep up the good work; it’s very much appreciated.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 2/15/2017 @ 10:00 pm

  11. I especially appreciate your hosting this forum. It’s a great place to comment.

    Comment by DRJ — 2/15/2017 @ 10:13 pm

  12. I really enjoyed that interview. You’ve had a great career in journalism even if you didn’t go that route.

    Comment by Dustin — 2/16/2017 @ 7:46 am

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