Patterico's Pontifications


Paul Ryan Not Jumping On Trump Train Just Yet

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:05 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In light of the various politicians who once swore off Donald Trump, yet are now supporting him, it’s interesting to hear Paul Ryan say that he’s not ready to endorse Trump:

TAPPER: So you’re saying you can’t, you can’t support or endorse him right now?

RYAN: Yeah, I am basically saying that… I think Conservatives want to know: Does he share our values and our principles on limited government, the proper role of the executive, adherence to the Constitution? There are a lot of questions that Conservatives, I think, are going to want answers to. Myself included.

Trump, clearly working hard to unite the party, responded to Ryan’s comments:


While some see Ryan’s cautious approach to endorsing Trump as “exceptionally bold,” given that he is the Speaker of the House, and while I’m certainly happy to see Ryan defy the party and not jump on the Trump Train like McConnell and friends, I can’t help but be aware of the bitter irony that up until a few days ago, we had a candidate who more than met Ryan’s criteria. In spades. A candidate with a reputation for fighting for limited government, a candidate with a full understanding of the proper role of the executive, and a candidate who has spent his entire adult life pushing for strict adherence to the Constitution. All of these things are demonstrably true about Ted Cruz. They are not so about Donald Trump.



Rick Perry the Most Recent to Support Trump, Whom He Called a “Cancer on Conservatism”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:43 pm

You want to know why people are getting fed up with politicians? Here are some pretty good examples. To be fair, few of these people are “praising” Trump. But their willingness to vote for the man makes them look like fools, in light of what they said previously. And I’m here to remind you.

Here is Rick Perry from July 22, 2015:

He is without substance when one scratches below the surface. He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: A toxic mix of demagoguery and mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued,” Perry said. “Let no one be mistaken — Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.

Today, it is being reported that Perry is supporting that cancer on conservatism:

“He is not a perfect man. But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them,” Perry said Thursday.

“He wasn’t my first choice, wasn’t my second choice, but he is the people’s choice,” Perry added.

Bobby Jindal in September 2015:

Last week, I said on national television that Donald Trump is a shallow, unserious, substance-free, narcissistic egomaniac.

It’s pointless arguing policy with someone not intellectually curious enough to care and who makes it up on the fly. According to him, his plans will be “fabulous” and “something terrific.”
His problem with Washington isn’t big government, it’s that he’s not running it. He’s not liberal, moderate or conservative. He’s not Republican or Democrat. Donald Trump is for Donald Trump. He believes only in himself.

Like all narcissists, Trump is insecure, weak and afraid of being exposed. That’s why he’s constantly telling us how big and rich and great he is, and how insignificant everyone else is.

. . . .

Conservatives need to say what we are thinking: Donald Trump is a madman who must be stopped.

Two days ago, Jindal said he’s for the madman: “My vote’s for Trump.”

Marco Rubio said in March:

“I think he’s already an embarrassment,” Rubio said. “People around the world are watching this debate and this campaign and wondering what’s happening here, because the things he says are nonsensical.”

He’s more than halfway to supporting Trump. I have no doubt he will.

And two days ago, Ted Cruz pulled no punches:

Ted Cruz on Tuesday unloaded on Donald Trump, accusing him during a news conference of being a “pathological liar,” “utterly amoral,” “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen” and “a serial philanderer.”

If Rubio and Cruz toe the line and support Trump, that will be epic, huh?

I’d like to think Cruz won’t. He set himself apart in the Senate by taking on his colleagues. He could set himself apart by refusing to support Trump.

But I’m through making predictions this election cycle.

P.S. At least Trump is doing some outreach to the Hispanic community:

Congratulations, GOP. You own this now.

And virtually everybody will fall in line, beclowning themselves in the process.

Ben Sasse: Our Founders Didn’t Want Entrenched Political Parties. So Why Should We Accept This Terrible Choice?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:36 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Ben Sasse wrote an open letter yesterday to the American voters which dovetails nicely with our host’s latest posts that basically consider the possible next step for those no longer interested in being a part of the Republican Party as it currently stands, and do not support the presumptive nominee. Sasse, who doesn’t support either Trump or Clinton, questions why we have to accept such a lousy choice in the first place:

Washington isn’t fooling anyone — Neither political party works… They resort to character attacks as step one because they think voters are too dumb for a real debate. They very often prioritize the agendas of lobbyists (for whom many of them will eventually work) over the urgent needs of Main Street America. I signed up for the Party of Abraham Lincoln — and I will work to reform and restore the GOP — but let’s tell the plain truth that right now both parties lack vision.

As a result, normal Americans don’t like either party. If you ask Americans if they identify as Democrat or Republican, almost half of the nation interrupts to say: “Neither.”

Young people despise the two parties even more than the general electorate. And why shouldn’t they? The main thing that unites most Democrats is being anti-Republican; the main thing that unites most Republicans is being anti-Democrat. No one knows what either party is for — but almost everyone knows neither party has any solutions for our problems. “Unproductive” doesn’t begin to summarize how messed up this is.

Our problems are huge right now, but one of the most obvious is that we’ve not passed along the meaning of America to the next generation. If we don’t get them to re-engage — thinking about how we defend a free society in the face of global jihadis, or how we balance our budgets after baby boomers have dishonestly over-promised for decades, or how we protect First Amendment values in the face of the safe-space movement – then all will indeed have been lost…

These two national political parties are enough of a mess that I believe they will come apart. It might not happen fully in 2016 – and I’ll continue fighting to revive the GOP with ideas — but when people’s needs aren’t being met, they ultimately find other solutions.

In the history of polling, we’ve basically never had a candidate viewed negatively by half of the electorate. This year, we have two…

With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in. Heads, they win; tails, you lose. Why are we confined to these two terrible options? This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. That’s what we do.

Remember: our Founders didn’t want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?

So…let’s have a thought experiment for a few weeks: Why shouldn’t America draft an honest leader who will focus on 70% solutions for the next four years? You know…an adult?

**Although I’m one of the most conservative members of the Senate, I’m not interested in an ideological purity test, because even a genuine consensus candidate would almost certainly be more conservative than either of the two dishonest liberals now leading the two national parties.)

Imagine if we had a candidate:
…who hadn’t spent his/her life in politics either buying politicians or being bought
…who didn’t want to stitch together a coalition based on anger but wanted to take a whole nation forward
…who pledged to serve for only one term, as a care-taker problem-solver for this messy moment
…who knew that Washington isn’t competent to micromanage the lives of free people, but instead wanted to SERVE by focusing on 3 or 4 big national problems…

Back in February, Sasse reminded voters the place and function of political parties:

Now, let’s talk about political parties: parties are just tools to enact the things that we believe. Political parties are not families; they are not religions; they are not nations – they are often not even on the level of sports loyalties. They are just tools. I was not born Republican. I chose this party, for as long as it is useful.

If our Party is no longer working for the things we believe in – like defending the sanctity of life, stopping ObamaCare, protecting the Second Amendment, etc. – then people of good conscience should stop supporting that party until it is reformed.


Sasse concludes:

I believe that most Americans can still be for limited government again — if they were given a winsome candidate who wanted Washington to focus on a small number of really important, urgent things — in a way that tried to bring people together instead of driving us apart.

Unfortunately though, as Trump’s ascendancy confirms that voters, specifically *the voters who voted for Trump in the Republican primaries, don’t really care about character, Conservatism, limited government, or entitlement spending, let alone the Constitution. Not anymore. Further, why would they see the current Republican Party as problematic when it gave them the candidate for whom they clamored? When 17 candidates vie for the nomination, and the party chooses an egocentric, lying, non-Conservative, Big Government charlatan to throw their support behind, all I can say is, Reince Preibus, you’re but a speck in my rear view mirror. Tell someone who cares that it’s time to get in line and get behind Trump .

I love that Sasse has continued faith in the American people. I love that he hasn’t caved to the party demands, but is looking for other options. As are a lot of us.

[*modified per Beldar’s suggestion]


Trump Flip-Flops on Minimum Wage, Self-Funding

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am

And thus begins the “I told you so” phase of our proceedings.

Flip-flop #1: the minimum wage.

Trump November 2015, on the minimum wage:

I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is.

Trump April 2016:

I’m looking at that, I’m very different from most Republicans.

A higher minimum wage is, of course, a job killer.

Flip-flop #2: “self-funding.”

I put that in scare quotes, of course, because Trump has never been truly self-funding. But now he won’t even pretend to be:

“I’ll be putting up money, but won’t be completely self-funding,” the presumptive Republican nominee said in an interview Wednesday. Mr. Trump, who had largely self-financed his successful primary run, added that he would create a “world-class finance organization.” The campaign will tap his expansive personal Rolodex and a new base of supporters who aren’t on party rolls, two Trump advisers said.

It’s gonna be epic when he says: “We’re not gonna build a wall.”

But it won’t change any Trumpkins’ minds. Chumps gonna chump.

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