Patterico's Pontifications


Shep Smith Out, WSJ Editorial Page Turns on Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:44 pm

Reading the news is, as the common saying goes, like drinking from a firehose.

I want to note that Shep Smith is out at Fox News — by his own choice to be sure, but mainly because the network didn’t support him and truth, against the Trumpist degenerates who garner the Trumpy praise at the rallies:

But I think the piece worth highlighting today is from the Wall Street Journal editorial board, who, like Matt Drudge (have you seen the Drudge Report lately?), appears to have had it with the dunce cap model in the Oval:

Jennifer Griffin of Fox News reports that Mr. Trump was supposed to tell Mr. Erdogan to stay north of the border. When the Turkish bully made his threats, Mr. Trump could have said that the U.S. military controls the air above the region and would respond to protect the Kurds and U.S. soldiers. Ms. Griffin reports that Mr. Trump instead “went off script” during the call and agreed to stay out of Turkey’s way.

One of the most tragic and dangerous deviations from script in memory.

How this will play out isn’t clear, but the early signs are troubling. Mr. Trump claimed Mr. Erdogan would take control of the more than 10,000 Islamic State prisoners under Kurdish control, but a senior adviser to Mr. Erdogan told CNN this week that Turkey “never said” it would “shoulder the burden” of holding the prisoners.

Watch out if the Kurds stop holding the prisoners as they flee the invading Turks. The ISIS fighters could break free to rejoin the estimated 15,000 jihadists who haven’t been killed or captured. They could hoist their flag again over territory in Syria or Iraq.

The rather eye-opening conclusion of the editors?

As Commander in Chief, Mr. Trump has been mostly tactical and rarely strategic. He shifts positions from week to week, even day to day, for the sake of a summit or short-term appearances. Allies are informed about his reversals after the fact and left to wonder if they can still rely on the United States of America.

As Mr. Trump runs for re-election, this habit of impulsive judgment will be front-and-center. As an incumbent he should be the safer presidential choice. But Mr. Trump’s judgment can be so reckless that many voters who took a risk on him the first time will ask if he’s worth a second gamble when he would no longer be disciplined by having to face the voters again. Impeachment won’t defeat Donald Trump in 2020, but Donald Trump might.

The real fear is that Trump’s legacy won’t be merely the installment of angry and scary Elizabeth Warren, but the flipping of the Senate. If Dems don’t manage to flip three or four seats, Fauxcahontas has zero chance of implementing her frightening war on success. But that’s not guaranteed.

Republicans made a very, very big mistake picking Donald Trump in 2016. A historic mistake. Anyone could have beaten Hillary Clinton. No other Republican would have been this reckless. Our electorate is terrible, and the choices voters face in 2020 are untenable, barring a miracle by Biden — who is barely tenable (for four years max; thank goodness he’s old) only by comparison to the monument to idiocracy currently occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Saturday College Football Open Thread

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:40 am

[guest post by JVW]

I don’t think we’ve done one of these yet this year, so let’s have one of our traditional Saturday college football threads. Here are some of the major games for today (the lines are from Thursday, when this post was drafted).

USC (+10.5) at Notre Dame
A renewal of one of college football’s most storied rivalries, certainly among the top five non-conference rivalries (along with Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and Army-Navy). Notre Dame, with its earlier loss to Georgia, almost certainly needs to win the rest of its games to have a shot at the BCS Playoff.

Oklahoma (-11) vs. Texas at the Cotton Bowl
Another great rivalry game, played in the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium during Texas State Fair weekend instead of at the Jerry Jones Stadium in Arlington. The over/under on this game is a whopping 76 points, so look for a shootout.

Nebraska (+7.5) at Minnesota
A new-fangled conference rivalry based upon realignment. Both teams are fighting to keep pace with Wisconsin and Iowa for the Big 10 West championship, for the honor of getting stomped by Ohio State in the Big 10 title game.

Florida (+13) at LSU
Battle of two undefeated teams as the number 7 Gators are somehow a nearly two-touchdown underdog to the number 5 Tigers.

Alabama (-16.5) at Texas A&M
Since Johnny Manziel’s amazing performance for the Aggies against the Tide 83 months ago, Alabama has lost only four conference games: twice to Auburn and twice to Ole Miss.

Florida State (+27) at Clemson
Did anyone ever think they would see FSU be a four-touchdown underdog to a conference foe? My, how the mighty have fallen.

Slippery Rock at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Because it’s a tradition.

Feel free to talk about other games here.


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