Our anti-Trump media accepted the January 6 report, Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, because it was designed to convey the impression that Trump was favored by the Russians.
But it is the Democrats who have long enjoyed (if that is the right word) a warm relationship with Russian regimes in both their Soviet Socialist and crony-capitalist mode. At least the Dems wanted to. Whether the Russians ever reciprocated the warm feeling remains a matter of conjecture. Skeptics and Republicans will have one opinion, Democrats and other Leftists another.
We quote from an article by Cliff Kincaid at GOPUSA:
The Russians obtained favored nation trading status under President Obama, giving them access to U.S. capital, and New START, a nuclear weapons agreement giving Moscow a strategic advantage.
Historically, the Russians have always found the Democrats to be friendlier to their global ambitions.
Professor Paul Kengor broke a story on how “the liberals’ lover-boy”, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), had “reached out to Victor Chebrikov at the KGB and Yuri Andropov at the Kremlin” to work against President Ronald Reagan.
Remember that, you who are outraged by the notion – born in your own minds – that President-elect Trump conspired with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton in the recent election.
Such a charge [of Trump-Putin conspiracy] was welcomed by the liberal media, in particular because it allowed them to divert attention away from the substance of the WikiLeaks revelations that showed how major journalists worked hand-in-glove with Hillary Clinton-for-president staffers. These disclosures were in emails hacked from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
Not even the persons most eager to smear Donald Trump claimed that the scandalous contents of the purloined emails (see here and here) were not true or not genuine. In fact the intelligence report positively states that they are true.
The IC report says that WikiLeaks, an alleged Russian agent, disseminated truthful information. “Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries,” the report says.
This is quite a turnaround for the Russians. In the past the Russians would alter or forge documents to make people look bad. This time, the Russians revealed the truth. … Of course, the Russians do not provide accurate and truthful information to their own people and they conduct propaganda and disinformation campaigns targeting foreign audiences. Their alleged illegal hacking into the private accounts of Americans cannot be justified. But Podesta and other Democrats can be criticized for failing to safeguard their own information and virtually inviting foreign hacking.
Russian intentions in allegedly providing the emails to WikiLeaks are a subject worthy of attention. But the conclusion that the Russians favored Trump over Clinton cannot be sustained by the evidence in the report. The IC report fails miserably in articulating how the Russians use dialectical maneuvers in playing both sides of the political street in the U.S.
One of the glaring omissions in the report on Russian interference in “recent elections” is the failure to address the evidence that RT [Russia Today] television was giving enormously favorable coverage in the 2012 presidential campaign to then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian with pro-Russia views on foreign policy. He ran in the Republican presidential primary. …
Of course, Obama won that election, after dismissing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia was a geopolitical threat to the United States. Obama had been caught on an open mic before the election promising to be “flexible” in changing his positions to benefit Russia. These comments provide more evidence that Obama was never the anti-Russian figure he postured as in the final days of his second term. …
Obama’s various federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the FCC and the FEC, refused to take any direct action against RT over the years when it was engaging in anti-Republican activities and supporting the progressive movement.
But when they saw they could use RT as a weapon against Trump, they suddenly became concerned about foreign interference in the U.S. political process.
Although the IC report insists that the Russians had a “preference” for Donald J. Trump for president … back in August of 2015 … RT was backing “Bolshevik Bernie” Sanders for president. … Yet the intelligence community report makes no mention of RT programs backing Sanders, whose Russian connections included visiting the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. Sanders was a fellow traveler of the Moscow-controlled U.S. Peace Council.
The focus on Trump runs counter to the stated purpose of the report and reflects the political bias therein. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) says that “On December 9, 2016, President Barack Obama directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review and produce a comprehensive intelligence report assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections.” (emphasis added). Yet, nothing is said about RT’s involvement in the 2012 contest that Obama won.
The U.S. Intelligence Community is described as “a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations, including the ODNI,” but only three were involved in the report. They were the CIA, FBI and NSA. It is generally believed that CIA Director John Brennan was the guiding force behind the Obama administration effort to blame the Russians for Trump’s election victory. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd had all denounced Trump. …
It certainly looks as if the CIA interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Perhaps blaming the Russians was an attempt to get the attention off the agency.
Brennan was accused of converting to Islam when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. His CIA under Obama’s orders directed the shipment of arms to jihadist groups in the Middle East. At a congressional panel on diversity in hiring, he admitted voting Communist when he was in college.
His focus at the agency has been on hiring people with “diverse” backgrounds, such as transgenders, and he even signed a policy document on a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” for the years 2016 to 2019, beyond his tenure as director.
Rather than go down in history with a reputation for defending America, … Brennan “would prefer his legacy be the way he fought to nurture a workforce that reflected America’s diversity”. The Journal added, “During his tenure he has put particular emphasis on promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers. He was the first CIA director to attend an annual social gathering of LGBTQ employees and has been known to wear a rainbow lanyard around the office as a symbol of solidarity.”
It looks like the focus on “diversity” in hiring has taken precedence over getting the facts right about foreign threats. Indeed, some observers, such as former FBI agent John Guandolo, have suggested that President Trump should abolish and replace the CIA with a new organization. “In 15 years they haven’t gotten a strategic analysis of the threat right — yet” …
The CIA will have to answer to its new director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump’s pick to run the agency.
But the media have a lot to answer for as well.
If WikiLeaks has suddenly became a Russian front or conduit, why are American news organizations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post still included among the “partners” with WikiLeaks in distributing its information? Other partners include the British Guardian, The Intercept, The Nation, McClatchy, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, RT.
If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a Russian agent, why did major U.S. media organizations partner with him? Why did they not investigate him …? Assange was considered a courageous whistleblower by the liberal press. They hailed WikiLeaks for releasing the classified documents that were stolen by Army intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning, whose sentence for espionage has been shortened by Obama.
Obama has commuted Bradley’s 35 year sentence, allowing the convict to be freed in May 2017 – iniquitously, and in contradiction to his outrage at the Russian interference that he alleges.
In addition to these issues and questions, some parts of the report lend themselves to a far different interpretation of Russian motives in U.S. politics.
For example, the IC report notes that RT ran a story against fracking, a technique that has sparked U.S. oil and gas production. The report says, “RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.”
The 2016 Democratic Party platform is highly critical of fracking. So does this mean the Democrats are doing the bidding of Putin? The progressive movement is almost completely against fracking. Does that mean that the progressives are puppets of Putin? …
By [an] objective measure of actual policies,Trump will prove to be more harmful to Russia than Hillary Clinton could ever hope to be. …
And she surely would not have hoped to be harmful to Russia – not to Russia – when she was still in a position to hope for any effect on international relations. Fortunately, that time has passed.
We had noted RT’s favorable coverage of the Occupy movement. Of course, Occupy Wall Street was a left-wing political movement aligned with the progressives and even encouraged by President Obama. So does this mean that Obama was doing the bidding of the Russians?
The IC report explains how RT bypassed American laws such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act “by using a Moscow-based autonomous nonprofit organization to finance its US operations”. The report goes on, “According to RT’s leadership, this structure was set up to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act and to facilitate licensing abroad. In addition, RT rebranded itself in 2008 to deemphasize its Russian origin.” Still, the financing for the channel comes from the Russian government, the report says.
So RT is, and has been, a foreign state-funded entity that should be subject to federal oversight from agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FCC, and the FEC. Yet, only now, after Hillary Clinton has lost the presidential election, has the IC been ordered to release a public report on what the Russian channel has been doing in U.S. elections.
The only thing that has changed over the years is that RT is now somehow considered to be a factor in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. …
If the liberal media are now truly concerned about Russian influence in the U.S. political process, rather than just using the issue as a weapon against Trump, they should … review their own “partner” relationship with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
After this review is complete, they should take another look at the IC report and determine why and how agencies like the CIA became adjuncts of the Democratic Party with a partisan bias against the new Republican president.
Since we know that the media and the Democrats work hand-in-glove, perhaps it’s time to investigate the CIA’s relationship with the media.
Yes. Tomorrow, January 20, 2017, will be the day when that becomes possible, and sometime soon may it become an active process!
Trump supporters, enjoy!
The old ripe-rotten Republican Party, personified by Mitt Romney, is doing all it can to destroy Donald Trump and so prevent a new Republican Party from coming into existence.
From the Political Insider:
Romney is attacking conservative businessman Donald J. Trump. Because Trump is self-funding his campaign, the GOP establishment and political class can’t control him. And that makes Romney angry!
Romney’s full speech was leaked, and included shameless and untrue attacks, such as:
Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat. His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.
But in one tweet, Donald Trump’s son Eric embarrassed Romney in a huge way.
The lack of loyalty is truly astonishing!
Mitt Romney tried with his ideas, his personality, his policies to gain the presidency, and he failed.
Andrea Tantaros in March, 2016, on Mitt Romney:
How staggeringly stupid the anti-Trump Republican grandees are showing themselves to be – Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Bill Kristol and the rest of them. Because Donald Trump and his style offend their patrician taste, they are trying to abort the new Republican Party that Trump would usher in and set on its new course for a new age.
They are helping Crooked Hillary Clinton to come to power: she who has sold out her country over and over again. She sold its favors to foreign companies and powers when she was secretary of state through the transparent ruse of getting them to donate vast sums of money to the Clinton Foundation. She allowed its enemies to find out its secrets by using an unsecure server for her emails. She callously let one of its ambassadors and three of its soldiers be killed by Muslim terrorists. She insisted on destroying the frail stability of Libya so that now it is in chaos, with thousands of refugees fleeing from its shores to Europe, many drowning on the voyage. And she is notoriously a bare-faced liar. Is such a person to be trusted with the security and well-being of the nation?
Surely not. But Romney and his anti-Trump conspirators are willing to let her rather than a patriotic, competent, fellow Republican gain the presidency.
They are not only disloyal, they are stupid. Even the smartest among them is being, in this supremely important instance, simply but prodigiously stupid.
Mark Davis at Townhall replies to the most frequent criticisms of Donald Trump that are made in objection to his being the Republican candidate for the presidency:
As we ride the white-knuckle Trump train to the Cleveland GOP convention and beyond, the air will fill with criticisms of him. Some will come from Democrats, some from rebellious Republicans. From both sides, some of those criticisms will have merit and others will be simply ridiculous.
So here’s a convenient guide for assessing the anti-Trump pronouncements which we will swim in all summer:
“He is not a consistent conservative.” Completely correct. His populism certainly borrows from some strains of conservative thought, but his trade policies are of a more populist bent, and his willingness to entertain a higher minimum wage is straight-up liberalism.
Many conservatives who have long supported him know he does not bat a thousand, or even .800, but they feel his energy on immigration, job creation and hammering political correctness may result in more genuine conservative victories than, say, a Jeb Bush presidency might have yielded.
“He doesn’t like Hispanics/ women/ fill in the blank.” The attempt to portray Trump as a racist or misogynist fails on its face. It is a slander leveled by people who know he is likely to fare better with Latinos in November than Mitt Romney did in 2012 (27 percent). I’d love to send this year’s entire seventeen-strong GOP field through the streets of South Brooklyn. Precisely one would get waves of appreciative welcome, and it’s not either of our candidates who were actual Hispanics.
As for women, any Republican faces a challenge in the current era of government as master nurturer. But strong, self-reliant women are pervasive among Trump supporters, and there is not a whiff of mistreatment of women in his business history. Quite the opposite, Trump World appears to be a complete meritocracy, where women and people of color are rewarded for performance without regard to race or gender. This is admittedly jarring in a country that has been led too long by Democrats obsessed with weaponizing both.
“He seeks evangelical support, but has hardly led a Biblical life.” Direct hit. And to many, it appears not to matter one shred. …
To us, of course, the comparative unreligiousness of Donald Trump is a big plus.
“He is not a real pro-lifer.” … Has he bought into the absurdity that Planned Parenthood does some good things? He has, meaning he cannot grasp that the organization would not exist but for abortion services. These are not good.
But there is no reason to believe that he is somehow lying in his testimony of becoming more pro-life as the years have passed. We conservatives are a funny lot; we persuade and coax and convince and lure people to our side, and when they pivot to agreement with us, we kick them in the crotch for not being with us their whole lives.
“We can’t count on his Supreme Court nominees.” What do people want him to do? He gave us a fat list of wonderful constitutionalist judges who would honorably fill the shoes of Antonin Scalia. Do we need a joint news conference with one of those names so that skeptics can know he means it? That is wildly inappropriate before he even accepts the nomination, and best left to the first days of his presidency, when he can make that announcement surrounded by the compelling imagery of the White House.
Trump’s tormentors responded to his worthy list with the same taunt they roll out with every conservative promise he makes: You can’t believe him, he’s a total liar. This is the mantra of those who don’t just doubt him; they hate him.
“He does stunningly unpresidential things.” Yes, he does, and most of them have helped him win the nomination. To the chagrin of more mannerly tastes, his admittedly brash and aggressive style has been punctuated with moments of truly embarrassing excess.
Those moments have dwindled as he has sent his rivals home. His discipline should sharpen even further now that he has but one opponent to target, and those attacks on Hillary Clinton will delight rather than annoy millions of Republicans who have watched him flay their favored hopeful.
“He contributed to Democrats.” No kidding, as does every businessman who wants to curry favor across party lines. I daresay Trump would not open a checkbook for her these days, now that their relationship is political. This trope is trundled out by critics seeking to sow seeds of doubt as to Trump’s reliability on core values.
“He doesn’t have any core values.” Have you listened to the man? Here are ten off the bat: stronger borders, blasting political correctness, leveling the trade playing field, rebuilding the military, taking better care of veterans, protecting gun rights, creating jobs, speaking truth to global jihad, and the broadly stated but resonant “make America great again”.
Anyone is free to agree or disagree with those, but they have been recurring themes every day of his campaign. Doubters may claim that he might not follow through on all ten, but I’ll bet his batting average with those stated goals is better than the sorry job the Republican establishment has done following through on all of those things they said they would do if only we won the House, if only we won the Senate, if only, if only.
“He changes his views on the fly.” In general, this is not good. On important conservative economic points, if he has adopted one, he needs to stick to it.
There we disagree. Trump is a pragmatist. He is open to advice.
We hope he will change his mind about protectionism. His favoring it, in relation particularly to China, is the one position he has declared that we firmly object to.
That he can change his opinions is not a bad thing – until he finally adopts a strong free market policy. Only then need he “stick to it”.
His reversal on a job-killing minimum wage increase was a total unforced error.
That said, he has stated often that he may adjust views as he becomes more familiar with various issues. While this annoys ideologues (like me), it may prove somewhat endearing to voters who sense he may listen as he learns the ropes of governance.
And on things like reticence to commit U.S. troops to the Middle East, I am hoping he adjusts that view right after his first security briefing the afternoon of January 20, 2017.
“He compliments Putin.” He sure does, in a certain oblique way, noting the Russian leader’s strength and devotion to his goals. For his part, Putin is eating it up, to the degree that he has thrown a compliment or two back Trump’s way.
This is not exactly “Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
But what it may be is a master deal-maker softening an adversary in preparation for a global chess match that might go better with an opening chapter of sweet-talk than it has of late with Obama’s empty rhetoric followed by inaction or worse.
It is true that Trump has zero experience dealing with foreign leaders. But he has a half-century of experience sizing up rivals and adversaries, using words and actions to lure them toward his agenda.
“He traffics in conspiracy theories.” This wholly accurate Trump criticism holds water, but dings him far less than those wielding it might wish.
His flirtations with such matters has ranged from the goofy (Rafael Cruz and Lee Harvey Oswald) to the inexcusable (Bush lied about WMDs to get us into war). But these moments seem to flit by without consequence, and the most recent one, the flight of Vince Foster nostalgia, was actually defused by the hyperventilations of overreaction.
Vince Foster was a close associate of Hillary Clinton. How he died is disputed. Did he commit suicide, or was he murdered? The case for doubting suicide is plausible.
As the voices of punditry gasped at his doubts on the official Foster story, millions old enough to remember 1993 thought: “Hmmm. The Clintons. The scandals. The various pressures of covering for them. Foster’s repeated frustrations with the Washington whirlwind. The decades of envelope-pushing by Bill and Hillary ever since. Know what? Maybe I’m not so sure what happened either.” …
“He rooted for people to lose their homes in the recession’s housing collapse.” This is straight from the den of lies that is the Democrat party advertising brain trust.
They found audio of Trump in 2006, musing about how a drop in home prices could provide buying opportunities that could be of benefit to investors. The history of such logic dates to neanderthals hoping tiger pelts would dip in value to grease the wheels of commerce 30,000 years ago.
Yet Elizabeth Warren, who we learn has pocketed some cash from a house flip or two, lashed out against Trump’s cruelty for actively wishing for homeowners to lose everything. There are only two explanations for an attack this baseless: genuine stupidity and malicious intent. Let’s just say she is not stupid.
And finally, “He is only doing this for his own ego.” No doubt, the man has a stratospheric self-image, and doesn’t mind telling us so. But this has been a trait of his for the decades we have known him. Does he engage in business deals for his own image or because he wants them to succeed? Has he plunged into various ventures from the USFL to the Miss America pageant for his own image or because he wanted them to succeed?
He clearly wishes to succeed at everything he does, so why would this not extend to running the country? This does not mean I will necessarily agree with his every instinct, but if he genuinely pursues the things he talks about with determination and seriousness, there will be far more positive results than negative.
In the end, I’d rather have a president interested in actually doing things that will make him look good, than the last seven and a half years of a president who does whatever he wants because he thinks he is already omniscient and omnipotent.
And if, at the end of his presidency, the country will have been truly benefited, Trump will enjoy the enormous benefit of an even loftier list of achievements, and we might enjoy the benefit of an America made, at least in some ways, great again.
We quote the whole article:
If Mitt Romney had given the speech that Donald Trump did today, and if he had followed its strategy during the third presidential debate with Obama on foreign policy, he would have won the 2012 election.
Trump’s themes were straightforward: Make America strong again, put America’s interests first. The Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy has strengthened our enemies, disparaged our allies, and earned us global disrespect. It has led to disasters that include the rise of ISIS and the destabilization of the Middle East. The theme of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry years has been the weakening of America – point Trump made with maximum bite: “If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.” And of course the Jeremiah Wright-Billy-Ayers-radical-Barack Obama did set out deliberately to do just that.
Obama’s agenda is American weakness, which leads to losing. Trump’s agenda: we must start winning. There were specifics.
First a rejection of the neo-conservative dream of democratizing the world, and in its place old-fashioned conservatism: limited foreign policy goals and stability, as the framework of peace: “We are getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focusing on creating stability in the world.”
And second, a rejection of liberal internationalism, and a defense of the nation state, in particular this nation state with its unique political culture: “Under a Trump Administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries. I will view the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.”
And the (accurate) justification for this nationalism: “The world is most peaceful, and most prosperous, when America is strongest.”
These were reassuring clarifications by Trump about his foreign policy views and should be a step towards satisfying his conservative critics although obviously a speech can also be only that – words to pacify critics. We’ll have to wait and see how he elaborates it further in response to specific events. But this was a very good beginning.
Our only point of criticism: Mitt Romney could not possibly have given such a speech, because Mitt Romney – as far as the American public knows – did not have these ideas.
Trump is saying now what has needed to be said for sixteen years. May he be given the opportunity to put the ideas into practice!
Former Governor Mike Huckabee told Fox News that Donald Trump’s success represents a peaceful “overthrow of the government” and that the Republican establishment should be glad it’s being achieved with “ballots, not bullets”. He added that the Trump phenomenon was a “political revolution in the Republican Party and in the country”.
THAT IS THE POINT
After Obama, and the utter failure of a Republican-majority Congress to oppose the evil that he has done, a political revolution is necessary, and Donald Trump – with all his faults that two of our readers insist on pointing out to us over and over again – has emerged as the leader of it.
Joan Swirsky writes at Canada Free Press:
Sure enough, presidential candidate Donald J. Trump racked up impressive statistics in his Fox News debate tonight, effectively trouncing the competition that included Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Once again, however, Fox’s Megyn “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” Kelly ambushed Mr. Trump by falsely stating that the Better Business Bureau had given Trump University a D-minus rating, when in fact it’s rating is, as Trump asserted, an A! …
(Sorry about the small print. Efforts to make it bigger have failed.)
The same trouncing happened last week when Trump’s victories in the primaries garnered him the lion’s share of electoral votes by winning Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Virginia, which, according to Philip Bump of The Washington Post, “no Republican has ever won going back to 1960”.
Both pundits and pollsters attributed the massive turn-outs to Mr. Trump’s having excited, inspired and therefore mobilized the electorate — in some cases well over 100% increase above the 2012 midterms. In one instance, Mr. Trump beat Sen. Cruz by 450,000 votes; in another he beat Sen. Rubio by over a million votes! … Trump had “significant support across educational, ideological, age and income classifications”.
In his victory speech last week, looking and sounding presidential, Mr. Trump accurately proclaimed: “We have expanded the Republican Party.”
This ought to have been music to the ears of Republicans everywhere, especially “establishment” types who constantly seek to attract influential voting blocs comprised of African-Americans, Hispanics, and young people, all of whom — mysteriously, incomprehensibly, self-destructively — have huddled under the Democrat tent for decades, gaining not a micrometer of progress in their personal lives, wages, schools, crime rates, the pathetic list is endless. Trump, only nine months into being a politician, has accomplished this incredible feat. But the more he succeeds, the more the Grand Poobahs of the Grand Old Party, as well as the media (both right and left), have devolved into what appears to be a clinical state of hysteria.
Think about this. Barack Obama’s record violates every principle and value that Republicans and Conservatives claim they stand for … and yet those same Republicans and Conservatives — in full control of the Senate and House — have been notably absent in mustering up anything more than mild rebuke to counter Mr. Obama’s assaults on our country. But to them, Trump is the real threat!
That’s what the frenzied GOP, media, and also-rans are trying to do, figuratively closing any openings in what they believe is their own personal Ship of State now that the threatening weather called Donald Trump is upon them. …
Ironic, isn’t it. If any entity deserves a comeuppance, it is the very arrogant, go-along-to-get-along, ineffectual, leftist-whipped, emasculated, cave-to-Obama, bow-to-the-lobbyists, accommodate-the-Arab-lobby establishment! Impotent? Emasculated? Yes, money and power are mighty motivators, but it is a tacit acknowledgment of their own sissified selves that is now spurring Trump’s critics into action.
And they’re trying their damnedest! On March 2, a gaggle of Republican national security leaders — no doubt many of them members of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations whose animating raison d’être would be threatened by a Trump presidency — wrote an open letter to Trump expressing their “united opposition” to his candidacy. They don’t like his “vision of American influence and power in the world … advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars … rhetoric that undercuts the seriousness of combating Islamic radicalism … insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border…,” on and on. Comical, isn’t it, that everything they’ve failed to address with any seriousness or success compels them to slam the guy who promises to address those issues and succeed.
On March 3, 22 Republicans declared that they would not vote for Trump.
August writers like the Wall St. Journal’s Bret Stephens have been apoplectic about Trump for months,sparing no slur or invective. Author and military historian Max Boot has dug deep into his assault repertoire to make sure no insult has gone unhurled. And the usually dazzling Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review Online is simply unable to contain his hostility to Trump’s candidacy, just as most of the other writers at NRO have jumped on the anti-Trump bandwagon. And that’s not to omit the florid hysteria emanating from com.
We have often quoted Bret Stephens and Andrew C. McCarthy with admiration and respect – and will again – but they fail to understand what is happening in the country.
On March 4, desperate anti-Trump operatives pimped out good ole patsy Mitt Romney to go before a teleprompter and read the words written for him by an anti-Trump operative. …
But no one forgot that Romney, a lifelong liberal, lost both senatorial and presidential elections and that the last image of him — etched indelibly in the American public’s consciousness — was of him debating his rival for the presidency, Barack Obama, and simply folding like a cheap suit!
Romney — who The Wall St. Journal called “a flawed messenger” — didn’t look or sound like he had dementia, so it’s strange indeed that he barely mentioned the endorsement Trump gave him for his campaign for president, and the lavish praise he heaped upon Trump.
Romney’s hit job evoked the following 22-word, devastating and well-deserved tweet from Trump: “Looks like two-time failed candidate Mitt Romney is going to be telling Republicans how to get elected. Not a good messenger!”
All of the abovementioned people — and dozens I haven’t named — are growing frustrated that their old tricks of marginalizing and finally destroying the target in question haven’t worked. They long to emulate the JournOlist of 2007, when over 400 members of the leftist media colluded to quash any and every criticism or fact-based doubt about Mr. Obama’s Constitutional eligibility to hold office, to intimidate any critic into silence.
To this day, has anyone seen even one of Barack Obama’s college transcripts, his marriage license, a doctor’s evaluation? Now it’s the Republicans — actually those cocktail-swigging “conservatives” who routinely cozy up to the lobbyists they’re beholden to — who have gotten together to defeat Trump. These feckless so-called leaders decided that their target, a self-funded former liberal, was worth more of their negative, insult-laden literary output and passionate commentary than the Marxist-driven, jihadist-defending, anti-Constitutional, anti-American regime in power.
If you ever wonder how this could happen, why Republicans and self-described Conservatives could rebel so ferociously against a candidate who promises to strengthen our military, bring jobs and industry back to America, seal our borders against the onslaught of illegal aliens, and make America great again, wonder no more.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
Doesn’t it always come down to money? Money leads to power and influence and control, all of which politicians — that too-often pliable and buyable species — lust for. It’s not only the ephemeral day-to-day power they fear losing, it’s the entire network they’re enmeshed in, which involves all the treaties and deals and “arrangements” they’ve signed onto and the pelf it promises to keep on yielding. (For Exhibit No. 1, see The Clinton Foundation and the mountain of cash it reaps.)
Imagine their fear of a president who actually cuts the pork, actually strikes deals that don’t line his own pockets, actually exposes the bad deals that have been made by the bad players in Washington, D.C. Imagine what Trump will learn about the massive under-the-table, self-serving deals that were made in the Iran deal and others.
The same lust for power applies to media moguls whose wealth is not limited to TV stations and newspapers but to the very deals made by government and on Wall St. No one knows this better than Mr. Trump, the author of the mega-bestseller, The Art of the Deal. That’s why his critics are so terrified. They pretend to be offended by the kind of comment or gesture that they themselves express routinely. But they’re really afraid of being in the presence of someone who is utterly immune to either their blandishments or strong-arm tactics. …
As Mark Cunningham wrote in theNew York Post: “All the noise about Donald Trump’s ‘hostile takeover’ of the Republican Party misses a key point: Such takeovers only succeed when existing management has failed massively. And that’s true of both the GOP and the conservative movement. Trump’s a disrupter but most of the fire aimed his way is just shooting the messenger.”
Monica Crowley, editor of online opinion at The Washington Times, explains that the “emotionally fragile Republican ruling class” deluded themselves into thinking that Mr. Trump couldn’t possibly win. “Then actual voting began. And the first-timer, the brash anti-politician, began racking up resounding victories …”
In addition, Crowley writes: “Like his style or not, Trump is an in-your-face guy. Voters want that kind of guy taking it to President Obama’s record, to Hillary Clinton … and to the unbridled, destructive leftism that has rendered America virtually unrecognizable.”
And, I might add, taking it to the wimps in the GOP!
A great new movement, a grassroots rebellion, has arisen in America. Those who realize this, and understand why, have no trouble seeing Donald Trump as president of the United States after the disastrous, almost ruinous, deeply depressing presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.
Conrad Black understands it. He writes at the National Post, of which he was formerly a proprietor:
Donald Trump polled extensively last year and confirmed his suspicion that between 30 and 40 per cent of American adults, cutting across all ethnic, geographic, and demographic lines, were angry, fearful and ashamed at the ineptitude of their federal government.
Americans, Trump rightly concluded, could not abide a continuation in office of those in both parties who had given them decades of shabby and incompetent government: stagnant family incomes, the worst recession in 80 years, stupid wars that cost scores of thousands of casualties and trillions of dollars and generated a humanitarian disaster, serial foreign policy humiliations, and particularly the absence of a border to prevent the entry of unlimited numbers of unskilled migrants, and trade deals that seemed only to import unemployment with often defective goods. I was one of those who thought at the outset that Trump was giving it a shot, and that if it didn’t fly it would at least be a good brand-building exercise. …
Americans, unlike most nationalities, are not accustomed to their government being incompetent and embarrassing. History could be ransacked without unearthing the slightest precedent or parallel for the rise of America in two long lifetimes (1783-1945) from two and a half million colonists to a place of power and influence and prestige greater than any nation has ever possessed — everywhere victorious and respected, with an atomic monopoly and half the economic product of the world. Forty-five years later, their only rival had collapsed like a soufflé without the two Superpowers exchanging a shot between them. International Communism and the Soviet Union disintegrated and America was alone, at the summit of the world.
And then it turned into a nation of idiots, incapable of doing anything except conduct military operations against primitive countries. The objective performance of the latter Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations, and the Gingrich, Reid-Pelosi, and Boehner-led congresses, and most of the courts, have for these 25 years been shameful and as unprecedented in American history as the swift rise of America was in the history of the world. The people turned out rascals and got worse rascals.
We would not be so hard on Newt Gingrich. He’s been saying sensible things about Trump.
Donald Trump’s research revealed that the people wanted someone who was not complicit in these failures and who had built and run something. Washington, Jackson, the Harrisons, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and others had risen as military heroes, though some of them had had some political exposure. Jefferson and Wilson were known as intellectuals, Madison as chief author of the Constitution, and Monroe and John Quincy Adams as international statesmen. What is called for now is a clean and decisive break from the personalities and techniques of the recent past. Donald Trump doesn’t remind anyone of the presidents just mentioned, but he elicited a surge of public support by a novel, almost Vaudeville, routine as an educated billionaire denouncing the political leadership of the country in Archie Bunker blue-collar terms.
Last (Super) Tuesday, he completed the preliminary takeover of the Republican Party.He demonstrated his hold on the angry, the fearful, and the ashamed by passing the double test: he had held no elective office, but he was a worldly man who knew how to make the system work and rebuild American strength and public contentment. All the other candidates in both parties were vieux jeu, passé. Only a few of the governors (Bush, Christie, and Kasich) had run anything successfully, none of them had built anything, and all were up to their eyeballs in the sleazy American political system — long reduced to a garish and corrupt log-rolling game of spin-artists, lobbyists, and influence-peddlers. Bernie Sanders gets a pass, but he is an undischarged Marxist, and while many of his attacks on the incumbent system and personnel have merit, his policy prescriptions are unacceptable to 90 per cent of Americans.
It was clear on Tuesday night that Trump’s insurrection had recruited the Republican centre and pushed his opponents to the fringes. The conservative intellectuals, including my friends and editors at National Review, as well as Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and some of the think tanks, attacked Trump as inadequately conservative. They are correct — he isn’t particularly conservative, and favours universal medical care, as much as possible in private-sector plans, but a stronger safety net for those who can’t afford health care, and retention of federal assistance to Planned Parenthood except in matters of abortion. Traditional, quasi-Bushian moderate Republican opponents and liberals were reduced to calling him an extremist — claiming he was a racist, a “neo-fascist” said Bob Woodward, America’s greatest mythmaker and (albeit bloodless) Watergate assassin, and a “Caesarist” by the normally sane Ross Douthat in The New York Times. (He was confusing the triumphs of the early Caesars with the debauchery of the later Caligula and Nero and the earlier bread and circuses of the Gracchi, but it is all bunk.)
John Robson [a columnist and editorial writer for the National Post], took his place in this queue on Monday, claiming Trump was squandering an inherited fortune (he has multiplied it), and concluding that Trump is “a loathsome idiot”. The sleaziest dirty tricks campaigner of modern American history, Ted Cruz, claimed Trump was in league with gangsters.
We would not be that hard on Ted Cruz.
On Tuesday night, Cruz ran strongly in his home state of Texas but his support is now confined exclusively to Bible-thumping, M16-toting corn-cobbers and woolhats, and he has no traction outside the southwest and perhaps Alaska. The orthodox Republican candidate, Marco Rubio, is now a Chiclet-smiled, motor-mouth loser, having first been exposed as such by Chris Christie (the New Jersey governor who could have won the nomination and election four years ago and is now running for the vice-presidential nomination with Trump). Rubio should bite the dust in Florida next week. On Super Tuesday evening Donald Trump made the turn from rabble-rouser to nominee-presumptive. The only early campaign excess he has to walk back is the nonsense that all the 11 million illegal migrants will be removed, and then many will be readmitted. Of course the selection process must occur before they are evicted, not after.
Even the formidable and adversarial journalist Megyn Kelly acknowledged that he looked and sounded like a president. He spoke fluently and in sentences and without bombast or excessive self-importance. He is placed exactly where he needs to be for the election, after Hillary Clinton finishes her escapade on the left to fend off the unfeasible candidacy of Bernie Sanders. (This is if she is not indicted for her misuse of official emails — Obama is nasty enough to have her charged, and almost all prosecutions of prominent people in the U.S. are political, but she is now all that stands between Donald Trump and the White House, but is almost a paper tigress.) Trump sharply raised the Republican vote totals and the fact that he carried 49 per cent of the Republican voters in Massachusetts, a state with almost no extremists in it, indicates how wide his appeal has become.
Obama may well be “nasty enough” to have Hillary charged, but is he law-abiding enough?
Hillary Clinton was, as Trump described her when she unwisely accused him of being a sexist, a facilitator of sexism; simultaneously the feminist in chief and First (Wronged) Lady, as spouse of America’s premier sexist. She was elected in a rotten borough for the Democrats in New York State, and was a nondescript secretary of state. She has been caught in innumerable falsehoods and her conduct in the entire Benghazi affair (the terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador) was reprehensible. Her indictment for various breaches of national security and possible perjury is regularly demanded by former attorney general Michael Mukasey and other worthies. …
All these and more failures, as well as unseemly activities with the Clinton Foundation, will be mercilessly pounded on in the campaign. Donald Trump will not simulate the languorous defeatism of the senior Bush or Mitt Romney, or the blunderbuss shortcomings of Bob Dole and John McCain. (Romney’s savage attack on Trump on Thursday served to remind Republicans of how he squandered a winnable election in 2012 and faced in all four directions on every major issue.)
It really is incomprehensible why Mitt Romney laid himself open, with his vituperative attack on Trump, to an obvious blow in retaliation; that he failed miserably when he was a Republican nominee for the presidency. Any opinion of his on any candidate could only remind everyone of his failure. He figuratively lay down in front of Trump and begged, “Kick me!” Which Trump obligingly did – though not too hard.
Eight years ago, it was time to break the colour barrier at the White House. Now it is time to clean the Augean Stable. Donald Trump has his infelicities, though not those that malicious opponents or people like John Robson, who simply haven’t thought it through, allege. But he seems to have become the man whom the great office of president of the United States now seeks. He is far from a Lincolnian figure, but after his astonishing rise it would be a mistake to underestimate him.
We prefer him not to be a “Lincolnian figure”.
But we like Conrad Black’s turn of phrase when he says that “the great office of president of the United States now seeks” Donald Trump.
Certainly an enormous number of Americans want to place him in that office. Which might be the same thing.
The Democratic Party had gone wholly over to the dark side and had to be toppled from power.
But its only possible replacement, the GOP, had become so boring! Feeble, flaccid, sotto voce, forever falling as if by uncontrollable reflex into the posture of the pre-emptive cringe.
Until suddenly the busy, brash, boisterous, boastful Donald Trump arose in it and above it, roaring out terse insults and extravagant insincere praises.
Arose like a lion, like a leader.
The man with the golden mane.
Whatever conservatives might hold against him is beside the point. He fights to win. And that is so new, so surprising, so revolutionary to Republican politicians that they can’t bring themselves to stand behind him even now that he’s their front runner.
But for as long as he is their front runner – perhaps all the way to the White House – they need to urge him on with thunderous (even if feigned!) enthusiasm.
David Solway writes at the New English Review:
The GOP failed to use its congressional majority to assert its foundational doctrines on the misguided assumption that it could woo Democrat voters away from their traditional loyalties or perceived entitlement advantages by presenting itself as the lite version of the opposition. …
But why would left-leaning voters go for Leftism Lite when the real thing is available to them?
Stark examples of Republican surrender abound. Most recently, a Republican Congress signing on to Obama’s omnibus funding bill has brought itself into tawdry disrepute. Another instance involves the infamous Corker Bill, which could just as easily have been engineered by Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Senate Republicans refused to deal effectively with the deficiencies of the Corker Bill – a bill, as Andrew McCarthy explains, that was totally inadequate from the beginning to counter the Iranian nuclear threat. The affair smacks of RINO business as usual.
As Andrew Bostom writes in a critical blog entry for April 15, 2015, Senate Republicans “have cravenly acquiesced to cynical, perverse Obama Administration bullying so as not to be labeled ‘warmongers’.” Once again, we observe the standard right-wing capitulation from what should have been a position of strength.
One recalls, too, the shameful spectacle of John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, and the bloviating Lindsay Graham doing Obama’s bidding in Egypt in defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, or of McCain coming to the aid of Hillary Clinton’s Brotherhood-tainted adjunct, Huma Abedin, when she was challenged by Michele Bachmann. Such complicity – voting with or parroting the enemy – is a surefire recipe for yet another Republican electoral defeat …
In an interesting article for American Thinker, James Arlandson comes to the defense of the GOP establishment, which knows that society “moves by degrees”, that “incrementalism is the only way to retransform America”, and that the party must appeal to a majority of undecided voters. It is not an entirely convincing article. Such temperateness as Arlandson recommends sabotaged Mitt Romney’s campaign and did not prevent the installation of the most radical president in American history, whose skin color did not overlay his bred-in-the-bone Marxism. And we recall that Ronald Reagan, arguably the best president of the 20th century, was anything but temperate.
It comes down to this: Republicans need to change their game plan and go on the attack, abide by their core tenets, use their congressional majority to stymie a rogue president on every front without fear of electoral blowback, take on a corrupt and partisan media (as Donald Trump is doing, and as Romney did not when he failed to rein in CNN’s Candy Crowley’s illegitimate intervention during the second presidential debate between Romney and Obama), and stop being polite to their political enemies. They must rally behind their nominated candidate, whoever that turns out to be, turn a deaf ear to the “strategies” of political advisers and so-called experts (who are habitually wrong about everything), counter the debilitating sickness of political correctness, tackle issues like Muslim immigration and cross-border infiltrations on a consensus basis, and, generally speaking, appeal to principle rather than to the opposition.
A tall order, but RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] will not win the 2016 election. Blue Republicans will not convince a partisan, cynical, wavering, or undecided electorate. Canada’s Conservatives lost the [recent] election in part because they shrank from being truly conservative. Similarly, should the Republicans lose in November 2016, it will be because they failed to be truly republican.
Or perhaps because they’ll fail to follow a new leader who is only just republican enough, only just conservative enough, but is above all a mover and shaker, who could lead them to victory.
Will he? Or will the sober and serious Marco Rubio do it? Or the strong steady Ted Cruz? One of them must.
Must beat the Democratic nominee, whether the crook or the commie.
In any case, the unfolding drama is exciting.
An exciting GOP at last!
(Hat-tip for the Solway link to our commenter cogito)
The Tea Party is pleased with the results of a Drudge poll that favors Scott Walker to be the Republican Party presidential candidate:
With all the caveats about this being a non-scientific online poll, it has to mean something that Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is murdering every other GOP contender by massive margins among those Drudge readers motivated enough to vote. Although voting continues, as of this writing nearly 70,000 total votes have been cast. Walker captured a whopping 45% of them, 31,211 votes. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in second place with 15%, 10,054 votes. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is in third with 13%, 9297 votes.
Dr. Ben Carson came 4th with 8%. “Establishment favorites Jeb Bush and Chris Christie sit at 5% and 2%, respectively.”
But Jonah Goldberg thinks that Scott Walker is not so much wanted for what he is as for what he isn’t. In other words, he’s the candidate nobody objects to.
He writes at Townhall:
Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in America, not because it is the best … but because it is the least objectionable. Put another way, vanilla is the most acceptable to the most people; it’s not many people’s favorite, but nobody hates it.
And that’s why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the vanilla candidate.
A new Des Moines Register poll has Walker in first place – narrowly – among likely Republican caucus-goers. With Mitt Romney included in the poll [but since dropped out of the competition], Walker was the respondents’ first choice with 15 percentage points. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was second with 14 percentage points and Romney third with 13. With Romney out, Walker rose to 16 percentage points and Paul to 15. First place in a tightly packed field is better than any of the alternatives, but it’s not that big a deal this far out.
The big deal is the vanilla factor (which sounds like a terribly boring spy novel). According to the Register story that accompanied the poll, 51 percent of caucus-goers want an “anti-establishment candidate without a lot of ties to Washington or Wall Street who would change the way things are done and challenge conventional thinking”. Meanwhile, 43 percent prefer a more establishment figure “with executive experience who understands business and how to execute ideas”.
Walker is in the golden spot. He can, like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day listening to Andie MacDowell explain the perfect man, reply “that’s me” to almost everything Republicans say they want. Executive experience? Challenge conventional thinking? Anti-establishment fighter? “Me, me, me.”
Respondents looking for an establishment candidate said Romney was their first choice. Those preferring an outsider said Paul was their first choice. But both groups said their second choice was a big scoop of Walker.
Of course, this can all change. No matter how palatable it is, people can still grow weary of vanilla, and Walker may melt under the pressure. …
Walker won three elections in four years, “in liberal Wisconsin!”, so Jonah Goldberg thinks it unlikely that he’ll “melt”.
Our question is: What are the chances that a “vanilla candidate”will succeed against an unscrupulous candidate with all the ill winds of the Left behind her leathery wings, like Whatshername?
It seems John Bolton is considering entering the race. Now there’s a man we could support. If not President, he’d make a great Secretary of State; he understands foreign affairs and America’s role in the world better than anyone else within the circle of the political horizon.
We also like Ted Cruz, a political heavyweight. We agree with much that we’ve heard him say about most issues – barring religion, of course.
We know that some of our readers disagree with us about Ted Cruz.
We hope our readers will tell us whom they favor at this point, and why.
Rule by the Democratic Party is nasty, and where can voters look for relief but to the Republicans?
Because the desperation was strong, too much hope was placed in the Republicans.
Now the disappointment begins. They are starting – so soon! – to copy the Democrats.
And already – of course – the Democrats are gloating.
Catherine Rampell writes in the Washington Post:
Republicans have taken the Senate and expanded their fiefdom in the House, but the Democrats seem to have won the intellectual narrative nonetheless. The GOP, inexplicably, is having its Thomas Piketty moment.
Seriously, guys: Republicans have suddenly started caring about inequality. …
When Republicans have taken note of our country’s income and wealth gaps, the sentiment has usually been dismissive and disdainful, full of accusations of class warfare waged by resentful, lazy people unwilling to hoist themselves up by their bootstraps.
Then, in just the past week, many of the likely 2016 Republican presidential contenders began airing concerns about the poor and condemning the outsize fortunes of the wealthy.
On Fox News after the State of the Union speech, Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) denigrated the administration’s economic track record by doing his best Bernie Sanders impression.
“We’re facing right now a divided America when it comes to the economy. It is true that the top 1 percent are doing great under Barack Obama. Today, the top 1 percent earn a higher share of our national income than any year since 1928,” he said, quoting an oft-cited (by liberals) statistic from the work of economists Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.
Likewise, here’s Mitt Romney, in a speech last week: “Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before.” Sound-bite highlights from his past presidential campaign, you may recall, included a reference to the “47 percent” who don’t pay federal income taxes and a conclusion that “my job is not to worry about those people”.
Apparently his job description has changed.
Jeb Bush, too, has newfound interest in the lower income groups and deep inequity flourishing in our nation. His State of the Union reaction: “While the last eight years have been pretty good ones for top earners, they’ve been a lost decade for the rest of America.” Sen. Rand Paul, as well: “Income inequality has worsened under this administration. And tonight, President Obama offers more of the same policies — policies that have allowed the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer.”
Someone up the GOP food chain seems to have decided that inequality and poor people now belong in everyone’s talking points, class warfare be damned. But why?
The rest of the article is not worth quoting. Rampell’s answers to her “why?” are unconvincing (you can judge them for yourself here).
What matters is that the Republican Party may not after all be the lesser of two evils. It may simply be the same evil under a different name.
In an open society, the rich are not rich because the poor are poor.
The poor are not poor because the rich are rich.
When Republican politicians encourage that misapprehension, they are encouraging the politics of envy.
As Thomas Sowell says (see our post Listen to Sowell, January 21, 2015), most people are poor when they are young and rich when they are older.
The main cause, in America, of poor people staying poor is that government keeps them so, by keeping them dependent on government.
The best cure for poverty is freedom from government “help”.
The more government “helps” the poor, the more poor people there will be, and the longer they will be trapped in poverty.
We had assumed that Republicans like conservative Ted Cruz and libertarian Rand Paul knew this. Seems we were wrong.
What do bleeding-hearted politicians think the rich do with their money? Keep it in boxes?
No. They invest it, generally in ways that do far more good for the economy than if they give heaps of it to government in taxes. Government uses tax money to pay a vast army of administrators to distribute some it to those they keep on hand-outs. Government wastes money. And higher taxes never did, never can, and never will cure poverty.
It cannot matter how unequal people are in wealth as long as everyone has enough to satisfy their wants. If they don’t have enough, they can do better for themselves in a market economy. Only if they are left free to work for themselves in an uncontrolled economy. Unless they are socialist tyrants, enriching themselves at the people’s expense.
Poverty is a problem. Wealth is not.