The Trump Plan

No, not his plan to Make America Great Again – there’s no real details on that. Deliberately – it is an excellent and effective advertising slogan into which everyone can pour whatever mental content they like. What I’m talking about is Trump’s plan to win.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is click on the TV – which is set to the local news because right around wake-up time is the time they do the weather forecast, thus allowing me to plan, weather-wise, my day. After watching that, I click over to the national news to make certain the world didn’t blow up in the night…usually, this is about 30 seconds because (a) if the world blew up it would be right there and (b) I can’t take more than 30 seconds of national news mindlessness at a time. But this morning the news was showing Trump at some sort of town hall event – I watched through two questions.

The first question was about the life issue – apparently originating from a couple Catholic guys, one of whom is a priest: once and for all, are you pro-life or pro-choice? Boom, goes Donald – “I’m pro-life”; then a bit of attacks on Cruz for questioning Trump’s pro-life credentials.

The second question was about Social Security – what will you do to save it? Trump’s answer – I’m going to make the economy so strong that we can fund it forever; I’ll never cut it or raise the retirement age; every other candidate will cut it; remember Paul Ryan? They had him pushing granny off a cliff in a wheelchair, they won’t be able to do that to me.

Trump didn’t provide any details, at all – but he said precisely what a winning electoral coalition wants to hear.

Make no mistake about it, the GOP has a disadvantage on Social Security – relentless Democrat lies have convinced a large number of people that in some way, the GOP wants to cut benefits to current Social Security recipients. Don’t doubt this – I personally know such people. That Social Security is a hideously bad program which doesn’t provide near what a privatized retirement plan could provide is neither here nor there: for tens of millions of people, it is all they have for retirement and even the slightest hint of risk to the program gives them a sinking feeling in their gut…and makes them, in the end, vote Democrat just to be sure. Donald Trump just laid down an immovable marker – he won’t cut it in any way, shape or form. Hillary tries to attack him with that, he’ll be able to smack down such talk and be convincing about it. Elderly voters already trend GOP…Romney won 56% of their votes in 2012…but Trump, by being absolutely firm on this, could increase the GOP share of the elderly a significant amount.

Trump is now officially pro-life, but he’s no Holy Joe and he’s never been involved in the fight over abortion, and thus hasn’t built up any “hate factor” on either side. The United States is becoming a more pro-life nation all the time, so being pro-life, aside from being crucial in the GOP primary, is in tune with the broad majority of the American people…who, though, still in their majority don’t want an actual end to abortion, at least in the early part of a pregnancy. Given the nature of Trump, a “War on Women” campaign against him would probably roll off…and do keep in mind that 21% of professed Pro-Life people voted for Obama in 2012, which is an absurdity…Trump could pull even more Pro-Life people into the GOP voting booth.

What this all boils down to me is that Trump, by keeping it vague but firmly on the side of the vast majority of the American people (gotta protect SS; you know, it is just better to be Pro-Life, etc), his plan is to win the GOP nomination and the Presidency by sheer out-appealing everyone else. Trump is not looking for wedge issues to divide the electorate and pick up just enough of it to secure victory (a long-standing Democrat tactic which the GOP has never been effective at) – Trump is looking to convince a gigantic majority that he’s for them.

Whether or not he can do it remains to be seen – just as it remains to be seen what, precisely, he’d do as President. But if he can do it, then he’s not only going to be the GOP nominee, but he’s going to utterly crush the Democrats in November.

I’m still hopeful that Cruz or Rubio can somehow stop him – but time is rapidly running out and I’ve yet to see them hit Trump where it would actually hurt…in the fact that he’s a rich man. Trump is rich, Hillary is rich – attack the rich. Go full-blast after corporations, rich people, the use of money by the Establishment to twist things. Still might not work, but hitting Trump on the fact that he used to be pro-choice or that he’s not a true conservative won’t get you anywhere…people don’t care about that. They are disgusted with business as usual and are searching – in both Democrat and GOP ranks – for whomever seems most likely to be a political hand grenade in DC. Just as in 2008 the whole exercise was to find the politician who was least like George Bush, so 2016 is all about finding the politician who is least like a politician. Hence, Trump.

I will never be a Trump supporter – because Trump, bottom line, is just another Progressive…a more patriotic variety of Progressive than we’ve seen for some decades. There used to be a lot of them, you know? Teddy Roosevelt was one, for instance. If he becomes President, I’ll support anything he does which actually works towards Conservatism, oppose anything he does which doesn’t. But if we in the GOP don’t want to have a Progressive, Patriotic Trump as President, then we’d better get our act together very fast…and that really means Cruz and Rubio getting their acts together.

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27 thoughts on “The Trump Plan

  1. Retired Spook February 17, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    I’m kind of going through somewhat of a metamorphosis in terms of how I view the future of this country, thanks, in large part, to the candidacy of Donald Trump. That’s not to say I’ve become a Trump fan. On the contrary, the more I hear and see him, the more I learn about him, the more I dislike him. But he has awakened a tremendous amount of pent up anger, largely, I think, from people who haven’t been a part of the political process before — people who have, for want of a better term, been shit on their whole lives by “The Man”. Assuming Trump’s candidacy continues on and doesn’t, at some point, hit a brick wall, we could see people vote in this election who either haven’t voted before, or haven’t voted in a long time, maybe since Ross Perot in 1992. We could also see a substantial crossover, ie., Reagan Democrats. And we could also see people who normally participate stay home. What we could end of with is a significant political realignment in this country.

    So the question becomes, how do we prepare for a Trump presidency? A Hillary presidency? I’m kind of resigned to the fact that, in the end, we’ll get the kind of government we deserve. I think a Trump presidency is likely to be a disaster, possibly orders of magnitude worse than Obama, but I could be completely wrong — I hope I’m completely wrong. I think the solution is to simply prepare for the worst possible outcome, and then be pleasantly surprised if things work out. That’s kind of what I did when Obama was elected, and I’ve managed to ride out his presidency without any significant damage. Of course, it’s not over yet.

    • Amazona February 17, 2016 / 4:41 pm

      I was reading an article this morning which referenced a book about con men, and I copied a couple of paragraphs: emphasis mine

      “Con artists—men and women both—know, the reviewer wrote, “that nearly everyone wants to hear about how they are special, lucky, clever or destined for great things.” That last phrase tripped the hammer. Trump tells us things are going to be “so great,” “so special,” “so wonderful.” Many in the Trump and Sanders camps fall into this category: good and decent men and women who to the traveling snake-oil salesmen are mere rubes wanting something for nothing. For the political con men, it’s even better: the voters are never entitled to a refund.

      The con man always succeeds, Konnikova says, by being able to size up his quarry, by gaining trust, and by making the victim feel special. It’s all about persuasion. The reviewer notes studies revealing “that juries are often more swayed by compelling narratives than by hard evidence.”

      Cons thrive in times of uncertainty, discontent, and conflict, when people are especially frustrated or perhaps, depressed. Because humans are trusting sorts, we’ve been victimized over and over. As a consequence, weight-loss products and healing devices are ready scams for the unwary.”

      http://townhall.com/columnists/johnpwarren/2016/02/17/the-art-of-the-con-n2120680

      I’d like to think that once Trump has, in his reckless and over-the-top fashion, brought out the things that make us angry, vocalized the things we want to have done, we can enjoy the catharsis of responding and hollering “Hell, YEAH!” —– and then when the emotional rush is over, calmly and rationally look for the best person to make it happen. Without sacrificing our values and principles to get it done. That is key. What the people who are loving the emotional high of being HEARD, of having their gripes and fears brought out, of the sense that they are not alone, are seemingly willing to set aside is the fact that the guy who has them so excited, who has the thrills running up THEIR legs, is also telegraphing his intent to work the miracles he is promising by doing exactly the same thing the guy he wants to replace has been doing. That is, running roughshod over the Constitution, being the guy in charge who is just going to make things happen.

      I’m concerned that the same people who are cheering Trump on for his alleged conservatism are just as eager to use non-conservative means to get what they want as the Progressives have been using under Obama. I don’t want the same coin flipped over so there is a different face exposed, I want a whole new currency. I don’t care if it’s boring, I don’t care if it plods along going from one necessary step to another. I care about the process, because that is what our rule of law is based on—process. I don’t care if the guy who doesn’t give a flip about process calls himself a Republican or a conservative or a Democrat or a Socialist, I don’t want him as my president.

      • M. Noonan February 17, 2016 / 8:07 pm

        Salesmanship is what you need when the product or service you are selling is either not the best, or not needed. You don’t need to “sell” the best product on the market…the fact that it is best sells itself. At the end of the day, anyone who is trying to sell you something is at the same time trying to get you to ignore an alternative which is either just as good, or is better.

        This is why politics gets so disgusting at times – very often, both sides either have equally bad ideas, or equally good ideas; and so they have to try and sell them by playing to fear or vanity.

      • Amazona February 17, 2016 / 8:33 pm

        I think you have hit on something here, articulated something I felt but could not put into words. When I have watched the debates, my sense was that Trump was selling himself. Cruz was just laying out facts, Rubio was just laying out facts but with a little salesmanship thrown in, Fiorina was just laying out facts, but the rest of them were hustling. And Trump is the biggest hustler of all. He comes across as the prototypical late-night TV infomercial spokesman, Billy May with a peroxide comb-over (who REALLY needs a haircut).

        One criticism of Cruz is that he “lectures”, comes across as a professor. Well, yeah, because he is talking to people who need to know why he would be a good president. He is not screeching at people to BUYBUYBUY his brand, he is just calmly educating people, telling them what he knows and what he believes and who he is. He’s the grown-up in the room.

        But Trump is playing to the room. Those beady little eyes never stop moving, looking for what went over well so he can say the same thing again louder and a few more times, trying to sort out what is “working” and what is not—while, as you say, “winging it”. Somebody calls Cruz a disgusting name, and Trump starts off being a little critical, till he senses that this crowd is the kind of crowd that talks like that, and on a dime he spins from “you shouldn’t say that” to “I would never say that” to saying it. He is always playing TO the room, but at the same time playing the crowd.

      • M. Noonan February 17, 2016 / 9:50 pm

        That is why, I think, that to beat Trump Cruz or Rubio are going to have go a bit demagogue – which can be done without being dishonest. Churchill, after all, was a born demagogue – the trick can be managed; he instinctively knew that what the people wanted to hear was that victory was in the offing…but with “blood, sweat, toil and tears” he managed to tell them what they wanted to hear while also telling them what they needed to hear.

        Cruz or Rubio needs to get out there and flat out acknowledge that the system sucks, it is stacked against them and that the enemy, as it were, resides in Wall Street, DC and the great lobbying firms…and then propose to hammer them quite hard.

      • Amazona February 18, 2016 / 2:32 pm

        How can a president, at least one who recognizes and respects the allocation of certain specific powers to the Executive Branch, “hammer” any particular industry?

        While it may be cathartic to think of “hammering” any segment one finds offensive, the solution is not to seek out segments and then target them with the full force and power of the government, even when and if this can be done within constitutional boundaries. I think the best way to limit the power of the lobbying industry is to reallocate power—that is, to limit the size, scope and power of the federal government and return more authority to the states,. and to the people. If this can be done, lobbyists will have to lobby individual state legislators, which will dilute and spread out the power. There will still be corruption, but when it happens at the state or local level it is more transparent and easier to deal with.

        I’m not sure how a government could legally or ethically “hammer” Wall Street. What, exactly, would you change about how Wall Street functions?

      • M. Noonan February 18, 2016 / 11:31 pm

        Because that industry has used vast sums of money to fix the system in their favor – that is what you hammer at. If Cruz or Rubio would do that, it would start to convince some Trumpsters that Cruz or Rubio are on their side. Talking about being pro-life is good (crucial, for me – but, then again, I’m a pro-life fanatic), as is taking about tax rates…but people are convinced (in large measure, correctly) that our system has been twisted all out of recognition by people getting special deals…and a very large number – perhaps an absolute majority of Americans – feels that they and their concerns are being set aside (if not spit on) but people at the beck and call of the well-heeled interest groups of the United States. Trump is tapping into that – and he can only be beaten by someone who taps into that, better.

      • Amazona February 19, 2016 / 12:26 am

        But you have not answered my questions. (1) What, specifically, would you change about Wall Street, and (2) how could this be done within the Constitutional boundaries of the Executive Branch?

        And how much of this angst you have identified is due to the nonstop class warfare of the Left, in which anyone with money is demonized?

        Trump is tapping into vague fears and amplifying them. He is doing exactly what the race hustlers are doing—identifying negative feelings and playing to them.

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2016 / 11:51 pm

        HSBC was caught red-handed money laundering for drug lords and terrorists – they weren’t prosecuted because, officially and no joke, it was felt that such a prosecution would roil the financial sector. Enforcing law comes second to making sure the Stock Market stays high.

        When the Fed prints up money, what they are doing is subtracting some of the value of the money you hold and then they transfer this money to the banks, at practically no interest.

        That is the sort of thing we should be hammering Wall Street on.

    • M. Noonan February 17, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      The first thing about a Trump Presidency would be, “winging it”. The man, so far as I can tell, doesn’t have a set philosophy of life, other than (thus far) advancing the Trump brand. The trouble with winging it, however, is that the “winger” is often swayed by what is most immediately in front of him…and if some dyed-in-the-wool lefties carefully put something that seems wonderful right in front of him, Trump is likely to fall for it. If he becomes President, then the job of Conservatives will be, so far as is possible, to make sure the bright, shiny object in front of Trump is Conservative.

      As for Hillary – her in the White House actually scares me a bit…she’s compromised by foreign interests. She’s taken too many bribes – there is too much dirt out there, which would be brought to light the moment she tries to cross those who bought her.

  2. Bob Eisenhower February 17, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    “Trump is a joke” -> “Anyone but Trump” -> “Hey, how about that Trump” -> “Trump is unbeatable”

    I told youse guys this would be fascinating

    • M. Noonan February 17, 2016 / 7:59 pm

      Trump is a joke and I remain “anyone but Trump”. But Trump appears – so far – to have figured out how to do it…there is, though, a new national poll out showing Cruz edging Trump. So, we’ll see.

    • Amazona February 17, 2016 / 8:19 pm

      Oh, come on, Bob. You know perfectly well that the willingness—-nay, eagerness—-of so many to get on the Trump bandwagon has come as quite a surprise.

      I always thought one of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans was that when the Republicans had a crappy candidate, we admitted it, and openly discussed that we would have to hold our noses to vote for him, while the Dems have been wildly, passionately, blindly and exuberantly in love with all of their people in spite of the vast piles of information proving that their people stink on ice. We have sat back in utter amazement as hyper-excited crowds have flocked to sit at the feet of, and in some cases swoon over, people who were so transparently awful we couldn’t understand that blind loyalty. No matter what was said about the Dems, no matter how much documentation and sworn testimony and hard evidence there was about Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and/or Barack Obama, the ardent Dem fans could not be swayed.

      So it is really upsetting to see the same thing happening on this side of the aisle, with the same kind of hysterical fervor for Trump and the same denial or dismissal of so many things that completely disqualify him for many of us. I really don’t see much difference between the Hillary apologists and the Trump apologists. The response is still the same. Kill the messenger. That was then, but he/she is different now. This is only being brought up out of hate. It doesn’t really matter if he/she can just “get things done”. He or she tells me what I want to hear.

      I don’t think Trump is the inevitable nominee, but then I have often been proved wrong when I overestimated the character of the American people. I do see a malignant hand on the lever behind the curtain, filling the various media with pronouncements that Trump WILL be the nominee, that he is the only one who can beat Hillary, blah blah blah, and it reeks of “Oh PLEASE don’t throw me in that there briar patch!” The Complicit Agenda Media do not want any Republican to win the White House, and they have file drawers full of dirt on Trump, so of course they want to herd us toward nominating him. They might succeed, but I am not yet convinced, merely admitting it is possible.

      And in the meantime, even more quickly than the thin veneer of shiny vaguely gold-colored stuff wears off the “gold-plated” garish decor of Trump This and Trump That, the thin veneer of allegiance to constitutional governance is peeling off the Trumpeters in the Trump parade.

      • Bob Eisenhower February 17, 2016 / 8:32 pm

        Amazona

        “the willingness—-nay, eagerness—-of so many to get on the Trump bandwagon has come as quite a surprise”

        Actually, I am kinda gloating that I called it from the beginning. I’m rarely right about things like this, but when I saw Trump’s increased popularity after his announcement speech – the “mexican’s are rapists” one – I somehow knew he was going to be an unstoppable juggernaut.

        Please, someone stop this juggernaut.

        Like Mark and yourself, I do not support a Trump Presidency. But I feel in my bones it’s a-coming and I ain’t got no storm cellar.

      • Amazona February 17, 2016 / 8:40 pm

        The only thing that can stop it is for some people, a lot of people, to come to their senses. For them to say “Yeah, it was fun to hear him being so outrageous, it was fun to see Jackass Politics, and it was stuff that someone needed to say. But he’s just too reckless and has too bad a record to be trustworthy, and his record will kill him in a national election when the media turn on him.”

        The fact that so many people are voting for him is doing what has needed to be done, has gotten the message out there that we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to stand for it any more. We just need to stop short of making our point by shooting ourselves in the foot. Or worse.

      • Retired Spook February 18, 2016 / 12:08 am

        The Complicit Agenda Media do not want any Republican to win the White House, and they have file drawers full of dirt on Trump

        There have been some rumors — actually more than rumors that Trump has had dealings with the Mob. We could actually witness the first presidential campaign in which each side’s number one thrust will be why the other side’s candidate should be in prison.

      • M. Noonan February 18, 2016 / 1:17 am

        ROFL…

      • Amazona February 18, 2016 / 12:35 pm

        from wikipeida: emphasis mine

        Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, as well as investigative journalist Wayne Barrett who wrote an unauthorized 1992 Trump biography, have alleged that Trump and his companies did business with New York and Philadelphia families linked to the Italian-American Mafia. According to the Washington Post, “He was never accused of illegality, and observers of the time say that working with the mob-related figures and politicos came with the territory.”

        Johnston and Barrett claim Trump purchased the future site of Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza for twice its market value from the Philadelphia crime family member Salvatore Testa, and according to the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation’s 1986 report on organized crime, constructed the casino using two firms controlled by Nicodemo Scarfo. Although Trump was a federal target in a 1979 bribery investigation, and later questioned in a 1981 racketeering probe, neither investigation resulted in criminal charges. Trump was criticized for omitting mention of that investigation in his New Jersey casino license application, and Johnston alleged that he had persuaded state officials to limit his background investigation. It was also reported by Johnston and other investigative reporters that Trump Tower, Trump Plaza, and other New York City properties were constructed with concrete purchased from S&A Concrete Co., a firm owned by Anthony Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and Paul Castellano, head of the Gambino crime family.

        According to British investigative journalist John Sweeney, Trump walked out of an interview for the BBC’s Panorama series with Sweeney after Trump answered a question about why he continued to do business with Felix Sater, an ex-convict who identified himself a “senior advisor to Donald Trump” (a claim disputed by Trump’s representatives), after Sater’s mafia and Russian criminal ties, as well as a 1998 racketeering conviction for a $40 million Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme, were publicly reported in 2007. Sater’s fraud victims included Holocaust survivors Ernest and Judit Gottdiener, whose estate later sued Sater and a business partner for failing to pay $7 million in restitution. Sater moved into a Trump Tower office on the same floor as Trump’s office in 2010, according to court records and Associated Press interviews. “Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it”, Trump told the AP in December 2015. “I’m not that familiar with him.” When previously asked about Sater by The New York Times in December 2007, Trump said of Sater “We never knew that. We do as much of a background check as we can on the principals. I didn’t really know him very well.” Sater was born in Russia in 1966 and emigrated to the U.S. with his family at the age of 8, and later developed ties to members of the Bonanno and Genovese crime families. He worked with Trump on at least four projects including Trump SoHo, Trump International Hotel and Residence Phoenix (which failed), Trump International Hotel and Residence Ft. Lauderdale (which collapsed amid allegations of fraud), and an unrealized skyscraper project in Denver which involved Sater traveling with Trump to the city and being interviewed with Trump by The Rocky Mountain News in 2005. Alan Garten, senior attorney for Trump, said that Sater has “got a lot of contacts” and worked with Trump scouting high-end luxury real estate opportunities, but was never formally employed, and did not close any deals for Trump over the course of a six-month non-contractual working relationship in 2010. “If Mr. Sater was good enough for the government to work with”, referring to the cooperation agreement which kept Sater’s racketeering conviction sealed from public scrutiny for 14 years, “I see no reason why he wasn’t good enough for Mr. Trump.”

        OK, I can understand that if you want to do business in New York or New Jersey you might very well have to do things like buy concrete from companies that are Mob related, but there is an awful lot of cozy relationship here that goes far beyond simply having to work with whoever owns the construction companies. Paying twice what a property is worth, to a Mob guy, and then using two Mob-controlled firms to build on the property does have a bad smell to it.

        Moving on, past two failed enterprises (“But Trump CAN GET THINGS DONE!!”) one of which “… collapsed amid allegations of fraud,,” we get to Felix Sater. Trump worked with Sater on several projects, traveled to Denver with him, was interviewed with him by a Denver newspaper, but was coy and deceptive when asked about him.

        And to top it off, Trump’s attorney actually stated that “… “If Mr. Sater was good enough for the government to work with…….I see no reason why he wasn’t good enough for Mr. Trump.” Yeah, but Sater was working “with” the government AS a known criminal with known Mob connections, in exchange for the government sealing his racketeering convictions. He wasn’t hired by the government after they vetted him and found him honest and trustworthy, they offered a convicted criminal a deal, to work with them (presumably as an informant on his fellow Mob members and their criminal activities) in exchange for keeping his record a secret. So what Trump’s own attorney said was that if the government is willing to work with a convicted racketeer then so is Trump—not exactly praising Trump’s integrity.

      • Amazona February 18, 2016 / 12:43 pm

        Also, note the reference to Trump omitting the investigations into his activities from his New Jersey casino operator application.

        Trump has made a YUGE deal out of what he claims was dishonesty by Cruz, when Cruz listed his Goldman Sachs debt on some filings but not on all, yet Trump withheld critical information, about being investigated by the United States government for various allegations of bribery and racketeering.

        None of this information is new, or hidden from view. I googled Donald Trump and went to the wikipedia site that came up. It took me less than a minute. You can bet that the Opposition has a lot more detail than wiki does, and is ready to unload it as soon as we are stuck with him as our nominee.

        **********************************************
        Not that that is a given. The latest national poll has Cruz ahead of Trump by 2 and ahead of Rubio by 17. The postscript is that this poll was taken before Nikki Haley came out for Rubio, but she lost a lot of cred when she backed the removal of the Confederate Flag and made a public comment linking it to racism.

  3. Amazona February 18, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    This is pretty embarrassing for Donald Trump.
    At the Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski hosted town hall, last night in South Carolina, Brezezinski read a quote about a candidate who:

    “is considered a political outsider by all the pundits. He’s tapping into the anger of the voters. Delivers a populist message. He believes everyone in the country should have health care. He advocates for hedge fund managers to pay higher taxes. He’s drawing thousands of people at his rallies and bringing in a lot of new voters to the political process. And he’s not beholden to any Super PAC.

    She then asked, “Who am I describing?”

    To everyone watching at home, the answer was obvious: Bernie Sanders (that was who she was talking about). Trump’s answer, however? “You’re describing Donald Trump.”

    One commenter said: The look on Trump’s face at the end is priceless.”
    Another said “You mean this look?” showing a Trump who looks stunned.

    http://twitchy.com/2016/02/18/was-this-the-most-embarrassing-moment-for-donald-trump-at-the-trumpsctownhall-hint-yes-video/

    • Retired Spook February 18, 2016 / 1:54 pm

      That would make a great anti-Trump ad.

  4. Retired Spook February 18, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    OT, as least for this thread, but here’s an excellent piece on judicial nominations and advise and consent.

  5. Amazona February 19, 2016 / 11:45 am

    “Today, Mr. Trump did what some have warned he would do. He issued a threat to Ted Cruz in writing, threatening to sue his fellow candidate, the one who is nipping gingerly at his heels. He demanded that Senator Cruz pull from airwaves an ad showing Trump – on camera – apparently saying he was “pro-choice.” But that is not all.

    The written Trump threat to a political rival, who happens also to be a seasoned and conservative United States Supreme Court litigator, was obviously intended to be private. You know, a little private ultimatum among friends, you might say, although signed by Trump’s lawyers. Only that is not what happened, not at all. While bullies prefer that their words not be repeated publicly, you cannot toy with a successful Supreme Court litigator. Trump just threatened the wrong guy.

    Cruz promptly took the letter out to a microphone, and read the contents to the world – on camera. Worse for Trump, Cruz laughed at the threat and called it “frivolous,” saying that it fell into a pattern. Cruz to Trump: “You have been threatening frivolous lawsuits for your entire adult life.” Cruz added for good measure: “Even in the annals of frivolous lawsuits, this takes the cake.” Cruz then went one better. He looked Mr. Trump’s fancy lawyers in the camera, dubbed their “cease and desist” letter “one of the most remarkable letters I have ever read,” and challenged Trump to sue him. There you go Don. Boom tick.”

    http://townhall.com/columnists/robertcharles/2016/02/18/trump-bluff-called-n2121133

    I wonder if Donnie thinks that a Trumpertantrum and bully-boy tactics will work with Putin, with Kim Jong Un, with Raul Castro (*oh, wait, Raul is a buddy now) or any other world leader he is going to have to face.

    Having his bluff called in an election campaign, with the stakes being no higher than being shown to be a bullying blustering buffoon (with no loss of supporters, however, who just plain LOOOOVVE him) is no big deal. Having the well-earned reputation of being this kind of spineless weasel may very well have very serious repercussions on the world stage. We have already seen what happens when a U.S. president draws a red line in the sand and then backs off when it is crossed. I wonder if the Trumpeters can learn this lesson and apply it to their own blowhard.

    • Bob Eisenhower February 19, 2016 / 4:51 pm

      Wow, Trump is not having a good week. And good for Cruz, coming on so strong.

      My favorite pull-quote from Trump’s feud with the Pope is when, after the Pope said “a man who builds walls and not bridges is not Christian,” Trump responded with “No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith.”

      Um, I don’t know the exact hierarchy of the Catholic Church but I’m pretty sure the Pope is the ultimate judge (on Earth) as to who does and does not comport themselves in the Catholic ideal. That’s kinda exactly what religious leaders do, inform their flocks how to be.

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2016 / 11:48 pm

        That was about the most stupid thing Trump said regarding this – now, one doesn’t have to agree with the Pope but the Pope, in Catholic dogma, is empowered to rule on matters of faith and morals…ie, what is a Christian and what a Christian must do. To say the Pope is out of line in making such a pronouncement is like saying a weatherman can’t tell us what the temp outside is.

      • Retired Spook February 20, 2016 / 9:03 am

        That was about the most stupid thing Trump said regarding this

        Especially in light of the fact that Trump had previously questioned the faith of both Cruz and Carson. I guess that disqualifies Trump from being a leader.

  6. Amazona February 20, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    “It’s astonishing how much radioactive dirt is out there, and has been for years, on Donald Trump.

    Radio host and Second Amendment activist author Dana Loesch has compiled a list of the worst of Trump’s flirtations with organized crime figures, drug convicts and use of undocumented workers to build his Trump Tower.

    http://danaloeschradio.com/how-i-came-to-my-opinion-on-donald-trump

    This stuff is so radioactive that it would have sunk any other candidate months ago. Nobody had to dig it up, Loesch simply compiled what was “public domain as reported in the press, easily found everywhere online.”

    But Trump isn’t even dinged by it, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, none of them have really pounced on it. Anderson Cooper, an expert interviewer and one of CNN’s best, tossed softball questions to Trump at the town hall Thursday night (fast food? really?).

    It offers proof that the networks are invested in Trump because he helps ratings. Not that some suit has stifled editorial control, not so crass, but the press itself has bought into the bright lights surrounding Trump. They like having him on their shows. They like having him around because he helps their ratings.

    http://theresurgent.com/beer-goggles-for-trump

    I think they also love the idea of Trump being the Republican candidate, knowing how much they have to throw at him once he is up against a Dem and the Republicans are stuck with him.

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