The Smartest Take on Trump

It is from Victor Davis Hanson – first, “Is Hillary Better Than Trump?”:

Is Hillary perhaps still a Bill Clinton centrist or at least an elite member of the establishment whose first allegiance is the sober and judicious status quo?

No. Her tenure as secretary of State was the worst since Cyrus Vance served under Jimmy Carter. To Vance-like incompetence and therapeutic blather, she added serial dishonesty, violations of the law, callousness toward the families of the Benghazi dead, and opportunistic trashing of her predecessors. Hillary was as responsible as her boss for the Russian reset, the Iranian deal, the Libyan tragedy, the implosion of Iraq after the needless total withdrawal, the cluelessness about ISIS, the red lines/deadlines/step-over lines embarrassments, the slow and steady decline of Afghanistan, the genocide in Syria, the reach-out to thugs like the Castro brothers and Recep Erdogan, and the estrangement from Israel. She may have not done the apology tour, but it reflected well enough her worldview of the moment, as did the euphemism campaign of workplace violence and man-caused disasters…

Then, “Is Trump a Sure Loser?”

There is a good chance of it. I think he has no idea what Clinton, Inc. will do to him and will probably lose by a wide margin. But if that battle is lost, it was lost also when the Republican establishment and center nominated fine and upstanding trimmers like John McCain and Mitt Romney and a Congress that sought to slow rather than halt Obama’s frenetic efforts to socialize the U.S.

Do read the whole things because, as is usual with Hanson, every word repays reading. I’ll wait. Go on, read it.

Ok, all done? See what I mean – you already feel smarter than you were 20 minutes ago.

For those who are #NeverTrump and are arguing that Trump represents some horrible departure in American politics – an unprecedented level of vitriol, cluelessness, corruption and racial animosity – I have a couple questions to ask: where you been since 2007? If Trump is an incipient fascist out to destroy American liberty, then just what has Obama been up to? Have you forgotten the way the IRS went after TEA Party groups? That Ben Carson was magically audited right after he offended Obama? That the maker of an obscure video was actually arrested in service of the Obama Administration lie about what caused Benghazi? That Petraeus was convicted for far less than what Hillary hasn’t been indicted for? That Senator Menendez as given a pass on corruption when Obama needed him as a supporter, but as soon as he turned on Obama vis a vis Iran and Cuba, he got indicted? That Obama’s people spied on and harassed members of the MSM who didn’t entirely toe the Obama line? That Obama fanned the flames of racial animosity just to goose Democrat turnout for 2012? No matter what Trump might do as President, it isn’t anything that Obama hasn’t already done…and what Obama has done was done with the eager cooperation of Hillary Clinton.

We do have a real problem in this nation – freedom is under siege. Decency is despised. Honesty is considered a sucker bet. Trump may well exacerbate these trends but so would Hillary – it’s a complete toss up as to which one of them would be worse. But one thing we do already know – Hillary has held political power and corruptly used it to advance and/or protect herself and her cronies. Trump, by fact that he’s never held any political power, hasn’t.

As I’ve said before, I’ll never be a Trump supporter – but I’m not going to let my disgust at Trump’s antics blind me to just how lousy Hillary’s record is…nor Obama’s.

53 thoughts on “The Smartest Take on Trump

  1. Cluster March 22, 2016 / 8:41 am

    So a couple of months ago I took exception with, and questioned the character of the NRO staff because of their preemptive attack on the GOP front runner. Well this weekend, Rich Lowry continued to pile on Republicans who don’t behave properly:

    Rich Lowry added that if Trump finds a way to win, “we’ll see a lot of these rats in the form of Republican elected officials scurrying onto the ship and as soon as it appears to be sinking in a general, they’ll scurry right back off.”

    Additionally, the other day in mostly a tongue in cheek comment, I implied that some people consider the GOP front runner to be the spawn of Satan, and yesterday there was this courtesy of Glenn Beck speaking in support of Ted Cruz:

    “Utah has an incredible opportunity. So many Christians have been standing up. But all throughout the South the Evangelicals are not listening to their God. Let us raise a standard in Utah.

    In summary, the blue collar, tax paying folks who live in fly over country and of whom are tired of being lied to, and taken advantage of by Ivy League educated politicians/lawyers and of whom support the GOP front runner are “rats” who “don’t listen to their God”. That’s an interesting way to broaden the GOP base.

    The other day I also said that many people are needlessly losing their minds this election season and I think Lowry and Beck are two good examples.

    • Retired Spook March 22, 2016 / 9:55 am


      I think you’ll agree, it’s an election season unlike any either of us has experienced in our lifetime, and lots of people are on the same page as we are insofar as their frustration with the way things are playing out. Unfortunately, frustration and anger don’t manifest themselves the same in everyone, and we’re witnessing that in spades in this cycle. I may or may not, in the end, vote for Trump. Trump may or may not even be the nominee, the same for Hillary. There’s no reason to believe this campaign season is going to get less bizarre as it progresses, and every reason to believe it may get really bizarre before it’s over. Personally, I think it’s a good time to just keep your powder dry, follow your conscience and hope for the best while preparing for the worst. I’ve been preparing myself ever since it became clear that Trump was a force to be reckoned with for this to not turn out well.

      • Cluster March 22, 2016 / 10:44 am

        There is no question that this election cycle is beyond anything we have witnessed before, or for that matter anything we could have ever imagined, but it is a direct result of the continued failure of politicians and the polarization along every societal line perpetrated by this administration and by the progressive left over the last decade or two. We often take pride in our form of citizenry government but when a citizen actually decides to run, they are crucified by the Clerisy and that should be a wake up call. For all of his faults, Trump is a citizen who has built business’s, failed at business’s, employed people, fired people, negotiated with foreign governments, negotiated with city, county and state governments, lobbied politicians, contributed to politicians, and all of this adds up to more practical experience at life than any other candidate in the field. He is also evidently a good Dad which by measure is the most important role anyone can serve in, yet in spite of this he is deemed to be not suited to lead this country. In 2012 Mitt Romney enthusiastically accepted the endorsement of Trump and sang his praises, yet 4 years later, Romney considers Trump an unacceptable candidate unworthy of his support. Hypocrisy and intolerance abound within the GOP at the moment and it is unflattering.

      • Amazona March 22, 2016 / 11:37 am

        “He is also evidently a good Dad which by measure is the most important role anyone can serve in, yet in spite of this he is deemed to be not suited to lead this country. “

        I know a lot of wonderful fathers who are not qualified to be president. I think basing a decision on who should be the leader of the free world on how good a dad he is is absolutely silly.

        There was a time when millions of people, most of them conservatives, argued that character is essential in a president. This was after a sitting president was finally officially outed as a hound dog, a sex addict who also lied under oath to try to get out of legal issues connected with his escapades. The opposition response to this was that character did not matter if the person in question did a good job. This, by the way, was not an acceptable answer to those who thought it important to have a person of good character representing this country and being its president.

        There was a time when millions of people, most of them conservatives,shook their heads in bewilderment at the odd phenomenon of so many people either denying or simply ignoring vast amounts of indisputable data proving their political favorite to be a liar who had done terrible things and had many serious failures. “How can they pretend like this never happened?” they/we wondered, amazed that this vast body of proof that the person in question was a horrible and untrustworthy person was simply ignored.

        So there should not be this big-eyed surprise when at least half of these people now look at the other half with the same kind and degree of bafflement and distaste, as this other half is doing exactly what the opposition did when they said character is not important and refused to consider a long list of lies and misdeeds in their support of someone they evidently just liked.

        Here in Colorado we were subjected to a barrage of Sanders ads touting him as a good family man. Hillary Clinton was evidently a good mother. Gee, who knew that was all it would take to overcome a history of ineptitude, lying, and general degeneracy?

        I have seen enough defenses of Trump, and defenses of supporting Trump, to know that these people are so entrenched in their fandom that nothing will budge them. That’s fine. It’s not as if we have not seen that before. As I just pointed out, we have been seeing it on the Left for decades now. It’s disappointing, and a little disillusioning, to see it take root on the Right, but principles are prickly things, not always comfortable, and easily discarded when something appealing comes along. At least for some people.

        “..Trump is a citizen who has built business’s (sic)…” which of course is hardly a qualification for being president. While executive experience can be a plus, the manner of building these businesses has to be taken into consideration. If they were built by using illegal immigrant labor, that should be considered, especially if the person in question is now attracting droves by posturing as one against illegal immigration. If they were built in some part due to crony capitalism and bribery of public officials, that should be taken into consideration, especially if people are attracted to his promises to end the very practices that allowed him to build those businesses. If they were built by working hand in hand with organized crime, that should be a consideration if the person is running for an office that will put him in charge of the law enforcement arm of the federal government.

        “Trump is a citizen who has ….. failed at business’s (sic)” But why did he fail at these businesses? Have any of the newly minted acolytes of Trump examined the reasons behind these failures? If these businesses failed because they were poorly thought out, were poorly organized, depended more on the idea that anything connected with Trump and bearing his name and imprimatur would automatically succeed, these failures ought to demand a lot of scrutiny. If a business failed because it depended on fraud, or I should say frauds, such as the infamous Trump University, that ought to be something examined pretty closely by people who want to put this man in charge of a lot more than a how-to-get-rich study plan.

        I notice that the Trump explainers never touch on the millions of dollars lost by people who believed in Trump, thought his word was all they needed, who trusted him enough to put their life savings or at least most of the money they had, into ventures that failed. One might ask, if one were looking at possibly backing Trump, what he did to reimburse these people for their losses. After all, if someone buys a unit in a new condo complex to be built by Trump, that is never built, he should get his money back, right?

        Trump has “..negotiated with foreign governments…” to try to establish businesses in those countries. That is nothing like the really tough negotiations of international diplomacy. It is one thing to say to an underling in a foreign nation that you will bring in business that will add to the revenues of the nation, and quite another to forge agreements with national leaders that don’t have such obvious and immediate benefits.

        “..negotiated with city, county and state governments, lobbied politicians..” and by his own admission much of this “negotiation” included making contributions to politicians in exchange for favorable treatment, and according to the federal government at least some of it included bribery. Call it “lobbying” if that makes it sound cleaner.

        “…contributed to politicians..” See above. By the way, most of his “contributions” to politicians were to politicians supporting agendas completely contrary to conservative principles. He was financially supporting many of the same things he now has people convinced he is against, including crony capitalism, illegal immigration and amnesty, abortion and gun control.

        I can understand why people who have posed as conservative for so long now need to find ways to excuse their determination to elect a man who has, his entire life, represented and supported agendas and policies antithetical to conservative principles. I get it. But understanding that the emotional attraction to celebrity and bluster and the appeal of just having one guy strong enough to solve everything is very strong is not the same as being willing to pretend that it is not an abandonment of those principles. And it’s not enough to offset the accompany loss of respect.

        I think the most amazing thing of all is the claim that that those who stick to those principles are the hypocrites. Go ahead and insist that the people who realize that the would-be emperor has no clothes are just being “intolerant”—it will be much more comfortable than admitting they are simply not dazzled by celebrity or lured by extravagant promises and the glitz and glitter of Trumpery.

    • M. Noonan March 22, 2016 / 1:02 pm

      I am continually amazed at some of the reactions to Trump – as I noted, it is like these people have completely blocked off the parts of their brains which complained about what Obama has been doing for years. I’m really starting to think that a lot of people on the right have been doing Conservatism just as sort of a hip thing – you know: you could be a square and be like all the Progs out there, or you could be transgressive and be Conservative! Of course, don’t actually do anything Conservative…just complain about the folly of the left (like shooting fish in a barrel, after all) but when push comes to shove, it’s time to write the long think-piece about how everyone just has to adjust themselves to some aspect of the Progressive agenda.

      • Amazona March 22, 2016 / 2:08 pm

        That is well said. To use your term in a slightly different way, when push comes to shove those who have claimed to be conservative because of their allegiance to some issues usually connected with the political philosophy of conservatism are not likely to stick around to support the actual principles of conservatism when something appeals to them that violates those principles, but lets them pretend they are still supporting those principles while they are really just playing the same tune as the Left, just with different words.

        When called on it, the response is pretty much the same. “Trump has a deep respect for the Constitution” they say, in spite of his history of no such thing. They want to believe it, so they do. “Trump will work with Congress” though his whole shtick is that HE will get things done, not that he will work with Congress to get things done. “I like Trump because he is so honest” flies in the face of his abundance of documented lies. “Trump tells it like it is” is a statement that has to simply erase the Trump history of saying the exact opposite of what he is saying now, to attract this audience. “Trump will do what he says he will do” is not quite the same thing as what Trump himself has said, which is that he says what he has to say at any given time to get what he wants at that time, and it might very well change once “negotiations” commence. “Trump is a success and we need a successful man in the White House” simply ignores the many many failures of Trump, which is handy if you want to keep admiring his “business acumen” as many of his failures came about because of his poorly thought out, reckless, approach to the failed businesses, combined with a narcissism that truly believed, for example, that people would buy things like vodka, and meat, just because it had his name on it. “Trump is running on his own money so he is not obligated to anyone” is possibly a true belief of some, as there has been very little publicity about the fact that while he has put up some of his own money (as did Ted Cruz by personally guaranteeing a loan of money he put into his campaign) Trump has really only LOANED most of the money he claims he has “contributed”, which has to be paid back out of federal campaign funds and/or donations. The entire list of “explanations” which don’t hold up even under mild scrutiny is even longer than this one. I have literally not heard ONE defense of Trump that can’t be debunked in a couple of seconds, other than the rather odd defenses that he is a good daddy (who would probably be dating his daughter if she were not his daughter) and some of the women his life still “get along with him”.

        So when push did come to shove, we found out which conservatives laid claim to the description because of deeply held political philosophy and principles, and which liked the identity for whatever reason but for a reason that melted away once they had the chance to get in the Celebrity Parade.

        Now we see some of them getting all indignant about being recognized for what they are. Too bad. The Conservative Movement had a chance, finally, to make a difference. We finally had a principled, intelligent, accomplished candidate who truly stands for what conservatives say is important to them, with a good chance of winning the presidency. But then, out of (literally) Left field came Donald J. Trump, showman and braggart, to draw off essential support for this man with his wild promises and his circuses and extravagances. Those who have been suckered in by the biggest con around might be upset that others don’t respect them or what they are in the process of doing to the Conservative Movement because they are so easily led astray, but that’s their problem. I really don’t care how many of them whine about how they are seen.

        “’s time to write the long think-piece about how everyone just has to adjust themselves to some aspect of the Progressive agenda.” This seems to be the attitude of the Trumpsters. To them, it’s not about restricting the size, scope and power of the federal government, or getting back to more balance among the three branches of government, it’s not that we don’t want a president who thinks he is really a king—-it’s that we want our OWN king, who will rule the way WE want to rule. They don’t want to reject Progressivism, they just want it to have a different coat.

      • M. Noonan March 22, 2016 / 5:54 pm

        And both Trumpsters and a lot of anti-Trumpsters are like that: just adjust to what is going on. Now, more than ever, Chesterton is proved right: the duty of Progressives is to go on making mistakes while the duty of Conservatives is to prevent those mistakes from being corrected.

        Think for a moment about how the SSM marriage debate ended – with so-called Conservatives saying that we’ll just have to knuckle under to a Judicial usurpation of the rights of the people. Can’t fight it, folks – doesn’t poll well! Don’t want to upset Millenial voters, you know? But don’t worry, the next time the Justices are about to do a re-write of the Constitution we’ll be right there, fighting so hard you won’t believe it! Unless the polling is bad or a lot of the people we hang out with in DC, NYC and LA are against us on it…

        I think I’ll start calling it Conservative Attitude, rather than Conservatism…the difference is that Conservative Attitude is just a pretense…a way of signalling intellectual heft but with no intention of actually fighting on pricipal.

  2. Cluster March 22, 2016 / 12:48 pm

    In re: to Brussel’s – I think it’s important that we don’t lash out at Muslims at this time and that we all realize that this deplorable action does not represent Islam.

    On the other hand, I think everyone should continue to judge all supporters of Trump as rats, Trumpbots, and essentially ignorant, unprincipled neophytes who do not listen to God.

    • M. Noonan March 22, 2016 / 12:58 pm

      Perfectly sensible!

      • Cluster March 22, 2016 / 1:43 pm


    • Amazona March 22, 2016 / 1:40 pm

      When I comment on how so many “conservatives” have taken on characteristics previously (we thought) limited to the Left, such as a focus on Identity Politics, resolute rejection of facts proving the object of their affections to be reprehensible, etc. I also include adoption of Leftist arguing tactics, such as twisting statements and then restating them to say what they most definitely did NOT say when uttered, and then having a hyper-emotional reaction to the invented version.

      It is as if the metaphor of rats leaving a sinking ship was suddenly invented by Rich Lowry, so that no one hearing his use of it could possibly understand that it IS a metaphor. It is as if people hearing what Lowry said had no choice but to leap to the bizarre conclusion that he was claiming some people are quite literally “rats”.

      It is as if it comes as an amazing news flash, out of nowhere, astounding in its surprise factor, to learn that when people who claim to have religion, religious belief and religious principles guiding their decisions abruptly fall in line behind someone whose entire life has been led in a degenerate way that makes its coexistence with religious belief highly unlikely and whose recent claims of religious belief are so clumsily stated and inconsistent they do not support a perception of either having a religious belief or trying to act accordingly, this leads to a conclusion that they either never held the beliefs they said they had, or they have decided to ignore them. If one believes that his religion is based on the word of God, and he then ardently excuses and supports and enables someone whose entire life gives the appearance of rejecting the word of God……………

      it is as if the word “neophyte” means something similar to “acolyte” or anything else that indicates a follower, supporter, or enabler.

      It is as if there is a switch on the right hand of some people that automatically puts an apostrophe in front of any “s”. Perhaps that should be apo’strophe.

    • bardolf2 March 22, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      I’m wondering about Dylann Roof’s position in this schema.

      They got rid of confederate flags and monuments all over the South, essentially lashing out at people from Dixie as if one guy represented all of them. So that’s like how we should treat all of Trump supporters.

      On the other hand, Roof actually killed innocent people so that’s similar to what happened with the massacre in Belgium.

      • Amazona March 22, 2016 / 5:15 pm

        I think you should just keep trying to figure out a connection here—maybe with crayons, or a spread sheet, or even create an algorithm. That seems like a very appropriate use of your time and intellect.

        Do be sure to get back to us with your conclusions, won’t you?

  3. Cluster March 22, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    So now we find ourselves in the surreal political environment where if you are not as principled as some conservatives deem you should be, than you are just another progressive. Notable “conservatives” within the punditry class have downright denigrated those unwashed masses of the Republican base, people who simply have grown tired of “acceptable” candidates being shoved down their throats only to find themselves with stagnant wages, higher health care costs, higher educational costs, disappearing jobs, porous borders, etc, – real life problems that often times supersede the luxury of voting for the “acceptably principled” conservative. The majority of them believe Trump is the answer, much to the scorn of the “principled” class, but as someone who just voted for Cruz, I can easily see how people could make the same claim towards Cruzbots. After all, Cruz is an Ivy League educated lawyer who has never run a business, does not have much foreign policy experience, and has zero executive experience, but we are to believe that he will be the answer because …..why? Because he says he can do it? Or is it because he is the second coming of the prophet as Glenn Beck alludes to:

    Beck said that he, like many Mormons, believes in a prophecy that the Constitution will hang by a thread in the last days. He said he believes that now is that time, and people like Lee and Cruz will save it. He also said the Book of Mormon was created as a guide on how to protect freedom in our day. At the Provo rally, many responded yelling, “I believe, I believe.”

    I wonder how these religious overtones will play out in the general election. And I certainly hope that my spelling and punctuation is correct.

    • Amazona March 22, 2016 / 7:27 pm

      The “surreal political environment” in which we now find ourselves is one in which there is a massive disconnect between what some people say and what they do. The disconnect is clear. We have outlined it over and over.

      “I demand honesty in my politicians”—so I support Trump, who is so blatantly dishonest he doesn’t even try to maintain a story from one day to the next.

      “I demand good character in my leaders”—so I support Trump, whose character is proved to be quite bad, in his personal life and his professional life as well.

      “I am tired of politicians who lie to me”—so I support Trump, who is lying to me one day and admitting it the next.

      “I demand a candidate who also defends the sanctity of life”—so I support Trump, who has always defended abortion and who still defends Planned Parenthood.

      “I am tired of having a president who ignores the Constitution and acts like a king”—so I support Trump, whose appeal is that he promises to do the same thing

      ….and so on.

      This disconnect between the “values” touted as being SOOOO important and the political choices now being made is amplified by the indignation of those same people, who just can’t understand why others think they are hypocrites.

      No one who can’t stand by his choice without whining because it strikes other people as contrary to everything he has so far claimed to be his guiding principles probably shouldn’t be making any political choices at all.

      Anyone who tries to justify abandoning these principles because sticking to them would be a “luxury” is full of it. Those of us with long memories remember certain blog posters here bemoaning the willingness of the GOP to “settle” for candidates who were not true advocates of Constitutional government, so it is pretty funny now to see the argument that we should settle for a candidate who is not a true advocate of constitutional government. Why? Because although we do have, finally, a candidate who IS an advocate of constitutional government, with a history to prove it, the same people who complained about having to “settle” are now telling us it would be a luxury to refuse to settle.

      If Trumpbots would just say “Yes, I know I have flip-flopped on every principle I have claimed to hold dear, and I don’t blame you for thinking badly of me for it, but dammit I just LIKE the guy, so go sit on a stump” I would have a little respect for them. But they don’t. They come up with cockamamie excuses, none of which hold water, and they spend so much time ignoring or denying the ugly truths about Trump it has to reflect badly on him.

      Is it really so hard to understand why so many of us are baffled by choosing someone who thinks judges and Senators “sign bills”? The man wants to be PRESIDENT and he has no idea of how the country runs? Is it really so hard to understand why can’t understand why so many would ignore a man who lists the highly qualified people he would have as advisers on international affairs, in favor of someone who says he would just ask himself, because he has a “good brain”? Is it really so hard to understand the queasiness so many of us feel at the idea of having a president who goes to Twitter to hurl infantile insults at people who don’t agree with him? Of having a First Lady with nude photos all over the Internet?

      As for attention to spelling and punctuation, it wouldn’t hurt……and that should have read “spelling and punctuation ARE correct”.

  4. Cluster March 22, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    Well I knew it wouldn’t take long for the Clerisy to blame western society for the recent bombings:

    “Why is it that Muslims and other immigrants in Belgian have such problem integrating with local society? Why is it that they do not feel like they are Belgian? Why is it that they are ghettoized into these communities?” Bemoaned Evan Kohlmann Tuesday afternoon. Kohlmann whined that those of us in the west needed to do a better job looking into why Muslims and other immigrant groups felt alienated. “This is just the beginning, because we have to get to the root causes of why this happened. And those causes have not been dealt with.”

    • Amazona March 22, 2016 / 6:40 pm

      Those of us in the West don’t need to do anything. When people of any demographic make the choice to live in another country than their own, they make a de facto choice to adapt to the culture of their adopted country. If they don’t do this, if they make one choice (to live in another country) but refuse to take the second step,of adaptation, then they are solely responsible for any feelings of alienation they have.

      I have to wonder how many non-Muslim immigrants to Belgium feel that they have a hard time “integrating with local society”. Surely once they have made some sincere efforts to learn the language, and if they respect the culture, and if they choose to adapt even if the adopted culture is different from their own, they will not be shunned.

      If they try to create mini versions of their native lands in the adopted nation, if they refuse to learn the language or the customs, if they do not respect the laws or the customs, they are isolating themselves. Muslims who feel alienated feel that way because they despise the culture, laws and customs of the nations where they have chosen to live. These “causes” of their “alienation” can only be “dealt with” by them. As no one is trying to hold them there against their will, clearly they would be much happier if they just went home.

      • Cluster March 22, 2016 / 7:10 pm

        Agreed. 100%

    • M. Noonan March 22, 2016 / 8:06 pm

      Oh, I don’t know – perhaps they are in a ghetto because they prefer to live in one? It’s not like there aren’t laws against racial and religious discrimination in Belgium…and it isn’t like there aren’t Belgians in government and business who wouldn’t just about kill to get a Muslim employee to parade around as their “proof” of being all with-it and multicultural. But if your thing is to demand that all women cover up from head to foot and be escorted in public and you can’t stand the thought of being around openly gay people and you don’t like people eating pork or having a beer or wearing a bathing suit at the beach then, yeah, you might retreat into your own, little ethno-religious fortress and then get all pissy when living there sucks.

  5. Retired Spook March 22, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    If we’re seeing stuff like this already, can photos of Hillary and Huma having lesbian sex be far behind? And, of course, anyone doubt that much more revealing photos of Melania are going to show up?

    • M. Noonan March 22, 2016 / 8:03 pm

      I’m sure they will – and I’m disgusted with it. What Melania did in the past isn’t relevant – my view is that “past” is “some years since the person did it”; also, “is there any realistic chance they’ll do it, again?”. Too many people fall for the lie that we are forever whatever our worst sin was…and another, supporting lie, that people can’t change. People do change and the blood of Christ covers all sins. I don’t know if Melania has repented of what she did, but that is between her and God; I’ve no place there. But to dredge it up and put it out there for people to gawk and gape at just disgusts me.

      • Amazona March 22, 2016 / 9:42 pm

        It has nothing to do with what kind of person Melania is now. I am kind of surprised that this is how you took it. No, it has to do with how we, as a nation, are seen by other people in other nations. And I for one wince at the idea of having a First Lady who has naked photos of herself all over the internet. It’s not my idea of a dignified First Lady. If she had a dignified husband, it might not be so bad, but the combination of Donald the crass, crude buffoon and a naked First Lady is absolutely cringeworthy.

        As for people gaping and gawking, that is already taking place. Her history as a nude model, and as a semi-nude model, is quite well known to a lot of people. I don’t see the ad as an invitation to do this, but as an informational ad, letting people know what they can expect if she ends up occupying the White House.

      • M. Noonan March 22, 2016 / 11:45 pm

        I just don’t like raking over the past. I’m only interested in what someone is doing lately. Sure, she shouldn’t have done that; yes, it will cause a ripple of scandal if she becomes First Lady…but, in the end, it is irrelevant to how Trump would act as President and it may be entirely irrelevant to what Melania is, today. You’re right that if she’s in tune with her husband she might be weak on the need for repentance…but it isn’t for me to judge on that. Let’s just say that pretty, young woman like her are given all sorts of offers and some of them fail to understand the full consequences of a momentary decision.

      • Amazona March 22, 2016 / 9:45 pm

        If Melania shares her husband’s concept of Christianity, she might agree that she doesn’t have to repent for anything.

      • Amazona March 23, 2016 / 8:49 am

        Again, and I don’t know how to say it any more clearly, THIS IS NOT ABOUT MELANIA. And I disagree that having a First Lady who has nude photos of her (bit taken through a keyhole but for which she posed) representing our country would be merely a “ripple of scandal”.

        Call me quirky if you will, but I am not quite ready to completely give up on the idea that we as a nation ought to have at least a little dignity. A Trump presidency on its own represents one kind of a shift, to garish tasteless excess and buffoonery, and a publicly and professionally naked First Lady would just be the final touch.

        I suppose it might be possible for Melania to stop wearing clothes that feature her abundant breastage, hanging out like an advertisement, if either she or hubby Donnie were to decide that they need to have a public persona less sleazy Hollywood and more presidential. Maybe. But the fact that her assets are already on public display does nothing to advance the image of a dignified presidency.

        And I would like to have a dignified presidency. After eight years of cartoonish race baiting, bowing in submission to tyrants, hugging and kissing tyrants, and general Leftist classlessness, I would really like to have a president and First Lady I can be proud of, instead of the freak show a Trump presidency would undoubtedly be.

      • M. Noonan March 23, 2016 / 11:17 am

        I agree with you on a desire for dignity – I’d like it much better if Melania wouldn’t dress like she’s walking the red carpet at a Hollywood event. I hope, should it happen, that she’ll dress with understated elegance as First Lady. But I also will have it in for anyone who broadcasts her inappropriate pictures…which is also undignified.

      • Retired Spook March 23, 2016 / 10:40 am

        I wasn’t trying to make it about Melania either, only to the extent to which it illustrates how far our culture has sunken. If the race ends up being between Trump and Hillary do you not think that nude photos of Melania will be responded to by Trump with something much worse?

      • M. Noonan March 23, 2016 / 11:11 am

        Trump probably knows a thing or two about what the Clintons have been up to…not only can be pay for dirt, but he’d probably be willing to use it. The Clintons, however, have gotten away with it for so long that they likely think themselves invincible on the corruption charge. And they might be right about that – most of the time, for a corruption charge to stick, the MSM has to report on it endlessly until it is drilled into the public mind. The MSM has never done that to the Clintons and as the MSM is still in the tank for them, they won’t do it in 2016…on the other hand, Trump is good copy; like moths to a candle, the MSM won’t be able to restrain themselves from reporting on what Trump says.

        The whole thing for Trump – and I think he knows it and has been working on a carefully laid out plan just for it – is to change the electorate. The voters who gave us Obama for 8 years (Republican and Democrat) will give us Hillary for 8 years…but there are tens of millions of registered voters (and more tens of millions of unregistered adults) who don’t vote, or who vote very rarely. If Trump can get even 1 in 10 of them to show up for him in November, he could win; and the sort of people he’s looking for – disgusted as they are with politics in general – won’t pause too long over Melania’s racy pictures.

      • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 11:15 am

        Mark, apparently you will then “..have it in..” for the Democrat Party machine as they will be bringing this up if Trump is the nominee.

        And what ever happened to “actions have consequences”? And “accountability”? Melania was not an impoverished waif when she chose to pose nude. She knew these photos were out there when her husband decided to run for the presidency, and so did Donald. So I have no desire to try to protect either one of them from the consequences of what she chose to do.

        What I would like to do is protect the Conservative Movement from what she decided to do, but more and more it looks like the Conservative Movement is moving, all right. Not only to the Left, but downward as well. To hell with the higher moral ground—it is now embracing gutter politics. Perhaps a nude First Lady would be an appropriate image for the dignity of the New Conservative Movement—the one with the staunch principles that turn out to not really matter at all, the one that is evidently based on Identity Politics and issues instead of commitment to Constitutional governance.

      • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 11:16 am

        Are we now drifting to a conclusion that Trump is worth it if he expands the voter base of the GOP? Is that the price for selling out?

  6. Retired Spook March 22, 2016 / 10:55 pm

    For virtually all of my adult life we’ve been divided as a nation into 4 groups: (1) Leftists who want very much to transform this country into a democratic socialist nation or worse; (2) Conservatives who want to (a) conserve what’s left of our constitutional republic and/or (b) restore that portion of our constitutional republic that has been perverted by a century-long assault by representatives of all three branches of our government; (3) those ideological squishes in the middle, many of whom relish holding the power to tip elections one way or the other; and (4) those who just don’t care and would like to be left alone. This year, however, we have a 5th demographic — those who just want to burn it all down and start over. The only thing I can see coming out of that mindset is a French style revolution, and I think that would be the worst possible outcome I could imagine.

    • M. Noonan March 22, 2016 / 11:47 pm

      What amazes me about some on the left and right is how willing they seem to be to rip the lid off…I suspect they don’t have a clue of what happens to a nation which descends into Civil War. Our own was bad, but it was also atypical of most Civil Wars…to get a real idea of what such things are like, the Spanish Civil War is much more illustrative…once people get it into their heads that their political opponents are fair targets for violence, horror results.

      • Retired Spook March 23, 2016 / 8:13 am

        I suspect they don’t have a clue of what happens to a nation which descends into Civil War.

        I’d be willing to bet they certainly haven’t been taught it. This is what you get, however, when the leaders you’ve chosen to represent you and the bureaucrats and judges those leaders have selected all dishonor their sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution, not just once in a while, but over and over and over. The Founders also gave us a blueprint for peaceful transition. I guess we’ll see, and probably sooner than later, which avenue will prevail. Trump said there are going to be riots if he doesn’t get the nomination. I think there are probably going to be riots either way.

      • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 1:45 pm

        They don’t have a clue about anything. To them, it is a culture war, “fought” by mobs using signs and a few rocks, and pooping on police cars. I think we could immediately discount the little snowflakes who are already cowering in their dorm rooms or seeking other “safe places” because they are so terrified of having someone actually saying something they don’t like, a mile away. No one so scared of words, thoughts or ideas is going to have the slightest concept of what armed conflict is going to be like.

      • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 1:51 pm

        I think Trump’s riot comment pretty much sealed the deal, regarding me having the slightest bit of respect for the man or anything he says. If he has the best interest of the nation at heart, he will start right now saying that although he thinks he is the best man for the job, if the people choose someone else he will support that person wholeheartedly, and urge his followers to do the same.

        But no—he hints at running as a third party candidate, guaranteeing a Dem victory. He hints at riots to protest him not being the nominee.

        While I agree that Trump’s absolutely pathological narcissism has him truly believing he could be the savior of the nation, I also think it is clear that the salvation of the nation is not Number One on his agenda, as he has strongly implied that he will take it down as far as he can if the nation does not bow to him and his strident ego.

  7. Cluster March 23, 2016 / 9:09 am

    In recent modern elections, going back to 1960, the highest turnout of voting age population was 62% in 1960, to a low of 49% in 1996. More recently in 2008, the year of “The One We Have All Been Waiting For”, 58% of the voting age population turned out to vote, which equates to just 131 million people out of the possibility of approximately 240 million. Obama, who was the dream candidate for the left and motivated the left base like no other Democrat candidate has before, won the election with 69.5 million popular votes. In my opinion that is close to the upper threshold of Democrat voters in this country, so the question is, why aren’t the other 100 million people voting? Realistically, approximately 50 million of those voters will probably never vote, being completely checked out, drugged out, or just don’t give a damn as Spook referenced, but that leaves the other 50 million who have chosen not to vote for some reason. In my opinion, those 50 million non voters are folks who are nauseated by the demagoguery and the posturing by empty suit lawyers/politicians who end up governing to appease the lobbyists and special interests. These are folks who simply want a functioning and efficient government that provides a strong national defense, border security, a lightly regulated free market economy, and more control over their day to day lives. They do want to provide for the less fortunate but are not socialists who support a large entitlement based society, nor are they rigidly “principled” conservatives who fret over the enumerated duties of the federal government. The current electorate is evenly divided so those 50 million people, and the candidate who drives them to the polls may determine the future of this country. Personally, I have grown tired of who the DNC and the RNC clerisy elites think should lead this country and would prefer to hear from those 50 million disaffected voters, and in my opinion there is only one current candidate that has the chance of driving those folks to the polls.

    • M. Noonan March 23, 2016 / 11:20 am

      This is what a lot of pundits are missing – the GOP turnout has been high; there have been stories of mass defections from Democrat to GOP registration; plenty of people who say they’ve never voted before are showing up for Trump. The polls, indeed, showing Hillary completely crushing Trump in November…and that may very well be the case. As I’ve said before, if we’re discussing Hillary’s 40 State blowout on November 9th I won’t have my shocked face on. On the other hand, if we’re discussing Trump’s 40 State blowout, I won’t be shocked, either. It could get very weird – with Hillary winning Utah but getting destroyed because she’s also lost Pennsylvania and Michigan…

      • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 1:41 pm

        “The polls, indeed, showing Hillary completely crushing Trump in November…and that may very well be the case.”

        Nonsense. Haven’t you been paying attention? People LOVE Trump, they will all vote for him, he is unifier not a divider, and when he is president it will be beautiful and we will all be so happy.

        And we will, I suppose, then all be so grateful to the people who knocked Cruz out of the race because Trump tells it like it is and is self funding and is honest and…..well, you know the drill.

      • Cluster March 24, 2016 / 1:52 pm

        Cruz is catching up in the polls and garnering the support of …… wait for it……the GOP establishment. Things are getting interesting.

  8. Retired Spook March 24, 2016 / 8:58 am

    One of the headlines scrolling across my homepage this morning said something like: “New study shows Millennials most anxious generation ever.”

    That certainly seems to be the case at Emory University.

    As anyone who has spent five seconds at a college can attest, sidewalks covered in chalk messages are a pretty common fixture of the campus scene. But Emory University students had their delicate worldview shaken by the sudden appearance of one specific chalk message, “Trump 2016,” all over campus.

    The students were so traumatized that they stormed the offices of Emory President James Wagner, demanding answers and feelings-protection. Wagner sent an email to campus in a desperate and wildly unnecessary effort to make everyone feel safe again.

    I’m glad I’m not going to be around to see these kids try to run the country.

    • Cluster March 24, 2016 / 9:20 am

      Delicate little ignorant flowers who think free college and a $15 minimum wage are the prescriptions needed to right all the wrongs. I had to laugh the other day when I heard Bernie promote a “living wage” for everyone who works 40 hours a week just after reading an article about the high cost of living in Palo Alto, CA. A “living wage” in the liberal utopia of California would need to be at least $150K annually. I wonder how much a latte would cost.

      • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 1:37 pm

        Cluster, did you read the account of the delicate snowflake who posted a letter to her boss complaining that he made so much money while she couldn’t even afford groceries after she paid her rent? Aside from the fact that it was bull, as she had also posted photos of different things she had cooked in what looked like pretty well-equipped kitchen, and had a nice cell phone and computer, she had chosen to live in San Francisco.

        It’s all about the choices we make. It obviously never occurred to her that if she made the CHOICE to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, she would either have to be qualified to have a pretty darned good job, have roommates, or make other accommodations. I would guess that the cost of her cell phone and cell service, and internet connection, would have bought a lot of groceries. I would not be surprised to learn that she has tats or piercings, or both.

        It’s like that one couple I mentioned a few days ago. I felt sorry for them as they and their little boy were living in their car. I gave them a free place to stay, and told them they could take some of the furniture with them when they found a place. Then I found out that they were not married. OK, so one of the predictors of poverty is unmarried parenthood. So they got jobs, and saved some money for first and last months rent, and then I found out that they had gotten on a waiting list for subsidized housing IN A SKI RESORT. A two bedroom apartment in government subsidized housing there is more than $1600 a month, which would be a mortgage payment on a decent house in a different part of the state, or the country. And she was thrilled to learn that she was pregnant again. He has no real job skills, and based on his screwing up the odd jobs I hired him to do he probably also won’t be able to acquire many. At the time they were approved for the government housing subsidy, he was working on a construction job, which in a ski resort is seasonal, with a short season. Knowing his job skills and the job she had, which would be hard to continue while pregnant, I guessed that nearly their entire income, as long as both were working, would go to rent. I don’t know what a “living wage” would be in that area, but it is pretty high. While a lot of young people do without, so they can engage in other things that matter to them, this couple isn’t motivated by that—-they don’t ski, or snowboard, or bike, or hike, or do any outdoor sports. What struck me was that all the time they were living on my charity and that of neighbors who chipped in with furniture, all the time they were trying to get money from the government to pay for their housing, they weren’t even using birth control.

        I’ll bet they vote for Bernie.

  9. Bob Eisenhower March 24, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    Holy cow, Newt is stumping for Trump?

    • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 8:53 pm

      It’s all surreal right now. Literally the only justification I can think of for a lot of people is the wishful thinking that if nominated Trump will bring in lots and lots of new people to the GOP fold, hopefully enough to offset those leaving it. Since these prospective (and possibly imaginary) newcomers are not going to just be hatched in time to vote but will, theoretically, come from the Dem side, thereby reducing the number who will vote for Hillary or Bernie, there may be some formula put together by some math/political wonk showing a net gain.

      There is also the knuckling-under aspect, the let’s-avoid-riots factor.

      Even I can think of some possible positives to a Trump presidency. I think a Trump candidacy and a Trump presidency will be a disaster, if we are stuck with them, but in the mood of looking for a silver lining or two………….

      (1) For example, any Clinton campaign is going to be filthy, gutter-fighting, nasty and horrible, and Trump is the perfect foil for that kind of campaigning. He loves it. The nastier and dirtier the better. As he has said, “vicious….and beautiful”. If this is going to be the stomach-turning campaign I expect it to be, I am much happier having Trump being the guy doing the mud wrestling than a dignified and ideological candidate like Cruz. I’d much rather have disgust for their antics attached to Trump and Clinton than to anybody worthwhile.

      (2) After Trump, I don’t see how any conservative could ever be called “radical”.

      (3) Trump is dispensable. He is not really a Republican, he doesn’t really represent any true conservative principles, and if he crashes and burns there is already a lot of plausible deniability in that he has never been considered desirable by most Republicans. He is basically political cannon fodder.

      (4) Who knows, he might actually get a couple of the more distasteful chores accomplished because the harder people push at him the harder he pushes back.

      (5) A Trump presidency will let conservatives illustrate the difference between conservative ideology and principles and just being emotionally drawn to some issues that have been attached to the conservative movement. As Dear Leader has said, it might provide a teachable moment.

      (6) It is hard to imagine a President Trump lasting a whole four years—not because anyone would take him out, but because the work is really a hard grind, is much more demanding than anything he has ever done, he will be under constant fire from SOMEONE for every single thing he does, and with his knee-jerk reaction to criticism he’s going to get tired of it. Contrary to his current belief, he is not going to be adored as a savior, a pudgy peroxided comb-over superhero come to save the day, and reality is not going to make him happy. The media have been admiring of him so far because they want him to be the nominee, so they can draw out the long knives and tear him to shreds. If he is president, he is going to be savaged, as every Republican president is, and if he panders to the Left to get media love he will be savaged by the Right. He also has a short attention span and a need to constantly escalate the level of admiration he so desperately craves, and the presidency is not going to give him that constant fix of adrenaline mixed with adulation. Obama gets the adoring acolytes, but I don’t think Trump will. So if he has a decent VP it might turn out OK.

      (7) It will set the stage for the development of a true Constitutional Conservative Party.

      • Bob Eisenhower March 24, 2016 / 9:43 pm

        Do you think Newt is just ataching himself to a winner or do you think he is a true believer in Trump?

      • M. Noonan March 25, 2016 / 11:43 am

        Newt is a Historian – I think he recognizes Trump as a modern day manifestation of Andrew Jackson and his movement…which was just as vulgar (if not more so) than the Trump movement.

        Fairness is an American lodestar, I think – people like to believe that things should be roughly fair…and no matter how you slice it, things haven’t been fair lately; and especially not fair to the sort of people who are gravitating towards Trump. Remember, our Progs are happy that working class people are getting the shaft as they see this as proper payment for the working class not being Progressive 200 years ago. The upper class is also ok with the working class getting the shaft because it means higher profits for the upper class. Meanwhile, there’s the working class…not too happy about how things are going.

        It is, probably, too late for them – too many people have moved into welfarism or into white collar work…the nation is not what it once was. But if Trump wins, it will be because he motivated these people for one, last political earthquake.

      • Retired Spook March 24, 2016 / 11:29 pm

        Who knows, he might actually get a couple of the more distasteful chores accomplished because the harder people push at him the harder he pushes back

        I have a couple suggestions: indict everyone in the Obama administration who violated their constitutional oath and nail an eviction notice on the front door of the UN Building.

      • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 11:33 pm

        Who can tell any more? After the 2000 election Newt had a very good web site where he did excellent political analysis and had some really good ideas.

        I don’t understand why ANYONE supports Trump, much less someone I have always thought of as pretty smart and solidly ideological. Of all the original contenders, I could look at any one of them and understand why someone would find him or her a good candidate for the presidency. Even when I didn’t agree, I could understand.

        Except for Trump. I simply cannot understand it. I’ve heard all the “explanations” and they still don’t make sense to me because every single point has been made by other candidates, and furthermore made more eloquently, just as forcibly, more coherently, and with more detail, without the history of having completely different positions not too long ago. The only thing I can figure out is that it is the delivery, which is what I find to be the deal-breaker. So I am the last person to ask why ANYONE favors Trump over ANYONE.

      • Amazona March 24, 2016 / 11:34 pm

        Spook, I am with you on these two points.

      • Bob Eisenhower March 24, 2016 / 11:49 pm


        If you extend the eviction notice to every office on K Street, I agree.

      • Retired Spook March 25, 2016 / 8:19 am

        I’d agree.

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