Understanding Trumpism

Honest, I was going to write this article! In fact, I had a draft going…but, I got behind a bit and, anyways, Victor Davis Hanson is a much better writer than I am…so, here ya go.

As we stare in amazement at the phenomena of Trump and wonder just what the heck his followers are thinking, there is a rather simple answer. And Hanson provides it:

…What the elites now consider normal and standard seems, to a growing minority of Americans, aberrant and unhinged — and they are looking for a remedy, even if it is mostly rhetorical and chimerical.

Members of the so-called establishment do not fear receiving a memo announcing that an immigrant technician on a work visa will be taking their place or that their jobs will be outsourced overseas. For that matter, I don’t expect that my employer, the Hoover Institution, will move to Mexico to cut costs, or that National Review will hire a foreign national to write this column for 40 percent of what it currently pays.

When the son or daughter of someone in New York or Washington who despises the symbolism of the Trump candidacy does not quite top out on the SAT, or does not make it to Ghana for his or her cultural-diversity summer internship, or does not earn a prep school’s full recommendation, and so does not get into Yale or Princeton, does the parent happen to know a powerful public figure, an Ivy League insider, or a rich donor who might wish to call and put in a good word for an underappreciated but talented white male? If so, then that parent is navigating around affirmative action rather than upholding it. Meanwhile, the 18-year-old son of a truck driver in Grand Rapids, of the wrong sex and color, is out of luck…

Do read the whole thing.

Lately, Trump has been rising in the polls and looks like he’s got a shot at winning Indiana – and if he does, that is very close to game over for Cruz; Trump might well secure a first-ballot majority, or come so close that it doesn’t matter. How did Trump come back from the drubbing Cruz gave him in Wisconsin? By complaining about the way Cruz – following the rules to the letter – was securing delegates which his vote totals didn’t justify. You and I know that this is just playing by the rules and that, indeed, the arcane rules of a Republic are the best assurance against tyranny…but for most people, just watching from the sidelines, it is just unfair that someone who got more votes should come in second to the person who got less votes. Trump’s whine, as we anti-Trumpers put it, resonated far and wide across America. It just isn’t fair – and the American people, bottom line, are mostly sick of the rank unfairness of the current system.

Now, to be sure, some Trumpsters have gone full racist and/or anti-Semitic, perceiving in their minds that some sort of Minority or Jewish Conspiracy is the cause of the unfairness. This is actually a common failing among humans – to easily believe that it is the Other who has caused the problem. But leaving aside the Trumpsters who believe that, the overwhelming mass of them are just people who can see that things are lousy, well-connected people are getting an easy ride, and anyone who complains is shouted down as a racist/sexist/homophobe.

Well, not everyone is a racist/sexist/homophobe – but those who are being insulted with those terms do see their school systems collapsing; their faith insulted; their national heroes spat upon; their jobs shipped overseas or taken by someone from another land who will do it for less; their prices for basic necessities going up…and, here in 2016, quite a lot of them are very mad. And if some of them are lashing out in an rage then it must be understood that it was a provoked rage. People content with their lives and feeling that things are roughly fair don’t get enraged. Period.

And as Hanson also points out, whatever you want to say about Trump – and I’ll heartily join you in saying it – it can be matched by Hillary, by Sanders, by the majority of Democrat and Republican party leaders. By the leaders of the bureaucracy and the corporations. By those who run the outlets of popular media culture. If Trump is a lying, vulgar nincompoop then so are all the rest of them. In the race right now, only Cruz is in any way free from the dishonesty of the overall American system. The concept that some how or another electing Hillary would be an improvement over electing Trump is utter nonsense. The concept that Trump is more divisive than Obama has been is utter nonsense. The concept that Trump is not spiritually at one with all the rest of the people in charge is utter nonsense. And the people are given a choice – Trump’s clown show or Hillary’s…if the choice does come down to that, I think a lot of people will go for Trump on the simple calculation that just maybe, by some miracle, those who have been destroying America will at least get their smug hypocrisy shoved back in their faces. Whether that will be enough to elect Trump remains to be seen – but such an action by tens of millions of American voters in November won’t be an act of stupidity, nor an irrational act. What would be stupid and irrational is voting for Hillary as an allegedly superior option – everyone who isn’t a blind partisan knows for a fact that Hillary is a crook…we don’t know, for certain, that Trump is.

And this is why I refuse to be drawn in to insult wars against Trumpsters. Trumpism is a failure just waiting to happen…but just going along with what we’ve already got is a failure that is already upon us. I do wish the Trumpsters would see through Trump and realize that Cruz is the best option. If Trump goes down to flaming defeat in November, I’m hoping that the Trumpsters shake off Trumpism and in 2020 go for a Cruz or a Walker or a Jindal. But Trumpism is a going concern simply because those who have been running the show have been running America into the ground, and profiting greatly off the resultant disaster. Unless and until the Republican Party embraces revolutionary reform of the United States, Trump or someone like him will always find a ready ear at least among a large minority of Americans.

36 thoughts on “Understanding Trumpism

  1. Retired Spook April 27, 2016 / 9:00 am

    I’ve been in “survive-the-damage” mode for at least the last 8 years, so a Hillary presidency doesn’t frighten me all that much. We are so far down the rabbit hole that even three or four liberal appointees to the Supreme Court won’t be a permanent setback, as any radical changes to the Constitution will be met with rebellion and revolution. Speaking of rabbit holes, I’m reminded of one of my favorite passages from Alice in Wonderland when Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which road she should take. The cat asks her where she’s going, and when she says she doesn’t know, the cat responds, “then any road will get you there.” That’s kind of where we are as a country. Part of the country just wants free stuff and will vote for whomever promises to give them the most. Part of the country is confident that a clown who is a cross between P.T. Barnum and Benito Mussolini will shake things up and get even with the elites who have been keeping them down all their lives. Another part wants to hang their hat on a woman who half the country thinks should be in Leavenworth; and a small part wants someone who will just play be the rules, and enforce those rules. I have little to no confidence that we will take the right road this time around.

    The main reason many are saying that Trump is a better option is that we don’t know him as well as we know Hillary. Neither of them is a person of integrity or high moral character, but, after Trump running the table yesterday, it’s looking extremely likely that they are going to be our choices in November. At least we won’t be faced with the “lesser” of two evils.

    • M. Noonan April 27, 2016 / 11:43 am

      LOL – it’ll be the Evil of Two Lessers!

      Trump is the blank slate on what he’d actually do in office…unlike Hillary, who has proven again and again that her priorities in office are:

      1. Punishing her enemies.

      2. Covering up her scandals.

      3. Enriching herself.

      4. Enriching her cronies.

      I do believe that Trump will be a disaster…but I already know that Hillary will be.

  2. Amazona April 27, 2016 / 9:54 am

    “And this is why I refuse to be drawn in to insult wars against Trumpsters. “

    I am well past “insult wars against Trumpsters”, having moved to the next stage, which is just disgust. Just as I can’t stand to listen to Obama and turn to another channel when speaks on TV, I can’t stand to listen to another “explanation” of support for Trump. I have remained optimistic about this country through Clinton, through the BDS that hobbled the Bush years, even through Obama/Ayers/Holder/Clinton/Kerry. But I am now thoroughly depressed.

    When I see the success of Trump it literally turns my stomach. Oh, I can understand that to some people he IS “charismatic”. I don’t understand why, but I can accept that some people do, as bizarre as that seems to me. But when I see people voting for him because they have swallowed his constantly repeated claim that Cruz is a “liar”, without ever demanding proof or examples of this alleged “lying” I feel nothing but contempt for them. When I see him ramping up support by claiming that Cruz is “stealing” HIS delegates, I see those who buy into this as, to put it bluntly, stupid. Not just deluded or led astray by a lie, but STUPID.

    You said “…for most people, just watching from the sidelines, it is just unfair that someone who got more votes should come in second to the person who got less votes.” Well, yeah, if by “most people” you mean people who have no understanding of how or why our electoral system is set up the way it is. And, of course, that is exactly what you mean. And BTW, when Cruz got more votes than Trump but many fewer delegates, these screechers about “fairness” were silent.

    Trump is Trump, and hating him for it would be like hating a snake for biting. He is what he is, and he does what he does. My disdain is for the people who merely accept what he says and fall in line behind him. My contempt is for people who are so short-sighted that they can’t see beyond the imagined gratification of “sticking it to the Establishment”. It’s the same sort of insanity that is the basis for rioters burning down their own neighborhoods.

    But it’s worse, in a way, because these people are so stupid they don’t see that Trump IS “the Establishment”. That is what absolutely baffles me. People who claim they are supporting Trump because they are tired of crony capitalism are lining up to kiss the ass of the man who more than anyone else in this country represents crony capitalism. Those who piously claim they are against corruption in government can’t wait to hand the reins to the man who brags about paying off politicians to get favors. People who claim that character is important in a president are salivating over the chance to elect a man of such brazenly bad character it spans more than just the sexual escapades of Bill Clinton or the chicanery of Hillary. People who would not vote for Romney, a deeply religious man who lived his religion every day of his life because they didn’t like his church can’t wait to vote for a man whose claims of religious belief are so transparently fake they are laughable. People who claim to value the sanctity of life are swooning over a man who has in the past advocated abortion at any stage for any reason, still supports it “in some cases” and still defends Planned Parenthood.

    Literally the only way any of these people can support Trump is to toss those “principles” aside and admit they were just posturing, that underneath all the claims of political conservatism, religious belief and so on lay a mob mentality just itching for a demagogue to follow.

    I don’t need to “insult” them—they have insulted themselves, by pulling off their masks and showing their true selves. And I have no obligation to pretend that I didn’t notice. There’s an old country song that says “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”. And we are seeing that in action, here and now, in the Trump phenomenon.

    Show me a voter who will stand up and say “I have never cared a whit about honesty or character. I don’t care about having a Christian president, or even one who supports basic Christian values. I don’t care if a man has lied to people his whole life, has cheated people out of their life savings through one scheme after another, has broken law after law, has bribed officials to get ahead, and is a grifter and a crook. I don’t care if he is a whoremonger who routinely says demeaning things to and about women. I don’t care if he has supported abortion, or for that matter if he still does. I don’t care if he lied to me about deporting all illegals and is now admitting that he never meant it, and just said it “to get negotiations going”. i don’t care if he is a classic example of narcissism and is mentally erratic and emotionally unstable. I don’t care if he is petty, spiteful and vindictive and likely to use the powers of the United States government to continue this pattern and go after people who have offended him in some way. I don’t care about governing according to the Constitution, but would be happy to have a dictator in the White House as long as he dictates the kinds of things I like. I have never cared about things like this and I don’t care now. I just want a candidate who puts on a good show, who gets me pumped up with a lot of rhetoric, who appeals to my baser instincts and never comes across as smarter, classier or better than I am.”

    THAT is the one Trump supporter I will respect, because that will be the only one who is not a hypocrite, a liar, and dumb as a box of hair.

    • M. Noonan April 27, 2016 / 11:39 am

      Trump support is, bottom line, a shout of rage against things at they are – I agree completely with those who assert that there isn’t much deep thinking behind voting Trump.

      • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 8:42 pm

        I would be a lot more accepting of this “shout of rage against things as they are” theme used to explain Trumpbots, if supporting Trump were not support for the poster boy of every single thing they claim to be raging against.

        Basically, these people are so confused they only know they are mad at something, for some reason, and Trump gives them a good show, pumps up their adrenaline, and tells them what feels good at the moment. It’s when you try to pin them down on what they are so mad about that they fall apart, because literally every single thing—-let me repeat that, EVERY SINGLE THING—they say is important to them is the opposite of Donald Trump. Yet even when he admits he has been lying to them, they still love him.

        It is inexplicable, except as a symptom of self-hatred, of self and of country. When your standards are so low that Donald Trump looks good, you are saying a lot more about how you see yourself, and how you see this country, than how you see him.

      • M. Noonan April 27, 2016 / 11:58 pm

        Click this link and scroll down to the bottom and listen to the clip from Rush…pretty interesting from a Trump supporter.

      • Retired Spook April 28, 2016 / 8:01 am

        I was listening to Rush and heard that particular exchange. I know several Trump supporters, and that reflects the way they think. The problem with that line of thinking is exactly what Amazona has said several times; there’s nothing in Trump’s history that suggests he’s going to get down in the mud and fight with Democrats, and there’s considerable evidence that he’ll engage in the very things that his supporters hate and want to put an end to. The Clintons have spent their entire political lives selling access and influence, while Trump has spent his entire business life buying people like the Clintons. Two sides of the same coin, pure and simple. The buyer’s remorse experienced by the white-guilt crowd who voted for Obama the first time around is going to pale in comparison to the buyer’s remorse if Trump ends up being President.

      • Amazona April 28, 2016 / 9:38 am

        That Rush clip is much less “interesting” and a lot more “disturbing”.

        The caller sounds like a pretty intelligent guy. He has organized speech patterns and speaks clearly. But he makes absolutely no sense.

        I’m not talking about Trump here, but about the caller and what he thinks is a rational explanation for his support of Trump. I’m talking about the mental gymnastics it takes to try to excuse Trumpism.

        (1) Trump is willing not just to fight but to fight dirty. He is a guy who will get down in the mud and do whatever it takes.

        (2) He disagrees with about 80% of what Trump says but will vote for him anyway.

        Now a logical person would look at this and say “But if you disagree with 80% of what he says he will do, who do you think he will be fighting, and what do you think he will be fighting FOR? Will you be happy to see him getting down and dirty to fight for the 80% you don’t agree with?”

        The man made absolutely no sense at all. If you are attracted to a confrontational fighter unhindered by ethics or integrity and think that will make him more effective in whatever “fight” he finds himself, you should at least take a moment to make sure you are on the same side in that fight. This caller came right out and said that he does not agree with 80% of what Trump says, so he is going to vote for him knowing that this belligerence and willingness to get down and dirty and fight in the gutter is very seldom going to be fighting for what he, the caller, believes in.

        I think he was saying he would be able to defend himself against attacks from the Left, based on his comments about Bush being savaged. Yeah, it’s nice to think of a president who can stick up for himself. But starting off with a president with so much baggage he is already a huge target, and rightly so, means that your new president is going to be occupied in self defense more than in doing the job of the president.

        And this leads me back to the Wrestlemania mindset of both Trump and a lot of his supporters. They are attracted to the belligerence, the bluster, the strutting, the challenges, the muscle-flexing and trash talk, the staging and the show. And then they scramble to find a rationale for their susceptibility to the glitter and the glam and the boasting and the promise of a really good fight. At least this guy admitted he doesn’t really agree with Trump on much of anything, but his underlying message was “..but I’ll sure like watching him take on the Dems in a no-holds-barred fight”.

        That’s all well and good for the populace that sees politics as theater, or in this case a UFC cage match. For those of us who see politics as choosing and implementing the best blueprint for governing the nation, it’s downright depressing.

        What came through this call was the impression that it is not the ability to fight the good fight, to be tough, but the way this is done. Cruz is every bit as tough as Trump—actually a lot more so, as Trump folds under pressure and almost immediately starts to waffle, to walk back what he has said, to modify his earlier positions and promises, while Cruz stands tough and doesn’t back down. But Cruz doesn’t appeal to the Trump crowd, because they don’t WANT a deft, precise, intelligent defense based on thought and fact. Where’s the fun in that? They want a Mad Max, with explosions and flame throwers and mud-slinging. They want the drama.

        I’ve been saying all along that Trumpsters are not supporting Businessman Trump but Wrestlemania Trump, no matter how often they murmur their pious explanations about him being “such a good business man” or “knowing how to get things done”. Their collective thrills-up-the-leg intensify when he promises to pay the legal fees of bullies who attack people who don’t agree with him, when he brags that he could shoot someone in public and not lose a supporter, when he talks about riots if he is not nominated, when he pounds the table and bellows that he is being cheated and someone must pay. This is why, when the superficial reasons they give fall apart as Trump backs off on every promise they use to try to justify their support, they just don’t care.

      • M. Noonan April 28, 2016 / 11:51 pm

        I’ll agree with disturbing – but also interesting, because it does show where, I’ll guess, 90% of the Trumpsters are coming from. This is outside the Alt Right nitwits – these are regular folks who are so furious with things as they are that they have taken leave of their senses and are doing mental gymnastics to justify voting for Trump.

      • Retired Spook April 29, 2016 / 8:42 am

        they have taken leave of their senses and are doing mental gymnastics to justify voting for Trump.

        I think many of them have just disengaged their brains completely.

      • M. Noonan April 29, 2016 / 11:24 pm

        Democrats did a couple decades ago – What do we want? Idiocy! When do we want it? Now!

  3. Cluster April 27, 2016 / 10:17 am

    I don’t often listen to Hannity but I caught him on his radio show a week or so ago and he made a profound observation that I think is correct. He said that while America has always been a center right country, we have shifted over the last decade and now we are a center left country. I think he is right, and I think that explains Trump. My son also made an observation a few days ago that I agree with when he said that Trump will either be really good, or really bad, and I think that sums it up. In Trump, we don’t know what will happen, but with Hillary, this country will certainly continue the downward spiral into Central American despotism that Obama started.

    • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 1:28 pm

      Oh, only your son had a chance of being half right. I think a President Trump will be as bad as he can get away with, from a legislative point of view, assuming we don’t lose the House and Senate and can find enough backbones in both to rein him in. He is so susceptible to public opinion he can probably also be swayed by that. From a personal point of view he is a train wreck, as he is not likely to stop being petty, vindictive and just plain nasty, and like Obama he will have several government agencies to help him out in his vendettas. On the international stage, he is a buffoon and a joke, but then so was Hillary, so is Kerry, so to some extent is Barry, and Trump will just be another nail in the coffin of respect for America. He’ll still be stomping around marking his territory, making awful gaffes, and the ONLY thing I can look forward to, other than the lack of another President Clinton, is the knowledge that at least some of his fan club will be cringing and wondering what the hell they helped create.

      Do I think he will ever be a great president, or even a good one? Absolutely no way. The best we can hope for is overall mediocrity with as few descents into utter misery as possible. It will in no way be a pleasant four years, but will be four years of bombast and irrationality and vulgarity.

  4. Amazona April 27, 2016 / 10:19 am

    “I think a lot of people will go for Trump on the simple calculation that just maybe, by some miracle, those who have been destroying America will at least get their smug hypocrisy shoved back in their faces.” If you are talking about in the primaries, then I agree. But that does not make this decision a smart one, just a disastrous miscalculation. It will do nothing to impress the Whoever they are trying to show up with a “so take THIS, that’ll show you !” Partly because a vote for Trump is a vote FOR the corruption, broken government, Leftist ideology these poor idiots think they are voting AGAINST. If you mean in the general election, then the rationale for voting for Trump, for millions of us, will have nothing at all to do with having any “… smug hypocrisy shoved back in …faces.” It will be because we have no other choice, and have been put in this position by millions of people who are either woefully gullible or just plain dumb.

    “Whether that will be enough to elect Trump remains to be seen – but such an action by tens of millions of American voters in November won’t be an act of stupidity, nor an irrational act. “ No, for those of us who have been faced with this disgusting choice, it will be an act of desperation, an act that represents at least a small chance of not losing everything as opposed to vote for Hillary which would just be giving up. And it will mean doing it knowing that we will then be faced with four more years of fighting the president tooth and nail to try to retain at least a semblance of American government, because a President Trump would require a great deal of reining in.

    “……everyone who isn’t a blind partisan knows for a fact that Hillary is a crook…we don’t know, for certain, that Trump is.”

    Oh, yes we do. Trump’s history of illegal activities is well documented, and only the blindest of blind partisans can overlook it. His illegal “Trump University” has been described by a federal prosecutor as a classic Ponzi scheme, and he is still facing lawsuits for fraud. I don’t remember if the feds are still planning to prosecute him on this. He has managed to weasel his way out of many investigations for various crimes, including bribery. He IS Hillary, using his wealth and connections and power to evade legal consequences for his actions. Surely no one can think that his large contributions to her political campaigns and even larger contributions to the Clinton Foundation represent anything but an alliance of crooks.

    This is what cracks me up when people talk about about a choice between Trump and Hillary. Choosing which side of a coin to vote for isn’t really much of a choice. What we need is a different coin, but the success of Trump Marketing is probably going to take that away from us.

    • M. Noonan April 27, 2016 / 11:37 am

      Well, I meant it in the sense that Hillary has actually used political power in her hand to enrich herself…that sort of crookedness. I’ve no doubt that some of Trump’s real estate deals, given NYC, had some oddities in them. Hillary is a crooked political leader – greedy and rather stupid, too; this is known. We also know that the only thing Hillary will keep her word on is advancing Progressive social ideology…so, we can be certain that when it’s time to expand abortion, Hillary will be Jane-On-The Spot…while Trump has flopped all over the place on the abortion issue, we don’t know for certain what he’ll do when the thing drops on his desk for signature. I wouldn’t have my shocked face on if he betrayed the Pro-Life movement, but I don’t know for certain that he would.

      • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 1:32 pm

        The ONLY hopeful thing about a Trump presidency is that the man is so unpredictable he might actually do something right every now and then. I predict that when he does, it will usually be because Congress and conservatives are prodding him relentlessly, but at least there would be a CHANCE, whereas with Hillary there is no chance at all.

        I do disagree with you in your whitewashing of Trump as merely someone whose history contains some “oddities”. He has broken the law. He has broken many laws. He has admitted to some of this, implied his guilt in some others, but he always just writes it off as “that’s just the what you have to do to do business”, and his bootlicking fan club thinks that is just fine—while they bray that they vote for him because they are tired of corruption.

      • M. Noonan April 27, 2016 / 2:24 pm

        I’ll grant that – but, I grant that with everyone who runs a large corporation. To be sure, the law of averages indicates that some corporate bosses won’t engage in chicanery, but the nature of our system almost guarantees that someone has to get paid behind the scenes before anything can be done. Think about it: we built the Panama Canal in ten years (and, btw, completed it ahead of time and under budget)…that was 1904-1914…fast forward 100 years and you get California’s high speed rail system…which was decided on in 2008 and the first phase of it won’t be completed before 2029! And, of course, the cost estimates of building it keep going up. They’re building a rail road! Sure, it is a high speed rail system…but it’s not like this is a brand-new form or rail. People have been doing it for years…and its going to take at least 21 years from “go” to “done” (and, then, only partially done…there is no completion date estimated for phase II). From “go” to “done” in Panama was 10 years…and there we had to work in a rather hideous tropical jungle rife with disease and had to build locks the like of which had never been constructed before, and to make it work properly we had to use the then-unproven technology of electric motors. Done in ten years, under budget…because no one was getting special deals on the side (nor, of course, did we have to deal with idiot Environmentalists back then who would surely fret about how much useless swamp we were eliminating). Our system is clogged from top to bottom with corruption – and Trump did work in that system. So, no doubt there were shady deals – and he should have rejected all that and demanded reforms so that honest players could get the job done. He didn’t. But, still, even with all that, his corruption is not of the same species as Clinton’s.

      • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 7:02 pm

        “…his corruption is not of the same species as Clinton’s…”

        Well, I don’t think he has actually been responsible for any deaths, but his Trump University scam was not just a “shady deal”. It was, from the outset, a scam. Trump marketed it as a training system led by him. He marketed HIMSELF and told people, who paid tens of thousands of dollars, that he would be teaching them how to do what he does. In one particularly odious example, people paid a lot of money to attend an event where they would be photographed with Trump, only to find that he wasn’t even there and they would be photographed with a cardboard figure of Trump. (Not a completely bad outcome—-the hair looked more natural on the cardboard.) When he was not personally mentoring the students, they would be taught by people Trump assured them would be “hand picked” by HIM.

        It all turned out to be a garden-variety sales seminar kind of thing, a rehash of his book. He never even met any of the teachers, with one exception. When people complained that they were not getting their money’s worth, well, they had not paid for the advanced level that would give them what they wanted, and were encouraged to take out loans to move up to that level. He didn’t step up and start running classes himself. He never planned to. The feds had to take legal action to make him stop calling it a “university” after he ignored orders to do so, and have called it a “classic Ponzi scheme”.

        In another instance, he took money in advance for condos in a new condo complex he was promising to build, never built it, and never refunded the money.

        Everything he does is a scam. He brags about all the money he has donated to charities, yet it turns out he doesn’t actually write a check on any of his personal accounts, he just donates some company perk like a golf trip, and then claims the retail value of the donation as a charitable donation BY HIM when he is bragging about how wonderful he is. He claims to be self funded, yet he uses donated money, bills his campaign fund for the use of planes and helicopters, and most of the money he claims he has donated to his campaign is really just loaned, not donated.

        He is a crook. Sometimes he skirts the law, sometimes he breaks the law, but he weasels out of consequences just like Hillary does, by using his wealth and connections.

        And what really ticks me off is that he admits to a lot of this stuff, and his adoring fans think it is just proof that “he knows how to get things done”. Did he have a sweetheart deal with mobsters, paying above market value for a piece of property owned by a mob boss and then using mob companies and illegal labor to get the project built? Well, so what, bleat his fans, that’s just what you have to do, to get things done. And then they go on to explain that they love The Donald because they are tired of corruption.

        Even you are tepid in criticizing Trump, saying “I’ll grant that (corruption) – but, I grant that with everyone who runs a large corporation. And “.. the nature of our system almost guarantees that someone has to get paid behind the scenes before anything can be done.” Really? So we are supposed to just accept this and not ask that the leader of our nation and the free world be any better than any sleazy back-room cheat or swindler?

        Because that is what I hear Trumpbots saying, in essence—“So what if he isn’t honest or ethical? At least he knows how to play the game.” And I say they are quite happy dragging the whole country down to Trump’s level, but I refuse to accept that as the standard for the nation.

      • M. Noonan April 27, 2016 / 7:33 pm

        Oh, you know me – I’ll bash corporate corruption with the best of them. But we are living in a world where DoJ refuses to send HSBC execs to jail because that might roil the markets – even though they were caught red-handed, deliberately and with malice aforethought money laundering for terrorist groups and drug cartels.

        “Trump” and “honest” don’t intersect much, that is for sure.

      • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 8:14 pm

        But I’m not talking generalities about “corporate corruption”. I am talking specifics, about Donald Trump being an instigator and beneficiary of corporate corruption yet winning millions of votes from people who claim they love him because they are tired of corporate corruption. And I am talking about him being an actual criminal, having committed actual crimes, not just being a shady corner-cutting sleazebag.

        When “Trump” and “honest” DO intersect, it is when he admits to being dishonest. And his fanbots never blink.

  5. Cluster April 27, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    What is Cruz doing? Naming a VP when he finished third in some of the primaries yesterday? Really? And then what he did with Kasich on Sunday has me questioning my vote for him. You either win on your own merits or get out.

    • Retired Spook April 27, 2016 / 5:53 pm

      I would say it’s a last ditch effort to change the momentum. If he loses Indiana next Tuesday, which the polls seem to indicate, then it doesn’t matter — it’s over.

      • M. Noonan April 27, 2016 / 6:36 pm

        It is a desperation move – we’ll see if it works, or if it backfires. I hope it works.

      • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 7:20 pm

        Is Pence going to find some big boy pants before the primary?

      • M. Noonan April 27, 2016 / 7:33 pm

        He’s battling for re-election and doesn’t want to offend any faction…so, the big boy pants will likely stay in storage.

    • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 7:19 pm

      Why SHOULDN’T he say who he would choose as his running mate? What is wrong with that? It tells people what to expect. It also says Cruz is making a decision based on his evaluation of the merit of Fiorina, not on some last minute back room negotiations. I think it is a classy move.

      As for his deal with Kasich, other than trusting (at least to some extent) someone who is more Trump-like than trustworthy, big deal. We can’t have it both ways, complaining that the other candidates are splitting votes and therefore handing the nomination to Trump and then complaining if they find a way to stop doing that. They didn’t hide it, they weren’t sneaky about it, they were upfront and honest about what they were doing. It’s not illegal, it’s not immoral. Gee, wouldn’t it be refreshing to see the comment “He just knows how to play the game” applied to someone besides Trump?

      What we ought to be seeing is a lot of outrage at Trump’s incessant lying and character assassination. No one is “stealing” anything from him. You can’t steal something from a man if he doesn’t already own it. The sliminess of Trump is increasingly creepy. He made a calculated decision to not campaign in Colorado or Wyoming because he knew he could get more mileage out of letting Cruz take the delegates and then using the process to slime Cruz and lead his blind, stupid, sheeple down the primrose path by telling them that Cruz “stole” the delegates. “You either win on your own merits or get out.” Let’s apply that to Trump, ‘kay?

      THAT is underhanded, sneaky, and pure Trumpery, and no one is calling him on that, but when Cruz knows the rules and follows them, when he is completely upfront and candid about what he is doing and what he wants to do, he gets slammed.

      • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 8:47 pm

        I have always thought of a Cruz/Fiorina ticket as a great one, and as I am one who walks the walk as well as talking the talk, I just made a sizable contribution to the campaign. I’ve already donated to Cruz, but want to make a statement of support for his latest decision. Have you read her statement? I have a feeling that the “Tells it Like It IS !!” crowd is not going to be happy to hear Carly actually tell it like it is, about Trump.

        This ticket is a class act, all the way. I’m expecting Trump to drag out Jesse Ventura as his running mate, or maybe Pamela Anderson—you know, someone to carry out the theme of White Trash On A Roll. I did think of one nice thing to say about Trump—he makes Bill Clinton look classy.

      • Amazona April 27, 2016 / 8:53 pm

        From a Fiorina statement about accepting Cruz’s choice of her as his running mate: emphasis mine

        “Why I accepted:

        Today, I am proud to announce that I have accepted Ted Cruz’s offer to be his Vice Presidential nominee.

        As a loyal supporter, I want to tell you why:

        It’s clear the media elites are ready to anoint Donald Trump as the Republican nominee before this race is even over. It’s also clear, that Donald Trump’s nomination would be a disaster for America.

        If Trump is our nominee, conservatives will be forced to choose between two liberals in November: both corrupt, both big government crony capitalists, and both part of the system that has gotten us in the mess we’re in.

        Worse, if we nominate Donald Trump, we would be guaranteeing four years of Hillary Clinton in the White House.”

  6. helenoftroy72 April 28, 2016 / 2:33 am

    If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, I will vote for the Libertarian candidate in the general election. This is looking likely as both John Kasich and Ted Cruz have been mathematically eliminated gaining enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot.

    • Amazona April 28, 2016 / 9:01 am

      In that case why even bother to vote at all?

      • helenoftroy72 April 29, 2016 / 12:25 am

        I always try to vote in the presidential election. Not to mention there is the down-ballot to consider.

  7. Amazona April 28, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    There is a new entry in the Upside-Down-Inside-Out-Backwards world in which we live.

    There is an article about a woman who complained to Target, and took her business elsewhere, because of a sign she found on or in the women’s restroom. The sign read:

    “Attention Ladies:
    Target Corp. has publically (sic) announced that Men may now use the Women’s restroom (and vise versa), no questions asked.

    Please be cautious.

    *Report suspected hidden cameras
    *Report loitering or peeping individuals
    and especially

    Use your good judgement about sending children or teens to the restroom alone”

    OK, so far this make sense. A woman is informed that men may be in the women’s restroom, which is a good piece of information to have, and suggests wariness regarding cameras or peeping. So far so good.

    But then comes the twist. The woman is not upset because Target has made the women’s restroom available to men. Here we need to stop for a moment and look at what this means. This does NOT mean that Target has made its womens’ restrooms available to people who have been born as men but who have gone through the process of adopting femininity as much as they are able, who dress as women and live as women all day, every day. No, Target has said in essence that a man who looks like a man, dresses like a man, and is in every visible aspect a man, can use the womens’ restroom. There is a huge and very important difference.

    Now to the first twist to the story: Why the woman is angry.

    “I realized it was obviously somebody who was transphobic or somebody who wanted to basically state that transgender women are men and that’s not ok with me.”

    Well, aside from the fact that the note said no such thing, she is doing what so many are doing, even many conservative pundits, and conflating “transgendered” with anyone who lives as a man but who just wants to go into a woman’s restroom or locker room and can do so because of laws saying all he has to do is say he feels like a woman, at that time, in that place.

    For a group that defends abortion based on a rabid commitment to the belief that “privacy” is a Constitutional right which conveys a corollary “right” to kill inconvenient children, they are sure casual about this alleged right to privacy when it comes to being spied on, peeped on, photographed in bathroom stalls or locker rooms without their knowledge or permission.

    A true “transgendered” man who is living as a woman can use a woman’s restroom because, dressed as a woman, acting like a woman, no one would know. They’ve been doing this for many many years and no one could tell. If a person who is dressed as a woman, acts like a woman, and has adopted the characteristics of a woman goes into a woman’s restroom and goes into a stall, no one will notice and no one will care. If s/he wants to change in a locker room it is silly to expect that the women there should ignore the exposed dangly bits, and it is just courtesy to change in a curtained alcove or a stall, or more to the point use one of the family changing rooms now so common. It is if a man, dressed like a man, looking like a man, acting like a man, goes into a woman’s rest room or locker room that causes the problem.

    But wait—there is more. The headline of this story is: INFLAMMATORY NOTE FOUND IN TARGET BATHROOM

    “Inflammatory”? Really? I guess to a victim looking for something to be upset about, pretty much anything can be (and often is) translated into “inflammatory” but really, guys, you need to stop drinking the KoolAid. The note says there might be men in the bathroom so be wary of invasions of privacy. Period.

    Warnings of potential danger are, and always have been, all over the place. We are warned about the possibility of more drunk drivers on the road on certain holidays, but so far at least no one has gotten the vapors about this. Those of us living in the mountains are warned every spring about the dangers of encountering bears coming out of hibernation hungry and grumpy. We are warned against pickpockets in tourist areas, credit card scanners at gas pumps,, ice on bridges, etc. I guess it is only a matter of time till some air-headed victimhood addict finds a way to be offended by these as well.


  8. Amazona April 28, 2016 / 3:45 pm

    More news from the Environmental Studies side—-this time the “success” of the plan by Lake Land College in Illinois to save money by installing wind turbines to provide electricity to the school.

    This costs money so of course they went to Uncle Sugar for some of that yummy OPM. Yet somehow, golly gee, surprise surprise, it didn’t turn out quite the way the decision-makers thought it would. (I would think a SCHOOL would do a little research into wind turbines, being, you know, a school and all, but evidently that’s just me. I would think the feds would….but I repeat myself.)

    The turbines were funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, but the turbines lasted for less than four years and were incredibly costly to maintain.

    “Since the installation in 2012, the college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor to maintain the turbines,” Kelly Allee, Director of Public Relations at Lake Land College, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

    The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and likely suffered electrical damage last summer. School officials’ original estimates found the turbine would save it $44,000 in electricity annually, far more than the $8,500 they actually generated.
    Under the original optimistic scenario, the turbines would have to last for 22.5 years just to recoup the costs, not accounting for inflation. If viewed as an investment, the turbines had a return of negative 99.14 percent.

    The school’s director of Public Relations went on to say that the turbines were an excellent teaching tool for students, though she was forced to concede that, “they are not a good teaching tool if they are not working.”

    There are other things the windmills “are not good for” if they’re not working, such as being a source of electrical power. They managed to generate a grand total of $8,500 worth of juice over a four year period at a cost of nearly $100K.

    Let’s go back to that “…the turbines were an excellent teaching tool for students..” thing for a moment. Does anyone here think that this “excellent teaching tool” was used to teach students how inept the federal government is when it comes to spending OUR money? Nah. How about teaching them to do a little basic research into an alleged “solution” to a small “problem” before jumping in with a grandiose plan like two of these big wind turbines? Nope to that, too. The problems associated with an overarching government sticking its nose into areas where it has no business being/Tenth Amendment stuff? Are you kidding? Learning about Unintended Consequences? No way. Learning that federal funds are really taxpayer funds and should not be squandered? You gotta be kidding. That a negative return on investment is not only not a good thing, but pretty typical of government “investment”? I seriously doubt it. That an almost 100% negative return is pretty typical of government work? If only.

    Just what in hell does this Director of Public Relations think this fiasco was going to teach these students? And why does she think the turbine folly would only have been a good “teaching tool” IF THEY WORKED? It seems to me the utter failure of the whole scheme is the “teaching tool” is what these students need to study.

    BTW, one of the turbines failed after being struck by lightning. Imagine that! Lightning in Illinois! Yet the article goes on to point out that some turbines in Minnesota failed because they froze. In the winter. In Minnesota. Wonders are not ceasing.


  9. Cluster April 28, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    This from allahpundit:

    Newt farking Gingrich, lecturing other people about their elitism. He’s an academic by trade. He’s been a Beltway fixture for nearly 40 years, half that time as a congressman and Speaker and half as a regular in the conservative media complex. He’s a rich man thanks to his businesses and the lecture circuit. There’s not a political cocktail party in America that he couldn’t get into. He might as well have a recurring part on “House of Cards.” If Newt’s not “elite,” who is? I don’t mean that rhetorically; I’m asking sincerely. If Newt Gingrich no longer qualifies as elite, is there anyone so elite that the stain of elitism can’t be expunged even by slobbering regularly over Trump?

    This of course was in response to Newt complimenting Trump on his foreign policy speech and is just the latest in what has become an incredibly nauseating political environment. Now on any other given day I would guess that allahpundit is fan of Newt, as I am, but not on this day. Not after Newt complimented Trump. That apparently is an action worthy of scorn. My question to the GOP is this; if Trump is that bad and that much of a liberal, why did you allow him to run as a Republican? The GOP should have done a better job of identifying acceptable candidates long before it got to this point if in fact they find Trump so unacceptable. But this is obviously how they govern as well – zero foresight.

    I also have to take exception with “conservatives” who deem Trump to be nothing more than a big government liberal. Any conservative who has taken five minutes to read his positions would have to agree with 90% of them; securing the border, tax reform, education reform, immigration reform, energy reform, rebuilding the military, and more state sovereignty. This is what conservatives have been wanting for the past 8 years, so you either have to ignore these positions or you must believe that Trump is lying, either way it is a bit delusional. Here’s another inconvenient truth and a sobering conclusion that I have come to as a result of this process and that is that my conservative leanings are in the minority in this country and throwing a tantrum won’t change that fact. And while I voted for Cruz, I am now convinced that he stands no chance to win the general. Zero. Nada. Nine. When you lose to Kasich in 4 of the last 5 primaries, you will not beat Hillary Clinton. Period. And to me, defeating the Che Guevara party is the ONLY acceptable outcome.

    • Amazona April 28, 2016 / 8:29 pm

      My objection to Newt’s snide little screed was his reference to “elites”—as if the only objections to The Glory That Is Donald is from some cabal of Beltway connected power brokers. BS. It is this Leftist-style tactic of dismissing opposition by demeaning it rather than addressing its points that lost Newt any respect I used to have for him.

      “Any conservative who has taken five minutes to read his positions would have to agree with 90% of them; securing the border, tax reform, education reform, immigration reform, energy reform, rebuilding the military, and more state sovereignty. “

      Can you narrow that down a little? When talking about Trump positions, it is important to have a timeline, so we can tell just when each position was deeply held by him, before (or after) he was just as deeply committed to its opposite.”Securing the border” and “immigration reform” have already gone through so many mutations, I have no idea where he stands on either one right now. We were going to build a wall, we were going to have someone else pay for it, then we were going to build a bigger wall, then we were going to coerce or bully someone else to pay for it, then the ex president of the country identified as the nation that would pay for was called a “loser” when he said no f’ing way, then we were only going to build a wall in some places. “Immigration reform” started off as deporting all illegals, then morphed into deporting some of them, somewhere along the line it turned into deporting them and then letting them back in, and in the middle of this muddle he admitted he never meant any of it anyway, he was just tossing out something radical as a starting point for “negotiations”. “Reform” is such a loosy-goosy word, sounding kind of impressive till you realize it is infinitely flexible. “Reform” is the word you use if someone else has kind of taken ownership of “change”. “Rebuilding the military” sounds pretty good, but how? And will any of this require that military to follow his orders, as Commander In Chief, to commit war crimes? I am completely unimpressed by a “policy” of “more state sovereignty” unless that is a byproduct of slashing the size, scope and power of the federal government and thereby returning more authority to the states. As a stand-alone talking point, it is meaningless.

      I suppose you could spin his constant references to what HE will do as an indication of cutting into the size, scope and power of Congress, but the problem is a lot of what he wants to do demands expanding the already bloated federal government even more than it is now. Don’t forget, this is the guy whose beef with Obamacare is that it doesn’t go far enough—as he has said, he thinks “the government should pay for everything”.

      Any populist demagogue can, and will, spout what the masses want to hear. It’s just that in this case a significant number of the masses want more than platitudes, “it will be beautiful” or “it will be amazing”. “Everyone will be so happy.” And so far he has not produced anything more than Trump Magical Thinking. It will be wonderful, beautiful, amazing, and everyone will be so happy, because he will just make it happen. Sadly, to believe in him you have to also believe in Magical Thinking.

      It’s actually very Obama-like. Remember how he assured us that once he was president every nation would respect this country, everyone around the world would love him, blah blah blah, just because he is who he is?

      “so you either have to ignore these positions or you must believe that Trump is lying, either way it is a bit delusional.”

      No, to realize that these positions are new, have already undergone several transformations in the short time they have been part of his new persona, and are in direct contradiction to not only his words but his actions over the past couple of decades is not “delusional”. It is realistic. To believe that a known and proven liar is not now lying IS delusional. He’s lied just within the context of this campaign, he has admitted to saying things he didn’t really mean, he has walked back comment after comment and revised his “positions” over and over. His latest speech on international affairs is a complete 180 from the positions he held not too long ago.

      Lying? Maybe not the best word, After all, the narcissist often believes what he says when he says it, and just lacks context, so he can mean the exact opposite in an hour or a day. If you define “lying” as a conscious effort to convince someone of something you know not to be true, Trump may very well not be lying a lot of the time. He sure seems to believe what he says when he is saying it, even when he backs off on it a few minutes or hours or days later. Then he believes what he is saying then. On the other hand, he cheerfully admits to saying things he doesn’t mean, because that is what he has decided he has to do to get something he wants. So rather than quibble over semantics, it’s easier to just say that you can’t believe a word he says, without assigning a dictionary definition of what he is doing when he says anything. So he’s not lying, he’s just Trumping.

      To believe what you seem to believe about Trump and his asserted “positions” means drawing a big black line across a calendar a few months ago, ignoring everything that happened before that date, and just accepting whatever has been entered since then. Fine. If someone wants to do that, he has every right to do so. Just don’t attack people who look back longer than six or eight months, and find a Donald Trump who supported Hillary and Schumer (indicating that he also supported their political agendas) but did not back Republicans, and supported abortion and supported higher taxes and supported a massive single-payer health care system where “the government pays for everything” and hired illegals to build his buildings to keep costs down and supported gay marriage, and so on. Everyone has the right to believe that a man can, and will, do such an abrupt and total about-face because he has had an epiphany and realized he was wrong, and is now totally committed to a completely different set of beliefs. But he should acknowledge, if he is at all honest, that anyone who is skeptical of this sudden reversal, who finds it suspicious and keeps asking the big question Trumpsters never ask…“WHY ??”—has a reason to lack faith in the conversion.

    • Amazona April 28, 2016 / 8:44 pm

      “And while I voted for Cruz, I am now convinced that he stands no chance to win the general. Zero. Nada.”

      Yet Cruz scores better than Trump, against Hillary. Not only that, so far Cruz has not even been fighting Hillary, but has been having to deal with the filthy gutter tactics of Trump, which have taken a toll. We all know that Trump is responsible for the low ratings for Cruz, but even then he ranks higher than Trump. However, going into the general, Cruz lacks the astounding amount, scope and variety of negative baggage that accompanies Trump, even though his fan club refuse to acknowledge it. Cruz is so clean, the only thing the Trumpbot muckraker National Enquirer can come up with is a claim that Cruz’s father was once in a photo that included Lee Harvey Oswald. Oh, come on! And even if the photo is not faked, Oswald spent many months campaigning as a Fair Play For Cuba advocate, and Rafael Cruz was a Cuban refugee. I wonder how many Cuban refugees happened to be nearby when Oswald was doing his street corner preaching about how awful Castro was. But this is typical of the gutter politics of Trump, and yes, it does have an effect.

      Yet I have not seen a single opinion that says Hillary would best Cruz in a debate. I think without constant Trumpertantrums and lying assaults on Cruz from the GOP side, he can shine in any head-to-head with Hillary. A Cruz/Clinton matchup would be Class vs Crass, while a Trump/Clinton match would be How Low Can You Go.

      “My question to the GOP is this; if Trump is that bad and that much of a liberal, why did you allow him to run as a Republican?”

      And the GOP could have done….what? Personally, I don’t think anyone in the GOP or anywhere else except WWE Raw would have guessed, in their wildest dreams, that a crass, crude, vulgar, incoherent con man with a reputation like Trump’s, with a history like Trump’s, would have lasted more than a couple of months and would have been bounced in the earliest rounds. Who could have guessed how low an opinion so many people have of this country, that they think Trump would be an acceptable candidate?

      I mean, Obama moved the bar pretty low, but still…………

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