Weekend Open Thread

I discovered last night that the only rational position to have on Trump is rabid, foaming at the mouth hatred of him and his supporters. So hateful is Trump, that we are not to try to analyze why he arose, or what his supporters may be about. Shouting vulgar names at him and his supporters is the height of intellectual discernment. Anyone who does try to go beyond mere attack is actually a Trump stooge. This is actually the demand of Conservative critics of Trump. I haven’t got around to asking the Left what I’m supposed to do…but I suspect its pretty much the same.

Just thought you’d like to know – you know, in case you were planning on thinking about things.

First Quarter GDP came it at 0.5% because if it has come in negative, it would amount to an official recession and we can’t have that while President LightBringer is trying to drag Hillary over the finish line to preserve his legacy. I suspect we’ll get the official announcement that we dropped into recession about 4 or 5 months ago on November 9th.

So, Boehner and Gingrich are Trump buddies. Who knew? Glad Trump is able to secure these two completely radical outsiders. Of course, what this amounts to is something I suspected we’d see – the GOP leadership coalescing around Trump as an alternative to Cruz. To be sure, they’d rather have had Kasich or Jeb. In a pinch, they would have held their nose and gone with Rubio…but Cruz is just beyond the pale because he absolutely does not and will not play ball.

Millenials don’t like Capitalism, aren’t enthused about Socialism. All of you who have held that my Distributist views are wrong: nyah, nyah. It is the only way to go.

Looks like it’ll take a second woman to help drag the First Woman President across the finish line.

Progressives are becoming ever more anti-Semitic – what is a Prog to do about it? Weird that no matter what lunatic views are cooked up, eventually it gets around to blaming The Jews for everything.

Roger Simon, stalwart Trumpster, attended a Trump rally:

This is my third Trump event to witness in person (many more on TV) and it strikes me that they are becoming “happenings” for Middle America. They are unlike political events I have seen before. The most similar I have seen were rallies I attended for Bobby Kennedy years ago. RFK and Trump had and have a real charisma.

I guess he does have that – and that is another reason to oppose him. Charismatic people who lust after power are usually the exact last person it should be given to. On the other hand, dull-witted, uncharismatic crooks are also no great shakes, either.

11 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Amazona April 29, 2016 / 8:59 am

    Sorry, but I don’t understand your first paragraph. I’ve read it several times and still don’t know what you are trying to say. At first I thought it was a variation on the “if you don’t like Trump as a nominee you are just a HATER” but I’m not sure. “Shouting vulgar names at him and his supporters is the height of intellectual discernment.” I thought the vulgar name-calling came the other way, from Trumpbots toward the people who think he is a sham and a scam. Though the comment did bring up the question of how one could out-vulgar the Crown Prince of Vulgarity or his foul-mouthed mobs.

    “This is actually the demand of Conservative critics of Trump.” Guess I missed that.

    And I just don’t get the whole “charisma” thing. I simply don’t get it. I get why, or at least how, many other people can be seen as “charismatic” by some. I can even see how some might apply that term to a Kardashian, though that observation is from a great distance. But the man is charmless. Even when he is trying to be charming, he is wrong-footed and clumsy and offensive. “I love the uneducated” is supposed to be an example of his charm and charisma?

    I always come back to Wrestlemania, the shrieking crowds who seem to believe it is all real while getting off on the sight of roided-out sweaty hulks pretending to be in semi-mortal combat while posturing, trash talking and issuing what are supposed to be terrifying threats. You either see through it or you don’t.

    As for me, I am tired of being embarrassed for my country, and am ready for a change. And I am getting really tired of people talking down to me, explaining that Donald Trump is not just doubling down on the embarrassment factor, is really a charismatic and talented guy and the real problem is ME because I just don’t get it. One thing I do get is the dazzling effect of wealth on so many people. Come on—how many people do you think would give a pallid, pudgy, peroxided loudmouthed narcissist con man the time of day if he were a bank clerk or an insurance salesman? The Brits tend to honor titles but here is it just money that makes someone a hero no matter how unheroic he may be.

    • M. Noonan April 29, 2016 / 10:47 pm

      It has to do with what I’m seeing on the right side of social media – anyone who tries to understand the why of it all is getting shouted down by people who just want to spew invective. It is clear that Trump is not exactly your favorite guy at the moment…but you’re thinking about the why of it all. Try that on Twitter and you’ll get called a Trump stooge.

  2. Amazona April 29, 2016 / 9:21 am

    A lot of what I see is focusing on a battle, and losing sight of the war.

    By that I mean the Trumpsters seem to be fascinated and driven by the spectacle of Trump “taking on” the now-mythical Establishment. (It is now mythical because the term has been applied to so many wildly different groups and types of thinking it is now meaningless, just as Gingrich has tried to redefine “elites”.)

    While so many of us are focused on the long game—gaining the White House and more control of the House and Senate, starting the long slog toward paring down the bloated federal government and shifting more authority to the states, getting solid originalists onto the Supreme Court, having a DOJ that enforces laws, returning to a Constitutional form of government, reestablishing the United States as a trustworthy ally, and so on—the Trumpbots just want to see him fight.

    When you dig down through all the self-serving rhetoric his fanboys come up with to try to justify their addiction, it always comes down to glee at the prospect of him “sticking it to…” The “who” in this scenario seems to shift from one entity to another, and is generically known as “The Establishment” but in fact there is just an incoherent, free-floating resentment that someone has done something wrong and someone must pay—-and Trump is just the guy to do it.

    But what about after? What about after Trump has rolled around in the muck with this fantasy enemy, created a sordid spectacle of mock attacks to appease the bloodthirsty while never really accomplishing anything, and fed the mob? What then?

    Then, no matter how many names are on how many lists as advisers and so on, it will all come back to Donald and his mighty brain, as he has already told us that this is what he will really rely on.

    People didn’t pay attention when Obama told us what he intended to do. When he came right out and said that his goal was to “fundamentally transform” this country, when he stated that his goal was to “spread the wealth” people didn’t take him seriously. He TOLD us, and we ignored him.

    Now Trump is doing the same thing. He is TELLING us that he will rely on his very big brain, even if he has people named as his advisers. He is TELLING us that he never really meant most of what he said to get the mob pumped up, but that he threw it out as an incentive to “negotiate”. He is TELLING us that he still thinks abortion is OK. He is NOT telling us that he has changed his mind about a single payer health plan, because he hasn’t—he just doesn’t talk about it, because he knows this is one thing he can’t finesse, so he just hopes his adoring mobs will forget he ever advocated it.

    But all people can see is the glitter of lots of money (though not nearly as much as Trump claims) and a lot of bombast, in this case promising a cage match to top all cage matches, in which The Donald will battle. And it is the battle that energizes the mob. It’s what brought them to the party, and it is why they are staying. That is what matters.

    Governing the nation? Not so much. There’s a pile of promises sitting there to go through later. For now, it’s all about sticking it to….whoever. They seem to think the thrill of watching the battle will overcome the shame of having another President Clinton.

  3. Amazona April 29, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    David Limbaugh is a pretty smart guy—I think he is a better thinker than his brother. Of course I like this column partly because he is saying what I have been saying—that we were FINALLY in a position to bring a tried-and-true, competent, knowledgeable and committed Conservative to the White House, when out of Left field (literally—I capitalized “Left” for a reason) we got blindsided by someone so ego-driven he has gleefully upended that chance, possibly for good. Here he says, of Trump and his campaign: emphasis mine

    ”My calculus is rather simple. The problems we face are overwhelmingly the result of liberal policies of the past 50-plus years. The federal government has expanded to an unconscionable level, wholly against the constitutional order and at the expense of our liberties and prosperity. Onerous taxing and spending, a metastatic regulatory state, a liberally activist Supreme Court, and sustained, relentless assaults on the Second Amendment, our health care, our fiscal viability, our military, our national security and our very culture have radically transformed America.

    These problems stem from abandoning our Constitution and founding principles, so the solution is to restore those principles and roll back the federal leviathan. Many believed 2016 presented a perfect opportunity for the election of a true constitutional conservative who intimately understands this. Cruz couldn’t fit that bill more perfectly.

    Though Trump supporters believe that Trump alone is qualified to undo the damage to this country, Cruz supporters rightly believe that Trump, with his emotionally driven, nationalistic populism, has hijacked the conservative movement just at a time when it is poised to save this nation from the ravages of liberalism.

    Trump sings the right notes when he talks about making America great again. But Cruz is the one who has the right answers to actually restoring America’s greatness. On issue after issue, he is consistent and his solutions are tried and tested. Trump is all over the board — right on some issues, very wrong on others — and no one knows whether he’ll change his mind from one day to the next.”

    He finishes with a plea to Republicans in Indiana, and also I am sure to the remaining states yet to have a primary:

    ” Please don’t surrender to your emotions and fall for the seductive claim that we must burn this house down in order to rebuild it. We conservatives have always said we could fix things if finally given the chance. We must not blow this.”


    • M. Noonan April 29, 2016 / 10:44 pm

      David does seem at times to have more pure intellect grit than his brother – and that is what is at stake here. Even supposing Trump wins and we retain Congress, what will it matter when the President is Trump? Sure, the Congressional GOP will be just as willing to enter into deals with Trump as they have been with Obama (heck, more so), but the chances of actual Conservatism being part of the deal are nil. To be sure, I’ll always take half a step towards Conservatism when I can’t get the whole step…but I think a Trump Presidency would just be various grand deals cementing further liberalism in one form or another. I’m sure we’ll have some deal to “save” social security when we should be dismantling it; education “reform” when we should be abolishing the Department of Education; military build-up cost-no-object which will give us some new weapons, but won’t actually undo the anti-military actions of the Obama years….etc, etc, etc.

      • Amazona April 30, 2016 / 9:44 am

        “Sure, the Congressional GOP will be just as willing to enter into deals with Trump as they have been with Obama …”

        I suggest you read this piece by David Harasny, The GOP Has Been Bad. But Not as Bad as You Think
        “If Republicans had capitulated in the way the average angry populist claims, Obama would not have needed to enact some of the most consequential abuses of executive power since World War II.”


  4. Derg Wermbles May 4, 2016 / 11:44 am

    I haven’t read this blog since the days of Blogs For Bush…but reading some of the people on the right who are actually going to go ahead and hold their nose for Hillary makes me wonder if there’s an opportunity for us here. Not us as conservatives, as I am a staunch progressive Democrat who likes some of Bernie’s ideas but voted for HRC. I’m from the South. Grew up in a conservative Christian home that loved Reagan and both Bushes. But I live in NYC now, so I’m surrounded by a lot of people who align with me politically on many issues. And I fell into a hate-trap after seeing Gore lose in 2000, because I grew up with him as my Senator and really believed in him, and Bush got under my skin. I was opposed to the Iraq war. I expended a lot of energy hating him and Cheney, and it’s something I regret. Not because I agree with what they did, but because hating each other defeats the positivity of strenuous disagreement. I’ve been very upset at the rhetoric coming out of the right since 2008. And I’m sure your side felt the same when my side said some outlandish things about Bush and Cheney. I think the divisiveness and severe disdain on a personal level goes back a long way, but maybe we have a chance to fix it now.

    In no way do I think that the conservative movement will ever agree with progressives on single-payer health care, abortion, gay marriage, public education over vouchers, how to fight ISIS. I get that. But as with race, it takes both sides working within a community to make real change. As a white person, I have to do the work within the white community to heal our wounds from within so that we can better understand with the justifiable anger from the African-American community. Me and my liberal friends need to be able to listen to conservatives and find ways to work together instead of this ping pong battle of disgust we fall into so often.

    No one needs to compromise their core principles. But we as liberals need to end the demagoguery of conservatism, religious conservatism, and differing opinions. On a lot of things, our side has already won the war. Abortion and marriage equality aren’t going anywhere. Not ever. Neither is Obamacare. What we need to do is work together to use the conservative ideas and improve our country in ways we can all live with. I’m willing to listen. I’m willing to do my part.

    Is there any will on the conservative side to work with President Hillary and a Democratic Congress? We’ve done it before. the 90’s and 2000’s sucked. Both sides were bitter obstructionists when out of power, and often deaf to criticism when in power. Can we change this? I’m willing to do my part. Anybody with me?

    • M. Noonan May 4, 2016 / 11:57 am

      Not going to happen – precisely because you on the left won’t allow any compromise, ever. Think about it; you assert that abortion isn’t going away. Well, what about the increasing number of Americans who are pro-life? Don’t they matter? What happens when they become a majority? We’ve already got a solid majority in favor of banning late-term abortions…in a few years, there will probably be a majority in favor of banning all abortions after the first trimester (thus matching us up with most of the rest of the world on the issue)…is it still something not up for debate simply because a certain part of the Democrat base has made pro-abortion fanaticism a litmus test for Democrat office-holders?

      ObamaCare goes away next year, regardless – the thing is entirely unworkable. And wait until you see the premium hikes later this year. No matter who is President next year, a massive overhaul of the law is baked in. Now, to be sure, plenty of people will try to pretend that it’s just a tinkering with ObamaCare, but the only way to get a workable system is to gut it and go with something else.

      As for working with Hillary – everyone would, but she lacks the wit, as did Obama, on how to do it.

    • Cluster May 4, 2016 / 12:06 pm

      Valiant effort Derg, but a swing and a miss here. I have zero interest in working with progressives, and instead work everyday trying to absolutely crush the Che Guevara party. I consider progressives to be a more direct threat to this country than ISIS. I had to laugh at your “justifiable anger from the African American community” comment. After 8 years of the first half black, far left, hyper progressive President what could they possibly want now? Or are you admitting that Obama failed? For that matter, the last 50 years of Democrat policies to “help poor minorities” has to be considered an abysmal failure and this is what you’re asking for help with? How about if you just step aside and apologize? And in terms of obstructionism; what exactly has the GOP obstructed? Obama has gotten everything he wanted, with the exception of some of his executive orders but that’s the courts holding those up, on constitutional grounds. Evidently the Harvard Constitutional Professor exceeded his authority. Re: Obamacare, that poorly thought out program is imploding all on it’s own. And in re: to Hillary, do you really want a 70 year old woman fighting for you? Are you that pathetic?

    • Amazona May 5, 2016 / 11:18 am

      Derg, you say “..a staunch progressive Democrat..” Can you tell us why?

      This is not a gotcha question, or a prelude to an argument. I genuinely want to know why someone who says the reasonable things you say has chosen to identify as a “progressive Democrat”.

      I guess I am curious about how you identify “progressive”. Do you mean it in the literal, dictionary, sense, as in moving forward, or do you mean it in the political sense, as just another name for a Leftist political system?

      You say “In no way do I think that the conservative movement will ever agree with progressives on single-payer health care, abortion, gay marriage, public education over vouchers, how to fight ISIS” Here you are referring to issues, not to political philosophy.

      My position, for example, is that there is plenty of room in a true conservative movement for people who think a single payer health care system is a good idea, for people who think abortion is OK, for people who think marriage should apply to people of the same sex, who want all education in the country to be run by the government. Those are ISSUES. They are important to people, they are important in and of themselves. The way they are addressed forms the identity of a nation and its people.

      But they are not political systems. What I see happen, over and over again, is people voting for a political system without even realizing this is what they are doing, because they have been drawn to the representatives of that system by its position on issues. At the state level, that makes sense, but a true conservative believes that no matter what the issue might be, if it is not one specifically delegated to the federal government in the Constitution it has to be legislated at the state or county level, or handled by the people.

      That, you see, is a political philosophy. That is the umbrella of conservatism. That is the system that provides the freedom, and the protection, of the people being closer to the decisions that will affect their lives. It’s not that complicated.

      The political philosophy of the Left is one of centralized control and less authority left to the states, or to the people. But how many Democrats purposely vote for a massive, unrestricted federal government? No, they think they are voting for “gay marriage” or some such thing.

      You come across as a smart and thoughtful person, so I recommend that you read Thomas Sowell’s amazing book “Conflict of Visions”. In it he starts with his theory that basically people fall into one of two categories—the people who believe that all humans are flawed to some degree in some way, which means that a governing system has to have in place certain processes which can act to mitigate bad decisions and actions by any individual, and the people who believe that there are some people who, by dint of their inherent superiority, can and should be given great power and the authority to make decisions for others. It took him many pages to lay out his theory, and I am not doing it justice, but that is the very quick version.

      If you read the book, you start to see how some people gravitate toward a more authoritarian form of government, based on power vested in a leader and not very restricted by process, which is seen as pretty much optional. And you can see how other people reject the notion that any one person should ever be given that much authority, who believe that processes are essential to mitigate bad decisions.

      Executive orders are a good example. (Is a good example?) The Process People say we have a Constitution in place that was specifically designed to spread power among different branches of government, and which can be changed if necessary but only by going through a specific process. Those who think process is not all that important and we should be able to set it aside to accomplish something are also people who tend to be comfortable with strong authority figures who assume authority the first group thinks should be balanced among different branches of government and subject to legislative processes.

      This difference of perception of how to deal with power is the heart of political differences. The issues can all be addressed, and I do mean ALL, within the framework of whichever political system is in place. Basically, the Right believes we have to comply with the Constitution and its processes when we address any issue, including changing that Constitution if necessary (as has been done 27 times in the past) and the Left believes the government should be able to take on whatever role it chooses, expand its power and authority as much as it wants, and should not be restrained by process.

      So if you agree with the Process People, you are a conservative, politically. And you will vote for conservative candidates at the federal level. At the local level, where decisions on things like abortion, education, health care and so on should be made according to this philosophy, you would vote for representatives who are likely to fight for your issues in the statehouse, or you will get those issues put on the ballots so the people can vote on them.

      When people are able to unhitch their political views from their emotion-based issues they can then have rational, productive discussions on which basic political philosophy is most productive, which ensures the most stability, which leads to more freedom, and so on. This is where people start to compare the successes and failures of the two underlying systems, and this is where it gets interesting as well as relevant.

    • Amazona May 5, 2016 / 11:42 am

      “Both sides were bitter obstructionists when out of power, and often deaf to criticism when in power”

      No one needs to compromise their core principles”

      Can you tell us how someone can hold to a core principle, such as restricting the size, scope and power of the federal government to the enumerated duties delegated to it by the Constitution, and at the same time agree to a policy which expands the size, scope and power of the federal government far beyond that delegated to it?

      I don’t think anyone should align with any political party without fully understanding its core political philosophy, the governmental system it advocates, and the Constitution of the United States. That is asking a lot, I know, but voting should be taken seriously. I think a good place to start is the Tenth Amendment. It is short and to the point and sums up the philosophy of the Constitution.

      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

      That is, no law, no action, no policy, is compliant with the Constitution and therefore not allowed if it gives the federal government any power or authority beyond the duties delegated to it.

      From an article on the Tenth Amendment:

      ”The Tenth Amendment’s simple language—“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”—emphasizes that the inclusion of a bill of rights does not change the fundamental character of the national government. It remains a government of limited and enumerated powers, so that the first question involving an exercise of federal power is not whether it violates someone’s rights, but whether it exceeds the national government’s enumerated powers.

      In this sense, the Tenth Amendment is “but a truism.” United States v. Darby (1941). No law that would have been constitutional before the Tenth Amendment was ratified becomes unconstitutional simply because the Tenth Amendment exists. The only question posed by the Tenth Amendment is whether a claimed federal power was actually delegated to the national government by the Constitution, and that question is answered by studying the enumerated powers, not by studying the Tenth Amendment.”

      And THIS is what conservatism is about—”a government of limited and enumerated power”, at the federal level. At the state level, the citizens of each state can vote for pretty much anything they want, as long as they do not vote for something that actually violates or contradicts the Constitution. So, because the Constitution never mentions health care in any way, a state can certainly vote to have, and fund, a single payer system. And this is part of ensuring both protections and freedoms, as citizens of a state can vote for the protection of having the government pay for health care and other citizens have the freedom to move to a state with lower taxes and a different way of paying for medical care.

      the first question involving an exercise of federal power is not whether it violates someone’s rights, but whether it exceeds the national government’s enumerated powers. It’s that simple. Equally simple is the fact that one can believe this, commit to it, and live by it, without giving up support for any issue he or she finds important. It comes down to not WHAT but HOW.

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