January 31st, 2016

Donald Trump loves the regular folks—unless their homes happen to stand in Trump’s way

As a large-scale real estate developer, Trump has sometimes sued in his efforts to use government to condemn houses belonging to people of modest means whose homes—which Trump considers insufficiently attractive—have stood near his big developments and have chosen to exercise their liberty by refusing to sell to him. That’s one of the reasons Trump agrees 100% with the SCOTUS decision in Kelo (decided in 2005): he sees it making it easier for him to use government to compel the sale of a person’s house even against that person’s will.

It’s Trump’s prerogative to approve of Kelo, and it’s certainly understandable that someone in his line of work might have that point of view. He has every right to build his projects, and to try to buy the land of those with adjacent property. But if more people knew about the tactics he has used in trying to get government to force people out of their homes against their will, and his own condescending and often insulting comments about those same people and their modest homes, he might not be seen in such a positive light. With Trump, the legal often seems to segue into the personal.

There are several examples. One occurred in the 1990s, when Trump was trying to buy the home of a 70-ish Atlantic City widow named Vera Coking. He wanted her property not for building his casino, but in order to use the land as a waiting area for limos. She had lived in the same place for three decades, and said no to Trump’s offer to buy. After that, Trump tried to get the city to condemn her property and buy it for a reduced sum, and the court battle took five years:

The decision ended a five-year condemnation dispute that had raised the fundamental question of whether the government could condemn land on behalf of someone else.

In this case, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, a state agency, had sought to seize three properties — an elderly widow’s home, a family-run Italian restaurant and a pawnshop — by invoking the Federal and state constitutions, which allow property to be condemned for “public use.” The authority then planned to turn the properties over to the Trump Organization for additional landscaping and parking, including a waiting area for guest limousines…

Judge Williams also said in his decision that he would have granted the authority’s condemnation applications had there been a firm contract between the authority and Trump Plaza as a guarantee that the seized properties would be used solely for additional parking and new trees.

Lawyers for the property owners suggested that the Trump Organization’s true interest in the properties was to expand its casino and hotel space and that the company would not be interested in acquiring the land with restrictions.

Vera Coking (and several other plaintiffs) won:

Mrs. Coking’s daughter, Branwen Torpey, said…”It feels like a big weight’s been lifted off us. We have had a lot of help from the American people, little people just like us who work and earn what they have.”

Ms. Coking had said earlier that “This is my home. This is my castle.” Trump had disagreed; he had built a different kind of castle with a different kind of aesthetic, and he made it clear that her home didn’t fit into his picture:

Everybody coming into Atlantic City sees that [Coking] property,” Trump continued…”They’re staring at this terrible house instead of staring at beautiful fountains and beautiful other things that would be good.”

In case you were wondering, here’s a photo of Coking’s “terrible” house, with Trump’s casino (and accompanying advertisements) in the background. I’m not sure everyone would agree as to which of the two buildings is more aesthetically pleasing, although of course it’s Trump’s prerogative to design the building as he saw fit:

cokinghouse

Vera Coking wasn’t just playing a game, either; she did want to stay in her house, and lived there until 2010. Trump’s casino, of course, is now defunct, having gone bankrupt—and not because of Vera Coking’s “terrible” home.

Someone running against Trump should make a campaign advertisement out of parts of the following video. In it, Trump demonstrates a remarkable (and perhaps feigned) obtuseness about the difference between eminent domain for public use and for private business (Dana Berliner, seen in the video, was Coking’s lawyer):

The video tells us a quite a bit about Trump and his lack of respect for property rights (except his own). I can assure you that, if Trump ends up being the Republican nominee, the Democrats will not hesitate to use it. They will have a field day with this and other similar actions of Trump’s.

As an example of one of those “similar actions,” much more recently Trump tried to do virtually the same thing to people living near—not on but near—a luxury golf course and resort he was planning in Scotland. So this story had an international flavor. Again, Trump wanted to buy their property, despite their adamant refusal to sell, because they lived near his planned golf course and he felt that they homes would spoil the view for his wealthy clients.

In Scotland as in Atlantic City, Trump again tried to get an agency of local government to condemn their homes and evict them. This time, Trump also let loose with a fusillade of very personal insults toward some of the holdouts themselves, as well as their property, insults that were considerably worse than what he’d said about the home of Vera Coking. Among the insults he leveled against one man in particular in Scotland named Michael Forbes was to say he was “the village idiot” and that he “lives like a pig.”

There are many videos about the incident available on YouTube, nearly all of them taken from a documentary entitled “You’ve Been Trumped” that was made in 2011 (the entire film is available at YouTube, as well). Here is a trailer from the movie; Trump can be seen spouting a few of the insults from 0:18 to 0:23, right after Forbes has spoken. Afterwards I’ve posted a somewhat longer video with more background material (you might want to use the caption function when you watch; the Scottish accents can be hard to understand):

You can be certain that this is the sort of ammunition that Democrats are saving up to use against Trump in the general election if he becomes the nominee. There is a ton more where that came from, all of it with the potential to make him look very bad in the eyes of Independents and Democrats in particular—and, I would add, in the eyes of many conservatives and libertarians as well.

51 Responses to “Donald Trump loves the regular folks—unless their homes happen to stand in Trump’s way”

  1. AbigailAdams Says:

    Are you kidding? Wow. Just, plain wow. Take this comment as you may.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    AbigailAdams:

    Well, if you like it (still not sure 🙂 ), please pass it on to everyone you can think of.

  3. Mark Says:

    Having read a bit about this topic it is very clear Trump really doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. He sees no difference between the public interest and his own personal interest.

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    Mark:

    The state, c’est moi!

  5. sdferr Says:

    Or, “everything within the state and nothing outside it”.

  6. Dennis Says:

    Trump is definitely not my choice, but there are many good people who see things differently. I don’t agree with them, but I do respect their perspective. We can disagree with their perspective strongly but we don’t have to demonize those on our side. Trump’s disrespect for private property is disgusting and I hate his propensity to attack people personally who stand in his way in vulgar ways, but his transgressions pale when set next to the massive lawlessness and destructiveness of the left and Obama.

    If we have a choice between Trump against Clinton or Sanders I’ll definitely support Trump.

  7. geokstr Says:

    Dennis, don’t be surprised then if the “fundamental transformation” we get from a man whose “principles” center around his own power, fame and wealth isn’t much less unpleasant than the one we’ve been getting from The Won, good and hard, for the last 7 years, just from an unpredictable direction.

    Maybe he’ll at least have the decency to use some lube.

  8. Matt_SE Says:

    “…would spoil the view for his wealthy clients.”
    And this is the guy his supporters think will take on the Chamber of Commerce? Trump will be selling them condos.

  9. parker Says:

    Just back from a Cruz rally that must have numbered 700 to 800 attendees. When I returned home I listened to my first land line answering machine message from team trump. The aswering machine has recorded literally 10 to 12 campaign messages per day starting in September, but team trump has waited until 22 hours before the doors are locked at each caucus meeting in Iowa to reach out to registered republicans.. Mr. Know It All has a pathetic ground game in Iowa.

    Feel the Bern could beat the donald.

  10. Donald Trump and his view of personal property – Out of the blue Says:

    […] From Neo-Neocon’s excellent blog: Donald Trump loves the regular folks—unless their homes happen to stand in Trump’s way […]

  11. Oldflyer Says:

    Good work Neo. I wish more in the popular media joined you in highlighting this sort of thing.

    I am passing along all of the information you provide; but, I fear that it borders on “preaching to the choir” as I cannot imagine any of my “group” visualizing Trump as President. Still, once the ripples start to spread who knows where they will lead?

  12. Bill Says:

    Neo,

    Long time reader, first time commenter. I have been amazed by the Trump-hype and, while I’m hopeful it really is just hype, I know there’s a good chance at this point that he takes the nomination. Thank you for calmly and rationally making the case against a man who I think will be, at the very least, an absolute disaster for the Republican party, but also a very, very poor president; a narcissist who will continue to erode our constitutional framework through unconstitutional power-grabs. The hijinks documented in this post are just a picture of the kind of president Trump will be if elected.

  13. djf Says:

    You are to be commended for trying to bring Trump’s flaws to public attention, but I don’t think it will have any effect. Trump’s fans seem to be impervious to evidence or logic. They refuse to see the signs indicating that Trump, if elected, would just further the establishment agenda.

    Of course, it’s hard to see how he could be worse than Hillary or what we have now.

  14. Steve57 Says:

    I’ve nicknamed Donald Trump President Eminent Domain. He’s the other side of the coin to Hillary Clinton. She sells the influence and has a middleman collect the baksheesh. In her case, Billy Jeff and the Clinton Global Initiative/Foundation. Trump buys the influence, and then gets the favors.

    He’s the ultimate insider.

    His only advantage over Clinton is that he hasn’t demonstrated similar contempt for national security by committing multiple felonious violations of the Espionage Act.

  15. Steve D Says:

    ‘Good work Neo. I wish more in the popular media joined you in highlighting this sort of thing.’

    It’s only a dream. The media is stumping for Trump, (for now) subtly yes but you can see it.

    This is a great blog. All anti-Trumpet, all the time. I love it!

    What happens after he loses though? How will you keep up your readership?

  16. CV Says:

    Parker, thanks for all you are doing on the ground in Iowa, and thanks Neo for continuing to educate your readers on the real Donald Trump.

  17. Baklava Says:

    Steve, funny. I’ve been reading her blog for over 10 years. There is always issues to discuss and she is always insightful.

  18. Tuvea Says:

    “what happens after he loses though? How will you keep up your readerships.”

    She isn’t going to have a problem. Those of us who have been visiting here for a long time will stay. New readers will continue to check in to see what she posts on other issues.

    Although it would be fun to see whether the apple or her head would explode if the Donald won.

  19. blert Says:

    Trump has an OCEAN of such controversies.

    It must be obvious to even a plant that Hillary wants to face Donald in November.

    The prospect of squaring off against Sanders or Cruz — gave her palpitations.

    What else do you need to know?

  20. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “if more people knew about the tactics he has used in trying to get government to force people out of their homes against their will,”

    Clearly in Trump’s mind, the end justifies the means…

    “and his own condescending and often insulting comments about those same people and their modest homes, he might not be seen in such a positive light.”

    Guilt. The criminal mentality is infuriated by justified criticism.

    [Trump] “sees no difference between the public interest and his own personal interest.” Mark

    What good for Trump is good for America. He’s the ‘sun’ about which the nation rotates. Classic eroticism, classic immaturity.

    “If we have a choice between Trump against Clinton or Sanders I’ll definitely support Trump.” Dennis

    There is no ‘choice’ between Trump and any democrat. Because Trump is a ‘maybe’ and any democrat is a certainty.

    “don’t be surprised then if the “fundamental transformation” we get from a man whose “principles” center around his own power, fame and wealth isn’t much less unpleasant than the one we’ve been getting from The Won, good and hard, for the last 7 years, just from an unpredictable direction.” geokstr

    That’s probably a certainty. But the country is so divided and screwed up that no savior is possible.

    America will pay for its sins. Weigh America (and the world) on the scales of The Seven Laws of Noah:
    1) Do not deny God.
    2) Do not blaspheme God.
    3) Do not murder.
    4) Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
    5) Do not steal.
    6) Do not eat of a live animal.
    7) Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to the law.

    1 and 2; “Democrats BOO GOD At Convention

    3) Abortion; 50 million and counting. Obama repeatedly supports infanticide. Planned Parenthood sells baby parts… for profit.

    4) Hookup culture, Miley Cyrus, TV

    5) ‘Progressive’ taxation. IRS. Kelo. BLM seizure and driving out of business western ranches. The 17 trillion debtor obligation of our children.

    6) OK, I think we pass on that one.

    7) Over at PJmedia Roger Simon makes a powerful argument that if Hillary is not indicted, it signals the end of the rule of law in America. Obviously Obama can dispute that claim but absolving Hillary of her crimes will drive a stake through the law’s heart. As, there’s no coming back from that egregious a violation.

    “Mr. Know It All has a pathetic ground game in Iowa.” parker

    Not trying to be argumentative but all the ‘polls’ show Trump as leading, if he wins… what does that say about the need for a ‘ground game’? Is Iowa a winner take all state?

    djf,

    Trump makes ‘deals’ with the establishment, so furthering of its agenda seems highly probable. Just like the RINOs, at best he’ll slow down progress toward the collective. Whereas Hillary, Sanders or Biden/Warren… will accelerate our fall to the collective.

  21. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Damn auto correct! Should be:

    What’s good for Trump is good for America. He’s the ‘sun’ about which the nation rotates. Classic egotism, classic immaturity.

  22. PatD Says:

    This Washington Post account seems to be fair to all sides. Coking eventually moved from her “dream home” to California; the house was sold off at action for $583,000, far less than the $1m that Bob Guccione had offered her in the early 1980’s. The Atlantic City boom went bust and the little old lady holding out for more lost her bet, as did the evil developer, and his bankers, who lost their billion dollar bets on Atlantic City.

    Guccione used worse tactics than Trump, as the article makes clear. Trump fought in the courts, which eventually ruled in her favor. Guccione built over her air-rights in an attempt to intimidate her. When Guccione’s enterprise failed, and Trump took it over, he tore down Guccione’s structure.

    In the end, both sides lost.

    Is Trump the devil incarnate or an aggressive real estate developer trying to use the legal system to his advantage?

  23. Oldflyer Says:

    So. Guccione is worse than Tump. Flash! If he seeks political power, I will not vote for him;

    Ms Coking’s later decisions/actions are not relevant.

  24. Cornhead Says:

    Saw Trump today.

    Same old stuff, but also attacked Cruz.

    Jerry Falwell, Jr. was there and introduced Trump and interviewed him in a fashion. If the President of Creighton or Santa Clara did the same thing, both priests would be fired the next day.

    Woman in line with me was undecided between Sanders and Trump. She had no idea who John Kasich is.

    One thing is for sure: People are very angry.

    Report should be on Power Line on Monday.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    PatD:

    Do you really not get it? Or are you trying to not get it? Or what?

    Bumper sticker for Trump:

    “Vote for Trump, he’s not as bad as Bob Guccione”?

    Actually, it’s may not even be true that Trump wasn’t worse than Guccione (or at least as bad). For example, it’s highly possible that Trump’s contractor accidentally-on-purpose damaged Coking’s house and then claimed she had let it deteriorate.

    But you ignore the real point of the post, which is mainly about liberty vs. government power at the service of a rich guy like Trump, and then secondarily about Trump’s saying people like Forbes “live like a pig” or that he can force Coking out of her home because the people of Philadelphia should not have to stare at such a “terrible” home but should be looking at Trump’s “beautiful fountains and beautiful other things that would be good.”

  26. Baklava Says:

    PatD proved to be a liberal. Property rights aren’t quaint. An old lady shouldn’t have to fight to KEEP her property. There wasn’t a public good like a road. It was a fight to take for a private gain.

  27. parker Says:

    CV,

    You are welcome. Its been a good experience, and has energized this old man.

    GB,

    The ground game is important in Iowa where 3 million people are spread over 56 thousand square miles. Des Moines is the only large urban area, and often what plays well in DM does not hold much sway elsewhere. And the caucus process requires the voter to actually show up (no early voting) and the doors of each caucus place are locked at 7 pm sharp, knocking will not open the doors. Plus, there is a discussion about the candidates.

    Cornhead,

    I appreciate your reporting on the various events you have attended. It takes a strong stomach to listen to hrc or djt. Perhaps we can meet this summer for lunch.

  28. Oldflyer Says:

    Just an opinion. Imminent Domain is a tool (weapon) that should be used sparingly and with great caution. Heretofore, you would thing of it as applying to projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority, or the Shenandoah National Park; two that come readily to mind. In each case, the misery inflicted on the few was justified by the benefit of the many. It is almost nonsensical to believe that it was ever envisioned to serve private citizens with grandiose plans.

    Trump bleats about corruption in politics. There is no more blatant example of corruption than documented in this story.

    To me, Trump’s habit of wielding his money and clout to marshal the power of the state against private property owners who inconvenienced his projects is symptomatic. How could thinking person consider putting the power of the United States government at his beck and call?

  29. parker Says:

    PatD gets it. The only unknown is motivation.

  30. Steve D Says:

    ‘There is a ton more where that came from, all of with the potential to make him look very bad in the eyes of Independents and Democrats in particular—and, I would add, in the eyes of many conservatives and libertarians as well.’

    Independents, Democrats, conservatives and libertarians. That’s covers everyone I know!
    (serious point: it actually does cover almost everyone)

    So long as the anti-Trump material keeps appearing here I keep reading, but take note; anti-Clinton posts don’t count because I’m pretty sure they practically write themselves.

    On a more serious note, I’ve had to listen to the MSM embarrass themselves over Obama for seven years. I’m willing to bet that making suffer through this again with Trump is unconstitutional, cruel and unusual punishment or something.

    ‘People are very angry.’

    I blame Bush but I’m not sure which one.

  31. Philip Says:

    You know the Framers drew many parallels in their writings between the events of their time and the political developments of ancient Rome and Greece. I wonder where Trump would fit in that model. I’m starting to think he’s like a Pompey equivalent. Any ideas?

  32. Cornhead Says:

    Philip

    Research Victor Davis Hanson’s writings.

  33. PatD Says:

    I said Trump behaved like an aggressive property developer but he did it legally. You missed the bit where he lost. But she also lost after the bubble burst.

    Property rights are ultimately economic rights. At some price, you will be willing to exchange your property rights for the financial equivalent. In eminent domain cases, the property owner is usually offered more than market value.

    It takes a Government entity to invoke eminent domain. An evil property developer can’t just do it. They can bribe a Government entity, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here, since the Government entity involved had common cause with Trump.

    Ultimately, Atlantic City nearly destroyed Trump. In his book, “Art of the Deal”, he describes how he discovered that Hilton made most of its profits from its Casinos. He went all in in Atlantic City and it blew up in his face, and Ms. Coking’s.

    I tried to find what went wrong in Atlantic City. Ironically, I found this piece in the Atlantic.

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    PatD:

    I repeat, you completely miss the point (or points). I don’t know if you really fail to understand, or if you just pretend to for rhetorical purposes, but if you don’t understand what eminent domain is and is not, I can’t spend hours schooling you.

    Go read up on it if you care to; but I bet you don’t care to, because you don’t seem to care about liberty, and that’s what the distinction here is about. It is a question of what is the proper power of government against the individual—how far is government allowed to go, and against whom and for whom—which is one of the most basic concerns on which this country was founded. Public use is not the same as use by a private developer to build a place for waiting limos for his casino. A casino is not a road or a school, it is a casino, a profit-making place for Donald Trump. “Providing jobs” is not a justification for taking land from an individual against his or her will—unless, of course, you’re on the left, or a hotshot casino builder named Trump. Then you think it’s just fine.

    Trump wanted government to take the land and give it to him for use by his private business. That is tyranny. You are perfectly okay with it if Trump does it, because you are okay with just about any tyranny of Trump’s. Why you are so in love with tyranny I do not know, but you are, and there are a lot of people like you. There always have been, I guess, which is why the wonderful republic in which we live may have a very limited shelf life.

    You are exactly the spitting image of those who excuse whatever Obama does because he is Obama.

    Oh, and you don’t seem to get what’s wrong with Trump’s gratuitous insults of Michael Forbes, the “lives like a pig” guy. Trump would grab your home and publicly call it a dirty little hovel and you a pig and the village idiot if you stood in his way, without a moment’s hesitation.

    By the way, I read about 10 articles on the Coking case. I didn’t “miss the bit” where she lost. My post contains quotes from the judge’s decision, and then I wrote: “Vera Coking (and several other plaintiffs) won,” followed by a quote from Coking’s daughter about how it felt to win.

    Do you just skim what you read, or do you bother to read it at all?

  35. whatever Says:

    Whatever.

    You won’t find a saint to run the country. In these times the question is if the strong-man you elect will get your priorities through.

    I hate to tell you but our Republic is dead. I let go about six months ago from the American ideal. Watching obese dependent slobs that inhabit America reelect Obama while they stuff their face with food-stamp purchased carbs at crony capitalists like Wallmart, while zoning out on their iThing made me depressed. But then I let go and embraced the decline. While I sacrificed so much over my lifetime, I see nothing but envy, sloth, and degradation all around me. I see people getting rich off their government connections and feed at the trough while being hailed, and watch in an ever expanding culture of cultural degradation (especially from women) and I realized that Republic ideals were dead. The question was only if your strong-man pushed your agenda or not. We’ve become Brazil.

    So while I dislike my slob obese fellow Americans, I like them more the the illegals flooding our shores, and the psychotic Muslims who want nothing more than my death.

    And if anyone is going to stem the tide of plague-bearing South Americans and homicidal Muslims it’s going to be Trump. Who has him in his pocket? Who is his largest money contributor? Who can buy off or cower the other politicians to push his agenda?

  36. parker Says:

    PatD,

    I am now convinced, the donald is as pure as the snow (sparse as it may be) in Anarctitca. My eyes are openned and the donald is my grandchildren’s savior. Now I can go peacefully into the trump night.

    You are a shill, an accomplice to a swindler.

  37. Baklava Says:

    PatD, you love gymnastics. But you aren’t persuasive.

  38. Grumpy Says:

    I lived in Aberdeen at the time when Trump took over that land to turn it into a golf course. There was a ‘Town versus Gown’ division about the rights and wrongs of it. All of the people I knew at the University were against it. The creation of the golf course would destroy a natural wild life sanctuary. All of the town people that I ever spoke to about it were in favour of it because they believed it would create jobs. Aberdeen is an oil town, but there is a persistent, and not irrational, fear about what it will do to support itself after the North Sea Oil runs out.

    I was against it because it seemed to me to destroy a natural bird sanctuary for no purpose. Aberdeen is significantly colder than St. Andrews. Although to an American the two would seem an hour’s drive apart, there is an important difference in climate between the two, and there’s a reason why it is Saint Andrews which is the historic ‘golfing center’, and not Aberdeen. That reason is the climate. I lived in Aberdeen for 15 years and can testify that it can often rain all summer. I mean, nearly every day for weeks on end, through June, July and August. I remember a picknick there in June for graduate students, right out on the beach just where years later the golf course would be built, with everyone wearing sweaters, coats, gloves and hats. Its not just wet, its cold.

    To me it could be worth turning a natural bird and wildlife sanctuary into a golf course for the sake of creating jobs if the venture was going to work. But to wreck the land, and those people’s houses, for one more failed business venture, did not seem worth it.

  39. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Various vacuums demand to be filled. Trump was not anybody’s idea of a candidate until recently.
    However, as has been said a good many times here and elsewhere, things have been going so wrong for so many with only the prospect of worse to come with the same establishment in charge that….substantial numbers want to see the establishment destroyed, or at least lose power.
    The “can’t be worse” thing has been wrong before, but the point of it is not necessarily about worse than now, but about worse than the foreseeable future.
    Immigration is one example. Lots of people have problems with one or another piece of it, such as apparently undeportable illegal immigrants convicted of multiple crimes. The depressing effect on wages at the low end affects a politically-significant number of VOTERS.
    Some people who are paying attention know that the PC party and the libs actively oppose assimilation while trying to sell a version of HYMAN KAPLAN to the rubes.
    Anybody who’s been paying attention knows that excess food stamps are a huge part of the economy and know, or know at one degree of separation, somebody pulling down pretty good income one way or another who gets and then sells food stamps.
    And people who complain (about having to pay for this) are labeled racist and greedy and lacking in compassion.
    There are more, but the point is that the establishment not only made this stuff happen, they’re going to make it worse and everybody knows it.
    So what does the establishment expect?
    In effect, Trump is their fault.

  40. geokstr Says:

    Whatever:

    It may surprise you to hear that I agree with much of what you say about the present condition of this nation and it citizenry. Times like this sometimes give rise to leaders who can actually make things better, and by better I mean a return to constitutional governance, security at the borders, sane, rational economic policy and a trending towards smaller, less powerful government.

    Right now I see two and only two men who could be that leader: Cruz and Trump. I want to pick the one who might do it short of a second bloody revolution.

    With Cruz you get a very known quantity. He’s brilliant, been fighting for the constitution and rule of law his whole life, is against both illegal immigration and amnesty, wants a secure border, would take on radical Islam and has taken on the Senate establishment almost single-handedly since he got there. His policy choices as POTUS are very predictable based on his core conservative principles.

    With Trump, you have a total wild card. What principles drive him? The ones he says he’s for now, many of which I like, or the myriad of diametrically opposed beliefs he’s espoused in the recent past. Even now he talks of his liking for Pelosi, Reid, and Schumer and how he’d be happy to make deals with them, exactly the attitude that got us where we are now. He’s a loose cannon on foreign affairs, and viciously, dishonestly attacks what should be his allies for short term political gain. Maybe he’ll do what he says he will, but perhaps he’ll “evolve” further in a different direction. Do you trust him?

    It’s postulated that the best form of government would be a benevolent dictatorship. The problem is you’ll discover that elusive herd of unicorns before you find a benevolent one. How about we try one time an ethical, moral principled method of cleaning house before we take a chance of burning it down?

  41. sdferr Says:

    “With Trump, you have a total wild card.”

    Currently maybe more of a weathervane which tells which way the local wind is blowing. He’s dependable that way.

    (In need of an evangelical polish to sell to Iowans, he does the expedient thing: goes out and buys some.)

    Anybody ever hear of Trump University though? I hadn’t until this morning. Evidently it was quite the scam. So maybe rather than a simple mechanical weathervane, what we have here is a huckstering con-artist’s version of a weathervane, one which has a hidden principle aimed at getting power for itself. Now power, that’s something we all ought to understand, since we’re the ones who loan it to the government — theoretically in limited measure. And what have we noticed about that lately? The government has escaped our control and turned round to control us. Want more of that? Elect Trump.

  42. expat Says:

    Hot Air just linked to a Time article on Trump’s final speech in Iowa. What does he promise the voters? He will build a new ballroom at the WH. Apparently, he’s beeen working on this idea for a while and even discussed it with David Axelrod (who ignored it). Anyway he said he would give 50 to 100 million to finance it. Unmentioned is whether he would demand a TRUMP BALLROOM sign atop the structure, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Everything i always about Trump.

  43. expat Says:

    Here is the link:

    http://time.com/4201841/donald-trump-iowa-white-house-ballroom/

  44. ArtfldgrsGhost Says:

    by the way…
    i bet yo udont remember the company who did that in kelo, but you do remember trump who has yet to use kelo..

    the paper cries how trump loves using this, but he has yet to use it.

    Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) was 35 years after she turned down bob guccione… and over 10 years after trump made his offer and carl ichan took over the property with his name on it he had to sue to remove!!!!
    [edited for length by n-n]

  45. K-E Says:

    Some think Trump will use presidential powers for himself. And point to his past to make that argument.

    Some think Trump knows how to get what he wants and will use that to America’s advantage, rather than his own.

    Can I point out that the day of the Trump fundraiser for veterans, the internet ran wild with stories about how Trump was pointing directly to his own foundation and how messed up and self-serving that was, blah, blah, blah. As if Trump were like the Clintons and was only looking out for himself with this fundraiser.

    Well, guess what? That prediction was wrong. Trump has already donated several million of what was raised to non-profit veterans groups.

    I choose to look at what Trump is doing right now and believe that is what he will be doing for his country, if he happens to get elected.

    I will say again: why would this man choose to ruin his own business’s reputation? He has been skewered in the press since he started running, his business was harmed by his statements about immigrants, but yet he continues to run. If he were really all about himself and his business, the minute he saw deals were at risk, he would’ve backed out.

    Sorry. Just don’t believe Trump is out for himself. I truly think he loves America.

    Just wanted to point out the difference in how these bits of information in Trump’s past can be viewed. He is a tough person. He does not back down. That is the kind of person I want in the White House.

  46. sdferr Says:

    He does not back down. He just kowtows to Iowan’s corn-based ethanol subsidy demands. Very courageous. Or else, very statist by principle. Central government picks the winners and all those losers Trump loves to despise. That would be you, taxpayers who don’t benefit from higher food prices or see money direct to your pocket in corn sales.

  47. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr:

    My post mentions that Trump “loves” Kelo, but that’s a direct quote from him. It’s in there to illustrate that, after Kelo was decided, Trump said he loved it, not that he ever used it. It is clear from the dates in my article that he never used it. I would have thought that was clear to readers, but if not, I’m clarifying it now.

    Trump agreed with a SCOTUS decision, Kelo, that liberty-loving people think is one of the worst the Court ever handed down. He agreed with it either because he’s a statist liberal, or because he knew that in the future it could personally benefit him (and who cares about the little guy?), or because of both. But although that tells us a lot about Trump, it has little to do with his actions in Atlantic City or in Scotland, neither of which—obviously—were under Kelo. Atlantic City because Kelo had not yet been decided, and Scotland because it’s a foreign country.

    This post is not about Kelo, although the philosophy in Kelo and Trump’s approval of it shows he is in accord with the result in Kelo. But the other part of the post—in some ways, an equally important part of it—is Trump’s personal attacks on these people. These attacks were completely unnecessary but they show what Trump is made of.

  48. K-E Says:

    Maybe he thinks ethanol subsidies are great. Just because he agrees with a position in Iowa, doesn’t mean he *changed* his position in order to get votes.

    He also wants to build the Keystone Pipeline. He also wants to get rid of Obamacare. He also wants to LOWER taxes for everyone. He also wants to fix the immigration system. He also wants to fix unequal trade.

    All of which I agree with.

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    K-E:

    One of the many interesting (I use that word advisedly) things about Trump is that he doesn’t offer rational explanations for his changes of heart. And yet those who love him believe he means what he says if it’s what they want him to be saying.

    And yet those same people come down extremely hard on changes in any other candidate (even if explained logically and plausibly as to why the changes have occurred) as unacceptable flip-flops that show the person has no principles.

    It would be odd if it weren’t so clear what’s happening: a cult of personality, and trust in a man who’s been untrustworthy and who doesn’t even bother to try to show us that he is.

    If Trump were elected president, I would certainly hope you’re right in giving him the benefit of every doubt in the world, and I’m wrong, and that he would live up to your expectations and not mine. But he is one of the last people on earth I’d want to see as president, based on a great deal of what he has actually done in his life—including lie about himself and others, almost constantly.

  50. sdferr Says:

    He also wants to get rid of Obamacare.

    Right! Like a weathervane. Since just a few months ago he was advocating for and avowing his belief in the goodness of universal healthcare paid for by government. But no! No! No! No! Not today! Today we should ignore what he said only a few months ago, as if his brain didn’t work then but does now.

  51. CV Says:

    Neo,

    You might have mentioned this in your Trump travails, but apparently Trump University (yeah, talk about wasted tuition dollars) is yet another example of Trump ripping off the little people:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430584/donald-trump-2016-iowan-man-accuses-trump-swindling

    What say you, K-E, PatD and other Trumpsters? Actually, please don’t answer that…

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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