February 18th, 2016

On being a blogger these days: truth, Trump, and a whole lot of other things

I’m what you might call a mid-level blogger. I’ve been doing this for eleven years, and I’ve reached a certain level of readership that’s more than I ever thought it would be when I began but less than I later came to hope it would become in the early heady days of blogopsheric growth.

Sometimes I write for other, larger venues. In the past, that’s been Pajamas Media and the online Weekly Standard, as well as an occasional American Thinker piece. For the past two years or so, I’ve also written regularly at Legal Insurrection, a blog with significantly more traffic than mine.

And yet, and yet, it feels like a drop in the bucket compared to what I think needs to be said.

We all have our natures and our styles and our approaches. I’m not a sensationalist or a rabble-rouser. Those would not be my strength, and I don’t even think I could do either well if I tried. I leave that to others. No, what I like to do is think and delve into things and then write about them. For me, a large part of what drives me is the quest and the learning. Quite often I find something different than what I thought I would, and those surprises are often the best.

I suppose that makes me different from people who have a message they want to impart and everything that doesn’t conform with that message is shut out. Sometimes I’ve spent hours researching something and found that I was wrong in my original assumption, and then I abandon the post as unworkable. Or sometimes I write it with the new information. Sometimes the information I find is even more in accord with what I already thought, and then I write about that. But I believe that the willingness to let the research be my guide is part of the reason I ended up changing my political identity once confronted with both new information and new ways (to me, anyway) of looking at the worlds of government, policy, and history.

That doesn’t mean I am bias-free. I’m a human being, so naturally I have biases. But I try to be as bias-free as I can when doing this work, and let the facts and logic and my own observations and reasoning lead me to my own conclusions, rather than to parrot anyone else.

Regular readers of my blog have almost undoubtedly noticed that Trump’s candidacy has slowly—and with increasing force—been something I do not support and cannot support. This is not a prejudice I began with, because (as I’ve written before) I really didn’t have strong feelings about him at the start. It has grown, however, the more I have learned of his history, the more I hear from his own mouth, and the more I read from his followers and supporters (two different categories, by the way).

Lately I’ve noticed another phenomenon happening more often with me than it used to. Because a great many of the posts I write take a while to research and then compose, I’m often behind the other writers/pundits in terms of getting the piece out there. That’s been the case for a long time with me on the blog and even in the articles I submit to others, but that’s just the way it is because of the manner in which I write and the research I usually do (as well as the fact that occasionally I like to get away from this computer). But it’s a handicap in terms of getting the word out on what I have to say, as is the length of some of the things I write.

For example, in my post on what was really happening between Rubio and Christie in that debate where everyone thought Rubio had merely frozen and repeated himself—when I went back to the transcript, analyzed it, and found something rather different than what most (including me) had originally perceived—I thought I had something important to say. It certainly was something that surprised me when I discovered it, but it was also something that took a long time to get out there and took many words to express and then prove. By then the caravan had moved on, as it were, and in addition it’s not the sort of thing most people will read. It’s not exciting, it’s not sexy, it’s not short and punchy. So even if I’d written it right away, it might not have mattered at all.

But it’s frustrating nonetheless. I had even written some shorter posts on the subject earlier, when I was researching the other and everyone was talking about the subject of Christie/Rubio, but what I was saying just didn’t get much currency and was drowned out in the meme that was already winning the day, and that ended up prevailing, because it was based on people’s gut perceptions. That’s what often ends up mattering; I understand that. But my goal seems to be to counter a gut perception if that perception seems wrong—and yes, I realize that’s a difficult thing to do. Maybe even impossible.

So here we go again. This time, though, it’s not about a perception. This time, most people were actually correct in their original perception of what happened when Trump did his “Bush lied!” bit during last Saturday’s debate. It’s the revisionist “correction” theories of the Trump supporters that are wrong, and I can prove it, but that revision of the truth has gotten halfway around the world already. I have the piece nearly written, but every day I hear more people accept as a truth the idea that Trump’s move was a pre-planned strategic one to appeal to voters in the middle and on the left. In fact, recently it was Limbaugh saying it, and believe me, he’s got a bigger audience than I do (I bet you do believe me on that).

I will try to finish up on the longer piece on the subject, but for now I’ll do the bullet points:

(1) That Bush lied about WMDs (and should have been impeached for it, and is “evil”) is an old and apparently deeply-held belief belief of Trump’s, as I’ve written in numerous previous posts, with quotes and videos. Trump started saying such things in 2007, with seeming sincerity and vigor. We can assume he believes them because he was not running for any office then, much less in some primary and thinking about appealing to voters in a general election. “Bush lied” therefore appears to be one of his most strongly held beliefs, and if he believes it he also believes Bush is evil (which he also has explicitly stated in the past).

(2) Not only that, but this is not even the first time he has made the “9/11 happened during Bush’s reign” remark before in the 2016 campaign. This is not a sudden change or pivot; he said it in October.

(3) If you look at the transcript of Saturday’s debate, Trump did not even bring the topic up. It was John Dickerson who asked Trump to defend his 2008 Wolf Blitzer interview comment that Bush had lied about WMDs and should be impeached for it. Was Dickerson and the question a pre-arranged Trump plant? Don’t think so—although some of Trump’s admirers might ascribe that power to Trump, too.

(4) Also from the transcript, Trump at first dodged the question and said a bunch of other things instead. Check it out for yourself. If he was just waiting for an opportunity to say what he ultimately said about Bush, why did he dodge it at first, and why was his first response to the question to merely say that Bush had been mistaken? It’s more evidence that Trump had no previous intention to go Code Pink; at first he avoided it, when he had a golden opportunity afforded by Dickerson’s question. Or was this avoidance just another clever ploy of Trump’s to make us think he didn’t want to go there? How creative can you be to defend your “strategic move” theory?

(5) Dickerson pressed Trump again by asking him about his statement that Bush should be impeached: does he still believe it? Trump dodges that question again, and it was only then (in anger at being pressed about impeachment) that he said “Bush lied.” He never does answer whether he still favors impeachment, but to avoid having to answer on that content question, as usual he went to process and tried to create a distracting flurry “Bush lied!” (something Dickerson had already quoted him as having said in 2008). And create a distraction Trump did, as well as motivating his followers to explain away the whole thing by calling it a clever strategic move, which it obviously was not.

But that meme has now gotten halfway around the world, as these things often do.

I have not seen one other person writing about this in terms of the transcript and what it reveals, or even about Trump’s prior history of such statements. Perhaps someone has (I certainly hope someone has), but I sure haven’t seen it. Why am I the only one? Why are the others content to spin and make up whatever theories they want, untethered by reality and actual events? I think I know the answer: because it works.

As I said, I’m not an activist or a spinner. I don’t know how to do other than what I do, or be other than what I am. I leave the spinning to others. I try to tell the truth as I see it.


In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII:

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Oh, yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final end of ill,
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;

That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroy’d,
Or cast as rubbish to the void,
When God hath made the pile complete;

That not a worm is cloven in vain;
That not a moth with vain desire
Is shrivell’d in a fruitless fire,
Or but subserves another’s gain.

Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last—far off—at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.

So runs my dream: but what am I?
An infant crying in the night:
An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry.

Fortunately, very fortunately, we have much more than a cry. We have thought, logic, learning—and some activists, too, who will do the shouting.

45 Responses to “On being a blogger these days: truth, Trump, and a whole lot of other things”

  1. sdferr Says:

    in re the caravan moving on, there’s of course Duke’s Caravan, but then there’s also Dave’s Nomad, which some may find to be a bit cheerier.

  2. ldc Says:

    Neo-neocon, I am new to your blog site and have to say that one of the things I most enjoy about your writings are the sense that you have really thought through the process and not just thrown something out for the sake of getting “it” started. As you say, it frustrates you sometimes, but from my perspective I appreciate depth at which you address the issues.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    sdferr:

    My actual reference was this.

  4. sdferr Says:

    Oh I know neo, but thought you could perhaps use some cheering up: I know I could anyhow, and those popped to mind so I tossed them in.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    sdferr:

    Cheering up? Does not compute 🙂 .

  6. sdferr Says:

    Heh. It’s just I find something awfully dreary about “the dogs bark but the caravan moves on” . . . better to dwell awhile with beautiful music. Or in the alternative: teach the dogs to pipe?

  7. Ira Says:

    1. There are two blogs I visit multiple times every day, and http://neoneocon.com is one of them.

    2. As I mentioned before, neo-neocon is a full-service blogger. Heck, neo-neocon sometimes gets me interested even in dance.

    3. I understand the caravan moving on fear. However, I feel even the articles about purportedly “old news” are wonderfully clarifying and edifying and are thus always very important.

    Thanks, neo.

  8. sdferr Says:

    Got one for that too: Dziękuję, neo-neocon.

  9. Cornhead Says:

    Neo

    Keep doing what you are doing. The truth will get out.

  10. vanderleun Says:

    “Heck, neo-neocon sometimes gets me interested even in dance.”

    Just
    step
    away
    from
    the
    vehicle.

  11. Steve D Says:

    Seriously, Trump’s insulted the Pope now?

    http://www.jammiewf.com/2016/pope-francis-questions-trumps-christianity-trump-freaks-out-of-course/

    Is he working off a list which he has to finish by the end of the campaign?

  12. The Other Chuck Says:

    I hope you realize how rare it is to find someone who has an open mind. You are that rarity, Neo.

  13. Lowell Says:

    More and more I get the definite feeling that Trump really isn’t very smart. You’re right, Rush said that Trump was strategically going after the independent and general election vote when he said Bush lied, but I don’t think so either.
    He is a bombastic not very intelligent businessman, who has no place in the political arena. And he says whatever comes into his head at any time.

  14. parker Says:

    Neo,

    The only blog I read everyday is this one. While I sometimes disagree (rarely, but it happens) with your take, you always make me think. Your in depth analysis is not a bug, it is a feature. It may sound corny; but I trust you to be forthright, knowledgeable, and persistent. You are the ballerina pitbull. Keep on keeping on.

  15. David Y Says:

    Neo

    I am fairly new to your blog. It is one I check out several times a day.

    One of the things I like is that you go beyond the “we are right and they are wrong” thing that a lot of political bloggers and pundits seem to use. I can tell you put a good deal of thought and effort into this.

    Kept up the good work.

  16. CV Says:

    I come here regularly for the clear thinking and well-reasoned analysis. From Obama and Trump (same difference) to jello and Oscar fashion. Don’t ever change, Neo!😀

  17. Eric Says:

    Neo:
    “That Bush lied about WMDs (and should have been impeached for it, and is “evil”) is an old and apparently deeply-held belief … of Trump’s”

    Answer to “Did Bush lie his way to war with Iraq?”.

    Neo:
    “I hear more people accept as a truth the idea that Trump’s move was a pre-planned strategic one to appeal to voters in the middle and on the left.”

    Pre-planned or pre-arranged?

    The action may not have been pre-arranged, but in the sense of pre-planned, it was known that President Bush would be stumping for his brother for the 1st time. I guess the issue would be at least contingently anticipated given that and the moderator. With those factors, Trump’s view of the Iraq issue, and their Left-mimicking strategy, once the issue did arise, the rest of it came together.

    Whether pre-arranged, pre-planned, only contingently anticipated, or even just spontaneous, the Trump action accorded with Left-activist strategy, so the Left-mimicking alt-Right activists that function as the creative engine of the Trump phenomenon would be ready to seize the Trump action and build on it.

    However they manifest, the activist way is to seize opportunities with aggression. I did, when I played.

    As far as “appeal to voters in the middle and on the left”, that’s secondary.

    The primary value of the Trump action is the anti-GOP negative appeal to disaffected members of the Republican “base”.

    The weak, hangdog Republican presidential candidate responses – especially by the President’s own brother – to the Kelly hypothetical last May and now to the Trump action validate the perception of Republican decadence and weakness, which further erodes loyalty and chips away from the disaffected Republican constituency for transfer into the Trump alternative orbit.

    The Iraq intervention has been epochal and course-setting since inception. The Iraq issue is a fundamental issue of American leadership and American leadership under Republican president(s). For Republican presidential candidates to respond so weakly when directly confronted with a vile and demonstrably false narrative – blatantly choosing to skirt the Iraq controversy when they should be vigorously re-litigating the Iraq issue armed with a straightforward set of law, policy, and facts to set the record straight – is an indictment of their fundamental character to lead. And their political judgment.

    Neo:
    “I leave the spinning to others. I try to tell the truth as I see it.”

    In the Narrative contest for the zeitgeist of the activist game, narrative is elective truth. The actual truth is just a narrative that must be competed for like any other.

    You may not be interested in the activist game, but the activist game is interested in you. It’s the only social cultural/political game there is.

  18. CV Says:

    Bernard Goldberg has Trump’s number also, and states it very succinctly here:

    http://bernardgoldberg.com/trump-is-for-whatever-works-for-trump/

  19. Loretta in Indiana Says:

    The word “reign” definitely struck a discordant note … An unguarded moment in how Trump views the Presidency? But Trump is usually unguarded in most of his pronouncements and hence comes across as crude, rude and undiplomatic.

    Rush calls Obama’s Presidency the “regime”… neither “reign” nor “regime” belong in a Constitutional Republic. The more I listen to Trump, the more I think that we will eventually regret his being our president.

  20. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “I’ve reached a certain level of readership that’s more than I ever thought it would be when I began but less than I later came to hope it would become in the early heady days of blogopsheric growth.”

    The more profound and considered the thought, the smaller the audience. Especially, if that opinion is spoken by someone not considered an authority on that subject.

    “For me, a large part of what drives me is the quest and the learning.”

    “The truly learned, never graduate”.

    “I try to be as bias-free as I can when doing this work, and let the facts and logic and my own observations and reasoning lead me to my own conclusions”

    IMO, you’re pretty successful. When getting to the truth of the matter is the foremost consideration, it cannot be otherwise.

    As for Trump’s supporter’s willful blindness, an old truism applies; “if someone dislikes you, nothing you do will ever be quite good enough. Whereas, if someone likes you, they’ll forgive you almost anything.”

    Steve D,

    Pope Francis plainly said and basically implied that, anyone who thinks that, a nation has the right to control its borders and expel anyone who entered it illegally is… NOT a Christian.

    That comment by the pontiff was carefully considered. Especially interesting, when contrasted with his previous statement, “Who am I to judge?”

  21. Lurker Says:

    I prefer the Dead Can Dance lines

    The procession moves on, the shouting is over
    The fabulous freaks are leaving town
    They are driven by a strange desire, unseen by the human eye
    Someone’s calling
    The carnival is over

  22. blert Says:

    “Pope Francis plainly said and basically implied that, anyone who thinks that, a nation has the right to control its borders and expel anyone who entered it illegally is… NOT a Christian. ”

    I caught that too, G.B.

    &&&&&&&

    Trump came back with — “say I’ve been to the Vatican — and let me tell you it’s got some serious walls…”

    Paraphrased.

    This Pope is a Leftist goof.

    He can’t hold a candle to Benedict or JohnPaul II.

  23. Ralph Kinney Bennett Says:

    For Geoffrey Britain: Your observation re Pope Francis’ calculated remark regarding Americans and their borders is (as usual for you) well taken. Whatever the good qualities of the “people’s pope,” may be, he is still a creature steeped virtually since birth in that peculiar Marxist/Leninist/Guevarist South American brine that has pickled the Southern Hemisphere for a very long sorry time.

    For Neo: The group of writers, “commentators,” bloggers — what every you may call them — who are truly thoughtful and intellectually honest is very small. You are so busy at your keyboard; you need to look up for a moment. See those columns rising around you, and the sky beyond them? You are already in the Pantheon.

  24. Alan F Says:

    I read this post with trepidation that you were leading to an announcement of a reduction in scope or even worse. Yours is my favorite blog by far because you provide the right amount (for me) of careful research, carefully woven into logical arguments. I don’t want polemics.

    Now, many months after your first misgivings about Trump and his devoted followers, I think you were right on. I especially appreciate your analysis of how people really think. I am sure your training and experience as a psychotherapist informs you.

  25. Steve D Says:

    I’d be the last person to have anything good to say about any pope. They’re all leftist goofs as far as I’m concerned. Francis only says aloud what Benedict and others would keep to themselves.

    However, the issue is Trump and his complete inability to control what comes out of his mouth.

    Anyone who thinks anything Trump does is strategic in any way confuses arroganthis belief that he can do no wrong with intelligence.

  26. Steve D Says:

    Anyone who thinks anything Trump does is strategic is confusing arrogance with intelligence.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve D:

    Take a look at the post I just put up.

  28. Eric Says:

    Neo:
    “That Bush lied about WMDs (and should have been impeached for it, and is “evil”) is an old and apparently deeply-held belief … of Trump’s”

    Answer to “Was Operation Iraqi Freedom legal?”. The domestic legal question of OIF is addressed A1.

    Plus, answer to “Was the invasion of Iraq perceived to be a nation-building effort?”. This addresses the US legal mandate for the post-war peace operations.

  29. SteveH Says:

    Neo I get why you and others despise Trump. I don’t guess I’ll ever get why you and a lot of others never really despised a man that spent 20 years in a hate filled racist church.

    One is unsettling. The other completely unacceptable. But somehow this obviousness has gotten reversed?

  30. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Ralph Kinney Bennett,

    IMO Pope Francis is a perfect example of a sincerely good person, who is profoundly mistaken on more than a few matters. His leftism leads him to ignore that the ‘good Samaritan’ had the wealth to help, wealth that socialism inherently disapproves of and that, in order to teach a man to fish, he must be willing to learn how to fish.

    He refuses to see that culturally, ‘teaching a man to fish’ requires that man to embrace education, persistence, personal responsibility & accountability, fulfilling parental obligations and delaying personal gratification. That charity given to those who refuse to embrace those virtues only enables dependence and erodes that human being’s dignity.

    Steve D,

    ALL (recent?) Popes are leftist goofs? Benedict was certainly naive in his belief in ‘dialog’ with Muslims but how does that make him a leftist? And it is probable that Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Lech Walesa would disagree with the notion that Pope John Paul II was a leftist.

  31. redbud Says:

    This is my FAVORITE blog.

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    SteveH:

    Have you ever read my over-1500 posts on Obama? Here are just two, selected almost randomly: see this and this.

    Or on Reverend Wright specifically? This is the post I wrote on hearing Obama-the-candidate’s speech that supposedly made the Rev. Wright thing okay. I wrote it before I read any other commentary on the speech. And this just a short time later. Or see this.

    Are you ordinarily in the habit of making accusations before you check the facts? I’m not trying to be insulting, but your accusations don’t make a lot of sense if you’ve read my blog.

    All those posts I just linked to are not 20/20 hindsight. They’re written on those dates, in real time.

  33. Matt_SE Says:

    “It’s more evidence that Trump had no previous intention to go Code Pink; at first he avoided it, when he had a golden opportunity afforded by Dickerson’s question.”

    Proof that supports my theory: a Trump presidency will be ineffective because he’ll be too easy to emotionally manipulate. All it took was Dickerson, a known hard lefty, to wave the red flag in Trump’s face twice and off he went, charging.

    Trump is a clown.

  34. Ann Says:

    “He [the Pope] refuses to see that culturally, ‘teaching a man to fish’ requires that man to embrace education, persistence, personal responsibility & accountability, fulfilling parental obligations and delaying personal gratification. That charity given to those who refuse to embrace those virtues only enables dependence and erodes that human being’s dignity.”

    Pope Francis on work:

    Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. Work, to use a metaphor, “anoints” us with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God, who has worked and still works, who always acts (cf. Jn 5:17); it gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation.–homily given on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, 2013

  35. The Other Gary Says:

    Because a great many of the posts I write take a while to research and then compose, I’m often behind the other writers/pundits in terms of getting the piece out there.

    I don’t want the first article out there. I want the one based on facts, reason and a level-headed perspective. That’s why I come here. The research takes time and effort, but it’s one of the things that makes this site unique.

    But I try to be as bias-free as I can when doing this work, and let the facts and logic and my own observations and reasoning lead me to my own conclusions, rather than to parrot anyone else.

    You succeed at this on a regular basis, Neo. And you have the guts to write these conclusions even when they might not be popular.

    I know you’ll leave the quickie, knee-jerk pieces to others and continue doing the well-researched, thoughtful and reasoned articles I expect and appreciate. Well done.

  36. alleninhawaii Says:

    Neo I’ve been a reader of yours for a long time – since I think near the beginning (whenever Ace first linked to you). In that time a lot of blogs have come and gone from my load-on-startup browser pages, but yours has remained, permanently enshrined alongside Instapundit, Ace-of-Spades, Hotair, and Drudge. And though you may not get the traffic those sites get, your commentary – your style and analysis – are much appreciated. Your blog reminds me in a lot of ways of Dr. Sanity’s former blog and, even more, of Stephen den Beste’s old USS Clueless – a place you can get more in-depth and well thought-out ideas about an issue (and of course whereas den Beste had tech and anime as filler you bring us ballet and old-timey classic stuff). So while you may consider yourself a mid-lover blogger, I guarantee you that your readers consider you to be right up there with the other giants of this industry.

  37. Mac Says:

    I really, really sympathize with you about this, Neo. The falsehood and unreason that fill the air these days are almost physically painful to me, and when I see it I have a tremendous need to correct it, but of course can’t hope to.

    I think the most egregious stuff is found in the “memes” that my left-wing friends post on Facebook: an array of non-sequiturs, straw men, outright lies, and sheer meanness. I see some of that from the right, too, but not as much.

    Anyway, I greatly value your effort and in some cosmic way I think it does make a difference. It matters that truth and reason are present even if few are listening.

  38. Tom Says:

    I love your open mindedness and research. And have for maybe 12 years; ” I’ve been doing this for eleven years, ”

    I think you were essentially “comment-blogging” on Michael Totten’s blog for about a year before you started your own — and I thought you were among the best commenters among a lot of other fine commenters.

    I reduced my own comments for a few years after the Obama disaster occurred, and then he got re-elected.
    Your well researched critiques of Obama made me furious but also feel helpless. (I’m feeling furiously helpless on the ME, too.)

    It’s not too late to stop Trump.

    But on a prior post, there’s the claim that Trump, like many GAME players, is a “fake alpha”.

    Not true.

    If the “fake alpha” gets women to sleep with him, his goal is accomplished. Trump IS getting voters to vote for him.

    Your definition is different:
    “Alpha males have a quiet authority. The opposite of Trump, who is a fake alpha male.”

    While I completely prefer the hero with quiet authority, I don’t agree with that preference as defining alpha vs fake alpha.

    I’m not sure if “success” alone is enough for defining it, tho. (I’m right now listening to Those Were The Days … “we’d fight and never lose”.) Mike Tyson, a winner, an alpha; and yet, too, a loser.

    So let me go instead into Leadership, which depends on Followers.
    Leaders have followers, whatever their other qualities.
    Trump, so far, has shown more Leadership – because of the numbers of followers he has.

    There are lots of reasons to NOT like Trump, and I don’t like him. But if Cruz or Rubio is to get more followers than Trump, they’ll need to be more like Trump than they have been so far, in either content or presentation or both.

    Arguing whether he’s a “fake alpha” isn’t the right thing to do — identifying why his followers follow him, so others can be more attractive to those followers might work. I’m feeling … we’re about to get Trumped, and I don’t like it

  39. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Ann,

    You appear to have missed the larger point, which is that its not nearly enough for Pope Francis to personally appreciate the value of work yet fail to insist that making a success of one’s life is that person’s responsibility, NOT society’s…

    People “down on their luck” only deserve a hand up IF they are willing to embrace ALL of the virtues necessary to success, as otherwise, to the degree that they neglect or reject those virtues, they act as a parasite upon society. Refusing to insist that people earn their way, offering eternal sympathy demeans that person’s dignity.

    And yes, the pontiff offers ‘eternal sympathy’ never insisting that that those to whom he offers sympathy learn to fish and that a failure to learn ‘to fish’ is prima facie evidence of an unwillingness to learn. Making of that person a parasite upon his brothers and sisters.

    When Francis starts talking of ‘parasites’ along with the obligation to help the less fortunate, then we will know that he’s gained a balanced perspective upon the problem. Until then, he’s not part of a solution but part of the problem.

  40. Steve D Says:

    Geoffrey,

    I was exaggerating for effect but it is certainly the case that none of popes in the last 50 years were good friends of capitalism or the free market. You only have to read what they write to clearly see that. No doubt Francis has moved the needle further in that direction.

    Being an anti-communist does not make you a capitalist.

    Also, I have a feeling that Francis was speaking metaphorically, personally and/or spiritually as popes often do do, and Trump didn’t realize it because he doesn’t operate on that level.

    Neo,

    ‘ever-increasing arrogant dismissiveness of Trump’s manner these days’

    Maybe he figures he’s got the presidency sewed up and he’s moved on to his gloating phase?

    To generalize my previous point, it seems to me that no matter how stupid a person acts or speaks; another person can come up with a convoluted theory that it was in fact genius. The opposite is true a swell. You just need to read American Thinker to find dozens of silly yet opposite theories for all things political to see that. But Occam’s razor is famous for a reason. The simplest explanation is most often the truth. And the simplest explanation for Trump’s bizarre behavior is that he is, in fact, bizarre.

    ‘when I went back to the transcript, analyzed it, and found something rather different than what most (including me) had originally perceived’

    Sounds a bit too much like hard work to me but I bet you surprise a lot of people when you bring stuff like this up later. They should have a hard time coming up with a coherent answer. Hopefully it will lead some of them becoming more careful what they take to be the truth.

  41. adagny Says:

    Neo,
    I have been a devoted reader since the beginning, since becoming ‘a changer’ myself. Your place has been a refuge of logic and solace. -As Allen of Hawaii said, “a place you can get more in-depth, well thought-out ideas about an issue.”
    So know dear Neo,
    Thy cry doest shout!

  42. If All You See… » Pirate's Cove Says:

    […] blog of the day is Neo neocon, with a post on being a blogger these […]

  43. sdferr Says:

    Michael Ledeen: Idiocy AND Ideology? What Really Drives Obama?

    But Iran?

    Iran is a truly hateful regime that slaughters Americans, Syrians, Iraqis, and of course Iranians in big numbers and with palpable delight. Somehow, it does not seem sufficient to me to reject past American policies to warrant an embrace of such a regime. And yet, Obama has been running after the Iranians since the presidential election campaign of 2008, and he is still running after them. I think this must be ideological, above and beyond the criticism of our past policies.

    What sort of ideology could account for it? Yes, as some have said, it might be some sort of Islamic conviction, but I don’t think that’s it. I do think he has romantic feelings about Islam, as he has indicated from time to time, and perhaps that is the deeper motivation for his policy.

    I continue to believe and maintain this is a simple matter of revenge with intent to harm, the only comprehensive explanation available to us now. Think of a sort of combination of Iago and Andreas Lubitz.

  44. Richard Saunders Says:

    Neo, I have been reading you since near the beginning, and you are now the only political blog I regularly read, usually several times a day — I don’t want to miss a thing. Even though I sometimes disagree with you, I have tremendous respect for your research, your analysis, and your writing. (“How great it is, to write the single line, ‘Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll.'”)

    So, to quote another deep thinker, “Live long and prosper!”

  45. The Bookworm Beat 2/19/16 — the “it’s the end of the world as we know it” edition and open thread Says:

    […] Trump and political blogging.  Neo-Neocon has written a really superb piece about the nature of political blogging when you’re a blogger like me:  you’ve been around for a long time, you have a […]

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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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