March 25th, 2016

Is Trump America’s Berlusconi?

I’ve seen that analogy before. Here’s an analysis that describes why it might be so, and what the consequences would be.

Excerpt:

Berlusconi wrecked the idea of the political party as the expression of a collective will. Forza Italia, which translates roughly to “Let’s go, Italy!,” was just another channel for Berlusconi to push his own personal brand. Ninety percent of its deputies in 1994 had never held parliamentary office. That inexperience translated into a lack of political energy and policy creativity. Twenty years of Italy as a joke on the international stage starts there. Twenty years of legislation tailor-crafted to Berlusconi’s business and legal interests; of spats with the Italian judiciary; of hedonistic sideshows leaving the highest office in the land impotent while the economy sputtered. And it all started with the notion, now echoed in America by Trump, that experience in office is unimportant, even detrimental, and that the party exists merely to serve the leader. Meanwhile, Italy’s corruption continued unabated, and the economy languished. Berlusconismo left untouched the negative elements of Italian political life that had ushered him into office in the first place.

You might want to read the whole thing.

40 Responses to “Is Trump America’s Berlusconi?”

  1. Oldflyer Says:

    Good point. Clearly, politicians are now out of fashion; but, should that mean that you turn to a worse choice?

    It is ironic that politicians with very strong records of governance were shrugged off because they did not excite the electorate, or was it the media? I refer to men like Walker, Perry, Jindal, Bush, and Gilmore.

    Just heard a radio call-in from a Trump supporter who cites a fifty year record of accomplishment for his hero. Who knew how accomplished he was, even before he left college and inherited a huge fortune and successful business? He went on to say that he has created “a whole lot of jobs”, without differentiating how many were Americans as opposed to low paid foreign workers. Of course he also speaks “truth” that other people allegedly do not speak. Typically, many people are vesting Trump with mythical qualities and accomplishments. They will not be shaken; the only recourse is to out number them at the polls. Clear the field John Kasich.

  2. sdferr Says:

    More like America’s petard.

  3. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    No.
    The example you pose is apt, but he is still that other Italian.
    Mussolini.
    That is not a Godwin Law example.
    He’s a narcissistic braggart of sexual conquest and virility.
    His followers are a cult of personality.
    He appeals to former greatness and he claims the nation will be great again if it rallies around him.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Let’s posit that Trump is indeed another Berlusconi and let’s further agree that if true, America might well imitate Italy.

    If Trump gains the nomination, what is the alternative? Hillary, Sanders or Biden.

    Exactly how is 1984 better than Berlusconi?

  5. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    I am not convinced Trump IS better than any of the other Dems.
    Yes. OTHER Dems.

  6. Sharon W Says:

    I see it as GB does. We continue with the Obama policies, etc. thereby possessing simply a white-washed tomb of a Republic. On the other hand (again, not a Trump supporter–but will vote for him for this reason), if he is elected (as opposed to Hillary) we can hope that the other 2 branches of government will act according to the historical framework. That will not happen w/Hillary and therefore we have only a feint of our Republic. (Remember Obamacare was passed as “not a tax” and was upheld by the SC “as a tax”).

  7. CBI Says:

    Definitely some Berlusconi / Trump analogies. But a lot of differences as well.

    I lived in Italy for a couple of delightful years, well before Berlusconi. Italy was “a joke on the international stage” already then. It’s economy was already “sputtering” (to the benefit of this American whose dollars were worth much). I don’t think that Berlusconi made things any worse than someone else — but I don’t think he made it much, if any, better, either.

    It’s really difficult to compare Italian politics to those in the U.S. For example, one thing that the author neglected to mention: in the twenty years following Berlusconi becoming Prime Minister in 1994, he held office for just over nine of them (less than 50%). In between were several others, including a communist journalist, a Goldman-Sachs adviser, a career bureaucrat, and several others (some also more than once). (Berlusconi’s first tenure as PM was only eight months–and he didn’t come back for over six years.)

    Anyway, there don’t appear to be many lessons that can be drawn by comparing Trump with Berlusconi. Some similarities, but many differences as well, both in personality and context. And blaming Italy’s problems on only one PM is just silly.

  8. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Yes, no need to go ballistic and say he’s Mussolini – Berlusconi is more accurate and bad enough. Even that may be over-the-top – yet still bad.

    One new CW is that Trump is a bad leader of a necessary movement. I’d be willing to entertain the idea, but courtesy would require we allow that interpretation to other politicians as well. Is Hillary a bad leader of a more deserving group, for example?

    Or to reverse, is a candidate one who is too good for a deplorable constituency? I suppose one could put Bernie in either of those categories, depending on your POV.

    I’m not advocating that we begin to evaluate candidates that way, simply noting that if we do, we must apply it evenhandedly.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Ed Bonderenka,

    I for one am not saying that Trump is better than any democrat. I am saying that they are worse because Trump cannot harm America as deeply, (lacking the infrastructural support) as any of those democrats is absolutely certain to do, since the democrat is part of a movement absolutely committed to America’s destruction. The democrat party is as much America’s enemy as is ISIS, that it is composed mainly of fools, changes the threat not in the least.

  10. Japan Says:

    It’s all about Mony.

    The 2016 presidential race has already cost $1 billion, about the GDP of the Solomon Islands. According to USA Today, donors have already given more than $1 billion to the presidential candidates and their allied super PACs. Four years ago, the candidates and their super PACs had only spent $403 million at this point in the race.
    $1 billion is a lot of money. You could book six trips to the moon and back. You could buy the Pittsburgh Pirates. You could shoulder the annual GDP for the Solomon Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, or the Western Sahara.

    Off course that Honey jar will attracts pees like David Pecker who Hosts Playboy’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2010.

  11. K-E Says:

    Trump made an incredibly good speech at AIPAC. He laid out exactly what kind of foreign policy he would follow regarding Iran and Israel, even the U.N.

    Sounded like a serious candidate to me and not one looking to further his ‘brand.’

  12. Paul in Boston Says:

    The description of Government under Berlusconi is what I imagine what it would be like here under Hillary, everything for sale to the highest bidder. Isn’t that what the private servers and the Clinton Global Initiative were and are all about? If she’s elected, the Clinton family will be billionaires by the time she’s out of office.

    LBJ was the precursor here. He had a private phone line installed in the family quarters at the White House so that he could work real estate deals after hours.

    I don’t like Trump but don’t sense that he will behave like that.

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Japan,

    Money is the icing on the cake. It’s about power and control. Each side’s elite simply use different means to acquire power and control. The GOPe uses money and status to induce loyalty to ‘the tribal family’.

    The Left uses ideology and then rewards with money, status and influence those who demonstrate ideological loyalty.

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Paul in Boston,

    Hillary uses crony capitalism to advance leftist ideology. Her cronyism is a tool, which personally benefits. Her Marxist/progressive ideology is how she defines her identity.

  15. I won't submit Says:

    Her Marxist/progressive ideology is how she defines her identity.

  16. Waidmann Says:

    I will happily vote for Trump simply because I believe that a Dictatorship in America is inevitable. I also believe that America can survive any kind of Dictatorship except an Islamic one, and Trump is the only candidate that might stop the invasion (in the form of refugees/immigration) of Muslims. He probably won’t, but it’s for certain that no other candidate will.

    Waidmann

  17. Artfldgrs Says:

    No one knows if he is really a worse choice or not..
    and THAT is the honest truth… it really is…
    the prejudgments of people are legendary for being horribly wrong and more often than not, are wrong.

    if our judgments of people were that good, very few women would be raped by a date.. serial killers would have no ‘fun’… bernie madoff would not have gotten a dime…

    in truth, the things we often use to judge have very little connected to the things we are wanting to predict. that doesnt mean there arent things, that are linked, like IQ, flexibility, self censorship or not, etc.

    The whole landscape of the political world today is not about honest presentation, its about presentation that gets them what they want, and collude to get it. and today its a lot more soviet in its willingness and choices of whats acceptable.

    in fact, the split between what they are wiling to do, and what you believe they wont do, is the land they love to work!!! as is making clever statements that sound to your ear without thinking as they meant or said something it doesnt actually mean.. and thats not even the idea that someone says something to garner something that they dont mean and wont do and will change

    unless you meet the person, you know nothing from todays press… i knew a french photographer that was really famous for capturing those embarrasing moments that made a lot of money. i said how did he do it. with a bit of wine and good friendship, he said he often hires a hooker and tells her what to do and sets the other person up.. .the world never believes it and he makes a lot of money… (i never sat with him again!!)

    the world looking at what he does, would have a completely different view than what was real ,and not only that, they would argue unto death that they know.

    you can go back and take a look at the arguments when Paris Hilton was a big thing and how everyone thought they knew her. and no matter how much i pointed out that i knew her mother father, her and her sister for a number of years, no one would believe me, they all thought they knew her more.

    how well did i know her? well, i knew her before her sex video, i knew that all that crap was her way of making money off the rubes that shows she can make money and didnt need her trust fund… she doesnt care what the public thinks of her, its of no consequence. nikki used to give me a birthday kiss every year i was taking pictures and we even walked from one venue gabbing with each other.

    and yet, everyone online was arguing with me that they knew more than i did as to these peoples person and nature than i did, despute hanging with them, talking with them, getting kissed by one, and even having dad say high to me one time as i walked past the waldorf (though i doubt they would remember me today given the huge numbers of people that float by their lives)

    its really really THAT way..

    i have met trump personally several times.
    but that means nothing… i have a friend i had worked with that was a republican candidate at one time for a govenorship.. i have known the famous, and infamous… yet, i am a ghost..

    we wont know till he steps up
    its like what the men who have recieved the medal of honor said… they were regular people, they were scared, then in the real situation, they just did what they did and it worked out..

    a young lad had always wanted to be a soldier, and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, he tried to enlist, but the Army, Navy and Marine Corps all turned him down for being underweight and underage.

    After his sister provided an affidavit falsifying his birth date by a year, he was accepted by the U.S. Army on 30 June 1942

    tought too small he became a runner and eventually had a distinguished career… how distinguished? well, the above belongs to audie murphy, the most decorated officer of wwii..

    Another interesting man tried to make a rice cooker, but was a failure, his rice cooker burned rice instead… he couldnt sell more than 100 of the rotten things… he was considered a failure.. his name? Akio Morita the founder of Sony

    another
    He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. no one thought that he would amount to much… his name? Walt Disney – not much imagination eh?

    If most of us are so bad at it, why do we do it?

    i wanted to put up some interesting people who were judged wrong, but thats too long…

    anyway.. Cruz is getting dirtier and dirtier and Trump is forcing his facade to come down. Trump hasnt changed, but he gets others to expose their hidden side by acting the way he does, which i suspect is why he does it.

    Cruz: ‘Trump May Be A Rat But I Have No Desire To Copulate With Him’ [VIDEO]

    pay attention to the lyrics
    The Stranger Billy Joel
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnlvPoDU5LY

    oh, another funny one is how a lot of women like his always a woman to me, but only because they hear what they want to hear… ask them would they like to live with the person he is singing about? then read the lyrics… soooooo funny…

  18. Artfldgrs Says:

    Oldflyer Says: Just heard a radio call-in from a Trump supporter who cites a fifty year record of accomplishment for his hero. Who knew how accomplished he was, even before he left college and inherited a huge fortune and successful business? He went on to say that he has created “a whole lot of jobs”, without differentiating how many were Americans as opposed to low paid foreign workers.

    its funny how people discount success if it had a bit of help starting… forgetting that business mishandled go under regardless of what you start, and that its the communists who claim money makes it easy..

    70% of lottery winners end up broke within seven years

    why arent all of them successful? i mean if a large pile of money makes it and you can buy a successful business, then they all should be instant powerful people with growing riches.. right?

    Shakespeare hit big for $30 million in 2006.. he met a woman, she convinced him to transfer wealth, and he disappeared a week after saying he wished he never won..

    Edwards won a $27 million jackpot in 2001 while unemployed in South Florida.he got a nice house, some horses, and so on… then went back to his cocaine addiction with his wife, and that was that, he nded up living in a storage unit surrounded by human feces

    Jeffrey Dampier won $20 million in the Illinois lottery, he helped his family, but it wasnt enough. they kidnapped him and put a bullet in the back of his head.

    Jack Whittaker of West Virginia was already worth around $17 million when he won a $315 million multi-state Powerball jackpot back in 2002

    he is a real sad case… started a charity, was arrested, a woman falsely claimed he grabbed her ass, he set up an allowance for his grand daughter, who ended up dying of drug overdose with her boyfriend that died the same way, his daughter also died of unknown causes.

    his wife and he to this day say they should have torn the ticket up..

    i learned this from the social deb i dated and some other very wealthy people. most people dont have self control that they think they do. a lump of money, more often leads to excess, loss and a worse place as one quits the job they had and thats that.

    so this cheesy idea that he had it easy cause there was a lump sum of money given him is a crock. in fact, usually the kids of the wealthy lose the money not increase it. trump increased it.

    as far as how many people did he employ..
    30,000

    currently… as far as who his people way below him hired or not, well that depends on the law, the economics, etc… all your doing is faulting him for doing what he had to do to earn and keep the money, and not faulting the peopel that created the situation where that is the fact of life you have to live with WHICH IS WHAT TRUMP COMPLAINS ABOUT

    First of all, low paid foreign workers would not be h1b visas, my job is hiring them at 110,000 a year… so i dont know which low paid workers your talking about. illegal aliens? well in nyc, if you dont pay the illegals the current rate you get sued for millions you cheated them out of, just ask the restaurants paying a milloin to workers they hired and took tips from.

    Job protections extend to immigrants using false ID, court rules

    What Are the Penalties for Hiring an Illegal Immigrant?
    Criminal and civil fines
    Loss of business licenses

    Most fines are broken down to the following:

    First offenders can be fined $250-$2,000 per illegal employee.
    For a second offense, the fine is $2,000-$5,000 per illegal employee.
    Three or more offenses can cost an employer $3000-$10,000 per illegal employee. A pattern of knowingly employing illegal immigrants can mean extra fines and up to six months in jail for an employer.

    you have a billion dollar empire and your going to risk it all to hire illegals… right? and why didnt those guys sue him?

    its real easy to argue in ignorance to others who are ignorant of the rules that are driving the business people. much like the law in the south that forced blacks to the back of the bus, it was the bus driving company that got in trouble for following the law, not the politician who made the law.

    but lets get the facts right
    The Trump Organization LLC
    a privately owned multinational conglomerate

    515 subsidiaries and entities with 264 of them bearing Trump’s name and another 54 including his initials

    real estate, construction, hospitality, entertainment, book and magazine publishing, media, model management, retail, financial services, board game development, food and beverages, business education, online travel, airlines, helicopter air services and beauty pageants, it owns a New York television production company

    [so which has the illegal aliens and such, the board game development company or one construction site that was resolved?]

    he company engages in retailing providing fashion apparel, home furnishings, jewelry and accessories, books, chocolate bars, furniture, lighting products, bath textiles and accessories, bedding and home fragrance products, small leather goods, crystal stemware, barware and gifts, and bottled spring water

    and a whole lot more..
    you let me know if you get some money you can run all that and not lose it. football players lose it, lottery lose it, most lose it!!!!!!!!

    there is so much he is working on at once in so many countries i cant even begin to list it…

    and his father left him what?

  19. Artfldgrs Says:

    how he started

    In 1885, at age 16, Trump emigrated to the United States aboard the steamship S.S. Eider, departing from Bremen, Germany, and arriving at the Castle Garden Emigrant Landing Depot in New York City on October 19. U.S. immigration records list his name as “Friedrich Trumpf”, last place of residence as “Kallstadt,” country of birth as “Germany,” and his occupation as “farmer”. In New York, he worked as a barber for six years

    deleting tons of stuff about working here or there and building up a tiny start but a good one.

    Trump died of pneumonia during the 1918 flu pandemic. He was 49 years old. At the time of his death, he was beginning to invest in real estate development in Queens; his wife and his son Fred continued his real estate projects under the Elizabeth Trump & Son moniker. (below you read he left them the equivalent of $492,016, and elizabeth below built it up)

    and why does trump like and respect strong women but not feminists? well read on, as it was the woman who took over that start!!!!

    Elizabeth Christ Trump, grandmother of Donald Trump, founded Elizabeth Trump & son in 1923 with her son Fred Trump who was 18 at the time

    Elizabeth and her husband Frederick Trump had moved to the borough of Queens, NY in 1906 where her husband began developing real estate. In 1918, however, he died of influenza leaving an estate valued at $31,359 ($492,016 in 2016 dollars)

    Elizabeth had a “remarkable talent” or keeping the real estate business going after her husband’s death. She had a local contractor build houses on an empty piece of property they owned, sold the houses, and lived off the mortgages paid by the new owners. Her vision was to have her three children continue the family business when they finished school, but her middle son Fred, wanted to start earlier. She founded the company “Elizabeth Trump & Son” to give him his start. Since he was under age, she signed all legal documents. Fred became quite successful with the business but Elizabeth remain involved throughout her life. Even in her 70’s she would collect coins from the laundromats in Trump buildings

    Donald Trump worked for Elizabeth Trump & Son while attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1968 officially joined the company..

    Donald Trump worked for Elizabeth Trump & Son while attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1968 officially joined the company and renamed it Trump Enterprises LLC in August 1999 before changing it to Trump Organization LLC in November 1999

    so all your doing is actually belittling a classic american success story… but did you know that?

    here is his grandfathers horrible story of evil and political avarice:

    and built up the empire from that..

    its a remarkable read and why people who actually took the time to know him respect him and his family, while people who dont belittle some simpleton story of how his success dont count cause he inherited money… [you dont say that about Lots of others we admire… why?]

  20. Oldflyer Says:

    mr dgr deliberately misconstrues. The point is that the Trump supporter clearly embellished and exaggerated Trump’s story . Isn’t that typical? He was not a big success at 19; in fact what we know at that point is that he left his first private school involuntarily, and was helped into an elite University by his father’s connection. He had not even entered his father’s bsiness at that point.

    Trump’s ancestors are not running for President. Many of us could point to compelling stories, while understanding that it is only what we do that matters. BTW, the only question regarding how much he inherited, was how many hundreds of millions.

    Well, Waidmann you just defined what bothers most people–beyond the relatively small percentage who actually vote for Trump–and bothers us about his supporters. We do not, I emphasize do not, want a dictatorship of any kind; and we do not concede that it is inevitable. Thanks for clarifying though.

  21. blert Says:

    Trump simply does not profile like el Duce or Burlesque.

    The man profiles like Andrew Jackson — it’s uncanny.

    Hillary profiles like Josef Stalin — not Adolf Hitler.

    1) Terrible speaker… stiff… mechanical… doctrinal.

    2) Vengeance obsessed… to the absurd.

    3) Policy wonk… a behind-the-scenes player.

    4) Strangely uncreative… while acknowledged to be ‘bright.’

    5) Strained, bizarre private sex life… to be hidden from view.

    6) Out to re-make everything in sight.

    7) Not a self-limiting personality.

    8) Petty and nasty… treats aides like furniture.

    9) LONG track record of astoundingly poor judgment… gets all Big Decisions entirely wrong… is bailed out by others.

    { Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq — they are Hillary’s babies. }

    { WWII in Europe — launched by the writ of Josef Stalin. }

    10) Does not attract consensus — so opposition is eliminated // subverted. ( which see: Bernie Sanders. )

    11) A strong touch of “Willy Lohman” — needing to be “well liked” — or else !

    &&&&&&&&&

    The problem child in this primary is KASICH.

    Sheesh.

    There’s a REAL head case.

    He’s the spoiler for Trump.

    If ‘change’ is the virus, Kasich is the ‘antibody.’

    No-one enthused with Trump is ever going to be ‘turned’ by argument.

    That’s a thinking man’s game.

    Half the population works the Big Decisions based upon ‘gut feel.’

    That’s Trump’s base.

    See Myers-Briggs typing for more on innate traits.

    The not-Trump folks voting for Kasich are invested in not-change.

    Whereas the direction Barry has taken America absolutely requires Big Change.

  22. Matt_SE Says:

    K-E Says:

    Trump made an incredibly good speech at AIPAC.
    Trump read a good speech, written by somebody else at AIPAC. That’s the same qualifications that Obama has.

  23. Matt_SE Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    We do not, I emphasize do not, want a dictatorship of any kind; and we do not concede that it is inevitable. Thanks for clarifying though.

    As I said before: one of the common traits of Trump supporters is cynicism bordering on nihilism. Many Trump supporters have given up.
    Personally, I don’t want to hand the wheel to someone who’s suicidal.

  24. blert Says:

    Matt_SE Says:
    March 25th, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    K-E Says:

    Trump made an incredibly good speech at AIPAC.
    Trump read a good speech, written by somebody else at AIPAC. That’s the same qualifications that Obama has.

    &&&

    Not quite.

    With Barry you get terrible policies couched in B.S. and spin.

    What you’re seeing with Donald is the pragmatic man.

    He’ll end up staffing out the vast bulk of his ‘ideas.’

    Barry is the opposite. Nothing shifts him from ‘his ideas.’

    He’s anti-pragmatic in the extreme — ie an ideologue.

    Hillary is of Barry’s bent, too. I give you Hillarycare.

    She is — at this time — claiming credit for the fiasco that is 0-care — mentioning on the stump that it’s nothing but a knock-off of Hillarycare.

    &&&&&&&

    The emoters are not going to leave Trump’s train.

    The only votes up for grabs are those not-Trump votes that Kasich is bleeding off.

    Taking Ted Cruz off of policy and into mud wrestling — is a brilliant counter thrust by Trump.

    The correct parry was to blow Trump off.

    ALL defense for Heidi should’ve come from surrogates.

    With Carly Fiorina leading the pack.

    Duh.

    Ted needs to stay ‘on mission’ and not get in the slop.

    His PRIMARY target has to be Kasich’s policy suite.

    Kasich is a terrible speaker at the lectern. So get him there.

  25. Waidmann Says:

    I should probably clarify.

    I am not a Trump supporter in the usual sense. I voted in the Michigan primary on March 8th for Cruz, not Trump. I still hope Cruz wins the nomination. If he doesn’t, I will pull the lever for Trump in November without hesitation.

    However, that said, even if Cruz wins the election and becomes POTUS, I don’t think he can stop the country from continuing in its leftward direction. The Christian virtue necessary for our Republic to function is simply not here. I’ve heard many times that Obama is simply a symptom, not a cause of our decline. I believe that to be true. If so, we are past the tipping point.

    I don’t hope for a dictator, but I will reiterate, if we must have one, we can survive any one except a Muslim one. No nation (that I’m aware of from my study of History), has ever become anything other than a s***hole after Islamic law is established, and no nation that has become Islamic has ever thrown off the yoke on their own. (Spain doesn’t count–they were never fully conquered.)

    IMHO, natch.

    Waidmann

  26. Japan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain
    Agreed

  27. Japan Says:

    K-E Says:

    Trump made an incredibly good speech at AIPAC.

    But not all see it as you, K-E:

    As a rabbi of an Orthodox congregation in Washington, I am a strong supporter of Israel and of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which lobbies on its behalf here. For more than a decade, I’ve traveled to Israel at least once a year, and I’ve been to many AIPAC events over my 17 years as a rabbi

    Before Trump’s speech, I asked other attendees at the AIPAC conference whether they would walk out to protest. Some small groups did leave, to study Torah elsewhere during his address. But most stayed, and many applauded. People told me that they wanted to hear what he had to say. They wanted to hear whether he would be supportive of Israel.

    On Wednesday evening, we Jews will read the Book of Esther as part of our celebration of the holiday of Purim.

    As I sat in the Verizon Center and watched Trump ascend to speak, I thought of my children, and I drew inspiration from the Purim story. Like Mordechai, we Jews must not bow down and kneel to a man who inspires hatred. We will not overlook his calls for violence.

  28. Frog Says:

    Will someone compare Obama to Berlusconi?
    A case can be made.
    I am too tired.

  29. blert Says:

    Trump and HRCGS aren’t even in the same ball park.

    Muslims are an extinction threat to world Jewry – and this rabbi has concerns about the fellow that’s decrying the global jihad ?

    As for supplication, … the fellow really needs to get a grip.

    It’s hard for the high IQ set to accept — we are out numbered.

    As Barry evidences, you make it to the Oval Office by swaying the LIV.

    All of this crass politicking is doing exactly that.

    It’s not as if we have not seen this stuff before.

    It’s a mistake for Cruz to go ‘down market’ and thrash in the mud with Trump.

    Trump lacks credibility among the thinking set.

    He’s DELIBERATELY attacking Cruz’s credibility by way of Heidi.

    Her C.V. is contrary to Ted’s campaign message.

    As for putting Mrs. Trump out in the spot light — it’s coming off as a false-flag attack.

    For it’s a very flattering photo.

  30. Japan Says:

    blert
    not again same phobia…

    growup

  31. Matt_SE Says:

    blert Says:

    He’ll end up staffing out the vast bulk of his ‘ideas.’

    I don’t see that, blert. What I see is a vain, insecure man whose ego won’t be able to take being upstaged…just like Obama. Sure, his business instincts would like to override that, but they’ll fail.

    IMO, this surrounding himself with yes-men can already be seen.

  32. Beverly Says:

    Hillary is still the Worst Option. Apart from Bernoid Sanders, Communist.

    All this means is that, if it plays out as you fear, we’re doubly hosed.

    But what the hey. Comrade Hussein just told the South Americans that Communism/capitalism, it’s all the same, dude! just do what you feel! but yeah, Communist Cuba is da bomb, baby.

  33. Beverly Says:

    I know you all see the bitter irony of the people who make the most noise about slavery being among those most eager to embrace the new slavery: serfdom to the Superstate.

  34. geokstr Says:

    blert Says:
    “As Barry evidences, you make it to the Oval Office by swaying the LIV.”

    If “buy off” is an acceptable definition of “sway”, then yes, definitely.

    A long time ago, I saw an analysis that over 70% of the delegates to the 1972 Democrat convention got most or all of their income from government: government employees/retirees/contractors/suppliers, teachers, grant/subsidies recipients, professors, et al. It has to be a lot worse now.

    “Sway” many more tens of millions of beneficiaries of taxpayer income transfers, LIV or not: the myriad hydra-headed forms of welfare, refundable tax credits, Medicaid, Social Security, SSI, business subsidies, grants, the recipients of the 100 billion in annual fraud from all the above, et al, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, and toss in the career criminals. Soon you have a majority that knows at least one gem of knowledge – you can vote yourself benefits from the public treasury.

    Did you know that in the 12 months prior to the 2012 election, in the key swing state of Ohio, over one million Obamaphones were distributed, usually without an application or income requirements, just stick out your hand?

    Our side says the way to freedom and prosperity for all is for everyone to work hard, delay gratification, and keep your pants zipped or your knees pressed together until you’re ready to accept responsibility. The other guys say screw that hard work crap, if it feels good do it in the road, and we’ll mitigate all the bad consequences of your own stupidity and shortsightedness

    How are you supposed to compete against that, especially when they control the entire socialization and indoctrination process for each succeeding new generation?

  35. Ed (from Ypsilanti) Bonderenka Says:

    Geokster. That’s depressing.

  36. Dennis Says:

    Japan Says at 12:38 am
    “blert
    not again same phobia…
    growup”

    I could see that one coming from a mile away. Japan does not have any positive defense of Islam so he resorts to the only alternative left – ad hominem attacks.

  37. Cornflour Says:

    Back on December 31st, in a comment (http://tinyurl.com/h5bmtst) to one of Neo’s posts, I compared Trump to Berlusconi, so of course I’m going to be sympathetic to an article that does the same thing.

    I doubt that anyone’s too interested, but here’s what I wrote:

    “The Italian economist Luigi Zingales, who for many years has worked at the University of Chicago, recently compared Trump to Silvio Berlusconi, who was Italy’s Prime Minister four times between 1994 and 2011.
    (This was in an interview of Zingales by the economist Tyler Cowen. YouTube link is http://tinyurl.com/zv3r9e7)

    Berlusconi is a media tycoon; Trump a real estate, gambling, and media tycoon. Both like to proclaim the virtues of free enterprise, but neither practice it. Both epitomize crony capitalism and the importance of having government connections. Berlusconi integrated personal, business, and government corruption. As president, Trump would do the same, but on a much larger scale.

    We already know about Hillary Clinton’s propensity for corruption, so it seems inevitable that we’ll be entering an era of extraordinary — possibly unprecedented — corruption.

    The question is how long will it last, and how will the reaction take shape.”

    I suspect that quoting oneself from an old blog comment is a sure sign of senility, but setting that aside, I’ll stand by my concluding remark that we’re headed for a presidential administration plagued by corruption so extraordinary that even a compliant mainstream media won’t be able to cover it up. I expect to feel like a rubber-necker driving by a wreck, unable to look away. How will all the other rubber-neckers react? Will voters demand a purge? Or will this be the start of an era of great corruption and great voter cynicism?

  38. Yancey Ward Says:

    Twenty years of Italy as a joke on the international stage starts there.

    Well, no. Italy was already a joke on the international stage. Nothing changed with Berlusconi.

  39. neo-neocon Says:

    Yancey Ward:

    I noticed that, too–certainly can’t blame it all on Berlusconi.

  40. GRA Says:

    @Oldflyer: I believe it’s partially due to the American populist being intellectually lazy. I’ve tried to shrug off the “all they care about is football, their unions and the American flag” talk and I’m starting to think that exasperation might have a strong point. My parents live on a block that has multiple “Proud Union Mom” or whatever signs and they aren’t going to vote for an (R). In fact, I’ve met a number of union guys who support Sanders because they find common ground against the esoteric 1%. I doubt have know who Jindal is. They probably know Walker for his union busting and Jeb because he’s a Bush. They aren’t policy nerds like many here.

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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