October 27th, 2016

Trump and Clinton: policy and character

Yesterday Trump outlined a policy to help black Americans. Here’s his speech on the subject.

Too bad few people are listening. And, as I’ve said before, they’re not listening because Trump is not trusted. And not just not trusted by black Americans—not trusted by a broad swathe of people in this country.

You might say that Hillary Clinton isn’t trusted, either. And why should she be? However, she is certainly trusted in one sense: to continue the liberal/left policies of the Democratic Party.

And a great many people are quite happy indeed with those policies. Trump needed to win the trust of most of those who aren’t happy with them, and so far he hasn’t. And he has pretty much run out of time.

Also, for small government conservatives, this sort of statement of Trump’s doesn’t sit well at all (from his speech yesterday):

If I’m President, and the executives at Ford Motor Company announce they are moving their plants and jobs to Mexico, I will pick up the phone and make a simple call. I will tell those executives that if they move their factories to Mexico, I will put a 35% tax on their product before they ship it back into the United States. We won’t let your jobs be stolen from you anymore.

As a capitalist and businessman, Trump certainly knows why those jobs have been “stolen” (which of course is the demagogic word for it). He also knows—or should know—that he can’t just make a “simple call” and pass a tariff like that, although presidents are given a lot of tariff power:

When it comes to aggressively raising tariffs, however, his proposals appear to be unique within the 2016 field in either party.

There’s not a lot of detail to Trump’s suggestions, making them hard to fully evaluate, but trade experts from across the political spectrum warn that most of his threatened tariffs would violate decades of binding trade deals negotiated by previous administrations and agreed to by previous Congresses.

“That 20% tax would be an absolutely straightforward violation of probably every trade law the United States has with any other country,” Joshua Meltzer, a fellow in global economy and development at the Brookings Institution, told msnbc.

“All of our existing agreements lock us into lower tariffs,” Claude Barfield, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who supports lowered trade barriers, told msnbc.

“Absolutely illegal,” Robert E. Scott, director of trade and manufacturing research at the Economic Policy Institute and a strong critic of past trade agreements like NAFTA, told msnbc when asked about Trump’s 20% import tax.

Trump’s tariff obsession harkens back to the partisan politics of the 19th and early 20th century, when Republicans championed high tariffs in order to protect business from competition while Democrats argued the tariffs punished the working class by raising prices. This split was one of the fundamental divides between the parties until after World War II, when the U.S. led international talks to lower tariffs around the world that had been widely blamed for worsening the Great Depression.

When Trump described something similar in an interview last July, here’s how it went:

Todd asked Trump to elaborate on his promise to punish US companies that move factories to countries like Mexico. Trump used one of his favorite examples: Carrier, the air-conditioner manufacturer that moved a plant from Indiana to Mexico.

“There will be a tax to be paid. If they’re going to fire all their people, move their plant to Mexico, build air conditioners, and think they’re going to sell those air conditioners to the United States, there’s going to be a tax.”

“What kind of tax are you thinking?” Todd asked.

“It could be 25 percent. It could be 35 percent. It could be 15 percent. I haven’t determined. And it could be different for different companies. We have been working on trying to stop this…because we don’t know what we’re doing.”

Todd did not raise the objection that selective application of taxes to products sold by different businesses opens the door wide to abusive enforcement. However, he did point out that the targeting of individual companies wouldn’t make it through the World Trade Organization. But Trump waved him off. “It doesn’t matter. Then we’re going to renegotiate or we’re going to pull out. These trade deals are a disaster, Chuck. World Trade Organization is a disaster.”

This is the problem that a person who tries to seriously evaluate many of Trump’s proposals faces: Trump doesn’t sound as though he’s really thought things through or is aware of the details. Sometimes I think it doesn’t sound as though he even cares about whether things he proposes will work or not. Mexico paying for the wall was the first thing that got attention in that respect, but there have been many many others.

All of that, in turn, keep driving the conversation back to “character.” Who is this Trump person, and why is he running for president, and what might he actually do, and is there any reality to the promises he makes?

Many people who cannot stand Hillary Clinton are voting for Trump in desperation (I may even end up being one of them, but I really don’t know). But many people are not willing to roll the dice that wildly, and all the arguments to tell them they should do so ring hollow to them.

Here’s the sort of thing I’m talking about:

When Luntz’s focus-group participants are asked what they think is wrong with the country, he said they always have an answer, and it’s usually a “very deep, very emotional, very personal” one. “Often, we’ll have women and men almost in tears” when talking about issues like the depletion of manufacturing jobs and unemployment in general, their feelings of a lost sense of security or their concerns about police.”

“Trump spoke to those people,” he said. “This candidate tapped into something unique [but] has absolutely lost his focus.”

The problem with Trump’s campaign, Luntz argued, “is that it’s become too much about him and not about the people he represents.”…

Trump has proceeded to alienate the people who helped him get the nomination by spending time attacking the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, decades-old allegations against former President Bill Clinton and the opening of his new hotel in Washington, D.C.

“Every day there’s another batch of emails, and every day we learn more about what she has done,” Luntz said. “No one knows about it because he speaks so loudly that all the cameras are on him, removing the oxygen in the room that should also be about her,” he added.

“It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear,” he said. “It’s not how loudly you speak — and he speaks way too loudly — but what people learn from what you say. And people don’t learn anything from Donald Trump.”

To test this theory, Luntz said he recently presented news reports on Clinton’s emails to a focus group, “and it changed an entire room of undecided voters.” But once he showed the group Trump’s own attacks against Clinton over her emails, Luntz said, “They all went back to being undecided.”

He added, “Not only did he not win them over, he actually turned them off because his language is wrong, his presentation is wrong.”

You can complain all you want about how the discussion lately has been too much about character rather than policy. But there’s a reason for that. To care what a candidate says about policy, you have to trust that the candidate means what he or she says and is not just conning you. You have to trust in the candidate’s basic stability and seriousness.

Right or wrong, too many people don’t trust that about Trump, and he has done little or nothing to convince them otherwise. And that’s true of many people who would otherwise be inclined to agree with many of his policy recommendations. For those who agree with Clinton’s policies, they certainly do trust her—to be ruthless in implementing them, and to have a full grasp of the details of them.

Therein lies one big difference, and that difference helps give Clinton her edge in this election.

116 Responses to “Trump and Clinton: policy and character”

  1. Big Maq Says:

    “Trump’s campaign is an absolute joke!”

  2. Big Maq Says:

    If Luntz is correct on some of his data points – one must scratch their head and wonder just what does trump want, it is do badly run?

  3. Big Maq Says:

    I’ve met high level executives who were like trump, but none were as incompetent at getting things done, nor at explaining things with some credibility.

    Anyway, no need to dog pile further as we now tragically see what was, for many, an evident concern early on.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Since it’s one or the other…

    The point is not whether Trump can be trusted.

    The point is that Clinton can be trusted.

    And that is why Trump’s trustworthiness is not the determinative factor.

    To decide that Trump’s untrustworthiness is the determinitive factor is to also accept the consequence; President Hillary Rodham Clinton, 25 million new “undocumented” democrats, a dominant liberal/leftist Supreme Court and a continuation of our slide into the collective. We will become a Europe without borders with hate speech laws and a censored internet. A gutted bill of rights and only lip service to an ignored Constitution.

    And all of that will just be the beginning, the doorway into 1984.

    Nor will it matter whether Trump might well have proven disastrous. Since in choosing Hillary, Americans choose the certainty of the tyranny of the collective, rather than risk chaos.

  5. sdferr Says:

    Let us cast our minds back to March 30, 2016 when neo-neocon wrote the following blog entry: Trump’s liberal instincts.

    Neo-neocon provided there a transcript of this video exchange (in Milwaukee, no less! What a shock that Trump would be said by Frank Luntz to be completely lost in Wisconsin!), as well as commentary on the substance of Trump’s remarks.

    Set free by an open-ended question Trump does Trump, and actually does teach us a great deal, I think.

    He teaches that his first resort in light of a fundamental question of the sort “In your opinion, what are the top three functions of government?” isn’t to think first of the tripartite form of the US Constitution and seek an answer there; nor even to consult his memory as to the first three executive cabinet officers appointed when the republic was new and George Washington and the rest of the framers had to flesh the new republic out in deeds.


    He couldn’t possibly. He is far too free and self-possessed a man, far too self-starting, as well as far too New York a democrat for such a touchstone as that — to consult the nation’s framing document or precedent setting actions. Such fusty business, such old, irrelevant business.

  6. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    The CEO of Ford and the UAW heads provided detailed responses to Trump and the media on their moves in USA and Mexico. They explained how total US jobs would increase with new SUV and Truck production in US and money losing small cars sent to mexico.

    Trump has not changed his stock speech on this at all. It’s another example of how he cannot learn and adapt as he goes. His memes seem set in the 1970s rather than 2016. He keeps talking rustbelt issues even after much of the rustbelt has recovered and grown. Michigan and Ohio autoworkers are very informed on all these issues. By showing he couldn’t spare a minute to get the facts he also spreads distrust among those who should be receptive.

    The guy has never had to answer to anyone in his life except his dad. It shows.

  7. neo-neocon Says:


    But Trump’s trustworthiness IS the determining factor for a lot of people, and I’ve explained why many times.

    You don’t have to accept it. But just stating your case does not make it true. It is true that for many people, Trump’s trustworthiness matters, a lot, and determines even whether they trust him on policy.

  8. Ann Says:

    Geoffrey Britain: Asking people to risk chaos is a pretty tall order, don’t you think?

  9. Brian E Says:

    Thanks Neo.
    Currency manipulation.
    “Politicians often decry currency manipulation in campaign speeches, congressional committee meetings, and debates to prove to constituents that they will be tough on countries trying to cheat the free market. 51 The media has given particular prominence in recent years to China’s currency manipulation, which began concurrently with China’s admission to the WTO. 52 At different times, China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), 53 has seen many different policy regimes; it has been pegged to the dollar, allowed to float, and intentionally devalued by the Chinese government. 54 Through all of that oscillation, the net result is that the Chinese currency has been, and currently still is, undervalued against the dollar compared to what it would be if left to market forces. 55 The years 2000 to 2010 saw China accumulating currency account surpluses of $1.8 trillion, while the United States accumulated global trade deficits of $7.6 trillion. 56 While a significant amount of those trade imbalances are likely due to China’s economy growing rapidly and the United States acting as a “consumer of last resort,” 57 currency manipulation has likely played a role.

    Currency manipulation has serious effects on the global market. Around the globe, currency manipulation is possibly responsible for millions of jobs lost in the United States and a smaller, but still significant, number of jobs lost in Europe. 58 A large volume of literature illustrates the issue, particularly with respect to China manipulating its currency in the past, as well as in the frame of the current international economic environment. 59 Scholars have proposed several solutions. Some have argued that new international institutions are necessary to solve the problems associated with currency manipulation. 60 Others have argued that China has consciously and flamboyantly disregarded the WTO, rendering any relief through that body unlikely and possibly threatening the overall legitimacy of the WTO. 61 Some have argued that the United States must act unilaterally to put pressure on China due to the lack of effective multilateral resolutions. 62 With such a wide array of views on the issue, the only common theme is that China manipulating its currency is a problem that demands a remedy.”

    Trump is right on this. Currency fluctuations has a large impact on a companies competitiveness. Manipulation favors one side.

    As to tariffs, China is imposing tariffs on imported goods in violation of WTO as we speak. Other countries are more subtle, but the net effect is protectionism.

  10. Brian E Says:

    “FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
    SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
    THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator
    FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately
    FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
    SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward
    SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure” –Contract with the American Voter

    Here’s his 100 day plan to begin addressing some of the economic headwinds we’ve faced.
    Since you’ve raised the issue of tariffs, how free is trade? And who has benefited from NAFTA?

  11. OM Says:


    Does the Fed manipulate currency? Think long and hard about that.

  12. Brian E Says:

    “Obviously, it no longer makes “sense” to invest in small car production in America. Most of the news surrounding the move to Mexico addressed the benefit of low-cost labor. According to the Detroit Free Press: “The industry has known for decades that domestic manufacturers struggle to make a profit on small cars.” In Slate’s MoneyBox blog, Jordan Weissmann says: “You can protest that Ford should find a way to consistently churn out profits while manufacturing small cars at home, but that’s easier said than done.”

    The number of auto jobs in Mexico is up 40 percent from 2008, while they are only up in the U.S. by 15 percent over the same period. Reuters reports: “American automakers pay Mexican workers $8 to 10 an hour, including benefits.” By comparison, Ford’s labor costs average $57 per hour at home.

    Even with the huge labor cost differential, American car companies’ trucks and SUVs are profitable to manufacture in the U.S. and they are the vehicles Americans want to buy—which should raise the question: Why do car companies make small cars when they can’t make them profitably? The answer is the story not being addressed in the current coverage of Ford. And this is where Trump could, possibly, change the outcome.

    In a free-market world, companies that want to stay in business should stop activities that lose money and focus on those that make money. Yet, the big three automakers, continue to produce small cars that for years have made little, if any, money.

    Business Insider explains: “If Ford is going to keep them around, it needs to address the profit problem. Americans don’t want to buy small vehicles at the moment (actually, they almost never want to buy small cars), so Ford’s only rationale for continuing to build them is to satisfy the more stringent fuel-economy standards in the future.” Those fuel standards are called CAFE—which stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy. In short, it means that car companies can only sell the bigger vehicles that Americans want, if it also produces cars that achieve very high fuel efficiency (including electric vehicles, in which Ford is investing heavily) that results in an “average” of the mandated miles per gallon—which is now 54.5 by 2025.

    Merrill Matthews, Ph.D., a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, blames the Ford move on, along with other draconian government policies, the CAFE standards: “The CAFE standards, which began in 1975, require auto manufacturers to meet government-imposed fuel economy standards across a fleet of cars. In order to meet those standards, which have been dramatically increased under President Obama, carmakers have to make light, inexpensive cars with high fuel economy to offset their trucks and SUVs with lower fuel economy. And electric cars really help their fuel economy balance. So the companies make minimally or even unprofitable small cars and electric vehicles so they can sell their popular and profitable large products—and hope for a profit in the end. By moving their small cars to Mexico, which has skilled but cheaper labor, Ford hopes to break even or make a little profit off of them.”

    While the CAFE standards have increased dramatically under the Obama administration, and have also increased costs for consumers, most people don’t realize that they are not set in stone. Brad Plumer, senior editor for VOX.com outlines the options: “A new president can revise them, up or down. These CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) rules are scheduled to come up for a midterm review in 2017. At that point, automakers may lobby to allow the standards to rise more slowly—particularly if sales of fuel-efficient vehicles have been sluggish due to low oil prices. Green groups, meanwhile, could push to make the standards stricter, or to have them keep increasing past 2025, to push vehicle emissions down even further.”

    A President Trump could, perhaps, by promising to allow car companies to make whatever kind of cars they want to make, entice Ford to keep its money in America—though, admittedly, there are other factors (such as trade deals) that make manufacturing small cars attractive in Mexico. CAFE is just one of the many policies that make doing business difficult in America.”

    It is estimated that we have lost 700,000 manufacturing jobs as a result of NAFTA since it has implemented in 1993. I supported NAFTA then, since I thought the claim that it would reduce illegal immigration if moving American jobs to Mexico would help create a middle class. But that hasn’t been the case. At some point we need to re-evaluate whether it makes sense. Whether or not Trump or his administration can unilaterally raise tariffs or whether or not it requires congressional approval, it seems that we should look at the benefit.
    Our trade deficit with Mexico is around $74 billion dollars. Ideally free and fair trade should result in close to balance.

    By the way, we’ve imposed a 300% tariff on imported Chinese steel, due to dumping.

  13. Brian E Says:

    “Does the Fed manipulate currency? Think long and hard about that.” -OM

    Here’s what the Fed says on that subject:

    “Many economic policies (e.g., monetary policy, such as the recent U.S. quantitative easing) affect interest rates, prices, and exchange rates but are not considered currency
    manipulation because such changes are made primarily for domestic purposes and have only modest and transitory effects on real exchange rates.
    In contrast to such internally focused policies, many emerging economies have closely managed exchange rates to assist export-led growth strategies. The People’s
    Bank of China (PBC, the central bank of China) has prevented rapid appreciation of the renminbi (RMB) by purchasing U.S. dollar (USD) assets (i.e., selling their own
    currency, the RMB) and prohibiting most international
    purchases of RMB assets (capital controls). In addition,
    the PBC uses reserve requirements to restrain domestic
    inflation that would produce real appreciation. China could
    argue that a stable RMB benefits China and the world economy.
    But because this [Chinese] exchange rate policy is externally focused and relies heavily on regulations, which restrain normal market forces, it is reasonable to say
    that the policy constitutes currency manipulation for purposes of gaining an advantage in trade. But because this exchange rate policy is externally focused and relies heavily on regulations, which restrain normal market forces, it is reasonable to say that the policy constitutes currency manipulation for purposes of gaining an advantage in trade.”
    The Difference Between Currency Manipulation
    and Monetary Policy
    Christopher J. Neely, Assistant Vice President and Economist

  14. expat Says:

    I read somewhere that Mexico also has better trade deals with other countries that allow US manufacturers to sell their Mexican-made products abroad more cheaply. I haven’t checked this out, but it does suggest that the issue is rather complicated

  15. huxley Says:

    Geoffrey Britain: Asking people to risk chaos is a pretty tall order, don’t you think?

    Ann: Thanks for mentioning chaos, as I believe it is serious and apt concern for average citizens.

    Politics is long and complicated. Deciding who is more scandalous — Hillary and Trump — is too. But anyone can tell right off the bat that Trump will bring chaos.

    If you’re a tipping point guy like GB, then it’s worth voting Trump just on the possibility Trump might avert the tipping point.

    But if you don’t buy that, Trump is hard sell. Chaos is never a good thing for people just trying to keep their heads above water.

  16. Brian E Says:

    To directly answer your question, yes the Fed will support the currency over a short time, or devalue it. But this is not the same as China’s policy that’s been going on for years.

    I think one of the central questions concerning trade agreements we need to address is the trade deficit. This is a transfer of wealth outside the country. It’s been going on for a long time and has increased as a result of FTA’s.

    In fact, since the 1970’s the trade deficit approximately equals the national debt. Can this go on forever?

    The idea that we can sustain an economy with consumption and service industries is– well, nuts. We need a core of manufacturing jobs, these are semi-skilled jobs that traditionally bolstered the middle class. The jobs we’ve lost have been replaced by low skilled minimum wage jobs. Not a good trade.

    Just to show that the world is turning upside down, I’m actually linking to a paper by Public Citizen on the subject of Free Trade Agreements.


  17. OM Says:


    Qualitative easing for going on 8 years (?), re-monetizing the debt,….well yes the Feds do manipulate the currency.

  18. parker Says:


    Yes, the FR does manipulate, as do all central banks. Currency manipulation is a ‘soft’ tool of war. War (competition between nations) is waged on many fronts. Sometimes the war is not between nations, but a form of civil war. QE is civil war, that is perhaps described as class war, as it seeks to draw investment into equities rather than more traditional forms of wealth enhancement such as savings. Why save when interest rates make saving a losing proposition against the FR’s promotion of inflation?

  19. Ira Says:


    What do you call Congress passing a law having a key part, the Administration acting as if it is a different law by ignoring that key part of the law, and then SCOTUS interpreting that law so that the key part is treated as if it never existed? (See King v. Burwell, 135 S. Ct. 2480, 2496,192 L. Ed. 2d 483 (2015).

  20. Artfldgrs Says:

    Non-specific dairy products — 20% tariff on imports
    Most vegetables — 20% tariff
    Asparagus and sweet corn — 21.3% tariff
    Corsets and gloves — 23.5% tariff
    Wool clothes — 25% tariff
    Most auto parts — 25% tariff [this is why they put the car together then ship it]
    Commercial plateware — 28% tariff
    Synthetic outerwear — 28.2% tariff
    Apricot, cantaloupe, and dates — 29.8% tariff
    Garlic or onion powder — 29.8% tariff
    Clothes made of synthetic fabric — 32% tariff
    Brooms — 32% tariff
    Canned tuna — 35% tariff
    Chinese tires — 35% tariff
    Leather shoes — 37.5% tariff
    Decorative glassware — 38% tariff
    Japanese leather — 40% tariff
    Sneakers — 48% tariff
    Miscellaneous ship parts — 50% tariff
    European meats, truffles, and Roquefort cheese — 100% tariff
    French jam, chocolate, and ham — 100% tariff
    Shelled peanuts — 131.8% tariff
    Unshelled peanuts — 163.8% tariff
    Tobacco — 350% tariff
    Live Foxes — 4.8% tariff
    [from government website for tarriffs and there are tons of them dataweb.usitc.gov ]

    The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001
    About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation

    and the subsidies are even more interesting…

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spends $25 billion or more a year on subsidies for farm businesses

  21. OM Says:


    Thanks for making the point that Brian E (not “Fred,” sorry) should know, when fingers are pointed about other countries manipulating currencies (all countries try to do it).

  22. Beverly Says:


    For there to be a revolution there must first be a movement, and the movement must then find a leader or create one.

    The anti-Obama, anti-Liberal Democrat elite establishment Tea Party movement was crushed by the Republican Washington establishment, forcing the Tea Party and its supporters to look elsewhere for leaders, and they found that leader in Donald Trump.

    The descendants of the people who built this country are faced with having their country taken from them by the Democrat and Republican establishment and given to people who had no part in its history or construction. This is what is driving the populist movement, and this movement will not die if Trump is not elected.

    One half of the population is unaware or uncomprehending of the danger of unlimited third world immigration, and if the media were honest the people would be marching on Washington with pitchforks.

    The Washington elite, Democrat and Republican, is corrupt to the core, and has no interest in the welfare of the country beyond its benefit to themselves. This is why Trump scares the hell out of the Republican Washington establishment, who would much prefer a Clinton in the White House because she would keep the good times rolling for them, as opposed to the possible, but not at all certain, negative effect that a president Trump might have on the putrid corruption that is Washington. It is enough that Trump is an unknown quantity, and therefore a possible danger to their continued power and continued feeding at the public trough.

    The Obama administration has politicized and criminalized the Justice Department and the FBI, and neither will ever be trusted again. The Obama administration attempted to destroy the Little Sisters of the Poor because they would not surrender their religious faith to the Imperial class that demanded obedience.

    The Congressional Republicans have not lifted a finger in the past almost eight years to stop Obama from running the country off a cliff, and they have not lifted a finger to oppose him because they are all on the same team.

    Will Trump be able to divert the Potomac River to cleanse this Augean stable? We shall see, but ultimately it all comes down to pitchforks in the hands of irate, vengeful and patriotic citizens.

    The people with the pitchforks claim
    Corruption is thy middle name
    To be burnt out by torch and flame
    The Republic thus restored
    We have our man, his name is Trump
    And into baskets heads will thump
    The bodies to the city dump
    And death thy cold reward
    The people with the pitchforks know
    That slime filled swamps with offal flow
    If not cut down will only grow
    And now it’s to the sword

    –Walt Erickson, via the Belmont Club

  23. Brian E Says:

    “To care what a candidate says about policy, you have to trust that the candidate means what he or she says and is not just conning you. You have to trust in the candidate’s basic stability and seriousness.”- Neo-neocon

    So Hillary saying a politician needs a public position and a private position isn’t conning you? I think that is the definition.

    Look Trump’s qualities of speaking his mind, without parsing every phrase, poll-testing every sentence is why Trump got to where he is. It’s call authenticity. And it is a double edged sword. It means everything that can be considered a gaffe will be trumpeted as such. Why are politicians so careful in what they say and how they say it?

    Good or bad, it’s who he is.

  24. Brian E Says:

    Here’s one of Hillary’s plans:

    A 100-days jobs plan: Break through Washington gridlock to make the boldest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II. Hillary will fight to pass a plan in her first 100 days in office to invest in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and technology, clean energy, and small businesses. She will strengthen trade enforcement, and she’ll say no to trade deals like TPP that don’t meet a high enough bar of creating good-paying jobs. And she will make the U.S. the clean energy superpower of the world—with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term and enough clean, renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of her taking office.
    Do you actually believe she can do that? Won’t it take some help from the legislative branch? How authoritarian of her.

    Anybody want to guess what that would cost?

    And of course not to be outdone by Trump, she’s going to get tough on trade deals and say no to TPP– while in 2012 she was touting it as setting the gold standard of trade deals.

    But you find Trump untrustworthy?

  25. Brian E Says:

    I suppose most of you have seen this video, which compiles interviews by Donald Trump from 1980 to 2015.

    People like Oprah and Steve Forbes didn’t consider him unstable when they talked about the presidency with him.

    Forbes supports Trump for president by the way.


  26. Brian E Says:

    From the TaxFoundation:

    Effect of Trump’s tax plan:
    “According to our Taxes and Growth Model, the increased incentives to work and invest from this tax plan would increase the size of the economy by 11 percent over the long run. The plan would lead to 6.5 percent higher wages and a 29 percent larger capital stock. The larger economy is mainly the result of the significant reduction in the service price of capital due to the rate reductions for corporations and pass through businesses. In addition, the reduction of marginal tax rates on individual income would increase incentives to work and result in 5.3 million full-time equivalent jobs.”

    Hillary’s tax plan:

    “According to the Tax Foundation’s Taxes and Growth Model, Hillary Clinton’s tax plan would reduce the economy’s size by 1 percent in the long run. The plan would lead to 0.8 percent lower wages, a 2.8 percent smaller capital stock, and 311,000 fewer full-time equivalent jobs. The smaller economy results from somewhat higher marginal tax rates on capital and labor income.”

    Trump’s plan does add significantly to the national debt, according to the analysis.

  27. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    I fully understand why for many people, lack of trust in Trump is their determinate factor. Not only have you explained why many times but comments here frequently mention it.

    I was advancing a rationale as to why that thinking is logically flawed. It is flawed because its premise is unsupportable. That premise presumes that not opposing a proven liar, criminal and traitor (Iran) who literally dismisses mortal threats to the nation and actively works to enable those threats is safer than taking a chance on a man who despite his manifest flaws at least identifies the mortal threats that must be addressed if this nation is to survive.

    Trump MAY indeed be all we fear and we may not survive him.

    There is no uncertainty as to what Hillary will bring and it is folly to assume that we can survive a constantly advancing ‘progressive’ agenda. To assume that, if there is a tipping point, that surely it will not occur before it is too late. To assume that there will always be one more election where we can carry the day.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    Brian E:

    I’m not saying Hillary is trustworthy. Far from it.

    But she is perceived as trustworthy by most people in terms of advancing the liberal/left agenda for the most part. The nuances of her public vs. private positions are just that: nuances. They differences are not really such a big concern for most of her supporters.

    She has a very public and lengthy track record in politics that she can easily be judged by.

    Trump does not have any such record. And his record of utterances is all over the place, not just over time, but but even during this campaign.

    There is no comparison between the two candidates in that sense. She is relatively reliable on that score, and he is unknown and unreliable even in his remarks. A loose cannon. Uncertainty and chaos are not big sellers in the political realm, except to people who think nothing could be worse than Hillary.

  29. The Other Chuck Says:

    You have a list of tariffs from a website that requires access and a login. One particular tariff that you list is for leather shoes at 37.5%. If this is supposed to be the current tariff it is dead wrong. The tariff for shoes is 5%.
    What specifically are you quoting, and what is your point?

  30. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Yes, risking chaos is a tall order.

    Churchill pointed out the binary choice Britain and France faced when the ‘Sudetenland’ matter reached critical mass. The honorable choice risked war. Britain and France made the dishonorable choice to avoid war and Churchill declared that they had actually chosen war.

    So too with Trump and Clinton. Choosing Trump risks much, perhaps even war. Choosing Clinton guarantees war, both foreign and domestic. That path has no other end.

  31. The Other Chuck Says:

    Here is an informative page about the duty and cost of transport of shoes from China. It only costs $.75 per pair to ship them to the west coast. The tariff varies but my customers say their average is 5% to 10% depending on construction.

  32. parker Says:

    So authoritarian NYC progressive hrc is somehow more of an authoritarian NYC progressive than, PP does great things for women, djt who strongly indicates he seeks to rule by EOs? Pot kettle black. Hrc lies and is corrupt, djt lies and is corrupt. Hrc is deranged, djt is deranged. Please stop telling me there is a micron of difference, and we can not know how djt might rule (btw, I don’t want a ruler) but based on his past and his present statements that I am an idiot for not supporting djt.

    I have stated I will vote for the donald if Iowa’s meager 7 EC votes are a toss up. But the rest of your rationalizing is piss pretending to be rain. I am used to be rained on, being pissed on is not the same. If you want to receive respect, you must show respect. That is a kindergarten lesson the trumpians should have learned a long time ago. But being arrogant must have its own rewards in the mirror.

  33. parker Says:


    Obliquely comparing Winston with the donald is more than a bit of a stretch. Winston was a giant on the world stage, the donald is an imaginary giant in his own twisted mind.

  34. J.J. Says:

    From Brian E.: Hillary will, “Break through Washington gridlock to make the boldest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II.”

    Whenever you hear a politician say “INVEST” you need to ask exactly what they mean. Investing is the act of putting capital to work with the expectation of getting a reasonable return. It is a risky business and should only be done by people who are risking their own money. Done correctly it can produce good economic results for an economy of private enterprise.

    Progressives “INVEST” by taking taxpayer money and giving it to favored constituencies to buy their votes. There is no return to the citizens or economy, only for the politicians. Their policies of higher taxes, strict regulations, and efforts to redistribute wages and profits always lead to economic stagnation and even contraction.

    The way the government “creates” jobs is to create an environment (low taxes, fair regulation, private property laws enforced by courts, and sound money) in which businesses can thrive and grow. Progressives don’t understand this or, if they understand it, they recognize that it decreases their power and opportunities for graft.

    Speaking of graft, how about this:

    If Hillary wins, which I fully expect, the economy will continue to stagnate , if not deflate, and solar panel manufacturers will thrive, while oil/gas/coal companies will have a rough row to hoe. However, Ruger and Smith and Wesson should do well.

  35. Frog Says:

    There is El Zippo wrong with Trump’s suggestions to revisit, review, and modify or abandon old policies, e.g., trade, which have been in effect for decades. Decades which have seen the incremental creeping decline in the backbone of America, its middle class.
    It is really depressing to read Neo’s continuing, unflagging criticisms of The Donald, as if she were the NYT instead of a blog host(ess) who could amplify on the moral turpitude of the Clintons and what their return to the Presudency will hold for all of us.

  36. parker Says:


    Not much to say beyond you are not paying attention. How about bolt action rifles, no scope, loaded with only 5 rounds at 400 yards? Jusf kidding…..

    Sometimes I can understand and agree with your POV, other times from my POV it looks like you are not paying attention, but rather falling back on your ingrained experience… I do that too.

  37. huxley Says:

    It is really depressing to read Neo’s continuing, unflagging criticisms of The Donald, as if she were the NYT instead of a blog host(ess) who could amplify on the moral turpitude of the Clintons and what their return to the Presudency will hold for all of us.

    Frog: This is a flat dishonest criticism of neo. She has said plenty about how terrible Hillary is. It’s not her job to be a flack for Trump even if you think she should.

    Politics is complicated. Informed citizens of good will may nonetheless disagree.

    I notice not many strong Trump supporters either understsand this or care about it. It’s one of the reasons some criticize the Trump movement as fascist — as far as I am concerned, with reason.

    With Trump folks, you’re either for Hillary or against her and if you’re against her, get to the back of the Trump bus and keep in line.

  38. huxley Says:

    Frog: Further, neo and other non-Trumpers are perfectly clear about how dismal the prospects of a Hillary presidency are. That was a big reason we opposed Trump. He was the shortest, surest route to Hillary winning in 2016.

    It wasn’t hard to see early on Trump would be very weak in the general election.

    But Trump folks, early and late, supported him nonetheless. Woiuldn’t we have a better chance to defeat Hillary now if we had been able to dump Trump a month or more ago?

    It is too late now. Unless Hillary tears off her fake human mask on national television and reveals she is an alien reptile underneath, she will win in less than two weeks.

    And I am going to ask all the Trump people here why you didn’t do more to stop Hillary from winning, while you were browbeating the rest of us with the false binary choice.

  39. OM Says:

    Frog has jumped the shark again. This time it is to rail against Neo for not being a perky, cheerful, cheerleader for the Donald. Frog, this is “sad, sad, so sad” to quote THE DONALD.

  40. Bill Says:

    My message to all the pitchfork holders breathing threats – you don’t scare me. Put down your pitchforks, and learn how to win elections. It starts by nominating and promoting good people.

    And quit being victims. If you had kept your minds this election cycle rather than throwing a tantrum and nominating an amoral, authoritarian ignoramus, you might have had a chance to swing things back in a conservative direction.

  41. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Neo – I really think you’re being too harsh in your analysis of Trump.

    What I see in him is that his political philosophy is whatever is practical at the moment. He’s not an ideologue, he’s a businessman. His philosophy is whatever works to make things work.

    He’s a man who makes big decisions and hires people to work out the details for him. When he threatens to put a tariff on goods coming back from manufacturers that moved out of the country he doesn’t mean he will do an executive order (like Obama,) he means he will get it done by whatever means is appropriate and legal. That’s his history.

    I’m not surprised he was a democrat when they were in power. Businessmen join organizations all the time that they have no interest in, for purely business purposes. That’s not bad to me.

    When he talks about all the things of this election what I hear him saying is that he will solve the problems the way a businessman would. He gives examples of ways they might be solved but he really isn’t into details. People to handle the details are easy to hire.

    If you listen to him with those thoughts in mind you hear an entirely different Trump; one that isn’t unstable, wild, ignorant or venal.

    Try listening to any of his speeches from that perspective and see if he doesn’t sound different to you.

  42. sdferr Says:

    “His philosophy is whatever works to make things work.”

    Such a low view of a thing called philosophy won’t lead anyone to a better understanding of a thing called philosophy, if any such thing can possibly exist apart from the making-quite-nothing-of-it you’ve given yourself liberty to do here, Irv. Reconsider, perhaps, that Donald Trump is not remotely like a philosopher or practitioner of this non-existent entity you are pleased to posit.

    Rather, take only a bit smaller view of this now grown nasty entity, philosophy. Think how badly the corpse smells to the vast majority of people today: it seems far more probable that on balance Donald Trump — who is highly self-concerned — would want nothing at all to do with such a disfavored practice or way of life, insofar as he would have nothing to gain and much to lose of the respect of such people as think philosophy a vile thing, no? Yes.

    There’s no profit in it, to say nothing of a lack of honor.

  43. CW Says:

    I think you’re analysis of the situation is spot-on.

    I live in Texas and planned to vote this week but haven’t done so yet because the lines have been VERY long, much longer than in prior years. The same situation is being reported in many counties. I would have thought this election would discourage a lot of people from wanting to vote at all, but it seems voters are either enthusiastic about getting someone in or keeping someone out. Which one it is remains to be seen.

  44. Brian E Says:

    “Hillary’s College Free Tuition Plan Short on Details” – Wall St. Journal

    What? A politician floating a proposal, hoping to win votes because of it– without specifics of how it will be achieved and even leaves the NY Times skeptical!

    How dare she!

    “Clinton is bullish on renewable power, particularly solar. Her goals include increasing solar energy 700 percent by the end of her first term and producing enough electricity from renewable sources to power every American home within 10 years of taking office.

    How she plans on accomplishing this isn’t entirely clear…. “–Denver Post

    The article goes on to say it won’t happen either with a Democrat or Republican congress.

    Another pie in the sky proposal to fool voters into supporting her!

    I’ve watched the debacle in California for years as they’ve mandated first 20% and now 50% of energy from renewables in a set time period.

    The latest plan, recently released, is to build mega plants in scrub land. Guess what. The Federal EPA has said not so fast. California needs to reconsider. The EPA wants more reliance on distributed energy instead of concentrating energy production.

    The point is, the left can’t even agree on how they’re going to do the impossible in one state, let alone the entire nation.

    Oh, and they keep being surprised how much natural gas they continue to have to burn while they’re on their green quest.

    And these are the people we want to lead the nation?

    I want a businessman that knows how to get things done. We needed Romney in 2012. We need Trump in 2016.

    There are indications the Fed is going to raise interest rates in December, with the likelihood it will officially put us back in the recession we never got out of.

    Trump’s economic plan is the only one that has a chance to get us out of our current malaise.

    Hillary’s economic plan will guarantee 4 or 8 more years of the Obama ‘recovery’.

    The choice is very clear.

  45. Big Maq Says:

    “Geoffrey Britain: Asking people to risk chaos is a pretty tall order, don’t you think?” – Ann

    Great point! Too many under rate the impact / consequences the volatility of the risk trump poses, as they do with many risks.

    Nassim Taleb (“Fooled by Randomness” and “Black Swan” author) explains this concept (but he is rather full of himself to bother to make the argument in plain language, imho).

    We often think of risk in a “predictable” sense, as if it happens in the context of a bell curve structure (e.g. known unknowns – ala Rumsfeld). But, many risks don’t follow such a “predictable” pattern (g.g. unknown unknowns). To the extent that people recognize this category of risk, they will behave more defensively, and perhaps, also, unpredictably.

    IOW, the existence of uncertainty / unpredictability itself has a negative impact.

    We’ve had “regime uncertainty” (one consequence of that volatility) under obama (which some say explain why recovery is slow – it scares away investment – to which there is reasonable evidence), but trump would magnify that by several orders within the economic and diplomatic realms.

    “Chaos” is an apt description of that possibility with trump.

    So, it is not merely that trump is “untrustworthy”, but also that we just don’t know what he will really do – there seems to be no philosophical or moral grounding to his positions from one moment to the next.

    Untrustworthiness is the symptom, as is Chaos.

  46. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq–

    The moral philosophy of an entrepreneur is profit. Without a profit all the other good intentions fall away.

    I have no doubt Trump will try and do the things he says for a very simple reason.

    He has put his reputation on the line. The proposals he has laid out have the best chance of getting the country working again.

    If you watch the video I linked to you’ll see a man that does care about the country. He sees it from the viewpoint of a businessman– and it’s not about his businesses, but the level of inefficiency the government has placed on all businesses.

    And yes, we need regulations to insure workers health and safety and the safety of the products we build. But it’s gone way beyond that.

    Trump understands how the system works, because he’s no doubt greased palms along the way. These may have even been some of Hillary’s palms.

  47. Frog Says:

    To my rebutters:
    I am stating my sense, not being able to do the numbers, that the large majority of Neo’s political posts since the nominations have been anti-Trump, not anti-Hillary. Hence, my frustration. Neo shows her total of 453 posts on Election 2016, and I am not going to review and tabulate all 453. When I search the blog for “anti-Hillary posts”, I get one blog from July about Melania.

    We have not seen much here about the cumulative mass of the Wikileaks, for example.

    A former Cruz and Fiorina supporter, I am far from alone in fearing a lawless Hillary’s lawless administration. I have posted here several times that Trump as POTUS will face vigorous oppo from the House and Senate, however constituted; thus, a return in the direction of Constitutional balance, which is devoutly to be wished. Ryan and the rest of the GOP powerful have surely shown us they will back Trump only if they have to, no more than that.

    With Hillary as POTUS, we will see more of the past 4 years (e.g., Ryan’s Omnibus Budget Bill) and the Hillary-Dem Senate-driven ruin of the country. Do you all really, really think the GOP Senators will suddenly grow steely spines in the face of Hillary? Especially as a minority, after the “nuclear option”?

    The Donald does not have to walk on water. Defeating Hillary is all I ask. Gridlock is good.

    Distractions like McMullin, Johnson, Stein are mere distractions only. That is akin to discussing which deck chair you wish to throw off the Titanic for flotation in the icy water.

  48. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Big Maq – Saying ‘we just don’t know what he will really do’ just throws me. How about listening to what he says he will do? Look at his plan for the first 100 days.

    You may disagree with what he wants to do or with his ability to get it done, but I don’t see how you can say he hasn’t said what he wants to do.

    As to your statement ‘there seems to be no philosophical or moral grounding to his positions from one moment to the next,’ I also disagree with that.

    Philosophically he’s a pragmatarian. He finds people and ways to get the desired results in business. His success is proof of that.

    Morally he’s a teenager who often speaks without considering the effects of his words. But, his actions have never stooped to the level of the Clintons. Sure there have been some come out during the election, but if he was so bad why did they all wait until then? With our courts any of them could have sued him successfully if he was as bad as they say he is. I need more proof than just accusations during an election.

    By the way, if you listen to what he said on that tape, you’d hear that he was talking about what some women allow powerful men to get away with. If that is a shock to you then you’ve never heard of the ‘casting couch’ or women who ‘made it to the top on their backs.’

    I’m not saying this is right or wrong or true or false; I’m saying this is what he was talking about.

    I just see too many people being influenced by the media’s constant screaming about how bad Trump is by twisting his words and actions into things that appear a lot worse than they were.

  49. Big Maq Says:

    This paragraph says a lot about the consequence, the eye opening, of this election cycle…

    the most interesting thing about Donald Trump is what he reveals about other people. This depressing truth has been on display for the better part of a year as Trump has laid bare the cowardice of much of the Republican establishment, the toxic revanchism of a nontrivial number of Republican voters, and the opportunism and corruption of swaths of the conservative media” – Jonathan Last paraphrasing Katherine Miller

  50. sdferr Says:

    Heh. There’s a word in our language for this. It’s the word ersatz. Now maybe selling ersatz stuff is good business, I don’t know. But, then, maybe not.

    Take a proportion for instance:

    Koff : Coffee :: Trump : Philosopher

    Raise a young person up for his first two decades assuring him that this Koff you’re giving him is coffee. Imagine what that young person would think when one fine day in his early twenties he drinks his first cup of a simple arabica, and learna that this arabica is what his contemporaries were imbibing as coffee all along, while he was imbibing Koff.

    Good policy, selling the ersatz?

  51. Frog Says:

    Kimberley Strassel, a rigorous and principled journalist, writes in today’s Wall St Journal:
    “A Hillary Clinton presidency will be built, from the ground up, on self-dealing, crony favors, and an utter disregard for the law.
    “This isn’t a guess. It is spelled out, in black and white, in the latest bombshell revelation from WikiLeaks.”

    Let’s get with it, and stop it with anti-Trump ambivalence and rearranging the Titanic’s deck chairs!
    It is not too late.

  52. Brian E Says:

    “So, it is not merely that trump is “untrustworthy”, but also that we just don’t know what he will really do – there seems to be no philosophical or moral grounding to his positions from one moment to the next.”- Big Maq

    Substitute Hillary for Trump in your question. Does that make you feel more secure?

  53. Big Maq Says:

    @Irv – already talked about listening (selectively) to trump…

    The thing about trump getting practically 24/7 treatment by ALL media, is that, we get exposed to practically ALL the things trump has said and done during the primaries and campaign.

    There is hardly anything that trump hasn’t said that an almost opposite position wrt trump can be taken by using his own words and actions during this cycle.

    Had he a credible explanation for his rather recent “conversion” to “conservatism”, despite his behavior and statements prior to running, he might be given some latitude.

    But, he’s been as credible as he has with Christians by saying “two Corinthians” and partaking in the “crackers” – i.e. rather lacking and unbelievable.

    He is only believable to those who have the wherewithal to ignore all the rest there is to see and hear, because they are so h*ll bent to stop clinton.

  54. Big Maq Says:

    “Substitute Hillary for Trump in your question.” – Brian E

    That is a new take.

    The many folks who’re backing trump rather vociferously here have been making the opposite point!

    For them, it is clinton who is rather too predictable, and will be the one to carry us over the “precipice”, where all is lost.

    Please take up your argument with them, about how clinton is really unpredictable.

  55. Big Maq Says:

    @Frog – you are only highlighting the tragedy of the lost opportunity because trump is at the top of the ticket for GOP.

    A majority of the electorate was predisposed to vote against clinton.

    A plurality of primary voters saw fit to choose the worst possible candidate (one who fell well short on several attributes for many) to oppose the awful clinton.

  56. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq–
    I’ll stipulate that Hillary will be reliably untrustworthy.

    What is the moral or philosophical grounding of Hillary?

    If you listen to that video I link to showing interviews with Trump, you’ll find that he has been very consistent over the years.

  57. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Big Maq – “There is hardly anything that Trump hasn’t said that an almost opposite position wrt Trump can be taken by using his own words and actions during this cycle.”

    That’s exactly what I was saying. When you get as much press as Trump it’s easy to find things he’s said that can be used against him in a different context or by taking the worst possible interpretation of what he might have meant.

    I listen to everything he has said and I evaluate all his past actions and I come to a totally different conclusion than you. Maybe there’s some truth in both but I can promise you that it’s not all either/or.

    I’d like to mention that I was against Trump from the start. As my chosen candidates were destroyed one-by-one by the media in conjunction with the other candidates, I would switch to another who was less to my liking but still better than the opposition.

    Now I’ve arrive at Trump as the last chance and I will say he is and was absolutely my last choice……except for Clinton. When evaluated next to Clinton, Trump becomes a great republican choice and I heartily support him.

    Finally, there’s nothing unpredictable about Clinton save just how far she can possibly sink into corruption, and how much she is able to betray the whole country by selling us out, not to just the highest bidder, but to every bidder.

  58. Brian E Says:

    “But, he’s been as credible as he has with Christians by saying “two Corinthians” and partaking in the “crackers” – i.e. rather lacking and unbelievable.”- Big Maq

    “Hillary lectures Trump on religious liberty, as she backs forcing churches to fund abortion”


    In a speech not long before she launched her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”


    In a wide-ranging interview, Pence also told Dobson that at Trump-Pence White House would:

    Appoint Supreme Court justices and federal judges along the lines of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February — “people who will strictly construe the Constitution of the United States.”
    “Err on the side of freedom,” in protecting religious liberties, including when it comes to contraceptive and related requirements of Obamacare. “We’re going to err on the side of protecting the liberties of our people.”
    Push to have such issues and transgender bathrooms decided at the state level. “Washington has no business intruding on the operations of our local schools.”
    Stand by the “common-sense principle that the government that governs least governs best.”


    We’re not electing a philosopher-king or Pastor of the United States.

    It’s really very simple.

  59. Bill Says:

    “I’d like to mention that I was against Trump from the start.”

    Of course you were. Everyone here was. I’ve heard over and over (from the most enthusiastic, vociferous Trump-pumping commenters) how Cruz was their first choice, then Fiorina, etc.

    Let’s do the math: It’s hard enough to win elections if you lose the women’s vote, the minority vote, and the votes of the young. In other words, if all you have is the older white segment you won’t win.

    Add to that that a WHOLE LOT of Trump supporters are voting him as a lesser of two evils.

    I don’t know how he wins, which makes this whole discussion academic. Of course, for you Trump supporters I’d encourage you to keep hope alive because anything can happen.

    Brian E – you’re doing a good job of highlighting Trump’s policies. The catch is, though, that it’s obvious he didn’t write them and it seems plausible to an observer like me that he can’t articulate them. He has trying hard to make a sale to conservatives. It was noted early on that he appeared to be saying things that the leftist stereotype says conservatives believe (for example, not disavowing the KKK right away – because of course conservatives are racist).

    Everything in me tells me this guy is a con artist and he is making his sale. The whole Scott Adams’ master persuader versus meat puppets theory. I reject that theory, by the way, but, bottom line, the chaos and uncertainty with Trump, plus the way he’ll kill the conservative movement (he’s already well on his way) are the reasons I won’t vote for him. All the policies in the world won’t change that.

    Plus he’s a sexual predator.

  60. Big Maq Says:

    It’s really very simple – BOTH candidates are awful.

    You don’t need to provide links to articles that “prove” it.

    Backing trump has its consequences, not least of which is how credibility is lost for those who will be making arguments in favor of Liberty and/or of Christian values….

    “Supporting Trump could very well do to religious conservatism what supporting Bill Clinton through his Monica travails did to feminism: expose it as a fully partisan and transparently hypocritical movement with no claim to moral authority.” – Jonathan Last

  61. Bill Says:

    “We’re not electing a philosopher-king or Pastor of the United States.

    It’s really very simple.”

    I agree, but the way the so-called Religious Right have prostrated themselves before Trump’s golden statue has been sickening.

    And hypocritical, considering how they howled at Clinton.

    And, at some point, Character does matter. Doesn’t it?

  62. DNW Says:


    Seeing this hilarious piece online reminded me of the “non-binary choice” discussions on the the old blog stop.

    I’m sure that in the last several weeks Johnson has lost whatever explicit support on Neo’s blog he once had, as the non-binaries have fled to other political outcroppings.

    But just in case anyone harbors any delusions as to Johnson’s complete, cosmic, comedic quality, unfitness for any executive office … just click on the Guardian link above.

    Do it for the laugh if for no other reason.

  63. DNW Says:

    It may be the browser, or a corrupted copy and paste, but the embed does not seem to work.

    I’ll leave it bare, and see if it works as a comment. It does as a preview.


  64. Brian E Says:

    “I agree, but the way the so-called Religious Right have prostrated themselves before Trump’s golden statue has been sickening.

    And hypocritical, considering how they howled at Clinton.

    And, at some point, Character does matter. Doesn’t it?”

    Yes it does. Hillary may be the most pro-Abortion candidate in the history of the nation.

    She and her running mate are in favor of repealing the Hyde Amendment.

    Read my post at 11:51am

    Quite the imagery Bill. That will certainly bring us all together after the election.

  65. sdferr Says:

    Did y’know Donald Trump was actually the ghostwriter of Leonard Read’s “I Pencil“? Yep, true story.

    I mean, just watch Trump take Milton Friedman apart and toss him on the trash heap.

  66. neo-neocon Says:

    Brian E:

    Hillary’s position on abortion is a policy position.

    Of course, all policy positions have something to do with character, I suppose. When you come down to it, everything does. But a policy position is not ordinarily considered a question of character per se.

    Character has to do with truth-telling, trustworthiness, etc. etc.. Hillary’s character leaves a lot to be desired as well, but a position on abortion is ordinarily not considered “character.”

  67. Cornhead Says:

    Dear neo

    You must read the important Wikileaks emails from Podesta. And the Doug Band memo re Bill Clinton, Inc.

    The Clintons are criminals. What I have known for years.

  68. neo-neocon Says:

    Irv Greenberg:

    You write:

    Big Maq – Saying ‘we just don’t know what he will really do’ just throws me. How about listening to what he says he will do? Look at his plan for the first 100 days.

    You may disagree with what he wants to do or with his ability to get it done, but I don’t see how you can say he hasn’t said what he wants to do.

    I have no idea how you can read comment after comment here and so deeply misunderstand what people are saying.

    No one has said that Trump hasn’t put out policy statements that are supposed to be statements of what he wants to do as president. Indeed, he has. But what about the sentence “we just don’t know what he will really do” don’t you understand?

    Are you familiar with con men? The people who say “we just don’t know what he will really do” believe—with pretty good reason—that he’s a con man extraordinaire.

    Now, you don’t have to agree with them. But surely you must understand the concept.

  69. neo-neocon Says:


    Searching the blog for a certain term merely brings up posts that have that term in them.

    I don’t think I’ve ever written a post where I use the term “anti-Hillary post,” so of course you will hardly find anything.

    I have a “Hillary Clinton” category on the right sidebar. As of now, it has 130 posts in it. Some are older, but many are more recent. There are also many many many comments of mine, but they are much more difficult to find.

    Certainly, during this election cycle, I have concentrated more on Trump, for the simple reason that anti-Hillary posts here are preaching to the choir. I haven’t been writing anti-Obama posts lately, either, because I’ve written so many and at this point it’s moot.

  70. Bill Says:

    “Quite the imagery Bill. That will certainly bring us all together after the election.”

    Well, it’s the truth.

    I am a Christian. What I’ve seen happen with people I respect really hurts.

    This is an interesting article: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/441515/donald-trump-evangelical-age-gap

    Young believers are not buying it, and are disgusted with what people in my generation are doing.

    Regarding abortion. I hate abortion. It kills me that the likely president (regardless of how I vote) is extremely pro-abort and will nominate like minded people to SCOTUS. I also don’t think in his heart of hearts Trump is pro-life.

    But that matters little. We’ve had Republicans in the Presidency for 20 of the 43 years since Roe-v-Wade was passed. None of them have (and none will) repealed Roe.

    What moves people away from abortion is changing their hearts and minds, along with the advent of technologies like the sonogram.

    Regarding religious freedom, the church might be healthier with some persecution. Anything to break the unholy bond between our religious leaders and Government.

  71. Irv Greenberg Says:

    I make no apologies nor accept any flack over choosing Trump over Clinton. This is not a compromise or a stain on my character. I have grandchildren and I want to leave them in the best position I can.

    People can complain all they want about Trump and just keep asserting, and proving to their satisfaction, what a bad man he is but looking at both of their lives and evaluating the good vs. the bad I can’t imagine people thinking she would be less destructive to the future of this country than he.

    Clinton’t character doesn’t just ‘leave a lot to be desired.’ I have found her to be corrupt, venal and self-serving her whole life. She has a history of using and abusing others to her own ends. She was fired from her first job for ethical violations and those have continued throughout her life.

    One of the biggest problems about her is how she corrupts everyone around her. The Clinton’s have been the rotten apple in the American political barrel ever since he first ran for office in Arkansas. He single-handedly turned the most respected office in the world into a dirty joke. They have corrupted every agency under their control to make them serve their corrupt ends.

    She is the one that I could not vote for under any circumstances. If Stalin ran against her I would have to vote 3rd party being unable to determine who was worse. I know it sounds like it but to me this evaluation isn’t hyperbole, it’s factual.

  72. Big Maq Says:

    “She is the one that I could not vote for under any circumstances.” – Irv

    This is the point being made here for some time.

    For some trump supporters, there really is no limit in their opposition to clinton.

    Therein lies the problem, if one is starting from that premise, as there is absolutely nothing that trump can do – even shooting someone randomly on 5th Avenue – that will change their mind.

    “Factual evaluation”, that is not.

  73. neo-neocon Says:

    Brian E:

    Not only has Trump not been consistent over the years, he hasn’t even been consistent over this past year. I’m not going to spend an hour going back and finding the posts where I describe this; you can find them yourself if you like.

    However, for some of Trump’s positions, he has been consistent, but the positions are horrendous—such as his war on George W. Bush.

    Just as an example: blaming George Bush for 9/11, and saying that Bush lied to get us into Iraq. Trump had made similar charges years earlier, although back then he added that George Bush was “evil” and said he wished that Nancy Pelosi had impeached Bush.

    Straight out of the leftist playbook for Trump, who will say and do any vile thing if he thinks it will help him.

    I believe that this year Trump left out the “evil” part and the part where he says he likes Nancy Pelosi and wishes she’d impeached Bush. So in that respect, he’s somewhat inconsistent on the details of this issue (hatred of Bush).

    By the way, in that first link I provided, Trump said this during one of the Republican debates:

    “The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe. That is not safe, Marco. That is not safe,” he continued. “The world Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton [didn’t] kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him. And George Bush– by the way, George Bush had the chance, also, and he didn’t listen to the advice of his C.I.A.”

    “How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center…excuse me, I lost hundreds of friends!” Trump said as the crowd booed loudly.

    As for that claim of losing “hundreds of friends,” I analyzed that incredible whopper here.

    The man lies as easily as he breathes, and almost as often. I suppose he’s consistent about that.

  74. Brian E Says:

    You and I can agree on some of what you said. The fact that Falwell Jr. endorsed Trump early in the process was puzzling.
    I don’t know when other prominent Christians endorsed Trump.
    I assume after he won the nomination.
    My support went to Trump after he won the nomination.

    Will Roe v. Wade ever be overturned? I’m not giving up on it. I won’t vote for a candidate that supports abortions, since I believe it does say something about their character.

    I also can’t see Trump’s heart, so I don’t know if he is truly pro-life, but he has said he will support pro-life positions and I think Pence is committed to pro-life positions.

    I agree that changing the heart of people is the only way to reduce this scourge.

    I don’t think young people are abandoning their faith because of Trump, but the incessant materialist philosophy that permeates our culture.

    Are Christians hypocrites, saying one thing and doing another? Yes. As Paul said, I do the things I don’t want to do and don’t do the things I should do.

  75. neo-neocon Says:

    Brian E:

    Huckabee endorsed Trump in early May. Palin endorsed him from the start, and Ben Carson came on board pretty early. I don’t know if you call them “prominent Christians” (religion is not their main profession; they are not clergy) but I certainly consider them prominent Christians.

    Here are some pastors who were early supporters, and you can find some here, too.

  76. Bill Says:

    Much to agree on, Brian.

    Also – regarding young people, they aren’t abandoning their faith because of Trump and if I suggested that it wasn’t what I meant, They are abandoning the Republican party.

    The NRO article I linked above is an interesting read about how things have flipped in the evangelical age gap.

    Fallwell, Robert Jeffers (1st Baptist Dallas), Dobson. Grudem endorsed, flipped back, then flipped again. Many others. It’s one thing to reluctantly vote for someone. It’s quite another to endorse them. Whether fair or not (I think it’s fair) after the Billy Bush tape came out many people started questioning how these faith leaders could continue to endorse. It’s a good question.

    Pat Robertson had a dream that he saw Trump at the right hand of God (I’m not making this up).

  77. neo-neocon Says:

    Irv Greenberg:

    I haven’t seen anyone here attacking you for voting for Trump.

    They are disagreeing with your arguments, however, and also correcting you when you mischaracterize their arguments.

  78. Bill Says:

    Here we are a week and a half out from the election.

    Trump is still facing court battles on Trump U and on the 1994 rape allegation of a 13 year old.

    The FBI has just re-opened the investigation on Hillary’s emails.

    What a world . . .

  79. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Neo – That sure seems a little hypercritical of my comments to me.

  80. sdferr Says:

    When someone finds a perfect parity between Mrs. Clinton and Jozef Djugashvili, the Man of Steel, (for who can live without steel? It’s factual!) it would seem absolutely inefficient to shoot anyone randomly on 5th Avenue, when a more pressing need has already been shown — if, that is, someone must find an urge to shoot anyone else at all (a highly questionable starting point in the first instance, I would hasten to add).

    Hysterical — the word — comes to us from the Greek where it referred to the uterus, the womb (of or by) — so in analogy, hysterical as a condition of fits of womanliness. If Mrs. Clinton is indeed of a fit to Joseph Stalin, we may doubt she would be any more womanly than he. On the other hand, Stalin did disappear in a broken down panic for quite some time (weeks) when Hitler initiated Operation Barbarossa, or so the Russian historian Roy Medvedev tells us.

  81. neo-neocon Says:

    Irv Greenberg:

    What seems hypercritical of your comments?

    And what does “hypercritical” mean?

    I was responding, by the way, to this comment of yours:

    I make no apologies nor accept any flack over choosing Trump over Clinton. This is not a compromise or a stain on my character.

    I was pointing out that no one here had asked you to apologize for your Trump vote, or given you any flack (sic: it’s “flak”) for your own decision, or suggested it’s a stain on your character to vote for Trump. That’s what I meant when I said no one here was attacking you for voting for Trump—that they were, however, disagreeing with you, and correcting you when you mischaracterize their arguments.

    I don’t know what’s “hypercritical” about that. It’s just a descriptive statement that I think is factual. It doesn’t contain any terrible criticism in it at all.

    Or were you referring to something else when you said “hypercritical”?

  82. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Neo – That’s what I was referring to. ‘Make no apologies nor accept any flack’ was meant merely as a figure of speech in reference to all the so negative Trump comments that have been made by some. It’s also in reference to those who say they can’t vote for Trump because their character/conscience won’t allow them to vote for a …… (fill in any Trump pejorative here.)

    I guess I’ll just have to be a lot more specific in my comments.

    Thanks for ‘flak’; I of all people should have known that. I was a combat pilot in Vietnam flying AC-119K “Stinger” gunships.

  83. Brian E Says:

    Bush will have to defend himself.

    Trump was trying to peal off democrat voters that have bought into the notion that it’s all Bush’s fault.

    I think this was his strategy to win the Republican nomination, and to win the election.

    Bush put together a coalition that required Latino/Hispanic voters and it worked. But he was the last president to succeed. It didn’t work for McCain, and it didn’t work for Romney.

    Cruz and Rubio were trying to use their ethnicity to their advantage while all the time not alienating the very large base of conservatives that felt betrayed by DC on the issue of illegal immigration.
    Trump came along and upped the ante, leaving them in a difficult position. Trying to appear very hawkish on border control, while maintaining support from that Latino/Hispanic segment.
    I think Trump calculated that he could win a significant blue collar democrat support with the lost jobs issue, along with trade and the Bush blame.
    It obviously worked for the primary. But yes he alienated a segment of conservatives and then the Billy Bush tapes that allowed a wedge issue with women.
    Had that tape not existed, it would have worked IMO, and it may still.
    Hillary’s corruption/pay for play/lawlessness may still be her undoing, even with the MSM dragging her across the line.

    We’re going to just disagree on the issue whether Trump will try and implement the policies he’s put out, especially the ones in the Contract with the American Voter. I’ve listed the ones in his 100 day agenda, but there are many more.
    Like I said before, his reputation as a businessman is on the line. He has made a central case that he, because of his business instincts, can right the American ship, which is floundering right now. It’s taking on water, and the bilge pumps are at maximum capacity.

    To what extent he’ll be successful, I really can’t say.
    “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”

    People that are sanguine about a Hillary presidency are ignoring her plans for expanding government to the detriment of the economy.

  84. neo-neocon Says:

    Brian E:

    Your excuses don’t make sense, nor do they address my point.

    Of course, Trump is not above saying anything he thinks will help him win, no matter how vile. You seem to agree with me that he’s an unprincipled POS.

    In this case, I doubt very much it helped him at all, unless you think getting a few leftists to cross over and vote in the GOP primaries in order to screw the GOP is a help.

    But the other problem with what you say is that, as I pointed out and documented, Trump had said even worse things about Bush in 2011: that he is evil, and that Nancy Pelosi (who Trump says he likes) should have impeached Bush.

    Remember, that was in 2011. No Republican primaries that Trump had entered, where Trump was wanting any voters on the left to cross over and support him.

    These are Trump’s true beliefs. He is speaking about who he actually is.

  85. neo-neocon Says:

    Irv Greenberg:

    I think you’re a nice guy, a well-meaning guy, a smart guy. But you seem to expect people to understand what you say without making what you mean clear, and you sometimes mischaracterize what other people say to you. The more clear you can be on what you actually mean and the more clear you can be on who and what you’re addressing, the more you will be able to communicate what you really want to say.

  86. Richard Saunders Says:

    Hmm, let me see . . voting for a loudmouth asshole who 10 years ago bragged about how being rich and famous enabled him to take liberties with women* is a compromise of morality and a death blow to Liberty and religious conservatism, while voting for (not voting against is the same thing, no matter how you slice it) a criminal who should be in jail, lose her security clearance and be barred from holding federal office for violating much of the Espionage Act and the Public Records Act, and who has repeatedly sold the interests of the United States to the highest bidder is a blow for morality and Liberty.

    Do I have that right?

    I guess we have different standards of morality, Bill, BigMaq.

    I haven’t seen anyone here (except maybe Artfl) who has been a Trump supporter from the start. Nor have I seen anyone prostrating themselves before him.** What I’ve seen is people who have reluctantly decided to open the door to the angry skunk rather than to the hungry man-eating tiger.

    Do we not know that both choices suck? Do we not know that we’re choosing between two evils. Of course we do.

    Your ethics aren’t challenged when you have to decide between St. Theresa of Calcutta and Joseph Stalin. Your ethics are challenged when you have to decide between Bashar al-Assad and ISIS, between rowing your lifeboat past drowning men or taking on one more survivor knowing the boat will sink, between sleeping with a Nazi or having him turn the Jews you are hiding in the basement over to the Gestapo. Don’t be so damn glib about people who have made a different choice than you!

    *Note that Henry Kissinger said pretty much the same thing, but he said it so smoothly that everybody loves it and it is now an aphorism — “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”

    **Why you NeverTrumpers have steadfastly refused to listen to those of us who have dealt with Homo Assholus Realestatus – Cornhead, Irv Greenberg, and others, including me – explain Trump’s behavior, is a complete mystery.

  87. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    “Hrc lies and is corrupt, djt lies and is corrupt. Hrc is deranged, djt is deranged.”

    Certainly that is the case.

    “Please stop telling me there is a micron of difference”

    No can do. There is a vast difference between a crony capitalist and a Marxist ideologue. Even if Trump is in this solely for personal gain, that presupposes support for the status quo. Hillary wishes to continue the fundamental transformation of America, not into what Europe today consists, but what the EU bureaucrats are evolving it into being.

    A new Nomenklatura, answerable to no one. The EU has been for years issuing thousands of unilateral regulations to its member nations, regulations that are increasingly intrusive and over which the citizen and national government have no say.

    Nor was it my intent to compare Winston with Trump, as Winston was indeed a giant on the world stage, while Trump isn’t worthy of shining Churchill’s shoes.

    I compared the two solely in the binary choice each society faced/faces, they in their time and we in ours.

  88. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    “Wouldn’t we have [had] a better chance to defeat Hillary now if we had been able to dump Trump a month or more ago?”

    No. Far too fractured an electorate on the right.

    “I am going to ask all the Trump people here why you didn’t do more to stop Hillary from winning, while you were browbeating the rest of us with the false binary choice.”

    I would be interested in knowing how many here on this blog voted for trump in the primary? I certainly didn’t and I suspect few if any did here. So, what more could I do to stop Hillary than to support Cruz and speak out with my POV?

    As for browbeating… the same false charge could be laid at your feet sir. But it would be as untrue as the scurrilous accusation you make. Firmly believing it to be a binary choice and after due consideration, remaining unconvinced that it is not a binary choice is not evidence of browbeating.


    Where are all the pitchfork holders breathing threats? Somehow I missed them.

    There was never “a chance to swing things back in a conservative direction”. Had Trump never entered the race and Cruz won the nomination, the GOPe would have given lukewarm support and even if he’d won the Presidency, they would have offered lip service, while sabotaging any real reform.

    And the proof of that assertion is the Presidency of G.W. Bush, where the debt skyrocketed and government growth continued unabated. That Obama makes Bush and the GOPe look like a piker in those areas changes the evidence not in the least.

  89. Big Maq Says:

    Again, the paradigmatic “binary choice”.

    Y’all can keep harping on that being the only possibility, but the fact is, it is not the complete set of possible choices we face.

    “in their time” seems like a reference to an apocalyptic “good vs evil” binary choice. The problem with that is it assumes an apocalyptic outcome (assigning that to one side), and it assumes that there is a “good” choice to oppose the “evil” one.

    Yet, both trump and clinton are awful choices.

    And, all does not end in the next four years with clinton in office.

    Vote GOP down ticket, but quit trying to convince all to believe there are not other choices, and that trump is going to do anything “good” for America by making the case merely of how awful clinton is.

  90. OM Says:


    Climb down off of that high horse: scurrilous accusations, false charges. Whats next the dreaded slander flag, or maybe disparagement of character?

    “As for browbeating… the same false charge could be laid at your feet sir. But it would be as untrue as the scurrilous accusation you make.”

  91. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Big Maq – We assume an apocalyptic outcome because our analysis is that would be the case with Clinton, but not with Trump. That’s where we differ. It appears you think the country could survive and recover after 4 or 8 years of Clinton. Our belief is that it could not. We believe that she would take the country past the point of no return and therefore recovery would be impossible.

    I you’re right, it probably doesn’t matter how you vote. If we’re right the country depends on it. We hope you’re right but we really think we are.

    To me it kinda makes it seem like there’s no reason not to vote for Trump. One way you break even and the other you don’t lose.

  92. Brian E Says:

    I wasn’t trying to excuse Trump, just describing how I saw his strategy playing out.
    I don’t think Bush lied about WMD, but I thought at the time he based so much of his rationale on that, it would cost him the 2004 election if they didn’t find an active WMD program.
    On balance, I don’t think it was worth the cost in American lives, had the effect of unleashing Iran and did nothing to create a functioning Islamic democracy. That was a huge miscalculation. I’d like to sit down with the architects and ask them “what were they thinking?”.
    As to “a few leftist votes”, I think he has generated more votes from blue collar democrat voters, necessary to make up the neverTrump republicans that are sitting out the election but possibly not enough to win the election.
    I think the Brexit vote syndrome is in play here, though I wish the neverTrump faction would vote for him. At least they can’t be blamed then.
    There is going to be three years to blame one another if Trump loses. The only rational reason I can see for neverTrump voters to what is in effect campaigning against him is the clash between the neo-conservatives and the alt-Right. If Trump loses I guess the thinking is the nationalists can be driven out of the party. If Trump wins, they will have found a home. I don’t think they represent that large of a faction– though they are noisy and their arguments about the effective results of multiculturalism not being a net benefit to America will continue to resonate, regardless of the outcome.

  93. Brian E Says:

    As does Irv, I think this is a critical election, one that will define America for decades.
    I wish Trump would announce he’s only planning to serve one term to accomplish turning around the American economy– then turn it over to someone like Pence (actually exactly like Pence) to carry his initiatives forward.

  94. Big Maq Says:

    “To me it kinda makes it seem like there’s no reason not to vote for Trump. One way you break even and the other you don’t lose.” – Irv

    Quite the opposite.

    It seems it was really foolish to put all one’s eggs on trump winning when it hardly looked like he was the best candidate to stop clinton, and doesn’t represent one’s principles in the least.

    It would be more foolish to continue to back a man you know doesn’t live up to your principles, if you know he is going to lose anyway.

    What are you going to do after clinton wins?

  95. Orig Bill Says:

    “Where are all the pitchfork holders breathing threats? Somehow I missed them.”

    Beverly’s comment above at October 27th, 2016 at 9:52 pm is a good example. There’s been lots of talk about how if Trump loses people aren’t going to take it, you can’t take people’s voice away, etc. Lots of threats from the brownshirts.

    Brian E
    “There is going to be three years to blame one another if Trump loses. The only rational reason I can see for neverTrump voters to what is in effect campaigning against him is the clash between the neo-conservatives and the alt-Right. If Trump loses I guess the thinking is the nationalists can be driven out of the party. If Trump wins, they will have found a home.”

    Yeah, if Trump loses, there will be lots of people out there who will absolutely blame people like me. They won’t blame themselves for backing a really bad candidate. People don’t learn from mistakes, generally, and even if they do they don’t admit them. I expect Trump TV to keep the rage going. Hannity has certainly assured himself a primetime slot.

    I’ve explained over and over again my rational and moral reasons for appointing Trump. Trying to do everything I can to keep the alt-right Thugs from gaining power is one of the reasons, but not the whole reason.

    I don’t know if they can be driven out or not. At this point I think the GOP can kiss goodbye winning any more elections. I think conservatives have to start over with a new party. Or maybe just the minority of people like me will go to a new party (if anyone thinks I’m going to stay in a party that is driven by xenophobia, authoritarianism and white nationalism, well, that’s just not going to happen).

    I don’t know – maybe Trump wins somehow – HRC is certainly the best (by that I mean worst) candidate he could have faced. Will take something big happening in the next week and a half though.

    So, that might happen. But if it doesn’t, I don’t think most people, and certainly not people like Reince or many of the other Trump cheerleaders in the GOP, can fathom how bad it’s going to get for the GOP. I think it’s going to get very, very bad. Which is really unfortunate, because we need a strong conservative party to counter the left.

  96. Orig Bill Says:

    “reasons for appointing Trump” should be “reasons for opposing Trump”.

    I’m losing my mind, evidently. #cantType

  97. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Bill – You cast so much blame on folks like the alt-right for choosing Trump and making him the nominee. No significant minority chose him on either side of the party. As I’ve said before, he’s who was left after they destroyed the other candidates.

    Just because we’re supporting him now doesn’t mean he’s our guy. It means he’s the only guy we have to vote for if we believe Clinton would be a disaster for the party.

    If Trump loses it won’t be a lesson to anyone not to nominate that kind of candidate. The lesson is that’s what happens when conflict reigns and there is no compromise. That is a lesson for both camps.

    This is not about the good republicans and the bad republicans. This is about two conservative camps competing for their vision of how best to achieve that end.

    I think we can disagree without vitriol. Your description of the alt-right and who they are and what they believe is way off to my mind.

  98. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Brownshirts? Really?

  99. sdferr Says:

    Ah but Irv, in fairness, Stalin? Really?

  100. Irv Greenberg Says:

    Good point……mea culpa too!

  101. Bill Says:


    The alt-right I’m referring to is the anti-Semitic white nationalist wing of the party with their frog-memes, gas chamber memes, etc.

    I’m also referring to people favoring violence and armed insurrection if they don’t get their way.

    I’m referring to Trump supporters telling Mary Katherine Ham that they are glad her husband died and if they were married to her they’d want to die too. I’m referring to people posting p0rnography in Amanda Carenter’s time line because she was one of the women implicated in the fake Cruz affairs story in the enquirer. I’m referring to people who are Trump supporters yelling at Bethany Mandel’s kids at the store and calling in threats to David French’s family and sending him memes of his adopted Ethiopian daughter in a gas chamber with a smiling Trump flipping the switch.

    Every movement has their crazies but Trump seems to attract them like fly paper and the alt-right scares the cr@p out of me.

  102. Brian E Says:

    Those sound like reprehensible acts and should be condemned.

    How does the democrat party censor the fringe element on the left? Does the democrat party take responsibility for Occupy Wall St., BLM, all the intimidation that occurs on campuses across the country? Do they consider themselves democrats.

    Do the people you described consider themselves republicans?

  103. OM Says:

    Brian E:

    So if the democrats are setting the standard for the republican party now? I thought it was bad enough the a Liberal Democrat is running as a Republican, but now that his supporters are adopting the democrat model of “anything goes,” he isn’t Hillary, well I shouldn’t be surprised. I guess a tipping point has occurred, Trump supporters adopt democrat practices and thought processes.

  104. Brian E Says:

    So you’re saying you don’t know how those groups are treated?

  105. Big Maq Says:

    “Yeah, if Trump loses, there will be lots of people out there who will absolutely blame people like me. They won’t blame themselves for backing a really bad candidate. People don’t learn from mistakes, generally, and even if they do they don’t admit them.” – Orig Bill

    Last time we had anything parallel to this, it was the OJ Simpson trial, where a great many cheered when he was acquitted, as some form of universal or karmic group “justice”. IOW, a “Win!!!”

    It is only now, some 20+ years later, that there seems to be popular acceptance, from those who may have cheered earlier, that he, indeed, was guilty and shouldn’t have gotten away with the murders.

    There are always those who are so fed up, angry, and feeling victimized, that they rationalize and are willing to accept one bad as a means to send a message to “the man” or to stop another bad. They lose themselves in the emotion of the moment, looking for that “Win!!!”, only to later find out it was pyrrhic.

  106. OM Says:

    I know how they are treated. I see how the “protesting Sioux in ND are treated vs the Bundy’s were treated in OR.

    I also so Trumpists making all kinds of excuses forTrump’s behavior and for the alt-right who make up part of his support. Trumpists own that, and the burn-it-all-down tipping point bovine excreament hysteria.

  107. Irv Greenberg Says:

    It sounds like alt-right is the new name for the David Duke crowd. I suspect there are no more of them than KKK’s and that they have no more influence in the party as well. No matter what group you’re in there will be people in it that you wish were not. They don’t become part of the party just because they support some of its positions.

    The real question is not who are they for, but do they have any influence with them. If the answer is none then the party is not responsible for them. And, while some of them may have helped Trump be the only one left standing, it doesn’t mean he agrees with them or owes them anything.

    You can’t paint Trump with their positions when he has never espoused any of them.

  108. mkent Says:

    “Wouldn’t we have [had] a better chance to defeat Hillary now if we had been able to dump Trump a month or more ago?”

    No. Far too fractured an electorate on the right.

    How can this be? We know from the many, many comments here from you and a lot of other Trumpettes that stopping Stalin-in-a-pantsuit is the only thing that matters. No task is too odious for that goal. So it just goes to reason that if a few months ago the Republican party had replaced Trump on the ballot with Romney or, well, anyone — even Jeb Bush — that he would have received the vote of each and every Trumpette. And the vote of most conservative and independent voters.

    Logically speaking, there’s no way for the Republican party to have lost votes doing that. If stopping Hillary is the primary goal, that is.

  109. mkent Says:

    Irv Greenberg,

    To me it kinda makes it seem like there’s no reason not to vote for Trump.

    The reason not to vote for Trump is that he’s a petty and vindictive man. If we wins the presidency he will purge conservatives — they supported Cruz — from the Republican party and replace them with alt-right socialists. That will destroy the party as it is now comprised.

    The Republican party, as flawed as it is, is the only brake on the left’s Gramsian march through the institutions. With that brake gone, there’s nothing to keep the left from wielding total control of every institution in the country, both public and private.

    That is what there is no recovery from. Clinton will be bad. Downright awful. But with a strong Republican party she can be resisted and maybe even stopped. With an alt-right Republican party, it’s Katy-bar-the-door.

  110. mkent Says:

    Orig Bill,

    I think conservatives have to start over with a new party.

    No! We already have a party. It’s called the Republican party. Let the alt-right build a new party — no need to give them ours.

  111. OM Says:


    Steven K. Bannon works for DJ Trump as campaign manager. Bannon turned Breitbart into an alt-right soundboard and is said to be proud of that. Trump may not be alt-right but he sure seems to appreciate their support.

  112. neo-neocon Says:

    Brian E:

    But my point is that his calumny against Bush was not strategic. It was him speaking his heart, as he had in 2011. It is who he is. We were discussing his character, and who he really is, and what he means to do.

    However, his saying Bush is a lying liar who lied about WMD’s and didn’t protect us from 9/11 although he had a chance was not something geared to attracting those Democratic blue collar voters. Whatever number of them he managed to attract was not because of that.

    Was his praise of Pelosi in 2011, and his wish that she had impeached Bush, also an attempt to attract blue-collar Democrats? Certainly not. Nor were his statements about Bush in the debates.

  113. Big Maq Says:

    “You can’t paint Trump with their positions when he has never espoused any of them.” – Irv

    I would repeat that very loudly, if trump had consistently distanced himself or didn’t talk or behave in ways that left that up for question.

    Hiring bunion, as OM mentions, is one of those loud signals that trump is courting their vote.

    Not exactly confidence inspiring towards the assertion you make.

  114. Brian E Says:

    Nothing I can say.

  115. Brian E Says:

    It doesn’t change my view that Trump’s flaws are miniscule when viewed in context of Hillary’s corruption and how she will continue the politicization of the justice department.

  116. Big Maq Says:

    “Trump’s flaws are miniscule when viewed in context of Hillary’s corruption” – Brian E

    Then you are not looking hard enough.

    There are those who see trump’s awful flaws and then judge there is a modicum of possibility that trump might be “better”, and many would say they’d go to the mat for him if they knew their vote was the tie breaker.

    But, to say they are minuscule in comparison, is to recognize no real magnitude to trump’s flaws at all, and that is just not the case.

    If he actually randomly shoots someone dead on 5th Ave, is that a step too far? Or, is that “minuscule” too?

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.

Monthly Archives


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

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