A Win for the Constitution

by Brad Nelson2/1/17

Three cheers for Trump. He has apparently kept one of his most vital campaign promises. NRO editors are calling Gorsuch an “originalist” and this nomination to the Supreme Court A Win for the Constitution:

Originalism has faced resistance in modern times mostly because liberals would rather not go through the formal process of amending the Constitution in order to edit it to their liking, removing its structural limits on governmental power and putting their preferred policies beyond democratic review. Gorsuch’s record gives us cause to believe that he would use his vote and his voice to side with the actual Constitution.

Well done, President Trump. Your flighty, bizarre, sometimes deranged presidential campaign left more than a few people confused about what was smoke and what was mirrors and if there was anything of substance that lied beyond those two things. This is (I’ll wait for final confirmation from Mark Levin) a yuge win for the Constitution and a defeat for the mobocracy of Communist, America-hating, bed-wetting Snowflakes who are increasingly on the march.

I’ll eat crow and excrement sandwiches all day long if Trump keeps acting in ways that are conservative and for the betterment of our country. Please pass the Wonder Bread.


Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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114 Responses to A Win for the Constitution

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    According to reports I’ve read, the main political difference between Gorsuch and Scalia is that the former is actually less inclined to defer to the bureaucracy. He also is less abrasive, and might be better able to persuade others to join in a decision (which could be very relevant with Roberts and Kennedy).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      You mean he DBWS (deals better with Snowflakes). Well, that would be a good thing, of course.

      Not many know that “Gorsuch” is his middle name. His last name is of Latvian origin: Ajakass. Will liberals decrypt that?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Here’s a report from the other Levin that confirms what you’re saying.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    And it’s not just enough that Trump has not proven as loony in action (in at least this one regard) as he did on the campaign trail. Some of the Trumpbots are demanding a pound of flesh. One Trump wingnut at NRO writes:

    Once again. No thanks whatsoever to the #NEVERTRUMPers here at NRO.

    You were wrong.

    We were right.

    I want to see every #NEVERTRUMP staff writer fired at this publication. I want to see the editors grovel before the readers with rended garmants and ashes on their heads begging for our forgiveness.

    This is absurdly juvenile and unhealthy. I’ll be glad to eat crow all day long if Trump’s actions are good for the country in a conservative and traditional way. But this isn’t about me. And these kinds of asses who hero-worship at the altar of Trump are truly disturbing.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      That Trumpkin sounds unbalanced. As I said before, one of the worst things about Trump was a large slice of his followers.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Ridiculous. Yes, the NeverTrumpers were wrong, implicitly, in that either Trump or Slick Hilly would be elected, and we would have gotten a staunch leftist intead of Gorscuh is she had won. But we still are less than 2 weeks in. And, in any case, demanding that everyone who failed to toe the line be fired is insane.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I’ll eat crow and excrement sandwiches all day long if Trump keeps acting in ways that are conservative and for the betterment of our country. Please pass the Wonder Bread.

    Would you like fries with that? I prefer onion rings.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Kung, there’s a restaurant just down the street that makes excellent tater tots. I’m sure they’re just frozen, taken out of the packet, and baked. But they work.

      As for fries, the best ones in town come from a place called “Noah’s Ark.” It’s owned by a family of Catholics. They put to shame what passes for French fries from fast-food joints.

      But I believe with excrement sandwiches that the herb, “shinola,” goes best.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I also like crispy tater tots. A good choice.

        We grow mint, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, sage and sometimes lemon grass, but no shinola. Guess I will have to go to the grocery store.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          My herb garment through the winter is an interesting mix. Parsley just laughs at the cold, as does thyme and rosemary. But it looks as if several of the basil plants took a hit. Perhaps some of them will have new growth come spring.

          Oh, and a couple types of sage that I have made it through the winter just fine. A couple other plants look barren. Again, perhaps they will sprout anew come warmer weather.

          And they serve a good tartar sauce with the tater tots. I’m not a big fan of ketchup with fries. Actually, I like what Canadians do. They use vinegar/salt for their fries. Plain ol’ mayo is good as well. I’m definitely not an originalist when it comes to fries unless you count the salt.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I forgot our rosemary bush. Part of it has died, but the rest is still holding on.

            Our basil is dead, but it comes back in the spring. Both it and oregano grow like weeds.

            My wife likes french fries a la Belgium, i.e. with mayo. If I use ketchup, I generally add hot sauce.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              My rosemary seemed the least affected by the cold. Good to hear that some of this stuff might come back. And I’ve got some oregano that seems to be another plant that is cold-tollerant.

              Oh…it’s the Belgies who do the mayo. I like that too.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Should I rename this blog post “Trump and Fries”?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Arby’s has potato cakes, which are very similar. I usually choose them over the curly fries.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I generally like that curly fries, although they are far too greasy. I’ll give their potato cakes a try next time. I didn’t know they had another choice.

          So…if Ruth Bader Ginsberg were a fast-foot restaurant, which one would she be?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Is Starbucks a fast-food chain? She definitely wouldn’t be Arby’s or Roy Rodgers. Perhaps Taco Bell — or would that be Red Sonya, the Unwise Latina?

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I guess the analogy needs to come with a punch line. Ginsberg is like Kentucky Friend Chicken (KFC) because she makes mashed potatoes of the Constitution. Or somethin’ like that.

      • Gibblet says:

        “owned by a family of Catholics”

        Not Catholic, but definitely Christian. They belong to the same church as my eldest sister’s family and they are all best friends…
        You say Po-ta-to, I say Po-tah-to. With tarter sauce, or ketchup.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          It’s a small world. My dad was good friends with the patriarch who recently passed away. And for years our office was located kitty-corner from one of their grocery stores. I saw a lot of that great family for a while. I know some of them split from the Church but forget who, wasn’t keeping score, and really isn’t any of my business.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I can’t think of anyone like that I’ve ever known (perhaps partly a consequence of an Army background), other than the family farm in Edmonson County (Shady Lane Farm, named after my father’s West Point nickname). My mother did say they somehow had the chance to buy Xerox stock when it was just starting. Too bad they didn’t think it would amount to anything.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Laments are widespread in the Northwest regarding not buying Starbucks stock or Microsoft stock. Having missed both, it seems more worthwhile to think about not laying up treasures on earth…or at least not thinking of treasure (or buying low, selling high) merely in terms of material things.

              What person couldn’t benefit by letting go of shit they stress over? Pet peeves and multiple annoyances. Sell them off low, and now, so that they never get high. Invest now in good thoughts and small good habits and the payoff next year could be enormous. What good is money if one is losing one’s mind?

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, when my parents were newly married they didn’t have much money. I remember also my mother mentioned that once they found they had a little money left over at the end of the month, and decided to go out and celebrate. Then they had a car accident, and so much for the extra money — and the celebration.

          • Gibblet says:

            “and really isn’t any of my business.”

            That kind of information could get people killed in certain parts of the world.

  4. Steve Lancaster says:

    There is another reason the progs don’t like him, his mother was not a well loved administrator of the EPA you can read her bio here.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Gorsuch_Burford

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Many years ago, I read her own account of that job, Are You Tough Enough? (she got the title from a question at her confirmation hearing). I had wondered if Gorsuch was related, and then it turned out he’s her son. It does mean he’s aware of how savage liberal Beltway Bandits can be.

  5. Maddox says:

    I did not support or vote for Trump but I am cautiously optimistic about his intentions. He often says things that give pause but it seems to me that he says some things to get the topic moving in the direction he wants. We should wait until things actually start to change to judge, give him credit when due, and criticize him when he waivers from the Constitution.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Quite so. Of course, this is how we should treat them all — not only Donald Trump, but Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz if either of them had won. Of course, the frequency with which they give them praise or criticism would vary. But even Obama was right at least once (finally launching the raid against bin Laden).

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The ongoing joke is: The Falcons actually won the Super Bowl because they had more yards.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      During the game, lots of anti-Patriots were tweeting their glee over the long odds against Brady and Belichick, reaching 99% at one point. A few noted that Slick Hilly reportedly had similar odds in her favor last year. As for the Falcons having more yards gained, this meant precisely as much as the Yankees outscoring the Pirates 2-1 in the 1960 World Series. (As someone who had just started rooting for the Yankees, I was most displeased. But at least they had the consolation prize of Bobby Richardson being series MVP, the only time a member of the losing team has won it.)

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Speaking of Trump, there is a long and meandering article by an intellectuloid who misses the point entirely. This article is a primer for how not to write.

    A sensible person could have written in two paragraphs at most something like, “Well, yeah, given how men have been turned into Pajama Boys and otherwise marginalized, there may be a certain yearning for a leader who isn’t a wimp.”

    But to turn this all into an argument for a “masculine mystique” is to simply create a whole lot of word salad. It even, in the context of a conservative publication, forwards the cause of further de-legitmizing men, for to actually support someone with a spine is to supposedly be caught in a “masculine mystique.”

    Just live knowing that many of you can write much better and are paid far less. But there will always be a market, I guess, for word salad.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Especially if you’re paid by the word. I read once that Erle Stanley Gardner wrote for Western pulps in his young days for a penny a word. Someone noted that his gunfights never ended after one shot (which, realistically, few gunfights probably really did — certainly not the most famous one). Since each “Bang!” was worth a penny, he noted that he wasn’t going to end it when there was still five cents worth of ammunition.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Brevity is supposedly the soul of wit. But it obviously doesn’t pay.

        Aside from word count, I think the intellectualoid mind has been convinced (supported by a suffocating consensus of like-minded thinkers) that no serious solution can be found if it isn’t long and convoluted.

        Granted, as Mr. Kung often tell us, life is complicated. But he didn’t say so using over a thousand words. That true formulation itself is short and sweet. And I’m sure he’d agree with Reagan when he said, “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers.” The answer to bastardy, for instance, is simple: Stop sleeping around. Confine child-rearing to marriage. But although the answer is simple, implementing that isn’t easy.

        It’s much like the complexity produced by dividing 2 by 3. The formula is easy. The answer is infinite when you try to describe it in numbers (.6666666666, etc.). Actually, the value of Pi would be a better example of complexity rising from the simple, for the numerical expression of 2/3 might be long, but it’s not particularly complicated.

        I have not been so brief myself.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Good state-of-the-union speech by Trump tonight. His solid performance makes the crazies on the Left seem crazier. He coopted some of their pet issues such as civil rights…with a twist. He noted incidents of violence against Jews…no doubt committed by Swedish grandmothers.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      There were reports from the usual suspects that General McMaster wanted him to avoid the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in his speech — and I noted that he used it anyway. I like most of what I’ve heard so far, but of course it consists mostly of general aspirations, which reasonable people can generally support — and sometimes even liberals.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        “That pivot toward presidential,” noted the guy at Fox.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, they just had the Demagogue response from my former governor, who naturally spouted an array of lies — talking as if Obamacare actually lived up to its billing, complaining that Trump had “declared war” on “immigrants” (though he hasn’t attacked legal immigrants at all) and refugees (though he only declared a temporary ban in order to improve vetting). One can see why — a year after Matt Bevins won the governorship — the GOP took the State House by a large margin.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Who knows how this plays outside DC? But someone from the Left listening would have likely been very pissed off that Trump had co-opted their issues. Not that conservatives don’t already want what’s best for people. But Trump talked about the need to continue to advance civil rights (and I loved his example which was anti-Semitism), pay for “women’s health” (men, be damned…they can just die early as they always have), free child care, maternity leave (I think he mentioned this), clean air, clean water, making sure health care was available for those with pre-existing conditions, and more. Although the evil and/or corrupted people of the Left need no excuse to hate, Trump tactically disarmed them to some degree.

            I’m a bomb-thrower. As is Trump. But instead of throwing overt bombs, tonight he threw read-between-the-lines bombs, such as when he noted that cops aren’t the problem. They need to be respected and partnered with. This was no (at least to my ears) subtle repudiation of the racist, cop-hating message coming from Democrats and the Left. There were many moments like this when the bombs dropped but more between-the-lines in regards to what Trump was vociferously supporting.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I agree it was, overall, a good speech, short on specifics and long on feel-good.

      I believe the presentation was strongest when Trump introduced the various citizens in the gallery. The father who lost his son to an illegal alien murderer who had already been deported twice. The young lady with the congenital disease who was not expected to live beyond her fifth birthday, but whose father founded a company to find a cure for her. The families of two police officers murdered by illegal immigrants. The young lady who had the opportunity to go to an alternative school and is now finishing her Master’s degree. And finally, the wife of the Seal, William Ryan(?) Owen. I have never seen a more powerful moment in any speech to Congress. How could one not tear up?

      In the summations after this speech, I heard one commentator who was outraged by the scene with Mrs. Owen. He claimed it was horribly self-serving of Trump to invite this women.

      What this idiot reporter does not understand is it doesn’t matter whether or not it was self-serving, it doesn’t matter whether or not Trump was sincere. What mattered was the message it sent to America. It praised American heroism. It praised the American military. It praised the wife of an American hero, it acknowledged her great loss and at the same time reinforced the pride she had in her husband. This speaks to people.

      I am a somewhat cynical type, and I believe I do not fall for many of the tricks played in political speeches, but I also believe I know when I hear an effective speech, whether cynical or not. What Trump did with those people in the gallery, was the most effective part of anything I have seen since W. was standing on the pile of rubble in NYC after 9/11 and letting everyone know we were going after those who attacked us.

      By the way, I am convinced Trump has great admiration for the military. He was sent to a military school as a boy and a love and respect for soldiers seems to have stuck with him.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        What this idiot reporter does not understand is it doesn’t matter whether or not it was self-serving, it doesn’t matter whether or not Trump was sincere. What mattered was the message it sent to America. It praised American heroism. It praised the American military. It praised the wife of an American hero, it acknowledged her great loss and at the same time reinforced the pride she had in her husband. This speaks to people.

        Yup. Well said.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I agree that Trump really does appreciate the military and the police — which may be one reason he ceased being a Democrat several years ago. They don’t, though most of them were at least able to pretend tonight. But some couldn’t even do that much.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Yup again.

          I think Trump’s speech was effective because:

          + He acted like a leader-in-chief, not a grievance-monger-in-chief

          + He had a positive, uplifting message

          + He was (gasp…how far offtrack we’ve gotten) pro-American

          + No noted the rise in value of the stock market and signaled he would cut unnecessary red tape, etc., to aid growth and to keep jobs here.

          + Given his past record on the campaign trail, he tidied up a bit in regards to supporting NATO. He mentioned specifically honoring existing institutions (such as this, one presumes) although he said that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to get NATO members and other allies to pay their fair share.

          + And, of course, the gallery moments were spectacular.

          What this adds up to is…well…acting presidential. But not only acting presidential but acting traditional. No, his speech was not (like many) loaded with quotes from past great presidents, but he did mention Lincoln a couple times.

          What Trump effectively did was disarm the Left and many fence-sitters who thought the guy was just a nut. Well, in the past, he has certainly acted that way while we were told by those in the know that he was really a great guy. Too bad this “great guy” waited so long to emerge. And I take note that this is only rhetoric at this point, for the most part, although he has taken some actions.

          What I saw was an FDR-like character with less of a propensity for Big Government. He seemed a mix not of FDR and Reagan but of FDR and Teddy Roosevelt. He’s for doing Big Stuff, but he also gives off the persona (for him) of being at least a political rough rider: strong on defense, supportive of law enforcement, and willing to make bold and big promises and presumably back them up.

          He used tonight’s SOTU as an effective public relations platform. Hell, even John McCain looked like he had a pulse a time or two (but Lindsay Graham, like Pelosi, is way past his sell date).

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            And once again, I say Trump is incredibly lucky in his enemies. Most of the Dems looked like incredible ass-holes, particularly the stupid women in white.

            They keep reinforcing their insanity in a public manner.

            During the analysis of Trump’s speech, various commentators were coming to the conclusion that Trump was a new type of Rep and stealing the Dem’s thunder on some policies. The moderator turned to a Dem functionary and asked about the future of the Dem party. The functionary said she thought it was those who were out in the street protesting. This functionary was a young black woman.

            If this idiot is representative of those who people the Dem party, I can sleep better at night. Such monumental stupidity was, until recently, not often openly displayed on public TV

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I’m not an advocate of the “tipping point”…that magical spot where Americans finally wise up and see how ridiculous the Democrats are as well as their bankrupt policies of multiculturalism, etc.

              Remember, Obama to me — from day one — turned out to be completely and almost exactly as I thought he would be. He never fooled me. But there is still great pull amongst the moocher-unwashed for the victimhood style of politics.

              And perhaps that was the “conservative” undercurrent (to the extent there was one) of Trump. It wasn’t (primarily) about Pajama Boy, about government services, cradle to grave, to help you through life with the undercurrent notion that only with this great and massive care do you have a chance.

              Although I gagged on many of Trump’s missives to the Left (and he has no intention of tackling entitlements), his general overall message is Reaganesque in that it is about unleashing the creative talent of the American people by getting government out of the way. Although I don’t support his “women’s health” baloney and other give-aways, maybe this aspect is just rhetoric. Who can tell? But the general message is diametrically opposed to the Pajama Boy vision of the emasculated (and ensnaring) types such as Obama.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                And once again, I say Trump is incredibly lucky in his enemies. Most of the Dems looked like incredible ass-holes, ….

                They keep reinforcing their insanity in a public manner.

                Further confirmation of my comments above. It is quite something to see someone so vicious and as dumb as a rock. A nice combination, which appears to be common among the left.

                http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/01/ex-clinton-volunteer-slammed-loses-job-after-swipe-at-widow-fallen-seal.html

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Matt Walsh has an article at the Blaze on the Demagogues last night, and how their gross behavior showed why they’re losing. There were a lot of examples cited. The link is:

                http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/matt-walsh-democrats-that-shameful-performance-proves-why-normal-americans-despise-your-party/

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Walsh wrote:

                They are the party of anti-Americanism, elitism, and lawlessness, and have been for quite some time. Last night they simply made it official. The rest of us have taken note.

                He forgot to include they are the anti-white male hating party which promotes the deviant in society.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                A good article by Matt Walsh. One thing to remember is that the baby who always gets what he wants at the slightest pout will tend to be a settled baby. George Bush and so many other Republicans were accommodationists with this baby, rarely saying “no” and more apt to stuff its mouth with ice cream at the slightest pout.

                This is what you get simply by actively opposing these bastards. It’s true that Trump has his own style. But very little he said last night couldn’t have been said by any America president of either party prior to about 1930.

                Will the Paul Ryan types learn this lesson? Almost certainly not. They will accommodate the baby and feed it whatever it wants so long as it avoids a temper tantrum. But real leaders lead. They take a few of the arrows which is what it means to be a leader. At any moment in time in the last 30 years, any Republican could have forcefully fought back. And none have since Reagan. Until now. And the babies don’t like it.

            • Rosalys says:

              “Most of the Dems looked like incredible ass-holes, particularly the stupid women in white.”

              Because white was the color of the suffragettes. So Democrat women are in favor of the female vote? Yay!

              Honestly, what the heck is wrong with these people? Just goes to show ya how desperate these clown-ettes have become, when they have to reach back nearly a hundred years for a new cause, however amorphous.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Liberals are so eager to play the victim that they’ll pretend to believe that their actual rights are under serious threat. The bad part is that many of their base voters are stupid enough to believe it.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              The moderator turned to a Dem functionary and asked about the future of the Dem party. The functionary said she thought it was those who were out in the street protesting. This functionary was a young black woman.

              If this idiot is representative of those who people the Dem party, I can sleep better at night. Such monumental stupidity was, until recently, not often openly displayed on public TV

              The nonsense spouted by this idiot Dimocrat functionary has been repeated by Obama’s last Attorney General, another black woman. What is it with these people? Perhaps they figure being black and women gives them the right to lawlessness. Keep it up.

              Does anyone doubt that this woman would abuse her power to get at Trump? Does anyone doubt that she actually did leave mines for the Trump administration, like misuse of the NSA, wiretaps, etc?

              http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/loretta-lynch-need-more-marching-blood-death-on-streets/

              • Timothy Lane says:

                This is a reminder of how thoroughly evil Loretta Lynch is — no surprise, given that she was appointed by Barry Screwtape Obama precisely for that reason (and more shame to every Republican who praised her for her alleged integrity). Whatever her objections to Trump’s goals, he has taken no one’s rights away yet, and she knows it — but deliberately stokes the paranoia of the leftist mobs.

                This is indeed the future of her party — a party of street mobs rioting to force out those they oppose, substituting violence for votes. Just like their Bolshevik, Fascist,and Nazi forebears did.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Evil is not too strong of a word.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            He never said he was against NATO; he just wanted our allies to pay their fair share (i.e., at least 2% of GDP spent on the military). A few already do, and others (such as Angela Merkel in Germany) are now promising to do so.

            When he thanked Mrs. Owen for her husband’s sacrifice to the nation, it was an ad-lib. The Biblical reference no doubt was intended, but not that. It sprang from the heart.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              He never said he was against NATO; he just wanted our allies to pay their fair share

              When asked about Trump’s bombastic style and exaggerations, I tell my friends overseas that one must understand he is establishing the setting for negotiations. Trump, like the Chinese, may only want your little finger, but will ask for your whole body and be very happy when you are silly enough to give him your right arm. That’s called trading.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      This is a three-fer for Trump.

      1. The optics are very good. He is keeping his promise.
      2. The actual economics are good. People are digging coal again and earning money.
      3. Old Democrat strongholds are turning Republican.

      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/01/coal-mining-begins-seeing-revival-as-trump-gives-industry-hope.html

      If this type of thing occurs around the country, the Dementocrats will become even more unhinged.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        As a fan of Dr. Demento, I would prefer a different sobriquet for the Plunderbund. (Incidentally, Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller notes that the recently deceased Bill Paxton was featured in the video of “Fish Heads” shown by Dr. Demento.)

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I had to look up Dr. Demento and find out who he is.

          I was going to call them the Insanocrats, Lunacrats or Dimocrats, but liked the sound of Demento-crats.

          However since you have a soft spot for Dr. Demento, I will leave the choice up to you.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            As a fan of word-play, I’d go with Dimocrats. It sounds the same as Democrats, which may or may not be a disadvantage. I won’t deny the accuracy of your first choice. But hey, I have 8 Dr. Demento CDs, and wish I had even more. (One of them includes the song “Timothy”, which I definitely find inauspicious.)

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Game over man. I had not heard that Bill Paxton had moved on. Too bad. He was only 61. Complications from heart surgery.

          Along with his great role in “Aliens,” he was noteworthy in “Apollo 13” and “Tombstone,” among other movies. But “Game over, man” was his finest moment. A great role in a great movie. One of the best lines from “Aliens” was:

          Hudson: Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?

          Vasquez: No. Have you?

          I’m sure the above is too racist, sexist, or something to ever be written these days by the Hollywimps.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            It might be acceptable even today because Hudson is the butt of the joke. Unless they decided he was some sort of metrosexual or whatever.

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    but of course it consists mostly of general aspirations, which reasonable people can generally support — and sometimes even liberals.

    True, Timothy. And I had visions of FDR up there with the notion that “there isn’t a problem we face that Federal spending can’t solve.”

    But he did articulate a reasonable American vision. And to some extent when he wasn’t just writing big checks, some of his solutions were at least quasi-conservative solutions such as allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, although no one rightly expects Obamacare to actually be repealed and replaced. At least I don’t. But we shall see.

    His stagecraft was masterful. And there’s nothing wrong with stagecraft, per se. It can show us what is important.

    The most amazing moment was when Trump was talking about (Owen?) the Special Forces soldier who was killed. The words by Trump were good and the reaction of his wife in close-up….well…I don’t normally tear-up at SOTU speeches. His ad lib about her husband setting a record (longest ovation of a gallery featured person) was a great ad lib. This was a memorable moment. This lady did her best to remain dignified but emotion overcame her and her entreaties and motions to the Above were…again…I don’t normally tear-up at SOTU speeches.

    Trump boldly crossed swords with the Democrats even while challenging them to work with him. His boldest moment was when he mentioned the victims of illegal alien criminals. This was good stuff. This guy is certainly not Obama.

    Speaking of which, Nancy Pelosi is way past her sell date. Shame on her voters, and those of Al Franken, for besmirching our great republic by sending these clowns to Washington.

    Although infrastructure spending I think is a fool’s errand when you’re already so far in debt, Trump did at least frame it well by noting that we spent trillions abroad and could have remade America two times over…maybe three times if she had had a skilled negotiator.

    One very important thing Trump did, besides spinning the dials on the national debt meter, was to de-legitimize the Trump haters by appearing sober, rational, focused, and with a good and honorable message. I’ve never been a Trump hater, per se. I just hated the guy who acted like an untrained monkey. We did not get the monkey tonight.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      He was of course very good at presenting stories — victims of illegal aliens and the beneficiary of school choice. It’s noted that the femocrats in white didn’t rise (as other Demagogues did) when he praised the American military.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Any fair-minded person would note that the Republicans were eager, as always, to give their president a standing ovation. On the other hand, a fair-minded person would wonder what the Demoncrat Party is actually for if they are against mom, the flag, and apple pie, as so many of them obviously are…and they looked the part.

        That was another great bit of stagecraft by noting the black girl who benefited from school choice. Another bomb thrown at the teacher’s unions and the many failed public schools. At the same time, you had to feel very good for this girl who certainly was poised, looked smart, and otherwise seemed the very picture of the American Dream. If black people could just stop supporting the evil liars of the Left who in no way want what is best for them — and if we had more Republicans willing to take them on — we’d all be better off. The American Dream would be a reality for many more people.

        And I think that whole dressing-in-white thing just came off as silly. They did not seem like adults. They seemed like they were back in high school.

  10. Rosalys says:

    I was afraid to watch the SOTU because of all the pre-speech hype about how he was going to compromise his position on immigration. So I watch it anyway and didn’t hear anything about compromising his position on immigration. So are these media people imagining themselves as some sci-fi-fi superior race capable of zapping the minds of the inferior race?

    “We will tell you in advance what he is going to say, so that when he doesn’t say it, you will think he did anyway!”

    Pathetic!

    I actually raised my fists and shouted, “Yes!” when he mentioned, being able to purchase insurance across state lines. For how many years now has that excellent proposal been ignored by our rulers?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      No, there was no compromising on immigration, although the word on the street is that to the extent he’ll soften, it’s about letting non-criminals (other than the crime of being an illegal alien, of course) to possibly stay (aka “pathway to citizenship”). We’ll see on that. That he was in-your-face to the Demoncrats by highlighting the victims of illegal alien crime suggests there isn’t a lot of radical softening going on.

      To be fair, as Timothy would say, we’ll have to wait and see what he actually does. The effect of his speech is to stiffen the backbones of the Republicans. Without solid leadership on this or any issue, they will always devolve toward a safe, status-quo, politically correct body. You could almost see little Eddie Munster (Paul Ryan) genuinely gleeful sitting behind (“behind” being the operative word) what appears to be true leadership. He will serve much better as a rubber stamp to Trump’s policies (assuming they are good policies) because he’s no leader himself.

      As for buying insurance across state lines, yes indeed. One of his best lines was when he said that people could buy the insurance that they want, not that the Federal government said they must. If this isn’t just rhetoric, this get to the heart of the problem with health insurance. The individual states, in particular, have mandated what must be covered. So if you want a simple catastrophic plan (to cover major things…you pay for the broken arms and such), you can’t do so today, for your health care plan is already socialized. Your plan subsidizes “women’s health” and all kinds of things that you yourself don’t actually need or want. You can’t just pick and choose the provisions you want.

      I’m not a lawyer, but from the sound of it, this would break the state monopoly. If some state (or even perhaps a province of Canada…or another country) offers individually-tailored insurance, that could bring the cost radically down. And I’ve been beaten into submission on health savings accounts. At least it sounds like a viable option, although I have no idea how all these pieces would fit together, especially the mandate to cover pre-existing conditions. I’m not sure how that doesn’t mean that you can sign up for health insurance only when the need comes upon you. And no system can function like that. So, excuse my realism, but I think there was a fair amount of demagoguery in Trump’s speech as well.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        According to reports by the usual suspects, Trump will offer some sort of legalization for non-criminal illegal aliens (an interesting concept in itself), but not citizenship. We shall see how well that can be maintained over the years. I would prefer not to legalize them, and at the very least illegal aliens should rank behind those who chose to come here legally. (It might have been a good idea for Trump to have a few legal immigrants who had to wait for years to get in, and cite their stories — and ask why those who come here illegally should have an easier time of it?)

        Apparently the Demagogues groaned when he discussed victims of illegal aliens. No surprise; they prefer illegal aliens to ordinary Americans. It would be nice if someone in the synoptic media had the courage and honesty to point that out, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          According to reports by the usual suspects, Trump will offer some sort of legalization for non-criminal illegal aliens (an interesting concept in itself), but not citizenship.

          Upon hearing this rumor yesterday, I immediately wrote the White House urging them not to legalize any illegal aliens as they are all law-breakers. To work here, most will have had to use forged documents and I am pretty sure that is a felony.

          As to legalization vs. citizenship, I believe once any type of legalization is approved, citizenship, imposed by the courts, will not be far off. If anyone wants to become a U.S. citizen, let him or her return to their country of origin and get in line like the rest of us did. (When I say us, I mean my wife)

          When Trump mentioned the new VOICE office, the Dems’ groans were audible. Like all fanatics who wish to change the established order, they understand “one must crack a few eggs to make an omelet.” They prefer those eggs cracked are of the opposition, but if some are on their side, well, they are martyrs to the march of history.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            All very well said, Mr. Kung. Let’s hope President Trump (and as long as he decides to act like one, I will give him that title) is of the same mind.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Note that when Trump paid tribute to Owens and his wife, Keith Ellison and Debbie Watergirl both sat down. Of course, with Ellison this was no surprise — the last person he would honor is someone who died fighting radical Islamic terrorism.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Hard to find much of a “war on women” in Trump’s presentation. But then, feminism has its own agenda other than what is good for women.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        As for buying insurance across state lines, yes indeed. One of his best lines was when he said that people could buy the insurance that they want, not that the Federal government said they must.

        This is not a small thing and before all is said and done, there might be a legal fight focusing around States’ rights. I am pretty sure every state has an Insurance Commission of some sort which determines they parameters of what insurance may be sold in the state. This covers not only health insurance, but all other types of insurance. Wait for the fight.

        So, excuse my realism, but I think there was a fair amount of demagoguery in Trump’s speech as well.

        Tsk, tsk! Don’t be a cynic. (wink, wink)

  11. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Another sign of the arrogance and stupidity of the left. A DACA dummy.

    http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/2017/03/01/immigrant-detained-after-press-conference/98589720/

    Do they really think giving ICE the finger is going to turn out positively?

  12. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Ian Buttle has a surprisingly sober assessment, almost Kungian in its objectivity and Timithonian in its conciseness. I had commonly been skipping Mr. Buttle’s articles because I too often found them full of baloney. But his is the voice of reason over at National Review at the moment. (He also mentioned Trump sounding like the Roosevelt cousins. It’s unclear who went to press with this first, but another example of great minds thinking alike.)

    Here’s the long and the short of where I agree with Mr. Buttle, setting aside any talk of centrist coalitions:

    Increasingly, the task of government in the economic realm is understood to be not simply to create the conditions for prosperity — which citizens can then take advantage of or not, according to their own wishes — but to supply that prosperity itself. Americans aren’t greedy — no one is demanding Bugattis for the masses — but they feel (rightly or wrongly) that they pay a lot into “the system,” and they want more and more out of it: not just Social Security benefits when the time comes, but some bang-for-the-buck right now . . .

    There is a large swath of Americans — take as an indication that four in ten voters identify as “independent” — who are not particularly concerned with the fate of either party, or the survival of their philosophical programs. They have no strong beliefs about the role of government. They just want it to work for them. Donald Trump’s campaign — chock-full of ideological heterodoxy — appealed to exactly this way of thinking.

    Your truly has always noted this as the desire for “free stuff” more than anything else. That the Marxist-atheist-Progressive-victimhood mentality sets us up for that shows the important ideological component that Mr. Buttle bypasses. But I’m grading on a curve. While those such as Williamson can only scowl, give credit to Buttle for some astute analysis.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      What Battle is talking about isn’t only “free stuff”, though that’s a major part of it for some people. He seems to be saying that people want the business cycle to be canceled permanently, and replaced by permanent prosperity. Unfortunately, this is a lot harder to deliver than “free stuff”, and thus ultimately just as corrupting.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I agree with that, Timothy. I use the phrase “free stuff” rather broadly.

        In effect, it is a government’s job to provide certain things (security, at the very least) for it’s citizens. But going into debt for “free stuff” (entitlements)? That’s where we are now. And I think the point is that Trump sees no difference between facilitating economic growth (good…if done right) and “free stuff.” If it’s what people want, it’s what people want. And to a certain degree, it ought to be on the minds of politicians who are grounded in integrity and wisdom to take that thought from the Rolling Stones and instead of getting what we want, getting what we need.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        What Battle is talking about isn’t only “free stuff”, though that’s a major part of it for some people. He seems to be saying that people want the business cycle to be canceled permanently, and replaced by permanent prosperity.

        Translation-Utopia. A country full of rainbows, lollipops, mild summers and winters and where it only rains at night.

  13. Timothy Lane says:

    The 7th Court of Appeals just decided (by an 8-3 margin) that the 1964 Civil Rights Act really covered sexual orientation as well when they banned discrimination on the basis of sex. In other words, 8 arrogant black-robed tyrants (at least one of them a “conservative” “Republican”, Richard Posner, who lately seems to be all-in for social “justice” instead of individual justice of the sort he has sworn to uphold) decided to rewrite the law — and/or the dictionary. Sic semper tyrannis.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      There are no limits to the power which the black-robbed tyrants will try to grasp.

      Posner is anything but conservative. I recall R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. tearing him apart.

      I believe the New Criterion had a review of a recent biography about Posner. He appears to be a very disagreeable person, a hero in his own mind.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      So, in essence, the Civil Rights Act covers the subjective nature of one’s identity. That is, one has a right not only to engage in fantasy but to require others to facilitate and respect your fantasy.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        So 8 arrogant juristocrats ruled. I trust you have no trouble understanding why such judges make me think of the state motto of my native state, Virginia.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Certainly they twisted the law to meet what they think is a positive social agenda. And I really think the overriding principle is that homosexuality, and all the bizarre peripheral “identities” and behaviors surrounding it, have been normalized to the point where at the cocktail parties these guys gather at, they would be ridiculed if they actually stood by the law. Pro-sexual-libertinism is now the default and accepted stance.

          Just call me Loretta from here on out.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            And I want to be a giant Chinese panda — everyone loves them (except Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller). Though during meals I revert to being a white male.

            The “stand tall in Georgetown” mindset that Allen Drury reported in Capable of Honor applies to a lot more people (and a lot more places) than it did then.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Yes! Where is today’s John Wilkes Booth of the judicial set?

  14. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a decided loss for the Constitution. You may like the optics of retaliating against the use of chemical weapons (Assad will just have to kill people the conventional way), but Trump’s action was illegal. (By the way, the advance warning given the Russians — and thus the Syrians as well – meant that these were public relations cruise missiles meant to impress you, not the Syrians . . . and gullible National Review writers.)

    Williamson has a good article on the Syrian tele-bombing.

    As Daniel Pipes and others have persuasively argued, the United States does not have an ally in Syria. The United States does not have any national interest in the success of the ISIS-aligned coalition fighting to depose Assad. The United States does not have any interest in strengthening the position of the Assad regime and the position of his Russian and Iranian patrons. Pipes sums it up: “Iranian- and Russian-backed Shiite pro-government jihadis are best kept busy fighting Saudi-, Qatar-, and Turkish-backed anti-government Sunni jihadis.”

    And…

    As noted in National Review Online, the Trump administration notified the Russians ahead of the missile strikes on Shayrat Air Field, meaning that the Syrians were effectively alerted to our intentions as well. Trump, who during the campaign declined to speak about many of his national-security views in a transparent attempt to cover up his deep and wide ignorance with tough-guy talk about not telegraphing our moves to the enemy, did everything short of using an actual telegraph. Critics who pointed out — and continue to point out — that President Trump suffers from serious defects in both character and judgment have precisely this type of situation in mind. War isn’t Twitter.

    And…

    If what the Trump administration has in mind is symbolic pinprick Tomahawk missile strikes launched from safe harbor, then the president and his men are merely fooling about. If what the Trump administration has in mind is something more substantial, then the president owes the nation an explanation of exactly what those young men and women who may be asked to do their country the service of dying for it would be dying for. So that we can all feel a little better about the savage state of the Middle East and our own occasional fumbling contributions to that savagery? So that President Trump can advertise his independence from Moscow and from the many admirers of Vladimir Putin who have surrounded him from time to time? Because we do not like seeing disturbing images on television?

    Again, proving that words are extremely cheap and meaningless to Donald Trump, Jonah Goldberg points out one of Trump’s campaign Tweets:

    If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away and fix broken U.S.

    A shallow president in the age of TV. Ann Coulter Tweeted:

    Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Mideast. Said it always helps our enemies & creates more refugees. Then he saw a picture on TV.

    Interesting to note as well the the liberal Kushner is apparently pushing aside Bannon and Priebus. If so, that merely Trump reverting to form. The scorpion is crossing the river on the frog’s back.

    Derek Hunter has a thought-provoking article on the matter:

    When nearly 300 girls were kidnapped and forced into sex slavery by Boko Haram, the civilized world uniformly expressed outrage. To combat this evil act…a hashtag was launched: #BringBackOurGirls. Social media was flooded by people wanting to be seen caring. Soon after, people moved on. Most of the girls are still missing, and the world didn’t do a damn thing that mattered.

    The world only cares to be seen caring; acting is of no interest. Do you think the Russian government gives a damn about a chemical weapons attack? That China lost sleep over genocide anywhere? It may be immoral for the world to watch genocide and not act, but it is the world’s default position.

    If the great powers of the world really wanted to, they could wipe out ISIS and Assad and stop almost every atrocity. It would require a resolve it hasn’t shown and serious, unfettered military action. The current political climate of the West won’t allow it. Civilian casualties would be high and domestic support would collapse. We want to be heroes, but we want it to be neat. Like in the movies. But war isn’t neat.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      There are some concerns there, especially the increasing importance of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Will they displace all the conservatives (including the cabinet members)? We shall see, but the long-term prognosis isn’t good.

      Warning the local Russians meant warning the Syrians as well, but we don’t know how much time they got. Trump wanted to minimize personnel casualties while damaging the infrastructure of the airfield (especially regarding chemical weapons). There are disputed reports as to how well this worked. If he did enough damage, it may indeed discourage Assad from further use of chemical weapons — though, as you say, not his more conventional means of killing. Again, we shall see.

      As for constitutionality, the real question is that we’ve been bombing in Syria without any sort of congressional authorization for some time. Congress has no objection, since it saves them the potential embarrassment of having their votes used against them later. From my understanding of the War Powers Act, this was at least legal (even if not constitutional).

  15. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Given the War Powers Act, and the somewhat contorted explanation that has been given as to how the existence of chemical weapons in the area could, possibly, maybe, sort-a be a threat to the USA as terrorists might get a hold of them and use them against the USA, I think the action was probably legal.

    That being said, I am interested in a couple of other points relating to this action. 1) Was Trump convinced to order this strike because of the gruesome pictures of those killed by the gas attack? I hope not, as if he is so easily convinced to change his mind about such a thing, then he will be played very easily in the years to come. 2) Was Ivanka the one who was behind convincing him that the strike had to be made? This is connected to point no. 1. And since she probably knows him better than anyone, she will be able to play to Trump’s emotional makeup better than anyone. I don’t think this bodes well for the nation.

    On the other hand, I can’t but smile that this strike was made over Creme Brulee with the Chinese Premier, Xi.

    Trump sent an inter-world message to the political and military leaders of the planet. Because of this attack, all the world’s leaders are reassessing their future actions with the USA. Who knows? Perhaps this small show of force will go help us avoid larger actions in the future. Or will others see how far they can push Trump because of the nature of this strike? Only time will tell.

    Here is a brief article which points out the problem of toppling the Assad regime. It also notes Bannon’s recent departure from the NSC. It looks like the Neo-Cons and Generals are co-opting Trump and his “America First” policy may be biting the dust. Let’s hope not.

    http://www.atimes.com/bannon-out-bombing-in/

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      One comment there included

      but is the world going to live with the prospect of unannounced attack whenever Princess Ivanka feels upset ?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Exactly! It was reported the same night of the attack, or early the next day, that it was Ivanka who convinced Trump to ok the strike. If this is true, it is very worrying.

        The talk is now about the U.S. navel strike force moving toward the Korean Peninsula. One hopes this is only sabre rattling. If it is more than that, then Trump is insane. North Korea has the ability to make things very uncomfortable for the USA and our allies. Not to mention the Chinese and Russians could be very nasty as well.

        We will have to wait and see.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I think we’re sort of in a situation there of deterring in obvious ways (as we are now) but letting them shoot first and then retaliating with a shitstorm. But provoking them to shoot first doesn’t sound like a good strategy. That said, we have the right to sail the fleet anywhere we’d like within international waters. And who knows if there is real intel behind this that is driving the action. As you are well aware, given Trump’s nature (Obama was no better), the tea leaves can be very hard to read. Might be better off examining chicken entrails in the case of Trump.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There’s an article at the Spectator today by Andrew Bacevich (linked on Hot Air) that interprets Trump’s behavior in terms of Kaiser Wilhelm II — erratic and blustery. (Since he discusses the Trump habit of tweeting interesting messages, I’m surprised he never mentioned the Kruger telegram, which antagonized the Brits. Cecil Rhodes — who apparently got along with the Kaiser as a fellow imperialist — once explained this to him.)

        I’m not sure, myself, especially regarding the Syrian attack. It was popular with most of our friends (even our Arab friends and semi-friends, since they don’t like Assad). But the parallels are indeed a bit worrying.

        The link is:

        https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/04/trumps-not-the-new-hitler-hes-the-new-kaiser-bill/#

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          This article appeared a few days ago. I cannot recall where, but I read it and was not convinced by Bacevich’s thesis. I do not think the comparison very deep.

          This is not to say that Kaiser Bill did not share responsibility for the start of WWI, rather there were others who carry greater culpability for the start of the Great War.

          See my earlier article.

          http://www.stubbornthings.org/world-war-polemics-crowd-history/

          I must say I am not a big fan of Bacevich. He, too often, is a blame-America-first apologist. But I do agree with him when he writes;

          What we have is a president whose words and actions are untethered to principle.

          That is dangerous.

          The Kaiser, at least, thought he was working for the recognition of Germany’s status as a great power.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Trump sent an inter-world message to the political and military leaders of the planet.

      This could be so, Mr. Kung. I think we both understand that people read Trump like you would tea leaves or the best of phrenology. It’s certainly possible he was “sending a message.” It’s possible that this display of force, those tactically of little significance, will bear fruit in terms of strategic significance.

      What I am sure of, however, is that Trump ordered this strike for Trump’s reasons. And we know from experience that it is reasonable to assume these reasons have more to do with “seat of the pants” thinking and less to do will any coherent long-term (or even short-term) strategy. Those who see in this strike the mercurial nature of Trump are surely not wrong. Nor do I pooh-pooh the idea that his poll numbers and his criticism over his closeness with Putin were major factors.

      What we can be sure of is that Putin and other world leaders are just as aware of this man’s mercurial and impulsive nature and thus can and will play him. Certainly the leader of China or Russia must be cognizant that Trump is commander-in-chief of the most powerful military on the planet. But I find it humorous to suppose that either of these leaders is intimidated by Trump or have “received a message” by this recent missile lobbing other than that pure media optics are all that matter to the man.

      I mean, to be fair, given this man’s mercurial and impetuous nature, how could you ever know what the message was? I guess if you’re Assad, you just make sure you kill children with bullets and bombs, not chemical weapons. What more of a lesson could he draw from this or should he draw from this? But clearly it wasn’t the killing of women and children, per se, that was the problem.

      Jihadists have learned quickly how to use the media, particularly western media, to manipulate public opinion. It’s not hard to imagine them being able to play the Trumps for the lightweight fools that they are. Consider the obvious: No amount of carnage or chemical weapons are so atrocious that a country’s relationship with the United States couldn’t be smoothed over by a grand state visit by the president where is he given gold-carpet treatment for his ego.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        But I find it humorous to suppose that either of these leaders is intimidated by Trump or have “received a message” by this recent missile lobbing other than that pure media optics are all that matter to the man.

        I don’t think Russia or China would be intimidated by this attack, but I do think they note that there is a change in the way the U.S. will act upon the world stage.

        I also think that Trump’s mercurial personality effects the message and that those leaders are not quite sure how he may react in any given situation. This can be both good and bad.

        Frankly, I don’t think Trump knows how he will react in any given situation, which is bad. Like the head coach of an NFL team, he should have an up-to-date chart on the plays he will call given any particular situation.

        Finally, while it appears he has chosen some good people to serve him, I am a little concerned that the generals around him may have the tendency to intervene with force more than might be necessary. When the hammer is the only tool you have, every problem looks like a nail.

        Perhaps we now have a “Walk-loudly-and-carry-a-big-stick” foreign policy in the hope of avoid future conflicts.

        Again, we will see.

        To be far to Trump, the two previous administrations did a wonderful job of f*@king things up internationally, particularly in the Middle East.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Frankly, I don’t think Trump knows how he will react in any given situation, which is bad..

          Leaders are often successful because of their charisma which is often based on a kind of personal omniscience. Jonah Goldberg’s article notes this aspect and notes that Coulter wrote a book certainly profiting from this belief (“In Trump We Trust”) although I never for a moment believed she was that on board with this guy. But her job is not to reform the country. It’s to sell books.

          I believe it is totally to the point that Trump doesn’t know how he will react. But he has the self-confidence (misplaced though it may be) to wing it, to fly by the seat of his pants. And he protects his backside when he errs with the most outrageous rhetoric, blame-shifting, and often outright bullying. By lobbing those missiles he’s in direct contradiction of his campaign rhetoric. Does anyone care?

          It’s amazing a man of such Quixotic character could ever have become president. I have to believe that the leaders in China and Russia know they are not dealing with a man of principle. I agree that his unpredictability has its own deterrent value. But I do believe that they think they can play him. And for all the “he’s just an actor” rhetoric surrounding Reagan in the early going, I’ll bet you that the Kremlin knew that this was a serious man who opposed Communism for reasons other than the ephemeral or the day’s poll numbers.

          What I’ve read about Trump’s generals is that Trump is being led right into the establishment mindset. Or, probably more accurately, this reflects his Big Government east-coast-corridor establishment mindset. Trump has fooled the masses who abandoned principle (such as they ever held it) looking for a win over the hated Hillary. Well, they got it. Now they own it. And I predict truly horrendous results ahead.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Ross Douthat suggests that Trump’s foreign policy may be largely run by the generals in high places. If true, this would have its good parts — the top brass tend not to be pro-war (they know what it costs). He suggests that they could provide a certain stability, but that they will be inclined to the sort of strikes we saw in Syria — not much, but it could always lead to more than any sensible person (as opposed to hawks like the McCainiac and Grahamnesty) wants.

            The link is:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/08/opinion/sunday/all-the-presidents-generals.html?_r=0

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I think the trump presidency will be like the Magic Eight Ball. You’ll have to shake it and look into the window to see what’s coming next. “Answer not clear. Ask again,” for example.

              In my opinion, trying to divine Trump is like listening to the ravings of a schizophrenic and trying to then make sense of it. You can weave almost any plausible story when the parts themselves are disconnected.

              And there is this disconnect between what he says one day and what he says another. You can analyze him any way you’d like. You’ll eventually be right…at least for a day.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                This may be true for foreign policy, and to a lesser extent certain domestic policies. But such vulnerabilities to emotional appeals are nothing new; even Ronald Reagan’s desire to cut spending could be short-circuited by stories about hard cases. But so far Trump’s personnel choices are mostly pretty good — better than either Bush’s, I suspect.

  16. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Holy smokes. I wish I would have written this: What Ivanka wants, Ivanka gets. It’s a hoot. Give it a read. Make Ivanka Great Again!

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