The Donald

Trump2by James Ray Deaton12/15/15
What is the driving psychology behind so many Republican politicians and conservative pundits hurling such extreme invective at Donald Trump?  It’s understandable when Democrats, the more-liberal and the less-liberal, become blue faced and apoplectic about some of the less than fully thought out things Trump says, but why have so many Republicans succumbed to Trump Derangement Syndrome?

Kevin D. Williamson, a great conservative thinker and writer at National Review has called Trump a “ridiculous buffoon,” a “witless ape,” a “reptilian cretin,” a “clown” and a “civically illiterate reality-television grotesque,” among other things.  I just wish Kevin would tell us what he really thinks of The Donald.  Williamson calls Trump supporters “Trumpkins” and describes them as “the intellectually and morally stunted Oompa Loompas who have rallied to the candidacy of this grotesque charlatan.” Has any well-respected, right-thinking, national publication columnist ever described naive “Hope and Change” Obama supporters with such distain?

When government authorities, presidents past and present and big-city mayors abuse their power and privilege, Williamson is there with pen and logic to set them straight — but not with that special invective he saves for Donald Trump.  I don’t recall Williamson calling president, or prior to that, candidate Barack Obama an “ape, a “buffoon” a clown, or a “reptilian” anything even as the president has lied to the public, presided over multiple scandals and used his pen and phone to subvert the constitution.

After Trump said he would temporarily halt all Muslim immigration into the United States, Charles Krauthammer, now a conservative national treasure, became more hot, bothered and indignant than he has since he was editing  (the old) The New Republic, opining on the policy sins of Ronald Reagan and considering the possibility of “educating Republicans on the virtues of social justice.”

“I decline to join the chorus denouncing the Trump proposal as offensive and un-American.  That’s too obvious,” Krauthammer wrote in a recent column.  “What I can’t get over is its sheer absurdity.”  On Fox News he said Trump issues “barstool eruptions” and has called Trump a “rodeo clown” on at least one occasion.  Krauthammer, a trained psychiatrist, coined the term “Bush Derangement Syndrome” to describe the effect President George W. Bush has on many liberals, so he knows something about this whole phenomenon.

Trump’s immodest immigration proposal was roundly denounced by the ruling class as beyond the pale, patently unconstitutional and quite despicable.  It was generally treated as a topic that ethical, moral and proper Americans don’t even think about, much less openly debate.  (It’s just not who we are.)

Cable news pundits (on the left of course, but also on the right), talked of Nazis, fascists, demagoguery, un-American proposals and Japanese-American internment camps.  “We need to aggressively take on radical Islamic terrorism, but not at the expense of our American values,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told the Washington Examiner.  Former Vice President Dick Cheney told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt: “I think this whole notion that somehow we need to say no more Muslims and just ban a whole religion goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”  Republican presidential candidates (except Ted Cruz) lined up to forcefully and with stern visage condemn Trump’s proposal.  Marco Rubio said Trump has a habit of making “offensive and outlandish statements.”  Jeb Bush labeled Trump “unhinged.” Lindsey Graham told CNN Trump is a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.”

Speaker Paul Ryan spoke resolutely against Trump’s proposal in an unusual press conference.  “Normally I do not comment on what’s going on in the presidential election,” Ryan said, but added he would make an exception that day.  “This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for, and more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”

We all recall the numerous and powerful special press conferences in which representative, vice-presidential candidate and speaker Ryan so forcefully denounced President Obama’s decidedly un-American ideas and actions about spreading the wealth, selectively enforcing immigration, putting coal companies out of business, lying about the facts of Obamacare and using government agencies to punish political enemies.

When Hillary Clinton recently pledged to (if elected president) continue Obama’s longstanding American tradition of using pen and phone to effect policy when congress so stubbornly  “refuses to act,” Ryan’s special press conference and forceful full-throated denunciation still rings in my ears.  When Bernie Sanders essentially proposes to socialize as much of America’s economy as administratively possible, Ryan’s galvanizing press conferences and speeches against such mishmash thinking are, quite frankly, Lincolnesque.

It’s not that I think Trump would make a good president or that I think he fully considers some of his proposals before stating them publicly.  It’s more along the lines of I wish Republicans and conservative pundits would get as outraged and worked up when Democrats spout some of their outrageous and offensive statements.  When Hillary includes health insurance companies, drug companies and Republicans as her enemies: when Obama attempts more leadership on climate change than terrorism and when John Kerry sees a possible rationale behind the Charlie Hebdo killings — there are pundits aplenty denouncing such idiocy — but never with the same gut-level, pull no punches invective they save for Donald Trump.

Have Beltway Republicans and pundits come to rely on conservative talk shows hosts (Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, et al.) to voice outrage at Democrats so they don’t have to?  Are the Beltway folks really not as outraged at Democrats as they are at Donald Trump?  Are they too worried about being seen as unreasonable, crass or plebeian to get down and dirty against Democrats?  Is there a new consensus inside the Beltway that, yes indeed, the Constitution is a suicide pact?  Whatever the reason, Trump Derangement Syndrome has definitely become part of  this season’s political landscape.


James Ray Deaton, one of six known conservatives living in Berkeley, Calif., is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
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34 Responses to The Donald

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I think part of the problem is that Trump is the candidate the Beltway Bandits of both parties hate the most. If it weren’t for him, perhaps Cruz would receive the same sort of treatment, though they might not reject everything he proposes so reflexively. But even Cruz requires funding from large donors, and Trump doesn’t, and that might be the main reason they don’t like Trump.

  2. David Ray says:

    There was one single & major reason I was supporting Trump; I’m livid with liberals and sell-out RINOs turning America into a 3rd world cess-pool. (Ann Coulter is correct in surmising that once we pass the tipping point, our grand liberty experiment will be flushed.)

    However, when Trump sucks up to ADM & slanders Scolia, he adds the finals straws to single-payer, retaliatory tariffs, taxation on existing wealth, donations to “Sir Edmund” Hillary, wresting property via eminent domain, . . .

  3. Anniel says:

    Since I have left the Republican Party and long since abandoned subscriptions to National Review I find it difficult to give any value at all to what anyone there thinks or says. Krauthamer is so full of himself that I want to tell him to shut up. George Will, too.

    One of my children asked me what I am politically, meaning what party do I belong to. My answer to anyone who asks is that I am a Constitutionalist, period, and suicide doesn’t interest me. In fact, the suicide pact rests with those who break faith with our founding documents, many of whom are oath breakers. If a Third Party is formed I will join it if it returns to the Constitution.

    I used to be impressed by Ryan, but I no longer trust anything he says. Where do I go but to Trump. He at least says he trusts the American people.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The Taxpayers Party has since become the Constitution Party. They’ve even come close on occasion to winning a state legislative race, which is hard for a third party to do. But I have kept them in mind as a possibility for years if I can’t bring myself to see a Republican candidate as at least being not as bad as the Demagogue.

    • James Deaton says:

      I’ve enjoyed reading NR over the years (not on all topics), but all their anti-Trump articles have really turned me off. It has really made me notice the difference between Beltway/”elite” conservatives and the rest of us. I guess I’ll still read some of the free NRO articles, but with more caution.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        What NR/NRO best represents is the continuation of the Republican Establishment, especially as they are transformed by the pseudo-conservatives coming up through the various Ivy League schools. (We see them often as these clueless “interns” but also as feature writers such as Cooke and others.)

        There are a lot of people who genuinely believe they are conservative simply because they reject one or two policies on the right. But being a gun nut, for instance, doesn’t necessarily make one a conservative. Yeah, it’s great that someone believes in the Second Amendment. But conservatism/traditional Americanism is an entire package.

        But the money is in Establishment Republicanism. Never forget that StubbornThings runs on a dime. Maybe we’re not always Socrates here, but our motivation for writing something is that we actually believe it, not because it supports some superstructure that we depend upon for our livelihood (although we have a superstructure: country, god, family, Western Civilization).

        I’m quite sure if NRO offered me a big salary I could sell-out in an instant…and then be right back here the moment I uttered something as horrible as an old Bob Hope joke, or punctured the cherished belief (both of the Left and of Progressive Republicans) of global warming. When NRO dumped Mark Steyn, there was then no doubt that to be associated with that rag was to be tainted.

        So from out perspective, NRO is often little more than another The Onion, an unintentional parody. Sure, they have some syndicated writers such as Dennis Prager and Thomas Sowell who can still dish out the truth. But beyond such writers, they are very thin. Speaking of which, here’s a funny bit.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Nice. One state, at least, is acting against sanctuary cities — North Carolina just passed a bill getting rid of them in their state (according to Governor McCrory, there were — or had been — 5 of them).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Since I have left the Republican Party and long since abandoned subscriptions to National Review I find it difficult to give any value at all to what anyone there thinks or says.

      Any, you’re my sister from another mother. Doesn’t quite rhyme as well as a similar expression. Kevin Williamson would be wise to obey the StubbornThings rule regarding Trump: For every criticism of Trump there should be two for Establishment Republicans and four for the Left/Progressives. I find it slightly monstrous to be harping on Trump as this, that, or the other outrage when Jeb Bush and his ilk are at least on the same level, if different personas.

      As we watch our society unravel, we see people building their emotional, ideological, intellectual, and moral houses on sand. A conversation with a typical person today will not be grounded in common sense. You’re more likely to get political talking points. Rush tapped into this today when he noted that there are a whole lot of people supporting Trump because they see the deep corruption of both parties…the total lack of what these parties are doing touching on any sort of common sense (so therefore they must be doing it out of bad motives…and they are right).

      Love your assessment of Ryan. Being the whizz-bang website director here, I’m supposed to be a little ahead of the curve so I was never particularly impressed by Ryan. Still, that’s not a “neener neener neener” statement. It’s just that I understand trying to find some coherence, character, and constitutionalism in someone. And a lot of people are presenting themselves as such. There’s a vacuum out there and that vacuum tends to draw us in to the first suit who says even halfway worthy things.

      That’s why Ann Coulter for the longest time fell in love with Fat Boy (Chris Christie). In this storm of illogic and corruption, we’re willing to tie up to any one who seems to be tacking against the corruption.

      People are being reduced to purely economic/material beings. And remember why this is important. The good times don’t stay good forever. Remember all the horrible looting, raping, and pillaging during the famous Dust Bowl in the 30’s? Oh, that’s right. There wasn’t. It’s because people, by and large, weren’t the mindless, soulless, purposeless animals so many have become today. I fear my neighbors the day the stock market takes a deep plunge or, god forbid, the terrorists set off an EMP bomb and knock out a fair amount of our electronics. Then you’ll see as I and so many have been saying that this superficial “nice” is not the same as “good.”

      • Timothy Lane says:

        In 2012, there were those who pointed out all the instances of Paul Ryan acting like a typical Beltway Bandit. Against the Crimson King and the Yellow Jester this hardly mattered, but now we may have an alternative to those eager to “stand tall in Georgetown”.

      • David Ray says:

        Lord Nelson,
        Nice assesment of dustbowl activities indicative of that generation.

        My mom grew up in a house in OK during the depression with no electricity (first house). Her only keepsake was an old teddy her dad could afford to give her.
        She grew up strait & beat me strait until the Corps took over.

        Needless to say, her high morals & standards never led her to even think such self-indulgent ways, but did lead her to finally shelve FDR long enough to start voting republican.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          My father’s family was from Oklahoma. Most left it in the thirties and forties. They went to California and Texas, which seems to be fairly standard for the Okie diaspora.

          • David Ray says:

            Texas was her choice and mine (and more than a few businesses of late).
            Rest of my family sailed on to California and strict democratic voting in spite of their values. FDR was THE influence upon all of them which makes me wonder what’s in the water in CA. (My mom was the black sheep in the family.)

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I have always thought that the type of Okie who went to California was of the Steinbeck sort.

              This is why I somewhat rhetorically say that the reason California is so full of fruits and nuts is that it was populated by displaced Okies.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          David, the more I see of your average American, the less faith I have ini restoring America to the land of opportunity instead of the land of entitlement. Kudos to you and your family (and Mr. Kung’s family) for being amongst those with a little more old-fashioned American character.

          FDR connected with a lot of people in the newly-emerging mass-advertising world we live in now. People honestly thought he cared for them. Doesn’t matter that he likely took a severe recession and single-handedly turned it into The Great Depression by his statist and wrong-headed policies. He was the Hitler of “do something” politics. Although we shouldn’t forget Woodrow Wilson, I think he, and his time, really ushered in the types of politics that culminated in Obama. FDR did no less than “fundamentally transformed” America. And it hasn’t been the same since.

          • David Ray says:

            Well said. My skin crawls when I hear some idiot politician blurt “well we have to do something!”

            As for FDR, i’d recommend Amity Shlays, but i get the sense she’s already on your bookshelf.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              The Forgotten Man does a fine job of pointing out the original meaning of the term. Although I hadn’t known that, the concept has been at the heart of my politics for over 30 years.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    So far, I find the debate to be of a lower level than the previous ones. They need to get some of these people off the stage.

    The first thing that comes to the fore is that CNN is simply trying to start a fight between as many of the debaters as possible.

    The second thing that I saw was that the establishment candidates, Bush, Kasich, Rubio, and Christie are in the pocket of the Saudis. Repeat after me, “we need to support the Sunnis to fight Assad.”

    The third thing is Cruz and Paul have hurt Rubio by bringing out his weakness on immigration.

    The fourth thing was that Paul is a more sensible candidate than Christie, Kasich and Carly about Russia. Christie is an idiot. He is going to shoot down any Russian jets that fly into the “no-fly zone” if he is elected president.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I tend to be mildly hawkish, as befits an Army brat. (One of my favorite Bible lines is “Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears” from Joel, as I pointed out in a recent posting.) But there are limits, and those who are eager for a war with Russia are idiots or demagogues, and either way undesirable.

      • David Ray says:

        They should remember Reagan who wore ’em out at the edges. Only invasion he undertook was Grenada (which reversed the “containment” doctrine.)

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And one of Reagan’s biggest mistakes was his intervention in Lebanon — especially allowing our troops there to function as sitting ducks (as Jeff MacNelly noted in an editorial cartoon). Being hit once by a car bomb was sad but understandable; being hit a second time was a costly blunder. At least he did learn after that.

          • David Ray says:

            I remember that. My fellow Marines had bullshit orders to have their magazines cleared of their M16A1s. Hence, the truck had the op to charge thru.

            If I remember right, Reagan came up with six protocals before commiting troops after that.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I think Kasich did not improve his position. Carly fell flat. Christie was clearly on a particular message which only addressed half of the questions and problems. Bush was uninspired. Rubio again seemed something like Eddie Haskel. Cruz improved his presentation. He seemed less the slick politician and more the sincere citizen. Carson was himself, which is good, but he didn’t take a step forward. Trump was best in his closing statement.

    I do not believe this debate will change much except there is the possibility that Rubio will be hurt because of the pounding he took from Cruz and Paul and his open borders immigration policy. His co-authorship, with Chuckie Shumer, of The Gang of Eight immigration bill was mentioned several times. That hurt.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It has been pointed out in various places previously that he had been lucky (or a beneficiary of bias) never to be asked about immigration previously. That luck ran out tonight, and we shall see how it hurts him.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Thanks for the round-up on the debate last night, Mr. Kung. I’m glad Carly fell flat. Love the description of Rubio as Eddie Haskel. (That’s a nice dress you have on, Mrs. Clinton.)

      I think you’re describing a phenomenon that will prove itself through the campaign: The more people hear from Cruz, the more (at least Republican primary voters) will like him. The same thing works for Carson, but perhaps a bit in reverse. The consensus seems to be that he needs a pulse. The Mr. Rogers soft-spoken act (or reality) isn’t going to connect with voters. That initial enthusiasm for a fresh face is wearing thin.

      Glad Rubio got slammed on immigration. I expected Christie to ride a mini-wave that I thought he had. But shooting down Russian planes in a no-fly zone seems a difficult policy. Remember, these are the sell-outs who say they will build a wall between some supposedly friendly faction of Islam and a less friendly faction (a dubious fundamental assumption, at best)…but they won’t build a wall between America and those who would enter it illegally.

      Fat Boy, with the right consultants (me and you) could become a viable candidate. But he’s just way too PC. He should be running as a Democrat. He might even beat Hillary, but a little late now.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Remember, Christie is from the northeast, where Republicans do generally tend to be liberal. He’s the most conservative New Jersey governor in our lifetimes, probably (certainly since Eisenhower). But compared to a Texas Republican . . .

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’m well aware that the country is moving Left. That’s one reason a lot of people at NRO, for example, truly believe they are “conservative.” Well, yeah, compared to Saul Alinsky. Sure. Christie believes in Islam as a “religion of peace,” in global warming, and stuff like that. And to say that a governor is less liberal than another is not to say he is more conservative. I think we get into the factor of being “a little bit pregnant.”

          A conservative is going to reject wholesale the assumptions of the Left. That Christie is a politician who is not a complete girly-man wimp is to his credit. But like I said, make me and Mr. Kung his consultants and this guy could have done much better. Sink or swim. Go liberal or go conservative. But do one or the other.

          Trump sort of breaks that mold because, other than his stance on immigration and Islam, he’s pretty much a product-of-his-culture liberal. He benefits from both parties being so corrupt and, as Rush often notes, governing against the interests of the American people. His outsider status and his outspokenness on a couple key issues (as well as being a cultural icon himself) are driving his campaign.

          Cruz may be gaining some steam, but had he hit the ground running, he might have been further ahead by now. And I heard Rush or someone talking about Cruz the other day, noting how he has indeed become a more dynamic speaker…at least in his larger public gatherings. Apparently he had always been that way at smaller ones. I see him as a viable running mate for Trump.

  6. I simply believe that these so-called conservative pundits and politicians are just revealing who they really are. Sometimes it takes certain individuals are events for someone’s true self to be revealed. Look at how they all piled on Sarah Palin. When they attacked her, I knew then that none of them could be trusted. If you notice, when they are hurling all of the names at Trump, they never explain how those names fit him. What has he done or said that would make him an ape, clown or buffoon? He has only proposed common sense solution to our nations problem.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’ll be the first to admit that Trump has his style and can be a bit bombastic, even unnecessarily vulgar. The difference is, I measure this against the vulgarity of Bush’s statement of equating the breaking of a Federal law as “compassion” in regards to illegal aliens. So let’s keep some perspective here (which you all do).

      You can see the bugs crawling under the skin of the “conservative” intelligentsia, especially at National Review Online where it’s all about “tone.” And to them, Trump still doesn’t have the right “tone.” Rush mentioned, as Mr. Wright did in his latest article, that you still have these clueless Establishment Republicans who are still trying to win on the message of “Can’t we all just get along?” C. Edmund Wright writes:

      When will John Kasich understand that no one is interested in a “can’t we all just get along” Republican candidate?  Been there, done that – and didn’t like it.

      For the Establishment Republicans and their ilk, it has become impolite to actually offer solutions to our problems — no matter that there is a law and a precedent for such thing. As Rush noted about Trump’s (precedented, lawful, and quite correct, in my opinion) statement that we shouldn’t take in any Syrian refugees because we can’t be sure who they are, the Republican Establishment practically wet their pants in the midst of their hissy fit about his statment. They see opposition to nearly anything as a way to drive away voters (glass always half leaving, I guess) instead of seeing these issues as a way to draw in voters.

      Long story short, the ideology of Establishment Republicans and their mouthpieces has turned them all into political eunuchs. That many are bought and paid for by Big Donor money doesn’t help them either in terms of political acuity.

  7. Timothy Lane says:

    The recent Ryan omnibus bill (2000 pages of spending deals with only a couple of days to read about them, plus a smaller bill of tax deals) is a good example of why the GOP Beltway Bandits are doing everything they can to assist the candidate they hate. Are they really this totally stupid that they can’t see how continued pre-emptive surrenders to the Obamacrats only encourage more GOP voters to reject them? Or are they just so corrupt that they can’t help themselves, even knowing what the result will be? A Hot Air piece quoted Erick Erickson (who opposes Trump, as do I, at least for now) as arguing that Trump can’t do less damage to the GOP than their congressional leaders are doing, and this seems reasonable.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Or are they just so corrupt that they can’t help themselves, even knowing what the result will be?

      It is more important to Paul Ryan and his ilk not to offend Obama than it is to defend the Constitution (or just Republican principles). You almost have to admire how Obama has turned Ryan and the Establishment Republicans (and not just the Establishment Republicans) into a bunch of eunuchs. As Rush noted the other day, they will do anything to avoid the threat of a shutdown of government.

      This is also the time to point out to the Thomas Sowells and Charles Krauthammers just what they have bought by this constant belittling of those who wouldn’t blink. NRO, the pathetic rag it has become, got that way in large part by joining the politics of surrender.

      Again, you’ve got to give Obama some credit for making these Establishment Republicans his bitches.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I really believe Rush is giving the GOPe types too much credit when he says they are afraid of a government shutdown.

        I don’t think this is the case. They are not afraid, they don’t want a government shutdown. They and their sponsors suck at the teet of government and want the milk to keep flowing.

        What we have here is a big Kabuki Theater or Wayang or whatever one wishes to call it. It is all one big lie.

        These people can only be destroyed. They cannot be negotiated with.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I referred to Ryan in a Town Hall posting as a Cheesehead Surrender Monkey. This is the best that can be said. In theory he could be too stupid to understand, but that simply isn’t credible. Or, as KFZ suggests below, he might just be totally corrupt.

        In any case, every House Republican in the leadership (and at least a fair number who support it) needs to be primaried. Or maybe it’s just time to split off a New Republican Party and let the old GOP go the way of the Whigs. But I do hate the thought of Slick Hilly winning next year.

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