Trumpology

by Brad Nelson5/20/18

Jonah Goldberg (a firm never-Trumper) had an article the other day that further clarified for me the Trump dynamic.

For the Booksellers who surround the Establishment Republicans, the central aspect is ideas. And ideas are notorious for being simple, pure, and easy, although it does require some skill to articulate them clearly.

And then there is the realm of putting ideas into action. For all his warts, Trump is putting his ideas into action And if Ted Cruz were doing the same, he’d meet similar resistance based on some rationale that always comes down to “He’s not one of us.” That Trump is uncouth goes without saying. But anyone looking to overturn the Leftist or Establishment-Republican tables in the temple will similarly be seen as uncouth.

This is not a blanket apology for some of the useless dumb things Trump has said. But I tire of the nattering nabobs of negativity who have brilliant and pure ideas which they never have to sully by actually trying to implement them.

I think one of the clearer heads at National Review (neither sycophantic nor too harsh) is Victor Davis Hanson who has written an informative and amusing piece: Truman May Have Been the Proto-Trump. And Lloyd Marcus, the Unhyphenated America, penned a reasonable tribute to some of Trump’s successes in: Despite the Media, Trump Pulling Down Wins for We the People.

It’s difficult to imagine any Bush (or other Republican, perhaps with the exception of Cruz) not filling the swamp with more water. Certainly no “gentlemanly” Republican would do anything that would cause such disgust amongst the intelligentsia (including the mainstream media). Whatever Trump’s core is made of, it is something that can at least bare up against criticism, something lacking from most gelded Republicans.

Although Trump is cementing in place some awful things (such as acceptance of gender-bending, politics-as-entertainment, and gut “feelings” over any kind of coherent agenda), he is the people’s Tribune at this point. I neither think that Trump is anointed by God nor is anything but a one-off ideology (whatever is in Trump’s gut at the moment) that can last beyond him. But for now, some needed reform is actually happening. And writing articles and books about Trump’s inexact fealty to book-bound conservative principles is of no help other than cementing one’s own delusions that one has all the answers lacking in others.


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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80 Responses to Trumpology

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Trump’s not one of us, but he’s accomplishing about as much of our agenda as anyone was likely to accomplish. Except, as always, maybe Ted Cruz.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Point taken, although populists (especially those adept at marketing) are always “one of us.” And to a large extent, the average Joe relates more to Trump than, say, Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney. Saturday Night Live (way back when they were actually funny) did a “Democrats Do It” skit regarding Jimmy Carter’s interview with Playboy. That could have described Trump as well.

      Trump is pro-sexual-libertinism which is consistent with attitudes amongst 70% of the population (even if many put on airs otherwise). Trump is pro-business and pro-making-money. Again, despite the Little Monsters even now being indoctrinated to hate our country, most people still believe in this (with enough caveats to ring up trillions in debt in socialist policies, but they still do believe in the basic concept).

      Trump is also pro-America, an increasingly marginalized idea, but still with many adherents. And the icing on the cake is that he is a celebrity. This is what allows him, amongst much of the populace, to have a useful double-standard. If Ted Cruz tweeted some of the stuff that Trump does, we’d be shocked. But we’ve become used to vulgar, foul-mouthed, and loud-mouthed celebrities. It’s his “brand” and many quite devout Christians, for example, have implicitly compartmentalized that factor (for better and for worse).

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        I confess, I was not a huge fan of Donald Trump. When he entered the race in 2015 I thought it was just for kicks and giggles. I enjoyed the way he disparaged the 16 RINOs one after the other, but I feared deep down Hillary would win out. However, by early in 2016, after watching the debates and rallies the picture changed.

        What I saw was a skilled politician using the media as they have never before been used, at least since Reagan. It has been almost two years since that wonderful night when the talking heads got their hats handed to them and shown the door. Hillary will never be president of anything and Donald Trump is—that’s enough schadenfreude for a lifetime.

        The last two years have been an eye-opening wonder. Regardless of your personal opinion of Trump, the economy has turned around. Jobs, that the zero administration said were never coming back are back, are; steel mills in Pittsburg are opening, some having been closed for decades. Staffed by the grandsons of the workers of the 50s.

        The broad swath of what the media and intelligentsia call fly-over-country has renewed confidence. One of the most telling signs for me was back in March, driving through lumber country in the central part of Arkansas and noticing mills that had been closed since 08 cutting timber and even running weekend, and second shifts.

        Here in Fayetteville there is construction that rivals the 60s and 70s when the population jumped from 12,000 in 1960 to 50,000 by the late 70s. This is a real recovery and DJT is the author. In my 70 years I have observed the standard political lie as practiced by the standard politician and taken the cynics of view. I will believe it when I see it.

        Donald Trump is a lot of things, but he is an accomplished politician, he is not stupid, crazy, demented, or led around by Putin. He is skilled at dealing with phonies, has to be to keep his sanity for a long running TV show. Remember Reagan also had a long running TV show, a radio show and for a while a newspaper column.

        I still don’t think DJT is someone I want to talk with over a cold beer and BBQ, but that has nothing to do with how he is governing, and that’s the difference between Trump and Hillary and zero. In trump we have someone who believes the American people are to be governed and not ruled. True a sematic difference, but an important on.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Steve, I think we’re of the same general opinion regarding Trump.

          The interesting split as I see it is between those who expect real material benefit to their lives from the way government is run and those who don’t care if they set their own house and hair on fire as long as their ideology is supreme Uber Alles (basically a description of the Left).

          Trump was, I believe, elected by the former. His particular ecumenical magic is that conservatives call him one of their own even while Trump carries enough left wing views that he’s not perceived as one of those “crazy Christian types” by a large portion of “Reagan Democrats.” It was enough to turn enough blue states red — while there was very little doubt that red states wouldn’t stay red, even if the GOP had nominated a rock to run against Hillary.

          Trump is generally hated by the “ideological” aristocracy of eggheads on the right who make their living supposedly being smarter than thou. It’s not that Trump doesn’t have an ideology. But there is enough of a pragmatic, results-oriented, pro-American in him that whatever his ideology is (and I doubt anyone an name it), it’s had a positive material effect in many areas.

          There’s also the general backdrop of the culture war where he is doing what yours truly has long said is the path to power: Don’t kowtow to political correctness. Don’t apologize to the media. Go on the attack. I think “never-Trumpers” hate him, in part, because Trump has exposed the lie of their supposed superior tactics and intelligence.

          I don’t think I’ve ever said that Trump is stupid. I’ve said that he is vulgar, undisciplined, and untrustworthy.

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            Brad,
            Please don’t think I was accusing you of saying DJT is stupid. That is generic to the Dems and the media, part of the continuing big lie. Yes Trump can be vulgar, but not I think undisciplined or untrustworthy. It is not not possible to achieve what he has, in business or politics, by being undisciplined.

            Watch the rallies, as much as he goes off script he is consistent in his message and this is an important point, he is having fun. How long has it been since a president was obviously enjoying talking to Joe Doaks, Sally Soaks, and all the folks? Reagan had moments of it but I think you need to go back into the 19th century for presidents enjoyed what they were doing–TR most notably. It was TR who said the presidency is a “Bully Pulpit”. I have lots of problems with TR but I never doubted his love of country.

            I actually look forward to the 2020 race. Lefties will continue to go nuts, media heads will explode and hair catch fire and DJT will carry over 40 states.

            I think he is as trustworthy as any other businessman, who is made trustworthy by contract not ethics. As a political leader he seems at least as trustworthy as the Bush family and infinitely more so than the Clintons.

            I am reminded of Winston Churchill who said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing–after they have tried everything else” After Reagan we tried everything else for almost 30 years.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              TR was a progressive, but one must remember that the original progressives were very moralistic, and played a major role (e.g.) in Prohibition. They did favor an activist government, especially on running the economy (which would have been an alien notion before the War of the Rebellion).

              But TR, though he largely opposed racism (unlike the Southern racist Wilson, who endorsed the Birth of a Nation view of Reconstruction history), was firmly opposed to hyphenated Americans. He would not support the immigration of Hispanic and Muslim invaders, as our elites do today.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Please don’t think I was accusing you of saying DJT is stupid.

              Not at all, Steve. I just sometimes add in a soliloquy into my posts. 🙂 And we can debate the merits of, and definition, of undisciplined, but the man edges too far over to impulsive for my taste.

              Oh, I think the 2020 race will be a blast as well. Regarding his trustworthiness, few politician are trustworthy….other than to count on them being untrustworthy. Sorry, but there’s way too much P.T. Barnum attached to Trump…for better or for worse. That he annoys the other scoundrels is perhaps his greatest asset. Perhaps it’s the same dynamic as George Costanza in that one Seinfeld episode where doing the opposite works for him because everything he had been doing before wasn’t working. Everything the GOP had been doing before wasn’t working.

              At the end of the day, Trump is making sausage in a sausage factory. We can’t fault him too much for that.

              • steve Lancaster says:

                “At the end of the day, Trump is making sausage in a sausage factory. We can’t fault him too much for that.”

                Nice line, mind if I use it with some of my libertarian friends?

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I’m sure Brad was thinking of the comment attributed to Otto von Bismarck: The two things people should never watch being made are laws and sausages.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I’m glad you liked that one, Steve. I guess it does ring true. You are free to use without royalties or attributions.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I have come to the conclusion that many Never-Trumpers are so strongly anti-Trump exactly because he is so pro-America and is uniting a large group of people around the idea of Make America Great Again. Should he succeed, Trump will go a long way to concentrating power around simple American culture and values. While not the same as the old WASP culture/power, it is somewhat similar.

    This frightens people who do not wish to see cultural similarity and agreement across a large portion of the country. These people have tried to Balkanize the USA and wish to create a cultural and linguistic Tower of Babel so as to cause discord among traditional Americans.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m not sure I’d put the never-Trumpers in the same boat as media types and other Progressives. I had always assumed a “never-Trumper” was a Republican or conservative who is so disturbed by the package that its swamps every other consideration (including any actual swamp-draining that is going on).

      If Mr. Rogers himself was a Republican president and implemented the same agenda that Trump has, he’d be just as reviled by all the usual Progressive suspects. And because he had garnered the wrath of the usual Progressive suspects, the noodle-bending backbones of Establishment Republicans (and their book-selling lackeys) would likely think that Rogers was altogether too impolite and uncouth to be president. They thought the same about Reagan.

      In short, despite the supposed conservative intelligentsia that guides those in power, the intelligentsia rarely seems actively pleased with any reform that isn’t just some populist toned-down reflection of where the Left has already been. They believe not in reform but a sort of gentlemanly, reasonable method of basically taking credit for what amounts to Leftist half-measures.

      In short, Trump’s crudity, although in my mind needlessly gratuitous, is not the deciding factor for me.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I think the so-called Never-Trumpers on the “Republican” side are more of the Globalist ilk. They disdain patriotism and hate nationalism. They have also been able to prosper mightily under the rise in Globalism.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I don’t think Goldberg’s objections to Trump stem from globalism or nationalism, although I’m sure this is true for many in the Republican intelligentsia.

          Let us remember (as you always do): In order for anyone not producing a tangible product (iPhones, lawn mowers) to maintain their status and sense of superiority requires them to at least some degree to pooh-pooh populists and such primitive things as love for one’s nation. For an upper class to exist, the lower classes must be outed as being different and inferior.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Being just across the river from Indiana, I’ve always seen their Richard Lugar as a perfect example a transnational globalist. I was really hopeful about Mourdok in 2012, but that didn’t work out because of a question about rape and abortion.

  3. Steve Lancaster says:

    For a large percentage of the RINOs and the NTs, I believe its acceptance at the table as equal players. They will do anything to just be invited to serve the water to the mandarins and lotus eaters who they perceive as the holders of power.

    The reality is that they will never be accepted. Oh, they may be tolerated but never welcomed. No matter how much education, liberal votes, and progressive nonsense they espouse there is no room at the table.

    Think of it as a typical university. There is wealth, power, respect and recognition for the tenured faculty. But, the hard-working grad student, post-doc, and lecturers are excluded from the important jobs to a great extent they always have been. However, its much worse today than it ever has been.

    What DJT is doing is churning the base who quietly go about raising their families, paying the bills and exerting their power by voting the RINOs and progressives out of office. Will this continue? I don’t know, but I perceive the trend to be positive in the short term.

    The difference between DJT and every president since Reagan is that Trump is a leader. Clinton, Bush 1 & 2 and Obama were more qualified to administer a university dept and not run a government.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      And Barry Zero probably thought in those terms. Clinton and the Bushes probably didn’t. Some will question whether government should be run as a business (it does have certain aspects of a business), but it definitely shouldn’t be run as an academy.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        The major difference between a successful businessman and a successful general is the tools they use to accomplish their goals. It is one of the reasons that business books are used in staff colleges and why books on war are used in business schools. However, the basic skills of leadership are very similar. It is significant that DJT is schooled in both military and business skills.

        Three important works on warfare that I know are taught in business schools, Clausewitz on war, Musashi, The Book of five rings or Go Rin no Sho, and Sun Tzu Art of War. Staff colleges teach a lot of Milton Friedman and Robert Townsend, Up the organization 1 & 2.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Steve, I do agree the separation has more to do with status/clique issues than ideas. However, several writers at NRO (including Lowry) have given a lot of praise to Trump lately. Possibly this is due to the fact that Trump is the guy with power. Partly this is due to intellectual honesty as well. (It’s now nearly impossible to deny his many significant accomplishments.) And partly because you can’t get too far behind your readers.

      Certainly I’ve never been shy about calling Trump a bum and vulgarian for the way he typically conducts himself. And we’ve lost some contributors and readers no doubt because of this. And although it’s a nice song, who wants to live their lives in “Home on the Range” where never is heard a discouraging word? I won’t eat excrement sandwiches just to create a Trumpian “safe space” for kool-aid drinkers.

      What DJT is also doing is playing the leader who is taking the arrows. Few of these other pussies (with the possible exception of Ted Cruz) are willing to do that. Most fold like a cheap Howard Schultzian tent at the first sign of controversy or criticism. As I was discussing with Mr. Kung the other day, this has allowed others (including Rush Limbaugh, as Mr. Kung noted) to start speaking some of the hard truths that we were discussing here four years ago.

      I do believe most people here are of the same mind: If you keep apologizing to the Left for your every action, this will put you into in increasingly shrinking box. But if you confront them, defy them, and even mock them, you suddenly open the way to actually oppose them politically by making it safe to do so.

      But I have friends so put off by Trump’s demeanor (the veneer) that they give him no points on substance. Some are so entrenched in the respectability-by-proxy mindset (identifying, I guess, with an upper class of soft-talkers) that demeanor is apparently everything to them. And as much as I eye-roll over the idea that “God uses flawed people for his ends” (which I find a weak rationalization), indeed, great leaders such as Patton were noted to be quite foul-mouthed. It’s not disqualifying that someone is a little crude.

      But neither will I get on the Trump bandwagon and plant my nose up his ass as so many others have done. He’s just too fundamentally flawed and unpredictable to deserve that kind of loyalty. Instead of “trust, but verify” I think the best attitude is “Cheer on the victories and sometimes look the other way, for the Chief Executive obviously likes his hookers.”

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        Brad,
        I agree DJT is often vulgar, gross, and even obscene. But, (the big but) so am I, just ask my wife. The other side of that coin is compassionate, idealistic, and loyal. Yes, there are contradictions, occasional hypocrisy with I believe the overall on the positive side.

        No one I know, even the most admiring Trumpers, has any belief that Trump is a paragon of virtue. He is more the typical American than any of our past presidents since Reagan. I find it ironic that two of our most populous presidents both come from democrat backgrounds, but who else would understand how they think? I like the simple fact that DJT is an unapologetic American. On this, there is no equivocation. Obama, Romney, McCain, G W Bush, Clinton, G Bush and the majority of congress and the courts are willing to be something other than American to just have a seat at the table.

        What they all have failed to realize is that right now Trump owns the table and that makes the pointy little heads explode.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          It’s obvious, Steve, that your wife has not outlawed masculinity in your house. Inherent to it is (compared to nicey-nice prissiness) is a bit of vulgarity, brashness, bravado, and even obscenity. (Chicks can dig that.) And I agree with you that there is that other side of the coin.

          A gentlemen is not a wimp. The very definition of the gentleman is having both sides of that coin. We’ll give up a seat on the bus to an elderly person and yet be ready and willing to smack someone in the mouth to protect the innocent.

          What we don’t do is what so many yutes (those not thoroughly pussified) are doing today: Making an idol of their slovenliness, ill manners, and moral obtuseness.

          and the majority of congress and the courts are willing to be something other than American to just have a seat at the table.

          Oh, hell yeah. I agree with that. The “international” set cares more what Europeans think about them than normal Americans.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, it’s always possible that “he likes his hookers” was in the past, since there seem to be no recent claims against him. Perhaps he no longer has the capability (cf. Tom Lehrer’s “When You Are Old And Gray”), and certainly wouldn’t want to admit it. And why do you need hookers if you have Melania?

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          Then again, the percentage of hookers who return quality for the pay they receive is much higher than that among lawyers, reporters and college professors. On a one-to-one basis, the conversation is also more stimulating.

          you can meet a more interesting number of people in a stripper bar than a university seminar room.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I’ve never been in either (unless one or two of my history courses was considered a seminar), but I’m quite ready to believe your estimate. If nothing else, I recall reading that a call girl was expected to be able, as an escort, to supply good and informed conversation.

    • pst4usa says:

      Steve brings up a perfect contrast here. Take candidate DJT and candidate John (the wimp) McCain. The later would “do anything to just be invited to serve the water to the mandarins and lotus eaters who they perceive as the holders of power”, in other words the media. See what that did for him in his race. Trump, however, did not bow to the Lotus Eaters, he rather flipped them off, and that gave him a great advantage over Hitlary. We love to hate the media in this country, or at least what the media has become. We all have an agenda, and since the left completely controls the media, we get a leftist slant in everything they put out. Well I say it is not the media we should hate as much as the leftist we should hate and oppose at every turn. I do not think we survive long as a nation without a free press and the only place we can get anything resembling truth comes from talk radio and the internet, although in both of those you are subject to just as much crap as truth. But Trump plays the media like a fiddle and he will have them spinning in circles for a long, long time I predict.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        A few years after Bush invaded Iraq, the synoptic media raised a stink about the Army killing off journalists, or at least not protecting them from those who did. This didn’t last long, and I always suspected that the reason was that it turned out only the newsliars themselves cared about it.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Some will question whether government should be run as a business (it does have certain aspects of a business), but it definitely shouldn’t be run as an academy.

    If running government departments efficiently means running the government as a business then fine.

    But governance is about much more than efficiency and business. A corporation is not a democracy and its main goal is (generally) to provide some good or service in the most profitable way possible.

    The main job of our government should be balancing security with liberty. That can be anything but efficient.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      Agreed, the government is a broadsword, not a scalpel and those who use it always take the chance it will cut the innocent with the guilty. The wisdom of our founders was putting and, for the most part, keeping a balance of power to protect the people. Truly efficient government comes with a horrendous price in blood.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Just so long as “running government like a business” does not mean “running government like a Starbucks,” I’m good with that.

      Of course, you’re are correct that the analogy is imperfect. Government has a broader mandate than simply efficiency and making a profit. But at least efficiency should be a guiding force as government pursues its legitimate functions.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        efficiency should be a guiding force as government pursues its legitimate functions.

        I agree 100%.

        The most efficiently run government I have ever seen is that of Singapore. The place is run like a corporation with a small number of people serving as the board of directors for just about every major department.

        While the PAP (People’s Action Party, which is the ruling party) is somewhat authoritarian, I would point out that it has always had the support of the majority of the people. It maintains this by keeping everything running well and keeping corruption to a minimum.

        Importantly, it is able to react very quickly to shifts in public opinion and correct obvious mistakes in policy. Both abilities are rare in history.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Right now I’m reading City of Light, City of Poison. Basically this is a chronicle of the period in Louis XIV’s (I think) reign. At the beginning of his reign, Paris was a shit-hole….quite literally. Crime, excrement, darkness, crime, excrement. It was a horrible place at times or in many places of the city.

          The king appoints various officials to clean things up and implement reforms and infrastructure. Funny thing is, when dumping dead carcasses and such outside was outlawed, people simply kept them inside. Parisian houses and apartments thereby began to stink to high-hell.

          This book very early on shows you two things:

          1) People, by their nature, are despoilers and slobs, especially in the relatively anonymous confines of a city where there isn’t much individual responsibility (as there might be in, say, a small family group or tribe).

          2) Only a strong central authority can overcome this nature and institute the needed order and infrastructure.

          “Democracy” or capitalism will never keep excrement out of the streets. The mob doesn’t care, on the one hand, and there’s no profit in it on the other. It’s a very interesting history so far. I’ll report back on it later as I get further into it.

          But if you have a somewhat responsive and enlightened despotism such as in Singapore, there’s no reason this wouldn’t be far preferable to, say, one of the increasingly dirty and dangerous drug-addled and crime-ridden “sanctuary cities” of the Peoples Republic of Californian.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            But if you have a somewhat responsive and enlightened despotism such as in Singapore, there’s no reason this wouldn’t be far preferable to, say, one of the increasingly dirty and dangerous drug-addled and crime-ridden “sanctuary cities” of the Peoples Republic of Californian.

            Perhaps the main problem of an enlightened despotism is the question of succession. For every Louis XIV you get a Louis XVI. For every Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore, there is the possibility of a Joseph Stalin waiting in the wings.

            In fact, Singapore has done a fairly good job, to date. The “founder” generation passed on a fair amount of power to the next generation, but kept an eye on them. The “founder” generation is now either up a chimney or six-feet under and the second and third generation of leaders are doing a pretty good job.

            The question is “how will things develop” in the future? Singapore was founded as a separate State in about 1965. Because it was run like a corporation and the leaders were not a bunch of greedy murderers, the place developed rapidly. How will a semi-autocratic state do over time now that the populace is getting fat and sassy? As I recall, their birth-rate/replacement rate is something like 1.2. That is a sure remedy for extinction.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Knowing what I do about Louis XIV, I can guess why it refers to a city of poison. You should soon know more than I do about Marie de Brinvilliers and her fellow poisoners. Incidentally, John Dickson Carr wrote a novel dealing with the case, tangentially. A chap finds a picture of her, and of a later murderer who looked just like her — and just like his wife. I think it’s The Burning Court.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Yes. In the introduction it makes plain that there were some heavy-duty poisoners at large in Paris and that there was also a big cover-up concerning this.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              FYI, the book “City of Light, City of Poison” was not the sort of The Devil in the White City book I was expecting. (And the latter really is a brilliant book.)

              The start was interesting enough. But then the pages were filled with detailed accounts of the King’s affairs. It lost me completely. What a piece of trash as a book. This is like a string of Twitter postings or something. Salacious gossip, not an organized narrative of the dirty underside of early Paris.

  5. Timothy Lane says:

    Another blatant never-Trumper, David French, had an article Friday (I guess) that argued that Heinrich Mueller’s Friday indictments “proved” that there really are “witches” in the witch hunt. He neglected to remember that one of Mueller’s earlier Russian indictments turned into an embarrassment of lack of evidence when the target decided to fight rather than just stay in Russia where Mueller can’t try him. French also carefully forgot that until Mueller tries them, we have no idea what if any evidence he actually has.

    This is especially relevant in light of the aphorism that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. And it’s also relevant that unless one of the Russians decides to come over and fight the charges, Mueller can reasonably expect never to try any of these cases.

    Perhaps he really has something, but given past performance, I see no reason to assume it. But French evidently assumes that Mueller is absolutely trustworthy — unlike so many crooked prosecutors from Chapel Hill to Madison and Milwaukee to Austin. No doubt he supported Lawrence Walsh’s dubious indictments 4 days before Election Day of 1992.

  6. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Heinrich Mueller’s Friday indictments

    So this is where he has been hiding for over 70 years! It makes sense that he is still in the police business.

    David French’s brain has clearly been addled for some time now. I recall that several of his silly and often unbalanced articles have been taken apart by ST contributors.

    I have simply stopped paying attention to anything he writes. He is a complete, slobbering nincompoop when it comes to anything Trump.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      As soon as they launch a probe into the media’s meddling in elections, then I’ll get excited. That has more direct and immediate impact than anything the Russians do. And anyone who can’t see that this is power-gone-wild by Mueller is a fool and an idiot. This witch hunt should be thoroughly discredited. No one should wish that anything garnered from this illegal probe should be used, even if it was against a Clinton.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        That has more direct and immediate impact than anything the Russians do.

        As I recall, all the Russians indicted work for the Russian intelligence services. Let’s see, spies doing what spies do. Duh?

        This is a joke.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          It’s just the mind-blowing craziness of The Daily Drama that is impenetrable to reason. Yeah…the Russians have been trying to undermine the West since at least 1917. And the Islamists want us dead (and, frankly, have been doing a bang-up job of influencing Western policy….Where’s the investigation of this?)

          What’s disconcerting is that partisanship turns everyone into idiots. In what world do any of these zealots want to live in where you can appoint a prosecutor who is completely free to go on a widespread fishing expedition?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            There’s an old aphorism that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. In the previous round of Russian indictments (which no one expected to go to trial, so Heinrich Mueller would never have to show if the had any evidence), one of the targets surprised everyone by fighting back and demanding discovery of whatever blue smoke Mueller had. So far he’s fighting that rather than admit he has nothing.

            And now we have another indictment of 12 more ham sandwiches from Russia, this time intelligence officers and hackers. I doubt Mueller has any more to go on than last time, particularly since the FBI has never been allowed to check the hacked DNC computer. It will be amusing if one of them fights back and forces Mueller to expose the fraudulence of his case again.

            These indictments are certainly plausible. But until we see actual evidence rather than proclamations from various officials, we have no reason to believe it’s true.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      You’re the first to recognize (or point out, anyway) who Heinrich Mueller was. In my parody of Oliver Stone doing a movie on the Röhm purge with “actors” from Janet Reno’s kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez (and ignoring gender, which is even more appropriate now), I had Hillary portraying him.

      I haven’t been reading much NRO since they stopped using Disqus for their comments section, so it’s been a while since I read anything by French. It will probably be a long time before I do it again. It’s reasonable for him to believe that the indictments are valid — they might indeed be. But to attack Trump for not taking them as seriously as he does while carefully forgetting to mention all the reasons for doubt is another matter.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I am always a little surprised how few people, who otherwise know a lot about Nazi Germany and its police-state organizations, know about Mueller. Die Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) are infamous, so one would expect their final, and longest serving, chief to also be infamous.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          When I was very young, I read a comic book that was about historical (usually military) stories. In one, an Allied officer (probably American) was noting that despite Germany’s defeat, 3 of its top leaders were still missing and might be waiting somewhere to start a 4th Reich. Of course Hitler and Bormann were included, but the other was Mueller. At the time I don’t think I knew who he was. Even Shirer didn’t mention him much. Of course, back then people knew a lot more about Nazi Germany because it was still fairly recent.

  7. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    The link is to a very good article which further confirms my belief that Trump is extremely lucky in his enemies.

    http://takimag.com/article/jeffrey_sachs_and_bandy_lee_the_stupidest_experts_in_america_degroot

    For all the nonsense these fools spout about Trump, never doubt me when I tell you a large part of the reason they attack him so viciously is because he is the manifestation of the dreaded WASP come back to power. Aaaaaaaahhhhh!

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’m not sure Sachs and Lee, idiotic though they are, are the stupidest experts in America. They have a lot of competition. Orwell noted 70 years ago that some things are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them, and Rand made some similar observations in Atlas Shrugged. It’s what happens when you live purely in your ivory tower bubble, not in reality.

      But one can also point out that the ethical standard of psychiatrists need to make a personal examination before making such “professional” pronouncements (an appropriate term, basically of the Spanish pronunciamento, meaning a coup) goes back to a bunch of them declaring Goldwater crazy in 1964. There have been many violations since then, generally by leftists (including one used to justify Janet Reno’s kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez in 2000).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      When hysteria becomes policy. Yikes.

  8. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Once again, David French shows he will say just about anything to question Trump’s powers.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/08/john-brennan-security-clearance-raises-constitutional-concerns/

    Read the comments after the article. Everyone disagrees with French and some call him out for his hypocrisy. The man is an embarrassment to NRO, which has degraded itself tremendously over the last few years.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I didn’t read it, but I did read the Morning Jolt summary of his and Hanson’s (pro-Trump) articles on the subject. French has a point in that Trump shouldn’t take away the security clearances from people just because they oppose him, though when the opposition is as unhinged as Brennan’s it can be justified. French, of course, carefully forgets that detail.

      He also carefully forgets Brennan’s many offenses (lying, exposing an agent in Yemen, leftist political hackery, not to mention his past — and who knows, maybe present — support for Communism) before Trump came along. Nor does French seem to understand that continuing Brennan’s security clearance was partially a courtesy (which he indisputably no longer merits) as well as to make it a bit easier to consult with him (which even French probably isn’t stupid enough to do, much less Coats, Bolton, Haspel, and Mattis).

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        As with every French article I have read in which he mentions Trump, French goes out of his way to sound reasonable and learned, in order to cover his tremendous disdain for Trump.

        As regards security clearances, I both read and heard that over 4 million people have a security clearances in the USA. Doesn’t that sound like a few too many people have such clearances? How secure can our information be when so many have access?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, there’s a difference between having a security clearance and actually having an access to the information. But you’re quite right that this at least a potential security clearance. As I recall, something like that helped lead to the atrocity in DC a few years back when a former solder showed up and went on a rampage. He still had access, and of course the soldiers still aren’t allowed to be armed on base.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          A TS clearance does not necessarily give access to secured information, however, it makes the process easier for an agency to read in an outsider for their expertise. Even that is compartmentalized to the needs of the agency/department and the experts skill set.

          However, Brennen should never had any type of clearance. He admits he voted for Gus Hall in 76, a communist, and he has admitted he has strong Moslem jahadi sympathies. Those two actions should make him unqualified for any clearance beyond street sweeper or garbage man. Of course, to BO those must be career enhancing qualities.

          I have been through the anal exam of TS clearance. It offends me greatly that people like Brennen seem to think it is some kind of right. It is a burden that you bear, knowing the truth and being unable to correct an untruth.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Ultimately, it seems that leftists have (at least for now) chosen to believe that a security clearance, as something you have, is thus a piece of personal property. And for once, they don’t want that property taken away — as long as complaining about it aids their Trumpophobia. It goes without saying that once they want to take away the security clearance of anyone in the Trump administration, this argument will go out the window.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The testicle-less conservative movement, afraid to take action and pretending to stand on principle.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There’s another example today, involving some possibly yellow behavior by Trump. Some opposition researcher at CNN with the interesting name of Kaczynski found that a minor White House staffer named Darren Beattie had gone to a Mencken Association gathering in 2016. Some alt-righters were also there and actually spoke (it’s not clear what if anything Beattie did).

        So CNN, of course, presented Beattie as a proven racist or some such (the usual McCarthyite guilt by association, a tried and not-so-true leftist tactic). Never mind that, whatever his flaws (we’re talking the first half of the last century, after all), Mencken was a great satirist as well as a student of the language. Beattie was there in the vicinity of a bunch of meanies, and he had to go. And Trump chose to agree and fired him. The link is:

        https://hotair.com/archives/2018/08/20/cnn-proves-republicans-perfect-2018-pay-price/

  9. Timothy Lane says:

    HotAir reports today that Lanny Davis, worried that Michael Cohen may face asset forfeiture and therefore not be able to pay Davis off. So he’s been shilling for a new GoFundMe page for Cohen to be able pay Davis’s no doubt bloated bills for gross legal malpractice (i.e., serving the interests of the Clinton Gang rather than Cohen), counting on the psychotic left to fill the coffers.

    Too bad for Davis that he neglected to give the correct website. The one he actually named was unowned — but it quickly got bought up. And who bought it? Why, Trump-Pence, naturally. We may hear a lot of Trumpophobic heads explode when they click on it. The link to the article is:

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/08/22/newest-charity-case-resistance-god-help-us-michael-cohen/

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Speaking of Trumpology, I still find it a queer thing (old use of the word) articles such as this one: God Chose Trump.

    Not only is this kind of hero worship a bit unseemly, but there is a central problem much on par with “global warming” whereby when the earth warms it’s a sign of it and when the earth cools it’s a sign of it.

    The gist of the article (and the most curious responses to it) is that it is God’s Will if a bad guy is put into office (Obama) or if a semi-bad guy such as Trump.

    Very bad guys, such as Obama, are doing God’s Will because He uses them to turn people away from their ruinous policies. And God uses other semi-bad guys, such as Trump, to do good despite themselves. Occasionally, one presumes, there will actually be a good guy in office who does good things, with or without God’s Will, I don’t know.

    But if everything is “God’s Will,” then God is of no more of a reality or consequence than “global warming” which, quite naturally due to its fraudulence, is now “climate change” which is no scientific theory because it can never be disproved. If anything that happens can be said to support the idea, the idea itself is meaningless.

    And whatever the reality of God, I think we turn the concept into meaninglessness when we try to shoehorn him into our elected officials, right or left, naughty or nice. One reason I’ve taken somewhat of a break from blogging is that the political climate out there (right or left) is just so full of nonsense, who’s going to read sense?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Can’t disagree with any of that. It doesn’t even make much sense in light of what has happened. Trump has certainly done a lot of good despite his flaws (and in some cases maybe even because of them). But as the popularity of socialism rises today, the “good” resulting from the Black God has partly disappeared (every day we don’t have the Fire Witch as President is one example of that good, but that’s more her flaws than his failings). And Trump may do the same “good” for the other side that the Black God supposedly did for us.

      Maybe, just possibly, God who gave us free will is leaving politics (which is so dirty to begin with) up to us.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Trump has certainly done a lot of good despite his flaws (and in some cases maybe even because of them).

        Indeed. And, yes, every day that the Fire Witch is not president is a good one.

        As for God and politics, I agree with the free will aspect. What I don’t agree with — and one reason I’m not likely to join an organized religion anytime soon – is this cultish mindset that must always stuff the multiplex events of life into the one-size-fits-all filter of “God made it so.” I just can’t think like that. I can’t reduce my own mind to the proportions of a comic book.

        Oh, for sure, one ought to glean the major ethical points from the Bible and put them into practice as best one can. Satan, nihilism, political correctness, and naive utopianism are poor substitutes. But I wish people would go easy on this stuff which I find not only a bit creepy but counter-productive. If life is but a series of superstitions, then nothing really every makes any difference. We just write upon it after-the-fact what it means in order to fit our ideology. I just don’t subscribe to that cultish mindset. Never have. Hopefully never will.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          The ethical requirements of the New Testament started me on the road to deism. The extremity of the requirement to love God made me despair since there was no way on Earth I was anywhere near being able to do that. And the notion of forgiving one’s enemies (as distinct from forgiving friends or even just acquaintances who have done something) is simply alien to me. At least some of my natural morbidity stems from the wish to be avenged on my enemies by such means as the punishment device in Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony”.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            The extremity of the requirement to love God made me despair since there was no way on Earth I was anywhere near being able to do that.

            A Catholic friend of mine once reminded me that the Bible is full of lamentations toward God of the “Why are you doing this to me?” variety. It’s not sacrilege to wonder if God’s benevolence is selective or, at the very least, obscure.

            The primary difference between the savage animal and the Child of God is that the former takes out the rage of his disappointments upon others. The latter makes some kind of peace with the way things are, laments what is lamentable, and finds a way to be a dove instead of a wolf.

            But to judge oneself or one’s religious outlook according what passes for Christian or Jewish thought today is a recipe for disappointment, disillusionment, and dumb-ass-ness. Right now it is the blind leading the blind. It is not wrong to be “deistic” if that is a way to take one step out of the maelstrom of confused groupthink and to consider the question from a wider perspective.

            It’s not for nothing that the parable of The Return of the Prodigal Son has such power and relevance to our lives.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Good point. Another thing to recall is that Thomas Didymus, one of the apostles, is also Thomas the Doubter, who needed to see the proof that Jesus Christ had died and been resurrected. Once that happened, he resumed his calling and according to Christian legend was martyred preaching the gospel in India.

              Thomas Paine noted this story and said he needed the same sort of evidence. Sounds reasonable to me. In fact, my grandmother blamed my falling away on Paine’s “The Age of Reason”, which I read in the 11th grade.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Thomas Paine noted this story and said he needed the same sort of evidence. Sounds reasonable to me. In fact, my grandmother blamed my falling away on Paine’s “The Age of Reason”, which I read in the 11th grade.

                Thomas Paine seems to me to be one of those people who took his “age of reason” ideology to its natural extreme in France. And I believe he was made aware of his mistake.

                Within the confines of the American Revolution, his was a useful ideology for taking the kings down a notch. But his was ultimately the superstition not of the divine right of kings but of the superiority of the wisdom of the masses, unfettered by religion and such, — and, of course, as instructed by those rare Golden Beings who have a special and enlightened grasp of “reason.”

                Everyone is always leaping to one extreme or another, if only because the world is far too large for any one mind our soul to take in totality. But we can seem to when we blot out the 99% that we can know and replace it with our 1% precious dogma of ultimate purity and simplicity that can explain all and do all.

                We don’t get that kind of teaching from Jesus, which is a good clue that he wasn’t a crank. I find that very few people out there are able to synthesize the various elements (inside and/or outside of the Christian view) or are even willing to try. A man of some depth and honest willingness for the truth will be parched in the landscape of “prosperity gospel, “progressive Buddy Jesus,” and such. God Himself might be a desist in the House of Political Correctness.

  11. Timothy Lane says:

    Melania Trump has been off on a goodwill tour in Africa this week, which of course has hardly been noticed thanks to the Kavanaugh smearfest. But she naturally has always dressed to the occasion, including her visits to an elephant orphanage and other safari type visits. She was dressed practically — and even wore a pith helmet. It will come as no surprise that many leftists denounced the Slovenian-American First Lady for her “colonialism” I wonder how many of those can identify any Slovenian colonies in the long history of actual European colonialism. The link is:

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/10/07/melanie-trump-imperialist-hat-traveling-africa/

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Melania dresses well. What is amazing about this first lady is that she can’t quite pull her husband as completely liberal as she is. I thought she gave a really vacuous answer when asked about Ford. It was something like “I’m glad she was heard.” A vapid reply.

      But she does look good roaming around the world on our dime.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        She was asked about that, and about Trump’s tweeting, at some point. The article didn’t include any comments she had on Ford (and it should be remembered she wouldn’t know much about it, having been out of country the past week). She did say that she doesn’t always agree with Trump’s tweets and occasionally takes his phone away. Typical wife, I suspect.

  12. Steve Lancaster says:

    There is an interesting comparison between a Trump rally and an evangelical revival (Billy Graham). I was struck by this today with the rally in KY. Both are staged with precision, large crowds are expected and accommodated, there is only one star/speaker/preacher the message is directed to all, however, it’s the believers who carry the show, and most importantly everyone goes home feeling good. Good about themselves, good about voting for Trump, good about the city, state, country.

    This is the basic difference between Trump’s GOP and the democrat party. Any rally on democrat turf and you will leave with anger, foreboding, and a sense of doom. Not a recipe for success.

    Donald Trump has made that rarest of all transformations. He began as a practical man of action, and has transformed into a charismatic leader, without dropping the man of action persona. Only very few leaders of mass movements make the transition. Most are one or the other and remain that way.

    Given the neurotic state of the democrat party and their inability to counter a genuine mass movement; I doubt the so-called blue wave is anything but wishful thinking.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This is a reflection of the difference between Republicans and Demagogues. The former may be angry, but they want to be happy. The latter live to be miserable and angry. That’s what happens when victimhood is your highest ambition.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      This is the basic difference between Trump’s GOP and the democrat party. Any rally on democrat turf and you will leave with anger, foreboding, and a sense of doom. Not a recipe for success.

      A great observation, Steve. And I don’t mean to quibble just for the sake of quibbling. I don’t work that way. But we should recognize that hate and grievance have been powerful tools for the Democrats. How else could you get 70% or more of black voters to vote Democrat even though the most heavily-controlled cities by Democrats are downright unhealthy and hostile to the black man? Black lives matter? No. As I read recently (forget where), it’s black votes that matter. Democrats don’t give a dang about the well-being of their voters.

      That’s not, of course, to say that the Republicans are automatically the opposite. I’d say they’re simply not as bad.

      Victimhood sells, at least in politics. And the Democrat Party is indeed neurotic and brings this out in their true believers.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        How else could you get 70% or more of black voters to vote Democrat even though the most heavily-controlled cities by Democrats are downright unhealthy and hostile to the black man?

        More like 90%. If the Reps can ever consistently win 30% of the black vote, the Dims will disappear as a national party. They will maintain certain crazy areas, but they will kiss the Presidency, Senate and House goodbye.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          No, that’s why they’re trying to replace blacks as their mascot with Hispanics. Thanks to massive immigration (both legal and illegal), they consider them the best growth area for votes anyway.

  13. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, the New York Slimes stepped in it again today, and probably don’t even realize it. They decided to hold a writing contest for how the Russia hoax might end. Naturally, the sort of writers responding were leftists who all fantasize about how badly it will go for Trump. (The closest to sane involves Trump choosing not to run, opening up a spot for Pence 2020.)

    The worst involves a Russian deep agent trying to assassinate Trump. His gun misfires — but instead of shooting him, the Secret Service agent (only one, evidently) hands him his Glock to finish the job with. Truly disgusting. But that’s what one expects from leftist professional haters.”

    It’s at Town Hall, but I was unable to paste the link in. This may be related to the fact that I have to sign in every time I post here. Something seems to have gone wrong for my access. Does anyone else have the same problem? Does anyone have any idea why this is happening?

    I logged in at the Forum, and that seems to have logged me in all over. I have no idea why I have to do this every few days. I tried to paste the link, but it didn’t work, so I recopied and will try again:

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/10/24/ny-times-whos-trump-assassination-story/

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Do you have a very old browser? Sometimes that seems to give me problems.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I mainly use Firefox, though I also have Edge available when I want to look at two items simultaneously. I’m running Windows 10.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I use Firefox on both computers. One is still running XP and the other is Windows 10. I have different problems on each operating program. Sorry can’t be of more help.

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