Trump—Compared to What?

Tu quoque is a classical Latin term for “you too.”

It is sometimes considered a logical fallacy: you do not defend your position, but instead point to someone else’s that is worse—in the fashion of a guilty child seeking to avoid parental discipline by claiming his unpunished brother “did it worse.”

But in truth tu quoque is a legitimate argument—if one both defends his position and also points out the hypocrisy of his inconsistent accuser.

Take Trump.

Over the last two weeks, Trump, the messenger, may have tweeted a few silly things (the recycled John J. Pershing pig-fat bullet tweet) and was considered slow in appreciating the political atmospherics of the rioting and violence in Virginia and North Carolina.

Are his supporters therefore supposed to abandon Trump as the hysterical media demands? Hardly. Here are six reasons why not.

1) Presidential Caring
Presidential morality is not quite an Old Testament open and shut case. In politics it is defined by paradox, irony, and unintended consequences.

Jimmy Carter, despite his smugness, was a more classically moral man (marital fidelity, usually speaking the truth, financial incorruptibility) than was Bill Clinton—a rogue, liar, serial adulterer, grifter, and utterly corrupt. (By the same token, Herbert Hoover’s private life was saintly compared to FDR’s).

But one does not have to be a Clinton enabler or apologist to concede that Clinton’s sometimes centrist tenure did more good for the country than did Carter’s legacy of sanctimonious incompetence, naiveté, and self-righteous stupidity. Who then was the more ethical in helping more Americans?

We can accept that pious Mitt Romney was a more moral person than is Donald Trump. But Romney would likely by now have offered calibrated amnesty, stayed in the disastrous Paris climate accords, and not moved so swiftly against unfair trade, even as he spoke compassionately, soberly, and professionally.

Trump’s immigration reforms will eventually benefit the underclasses in a way a President John McCain would never have considered. Trump, for all his character flaws, cared about the lost middle classes in a manner his much more careful and judicious Republican primary rivals did not.

Trump’s third-way paradigm may seem like rank opportunism from a political chameleon, but its practical effects were a moral and ethical concern for those heretofore assumed to be losers of their own making, a struggle working class lacking the panache of the wealthy and romanticism of the distant poor.

2) The Coach is Not the Team
A president, it is true, is the iconic head of a nation. But it is his administration, not the chief executive per se, that changes the country. The nation did not just vote for Barack Obama alone, but—knowingly or not—also for the likes of Eric Holder, Ben Rhodes, Loretta Lynch, Samantha Power, John Brennan, James Clapper, Sonya Sotomayor, and Susan Rice. Obama’s picks were predictably progressive, Trump’s were unpredictably conservative and far more competent.

The administration and its agenda is not Donald J. Trump’s alone. It includes appointees such as Neil Gorsuch, Nikki Haley, John Kelly, James Mattis, H. R. McMaster, Rick Perry, Mike Pompeo, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, and dozens of others. While Trump tweets broadsides against his nemeses, the Trump Administration is undoing eight years of progressivism in a way it is hard to imagine other Republican presidents might have attempted.

In the first eight months of the Trump administration, the economy is improving, people are more confident about their economic futures, the country is becoming safer abroad with a renewed sense of deterrence, and the government is not seen as the enemy, but the enabler, of commerce. There is a certain moral quality in all that.

3) Progressives Are Not Democrats
The political opposition to Trump is not the Democratic Party of Harry Truman or JFK—or even that of George McGovern, Walter Mondale, or Bill Clinton.

Rather the alternative is now a harder-core, progressive movement led by Keith Ellison, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Tom Perez, and Elizabeth Warren that cannot register even slight discomfort with the extremist rhetoric of kindred leftist Black Lives Matter or Antifa thuggery in the streets. In their view, the explanation for the past eight years of Obama’s economic stagnation, loss of deterrence abroad, and redistribution is that Obama did not go far left enough.

Thus under their progressive leadership, the transformation to European socialism would have been nearly completed. Think of an IRS of Lois Lerners, a Justice Department of Eric Holders and Loretta Lynches, an EPA of Al Gore clones, a Supreme Court of Sonya Sotomayors, and a State Department of John Kerrys—cubed.

To avoid that, millions of Americans are quite willing to “call balls and strikes”—the much caricatured tactic of supporting Trump’s agendas, but calling him out when his impulses, inexperience, and ego result in crudity or inanity. If it comes down to a war between those who smash statues of Columbus and those who object to such mob violence, the iconoclasts in the street and those who support them in the progressive party lose.

4) Bluestockings Cannot Win
The Republican Party was calcified intellectually and ethically. It had lost two consecutive elections to Barack Obama. Despite eventual control of Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court (due to grassroots activism and Tea Party exuberance), the government grew ever larger in the last decade, taxes rose, regulations increased, and political correctness engulfed even more of our lives from the universities to the ways we’re permitted to discuss political issues such as illegal immigration in public. Before Obama doubled the national debt, a Republican president had done the same.

In truth, the Republican Party had returned to its 1960 caricatures of bluestocking establishmentarians, gauging its success by the health of Wall Street rather than Main Street, occasional compliments from the New York Times, and praise from the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Bank—while half the country in the interior was written off as globalization’s sore losers.

5) Theories Versus Practices
When one loses a good job, the theories of Milton Friedman—insightful as they are—become a bit irrelevant, as does the advice of coastal conservative pundits to just get in the truck, pack up your history, and drive pell-mell to the oil fields. “Creative destruction” may be characteristic of a flexible economy—until it applies to yourself. (When this column is replaced by a Vietnamese or Finnish pundit who will write at 30 percent of my compensation, I think I will resent lectures about the wonders of “globalism” and being told to go learn computer coding at 63.)

If the Republican establishment believes Trump’s implosion might pave the way to a return of Weekly Standard leadership, and that the Blue Wall will stay crumbled, they are sorely mistaken. Like it or not, Trump’s paradigm of economic nationalism, reindustrialization, closed borders and meritocratic legal immigration, principled realism abroad, and fair rather than unfettered trade, for now, is likely the best message that will win a Republican the White House.

Millions who are angry still at progressive hatred of red-state America and nauseated by Republican congressional ossified grandees, will stay home if their savior is to be the kind and decent Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio from central casting. And if Trumpism becomes second-term Schwarzeneggerism—liberal fluff in he-man tones—it won’t matter much whether Republicans or Democrats are elected.

6) Yes, Tu Quoque
It is an understatement that the media as we once knew it disappeared sometime in 2008 and became a veritable Ministry of Truth, as obsequious to Barack Obama as it is hell-bent on destroying Donald Trump. They hated George W. Bush but not to the degree they have demonized Trump. Reflect on the death of CNN.

In the last year, one of CNN’s anchors had to apologize for using fecal imagery in damning Trump. Three of the network’s marquee reporters were forced to resign for airing a fake news story about Russian collusion. One of its contract show hosts, heretofore infamous for eating human brain tissues on camera, likewise resorted to excrement smears (“piece of s—t”) to slam the president. Its premier foreign policy show is hosted by a plagiarist. The co-host of its New Year’s Eve coverage held up a facsimile on video of a bloody decapitated Trump head.

CNN staffers were caught on a hot mic dreaming of a fatal Trump plane crash. Whether choreographing protests in London or leaking debate questions to Hillary Clinton, there is a CNN presence at the center of most media scandals—apparently as the network’s subordinates make the necessary adjustments to the perceived ideological party line at the top.

When an understandably irate Trump goes after CNN for unprecedented obscenity, bias, and fake news, we would do well to remember that the alternative to such invective is either the professional and customarily “presidential,” turn-the-other-cheek silence or backstage D.C. wining and dining to flatter and win over haughty journalists. Which is more corrupting to the nation?

So Trump chose a third—and brutally atypical—presidential way and the result is that when Trump crashed his truck against the CNN wall, he staggered out undeniably wounded, but the bricks and mortar of CNN in contrast were pulverized.

Take some of Trump’s most notorious excesses—his sometimes relativist commentary on the violence at Charlottesville, or his wishes conveyed to James Comey that nice-guy Mike Flynn deserved a better fate—and there is unfortunately an Obama Administration precedent, albeit accompanied by media collusionary silence and contextualization.

Trump faults both the neo-nazis and Antifa activists for Virginia’s violence. That tactic was best mastered by “both-sides” Obama. In reaction to the Fort Hood “workplace violence” by the Islamist mass-murderer Major Nidal Hassan, Obama could not even offer a feeble “on the one hand/on the other hand” morally equivalent editorial, but instead would not cite radical Islam at all.

When Jews were singled out and butchered in a Kosher deli in Paris by Islamist terrorists, Obama wrote it off as just “a bunch of folks in a deli.” Black nationalism inspired the murderer of police in Dallas—but the bloodshed was fobbed off by Obama as an example of gun violence and “powerful weapons.”

The media dissolved into hysterics charging that Trump “obstructed” justice in his “wish” that Comey treat Flynn as the patriot he was—an ethical lapse perhaps. But it seems increasingly likely that Attorney General Loretta Lynch may have prearranged to meet Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in secret and was not truthful about it. Likewise, Comey misled when he denied there was a paper trail about this tarmac obstruction.

The larger point is not to say Trump was never sloppy about his Russian big talk, only that it was smaller Russian potatoes than Hillary Clinton’s uranium green-lighting, John Podesta’s investments, Bill Clinton’s honoraria, and the entire disastrous seven years of reset. Have Trump try an Obama hot mic quid pro quo with the Russian president based on putting his own self-interests in getting reelected ahead of the national interest (e.g., deploying missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic), and Robert Mueller would have recommended an indictment.

That is not an argument that “everybody does it,” or an attack on the press, or a whitewashing of Trump, but rather the exegesis of why the media frenzy has warped the current political atmosphere.

Unforgivable Sins
Is there anything, then, that Trump voters could not overlook?

In fact, there are likely several mortal sins. One, should Trump be persuaded to move to the compromising middle to be reelected or adopt the policies and tones of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his second term, then his base supporters would likely abandon him in droves—not because he might not still be marginally better than the progressive or media’s preferred alternative, but because his entire populist crusade would be revealed as just another political sham.

Second, should Trump’s personal excesses become concrete rather than rhetorical and match the sins of a few prior presidents, then his base support should vanish.


We can only calibrate fatal personal behavior on the basis of past presidential felonies: sex in the bathroom off the Oval Office with a White House young intern (again real, not locker room talk); using the IRS to hound his political opponents during a reelection bid; having his national security team reverse-target political opponents; unmasking the names of American citizens and then leaking them to a pet press to weaken his opposition; or a secret promise to a foreign leader that the American president would be more flexible after his reelection—in exchange for said leader agreeing not to embarrass him during his reelection campaign.

By any fair standard, any such behaviors would nullify Trump’s message, agenda, and appointments—and would certainly justify abandoning him.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the newly released The Dying Citizen.

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255 responses to “Trump—Compared to What?”

  1. Tu Quoque. President Trump for all his faults is still way better than whoever is in second place. And yes, the only way President Trump could lose is if he ever forgets who brought him to the dance.

    • Fortunately for We, The People, The Electoral College wasn’t adulterated and compromised as most of the other core federal agencies have been during the Obungles regime.
      But, you can bet your retirement plan that they are working diligently on that aspect of Our Foundation without fail.
      NEVER, EVER, underestimate the depravity of the Democrat Party.

      • Before he left office Obama did something to try and centralize the voting results in Washington. I hope this has been changed back. Our biggest safeguard against election corruption is to keep 50 states each independent and in charge of their own elections.

      • The Southern Poverty Law Center has more than 300 million dollars on hand to finance whatever subversion they can dream up to obliterate the Electoral College. Something drastic needs to be done about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Along with novelist John Grisham, no organization (including ACLU) has done more to subvert the American way of life and American jurisprudence. Progressive Marxists = evil to the bone.

      • I heartily agree.
        Rush Limbaugh’s guest host Todd Herman had some good insight and has experience dealing with the swamp creatures in D.C.
        Todd has his own talk show on AM 779 KTTH Seattle.
        He has some superb resources.

    • For the most part he brought us to the dance, we accepted his invitation.

    • Excellent net of it. I sometimes cringe when the president tweets or says something I wish he had done in a more “presidential” tone, but given the stark unfiltered vehemence and the position from the left that a majority of Democrats would not be happy with ANYTHING he said, did, or accomplished through his administration, I am comfortable to be a counter-balance. He can do a lot wrong and still not be them – as they would do far worse.

      I began to think they just hate the man – who is he, but I now believe what they really hate is the fear he instills in them. Trump represents an “undo” button – a Cntrl+Z on the progressive agenda. And his propensity to fight back has caused them to show their true stripes; masked violent radicals in the streets given a pass by the press, a degeneration of civility and any sense of facade of non-bias abandoned ala CNN, NBC, MSNBC, WaPo and the NYT to name a few, and a hard lean in to increase the voices of the most far left and extreme among them… if the likes Harris, Sanders, Ellis and Warren are the “leaders”, what they spout isn’t leadership – it is orders to their minions to put down the rest of us. To which I proudly say: Bite me.

    • If he builds the wall and keeps putting Rule of Law types into the courts he really can shoot somebody on 5th Ave and keep my vote. If he destroys the legacy media and the Republican Party he has a pass on any sin less vile than worshiping the Devil in public.

      • He can worship the devil for all I care, if he can drain even an ounce of the swamp…..

      • Now lets not go too far, we have to have some standards lest people be unable to distinguish us from Republicans.

      • I cannot say I am a Republican at present, if I ever was……The eGOP are no better than the Progs, I am a pragmatist and I am all for the revolution to remake the GOP into something useful, not the mewling pukes who currently control the party.

  2. Compared to the Clinton family crime machine and its various myrmidons,Trump is a veritable choir boy

    • The Clintons are your standard? You see how stupid Trumpsuckers are?

      • If you know of a sleazier example than the Clintons,by all means don’t keep it from us

      • How illogical are you? The Clintons are YOUR standard – not mine.

        “Compared to the Clinton family crime machine . . . Trump is a veritable choir boy.” Are you so stupid you don’t even understand what you yourself are saying?

      • I hope your venting does something for you, because it has zero persuasive ability on the rest of us.

      • That’s precisely my point – you Trumpsuckers are too stupid to learn.

      • My logic is impeccable…..but you clearly have a problem comprehending King’s English….maybe you need a remedial HS reading course

      • That was the choice the democrats gave us, isn’t it? And Hillary defeated is a victory for our country.

      • Exactly – the Dems gave you that choice and you accepted it.

  3. And, what is wrong with a Vietnamese or Finnish pundit writing about American exceptionalism and sovereignty?
    They are more likely to have a functional understanding of American praxis, than the masses of ill-educated, adult juveniles, now being mass produced by U.S. education facilities.
    And ANTIFA should support “the wall” also, since if they stray across the border into Mexico, they will be subjected to wholesale slaughter by the Mexican cartels, and fed to the wolves. Their petty mischief will not be tolerated there.
    In summation:
    PRESIDENT TRUMP IS a threat to the political elite establishment that has metastasized in Washington, D.C. over the last 5 decades.
    The different names they use for their Party’s, is a multifaceted machination to keep the American voters snookered into believing they still have a little skin in the game.
    When they are threatened with exposure of their ubiquitous corruption, they simply announce they intend to increase military presence in a global hot spot, or have their media division publish discovery of yet ANOTHER Russian scandal.
    Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey would be fascinated at the number of rings functioning in this circus!
    As you have written years ago, Dr. Hanson:
    The “incessant incompetence” of Obama was not an illusion.

    • “And, what is wrong with a Vietnamese or Finnish pundit writing about American exceptionalism and sovereignty?”

      As long as they are doing it from the shores of Vietnam or Finland, there is nothing wrong with it. Just don’t bring them here because there is a 80% chance that they and their families will vote the other way.

      • And what data have you to illustrate your logical fallacy?

      • About 80% of immigrants vote Democrat. Chances are any new immigrant will vote the same or bring over family members that will do the same. If you ask for a citation I will direct you to Google for Dummies, Volume I.

        On top of that, we don’t need more immigration in this country.

        Finally, if you can’t name the fallacy, then you are probably wrong.

      • Not so. Vietnamese Americans have very solid family values and work ethic, and are major contributors to our national fabric. You’re just plain ignorant.

  4. Thank goodness for Victor Davis Hanson. His knowledge of history and mastery of common sense makes his articles a can’t miss. I can’t wait to read them! I only wish he would NAME NAMES, like Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, John Poderetz, and the rest of the Republican Bluestockings.

    • I thought that was strange coming from Dr. Hanson:
      There’s a freak bookstore in Lower Manhattan with that name. I doubt Dr. Hanson is aware of it.
      “Blue blood” is what I believe is the proper nomenclature.
      And, just naming radical organizations and associations would be space handicapping enough!

      • Geez: I haven’t looked up the etymological basis for Dr. Hanson’s reference but I am also a bit more circumspect about challenging his authority in its use.

      • Please, do expand on that “etymological” phenomenon for us, big fella!

      • Lindsay Graham looks like an old lesbian.

      • and McConnell, too. Had to laugh the other day when Levin said that MM “Looks funny, acts funny, and talks funny.” Pretty much. Of course, his ideas are the prime motivator in bringing him up at all, but he does come off as odd.

      • Bluestocking was an 18th/19th century term for the militant feminists & self-proclaimed women intellectuals of the era. Mary Wollstonecraft and her type.

        Blue woolen stockings were apparently the equivalent of hipster glasses and “danger hair”.

      • Heh; I’m sure the “Bluestockings” were a nation wide sensation that scared more children than anyone else.
        In context; The phrase that “Bluestockings” is used in, leaves out a very significant event when condemning Obungles’ predecessor for doubling the national debt:
        Obungles doubled the national debt during a completely secure, unchallenged, placid, 8 years.
        Obungles performed perfectly as the rubber stamp celebrity the Democrats selected him for.

      • Obama didn’t double the debt. You can’t blame a scorpion for being a scorpion.

        Ryan and McConnell doubled the debt. All spending comes out of Congress, remember?

      • Obungles provided the necessary signature to the Democrat agenda any time requested.
        Remember his annual budget proposals?
        Neither does anyone else.
        The Democrats had both Houses, The White House, and practically every other agency in their pocket for about 10 years.

      • Sometimes you say insightful things and then come up with such dim witted comments such as this. Only one party campaigned on lowering spending but voted for the opposite. Blaming Obama is pointless, useless, and foolish. The blame and punishment should go squarely on the shoulders of the GOPe or they will never learn.

      • The GOPe has no interest in “learning” anything, and they could care less about Us learning anything.
        They are only interested in maintaining their opulent status.
        If you could turn blame into water, Washington, D.C. would be 30 feet underwater.
        Conveniently easy to forget who had control of the Congress and White House at that time, isn’t it?

  5. “And if Trumpism becomes second-term Schwarzeneggerism—liberal fluff in he-man tones—it won’t matter much whether Republicans or Democrats are elected.”

    Yes. It is definitely leading to second term Schwartzeneggerism as Trump throws the non-globalists overboard. It’s not like Trump really has any plan beyond tweeting and holding campaign rallies. Anyone see a plan? That said, the establishment Republicans are worse, their plan is basically the same as the Democrats which requires them to lie to their voters, the only type of lying the Democrats don’t have to do.

    So, we need a new party. One led by someone with character, wisdom, leadership skills, a love for the Constitution and A PLAN. A plan well beyond tweeting and rallies and mocking and firing your own appointees. But we do surely need to fire the Republican Party. This was obvious four years ago but idiots said a third party was not viable. No, the Republican Party is not viable. And America is dead if we don’t create a party that will fight like hell to save it.

    Angelo Codevilla, American political philosopher and patriot, finally conceded this in an article just a week ago.

    • It took Trump to expose the Republicans for the snakes they truly are. Now the conservative movement can throw out the liars and frauds or die an ignominious death. My guess is they will die because they won’t fight.

  6. I have a deep affection for the writings of Dr. Hanson. After reading Hotair and Powerlineblog and Breitbart and PJ Media and Drudge all week, it is positively refreshing to read Dr. Hanson’s review of current events as he brings a sorely needed historical perspective to his works.

    Thank you, Dr. Hanson, for your voice of sanity in an increasingly irrational world.

    • I concur with your comment. Guy Atlas is a putz not to see Dr Hanson’s brilliant insights which fill this article. Left-handed insults at every turn were rightly and justly hurled at the hypocritical Democratic Party.

  7. Our current problem is not the President, it’s our establishment Republican Party and all of the Pundits who depend on their favor. I vividly remember wondering what we were going to do when we had a democratic House, Senate and President. By the grace of God the Tea Party arose and started changing the landscape. Ok, we have all three but nothing has really changed. McConnell says “Welcome to the Democratic Process”. However, we are not a Democratic Government. We are a “Representative” government. The “Representative Process” prefers that we take care of America first, eliminate Obamacare, reduce taxes and downsize government. Get off your asses Congress and quit making excuses…

    • Trump is still in the “ripping the masks off” phase. Once the corruptocrats are fully exposed, moves will be made, primaries will be held. There will be setbacks but we will win, and keep winning, then we we win some more.

      • That is one campaign promise I hope isn’t kept. I don’t ever want to grow tired of winning.

        The last year has been so clarifying. Sometimes sowing division is good, because it has always been there, hidden beneath lies. The lies are now gone, we see the Republicans for what they always were. Conservatism is a dead ideology and always was, devoted to preserving yesterday’s defeats, slowing the march to the Sunny Uplands but never having the slightest intent to stop it because it has no alternative destination to offer. Paul Ryan and McConnell aren’t betraying Conservatism, they ARE Conservatism. We see it now, revealed.

    • No, I think McConnell has it exactly right: emphasis on DEMOCRAT, as they are still the ones calling the shots, at every level and in every dark corner of the Federal government – except for the Oval Office, it seems.

  8. I have lost faith in the Republicans, not Trump.
    I think, given the opportunity, Trump would do, or try to do, much of what he promised during the campaign.
    The truth though, is that the GOP establishment doesn’t give a d*mn about its own voters. Take the RAISE Act for example– this would go a long way to fixing the nation’s mass immigration and illegal immigration problem. But it’s dead on arrival– and it’s not dead because Democrats killed it, it’s dead because Republicans killed it. It has no chance to pass.
    Republicans know their voters want illegals removed and curbs put on mass immigration– and heck, even a large number of Democratic voters want that to happen. But it won’t. It never will.
    I won’t be voting fro Republicans in 2018.
    And that has nothing t9o do with Trump.

    • Not voting Republican will GAURANTEE a slow, painful demise, at the hands of the Democrats ANTIFA.
      They fully intend to burn America from coast to coast.

      • That’s where you’re wrong.
        Voting Republican is what guarantees a long, slow demise. The Democrats would be a much quicker demise– and that may be better for conservatives. Perhaps the best thing for us is for the Left to set the country on fire. It might actually wake people up.
        A few quick points if I may:
        1) When the party’s central pitch to voters is “Hey, at least we’re not as bad as the other guy,” it’s time to step-away, especially when the truth is they are nearly just as bad.
        2) Republicans work contrary to the interests of their voter base and have done so for decades. The GOP is now the Chamber of Commerce party. That is not the same thing as being a party that represents conservatives. The GOP does not work for their voters, they work for their big business donors. That’s who’s important to them, not us. We wanted trade reform, middle/working class tax reform, and real, substantive immigration reform. We are not going to get any of that.
        3) Republicans have ignored their voters for a decade. When the Tea Party arose, that was a signal to the Republican party to listen up and reform. They ignored that warning and co-opted and bent the Tea Party from within. They ignored the Freedom Caucus. They are now in the process of co-opting Trump. Republicans might as well have voted for Jeb! as Trump. It’s the neocons show now.
        4) The Republican party lies– and lies, and lies and lies. We listened to them about ObamaCare reform for 7 long years. They even passed a repeal bill– knowing full well Obama would repeal that effort. But now that there is a Republican president, it’s clear that was all just theater. Nothing more. They have absolutely no idea what to do about health care. Conservatives have been bellowing for years about out of control mass immigration– and Republicans promised to do something about it. It is now clear Republicans want mass immigration. Cheap labor’s great for their donors– terrible for the wages of their voters, but great for their donors.
        5) We should not be American blacks, who vote D every election regardless of how bad their party serves them. When the party ignores your wishes and does what it wants, it’s time to ignore them back.
        6) When the Dems do bad things that harm conservatives, at least we didn’t put them in office. When Republicans do bad things that harm conservatives, WE put them there.
        The Republican party deserves to die. The fact that they are marginally better than Democrats is a poor excuse for keeping it alive.

      • I agree, in so far that we must elect conservatives and libertarians, who may have an R in front of their names. Time for the Flakes, McCains, and Grahams to be consigned to history.

      • Anyone who lumps conservatives with libertarians is clueless.

      • Of course!
        “Ignore them back”!
        That’ll really get them where it hurts!
        If you can’t read the writing on the wall, no interpretation I provide will make any difference.
        Lotsa luck!

      • That’s not what I’ve said at all, and doesn’t actually make any sense.

        “Ignore them back”!

        Kill them. Let the Republicans die as a party and then build a party that actually represents conservatives from the smoldering ashes.
        Staying with the status quo, where during election season the Republicans show up, wave a flag, get us to vote for them and then act like we don’t exist once in office is a fools game for the voter. It’s great for the politicians and for businesses, terrible for the voters and the country.
        Let’s stop playing the fool for Republicans.
        Voters have tried repeatedly to make them listen– that’s what the Tea Party movement was all about. That’s what the Freedom Caucus is all about. That’s what Trump was about. That even may be what the Alt-Right is about. The GOPe does not listen. They do what they want. Voters keep trying different things to make them listen. They will not. It is now time for the nuclear option.

      • A quote from your #5:
        “…..When the party ignores your wishes and does what it wants, it’s time to ignore them back.”

      • Voters keep electing and re-electing them. You don’t seem to grasp that your bloc is NOT as large as you think it is. Most people want the gov to take care of them.

    • Stay in the game, push them. Trump has to know now that they can’t be negotiated with because they can’t even speak their true positions openly. His Arizona rally was a strong hint he plans to be active in primaries, not only swooping in at the last minute to campaign for the Party approved nominee. Be prepared to act locally. Be prepared to help quality candidates elsewhere.

      The Republican Party has a nice infrastructure. Let us seize it. Let Mrs. Lindsey and Gov. Katshit spend a decade in the wilderness rebuilding all that infrastructure… if they can find enough voters to make the money men give them some pity money.

    • Hope you vote for mayor in 2017. Almost wish I could see how it goes, see if the 77% who stayed home in 2013 realize what a mistake that was.

      • Yes, I will be voting for Mayor. DiBlasio has been a wreck.

        But I think he’ll win handily. The identity politics the Dems have been running on is very strong here.

    • The GOP wants two things so badly — to pay Trump back for winning and to keep the globalist funders happy so the bucks keep coming — that they will lose their majority (worthless as it has turned out to be) to make those things happen.

  9. Trump is the only person in America who could have slowed the “progressive” train to Hell. For that he is already great.

    • Wrong. He stole his entire agenda from Ted Cruz.

      It’s too bad we let the media and the RINOs choose our candidate for us again. Once Jeb was toast, they wanted Trump over Cruz, because he would be much, much easier to control and manipulate than Cruz. Here we are, a mere 7 months into his tenure, and his inner circle now consists of his children, all liberal Democrats and rank amateurs, and the generals who survived Obama’s purges of the strong, patriotic leaders who would not allow the military to be used for social experiments. Everyone around him is actively and openly working against his agenda, which is now stalled.

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      • I listened to Cruz, on the campaign trail, blame Trump and his voters for violent protests at Trump’s rallies. Which we later learned were bought and paid for lefty astro turf/Antifa black jammies beating people, which has now exploded into an every weekend thing. Antifa would be doing the same to Cruz if he’d have won. How would he have responded?

      • He’d have lost with dignity, fearful of media criticism.

        I really think Trump’s the only one who could have won this electoral cycle, primarily because he didn’t give a shit about the media’s portrayal of him.

      • I think Ted Cruz will make a fine POTUS someday.

        He’s a lot younger than Trump. He’s got time. Hopefully he’s taking notes on how it’s done & what doesn’t work.

      • Amen, amen to that fair prayer, say I (Shakespeare).

        I also think that Senator Cruz would have lost to Mrs Clinton in November last: for several reasons. Donald Trump was the only one who had a chance to derail the “progressive” juggernaut, which had become so powerful through decades of ‘conservative’ laziness and cowardice.

      • I’ve said this before, but when I hear people complaining about Trump’s tweets, or about him being “vulgar” (or whatever), I just think: he’s clearing a minefield. As long as the tools he’s using are working*, let him do what he was hired to do the way he knows how.

        *(and, no, expecting him to have the swamp drained by now is not realistic)

      • I think he’d make a better Supreme Court Justice.

      • But he would have to recuse himself from any case addressing Natural Born Citizenship.

      • There are still a whole lot of people in this country who will never vote for someone who was a Canadian citizen at birth, however he tries to spin it. NBC, when boiled down, means there is and never has been possible citizenship of any other nation. Ted and Marco need to swallow that bitter pill, and be content with lesser offices, just the same as Kissinger, Albright, Schwarzenegger, Chao, and Granholm, among many others throughout our history.

      • Then you better hope he gets elected to SCOTUS before he runs for POTUS.

      • Talking smack to kooks is not what matters outside the WWF – legislation is what matters.

      • And yet we don’t have any legislation being passed now with the Republican majority, Cruz included. Instead, McCain and Ryan and McConnell can’t wait to go out to the cameras to apologize on behalf of trump for speaking truth instead of doing their jobs and passing legislation to repeal Obamacare or lower taxes. A bunch of eunuchs who’s impotence has been revealed for all to see and all they can do is apologize to the kooks to distract from that. Apologizing to the kooks as they are now does nothing but create weakness.

      • Rino leadership has the job of getting things done. Ryan and Mitch are the wort leadership in my lifetime. IMHO they want Trump gone and are helping dems to take him out.

      • Disagree. Ryan and McConnell are brilliant leaders. They simply don’t want to pass Trump’s agenda. Even so, his agenda is popular with voters and he’s turning the economy around just on the hope Ryan and McConnell will punt their big donors and get on the Trump Train. It’s leaving the station without them and they won’t be able to get on after 2018.

      • All because the president is so weak and lacking in leadership.

      • Sure he is, sweetness.

        Majorities in the House, Senate, the SCOTUS and the Presidency. And the GOP STILL fails. Wow, Trump’s election really cost us, huh?

        All Trump has to do is sign the bill. But, see, Congress has to PASS the bill first. And they need spines, balls, brains and actual good intentions. These are all grown adults who campaigned and took money, support and votes and LIED. So I guess Trump needed to bring them all in and bribe them, or offer back rubs or maybe go out in public and admit all of his faults before the GOP decided to do their fucking jobs that We The People voted them into to do.

        Go sell that stupid shit to someone dim enough to buy it. Like the man in the mirror.

      • Jesus, not you again! Very compelling argument…NOT!!

      • Are they eunuchs? Eunuchs are people who can’t do certain things.

        Perverts seems a better designation. Perverts are people who could do certain things but do something else.

        Most Republicans in Congress could instantly do all manner of drastic wonderful things; but, since those things are most emphatically what their owners do not want to see happen, they drag their feet and refuse to do them. Their owners = their big-money special interests donors.

        All but six of them should have been primaried long ago.

      • Did you think electing one man was going to magically transform the entire Republican Party? The voters have a LOT to do next Fall and in 2020. It took us decades to slide down this slope, it is going to take a while to climb out of the pit.

      • Hopefully with machine guns. That’s how we should be responding now. Trump is too nice. There should be a price on the head of every antifa terrorist – and a huge one on Soros’ head…

      • Bingo! The Trumpsuckers are too gullible to realize what’s being done to them.

      • Hey, if I like my health care I can keep my Healthcare right?McConnell and Ryan seem to think so.

      • No, you are living in a make believe world. Trump got his positions from Ann Coulter. She famously stated that she begged several candidates to read her book but they demurred. Trump was the only candidate to *ask* for her book.

        Cruz was the establishment’s fall back guy when all the others got demolished by Trump. They held their nose and supported Cruz.

        Cruz would have lost to Hillary. His campaign couldn’t even sell him to his own party. He has zero ear for rhetoric.

      • Only 5% of the population will change their opinion based on dialectic and you aren’t even offering that either.

      • Exactly – so, why waste my breath trying to school ignoramuses and dummies? I simply offer objective analysis and insights to those with the cognitive capacity to process them.

      • My God, are you hyper-egotistical!! How do I love me, let me count the ways…

    • Nonsense. He’s so incompetent that he may well speed up that train before he’s finished.

    • I think also that the American people decided, what the hell, let’s try someone outside of the usual Washington establishment and see what happens. So far it has worked out pretty good as I see it. Everyone needs to remember that the former Democratic party has been hijacked by Statist/Socialists and will never return to what it once was. These Statist/Socialist want the United States to look like Europe and I will personally do everything I can to insure that never happens. Socialism does not work, I don’t care how you gift wrap it, period, end of discussion.

  10. It is possible that the single most contributing factor to Trump’s abiding support is our ability to recall the wretched excesses of the Obama administration and the performance of the fawning, toadying, lickspittle press. Every person who voted for Trump is driven by the “tu quoque” argument.

  11. Glad to see that old Vic has come around to sincerely, it would seem, supporting Trump. It was so disappointing during the election season to observe Mr. Hanson being so clueless and wrong. Can never forget that though he does have interesting things to say, his arrogant rejection of the Trump arrival proves that he is not and from thence onward can never be considered one of the smart guys.

    • Indeed authentic.
      Dr. Hanson is now exploiting the 1st definition of the “tu quoque” strategy.
      I found it very disconcerting that the good Dr. would take such a hard line stance against candidate Trump.

    • Actually, Max, I think it’s a virtue, being able to change one’s mind when facts get in the way. Roger Kimball, who has too repented of his Trumpian calumnies, has also become an able defender of the president.

      • You are correct, of course. I do like Mr. Hanson a lot. That is the reason I was chagrined when his anti-Trump stance revealed he did not understand at all the dynamics of America’s rushing to the one politician who was speaking truth to power. History was unfolding, and Victor could not perceive what was happening. So, he is a good guy and has good points to note, but the conclusion of this episode stands: Victor Hanson cannot be called one of the smart guys in the room; he is okay, he does yeoman’s work.

      • Grudging acceptance should be the watchword for reformed #NeverTrump pundits. Wait for 2020 and see whether they hop back off again to heap praise on Kasich or some other such cucked surrender monkey.

      • The guy has no original ideas or insights – he’s just another academic pontificator.

  12. “If it comes down to a war between those who smash statues of Columbus
    and those who object to such mob violence, the iconoclasts in the street
    and those who support them in the progressive party lose.”

    And unfortunately, a GOP that has made a completely mockery of anything resembling non-progressive principles knows it. And their monumental cynicism regarding the next election comes down to one infuriating idea; who you gonna vote for, the betrayers or the book burners?

    • If Jeff Flake loses in Arizona then the Never-Trumps in Congress may come around. Right now they think they are the only other game in town. Hopefully they’ll learn differently.

      • If Flake is the only #NeverTrump Congresscritter who loses it will make about as much impact as Cantor’s unexpected loss. I.e. none at all. Dream bigger.

        Take down a half dozen Senators and a dozen or more of the most annoying Reps in primaries and they will pay attention. Push through to a win in the general (i.e not a 2012 debacle) and they will decide that surrendering to the Right is more humiliating that the normal surrendering to the Left but they can in fact manage it. But they will never be trustworthy because they hate us with almost as much fury as Antifa.

      • You are right but Jeff Flake is the most vocal Never Trumper up for reelection in 2018.

        Also, figure out a way to target their big money donors that are paying for their Never Trump agenda.

  13. “By any fair standard, any such behaviors would nullify Trump’s message, agenda, and appointments—and would certainly justify abandoning him.”

    Well, yes. Trump was elected by far on his ability to be “Not Hillary”. But also to be “Not Obama” and “Not Bill”.

  14. There’s been near-endless analysis of Trump’s appeal to his supporters. Many pundits still don’t understand how Trump, with all of his negatives, could have won the presidency.

    Perhaps this is just a coincidence, but I know several people who voted for Trump for one simple reason: they did not want Hillary Clinton to appoint any Supreme Court judges.

    One of those people is just about the nicest, most quiet Christian lady I’ve ever known. Some months ago, just in passing, I mentioned the Gorsuch confirmation. She said, “That’s the only reason I voted for Trump.”

    The Gorsuch nomination will influence the court for 20 years, regardless of anything else Trump might do. For me, that is enough.

    • Don’t place your trust in judges. Even the best of them crawled out of the swamp and their tails are still dragging in the water.

      • True enough, but the bigger problem is Judicial Supremacy. Can you think of a better way to reign it in than nominating a bunch of strict constructionists? Much like electing Mr. Trump is causing the Legislature to rediscover it’s powers, a Conservative court would, even if it didn’t renounce the ill gotten powers it holds itself, would find pushback from the rest of the government as a “strange new respect” for separation of powers became a popular topic.

      • Exactly. Gorshuch – assuming he sticks to principles – doesn’t change the SCOTUS one bit. Let’s see what the life-long Liberal Trump does with the next appointment wherein a Leftist judge is to be replaced. I’m betting he’ll go Lib to maintain “balance.”

  15. Kind of like endorsing Mussolini cause the trains were on time. Never thought I’d see Hanson go that route. Lots of new paradigms.

    • Oddly enough, the Blackshirts are all on the other side.

    • If you never though Hanson “would go that route” you haven’t been reading him for the last six months.

    • If Trump were in some way like Mussolini, that might actually make sense.

  16. Very good article, sir…much appreciated.

    To the never-trumpers out there, if this doesn’t convince you of the errors in your thinking and your behavior, nothing will. I am not optimistic you will alter anything.

    So, I will also say this:

    1/ There will be no down the line republican voting going forward. Republicans who support Trump and push back on the progressive media will get my vote. If not, I will vote to elect Dem opponents.

    2/ if the never-trumpers do not come around, I will be supportive of creating a new party to ensure everyone is clear about what they’re getting when they vote. We may need to separate the people who lie about what they will do when elected from the ones who are honest.

    • Bad. Never suggest a new party in a way that implies YOU would do it. No, we have the numbers to seize the Republican Party and should be doing exactly that. Offer THEM the “opportunity” to “fork off.” They, being hardened political pros, know how close to impossible it is.

      • The great thing about Trump is that I think he is forcing both parties to redefine themselves in terms of his policies and positions.

        Both parties are refusing, of course. For the moment.

  17. There is a third thing that can take Trump down: Overt profiteering. If he uses the office to enrich himself. Otherwise, In Trump We Trust.

    • Overt Profiteering? Are you serious? Donald Trump made his money then he went to Washington. Bill, Hillary and Barack went to Washington and then they made their money.

      • That’s what I mean. If he uses his position for personal monetary gain, people will drop him.

  18. The thing to remember about Trump (and for Trump to remember about Trump) is that he isn’t the leader of the Populist movement, he’s its flag. If he fails to perform, he can be dispensed with if a suitable replacement is at hand.

  19. Mr. Hanson may get fired from NRO for blatant non-Never-Trumpism.

    • NR cannot afford to lose Hansen or Black. If they to lose these writers they would become another Weakly Standard.

    • Since I don’t read NRO anymore, I don’t have to worry about this. Thankfully, Mr. Hanson’s writings are readily available on American Greatness and the Hoover Institute websites.

  20. Trump is Samson. He singled handedly toppled the two pillars of the establishment-Bush Inc and Clinton Inc. We should be thankful that Obama destroyed the Dem party. We should be wary that McCain seems intent on doing the same to the GOP.

  21. You’ve written yet another great article, Dr. Hanson.
    Having worked alongside many of them, I can say that President Trump is what is called a “real world person.” His method of speaking in terms of principle, logic, and common sense is so foreign to today’s press as to be nearly incomprehensible to them, accustomed as they are to politicians who talk yet never speak of anything of substance and never make a point.
    I and many others find Trump to be a refreshing change from the effete elite. He has a sort of gruff charm to him.

  22. Hopefully Trump will ratchet back the economic mess of decades and free up the US economy again the way Reagan did. Unfortunately even if he does so Trump will never be loved for his efforts, the left will ensure the first few drafts of history credit others.

  23. Repeal and replace, day one.

    Well, at least Don has astonishing incompetence going for him. Good luck on major tax reform, suckers. You finally got “government run by a businessman” and you got nuthin’

  24. “. . . resorted to excrement smears (“piece of s—t”) to slam the president.” –from CNN ”
    Any time you have to resort to profanity or name-calling, you’ve lost the argument and resorted to tantrums.

  25. The millions who are angry…might stay home. We are beyond that. We will not stay home. Every lamppost in Washington, DC has a name on it. ‘Nancy Pelosi’; ‘Paul Ryan’; ‘Mitch McConnell’; ‘Chuck Schumer’. We will not stay home. We will bring rope.

  26. I believe Trump worked hard to win this election, but didn’t expect he win . He is grateful to “the forgotten men and women” who put him in office and he seems to understand what makes us tick. Mortgages, kids, bills etc, Work is important to every day people. There is little danger that he will forget us. Trump has fought his battles in the real world we live in, not pretty, but
    those who dwell in the political swamp angle for power and pay offs, not a weekly paycheck.

  27. slow in appreciating the political atmospherics of the rioting and violence in Virginia and North Carolina.

    He was not “slow in appreciating” it. Unlike the worthless establishment right, Trump does not reflexively prostrate himself before the Left’s narrative. The fact that the Weekly Standard, NRO, Washington Examiner, etc all take their marching orders on how to cover issues from the NYT and WaPo is why the liberal right urgently needs to (if I may appropriate a term from Kevin Williamson) die out.

  28. Romney and McCain would never ever have nominated Someone like Gorsuch.

  29. I truly believe Trump is in many ways middle-Left. It comes with having to deal with Left-Tards your entire life in the not-so-great state of NY. Having lived there, I know firsthand.
    But each time the Left over-reaches, they push him farther right, and many of us just keep saying “Please continue”…

    • Trump may lean left on some social issues but he is firmly grounded in the constitution when it comes to prioritizing Americans over foreigners and minimizing government regulation.

      • Whatever he is, he seems to be genuinely patriotic, and that is the one thing I had begun to despair of in today’s politicians.

  30. Marxist Progressives want to set the world on fire and claim the conflagration enlightens & warms all humanity.

    When the Marxist-Leninist experiment produced nothing but corruption, failure, mayhem and death throughout the entire 20th century, 21st century Marxist-Progressives needed a new strategy. They found it in p-o-s-t-m-o-d-e-r-n-i-s-m: speech codes, groupthink, political correctness, social engineering, etc., all ramped up to levels of ignorance, oppression, tyranny & totalitarianism that would make Karl Marx weep with sick joy. The categorical failure of Marxism won’t stop the insane Marxist ideologues. Here are two perspectives about Marxist Progressives, one online article, and one link to a book that explains postmodernism:



    The book is excellent.

  31. On Tu Quoque as a logical fallacy, it is not only acceptable when put forth in addition to a refutation of the assertion, as you discuss here. It can legitimately be used as a refutation if the discussion revolves around opinions rather than facts (ex., whether an act is immoral, which is the subject of many political arguments). Sometimes hypocrisy goes directly to the core issue.

      • That’s an excellent example of an ad hominem, which is an actual fallacy.

      • Objectively factual statements are not ad hominems, dummy.

      • Begging the question. Another good one!

        You’re on a roll!

  32. President Obama said “57 states” and Victor mentioned it in every third column for years. But there’s nothing Trump can possibly do that he won’t minimize or apologize for.

    • Obama’s PR machine made his competence and erudition selling points. We all knew Trump was rude, crude and generally socially unacceptable when we voted for him.

      • Yet beyond the devious political calculations Obama was one of the most incompetent and lest erudite presidents in years. The guy knew absolutely nothing beyond humanities claptrap.

      • If only….
        Actually prior to the election of 2008 I dug into his biography to see if he was a worthy candidate given the erratic and moronic John McCain. What I discovered at that time and then learned over the ensuing eight years left me so repulsed that no amount of cleansing physically or mentally could clean off Obama’s anti-American hate and the stench of his person.

      • I remember the campaign well.
        I would, and actually did at the time, compare it to something similar to a N. Korean situation descending upon America.
        Utterly staggering that any sovereign nation would install such a worthless dunce as their leader.
        But, he worked like the charm the Democrat Party had planned to use him for.

  33. actually, victor, trump could do all the things in your last paragraph and he wouldn’t lose my vote. it’s no worse than we’ve seen from other recent presidents, so is almost “normal” now.

    what he could do to lose my vote is stop trying to build the wall.

  34. Dr. Hanson writes: “…the media as we once knew it disappeared sometime in 2008 and became a veritable Ministry of Truth, as obsequious to Barack Obama as it is hell-bent on destroying Donald Trump. …”

    The moment in 2008 was “The Political Scene July 21, 2008 Issue “Making It: How Chicago shaped Obama.” By Ryan Lizza”

    Lizza was banned from candidate Obama’s European press cohort. The furor in the media was about the July 21, 2008 cover, but Lizza’s profile behind the cover was the real moment.

    Just like editor David Remnick’s “News Desk “An American Tragedy” By David Remnick
    November 9, 2016
    became the clarion call to arms for the ‘resistance’.

  35. I reject the idea that a discussion about relative transgressions amounts to tu quoque. Because, 1) it’s really a misunderstanding of what is functionally fallacious and 2) comparative standards are a) human and germane to discussions of law and policy and b) all that we can do in a system that insists on no absolute standards that eclipse other paradigms, and thus are said to be “-centric” or “-supremacist” or “exclusive”.

    This is more false-flag consistency from the left. Alinskyism prescribes that you hold your opposition up to its standards–or as more commonly practiced, however you can distort its standards. So we should slowly approach any adoption of the left’s conclusion that this is “tu quoque“. One thing I have noticed about the Alinskyan left, si that any hesitance toward calling what they call a fallacy, a fallacy, is quickly called a violation of integrity, so I will note the dishonest feeling here. However, it is clear that we should only be ashamed of those fallacies that really are fallacies.

    One of the base facts about tu quoque, is that it is not an argument for anything. This is why it is a fallacy to defend a position, simply by citing that other people did it. That x did it, can be said about the greatest moral feat and the worst moral atrocity ever performed by man.

    However, what’s missed is that excusing Trump for tweeting something we don’t think he should have tweeted, is not the same thing as defending the tweet. Thus an argument excusing is not an argument recommending X, it’s simply an argument that X is not so out of limits of what has been accepted before–and thus the recounting of what has been accepted before argues directly to what is the point.

    Not that X should be done (because your addressee has done something similar) but that X is simply reasonably excusable, because of what has been excused. I believe the tradition starts with Aquinas that a law that no man can obey is not a law. And thus reasonable expectations of people–on an unabsolute scale, seems to be entirely within reason in a modern secular exchange.

    • Tu quoque is an admission of guilt, dummy – not a defense. You people are incapable of logical thinking.

      • There is no argument called an “admission of guilt”. That is a statement. In order to be a fallacious argument it needs to argue something, asshead.

        I’d learn to read before criticizing other people’s capacity for logical processing.

  36. If a leader won’t defend himself (cough *W* cough) why should any follower think he will defend them?

    The dishonest swamp crooks won’t defend anything Trump does and screams when he defends himself. Their motives are transparent.

    Just as Trump took a pummeling when he said we have to build a wall only to find every candidate getting on the secure the border bandwagon within 2 weeks, so his “hatred and violence on both sides” met with howls, only have some in the media admitting that the left takes hatred and violence wherever it goes after they beat up reporters.

    • If a “leader” can’t lead, why would anyone follow him?

  37. Right on!

    Trump has already delivered big time, justified his presidency*, and he will deliver more. Yet many conservatives andBreitbart and Bannon are now waging war on him. The one guy who has delivered, the only guy who delivered anything and they want to bring him down because you find they…imperfect! Shame on them.


    * He killed TPP, approved pipelines, rolled back Obama coal and energy regs, pulled out of Paris, is making NATO partners pay their share, voided Obama school bathroom reg about transgenders, fighting ISIS, deporting criminal illegals, nomination of Gorsuch etc.etc, And he started new initiatives re Saudis, NAFTA, China – we’ll see how those play out. This is in a mere 7 months, with huge opposition and no help from GOP, which is trying to bring him down. He submitted decrease-in-actual-spending budget.He said he will shut down gov’t to get the wall. His Afghan policy is narrow, focused and completely new. He is deporting illegal felons. And above all, he stopped Hillary, the only candidate who could have. And conservatives are now at war with him????!!!! Insane.

    • Has Breitbart or Bannon attacked Trump? I haven’t seen that. They attack some of the people around him, how much of that is chaff is hard to see clearly. Bannon wasn’t fired, he was redeployed and given plausible deniability. Unless you think it a coincidence both Bannon and Gorka are back at Breitbart, exactly where and when they are needed for a hot primary season.

      Go look up kayfabe, once you understand that concept, and that Trump understands it and apparently realized the potential to apply it to politics, everything you read and watch gets reinterpreted. Stop watching the TV shouting, stop reading his tweets, just watch what he is -doing- and what his people -do-…. while everyone is shouting trash talk.

      • Thank you. I appreciate the time you took to write that. I know one writer at Bb who is saying more or less the same thing. BUT I don’t understand at all – even with your explanation. How is attacking those working for Trump and his decisions helping him? How is turning half his base against his policies helping him? What exactly are the attacks supposed to accomplish? That this helps Trump makes zero sense to me. They attacked and are still attacking his Afghan policy. How does that he!p Trump? Why would Trump want his decisions attacked? And if, for whatever reason, he chooses to keep McMaster, why would he want a drumbeat of furious attacks against him.

        The Bb writer referred me to an interview Bannon gave in the Economist. Here’s what Bannon said:

        “We will never turn on him. But we are never going to let him take a decision that hurts him.”


        “In the WH I had influence. At Breitbart I have power”

        I think Bannon sounds like megalomaniac control freak. Who is he that he will not “let” Trump take a decision that will hurt him? And what’s the purpose of attacking after Trump has made a decision?

        Please give it one more shot at explanation as I am still completely bewildered.

      • I think it would be easier to start by having you imagine the alternative. Everybody sits happily on the Trump Train no matter what. How would that work out?

        All of the pressure would be coming from the Ryan / McCain / Media wing to “moderate” while we were all contentedly sitting down and being nice.

        So instead we stay rowdy, we stay engaged, we make sure everyone knows we expect results. When Ryan is making the case to “moderate” and accept a little “lite comprehensive immigration reform bill” all Trump need do is say “do you even Internet dude? If I don’t show them some photops with bulldozers building a wall and some news accounts about deporting they will turn on me like rabid weasels. People out there are mad as heck and they are watching.”

        And if we stay rowdy enough it keeps cucks like Ryan from even wasting time trying anything stupid and he just might cough up some money to build a wall.

        Putting grassroots pressure on your own team is a tactic the Left has been using for some time, like with our recent study of Alinsky, we are discovering many of the Left’s tactics can be repurposed. It keeps your elected officials from wandering off the reservation and can even give them cover to act. No real downside once everyone on our side is up to speed on the game and doesn’t get demoralized at the idea of seeing “thought leaders” roughing up members of the home team.

        As for who Bannon is to “not let Trump take a decision that will hurt him” I’d say he was the political strategist who guided the messy details of a campaign that beat both the Democrats and the GOPe. We love Trump, because he fights and, unlike almost all other elected pols, doesn’t hate our guts. But he hasn’t spent a lifetime in the trenches of politics and he isn’t a general. He does still need people he can trust around him.

      • Ok. Thx. That helps – although I disagree with the tactic. E.g., Afghanistan. Imo, don’t attack decision once made but keep pressure on for sticking to what Trump outlined and getting results. 1) I think attacking decision once made unfair to troops – I think you never say you don’t support their mission. (I was way against Iraq War but once we were in it. I fully supported winning it.) 2) And I think Bb will succeed in turning many against Trump, whether that’s the goal or not. I read the comments, and they actually scare me in their fury at perceived betrayal – which is what Bb is characterizing everything as. So thank you for explanation and I respectfully disagree with at least how Bannon is doing it.

  38. Excellent, as usual. But still completely bewildered as to the support for McMaster. With SG gone, are there ANY nationalists left in the administration?

  39. The corporations own the left and right. They are desperate to keep thier illegal Mexican slaves that drive down wages.

    That’s all any of the made-up drama is about. This is where the corporate owned shills pretend there are farms in Los Angeles that millions of illegal aliens are working.

    • It’s more than that: they’re desperate to keep the money from their overseas manufacturing selling to American markets.

  40. VDH incinerating any good reputation that he had by continuing to defend the dumpster fire that is the Trump administration. He is the only member of the commentariat class left that still believes that the incompetent Trump is playing six dimensional chess while everyone else plays checkers. So sad, it seems the Kool Aid has corroded his brain.

    • Trump is still infinitely better than the deplorably evil hag Hillary who sided with the racist and quite insane BLM against the police. I do not have the slightest particle of trust for your Big Brother, totalitarian left.

    • You should have read what he wrote. He is really writing excellent stuff.

      I don’t think he’s the one with the corroded-brain problem.

      • I read it all and I stand by my comments. VDH is one who really would defend Trump if he shot someone on 5th Avenue. He writes as if Trump is not a politician but a divine creator.

  41. Whatever happened to BLM? Below is an excerpt I copied from the article ( an interview with Patrisse Cullors ) and an excellent response to it from the comments on the article.

    Chicago Tribune
    August 26, 2017
    A founder of Black Lives Matter answers a question on many minds: Where did it go?

    Trump has called BLM a threat. Is the door open to talk to him?

    “We wouldn’t as a movement take a seat at the table with Trump, because we wouldn’t have done that with Hitler. Trump is literally the epitome of evil, all the evils of this country — be it racism, capitalism, sexism, homophobia.

    He has set out some of the most dangerous policies, not just that impacts this country but impacts the globe. And so for us, the answer is not to sit with him but to resist him and to resist every single policy that he’s implemented that impacts our communities.

    And … if I’m thinking about what I want my children to know in 30, 40, 50 years, I want them to know that I resisted a president at all costs, because this president literally tried to kill our communities, and is killing our communities.”

    A response from the comments:

    “So my question is, specifically, how is Trump “killing” the communities? Seven months into office, really. Any facts to back that ridiculous assertion up with? Or just more unhinged emotion? I am a black man and there are a lot more blacks out there like me who think BLM is no different than antifa, KKK and other hate groups out there.

    They call for the murder of police officers and say they’re non-violent?! Destroy their own neighborhoods and you want respect. Totally ignore the carnage of black on black murder in the liberal controlled cities; the poverty caused by Democratic Party policies, and yeah, the KKK is the problem?! When was the last time the KKK or white nationalists went through black neighborhoods and murdered people? It’s us on us. Deal with that problem and then you will have some credibility.”

    • Didn’t you notice that after the election last year, BLM fizzled. I guess there was no connection with elect Hillary?

    • “Whatever happened to BLM?” The BLM ‘protest in Charlotte, NC Aug-Sept,2016 ended in violence, and did NOT do enough to GOTV. Also, BLM is aligned, possibly modeled on, the PLO. You can search “black lives matter platform Palestine” to see the debate in August-Sept, 2016, and the debate in the news in Aug. 2017, as BLM re-surfaced in the Charlottesville counter-protest alliance with Antifa.

      Sept. 6, 2016: “…Among the declarations of M4BL is the most unambiguous position of the movement on the question of Palestinian national liberation, denouncing the US government for its unconditional support for the Israeli settler colony.

      “The US justifies and advances the global war onterror,” the document declared,
      “via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”

      Currently, the U.N. is being used in the campaign to delegitimize the legally elected President of the United States Donald J. Trump.

      >U.N. CERD: ” The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has urged the U.S. government to reject racist speech and ideology and criticized its “failure at the highest political level” to unequivocally condemn the racist violence in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month. …”
      “U.N. Panel Urges U.S. Government To Reject Racial Hatred And Violence” August 23, 201712:22 PM ET

      >>“Donald Trump Is ‘Dangerous’ for Global Stability, U.N. Rights Chief Says By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE OCT. 12, 2016 U.N. Official Calls Trump ‘Dangerous’ ”

      “…Speaking to journalists in Geneva on Wednesday, [U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince]
      Mr. al-Hussein said that he had no intention of toning down his remarks, given what he described as the prevailing permissive environment in which political leaders felt able to deliver speeches
      that moved beyond freedom of expression to incitement. …”

      [BLM is one brigade in The Monument Battle, which is a subset of the War between Nationalists and Transnationalists, who, like former Pres. Obama, believe the nation-state must accept transnational governance by the United Nations, e.g., Paris Climate Accord, JCPOA, UNSC Resolutions.

      The U.N. CERD may seem harmless, but the linkages are not.
      Anastasia Crickley, chair of CERD, is the ultimate credentialed Social Justice warrior,
      from Ireland to the EU to chairing U.N. CERD.
      The “liberal international order” that won the Cold War was anchored by the creation of the U.N.

      >>>fwiw, UNHCHR Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein is the Hashemite prince who inherited
      the position as head of the Royal Houses of Iraq and Syria.]

  42. Even if we only get Gorsuch out of this, it was well worth it AND infinitely better than the alternative….

    • Even if they manage to take down Trump, they had to shed their fake veneer to do it, and the left – politicians, media, & voters – are revealing a lot of ugly stuff about themselves.

      I don’t know if they really realize just how ugly they look to a lot of people. I want to fist-pump every time I hear some moderate left-of-center say something about how shocking & horrifying things are – such statements used to be “oh look at how awful the right is!” but lately it’s all been “are these the people I thought were on my side?”

      • Unfortunately, the mantra of the left is: “By any means necessary”. There are few real democrats left these days, they have all been brainwashed by the MSM and Social Justice Fascists into delusional Progs. I hear what you are saying but I am not sanguine about them waking up….

      • No, the hardcore will never wake up.

        But I don’t think they’re the majority. I think most people will turn against them the minute it becomes fashionable to do so.

        I read a blog post that starts with “I feel sorry for leftists” this morning. I enclose a snip, which I hope you find as amusing as I did:

        The people I’m feeling sorry for are you guys, gals–and other–who have been out marching in circles around City Hall hoping Trump would give a s— about your Magic Marker signs. Standing next to you in those crowds were miscreant humanities students and flunkies otherwise known as AntiFa and Black Bloc. Unfortunately for you, even though you didn’t don AntiFa garb you are going to be lumped in with them…


        …You see, there are quite a number of Democratic senators in Congress who are up for re-election next year….


        …For those of you who love putting on black bandanas it’s going to get interesting as most of your conformist liberal friends grow from disagreement to disavowing political alignment and then that may even contort into a clear divide and perhaps even separation and you two blocking each other on social media. The liberal voting mass will listen to their “smart friend” who is trying to help out Senator Casey or Save Claire! and feel less inclined to march with you. It may turn into complete ostracization at political rallies and events. Political expediency will demand this. It’s a political singularity that is a certainty. You will not be able to escape it.

        For those of you who are liberal and hold down a corporate job: as you’ve been more than welcoming to extremism these last few months your new-found discovery that extremism is bad and unproductive in politics will force you into logic pretzels you never thought possible. You’ll cope by ignoring most of the s— you’ve said or done because there’s a ring on the merry-go-round that needs to be grabbed. You can’t have any of your more far-left and green friends holding you back….


        …But that’s OK. Democrats’ prospects are not that great next year. November 2018 won’t be long away. The second those returns come in you can put the masks back on and go marching again, comrade.

      • He replaced Scalia, you halfwit – the make-up of the SCOTUS didn’t change.

      • Garland is out, and 3 to 4 more conservatives will be placed on the Supreme Court before 2024. Your subversive agenda is dead in the water, commie.

      • It’s a start…….

        1. Siding with the court’s other four conservatives in denying a stay request from Arkansas death-row inmates facing execution.

        2. The court cleared the way for the Trump administration to enforce part of an executive order that “suspends” for 90 days the entry of foreign visitors and refugees from six Muslim-majority nations. In a 9-0 decision, the justices set aside lower court orders had blocked the order entirely.

        3. The court struck down on free-speech grounds part of a federal law that
        prohibited the government from registering trademarks that may “disparage” people or groups..

  43. Drop the mic and walk away, VDH.

    No Trump supporter here, but this article nails the sentiment of many people in this great nation, and their angry “resistance” to the utter hypocrisy of the media and the Left.

    Trump may be the most ironic messenger for change this country has ever seen, but also, ironically, may be the only messenger to make this country change.

    Oh, how I wish he were the orator of Reagan, the fiscal genius of Kemp, and the politician of Gingrich, but if he only achieves in selecting a great cabinet, nominating great SC judges, and making the Left and media drop their pants and run around screaming incoherently, I will just have to be satisfied with the small victories…

    • I like to think of Trump as clearing the minefield for the far-more-dignified POTUS to come.

      I was a Scott Walker fan based on how he handled the WI thing, but let’s face it, he didn’t last very long in today’s toxic environment.

  44. You use names as expletives — self-evidently evil (e.g. Eric Hoder, Elizabeth Warren, et al). It’s as if their names are code words to the faithful — and dog whistles to the canine. That betrays your white supremacism. Enough said!

  45. As I have said to many people, Pres. Trump is a communications nightmare and his list of spoken foibles is endless. His constant taunting of his colleagues is juvenile. But his decision making has been generally spot on. His appointments excellent. If someone isn’t working out, then out they go.

    Words are cheap. Actions are what determines a success.

      • I’m not. And I am forever grateful to the election gods for not having Sec. Clinton as President. But it is also foolish to believe that Pres. Trump doesn’t have a large list of items that he could certainly improve upon.

  46. Rush Limbaugh recently opined that the Democrat Party is, in fact, a branch of the Leftist Media instead of the other way around. He was so on the money.

  47. VDH’s column is spot on especially in highlighting that the only way to survive being a pathological liar, a perjurer, or being an unethical, corrupt, criminal or traitor is to be a Democrat…”Poof!” all is forgiven. Republicans who do that stuff go to jail.

  48. The only good shitlib is a dead shitlib.
    Shoot’em, bomb’em, gas’em … whatever it takes to quickly kill millions of ’em.

  49. This essay is a load of twisted crap. BTW, tu quoque is a CONFESSION, not an excuse – and, it IS illogical.

  50. Trump 1.0 is the beta. Trump 2.0 (Cruz perhaps) will hopefully have all the features and fewer bugs than 1.0.

    • Now here is the deal, Trump beta was Perot.

      Sadly we didn’t get him instead of Clinton

  51. VDH trots out tired old canards to support his continuing defense of the indefensible. Most of the examples he cites to “defend” a worthless man like Trump are either incorrect, or taken out of context, parroting the work of the slime who both write and read Breitbart. The simple truth is Trump is fundamentally evil and unfit to be President. The actions he takes cannot be compared to other Presidents because no President is supposed to do the things that Trump is doing. The sooner his worthless soul is sent back to Trump Tower, the better.

    “Much of this mess is of the Republican Party’s own making. Let’s not forget that Mr. Trump’s political rise began with his promulgation of the racist conspiracy theory that President Obama was not a natural-born American citizen. The Trump presidency is the result of years of destructive mental habits and moral decay. So there’s no easy solution for responsible Republicans. But there is a step they have to take.They need to accept, finally, the reality — evident from the moment he declared his candidacy — that Mr. Trump is unfit to govern. He will prove unable to salvage his presidency. As the failures pile up, he’ll act in an even more erratic fashion.”

    In the meantime, enjoy the ride to obscurity as the rest of the world passes the United States by, because a minority of its people imposed this worthless man on the rest of us.

  52. Another brilliant column by the sainted VDH. My only quibble is that he should use the term “leftist” instead of “progressive,” since the Democrats have gone so far to the left that Karl Marx would be very comfortable with their current opinions and behavior. That aside, I agree with it all.

    I should add that I do not think Trump will lose his base. I started out as a Rubio supporter, then turned to Cruz, but I am solid for Trump now, and the more he is attacked by the Dems and the media, the more I am for him. Not only do I think he will be re-elected in 2020, but I also think the Reps will gain seats in the Senate and hold their own in the House in 2018. For the sake of the country, lets hope I’m right.

  53. VDH is a smart and astute writer. Will the media never again embrace this balance and worthwhile perspective? It is not our President who is unhinged, it is Democrats who hated losing. They are still in the 1st stage of grief 9 months later and they, not our President, need an intervention.

  54. “the Trump Administration is undoing eight years of progressivism in a way it is hard to imagine other Republican presidents might have attempted.” Touche! VDH nails it as usual. Had any of Trump’s 16 competitors for the GOP nomination even won the Presidency [unlikely], they would have been acting in concert with the McConnell-Ryan Swamp Creature Brigade, proclaiming that things were too far down the road to undo and that would have been the end of the Constitution. Trump’s election was a miracle and I believe, as flawed an instrument as he is, he is doing God’s work to save our Republic, as the last best hope of western civilization.

    • re: the Trump Administration is undoing eight years of progressivism,.,.

      8 years in which the Dow went from 8,700 to 19,000
      8 years in which America created 16 million new jobs
      8 years in which 20 million Americans gained access to health care
      8 years in which our annual deficit was reduced from 1.4 trillion to 400 billion – or a 1 trillion dollar a year reduction.

      You want to undue this by ->

      killing the affordable care act and causing 20 million people to lose their health care
      building a wall and having Mexico pay for it, except they won’t
      cutting tax for the rich and exploding the deficits all over again
      turning your back on fighting global warming so we can have another “Houston” every year
      de-regulating wall street again so we can have another economic meltdown.

      No wonder Trump is the most despised and least respected president in history, and that’s not withstanding a scandal ridden admin under constant criminal investigation and dire need of adult supervision.

      • 8 years of 0% interest rates for our affirmative action swamp denizen, printing trillions and priming the pump to the tune of $ 1 TRILLION in annual deficits….. all for the WORST recovery in the nation’s history. Bush did a much better job getting us out of the dotcom bubble bursting handed to him by Clinton, even though Billie boy granted free trade to China, hobbling his efforts.

      • ^ Compared the dotcom bust to the Great Recession ????

        First time I’ve ever seen that one.

  55. I’m getting a little tired of people giving the Left its point on Trump’s original statement on Charlottesville. He in fact was absolutely correct–there was violence on both sides, and it was committed by extremist elements. The fact that he didn’t make obeisance to Leftist/Progressive dogma by ritually condemning the relative handful of White Supremacists (the leader of which turns out to be a Leftist/Progressive “ringer”) while ignoring the large mob of Leftist/Anarchist thugs doesn’t prove a thing–except that he saw one group of anti-American goons going at it with another group of anti-American goons. That is pretty much what the rest of us saw.

  56. Compared to a bucket of warm spit…. the warm spit is preferable.

    • DrØp the ufck de@d, you useless, obnoxious ₡unt.
      Or do you need some help to figure out how?

      • You obviously copy these insults off the playground walls during 4th grade recess. Try to be more original next time.

      • In the not too distant future, you and your dou₡hebag cohorts are going to be lined up in front of those “playground walls”.

        Take a wild guess as to what will happen next?

      • How much time do I have? I really want to plan for my last days on earth. Not to worry, I will be around long after little don john quits his present job & goes back to his real estate scams. Please forgive me if I don’t appear afraid. I am not. Sorry!

      • Like any Leftist dou₡hebag, you’re too abysmally fu₡king stupid to be afraid. But reality will win out, as it always has and always will, regardless of your prodigious (and apparently incurable) ignorance.

        You irredeemable ₡unt.

  57. The Democrats have only themselves to blame for Trump, if they are so insanely mad at him. They implicitly support him by presenting us, yet again as they did in the election, with an impossible set of choices–either unstoppable radicalism, or Trump. Look at how the MSM and Democrats have virtually adopted Antifa as their brownshirts. Trump would have to be pretty, pretty bad to appear the worse of the two choices to most Americans. he hasn’t come anywhere close to being the undemocratic fascist his fascist opponents make him out to be.

    • Yes, the behavior of the Democrats and other swamp denizens is abhorrent, BUT reread the article again because the author is not defending them.

  58. Trump has his faults, but how many stories about him are just plain made up lies by Obama holdovers?

  59. The fact that Hanson, a fairly ardent Trump supporter during the campaign, has switched to asking “OK, got any better ideas?” a mere six months in tells you everything you need to know about how well Trump is doing.

  60. Always good, Victor…

    Why do they still let you live in Freakifornia?

    • Without him it would definitely slide into the sea