Message v. Messenger: The Trump Enigma

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 October 9, 2017|
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About 90 percent of Republican voters eventually supported the political novice Donald Trump by November 2016. Most conservatives saw him as the preferable alternative to the vision and agendas of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps most still do after nine months of his presidency.

Yet almost half of the elite conservative establishment remains opposed to Republican President Trump.

About a quarter of them, it seems, openly despise him. These are prominent Republican senators, think-tank writers, television pundits, op-ed columnists, and generic public intellectuals. MSNBC and CNN are now homes for disgruntled Republicans or former conservative pundits in the way that those outlets once for a time found it useful to welcome in paleo-conservatives opposed to the Bush Administration during the Iraq War.

Bret Stephens, the NeverTrump former conservative at the Wall Street Journal, now advocates the repeal of the Second Amendment in the pages of the New York Times. Did Trump turn off some of the Republican establishment, or liberate it to espouse progressive views that it always held, but found impolitic to express?

The usual conservative status quo complaint against Trump is that the deficiencies of the messenger outweigh the many positives of the message. Or Trump, the person, nullifies the policies that have accompanied Trump into power.

The anti-Trumpians cringe at Trump’s incessant Twitter and news conference spats with everyone from “fake news” reporters at CNN to the San Juan mayor. His marathon rambling speeches at rallies in red-state America remind them that they find Trump supporters on the screen far more alien than they do their liberal counterparts in their own Washington and New York neighborhoods. Never Trumpers certainly are louder in their opposition to Trump than was the Tea Party’s past criticism of McCain or Romney.

They are embarrassed that someone from their own party has a vocabulary that focuses on about four adjectives (“tremendous,” “great,” “awesome,” “wonderful,” etc.), or that he often exaggerates and errs in a manner of Barack Obama, though without the latter’s mellifluousness or Ivy League brand.

The Republican establishment used to lament that the old Reagan Democrats, Tea Party types, and working-class whites of the Midwest had stayed home in 2008 and 2012, and thus allowed good candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney to be steamrolled by Obama’s fatuous “hope and change” identity politics. Now they are either worried or shamed that these same swing voters came out in droves and left the Republican Party in a dominant position at the local, state, and federal level not seen since the 1920s.

In sum, the NeverTrump lament seems to be that whatever good Trump has done is more than outweighed by his “character is destiny” flaws. Neil Gorsuch and scores of conservative circuit court judges; Nikki Haley at the United Nations, James Mattis at Defense, H.R. McMaster at the National Security Council, Mike Pompeo at the CIA, and Rex Tillerson at the State Department, all restoring deterrence; rollbacks of Obama-era executive orders; green-lighting pipeline construction and increased fossil fuel production; protections of Second Amendment rights; restoring national borders; and genuine efforts to reform Obamacare and the tax code—all of that for them is not worth the spectacle of Trump on the national stage. Or for some, all of the above Trump efforts now are seen as disruptive and unnecessary—once the crudity of Trump enlightened the establishment to what it now sees as inherent wrongs present all along in conservative thinking.

The economy is gaining momentum. The stock market is way up. GDP growth exceeds Obama-era levels. Real unemployment (U6) is falling as labor participation improves. Business confidence is growing. Middle-class incomes and corporate profits increase. Consumer confidence is rebounding—all symptoms of an initial, implicit psychological rebuke to the overregulated and dreary business climate of the last eight years.

But again, should the economy hit an annual GDP growth rate of 4 percent, Trump’s popularity would probably not exceed 50 percent; and the NeverTrump establishment likely would not endorse his reelection, even should he appoint three conservative justices and thereby ensure a conservative Supreme Court for a generation.

The strange disconnect between a disliked person and his mostly praised policies again raises fundamental questions.

Is Trump’s occasional crudity and unapologetic animus counterproductive and turning off possible allies, as conventional wisdom suggests? Or is his rambunctiousness instead integral to reifying his message? Neither or both?

Is he hated in unprecedented fashion by the media and the Left because he can be crude in a manner unmatched by past presidents? Or because his efforts, both real and rhetorical, to overturn the progressive project, are of the street-fighting caliber never quite seen before from a party of sober and judicious Republicans but long adopted by the Left and therefore likely to be both eerily familiar to them and perhaps even efficacious?

The strange disconnect between a disliked person and his mostly praised policies again raises fundamental questions.

Is Trump’s occasional crudity and unapologetic animus counterproductive and turning off possible allies, as conventional wisdom suggests? Or is his rambunctiousness instead integral to reifying his message? Neither or both?

Has the progressive cultural ascendency, media partisanship, and university identity politics reached a point at which half the country felt that the only desperate remedy was a populist pushback rather than more creased brows and throat-clearing op-eds?

Would the establishment Republicans prefer losing again with a kind and generous man figure as Mitt Romney, who grimaced but allowed Candy Crowley to hijack the second presidential debate of October 2012, or to win messily with someone who embarrasses them as much as Romney made them proud but honorable losers?

Yet did any recent past Republican nominee—forget Trump’s motivations or questions about his relative sincerity—even run on the premise that working Americans were ignored and losers in the redirects of globalization, open borders, and outsourcing and offshoring? Or that consequently they deserved empathy and a second-chance at the American dream? Was there a chance that Trump saw not just a political opening but an injustice perpetrated against political outcasts deserving of concern in a way that other more politically qualified and supposedly empathetic candidates of 2016 did not?

Was the 24/7 confrontation and incurring of hatred from the media (just 5 percent of whose coverage of Trump is positive) inevitable, once Trump sought to do the once unthinkable and backtrack on the progressive agenda? When he proposes things such as disengaging from the Paris Climate Accords, or pruning back the EPA, or closing the border—and demonstrates that he is doing so not merely because these promises serve him rhetorically and politically but because he really means to enact them—can anyone be surprised by the Left’s reaction?

If Trump never tweeted again, expanded his vocabulary, did not reply in kind to his critics, and patterned his public appearances and press conferences after those of George Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, would his approval ratings climb, his endorsements increase—and his efforts against the administrative state improve?

For all Trump’s combativeness, his insecure worries over getting proper credit and attention, and cul de sac spats, was the federal government response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria more effective compared to what we saw a decade ago after Hurricane Katrina?

Was Trump’s rudeness and constant aggressiveness in the face of criticism lamentable or long overdue in demanding a level of fair coverage lacking during the Bush Administration’s inability or unwillingness to counter unprofessional media animus?

Was Bush not criticizing New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin more thoughtful and ethical than Trump criticizing San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz? Why exactly did Katrina wreck the second-term and experienced Bush presidency in a way that Harvey, Irma, and Maria so far have not ruined the novice Trump Administration?

But what is clear is that many liberal and conservative prognostications about his presidency have so far not happened.

No one quite knows the answers to all these questions—logically so, given Trump has not even completed his first year of his presidency and he is the first president without either prior political or military experience.

But what is clear is that many liberal and conservative prognostications about his presidency have so far not happened. He did not crash the stock market. He did not stealthily introduce a liberal agenda. His appointments, both at the cabinet level and judicial, were not of the fringe and unhinged sort. He was not knee-deep in Russian collusion. In times of crises not of his own making, whether hurricanes, or mass shootings, or civil unrest, or North Korea nuclear threats, the temperamental and thin-skinned Trump did not freeze or melt-down.

His positions on most of the iconic social crises that reappeared throughout 2017 have been largely conservative and reflect majority support: do not in mob-fashion tear down statues at night, especially without democratic and lawful sanction; NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem are violating their own league rules, mock the voluntary patriotic protocols of their country, and are at odds with the fans who pay their high salaries; radically pruning back the Second Amendment will not stop gun violence, which is decreasing as gun ownership is on the rise.

No previous president has been the target of such public venom. Assassination chic is now endemic. Anti-Trump obscenity is a staple of late-night television. Words like “racist” and “Nazi” and “fascist” are now so commonplace that they have lost all currency. Celebrities vie to virtue signal their disgust for Trump. His wife, his daughter, and his sons are all the stuff of public invective that, had it been directed toward the previous president, careers of the vituperative would have ended long ago.

Yet it is likely that there is a 50/50 chance that the unpredictable and irascible Trump and policies will achieve in the not so distant future a sustainable 3 percent annual rate of GDP growth, a reform of the tax code, a systematic dismantling of onerous government regulations through executive orders, a restoration of U.S. deterrence abroad, another conservative Supreme Court justice, and a return to legal, measured, and meritocratic immigration—and thus even more hysteria and hatred of Trump, the person, from policy supporters and opponents alike.

 

About the Author:

Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He was a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. 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. Dr. Hansen is the author of The Second World Wars – How the First Global Conflict was Fought and Won. It is coming out in October 2017 by Basic Books.
  • BillHarry

    Who would tell a pollster he/she is “pro Trump” without risking his/her life?
    Liberals are out there threatening …
    Hence the “low” approval rate.

    • Cybergeezer

      I keep my hand on my weapon whenever any prestitutes are within earshot.

  • breakn70

    Thank you, Mr. Hanson but I don’t think President Trump is as disliked as you apparently do. I do think the media is in a frenzy at the moment, as are both coasts. The rest of us can’t wait to see what happens next.
    Thanks again for this and the rest of your many fine, political essays.

    • gthomson13

      Love your Sheltie photo. We have two of those wonderful pups.

    • I think President Trump is disliked every bit as much as indicated in the article — look at the Washington Pest this AM. He’s hated by the mainstream media, leading Democrats, RINOs, and The Swamp and the more he gets done without them, the more they hate him.

      In part this is a mark of how badly he (and his willingness to be “the bad guy” — as Neo says, above) is needed. But in part it’s a result of his thin skin and seeming inability to just smile and say “Well, you’re entitled to your opinion.”

      In his background developing large projects only the few top politicians were not replaceable: He had to get on with the mayor, the governor, and such. But plumbing contractors? If he lost his temper at one, there was a whole line of others waiting for that contract and their egos took second place to their eagerness for the job in most cases. Not so in Congress: The whole thing is — in the near term — unchangeable and unlike plumbing contractors they are every bit as thin skinned as Trump is. The tops of both parties are the same but moreso, bruised as they were by his victory. And the Deep State is full of felony cases who greatly fear his new broom and will pull him down in a heartbeat if they can.

      Most of these people were never going to be happy with his presidency. But he feeds them new material daily and because he constantly shifts the ground under even potential allies he isn’t building strong partners. It’s literally love him as he is or live in fear and loathing.

      As a mere citizen I’m perfectly comfortable loving him as he is. Indeed we CANNOT spare this man. But as essential — potentially America-saving! — as his presidency is, it may not end well. Impeachment and even the 25th Amendment process are political: If his popularity with We the People slips for a moment and perhaps even if it doesn’t, he’s outta here.

      Another ‘perilous night’ for our beloved America …

      • DMDMDMD

        You do realize that the Washington Post, a paper that I held as beloved while growing up, is now simply a biased political instrument of Jeff Bezos , the billionaire owner of Amazon? While there is an occasional unicorn sighting in the paper, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find many articles there giving a positive spin on either Trump or conservative policy. Just look away.

        • It’s true, but there are often grains of undigested truth in the excrement that the Pest deposits. Many CONGRESSMEN believe what they read there and they’re the ones who will vote on impeachment.

          Our greatest fear should be that Congress decides to pull that trigger without realizing that Trump’s poll numbers don’t reflect the whole story about his popularity. That way lies a very bad time for our country.

      • flatulento ergo sum

        Well said and well thought out. I also have become able to “love him as he is” but maybe also wish he would read VDH’s articles once in a while. It might just help his vocabulary a bit.

        • What a GREAT screen name!

          Also I agree with you. Err … on wishing he’d read VDH.

          The other, I take no position.

      • bullmoose117

        “The more he gets done” What more do you believe he is getting done?

      • shenandoahbad

        inability to just smile and say “Well, you’re entitled to your opinion.” Like Reagan. Maybe as time goes on, Trump will adopt a more Reaganesque demeanor. I hope.

    • Jayne

      I believe President Trump is as disliked, nay, loathed as VDH writes. To whom are the entertainment industry playing their knee jerk Trump bashing? An audience of leftists in full agreement, that’s who.

      And, if a lefty were uncommitted in his feelings toward Trump, why that same entertainment and also the entire MSM and academia, will swiftly fix that. Once in a while I tune in to MSM and I find it repellant Trump bashing free and easy, everyone laughs and nods in agreement. The drumbeat is one of relentless negativity.

      And should those institutions fail to instill hatred of Trump, why there is always a lefty’s valued peer society. I live in blue Massachusetts where it is a baseline, a given, a general understanding, just like belief in the existence of gravity, the Hatred of Trump.

      I appreciate Trump and value the work he’s trying to do. I often wonder, however, whether he expected all this venom. He doesn’t really deserve it. It reminds me of mass hysteria. Sort of like the mass hysteria of the tulip bulbs, or more ominously the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trial.

      • Yep, 100%.

        We sometimes forget that the left is more or less half the population. Most are poorly informed but that doesn’t prevent them having an opinion that matters to poll takers and Congressdroppings.

        I think that for all his smarts, Trump had never thought about the situation he’s had to confront. He wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’ but he should have read and taken to heart ‘The Prince’ when he won the election, instead. Had he indicted or banished a dozen or so leading swamp creatures he’d have terrified most of the rest of the lefties and he’d have had respect from the whole lot. Instead he held out a hand of compromise and they took him for a fool. The DOJ mess is only the most obvious of the evil consequences.

      • tjoes

        I voted for him but thinks he worships mammon and can easily be led astray into war by our Generals…is not a God fearing man but is ruled by his ego…like Bill was (getting old now) his p enis.

    • sotto voce

      “The rest of us can’t wait to see what happens next” … an excellent point. We feel the same way.

      We watched the Sean Hannity interview with President Trump last night, and I remarked to my husband that I’d be comfortable talking to this president because he speaks like an everyday person about real problems. My plainspoken husband (a successful real estate developer who excelled at hiring the best person for the job, a talent that serves him well when choosing who to vote for) simply said “I love this president”. Not only does my husband identify with Trump because of his business background, but he actually admires Trump’s plain, blunt speech. Anything that further upsets The Swamp is a plus in our book.

  • Altalena

    As with Grover Cleveland, we love him for the enemies he’s made.

    The times called for a leather-lunged iconoclast.

    • Agreed! And, perhaps, the times call for an end, finally, to the rampant corruption of a republican AND democrat Establishment machine that has subsumed Washington in it’s rotten, money-grubbing and careless self-regard! Let’s not forget that. Primary them all. End the debased and contaminated Establishment!

      • Curt A.

        I got you on that one Charlie but the incumbents have a huge advantage in that their access to funding will pretty much overcome almost any challenge by outsiders. Doesn’t mean that the people who seek such change should just concede but be aware of the odds.

      • Altalena

        Agreed. Primary Ryan, even primary chinless Mitch. Red-state Dems up in ’18 are pooping razor blades, as I’m sure the RINOs are as well. Thank God Mr. Susan Collins is going to (supposedly) seek the governorship of Maine. These people are not so much legislators as impediments.

        • Curt A.

          But well fortified with dough and access to more if needed. Gonna be an uphill fight to see the RINOs and Dems all beaten in ’18 IMHO.

          • Altalena

            If we can chop away at 5 or 6, I’m happy. Not greedy about it.

        • shenandoahbad

          The problem is Collins will almost surely be replaced by a Dem. I realize she might as well be one but the numbers matter.

          • Altalena

            At last glance, about 33% of Mainuhs were on the dole, though that goes back a few years. Has that… improved a bit?

            We love to travel there, and it certainly doesn’t *seem* like a poor state, though we’re generally in the southerly bits.

          • shenandoahbad

            I have no idea. I live in the Valley of Virginia but i do know the Mainuhs are liberals.

          • Altalena

            I suspect that Valley may still be inhabited by the ghost of Phil Sheridan, probably still attired in the legendary porkpie hat. 🙂

          • countryboy1947

            My family and I are life long Mainers, both families have been here since the Revolutionary War!

            I can assure you that we are NOT liberals, not the slightest. We are all strong Trump supporters and proud of it.

            For those not familiar with Maine here are a few bits. Southern ME (from Augusta south….including Bangor, 80 miles north) are major urban areas and indeed are as liberal as can be, can’t even be cut out of them with a chainsaw! We live in the rural northern part of the state where the natives still are, and people take care of themselves! Government is NOT wanted in our part of the state.

            The divide in Maine, is as bitter as the divide in America at the beginning of the civil war! We hate them and they hate us! At least we know who the enemy is!

            Collins is a native of northern Maine, entering politics as a staunch Republican. As the demographics have changed she has turned into a first class RINO whom thousands of us despise, and regret how her positions often affect the rest of the nation.

            She is not going to run again. She just turned down running for governor in 2018….last week. She would have run if she thought she could win! She has managed to stay in power with lots of Republican votes but has recently burned all those bridges.

            Who will replace her? Not sure who is going to run yet. There are tons of DEMS to run and few R’s with the desire.

            Nobody could be worse than this witch so getting her out will be a blessing no matter what!

        • Loachdriner

          Ryan made it plain that he didn’t want the Speakership, but does that mean he’ll surrender it without a fight?

          Prior to the 17th Amendment Senators were appointed for four years in office, but the swamp rats engineered a six-year term with the 17th. RINO Mitch is safely in office for a couple more years.

          • Altalena

            …if he lives. Ol’ Cecil Turtle isn’t lookin’ too spry lately.

    • bullmoose117

      The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.

      • Altalena

        True, but in this case, he is.

  • We cannot spare this man. He fights.

    • Altalena

      LOL… and he’s a far better president than Grant was, too. 🙂

      • JimBob777

        Grant unfortunately believed that many of hi appointments were honorable men.

        • Altalena

          That is true. His political rep was resurrected posthumously by a good biography. He was an extraordinary man. I wish I could have been there at Donelson to see him take the fort from his old friend Buckner. He did refuse Buckner’s request for terms, but made up for it promptly.

          • D4x

            Hi – After immersion in Catherine the Great, diversion with the Koh-I-Noor Diamond, I started Wouk’s “The Hope”, too good to find this VDH post until now.
            Had just got past the Altalena showdown, and here you are.
            LBJ not only reigned during the golden age of pork, he also had cash in plain envelopes to pass around, and ‘files’ on everyone whose vote mattered.
            By contrast, by all accounts, DJT is quite charming, empathetic listener. The false caricature IS a product of mass hysteria. I just do not know how he changes that.
            See you again.

          • Altalena

            Missed ya… stick around! 🙂

          • D4x

            FL Melania redefined ‘striped-pants boys’ by breaking tradition and wearing Made in the USA by Ralph Lauren Chalk-Stripe pantsuit to officially greet PM and Mrs. Trudeau to the White House on Oct. 11. Signals ‘NAFTA talks are serious’, and that she is America’s Public Diplomat #1. She has charmed every first lady she has met, including Turkey’s Emine Erdogan, and, the first men even more so..

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a280f08becd9bc202d5bb020af418adc978a225e1f8a358f1c42f8f951ad9d58.jpg
            10 11 2017 FL Melania Trump sported a pinstripe suit, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoir Trudeau, opted for a ladylike dress for their meeting at the White House http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4971398/Melania-Trump-wears-suit-undone-tie.html

            The Trumps flew to Harrisburg, re: tax-reform , as soon as the NAFTA talks ended, but she has never worn pant suit for Official Visits before this.
            Signals that hosting foreign signatories is serious work to whoever wrote the hit piece for CNN a month ago, about Melania’s ‘leisurely summer’
            I am staying away from most sites until photos of the Ogre Harvey disappear. Got to save my eyes for the Villains of Iran.

          • Altalena

            Melania is a gorgeous woman. I love all the “Trump’s-a-Nazi” bleating from the far Left, even as he has a ***Slavic*** wife (and a previous one), and a Jewish daughter and grandkids. Perhaps the leftie college kids didn’t get to that part of history involving actual Nazis and what they thought of Jews… *and* Slavs. “I didn’t have time to learn about WWII because I was too busy with my Angolan-Tajik LGBT Studies concentration… was that the one that had Germans in it?”

            If Harvey looks awful in the pictures, imagine (but well before lunch; not after) what he looked like naked in the shower. SOME THINGS CANNOT BE UNSEEN.

          • D4x

            Yes, she is, and also a very effective diplomat.
            It’s not just ‘bleating’. I dissected how the ‘white supremacist, alt-right’ ‘events’ are a deliberate GOTV tactic, at the NYC City Council District level, at:
            https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/2017/10/09/swastika-juden-raus-hate-letter-sent-nyc-businesses-israeli-consulate/
            The dilemma is that this just gets written off as false flag local hate crime. When NYC votes for mayor on Nov. 7, they also vote for CC, and the mystery ‘Juden-Raus’ hate posters were in specific CC Districts that can determine who will be the next CC Speaker. The leading candidate for Speaker is Mark Levine, CC District 7.

            Since I wrote that detailed analysis, the first mayoral debate turned into deBlasio pivoting to accusing his opponents for having voted for Trump. That all he has, and the ‘white-supremacist’ Label. That is what Charlottesville was all about – developing the ‘white-supremacist-Na%i’ Labels to shame voters, and/or stimulate GOTV. Robert E. Lee did not poll well in Virginia, so they moved on to Columbus, and shaming Jewish voters into staying home. Lot of mayoral elections on Nov. 7, in addition to governor in VA and NJ.

            This was the best unmasking, and NO photos!
            “The Human Stain: Why the Harvey Weinstein Story Is Worse Than You Think
            It goes much deeper than one big creep. 5:05 AM, Oct 09, 2017 | By Lee Smith”
            http://www.weeklystandard.com/print/the-human-stain-why-the-harvey-weinstein-story-is-worse-than-you-think/article/2009995

            Wow, who knew your comment on Grover Cleveland would be so popular!

          • Altalena

            LOL. My Italian friends insist (and I support them fully) on referring to Mayor Putz by his actual name, *Warren Wilhelm, Jr.*

            Cleveland is one of the Dems in history I admire (and not just for spanking Grandpa Simpson on “two non-consecutive occasions”), though calling out the troops to break the Pullman strike was a bit over the line. Altgeld (another admirable Dem) was right to be pissed off.

            What HAPPENED to that type of Democrat?

          • D4x

            William Jennings Bryan fractured the Cleveland edition of the Democratic Party. More recently? Look at the political party lines for most of the Democratic candidates: http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/6676-candidates-for-2017-city-elections-mayor-city-council-comptroller

            Working Families Party had their electoral take-over of the NYC machine-Democratic Party in 2013, and that is why HRC had her HQ in Brooklyn. WFP still supported the Sanders/Warren faction.
            The last recognizable Democrat was Jim Webb.

            It took the ultimate Royal Family Watcher to notice: “Melania Trump suits up, challenging the stereotypical First Lady look”
            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/people/melania-trump-suits-challenging-stereotypical-first-lady-look/
            She’s has everyone else confused, including Vogue, who, in July, longed for her to wear pantsuits as other powerful female politicians do. The past seven days have been about getting the opposition media to treat her normally, and maybe, seriously.

            No mas, Puerto Rico is once again the new news cycle. Until Iran. Except for Trump’s Asia trip, where he might be Tweeting from the DMZ in Korea.

            Back to Wouk. Really wish I’d read “The Hope” in 1993.

          • Altalena

            After you finish it, if you haven’t already done so, give his “City Boy” a read. It has special resonance for Bronxites, but there’s something in there for everybody.

            Re Melania, I wonder if Obama knew (knows!) that Slovenia is actually a real country, rather than some made-up state from a Marx Bros. movie or an old “Li’l Abner.” Or else he thinks it’s “that place that broke off from Checkoslavonia.”

            The phrase “Sanders/Warren faction” is quite a thing in and of itself… *bad medicine.*

            And that NYC candidate list… what has become of the Irish? Did they all split for the ‘burbs?

          • D4x

            I shall be reading Wouk’s sequel “The Glory” next, then getting back to the Civil War. No more Bronx for me.

            Iran/IRGC/Hizbullah is in the Big News today. Liz Sheld posted, word for word: PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’S NEW STRATEGY ON IRAN https://pjmedia.com/blog/liveblogevent/fridays-hot-mic-28/

            Iraqi Kurds are certainly watching that news, because Iranian-led Shi’a militias in Mosul are trigger-happy. I have much else to do, awaiting PJM to replace Horrible Harry photos with Sinister Soleimani
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/843f93a8ac70820e41e5b78461f5a20e8609e2a4ee6cecb59be7420ed709bf41.jpg 07 2017 Leaders of the IRGC’s Qods Force, including Gen. Qassem Soleimani center. Photo Iran official.

            As for Slovenia, Mr. Trump surely knows it is a real country – he went there to meet the parents, who, subsequently mostly live in Trump Tower, or third floor of the WH. You wrote ‘Obama’, who probably does NOT know that the word ‘slave’ is derived from Slav. Slovenes and Slovakians were especially favored for slaves for the harems of the caliphate. I did wonder if POTUS is seen as one lucky caliph, by the Sunnis at the Arab Islamic American Summit on May 21.

            NYC Irish? The Crowleys are still Dems, in Queens. In 2013, the Irish Dem Clubs in Hells Kitchen refused to endorse Christine Quinn. The Irish in Woodlawn, Bronx, gave up on Dems in 2008. I really do try to forget NYC.

            Would rather think of Slovenia.

          • Altalena

            LOL. I could pass as a local in Woodlawn (and often did) because of my coloring. Not Irish, just a wannabe.

            At one point, Slovenia had, IIRC, more NBA players per capita than any other country including the US. They also have one (1) NHLer, Anze Kopitar.

            Here… for the Yugophiles:

            Top Ten reasons for being Slovenian

            You can speak the beautiful Slovene language and know that no one cares except you.

            You can feel superior to all former Yugoslavs.

            You can drink after work.

            You can pretend to live on the “sunny side of the Alps,” although you
            know it’s not that sunny.

            You can pretend that you are as good as any German while secretly
            enjoying the fact that you are a Slav.

            Good relations with Italy and Austria.

            You can afford to be Yugo-nostalgic.

            You can marry a Slovene and have Slovene children who speak Slovene.

            You don’t have to be ashamed when abroad.

            No one bothers you because no one really cares.

            More:
            http://www.gumbopages.com/fridge/balkans.html

            Of course, if you click the link, you have to read Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. 😉

            Of course

          • D4x

            Slovenia is certainly a beautiful place.
            Distracted by some good news – just posted more at pjm:

            “French Jewish candidate defeats Qatari to win UNESCO
            leadership Audrey Azoulay, France’s former culture minister, takes helm of world body a day after US and Israel announced they would leave it because of its anti-Israel bias” By AFP and TOI staff October 13 2017, 8:25 pm

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2c61d7b904aa8623468d31fde0382e5b46b0ded8d89f5b2ba6b1ac8f5f1b386a.jpg
            2017 Audrey Azoulay attends cabinet meeting
            (I liked this photo, not the ones from today)

            Her father is Andre Azoulay, a Moroccan Jew, and advisor to King
            Mohammed VI of Morocco.
            https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/05/216340/andre-azoulay-morocco-a-haven-of-coexistence/

            Heads exploding from Ramallah to Hollywood!

          • Altalena

            RRRROOOWWWRRRR!!! 🙂

            I didn’t know France had a *second* Jewish culture minister, and this one is obviously easier on the eyes than M. Lang.

          • D4x
          • Altalena

            Oy, the Times of Israel… almost as bad as the New Duranty Times.

            I have frequently bet Seth Klarman’s turf horses (he’s the second-leading owner in American t-bred racing this year), but that publication of his has ended up somewhere to the left of Ha’aretz, to the extent such a thing is even possible.

          • D4x

            on the UNESCO vote, at 3a.m? ToI beat DailyMail.UK hands down, which is where I first read about Azoulay. Daily Mail tried to NOT mention she is Jewish. So British.
            I do miss real newspapers. At least ToI still notes a difference between news and opinion, unlike Haaretz, or the NYT. The Guardian is more reliable than Haaretz!

          • Altalena

            LOL. The Grauniad is more unashamedly anti-Semitic, hence Julie Burchill’s smackdown of the rag.

            https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2003/nov/29/weekend.julieburchill

    • horatio

      And as General Grant understood that defeating Lee’s army was the key to ultimate victory, President Trump knows our enemies and clearly intends to fight them with all available weaponry.

  • Brett baker

    Farmer to farmer, Mr. Hansen, have any of Trumps critics ever held a true productive job in their lives?

    • Cybergeezer

      The Outrage Industry seems to be lucrative.

    • JimBob777

      1 out of 80.

  • ca1

    tell us mr. hanson, are you a trumper or anti-trumpet?

  • Neo Conscious

    Thank God for Victor Hanson!
    Dating back long before Trump was even getting into politics, VDH again and again knocked it out of the park with concise yet detailed rebuttals of the mainstream narrative on the crisis du jour.
    His broad perspective and entertaining wit are always on my weekly reading list.
    Trump isn’t afraid of being the bad guy, and in my experience if there isn’t anyone willing to do that in an organization, that organization will fail.
    Victor too seems not to fear becoming a lightning rod for a change that threatens both sides of our political order.

  • Cybergeezer

    Nice assessment, as usual, Dr. Hanson;
    But, the answer is just too easy:
    PRESIDENT TRUMP is quantified by his enemies, in my appraisal. And those enemies are the precise enemies of the vast majority of America’s Heartland and The American People, et al.

  • Rick

    It is clear that Never Trump conservatives prefer style over substance. Trump is results-oriented. He wants to get momentum moving in the right direction even if the initial policy moves are not purely conservative. Never Trump conservatives want to engage in a great winner-take-all debate. They appear to have adopted a bushido-like creed of political puritanism. That strategy did not work well for the Japanese military in WWII. The US fought a war of incremental gains and won total victory.

    • Cybergeezer

      It would be fantastic if at least one of the emperors of the PRESIDENT TRUMP opposition had the intelligence and chivalry of a Hirohito.
      I can’t see that ever materializing.

    • E. +Goldstein

      Never Trumpers follow a boot licking creed. None of them ever saw a progressive foot they would not kiss.

      • bullmoose117

        While you lick the ass of your bellowing baboon.

        • JimBob777

          It’s a given you won’t lick any ass (except your own), with your heard firmly planted in your Sigmoid Colon

    • THAT is a very sharp analogy. THANKS!

    • bullmoose117

      What results?

      • JimBob777

        Pay attention while I type slowly; Justice Gorsuch and rolling back ALL of Obama’s illegal administrative laws.

  • Enough is Enough

    Don’t underestimate the true level of support for Trump. Many of us in flyover country who actually work for a living, rather than vote for one, support him wholeheartedly. And we support him and his agenda despite the mindless and relentless attacks and insults from the leftists.

    • horatio

      Never Trumpers are the Pharisees of our day — totally convinced of their superiority in all matters intellectual and among the first in line at the gates of Hades.

      • bullmoose117

        Yeah all hail your “dear leader”- there are always plenty of sycophants and lickspittles.

        • JimBob777

          See also, the entire east coast enemedia during the presidency of StompyFoot McButtPirate Obama for world class sycophants.

    • CapnRusty

      I’m going to use that in my e-mail signature line:

      “In flyover country, we work for a lving. We don’t vote for one.”

    • flatulento ergo sum

      Not just in fly over country, enuf. All of us in the heartland and even coastal areas who belive in a work ethic feel the same way.

  • Anne Miller

    Why did Trump attack only The Freedom Caucus during the early stages of the Obamacare repeal legislation? Why did Trump immediately endorse the Ryan and McConnell fake repeal bills, while doing all he could to insure that the essentials of Obamacare, like “pre-existing conditions”, were not touched?

    Why did Trump endorse Luther Strange if he is so disconnected from the “establishment”?

    Why has Trump continued DACA instead of repealing it on Day 1 as he promised, if he is so opposed to illegal immigration?

    Why has Trump let the illegal Obama Iran deal stand, instead of ending it on Day 1, since it was “an awful deal” and threatens our national security?

    Why did Trump NEVER try to build any congressional support for true Obamacare repeal or tax cuts?

    Victor, most #ALWAYSTRUMP supporters would not be putting Rex Tillerson or HR McMaster or Jeff Sessions on a list of Trump accomplishments. They actually despise those Trump appointees.

    • Yael

      Why did Trump endorse Luther Strange? Because he needs him… until January. Duh.

  • Nyfarmer

    I like his twitter warts and all. If Bush had called out ‘school bus Nagen’ at a presser the resultant story was massaged to read — ‘President is Mean to Hardworking Mayor’ — or some-such. Trump called out the San Juan mayor directly for all to see.

  • pete18

    I think you understate the legitimate reasons that many conservatives dislike Trump. His “Character is destiny” flaws have serious repercussions because they affect what he does. He has not yet passed any major legislation, and while many “Always Trumpers” will put that all on congresses back, a great deal of it really rests with Trump’s ingrained habit of shooting himself in his own foot with a very big gun. His vanity, insecurity and inexperience makes it impossible for him to do necessary things to pass legislation, like not attacking people that might vote his way with petty, irrelevant twitter comments, or spending his time making the public case for tax cuts or Obamacare repeal, instead sucking up all the space and attention in the room with utterly unnecessary and unhelpful antics and twitter rants.

    The election is over, it’s no longer whether Trump was a better choice than Hillary, it’s whether Trump has any capability of improving himself while in office and making any long-lasting changes with the passage of major policy. He gets credit for appointing good judges and that is long lasting, but as all us conservatives shouted from the rooftops while Obama was making them, executive orders do not necessary reflect the will of the people and can all be undone. It is also about whether Trump will bring about any disasters internationally, which is a not a concern born out of “disgruntlement” but out of the reality that an impulsive man with a very frail ego and very little understanding of history or international affairs has the capacity to make some very poor decisions in crisis situations.

    • Scott

      >>>He has not yet passed any major legislation, and while many “Always Trumpers” will put that all on Congress’s back,<<<

      There is a Republican majority in both sides of Congress. There is nothing stopping them from passing legislation.

      When Obama was President, there wasn't much point since he clearly signaled that he would veto anything they sent him. President Trump, however, is much more likely to sign a bill sent to him from a Republican Congress, even if it doesn't exactly do what he had proposed. He would likely be happy to take credit for a "win".

      • pete18

        Right, but a Congress still needs to be led by the President. He is the one who needs to provide a clear vision, help get them on the same page, help them work out disagreements and help generate public support for his plans to pressure wavering legislators and make it easy for everyone to say “yes.” This has always been the role of effective Presidents, it’s called leadership.

        Trump does none of this and makes it very easy for people to say “no.” A president with control of both houses should have no excuses for not passing legislation.

        • Dennis

          “Congress still needs to be led by the President.” Not when a few senate grandstanders can hold everything up. That is where congressional leadership come in. Pelosi would be pulling McCain, Collins, Paul and Murkowski off their plush committees and supporting primary challengers.

          • pete18

            Do you think this is the first time in history that we’ve had senate grandstanders? A good leader with actual skills could handle that. Reagan only had ONE house his first term and got all sorts of major and difficult legislation passed. I’m not sure why you’re indulging in all these lame excuses for Trump.

        • Presidents don’t have time for retail leadership in Congress: They need to be able to count on support of their party’s leaders there to do the retail work — as Dennis says, just below.

          Terror tactics, yes: Taking Congressional leadership by the lapels in private and explaining that if they don’t get ‘er done then Vito might want to pay them a visit. I think you can fault Trump for not doing that part of the job. Crossing him has no obvious downside for his ‘supporting’ leadership.

    • Altalena

      Yes, no crude, boorish loudmouth like, erm, *LBJ* could ever have a hope of getting anything through Congress, right?

      SMH

      • pete18

        Except LBJ actually had political skills and his crude, boorish side was for private, not public consumption. If Trump had 1/10th of LBJ’s aptitude, experience and maturity maybe he’d get something passed. So far it’s been nothing but goose eggs.

        So Much Hot-air

        • Altalena
          • pete18

            You are really reaching. Have you read a bio on LBJ?

          • Altalena

            I most certainly have. And I lived through his administration; his boorishness and crudity were out there for all to see.

            http://www.weirduniverse.net/images/2012/lbjdogs02.jpg

            LBJ dick stories were a dime a dozen:

            “…He early became fabled for a Rabelaisian earthiness, urinating in the
            parking lot of the House Office Building as the urge took him; if a
            colleague came into a Capitol bathroom as he was finishing at the urinal
            there, he would sometimes swing around still holding his member, which
            he liked to call “Jumbo,” hooting once, “Have you ever seen anything as
            big as this?,” and shaking it in almost a brandishing manner as he began
            discoursing about some pending legislation….”

            http://gawker.com/lbj-was-obsessed-with-his-dick-1694599317

          • pete18

            Yes, all before Twitter, and Facebook. The urinal stuff was private, the “dog lifting” seems pretty tame compared to Trump’s antics. Again, if Trump had a modicum of LBJ’s political skills his other defects might not loom quite so large.

          • Altalena

            The dick stuff was known, as was the fact that he called politicians in to discuss issues with him while he was on the crapper. It was also known that he was serially unfaithful to Lady Bird, had a love child or two out there, and loudly declaimed that he “had more women by accident than JFK had on purpose.” Lenny Bruce used to do routines about his supposed shitkicker accent. The one thing that wasn’t out there was the Hagar slacks tape, now available on Youtube. But that’s almost tame compared to the other stuff.

        • JimBob777

          LBJackoff’s political skill set consisted of threats and more threats. When he finally face some real opposition in 1968 he pu$$$ied out and quit.

          • pete18

            Nothing wrong with threats if they work. They obviously did for LBJ as he had a very successful career and passed lots of legislation.

            Despite his tough guy pose and claims of being the great negotiator, Trump has not been able to threat or charm his way to any promised legislation. Still nothing but goose eggs.

  • sancho panzo

    It does not matter whether a boomer is Liberal or conservative,Democrat or republican he is still likely to have the same honesty, ethics ,integrity, morality and common sense that he did when he was a flower child in the 1960s

  • toheckwithyou

    You sure ask a lot of questions

  • Harlan

    Oh, Trump is disliked alright. But considering the source of that “dislike”, it is understandable.

    DJT is a very real threat to their establishment fiefdoms.

  • NASArefugee

    The problem the establishment GOP has is not with Donald Trump and his “character”, it’s with the American public and what earns their vote. Barack Obama fundamentally changed how presidential campaigns are waged (and elections won), and the GOP simply cannot accept reality.

    Trump has forced the GOP to confront the new political reality by aggressively attacking his enemies using the only tactic that works against Alinsky’s rules, namely countering ridicule with ridicule, and he has exposed the GOP establishment for the traitorous cowards that they are.

    There’s no going back, and blaming Trump is cowardly and infantile.

    • Dennis

      So true. The RINOs talk a good game on abortion, guns and wasteful spending at election time, and then sell us out until the next election. Trump called them on it, and they hate him for actually proposing they deliver on their promises.

      • shenandoahbad

        McCain is (I can’t think of an adjective that does his crapweasliness justice) famous for that. I’ve heard his campaign speeches and you’d think he was the superconservative. Then he goes back to Wash and becomes a RINO.

  • georgacollins

    He won’t back down. Tom Petty said it best…that’s why I love Trump.
    He’s on it every day, tirelessly and relentlessly, making America great again,
    Then there’s the DOJ. We could use a bit more Justice regarding Clinton’s and Obama.

    Thanks for the great article! Loved it!

  • Clark Kent

    It just doesn’t matter what he’ll do.

  • Marty

    During the past 20 years, the Progressive Left has come out from their underground subversive shadows – in their goal to overthrow the U.S. government – and into the sunlight now using violence to enforce their takeover. The country has now taken sides in this war for political control of the nation using Progressive Democrat and Republican politicians as pawns to achieve Progressive total control. What Mr. Trump accomplishes or what the economy does has no importance to the Washington establishment or those in the population who support the Progressives as they are totally committed to their total control of the country. They and their media allies will say or do nothing positive as long as those in power do not agree with their policies. Mr. Hanson’s article brings out many truthful facts concerning Mr. Trump, economy and the present situation but when all is said and done, these facts are meaningless.

  • Christine Golden

    They despise Trump for actually expecting them to keep their campaign promises instead of chucking them aside before the last ballots have been counted. “Accountability? What’s that?”

  • cdr164bn

    we were embarrassed that Bush did not fight back. Most understood that to win you need to fight nowadays. The political hacks are not fighters, they are back stabbers. That’s the genesis of the drain the swamp mentality. Rush maintains the elites hate Trump because he has shown you can be successful without them. That cannot be allowed to stand.

    • Dave781

      Bush won the presidency twice, the second time with a majority of the popular vote, which is something Trump is never going to get. What more “fighting” do you want?

      • JimBob777

        It’s quite simple, progtard; bush ALWAYS turned the other cheek to the liars of the lamestream enemedia.

        • Dave781

          In other words Bush did not act like a 10 year old.

      • JustData

        You’ve been wrong all along, and now you double down on stupid.
        You commented a year ago that Trump was the only Repub that Hilly could beat. In fact, he’s the winner.
        .
        You also commented that if elected, Trump would toss the list of conservative judges in the round file and not nominate any of them to the USSC. Justice Gorsuch was on that list. In addition, President Trump has put many conservative judges on the federal bench already. You voted against getting conservatives on the USSC and the federal courts.
        .
        You were wrong about pretty much everything’ the economy isn’t tanking. Trump isn’t an isolationist, Trump hasn’t deserted any of our NATO allies and is doing more to protect our allies than Obumbler and doing lots more for working Americans and our families than buffoonish Bushie Jr. ever did.
        .
        In fact, President Trump is very likely to get reelected by numbers that look more like Reagan’s than corrupt Bushie Jr’s numbers.

        • Dave781

          I said that HRC COULD have beaten DJT and with another 100,000 votes she would have. Only an idiot would deny that fact. My claim was also that the other GOP candidates would have gotten more votes than Trump and we can never prove it but I and many others still believe it, and I will keep believing it until you can prove otherwise, which will be never.

          More for working Americans than “buffoonish” GWB? Like what exactly?

          As for 2020, don’t count your chickens.

          • JustData

            The best thing any President could do for working and middle class Americans is cut/end illegal immigration and cut legal immigration while ending chain migration and cutting refugee numbers.
            Bushie jr just talked up amnesty and incentivized more to come illegally. Until the economic crash forced so many to leave due to the lack of jobs, Bushie (Heckuva Job Brownie) jr was all about illegals first. We shouldn’t have to wait for an economic disaster to get relief from corrupt politicians (but we shouldn’t have had to wait until the second plane hit the WTC for him to stop reading to kids, either).

      • Yael

        Never say never. #TRUMP2020

  • Stick

    Looks like he has won the NFL war. Trump, you magnificent bastard!

    • Cyber Space

      Of course. Did you expect anything less?

  • CaptSmith415

    Gosh, what a terrible picture of the president. He actually looks orange!

  • Harry Taft

    In my opinion President Trump is to be admired because of who his enemies are and how many there are. He has made a lot of those who were formerly assumed to be Conservatives reveal their true selves. American voters now know more about their elected representatives than they used to. Let’ hope in 2018 they use the opportunity to put some out to pasture.

  • William Fankboner

    Trump is a bombastic, iconoclastic loud-mouthed vulgarian, with a chip on his shoulder. The perfect antidote for the political correctness that is destroying America.

  • Mike Kohler

    The REASON many of us like Donald Trump is that he appears “pissed off” most of the time. And, so are WE.

    We are pissed off at Democrats who have allowed their once-proud party to be overrun by Liberal-Socialists. Many of us were once a part of them.

    We are pissed off at the gutless, conciliatory Republican establishment who have no “balls” when it comes to upholding the Constitution and who trade their votes for personal profit – political and economic.

    We are pissed off at the news media that promotes “opinions” over facts, insults OUR common sense and underestimates our intelligence.

    We are pissed off at Hollywood “stars” and producers who have led our youth astray by promoting filth and vulgarity and anti-social behavior.

    We are pissed off at public “edumacation” that refuses to teach practical skills and promotes looney Liberal “agendas” like gay rights, “Global Warming” and a “New World Order”..

    We are pissed off that they don’t consider our military, our policemen and those that put their lives on the line to protect us worthy of respect.

    We are pissed of that America, its history and its culture are being constantly attacked by those who don’t understand our ancestors’ sacrifice and who have NEVER paid a price for its “freedoms” they enjoy.

    We are pissed off that our tax money is squandered on “foreign aid” to those who express their hatred and animosity toward us.

    We are pissed off that “immigrants” come into this country and take our jobs – and, our benevolence – without showing ANY appreciation.

    We are pissed that so many people put their PERSONAL interests over those of a free SOCIETY whether it’s the gay “right” to march naked in the street or a ban on the smell of bacon that is “offensive” to Muslims.

    We are pissed off that so many lazy ne’re-do-wells take advantage of “the system” that those that truly need and deserve our help are just another number in the bureaucratic queue. And, that the system is designed by politicians NOT to provide “assistance” to those that need it, but rather, to affect the vote for THEIR support.

    I could go on but, the message is clear.
    A LOT of us are REALLY pissed.
    And a REAL “change” is coming.
    The “pendulum” is swinging BACK to the right.
    And, it is LONG overdue. :->

    • barbaro70

      VERY GOOD! EXCELLENT! WE LOVE YOUR DIATRIBE! IT IS VERY ACCURATE! Keep up the great work! Thank you.

    • Cyber Space

      “We are pissed off that “immigrants” come into this country and take our jobs – and, our benevolence – without showing ANY appreciation.” Correction. I don’t care if they appreciate it or not – I want them OUT OF HERE!! I don’t want them taking our jobs, our tax money or anything else. The fact that they don’t even appreciate what they steal from us just adds salt to the wound

    • Cyber Space

      And the pendulum needs to swing WAY over to the right. It has swung left for the last 100 years and we are long overdue for a massive correction

  • Dude1394

    The clear eyed Dr Hanson as usual pens a clear eyed reflection of reality.

    • Name

      Its not all black and white. Trump can give business a brake by temporarily taking the fear of massive regulations away to help profits and he can cause ww3.

  • SupplyGuy

    The Never Trumpers are an obvious insignificant minority, but they have an overly large megaphone from the leftist media. It’s nothing but words in the wind. So much impotent fury.

  • mplstim

    Good post
    On a point of niggle (remember, it’s the little foxes….) you CANNOT use the word “mellifluousness” because, because….well, it’s not DONE..
    All the mellifluousity just disappeared in a puff of smoke when you screwed on “ness” to the end of the word…. it’s some kind of fellow-traveler of onomatopoeia : one can’t, one doesn’t, attach a suffix that destroys the meaning of the word it ends..like one doesn’t wear white after Labor Day. Or after Memorial Day. Or before.
    ..it’s like slapping salsa on crepes suzette, without asking suzette’s permission…..
    As punishment, say “mellifluousness” to 10 strangers today and see what happens.
    The light will go out of their eyes and their nostrils will dilate slightly and their feet will shuffle.

  • javapoppa

    You read many comments that label President Trump as boorish and crude but he is the epitome of suave when compared to LBJ.

    • Name

      Time were very different. No 24 hour cable repeating all day long

  • roastytoasty

    The big bosses in charge of bossing the big bureaucracies of the civilized world know Trump is one of them; Trump knows how to make and keep lots of money. What the big bosses despise is Trump’s messin’ with the Big Game. Big Bosses like Trump are supposed to play the game, not upend the table. I hope Trump keeps his moxie, keeps his cards close and keeps his tough pals in NYC watchin his back. Tough times call for tough guys. Trump is a real tough guy…

  • barbaro70

    Just another, ho-hum, GREAT article by Hanson! Thank you and keep up the great work.
    Here is the special nugget, among all of the great questions Hanson asks in order to analyze the United State’s acceptance of Trump and his, shall we say, style: “Would the establishment Republicans prefer losing again with a kind and generous man figure as Mitt Romney, who grimaced but allowed Candy Crowley to hijack the second presidential debate of October 2012, or to win messily with someone who embarrasses them as much as Romney made them proud but honorable losers?” And we, great admirers of Hanson, say, WHO THE HECK CARES WHAT ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS PREFER–THEY ARE NOTHING BUT DIRTY W H 0 R E S, AND WHO CARES WHAT DIRTY W H 0 R E S PREFER? We, decent, hard-working citizens prefer that Trump show the many Candy Crowleys in American “journalism” their hypocrisy just as he has done many times with many “journalist” w h 0 r e s, and little Jimmy Acosta comes to mind–oh, it was delicious, tasty, savory, delightful, just great!

  • Milan

    Good post On a point of niggle (remember, it’s the little foxes….) you CANNOT use the word “mellifluousness” because, because….well, it’s not DONE..All the mellifluousity just disappeared in a puff of smoke when you screwed on “ness” to the end of the word…. it’s some kind of fellow-traveler of onomatopoeia : one can’t, one doesn’t, attach a suffix that destroys the meaning of the word it ends..like one doesn’t wear white after Labor Day. Or after Memorial Day. Or before. ..it’s like slapping salsa on crepes suzette, without asking suzette’s permission…..As punishment, say “mellifluousness” to 10 strangers today and see what happens.The light will go out of their eyes and their nostrils will dilate slightly and their feet will shuffle.

  • sandslug

    President Trump dosen’t stop until he gets what he wants. He wants a big American Flag right where liberals don’t want it.

  • CFD33

    In general, politicians today are avaricious and self-serving. Getting the public’s business done well and at a reasonable cost is not why they became politicians. Republicans and Democrats form two, competing teams of criminals vying to loot all available resources including the financial potential of our children’s future ($20 trillion debt). Trump does not fit in well with this crowd. In spite of his many personal flaws he is actually something of an idealist and sincerely wants to improve the financial, regulatory, and lawful basis of the country. He supports the Constitution–all of it–just as he swore to do at his inauguration. So, he must be discredited, impeded, and turned out of office as soon as possible so that the ‘ancien regime’ (as in the Bourbon Monarchy) can be restored.

  • rlhailssrpe

    Dr. Hanson sees further than most.

    It is obvious that Trump has either exposed or caused deep fissures in America. IMHO, I was wrong about the deep dishonesty in the media, science and government. I knew it was bad but Trump plumbed the bottom of the cess pool. I do not like much of what he does but upon reflection now see it as necessary. Our governance is broken. I do not think he can make America great again but he has identified the vested interests who could care less about our declining nation so long as they get theirs.

    Most of the press is worthless. It is estimated that about 1/2 of our peer reviewed science papers contain fundamental errors; no one can replicate the published results. We know the greatest recession in our life time was caused by criminal acts, both in government and in the private sector but no one went to the penitentiary. It is telling that Hugh Hefner and Harvey Weinstein, creatures in the same industry and town, functioned for a generation without a peep by people who espouse a woman’s right not to be raped. Neither could be a frat brother in any college today.

    Some howl about a statue of Robert E. Lee but criticize Trump’s policy about a nation which is close to developing a thermonuclear tipped ICBM, North Korea. They vow to slaughter us in our cities.

    Our infrastructure is similar to Puerto Rico’s, the result of decades of neglect. Americans on that island are beginning to die and they will continue to suffer terribly, due to governmental corruption which exists there and on the main land.

    We live in an age of phonies. It is obvious to a good historian.

    • Dave781

      What does NK have to do with Robert E Lee? It is precisely because NK is on the verge of having nuclear tipped ICBMs that many of us criticize Trump’s policy on NK. Even his own SoS called him a f-ing moron.

      • rlhailssrpe

        NK may, or does, have the ability and will to kill us by the millions. R.E. Lee does not. If your President is a …. moron, you probably will not live much longer. He, and we, must focus on survival issues, not hatred amongst ourselves.

        These are facts; historians note such things.

      • #SoManyIdiots

        You criticize Trump’s NK policies because “NK is on the verge of having nuclear tipped ICBMs.” Did you criticize the NK appeasement policies of the past 25 years, from Clinton through Obama, that failed to prevent NK from reaching the “verge of having nuclear tipped ICBMs?”

    • Cyber Space

      Trump most certainly did not cause the deep fissures in America. They have been building and the pressure rising for a LONG time. He merely exposed them. Regular Americans have been quietly seething as we watched the left ruin this country but we had no voice, no one to speak for us and lead us until Trump came along. All we had was the internet to complain and even that is only a relatively recent phenomenon. The left has caused the divisiveness in this country over decades and decades in their effort to tear down our culture and values and our country itself. We on the right are FINALLY fighting back and the left is beside itself. They have never experienced this before and that is why they have become so unhinged.

      • rlhailssrpe

        It truly is amazing. The former head of the EPA and the current head of the EPA accuse each other of violating the law, our Constitution, and valid science. The current boss fired the entire strata of hold over academic advisers and has slammed a brick on all new research grants. Both are lawyers.

        We now have Democratic science and Republican science, which by definition, is impossible. We have millions of technically uneducated people with dogmatic views on 400 PPM CO2. Some hate coal. Some love solar cells, all with no good reason. The fissures are amazing.

        • JimBob777

          No, we have either honest science or dhimmiKKKrat science.

          • rlhailssrpe

            I stay in my lane; I am not a climate scientist. I am a retired Professional Engineer with several degrees, 45 years of practice, a score of nukes, two score of carbon fueled power plants and decades assessing advanced technologies. IMHO, the EPA is ignorant of cost, schedule and the State of the Art in energy systems. And their science seems not to comport with basic scientific norms, which engineers use daily e.g. mass and energy balance.

            From a management view point, Pruitt has not, but must, reconcile the fundamental issue of any societal harm stemming from fire, carbon combustion. He functions in legal circles but must lead a science definition of the effects of fire, in time, cost and technology. EPA has done a very poor job on this.

            To be sure, there are rice bowls at risk; some will see their careers destroyed over climate change. The GIs who ran across Omaha beach, but did not make it, also carried risk. Get on with it, Mr. Pruitt.

  • JDL

    Republicans got used to being “proud but honorable losers” and a gentlemanly opposition party that really did NOTHING! There’s a new sheriff in town. MAGA.

    • Dave781

      The GOP did pretty well before Trump took over. Let’s see how well they do going forward.

      • JimBob777

        The GOP did well OUTSIDE of the beltway- in normal America.

        • Dave781

          Well DUH. That is kind of the point isn’t – to win votes?

      • Yael

        The GOP did not do “pretty well” when McCain and then Romney LOST, subjecting us to the “fundamental transformation.”

  • Name

    Write back next week when ww3 starts.

  • Dave781

    VDH repeats the lie that Romney lost because he was too nice, and that only a truly repulsive person like Trump can beat the Democrats. Romney was running against a popular incumbent president in 2012. He would have won by a landslide in 2016.

    • Romney didn’t want to win. He was the original salesman who looked at anyone living in a cool climate and said “They don’t need refrigerators there so I’m not going to try to sell them one.”

      You wouldn’t hire Romney as a salesman. ‘Salesman’ is the main job of a presidential candidate.

    • JimBob777

      Do you seriously feel (we know you don’t think) that Romney wouldn’t have gotten the same leftwing enemedia vilification that Trump jammed back up their fundaments in 2016? If so, buy my share of the Brooklyn Bridge.

      • Dave781

        Romney would have gotten more VOTES dimwit. That is all that matters. Jamming “enemedia vilification” up their “fundaments” is something only idiots concern themselves with.

  • chris_zzz

    Prof Hanson asks a valid question: is it possible to support Trump policies even if one dislikes Trump the man?

    • Dave781

      Yes, it would be possible to support Trump’s policies if anyone actually know what they are. They seem to be subject to change without notice.

    • Yes but without Trump the man there’s no chance of finding someone to lead the charge for those policies.

      You cannot be nice to Washington while supporting policies that will mean less money in GOPee and Democrap politician/lobbyist pockets.

    • JustData

      I can’t say personally but I know some who voted for him and love his policies but who dislike the guy. They continue to dislike him and hate how he handles the job while loving the changes and outcomes. They’re all either techies or small business owners, one local politician in Ohio who’s a veteran, plus one retired veteran. I’m not sure all their spouses even know how they voted.
      .
      It’s amazing. They’ll vote to reelect him, and will vote in Trump Repubs at all levels of government (in fact, that’s the part they’re the most excited about by a very wide margin) without any hesitation. They won’t admit to others that they voted for him. They won’t admit to others that they support him and support electing Trump Repubs. I’ve never seen anything like it, but then I’ve never seen anything like most of the past decade, either.
      It’s a great time to be alive, and just now it’s great in a very positive sense too.
      I keep running out of popcorn🍿.

  • Wayne Lanham

    The answer to this question – “Is Trump’s occasional crudity and unapologetic animus counterproductive and turning off possible allies, as conventional wisdom suggests?” – is fairly simple. Trump has exposed these “possible allies” for being the foes to the cause they have been all along.

  • codgerelle

    Trump is confronting the progs on their own level, which no Republican has ever done. The usual posture is one of hand-wringing deference, and a “willingness to compromise” that has in practice meant incrementally acquiescing to every piggish demand they’ve made over the past half-century. I’m delighted that we finally sent a pit bull instead of a chihuahua to the dogfight.

    • The GOPee doesn’t care to win as long as its members get to stay in Washington and control their share of the flow of pork.

    • JustData

      Exactly.
      I hired a counterpunching street brawler on purpose, to bust up the politically correct sewer where corrupt politicians work to enrich themselves and their cronies at our expense. No one could bust up that fetid PC bubble while being in any way PC. President Trump is doing exactly what he was hired/elected to do and I’m thrilled every day all day long with my wonderful President.
      The big, painful proggie/NeverTrump meltdown is just a massive bonus.
      .
      I keep running out of popcorn🍿

  • E. T. Bass

    Great article by VDH. It’s boggles the mind that the country club republicans are refusing a once in a generation lifeline being tossed to them by the president.

    As a Reagan conservative, I find Trump to be unpolished, often un-presidential and most unconventional, but he is advancing an agenda closer to Reagan’s than anyone since the Gipper himself, so as long as he stays that course, I’m with him.

    I found 0bama to be condescending, pseudo-intellectual, manipulative, disingenuous and duplicitous, but it was his agenda I detested.

    • Cyber Space

      I couldn’t stand Obama and his agenda. He made me want to puke

      • Irene Goodnight

        Yeah he was a black man in the White House. Didn’t he understand that the White in White House indicated the skin color of all lawful occupants?

    • JimBob777

      “I found 0bama to be condescending, pseudo-intellectual, manipulative, disingenuous and duplicitous, but it was his agenda I detested.”
      .
      Don’t sugar coat it, tell us how you really feel! 🙂

  • Cyber Space

    As long as President Trump keeps his promises about illegal aliens, – DEPORT, BUILD THE WALL, NO AMNESTY, NO DACA- I am just thrilled beyond compare with him. I think his support is higher than what the polls show. His support would be even higher if we did not have an insane anti Trump media who influences the low info voter.

    • odys

      When it comes to support polls, I’d like to see the numbers without NY and CA. I bet they are and have always been positive.

  • flatulento ergo sum

    We all owe VD H so much. No other editorial writer says it as well. His grasp and ability to put into words what I am thinking is amazing. When I go through the list of daily available editorials it is his byline that I look for first.

  • okiebob

    Trump is the honey badger in the Washington DC Zoo.

  • odys

    Why obsess on the nevertrumpers or the “resistance.” They are irrelevant today. Quite simply:

    “Its the economy, stupid!”

    Trump is the first president in decades who was interested in why the American worker was being priced out of the global job market, and with H1B visas they were being priced out of the job market in their home town.

    People pay taxes, corporations do NOT pay taxes – a tautology that I wish writers and pundits would repeat over and over. 60% of the 35% corporate tax rate is paid for by the employees of those corporations. Want a broad middle class tax cut? Shift corporate tax revenue over to personal income tax revenue and the middle class will receive most of that corporate tax cuts in improved wages and benefits. Directly reducing their income tax rate would only give them about $600 per year.

    It takes a person knowledgeable in finance, and business and who has empathy for his fellow Americans that has been missing for decades, to lead us right now, and Trump is that person.

  • bullmoose117

    You think the stock market highs and one quarter of 3% growth are attributable to Trump? What exactly has he done to create these positives? It stock market also skyrocketed under Obama. Correlation is not causation.

    • Peta Johnson

      Well, the President is certainly not a negative externality.

  • Peta Johnson

    I was too young to make a genuine decision on the rights and wrongs of Watergate. But I do recollect the venom. Obama did much worse than Nixon, even if Nixon ordered the break-in. Hillary knows that because she was tangentially involved.

    The reality is that they hate the President for the same reason that they hated President Nixon – Nixon was effective and could be understood by ordinary folk and disdained the GOP Establishment.

    The reason the establishment hate the President is as simple as it is clear – if the President succeeds it is the end of the Establishment GOP. They have gerrymandered the rules for decades to remain in power. It is painfully absurd how many delegates blue states that have not been carried in several decades are entitled to at the GOP convention.

    When the President was asked whether he would back the nominee – he hedged. He was roundly criticized. No one else hedged. But most lied. There is no honor in the Establishment GOP. McCain did a great disservice to the Establishment on Obamacare, he made plain that the choice is between the Democrats and the Populists.

    If and it is a big if, the GOP hold the House and Senate after the mid-terms, the reality is that McCain has buried Mitch McConnell. It is possible for McConnell to dig his way out of the grave, because he will have been buried alive. But his prospects are not good.

    The President should use the honors system to start to entrench his view of the country’s way of life. How about a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom for John Hughes? for Antonin Scalia? for Phyllis Schafly? How about one for Lech Walesa? for Clarence Thomas?

    What about some of the ordinary folk who took a bullet protecting others in Las Vegas?

  • TD

    Well, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a broken elevator with Trump for a few hours, but VDH seems to be substantially correct. Trump’s boorish behavior has not caused any real harm, and some good stuff is happening. While I do think I understand what angered enough people to support Trump to secure the nomination (and other Republicans eventually went along even though Trump was not their first choice), I do hope we have a different candidate in 2020. I also hope we pick up a few more senate seats in 2018.

  • InBigSkyCountry

    As long as Trump keeps being Trump, it will all turn out fine. I, for one, am definitely not tired yet of all this WINNING! And, now, I will return to my favorite media show “Liberals Punch Themselves In The Face”. I’m currently watching the ‘Bill Clinton is Nothing Like Harvey Weinstein’ episode. I may watch the ‘State Tax Writeoffs Are Not Wealth-Fare’ episdode next.

  • pakelag

    For some, politics has devolved into aesthetic preference. President Obama was so hip, so well dressed, his speech so measured that it didn’t matter what he said or his true intent. In contrast, President Bush (both of them) Mitt Romney and now Trump are the antithesis of hip. Perhaps Steve Bannon is right, maybe it is time to challenge establishment Republicans who seemingly love the Gomorrah of the beltway over the principles they are supposed to stand for, and have thus turned into figures of salt before our eyes.

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    He kept the Banshee Woman out of the WH and for this he deserves a Gold Medal. He is lewd, rude, crude and for all I know, tattooed but it does not matter. Considering the alternative if he had lost and what the alternative would be if Kamala Harris comes to power in 2020, I shall vote for him again without reservation.

    • We’re never going to fully appreciate just how horrible would be our situation had Trump lost to Hellery. And — though it may be just a temporary reprieve — thank GOD for that.

      • XSANDIEGOCA

        We did not dodge a bullet. We dodged a Howitzer Shell.

        • JimBob777

          No, we dodged a 100 megaton planet busting nuke.

          • JustData

            Every morning when I wake up I lie still for a moment and revel in the fact that I have President Trump and Dems have lumbering, two-time-loser Hilly who will never be President.
            Life is truly good.
            And I keep running out of popcorn🍿!

          • XSANDIEGOCA

            It’s astonishing ! Oh how the MSM and others carry on about this or that point about crude, lewd and rude Trump. I end the conversation by reminding them what the alternative would have been….. Trump 2020.

    • Dave781

      There were OTHER alternatives and you know it.

      • XSANDIEGOCA

        There may have been but he won. It was going to take an SOB to beat the Banshee. This was the choice that was presented to me: Bad or Worse. I went with Bad.

  • reality check

    Some of us ask, why didTillerson call Trump an ‘effing moron’? (this statement has not been denied by anyone). according to highly place WH officials who all clearly heard Tillerson, the reasons are: Trump compared the war in Afghanistan to renovating a high end NYC restaurant and when told the US now has about 3,000 active nuclear weapons he demanded that we increase the amount of nuclear weapons 10 TIMES more than we now have. These comments would be offensive to any self respecting ‘moron’. No one has denied the above but you guys either will or figure out how to explain away little don john’s total ingorance of history,diplomacy, the cost of these weapons, the budget constraints and war. Or you will blame this comment on Obama, Hillary, the ‘deep state’ or just plain ‘fake news’.Pick any one or all of them. Enjoy!

    • TribeFan42

      It was RECENTLY reported by NBC that in July, that UNNAMED sources said Tillerson called Trump a “moron”. A day or so later, the quote somehow changed from “moron” to “f’n moron”. Since it’s clear NBC has a reputation for bending the news, and the story is based on unnamed sources, it’s not credible.

      Oh, BTW. Unnamed sources say NBC spiked the story that Hillary called Barack a “f’n n’er” in a meeting in November. Why did NBC spike this story?

      • reality check

        But NO ONE has denied the story, either version. If one or both of the versions wasn’t true someone would have/should have denied one or both versions by now. But it is now several day later and it is too late. This story is TRUE or explain why it hasn’t been denied by anyone, including Tillerson. Re: Hillary’s story vs Obama…. a totally different, irrelevant story and who cares now anway. Neither Obama nor Hillary is president, but the present SoS is calling the current president a ‘moron’. About that we all should care, especially if he’s right.

        • TribeFan42

          Pence denied the quote. And all Tillerson did was say he wasn’t going to dignify the question with an answer. With N. Korea, China, Japan, Iran, International Trade, etc, some dumbasss reporter asks Tillerson, “Did you call Trump a moron”?. Tillerson should have just patted the “reporter” on the head and said, “Run along, sonny. This room is for grownups”.

          • reality check

            That is nonsense and everyone knows it. Whenever a politician says they won’t diginify a question with an answer menas they CAN”T answer the question because the real answer will get them it trouble. If Tillerson didn’t call Trump a moron does ANYONE believe he wouldn’t have flat out denied it. There were just too many witnesses and he knows it. And none of those witnesses were Maddow, Cuomo, or Don Lemon. They are all senior WH officials that work directly for Trump, not Obama or Hillary.

          • TribeFan42

            Face it. NBC made up the story. Unless you can prove me wrong.

          • reality check

            “Fake news’ strikes again. Maybe some people other than your ever shrinking echo chamber will believe that, but maybe not. Wishful thinking can take you just so far.

          • TribeFan42

            Name one person who heard the “moron” quote. Otherwise, STFU.

          • reality check

            Tillerson.

        • gda

          “Later, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert flatly denied that Tillerson called Trump a moron. She said Tillerson hasn’t said sorry to Trump, as no apology was needed.”

          Last I heard, Nauert had not changed her name to NO ONE.

          • reality check

            Heather Nauert wasn’t there.She has no idea what was said or not said. Some one only apologizes when they say something wrong. That’s why no apology was needed. Tillerson could clear this up with just 7 words “I did not call Trump a moron”. Easy. Simple. Direct. But Not a peep from Tillerson or any other anonymous WH sources. Trump’s only response to Tillerson so far is an IQ test challenge. How unlike him, don’t you think? No lyin Ted, no low energy Jeb, no little Marco, no crooked Hillary, no —–Rex. You guys are responding more directly than even little don john.

          • JimBob777

            You know this how, progtard?

          • gda

            And you WERE there? You said NO ONE denied the story. You either lied (most probable) or never bothered (or were too dumb) to check.

            So much for reality checking.

          • D4x

            State Dep’t Spokesperson Heather Nauert is terrific. Reading the transcripts from the State
            Department Press Briefings is better than any script by Aaron Sorkin. Twofer- no need to watch a movie, and, REAL news.

            Oct. 10, 2017:
            https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/10/274729.htm#DEPARTMENT2 3:04 – 3:44
            pm EDT

            MS NAUERT: [starts with Liberia] “For the first time in three generations Liberians will be transferring presidential authority democratically and peacefully from one elected leader to another.” As a longstanding friend of the United States, the United States wants to
            congratulate Liberians for exercising their democratic right to vote. We are
            proud to stand with them today in support of their efforts to continue building
            their country, its democracy, and its future. And I’d be happy to take your
            questions. Where’d you like to start?

            [Matt Lee, AP] QUESTION: Right. Thanks. Apropos of nothing, what’s the Secretary’s IQ? (Laughter.)
            [Five questions like that later]:
            QUESTION: — what he might have gotten on his SATs? Anything like that? No?

            MS NAUERT: Do you have a real question?

            [followed by consistent Q& A: substance on Turkey; Israel; Iran JCPOA; then a twenty+ Question break on IQs; followed by real Q&A on North Korea, Venezuela, Turkey, Cuba]

  • Mikey Likey

    New Day. New Trump death knell. During the campaign, Trump said he would not be predictable. Apparently, this includes the American press as well as our enemies. Is this Trump vs. Tillerson? Or, good cop/bad cop?
    .
    Tillerson says to the NORKs, “We can work something out.” Trump says, “You’re wasting your time talking to them.”
    .
    Tillerson says to the NORKs, “You don’t want to talk to him. I am more reasonable.” Trump says, “They only understand one thing.”
    .
    Tillerson says to the NORKs, “See what I mean. So, whadda ya say?”

  • quodverum

    The operative of those Republicans who despise President Trump as individual and President is the descriptive “elite”.

    Because it was TIME to bring into the open their FUNDAMENTAL disdain for the Commoners?

    Citizens, the infra dig, the “stupid citizens, a basket of deplorables” who chose Donald Trump as the foremost representative of their name, their trust and their interests.

    Which the “elite” in the civic institutions, as if landed gentry and aristocracy of Olde England and the monarchies of Europe cannot abide Because associated with “Trade”.

    But are, were, not only willing but eager to profit from the Trade of the practitioners. Even when the people who toted the bales and lifted the barges were people considered even farther below the salt. than the traders themselves and the stupid deplorables.

    When not “guns and religion bigots, sexists, racists, xenophobes and that VAST Right Wing Conspiracy.

    Forgetting, AND being allowed to forget, that. however “elite” they are many ARE EMPLOYEES or employees in civic institutions subsidized and funded by those infra dig stupid citizens basket of deplorables etc etc etc.

  • Michael Schneider

    What Tillerson is alleged to have said . what Corker said… its the truth

    • TribeFan42

      According to whom…Rachel Maddow? Chris Cuomo? Chris Hayes? Don Lemon? Please tell us who the unnamed sources are who allegedly heard the “moron” quote.

      • reality check

        If either story wasn’t true, someone would have denied them by now. Even Tillerson hasn’t denied it. Explain, if you can.

        • TribeFan42

          Who heard the comment? I say NBC made it up. Like they did when they doctored the Zimmerman 911 tape. Like Brian Williams did when he went on the air and lied. Prove me wrong.

    • gda

      But our moron still beat your moron (and all the other Republican morons). Now how does a moron manage such a feat?

      Oh, I know. I know! It was the RUSSIANS wot did it.

      • reality check

        Sort of like the WWE and Monday Night wrestling. Sometimes, quite often, the bigger moron wins. That is something jr’s dad will understand.

        • gda

          You two are jokes. We’re talking about winning the biggest job in the world. All you can do is throw spitballs ineffectually.

          Y’all really need a reality check.

      • Michael Schneider

        amazing, someone dumb enough to claim him as their own

  • Michael Schneider

    if it wasn’t for the fact the current POTUS was born to great wealth, he would be selling cars at the local buy here pay here.

    • TribeFan42

      What’s your point…other than the one on the top of your head?

    • gda

      Define “great wealth”. As someone said, he inherited Queens wealth, but not Manhattan wealth.

      That was all him baby.

      • reality check

        Without his father & Roy Cohn, Donald would have been head doorman in one of his father’s better apt houses. Not so bad. He could have been a janitor.

        • odys

          AND you know this how? You have some sort of time traveling machine that lets you explore possible alternate scenarios, or are you speaking out of your rear end again?

          • reality check

            The actual truth of Donald’s life in the 70s & 80s can be found in the archives of the NYT, the NY Daily News, The NY post, “The Making of Donald Trump” by David Cay Johnston and various bios of DJT. But I wouldn’t if I were you. If you investigated at all, your alternate reality would be shaken to its very core. Projecting Donald as a ‘head doorman’ was much too optimistic & much too kind. That he made it to president can be attributed to the naivete of some and allowing too many others to fall victim to a faux ‘head doorman’ that conned them out of their own shoes.

    • Independent B

      Nancy Pelosi was born into mammoth amounts of wealth.

      • Michael Schneider

        but she aint as important as Trump or I’d say if it wasn’t for that idea she’s be sucking weenie somewhere/// both of them are the wingnuts

    • odys

      AND you know this how? You have some sort of time traveling machine that lets you explore possible alternate scenarios, or are you speaking out of your rear end again??

    • D4x

      More likely, had he played 1st base for the Phillies in 1965 instead of going to college, well, as Yogi Berra once said “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
      “He was on the Varsity baseball, soccer and football teams. He was quite the athlete. ‘He was the first baseman on the baseball team. He did well enough that he was scouted by the Boston Red Sox, a coach at West Point and the Philadelphia Phillies. ‘He became cadet captain because he got along with everybody.”
      Major Theodore Dobias, Trump’s baseball coach at the NYMA, told Daily Mail Online [July 20, 2015].
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24aa2cc8a082c0f4ee8d7fec2151c899f148cc3fe9810ad0920fb3ab498204a4.jpg 1964 New York Military Academy Yearbook: Donald J. Trump, co-captin varsity baseball team, batting average: .300

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3168648/Donald-Trump-pictured-uniform-cadet-captain-dodged-Vietnam-draft-four-deferments-bone-spur.html

    • Yael

      Born into great wealth? Not really. Have you ever seen the family home in Jamaica Queens where they lived when he was young? Looks pretty middle class to me. His father met with great success over the ensuing years. Good for him. I begrudge no one the success they achieve through hard work.

  • redmanrt

    “in a manner of Barack Obama, though without the latter’s mellifluousness…”

    Anyone listening carefully heard no mellifluousness.

    “The strange disconnect between a disliked person and his mostly praised policies again raises fundamental questions.”

    Not so strange. Trump threatens the power of all dims and many RINOs.

    “No previous president has been the target of such public venom.”

    Read up on Lincoln, Mr. Hanson.

    • reality check

      At least Trump wasn’t called a ‘secret Muslim’ or not a real American citizen (Kenyan), or not qualified to be president.
      Being qualified and competent and fit for the position are 2 different things.

      • odys

        Yes, Barry was very mysterious about his background, how many services was he awake for in Reverend Wright’s church, why he has a funny Social Security Number, why he had to keep all his college grades under wraps, why he would never produce his certificate of live birth, a hand-filled-in record of birth completed the day he was born in a hospital in Hawaii, if he were born in a hospital in Hawaii, that is.

        Why do you think that Barry kept so much stuff hidden? Trump has been out front and center for forty years, so only a true fool would claim they do not know about him.

        • Dave781

          So you are a birther? A hand filled in record of birth completed the day he was born? Why would anyone be required to produce such a document? Who even has such a document? I don’t, and I am pretty sure that I was born. I do however have a LEGAL birth certificate issued by the city where I was born. Maybe that is why so many birthers love Trump – because he repeats the same nonsense that you believe.

          BTW – Trump has also kept HIS college transcripts. If he wants to prove what a high IQ he has, maybe he could just compare his grades to Tillerson’s.

      • redmanrt

        You are wearing an especially selective pair of lbtrd blinders.

  • 83champ

    “The Republican establishment used to lament that the old Reagan Democrats, Tea Party types, and working-class whites of the Midwest had stayed home in 2008 and 2012, and thus allowed good candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney to be steamrolled by Obama’s fatuous “hope and change” identity politics. Now they are either worried or shamed that these same swing voters came out in droves and left the Republican Party in a dominant position at the local, state, and federal level not seen since the 1920s.”

    GOPe types don’t want to be in charge. Congress was handed to them in 2010. They didn’t go out and aggressively campaign. They want votes, but don’t want to earn them. Trump has revealed much, intentionally or not.

  • Itche-Meir

    Yet another Trump aplogist
    Make America Stupid
    Teach America to Hate
    Trump has taken over the patriotic press

    • odys

      Yes we were so much better with the American loathing moslem in the White House, right comrade? Vlad could push the marshmallow around.

  • R J Ault

    Two points relevant to this provocative column. First, Donald Trump is now, nor has he ever been a conservative. He has always been a liberal democrat. But the truth is deeper – He is neither left or right – He is a believer only in the Greatness of Trump. Two years ago he discovered that the path to power was to push an alt-right, dog whistle racist message and it would unfortunately appeal to far too many people. Second, all the never Trumpers understand truth and facts as seen on the broadcast networks, CNN, and MSNBC (albeit with a leftward spin). The Trumpanistas believe the garbage and fake news spewed by Fox “News”, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter. Notable exception is straight news from Brett Baier. Roger Ailes literally invented fake news. So it’s really that simple

    • Sabrina Mendoza

      So apparently you skipped the article and went straight to the comments in order to bash trump, vdh, and conservatives.
      We voted Trump in because DC has not worked for us avg Americans.

    • Peter63

      One thing Mr Trump had to know in May and June of 2015. He would be universally scorned, detested, vilified, by the media and the Establishment 24/7 if he ran as a candidate on what YOU call his ‘alt-right, dog whistle racist message’.

      So, let’s think this through. If you were a penniless hobo it might be worth your while to seek the top job in your country on those terms – Adolf Hitler did.

      But Trump was a very rich man, approaching 70 years of age, with TV and New York at his feet.

      Would any sane person want to swap that way of life for a long trip to Hell, a lengthy residence there, and a long trip back, in order to acquire a job in which he would be continually vilified by most megaphones in the land?

      If he were only ‘a believer in the Greatness of Trump’, why would Donald Trump sabotage his chance of feeling loved and valued by his fellow human beings, by running for presidential office?

  • Sabrina Mendoza

    “They are embarrassed… that he often exaggerates and errs in a manner Obama, though without the latter’s mellifluousness or Ivy League brand.”
    Hilariously true!

  • Sabrina Mendoza

    When the structural integrity of a building has become as compromised as the DC establishment is…
    The tool used is a wrecking ball.
    Trump our wrecking ball.

  • Peter63

    I am not convinced that what Trump offends is the snobbery of the elites.

    The matter seems much simpler to me, and has done from the start. He offends their bottom line.

    They have all been part and beneficiaries of a racket for 3 decades now. Globalisation, crony-corporatism, mass immigration (‘justified’ by the lunatic doctrines of multiculturalism and enforced by ever more severe political correctness) have made the very wealthy ultra-super-duper wealthy; and in turn have given rich rewards to their bag-carriers, enablers, toadies and other functionaries.

    Big Money has owned the political class and the mainstream media for a long time. The political class in its turn owns the bureaucracy (including the intelligence officials of the Deep State).

    Why do you suppose Wolf Blitzer of CNN has personal wealth of $16 million? Journalists never used to get paid like that. But, typically of most big shots in the media, he fronts for the whole MSM narrative which carefully prevents the nation from rising up against monopolies that are even more strangling of American society than those of the railroad kings and
    other trust overlords of a century ago.

    There are also two free bonus allies for Big Money, in the form of Academe and the wild loud (now violent) irrational political Left. They too sing the same songs, bang the same drums, that advance the agenda of Wall St, the Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley billionaires and – the nearest thing the world has ever seen to a real-life James Bond villain conspiring to destroy civilization – George Soros.

    The NeverTrumpers were all along part and parcel of this Racket. They would be nominal opponents of the Liberals and, like dogs in a manger, would occupy the space that should have been filled by genuine conservatives. By occupying it, they would neutralise the development of genuine conservative opposition. If five persons fill a telephone booth, you can’t get in to make a call.

    They were rewarded for their endeavors. I don’t say they all did this deliberately and consciantly. In many cases they did it without fully perceiving how treacherous their role was. They were and are mediocrities who wanted to be well paid and feel important. Selling out the country simply wasn’t on their radar as an objection to the way of life they had forged: the neutering of real opposition to The Scam.

    Their alleged objections to President Trump – his tweets, his language, his serial polygamy, his hairstyle &c – are simply cover to ‘justify’ their rabid opposition to him. The real motive for their visceral detestation is the reproof his election has made to their posturings over the years and the threat his policies pose to their jobs, money and influence.

  • D4x

    October 3,1991: “…This is not just a campaign for the presidency. It is a campaign for the future for the forgotten hardworking people of America for their children for all of those who deserve a government that’s on their side fighting for a better tomorrow. It’s a campaign to make a strong at home and abroad. I ask you to join with us today to give me your hands and your heart to give me your prayers and your help.

    I believe that together we can make America great again.

    And with your help your heart your devotion and your efforts we can build a community of hope that will inspire the world. God bless you and thank you very much.” October 3,1991: Governor Bill Clinton addressed a crowd in Little Rock,
    AR, to announce his entrance into the 1992 presidential campaign.
    https://www.c-span.org/video/?21803-1/governor-bill-clinton-dar-presidential-campaign-announcement

    25 years later, swing voters in America voted for the same vision, not fooled by last names, because, 25 years later, enough swing voters refused to be conned by cynical lawyer politicians who harvest votes with ideological distractions, not even mentioning a way out of the Twin Deficits, which were issues in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7bddf75f1515d80d5ec92b08e39bb148f858159b4f5091cb01292f39f1a408f3.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2eed32515207c14889e16ba19ba7ba75b776896683ef8b647cd65ec89a5dda37.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19bb70a6bcda25a8b82ad2f97218683f4607f030dffc1f4addf0c01a61eb5461.png

    The only way out of the Twin Deficits is to grow new jobs by killing the hyper-regulation of 2009-2016,
    re negotiate free trade as fair trade; flip the trade deficit in hydrocarbons into net exports;
    and, unmask and disrobe: the never-ending distractions of: Invented Fake News; Russia! & other mass hysterias; Identity Politics; and stop reading Remnick’s vipers’ nest still named The New Yorker.

  • NeverTrumpers AKA cuckservatives.

  • Yael

    If you don’t like Trump’s tweets, don”t read his Twitter feed. Problem solved. 😉

  • Temujin

    Wow, great writing, glad I just discovered this site.

    Seems enough Americans now realize the GOP they supported actually held them and their values in contempt, never had any intention of actually opposing the left in their effort to fundamentally change America and strip citizens of their liberty.

    We shall see, but the same internal meter that told me somehow DT would win the Presidential election, is now telling me everything neocon is now dead and they are going to be double-shocked in November 2018 when they finally have to face it.