Christie is deeply insulted. And will the military obey orders from Trump?

No Hollywood film has even come close to portraying the insanity of politics.  Here is the latest headline:

Christie Deeply Insulted by Rubio Voicemail

Wow, why would Rubio deeply insult Christie, when he needs his support?  So I read on:

And after losing the race, the call came from Rubio.

In his voicemail, the junior Florida senator sought Christie’s support and assured him that he still had a bright future in public service — and Christie didn’t appreciate the words, sources close to the governor said.

Instead, Christie, 53, took the message to be patronizing and deeply disrespectful, and wanted to know why 44-year-old Rubio would be telling him about his future, and he two politicians never held a direct conversation.

Shame on Rubio.  I don’t think I’ve ever been that deeply insulted, not even by my most vicious commenters.  I can’t even imagine the stress that Christie has to go through being a public figure.  No wonder he put his ego ahead of the well-being of America.  Who wouldn’t, if in his shoes?

Meanwhile, as always occurs in Presidential campaigns, the former head of the CIA is now speculating that the military would refuse to obey orders from one of the two leading Presidential candidates:

Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA and CIA, thinks some of presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s campaign promises are so unlawful that the U.S. Armed Forces could not follow them as orders.

These include Trump’s claim that people deserve to be waterboarded even if it doesn’t work and that he would target the families of terrorists. The internationally recognized Geneva Conventions bars such action.

“If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act,” Hayden said Friday during an appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” “You are required not to follow an unlawful order that would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.”

So I guess we can cross our fingers and hope for a mutiny by the armed forces and the CIA against the Commander in Chief.  (And for God’s sake make sure the White House is well stocked with strawberries.)

When reading the following quote from Megan McArdle, my heart soared as I read “continuous loop on every television screen”, and then plunged when I finished that sentence:

Rubio, and also Ted Cruz, who attacked him very successfully on electability, showed Donald Trump some things I’m not sure he realized: that bullies can be bullied; that being the frontrunner means everyone’s going to come at you; and that there is a reason that those boring, low-energy experienced politicians take care not to say things that they will have to answer for in the media, or which can be used against them in attack ads. (Highlights from Trump’s lengthy remarks include praising Mommar Gadhafi, who accepted Libya’s responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing that killed almost 200 Americans; explaining his reluctance to release his tax returns on the grounds that he gets audited all the time; and saying that he hired foreign workers for his Palm Beach club because Americans won’t do those jobs. If these are not soon running in a continuous loop on every television screen in a primary state, then the Republican Party is fielding presidential candidates too stupid to govern.

Putin, Gadhafi, are there any murderous dictators that Trump doesn’t like?

And here’s Jonah Goldberg (I used to think “liberal fascism” was an oxymoron, but it does sort of fit Trump):

Before he ran for president, if you played the word-association game with 100,000 Americans, I’d venture that not one of them would have said “Christian!” when asked, “What first comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump?”

Apparently, according to Trump, that’s only true of normal Americans. The IRS is different. It’s like the eye of Sauron searching the land for “strong Christians.” When its cruel gaze landed upon the failed casino magnate, beauty-pageant impresario, thrice-married and confessed adulterer who’s talked about how his own daughter is so hot he’d date her if she wasn’t his daughter and bragged about how it doesn’t matter what critics say about you so long as “you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass,” and who told Howard Stern that his ability to avoid getting the clap while sleeping around was his “personal Vietnam” the IRS immediately saw the truth of the matter.

Suddenly, the alarms at the IRS Christian persecution squad started flashing. Over the P.A. system came: “Code Red! We’ve got a ‘strong Christian’ in sector 7!”

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not making light of the IRS’s well-earned reputation for inappropriately scrutinizing conservative Christian groups. (But let’s not forget, they target them because they are conservative. And for most of Donald Trump’s audit period he was a major Democratic donor.)

What I am doing is unapologetically mocking the idea that Donald Trump, a bankruptcy impresario and formerly mob-tied businessman, who likes to mock the disabled at that, was singled out by the IRS for his tendency to ask “What would Jesus do?”

Oh, and keep in mind, according to Trump, this potential Christian persecution started on George W. Bush’s watch.

I could go on for hours listing everything ludicrous about Trump’s attempt to claim he is being crucified on a cross of shady tax shelters.

But what is so dismaying is the way Trump supporters took the bait instantaneously. I won’t bore you with my Twitter feed, but I was amazed by how many people (1) immediately bought Trump’s explanation as plausible, (2) claimed I was defending the IRS’s persecution of Christians, (3) actually believe that Trump gives a ton to Christian causes. (I mean in the past. I’m sure he’s written a lot of checks this year. I personally can’t wait to see the Trump Student Center and Hall of Greatness at Liberty University.)

So Trump has paranoid delusions of being persecuted by America’s tiny non-Christian minority.  Heh, what could go wrong?

Seriously, I see the same thing as Goldberg’s twitter feed.  I have commenters who are smart enough to discuss the nuances of monetary policy, and yet also believe that Trump’s being persecuted by “the Jews” who run the IRS.  There are “books” proving all this stuff.  If we have learned anything over the past few months it is that there is no “g”, no general intelligence; within each cranium there coexists amazingly diverse types and levels of intelligence.

There is literally nothing Trump could say, no matter how mindbogglingly stupid, that would drive his poll numbers below 30%.  America faces 8 more months of insanity, if not 5 more years, or God forbid 9 more years.  And if the forces of sanity do somehow cobble together enough delegates to deny Trump the nomination, he’ll cry foul and tell his supporters to stay at home, giving the House, Senate and Presidency to the Dems.  And that nightmare is the best outcome!

Have a nice day.


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102 Responses to “Christie is deeply insulted. And will the military obey orders from Trump?”

  1. Gravatar of Kgaard Kgaard
    28. February 2016 at 19:45

    Scott do you have any thoughts as to why 30% of Americans might support Trump? Seems like a high number for them all to be nuts, no?

  2. Gravatar of jknarr jknarr
    28. February 2016 at 19:47

    Scott, what are you trying to accomplish here? Sway primary voters? I really would not bother. There’s a full court press going on in the blogosphere and media to whack Trump during the past 48 hours.

    Some serious media muscle is being mobilized for this purpose of discrediting Trump. Know the man by his enemies. The oligarchs are mobilizing.

  3. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    28. February 2016 at 20:02

    For people who are disgusted by the political Establishment, the fact that the Establishment is out to get Trump is a major source of his appeal. As jknarr says, “Know the man by his enemies.”

    Of course, a Trump Presidency might turn out to be even worse than establishmentarian business as usual. We, including Trump’s supporters, may find out that the Establishment wasn’t *so* bad, after all.

  4. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    28. February 2016 at 20:02

    (But the Establishment really *is* disgusting!)

  5. Gravatar of Kevin Erdmann Kevin Erdmann
    28. February 2016 at 20:24

    Wait. If Trump gets elected the president won’t be able to order the CIA to torture? We will stop raining down bombs on innocents from our drones? Are you secretly trying to get us to vote for Trump?

  6. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    28. February 2016 at 20:25

    “And for God’s sake make sure the White House is well stocked with strawberries.”

    -What’s this nonsense?

    “Putin, Gadhafi, are there any murderous dictators that Trump doesn’t like?”

    -Putin’s not a dictator, Scott. And Trump really didn’t like Gaddafi back in 2011, though he said he’d only overthrow him on the condition America would get the oil in the end.

    “I used to think “liberal fascism” was an oxymoron, but it does sort of fit Trump”

    -Neither fits at all well. It would better fit Obama, since he’s at least a liberal.

    “Heh, what could go wrong?”

    -Scott, three years from now, you will look back at these posts in embarrassment. Your denial, followed by anger and bargaining, has been replaced by depression. Your depression will be replaced by acceptance. Don’t fear strength, Scott. Embrace it, as did Christie, Sessions, LePage, etc.

    “and yet also believe that Trump’s being persecuted by “the Jews” who run the IRS.”

    -I said “I wouldn’t be surprised” if Trump was right on this matter, not that I actually believe that. And I’m only one commenter.

    “If we have learned anything over the past few months it is that there is no “g”, no general intelligence; within each cranium there coexists amazingly diverse types and levels of intelligence.”

    -We already knew that. The Jews, the most intelligent of the races, were also the most prone to support Bolshevism, the stupidest of the ideologies, in the 1920s-1940s.

    “America faces 8 more months of insanity, if not 5 more years, or God forbid 9 more years.”

    -And back in early August, when Trump was leading the polls and was at 7% in the prediction markets, Sumner was saying that betting against Trump for the nomination was “free money” and was snubbing Krugman for saying Trump “might win the nomination”.

    Today, the prediction markets (past performance does not indicate future results, yada yada yada) currently have Trump at an over 75% chance of winning the nomination. Never take Scott’s investment advice, kids. You’ll regret it.

  7. Gravatar of Don Geddis Don Geddis
    28. February 2016 at 20:40

    Scott, FYI, lots of links in the post seem broken. “Strawberries” is the same link as “what could go wrong”. The three links inside your Jonah Goldberg quote all seem personal to you … they each redirect through owa.bentley.edu, which doesn’t work for anyone outside Bentley.

  8. Gravatar of the ghost of carlyle the ghost of carlyle
    28. February 2016 at 20:43

    Well, the evidence for a ‘g’ factor of intelligence is almost completely overwhelming.

    Everywhere we look, what we see are intelligent people succumbing to their desires and tribal affiliations; victims of their own emotional grievances.

    Politics is the great mind-killer.

  9. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    28. February 2016 at 20:48

    “giving the House, Senate and Presidency to the Dems. And that nightmare is the best outcome!”

    Yep. The far right RedState agrees:

    They rejoice in this one lone elected Republican that says he’ll never vote for Trump:
    http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2016/02/28/breaking-ben-sasse-becomes-first-elected-republican-declare-hell-never-vote-trump/

    Here’s a few more choice headlines from RedState:

    “Donald Trump Would Probably Nominate Worse SCOTUS Justices than Hillary”

    http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2016/02/27/trump-wins-nomination-gop-better-hope-third-party-run/

    Here’s a quote from that one:

    “On the other hand, there’s a real argument (probably a correct one, if we are being honest) that Donald Trump would be a worse president than Hillary Clinton. Just judging by what he has done this campaign season, he would easily be the worst President who ever lived.”

    “All things being equal, as a man with a family and children, I would probably prefer the slow decline of America under Hillary to the rapid collapse under Trump.”

    But like I say, I’m still backing Trump through the primary. The GOP needs to be destroyed.

    If out of the ashes of the GOP at least one good center right or centrist party emerges, it could attract a few votes back to it from the Dems. Perhaps mine.

    Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal attendend this prayer revival last year, with this lunatic preacher who wants to round up the gays and execute them, and yet they didn’t say a word of condemnation of that:
    http://tinyurl.com/jb6ykyr

    Another reason I think the whole party is nuts now. It needs to go.

  10. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    28. February 2016 at 20:50

    BTW, good post Scott. I enjoyed the heavy sarcasm.

  11. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    28. February 2016 at 20:54

    I still see a tremendous double standard on all things Trump, who is a bombastic fellow and loose cannon at best.

    Well, so the USA water boards “enemy combatants” when it wants to, and then does not. Jeb Bush and Kasich are sensible fellows whom would waterboard when necessary; Trump is a loonie. Kasich’s fantastically expensive plan for 16 aircraft-carrier groups, up from 11 now, is “sensible,” not militaristic or tax-eating in the extreme.

    Cruz’ idea of carpet-bombing Syria was just risible, nothing serious. High Hewitt likes Cruz as Cruz is the type that would bomb children if necessary. Nothing loonie there.

    Cruz and Rubio claiming divine underwriting of their efforts is okay. Not loonie. God is on their side, so there will be no overreach from those folks.

    Personally, I think the US should sell Guantanamo to U.S. developers, or highest bidders anywhere for redevelopment into resorts, and forget torturing inaccurate information out of people.

    Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) backed Trump today. So Sessions must be a loonie too, in addition to Christie. Given this will be an expanding roll-call in days ahead, are we prepared to define more and more GOP figures as “loonies”?

    BTW: The USA by law forbids immigration by members of any Communist Party (which I assume means a large fraction of the Chinese population). No one cares a trifle about this, despite the Amish or the Veterans Administration, both communist structures considered successful by their backers.

    So, what is the principle behind banning Communists but not Muslims from the USA? Why is one ban controversial and the other totally embraced?

    Should the ban on Communist Party members be relaxed?

  12. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    28. February 2016 at 21:01

    Don, I figured Hitler liked strawberries or something. I didn’t get that one at all.

    Can somebody explain to me what the little green thing means in this photo of Trump:
    http://www.redstate.com/uploads/2016/02/2016_02_27_172603_1-300×152.jpg

    I don’t get the joke.

  13. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    28. February 2016 at 21:08

    Ben, I’m no Rubio fan either. He stated he thinks the next life is what’s really important, not this one. That sounds too much like a 9/11 hijacker to me. It’s just a wasteland of bad choices in the GOP. IMO we have one relatively sane choice left.

  14. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    28. February 2016 at 21:09

    Kgaard, I should have been more specific. I meant 30% in the GOP primary. But he’ll get more than 30% in the general election, although that would include many Republicans who dislike Trump, but hate Hillary more.

    Jknarr, You said:

    “Scott, what are you trying to accomplish here?”

    I’m trying to have some fun. Ever seen the movie Dr. Strangelove? It’s funny.

    Philo, If Trump turns out to be the greatest president in American history, I’ll stand by ever word in this silly posts. I’ve never said he will be a horrible President, I have said he’s saying horrible things. Indeed the Christian persecution thing is an obvious “tell” that he doesn’t believe a word he is saying. I just just find it comical that so many people cannot see that. Americans watch TV shows. They can often follow the plot as it plays out. So how can they not follow the plot here when it’s 100 times more obvious that any TV show outside Saturday morning cartoons?

    Kevin, You said:

    “Are you secretly trying to get us to vote for Trump?”

    Given his rising support in the polls, it certainly seems that way.

    E. Harding, You said:

    “Scott, three years from now, you will look back at these posts in embarrassment.”

    And 3 years from now you will look back in embarrassment at the fact that you could not tell when I was joking.

  15. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    28. February 2016 at 21:10

    “Strawberries” might refer to the death of Zachary Taylor, but how would I know?

    @Tom

    -Could be a brain-eating amoeba.

  16. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    28. February 2016 at 21:12

    “And 3 years from now you will look back in embarrassment at the fact that you could not tell when I was joking.”

    -I believe you.

  17. Gravatar of zephito zephito
    28. February 2016 at 21:17

    Re: Green Blob,

    It’s from Futurama. It’s a parasitic alien that drinks the “brain juices” from its host, making them stupid and easy to manipulate. The effect probably works better if you think of Trump as the “master blob” distributing his offspring to the heads of his supporters.

    I’m fairly convinced that even Trump is surprised by his success, which means, if true, that he has absolutely no plan of what to do should he win. Not exactly Hitler, but certainly not encouraging either.

  18. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    28. February 2016 at 21:25

    E. Harding,

    Thanks. I’ve become a regular reader over there but they still won’t let me comment/ask questions. They put that green thing on people’s heads they don’t like (like Christie too) on a quasi-regular basis.

    I dislike Erickson and that crowd in general, so some of my fun is watching them suffer.

  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    28. February 2016 at 21:26

    Everyone, Sorry about the strawberry link, it’s fixed now.

    Don, Thanks, I fixed them.

    Tom, That’s playing with fire, and real people might get burned. Be careful what you wish for.

    Ben, You said:

    “Should the ban on Communist Party members be relaxed?”

    Yes, but the rest of your post is very weak. It’s silly to defend someone by pointing out that other people have flaws. Either defend the ban on Muslims, or don’t. Either defend Trump’s claim that he is being persecuted for being such a strong Christian, or don’t. Either defend the assassination of the relatives of terrorists, or don’t. Defend tariffs on China, or don’t. Defend expelling 11 million immigrants, or don’t. It’s really quite simple, Trump’s a delusional demagogue and the other candidates are not.

    You said:

    “Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) backed Trump today. So Sessions must be a loonie too, in addition to Christie.”

    That’s right. Sessions has been a xenophobe from day one.

    The GOP is going right down the sewer. At this rate it will soon become as toxic as France’s National Front.

  20. Gravatar of Max Max
    28. February 2016 at 21:31

    The Onion nailed it last July:

    “Admit It: You People Want To See How Far This Goes, Don’t You?”
    http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/admit-it-you-people-want-see-how-far-goes-dont-you-50895

  21. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    28. February 2016 at 21:36

    Playing with fire: True. Thankfully my wishes don’t have much influence. There is great risk, but also great opportunity. I’d like to see the GOP become a regional deep south party… the Trumpsters hate PC so much, perhaps it could openly merge w/ the Klan (assuming Trump leads the rump GOP… for a brief while). We might all be better off. I know… not stable. We tried that once before w/ a breakaway party from the dems. It’s just tempting to think all the things I don’t like could be concentrated in one regional party… well away from my region. If it comes to secession… I say let ’em go. Not worth it.

  22. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    28. February 2016 at 21:44

    Trump reminds me of Sumner.

    Maybe the similarities in certain sensitive areas is why Sumner is so vocally against him? There’s only room enough for one person like that?

  23. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    28. February 2016 at 22:22

    @ssumner

    “It’s silly to defend someone by pointing out that other people have flaws. Either defend the ban on Muslims, or don’t. Either defend Trump’s claim that he is being persecuted for being such a strong Christian, or don’t. Either defend the assassination of the relatives of terrorists, or don’t. Defend tariffs on China, or don’t. Defend expelling 11 million immigrants, or don’t. It’s really quite simple, Trump’s a delusional demagogue and the other candidates are not.”

    -No. That’s stupid. You vote for one candidate from among the few that are running, not for multiple policies from among the many that you desire. I’d gladly vote for myself if I were running for President and winning primaries. But I’m not eligible to run for President. I’d also gladly vote for my preferred policies if they were entered into a robot with policy preferences selected by the electorate. But that’s not the American way.

    Trump’s not delusional. Rubio is. Both are demagogues. Only one’s taking crazy pills. It’s not the guy who thinks vaccines cause autism.

  24. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    29. February 2016 at 01:15

    Putin, Gadhafi, are there any murderous dictators that Trump doesn’t like?

    Putin is most definitely not a murderous dictator. And have you ever considered that Arabs cannot be ruled by anything other than a ruthless strong-man ?

    You know how liberals used to complain of Bush derangement syndrome ?

    Over here it’s Trump derangement syndrome. All day, everyday.

  25. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    29. February 2016 at 01:17

    Scott, you’ve lost you’re mind 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉

    Christie is just as thin-skinned as Trump apparently. Offended by Little Rubio.

    But anyway, in the big picture this is Washington Cartel Resume season. Christie submitted his to Trump. The Romers submitted theirs to Clinton.

    For what it’s worth, I think Trump is trying to make the case he is being audited for opposing Obama. Obama is most definitely not “pro-Jew” so cool it with that claim. Not that I agree with Trump either.

    We are caught in a hopeless tangle of internet infowars. Lots of people trying to caricature the other side. It’s a huge destructive mess. I think Lorenzo is your smartest commenter–I love Lorenzo–and I think the internet social media is so toxic to public discourse.

    I still think Rubio and Cruz should make a deal (is that so loony????) but I think the Hitler analogies are absurd and discrediting to the accuser. So much would have to go wrong in America to get there, a failure democracy, pluralism, economics, etc.

  26. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    29. February 2016 at 01:39

    I also think, in a conceptual sense, that what might be happening is that the Republican base is ‘heaving off’ or expelling the plutocrat donor class.

    Then the Republicans would be blue collar + middle class + small business + libertarian + evangelical.

    The Democrats would be food stamp welfare + government worker welfare + education loan welfare + corporate welfare + offshore tax haven romnney welfare.

    It would be an interesting realignment.

  27. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    29. February 2016 at 02:55

    Trump is much more populist than the GOP establishment, supporting things such as Social Security and not letting people die in the streets from hunger or lack of medical care.

    Would you prefer Rubio? If so, perhaps you’d like to defend his tax proposals (apparently deficits no longer matter) and monetary policy? “That’s not the Fed’s job to stimulate the economy” and “The Fed is a central bank. Their job is provide stable currency”.

  28. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    29. February 2016 at 03:43

    John Oliver had a good episode on Drumpf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnpO_RTSNmQ

    Shouldn’t we also kill the relatives of people who drive when drunk? Seems like a much bigger problem than terrorism.

    “In 2011, 9,878 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.”

  29. Gravatar of Sam_444 Sam_444
    29. February 2016 at 05:10

    Scott,

    Serious question, would renegotiating some of the FTA’s with China and Mexico help with the economy? By helping to bring jobs back, labor markets will tighten and wages will begin to rise. Rising wages will help bring inflation, which will allow the Fed to increase interest rates.

    It seems the link between productivity and wages has broken; productivity has increased but wages have stayed flat because of the excess labor. Good paying manufacturing jobs have been replaced with lower paying service jobs (driving an Uber for 15-20 hrs/wk is not a job that can support a family). This leads to higher welfare payments and a smaller tax base.

    Thanks

  30. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    29. February 2016 at 05:26

    Scott:

    Not to flog a dead horse, but…

    Our disagreement goes like this:

    1. You correctly point out egregious comments by Don Trump, and some bad policy positions.

    2. I point out the other GOP candidates are worse, at least Kasich, Cruz and Rubio. I suppose Carson by virtue of not having said anything, and seeming like a nice guy, is not worse than Trump. But, as just one sample, the “sensible” Kasich has advocated 16 aircraft carrier strike force groups, up from the 11-12 the US has now. These are fantastically expensive offensive weapons systems, and once afloat will be difficult to ever cut, as people come to depend on such fleets for their livelihoods. So Kasich wants to bake into the cake another $100 billion a year or so of federal outlays. Permanently. Add on, such fleets are very vulnerable, and just one fleet could lay waste to an entire nation. Other nations have one or two, much smaller aircraft fleets. The US will not be less or more vulnerable to invasion and occupation with 16 to 12 or four such fleets. Kasich is a militaristic lunatic in sheep’s clothing, judging from this policy position.

    Oh and this: “Kasich to attend rally on aircraft carrier: The evening before the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is set to hold a campaign rally on the USS Yorktown, a historic aircraft carrier docked near Charleston, South Carolina”

    –30–

    So Kasich even holds rallies on aircraft carriers. Egads.

    3. You then answer, “It’s silly to defend someone by pointing out other people’s flaws.”

    But that is not the point. The point is you say Trump is the worst, and I say compared to the others, it is toss-up, and Kasich is clearly a nut. So what, that Kasich has a civilized demeanor. That guy should not be allowed within 12,000 miles of the White House (banished to the antipodes, that is).

    Yes, I would rather see Trump in the White House than Kasich.

    Anyway, this is the most fascinating election of our lifetimes, a real show, tops even the old LBJ-Goldwater race, or the Nixon-McGovern, or the savaging of Michael Dukakis. I guess the 2000 barn-burner and Supreme Kangaroo Court decision was a prelude.

    For the record, I think the US should admit plenty of legal immigrants, without asking their religion or party affiliations. The US is a polyglot nation, and leaders here should bend over backwards to avoid fanning group tensions. Trade wars are a bad idea.

    Printing way more money is a good idea.

  31. Gravatar of XVO XVO
    29. February 2016 at 05:49

    In defense of Trump supporters, as far as we can tell, all politicians are corrupt. So if Trump is lying completely during this campaign and becomes a Democrat (or worse) after getting elected we’re no worse off. Surely the corrupt corporate chattel in Congress and the Senate wouldn’t let him do anything helpful for the American people anyways.

    You should look up the similar hit pieces on Rubio, a typical Latin American politician, corruption is his core. I haven’t seen a good one on Cruz, but he has a 0% chance of beating Hillary (just like Rubio Mr. no abortion in cases of rape).

  32. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    29. February 2016 at 05:51

    The Republican game has long been campaigns based on hating “them” (minorities, gays, those people), then governing based on favoring the best off (with some stuff for the haters). The base isn’t all that invested in the establishment policies (tax cuts for the best off, cutting social programs which benefit the base, etc.).

    Trump is the logical conclusion. He’s all about hating “them”, while not caring much about the establishment’s favorite policies (other than cutting back on things which help “them”).

    There’s an old parable caricaturing the GOP position: CEO, poor white and minority sit down in front of a plate of ten cookies. The CEO grabs nine, then tells the poor white, “support me, minority is trying to steal your cookie”.

  33. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. February 2016 at 06:03

    Scott, I read this:
    http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2016/02/29/rubio-mocks-stumpy-mctrumpfingers-awesome/

    “Rubio Mocks Stumpy McTrumpfingers and It’s Awesome”

    “Marco Rubio has been mocking Trump this weekend over his appearance, his age, and his relative incontinence, among other things, and it has been awesome. Here he is on Sunday night mocking Trump’s famously stumpy fingers:”

    Wow… is Rubio working on the Pussy Crusher title? I guess you have to do what you’ve got to do to get the GOP nomination these days.

    Would GOP voters prefer they just have a professional wrestling match?

    To use Bill Maher’s line: perhaps the Real Housewives need to step in and give them all some advice:

    “Guys, please! How about a little dignity?”

    Lol

  34. Gravatar of collin collin
    29. February 2016 at 06:30

    Of course the same weekend Trump appears unbeatable, HRC DOMINATES South Carolina beyond belief and may have the nomination path all but wrapped up on next month. (Better yet it is minority voters carrying HRC! The odd point on 2008 compared to 2016, HRC is winning the same voters that carried Obama in 2016.) Honestly, I don’t get Trump but I do know have some extended family supporting Trump and their comments have suddenly been more rascist. (And from California, they have been complaining about illegal aliens when I know they hired day labors in decades past.) Additionally, the libertarian movement completely crashed and burned after some Paul success in 2012.

    If I were to name one of the fundamental problems of Trump is that over the last 4 years:

    1) Obama has been fairly successful
    2) The economy has bounced back stronger in the blue states and the reddest states appear to be really struggling. (It was the opposite Obama’s first term.)
    3) The Republican Party was sitting on a time bomb with a candidate that mixed Rush Limbaugh speeches with Pat Buchanan policies.
    4) Long term I think Trump follows the same path as Perot.

    I think the biggest problem for very conservative economist is long time stagnant wages makes the population very grumpy.

  35. Gravatar of J.V. Dubois J.V. Dubois
    29. February 2016 at 06:36

    Nice article. Here some of my comments:

    “I used to think “liberal fascism” was an oxymoron, but it does sort of fit Trump”

    This is actually quite precise. As some another famous Hungarian demagogue said : “I don’t think that our European Union membership precludes us from building an illiberal new state based on national foundations” (Viktor Orban)

    Liberal fascism or illiberal democracy? It may account to similar things.

    —————————————————————–

    There is also fair amount of commenters that have something against “Establishment”. I get it. I work in eastern Europe where the distrust to corrupt political establishment ranging from parliaments and ending with police and courts is enormous. But if you need to learn something from this region it is this: not everybody against establishment is good. There are outright scary examples. Some of them:

    Milos Zeman: the current president of Czech Republic. While is former prime minister and political dinosaur, paradoxically he got into his office riding the antiestablishment sentiment after series of corruption scandals. He is also publicly known drunk and does not care about what anybody thinks about him. Czech apparently loved it – when he was outside of office.

    Now Czechs got what they voted for. Zeman is endless source of embarrassment ranging from being visibly drunk during official ceremonies (or suffering from virosis as his PR claimed) to publicly “joking” that one way to replace current prime minister is using AK-47. He also likes Putin. You probably get the gist of it. And also he does not care what anybody thinks – and it is his feature, not bug. It is why he was voted into the office, remember?

    Another example is Poland after current elections. This is what the current minister of foreign affairs had to say about their agenda:

    As foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski told the German tabloid Bild, his government “only wants to cure our country of a few illnesses”, such as: “a new mixture of cultures and races, a world made up of cyclists and vegetarians, who only use renewable energy and who battle all signs of religion … What moves most Poles [is] tradition, historical awareness, love of country, faith in God and normal family life between a woman and a man.”

    TL;DR: if there is any too-long-did’nt read for this one it is this: don’t vote against something. Vote for candidates you are going to vote. Because especially nowadays the world is full of crazies with conspiracy theories that blame “establishment” for everything. You know what is worse than corrupt establishment? It is “incorruptible” establishment that goes hard with their crazy agenda.

  36. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    29. February 2016 at 06:46

    Shame on Rubio. I don’t think I’ve ever been that deeply insulted, not even by my most vicious commenters. I can’t even imagine the stress that Christie has to go through being a public figure. No wonder he put his ego ahead of the well-being of America. Who wouldn’t, if in his shoes?

    You know, Gov. Christie really is not responsible for the gloss reporters put on his intra-office irritations.

  37. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    29. February 2016 at 06:47

    You’re just joking around and having fun? You had me fooled: you have been sounding a lot like Chicken Little!

    And you’re not saying Trump would be a (very) bad President? I was fooled again!

  38. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    29. February 2016 at 06:51

    “Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) backed Trump today. So Sessions must be a loonie too, in addition to Christie.”

    That’s right. Sessions has been a xenophobe from day one.

    Your real problem, here, is thinking that people who favor immigration control are ‘loonie’s. That’s not derived from a serious assessment of their position. That’s a missive from a region in your mind.

  39. Gravatar of Anand Anand
    29. February 2016 at 07:00

    Trump is of course a wacko, but the people making the criticisms about Trump have no credibility themselves, this is why the charges often simply bounce off him.

    Apparently nobody pointed out to Hayden that the Geneva conventions are already violated all the time: (Gitmo is the most obvious case). The US already targets families of terrorists (see Abdulrahman al-Awlaki)

    Trump did not praise Gaddafi, he said that “we would be better of if Gaddafi was still in power”. Right or wrong, the two things are totally different. For a glimpse about what a hellhole Libya is right now, see https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/libya/obamas-libya-debacle (This has nothing to do with Benghazi which Republicans scream about all the time)

    (Of course Trump is a liar, in 2011, he supported the bombing of Libya)

    For a blast from the past, here is Thomas Friedman talking about US policy towards Saddam Hussein in 1997: http://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/07/weekinreview/the-world-a-rising-sense-that-iraq-s-hussein-must-go.html. “Mr. Bush argued, sanctions would force Mr. Hussein’s generals to bring him down, and then Washington would have the best of all worlds: an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein. In the meantime, the foreign policy expert in Mr. Bush said: Ignore him.” Was Bush 1 savaged like Trump? Also, keep in mind the sanctions being talked about led to widespread suffering, for which two UN heads resigned, calling them genocidal.

    Trump is a bully and is egoistic enough to say things publicly which others are too polite to mention.

  40. Gravatar of Jim S. Jim S.
    29. February 2016 at 07:06

    Everyone has something to say about this primary race, but I find the quality of the comments drops when it moves away from economics. I am halfway through reading Neil Irwin’s book “The Alchemists” and even though I read Bernanke’s book I am learning a lot more about his actions during the great recession. The book also covers the European central banks actions well. Have you read this and if so what did you think of it? When I read about the pressures on the central banks by congress (particularly by conservative republicans; i.e. audit the fed) I think you and your readers underestimate the political constraints acting on the fed.

  41. Gravatar of jknarr jknarr
    29. February 2016 at 07:15

    Seriously.
    Every. Single. Media. Is just now simultaneously deciding to thump the anti-Trump drum since Saturday.
    Economic blogs, entertainment blogs, fashion, technology, tv, radio, Twitter.
    I can’t even turn on classical radio without hearing trump snark.

    There’s a Journo-List marching order in here somewhere. Come clean, scott, did Tyler send out the word?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/JournoList

  42. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    29. February 2016 at 07:17

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/432078/jeb-bush-trump-enabler

  43. Gravatar of TravisV TravisV
    29. February 2016 at 07:35

    One question I’m curious about: if we had six Supreme Court justices nominated by Democrats, how harmful would that be to free markets?

  44. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    29. February 2016 at 07:45

    The big news in the Seattle area today is;

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/salma-hayek-posts-on-instagram-her-dog-was-killed-on-her-wash-ranch/

    That, and the jokes at the Academy Awards last night. Whether or not Trump gets the GOP nomination is not the biggest problem facing the USA.

  45. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    29. February 2016 at 08:00

    JUST GIVE TRUMP VOTERS WHAT THEY WANT. So they can go back to sleep.

    Look, we LOST the Demograohy is not Destiny debate. MORE THAN HALF OUR TEAM AGREES WITH DEMS…

    And they have decided to use this shitty thing we call Democracy, the VOTE we give them to exercise for FREE STEALING FREE and they want to CONTROL the DEMOGRAPHY.

    What’s crazy, is listening to a bunch of “libertarians” who have already made our peace with progressive taxation, suddenly get MAD MAD MAD that Trumpkins want to make sure they maintain cultural hegemony too.

    Newsflash:

    THE WALL IS LIBERTARIAN. Not only is it the essence of property rights… when we first form state, the property holders (hegemony) have to AGREE to form it, and the first thing a state sets up a TITLE OFFICE.

    After that anyone wishing to enter the state NEEDS AND INVITE from property holder, so they are not violating anyone’s property – which is what the sate sets u to do…

    Even before a you start an army, if you have a bunch of poor bum rushing your outer border, the states involved (read Texas) GET TO SAY “BUILD A WALL” and the other property holders PAY FOR IT.

    This is the first moral use of taxation.

    Morally, the issue is even more lopsided, bc then we go forth and grant CITIZENS a property right called the VOTE.

    This enables them to USE THE VOTE to keep out poors and other folks they don’t like.

    The final crushing argument to Scott here is that Economists ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COUNT FOR UTILITY OF FOREIGNERS – because the voters who control their property (the vote) do not CARE.

    Look,there’s a reason I create policy ideas like #uber4Welfare and #ManifesttDestinyMexico

    I accept the brutal Realpolitik reality of cultural and economic hegemony, put on my big boy pants, and craft policy that THEY WILL ACCEPT.

    #Uber4Welfare uses welfare as wage subsidies to price out illegals from any job and American citizen would LIKE to have. This means ZERO competition for low skill natives from low skill immigrants. It means FULL Employment of LS natives…. which means:

    All the jobs that are not filled NEED AN IMMIGRANT to fill it.

    We can PROVE to Trumpkins that we need to import labor, we don’t have to pretend Scott is a great debater and can CONVINCE THEM.

    He can’t.

    You can’t.

    I’m great at this and I can’t.

    Just GIVE THEM THEIR WALL, pass #uber4Welfare, and let’s move the dog damn debate forward with hating each other.

    Note: As LIBERTARIANS, we also MUST support my Manifest Destiny Mexico Plan, bc we believe Mexico should give at least SU citizens and corporations FULL TITLE RIGHTS.

    So we end up with a wall, and RE Developer POTUS who HATES not being able to own the land, and clearly visualize EVERYTHING as a RE deal…

    Mexico is Trump’s Louisiana Purchase!

    Once 5M middle class American families have a grandma in beach condo they are waiting for her to bequeath them, there will enormous pressure to TEAR DOWN TRUMPS WALL.

    Again, as Libertarians, we should want to use statehood and US territorial status to solve as many problems as we can!

    Israel, Scotland, Mexico, even Palestine, it’s far better to rope them into a constitutional contractual framework that delivers 100% frictionless movement and trade.

    Also this helps us to prefer keeping power at the state level… which is a good thing.

    Whether of not Trump wins… this is stuff we can’t wait around on, the pressures are not going away… give the voters what they want, it is their right.

    That’s Democracy.

  46. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. February 2016 at 08:26

    “Obama is most definitely not “pro-Jew” so cool it with that claim. Not that I agree with Trump either.”

    -Obama may have his disagreements with Likud, but he’s very pro-Jew in his appointments.

  47. Gravatar of David David
    29. February 2016 at 08:34

    I hadn’t known very much about Trump, other than that he has been a minor TV celebrity, but Scott’s posts have convinced me he would be profoundly dangerous to our country and the world. If he is nominated I will even vote for Hillary–whom I despise.

  48. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. February 2016 at 08:37

    “(Of course Trump is a liar, in 2011, he supported the bombing of Libya)”

    -Only on the condition the U.S. gets to keep the oil after Gaddafi falls. He made that explicit.

  49. Gravatar of Becky Hargrove Becky Hargrove
    29. February 2016 at 08:52

    I’ll be glad when political silly season is done for at least a little while. However, the craziness was to be completely expected, because economists continue to consider only the conditions inside general equilibrium, instead of the growing reality that exists at the margins. Even in reasonably prosperous neighborhoods of rural areas such as this, people are acutely aware of the limits of national budgets, despite the fact they are reluctant for Republican candidates to get serious about those limits – hence the craziness. And people in rural areas believe Democratic candidates will squander already (severely) limited knowledge use rights for anyone and everyone, making vital time based services even more difficult to access. Yet no one is paying attention to the harsh knowledge limits which now exist in the form of healthcare provisions. This has to be dealt with, before political systems have a chance to return to normal.

  50. Gravatar of sejanus sejanus
    29. February 2016 at 08:55

    you should start a separate blog for the political fighting and commenting; maybe move your china devaluation posts there too. this was a much better blog when limited to monetary policy.

  51. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    29. February 2016 at 08:56

    Apparently nobody pointed out to Hayden that the Geneva conventions are already violated all the time: (Gitmo is the most obvious case).

    Which provisions are violated by GITMO? (And why should anyone in this country be concerned?)

  52. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    29. February 2016 at 08:59

    Another example is Poland after current elections. This is what the current minister of foreign affairs had to say about their agenda:

    As foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski told the German tabloid Bild, his government “only wants to cure our country of a few illnesses”, such as: “a new mixture of cultures and races, a world made up of cyclists and vegetarians, who only use renewable energy and who battle all signs of religion … What moves most Poles [is] tradition, historical awareness, love of country, faith in God and normal family life between a woman and a man.”

    You fancy what he said’s a bad thing?

  53. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    29. February 2016 at 09:02

    So Trump has paranoid delusions of being persecuted by America’s tiny non-Christian minority.

    Perhaps his business interests include bakeries.

  54. Gravatar of Anthony McNease Anthony McNease
    29. February 2016 at 09:03

    Scott, I highly recommend Liberal Fascism. The term was coined by H.G. Wells back when many in the Progressive left championed Mussolini and Hitler specifically and fascism generally. Jonah’s book is mostly an interesting history, a genealogy really, of fascism and links between various philosophical and political thinkers. From Italian Anarchists to Bismarckian philosophers and on to American Progressives the cast of characters ranges from Gramsci and Immanuel Kant to Herbert Croly and John Dewey.

  55. Gravatar of Gary Anderson Gary Anderson
    29. February 2016 at 09:18

    Funny article, Scott. Trump has support because of racism and for those not discerning, for a revitalization some see by him of nationalism. However, he is no JFK. He is more than a nationalist, he is a hater. He is a clown show.

    He couldn’t be smart enough to tout nationalism and yet call for tolerance.

    And by the way, he is on video making a pitch for Bibi Netanyahu. He is a New York globalist. Netanyahu is probably thinking, we would want America to be less tolerant like we are less tolerant. Why can’t America be more like us? He is rooting for Trump.

    Take the case of Pam Geller, Scott. She has support from Israeli lobbyists. She hates all Muslims even peaceful ones and has said so. Pretty sure that is Trump. That is Yinon. That is Netanyahu. That is Sharon. That is Ben-Gurion. That is Herzl. Trump in a nutshell!

    And this Trump view of intolerance, and a globalist view, does not necessarily reflect belief of most Americans, regardless of race or ethnic background. But a lot of people did jump on the Pam Geller bandwagon in Texas. They are to be repudiated.

  56. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. February 2016 at 09:47

    @sejanus

    -I already did this for my blogging (Marginal Counterrevolution v. Against Jebel al-Lawz).

    @Gary, Trump claims to like Israel and its leadership. How is that different from any other presidential candidate? Trump sucks up to Israel less than any other candidate in this race.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2015/12/04/the-daily-202-carson-and-trump-were-biggest-losers-at-republican-jewish-coalition-meeting/

    And Trump did not approve of Geller’s provocation of Muslims. BTW, doesn’t it say quite a bit about Muslims in general if they are so easily provoked?

    You’re just flat-out wrong about Trump here.

    @Sam_444, you’re mostly wrong. Trade helps the U.S. economy, on net, and real wages fell in the 1970s (arguably) and definitely fell in the 1980s, but rose in the 1990s, 2000s, and, so far, the 2010s. Today, even when measured by the CPI, they’re the highest they’ve been since January 1979. The “stagnant real wages” meme has got to end.

  57. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    29. February 2016 at 10:20

    Morgan:
    First, I don’t think I understand a lot of what you are saying. Your point that libertarianism begins with a wall is true in one sense. You cannot create a government that protects property rights without first establishing what property that government has jurisdiction over. And that requires clear boundaries and borders.
    But I lose you on Manifest Destiny Mexico. Are you saying that we should establish a voluntary path to statehood for Mexico, simply annex it or something else? And why do you think Trump who is appealing to American isolationism and protectionism is best positioned to expand America?

  58. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. February 2016 at 11:09

    I’m not a fan of the shrill neocon warmonger Jennifer Rubin of the WaPo on much, but she does rightly skewer many deserving souls in her own party (anti-compromise purists and racial anxiety stokers). But I did like this piece she did on a new party potentially rising from the GOP ashes (should it come to that):
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/02/29/the-benefits-of-a-republican-party-breakup/

    It’s probably a pipe dream, but she’s basically got the right idea (for a good political fantasy, if nothing more), IMO:

    “Whatever follows the GOP would also mark a change in tone and temperament. Restraint, tolerance and a preference for gradual innovation over radical revolution — the original hallmarks of modern conservatism — should predominate. In other words, everything that Trump is not.”

  59. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. February 2016 at 11:10

    … leave the Jacobins to their own party.

  60. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. February 2016 at 11:16

    Look at those election betting odds now (the ones Sumner posted a while back).
    https://electionbettingodds.com/
    If they are to be believed, it looks like Trump’s “David Duke” so-called fiasco left him unscathed, if not strengthened. Makes perfect sense to me… Hello! It’s the GOP base we’re talking about here… and if anything they are DAMN tired of political correctness. They don’t want to be scolded by GOP and media nannies about who they can associate with. Haha!

  61. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    29. February 2016 at 11:30

    “One question I’m curious about: if we had six Supreme Court justices nominated by Democrats, how harmful would that be to free markets?”

    Markets and the economy tend to do better under Democratic presidents than Republican presidents, so I don’t see any reason to believe six Supreme Court justices nominated by Democrats would be at all harmful to markets.

  62. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. February 2016 at 11:37

    “One question I’m curious about: if we had six Supreme Court justices nominated by Democrats, how harmful would that be to free markets?”

    Conservative blog RedState.com (Erick Erickson’s old blog), put up a piece yesterday saying Clinton would probably appoint better judges than Trump:

    “Donald Trump Would Probably Nominate Worse SCOTUS Justices than Hillary”

  63. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    29. February 2016 at 11:44

    Carl,

    This is Manifest Destiny Mexico:

    http://www.morganwarstler.com/post/35346903657/manifest-destiny-mexico

    Lat May, I did some oppo research and suggested a attack on Trump to Perry based on calling him a conartist. It was a little sideways as all oppo stuff is…

    But the core of my take on Trump is based on him being a RE Developer. If you have spent any time with these guys, you KNOW, and if not, you have to understand that EVERYTHING THEY LOOK AT AND THINK ABOUT is Real Estate. And deep inside they look at it like they are the prime movers of God’s earth. Because they kind of are.

    They ALL have read Fountainhead. They ALL have a heroic notion of tall buildings, city building, they ALL detest red tape and regulations – they may not call themselves Libertarians, bc they ALL love eminent domain (their god’s work), and they know everything there is to know about TITLE.

    Rubio yells at Trump that the Middle East isn’t a RE deal, Yglesias rightly tweets, wait it IS a RE deal! And that whole spiel of Trumps about wanting to negotiate a ME deal, thats’ exactly what he is thinking.

    So Trump’s business, the core of lately it is licensing TRUMP brand to RE deals in foreign countries where hesis NOT ALLOWED TO OWN THE LAND.

    If you look at his forays in Mexico, he absolutely KNOWS what Fideicomiso is… which keep him from just being able to SELL Americans a condo AND much more importantly from letting his development country BUY UP MEXICO AND OWN IT.

    So Carl, to a real estate developer Mexico is #NewFlorida – and let me put this in brass tacks terms… investing US dollars into Mexico and turning it into a first world state is about the SAFEST POSSIBLE foreign investment US citizens can make.

    Because if the Mexican govt acts up after GRANTING TITLE, if they try to tax Americans more than Mexicans, favor Mexicans in any way…

    We’ll send police action to enforce our property rights.

    Could we buy up China, invest out dollars and if their govt goes sideways step in a nd make sure out citizens property rights are enforced?

    No.

    Can we in Mexico?

    Shirley.

  64. Gravatar of Anthony McNease Anthony McNease
    29. February 2016 at 12:00

    “Markets and the economy tend to do better under Democratic presidents than Republican presidents,….”

    I’ve seen this repeated around the internet, but to me it’s a classic example of correlation not causation. I think people who use it are interesting in politics not economics.

  65. Gravatar of Adam Adam
    29. February 2016 at 12:06

    You have a, shall we say, idiosyncratic group of commenters. I’m not sure whether to be impressed or concerned for your well-being because of the patience you show them.

  66. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. February 2016 at 12:14

    @foosion

    -That’s the worst argument form I’ve seen in quite a while. Correlation is not causation, and Democrat SC appointments tend to be unambiguously more anti-market than most Republican ones. Remember the FDR and Truman administrations?

  67. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    29. February 2016 at 12:24

    “and Democrat SC appointments tend to be unambiguously more anti-market than most Republican ones.”

    Trump’s critics on the center and far right would argue he’s not a real Republican. (based on what I’ve read).

  68. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    29. February 2016 at 12:49

    Foosion, You said:

    “Would you prefer Rubio? If so, perhaps you’d like to defend his tax proposals (apparently deficits no longer matter) and monetary policy?”

    Of course I’d prefer Rubio, Trump is a racist, authoritarian xenophobe. Trump’s tax plan is far worse than Rubio’s so if that’s your criterion you should definitely prefer Rubio. Views on monetary don’t matter, the Presdident is not involved. Look, I had no plan to vote for Rubio either, and disagree with his views on social issues and the military. But Trump’s like Le Pen in France, completely outside the boundaries of what is acceptable. He’s toxic. I used to wonder how other countries could be so stupid as to pick their various idiot leaders —now I don’t have to wonder any longer.

    Steve, You said:

    “For what it’s worth, I think Trump is trying to make the case he is being audited for opposing Obama.”

    The blindness of Trump’s defenders never ceases to amaze me. No, he’s claiming that it started under Bush. Bush was President in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 when Trump was supposedly being persecuted by the IRS. These are facts. And he’s claiming that he’s being targeted for being a “strong Christian”. Read what he says.

    You said:

    “I still think Rubio and Cruz should make a deal (is that so loony????) but I think the Hitler analogies are absurd and discrediting to the accuser.”

    Lighten up, it’s satire.

    You said:

    “Then the Republicans would be blue collar + middle class + small business + libertarian + evangelical.”

    The problem is that those groups don’t get along

    XVO, You said:

    “In defense of Trump supporters, as far as we can tell, all politicians are corrupt.”

    Since it doesn’t matter who wins, let’s just use a coin toss. Why even have elections?

    Sam, You asked:

    “Serious question, would renegotiating some of the FTA’s with China and Mexico help with the economy? By helping to bring jobs back, labor markets will tighten and wages will begin to rise. Rising wages will help bring inflation, which will allow the Fed to increase interest rates.”

    No, trade barriers are more likely to lead to a recession.

    Peter, You said:

    “Shouldn’t we also kill the relatives of people who drive when drunk? Seems like a much bigger problem than terrorism.”

    Excellent. But the Trump voters are more concerned about a few dozen people being killed by “Muslims” in Boston and San Bernardino than by 9,000 deaths per year due to drunk drivers.

    Daniel, You said;

    “Putin is most definitely not a murderous dictator. And have you ever considered that Arabs cannot be ruled by anything other than a ruthless strong-man”

    So which is it? Is Putin not a dictator, or not a murderer? And how does the supposed need for an Arab strong man excuse the Lockerbie bombing?

    Tom, Rubio will never be able to out-trump Trump.

    Philo, Read my post on clown metaphors. I said that it’s quite possible this is all an act—but that’s no reason to vote for Trump. Do you want to take that chance?

    David, You said:

    “If he is nominated I will even vote for Hillary–whom I despise.”

    Exactly my view.

    Art, You said:

    “Your real problem, here, is thinking that people who favor immigration control are ‘loonie’s. That’s not derived from a serious assessment of their position.”

    I person might support immigration restirctions without being a loony. But Sessions is also a protectionist, and the excuses for why we supposedly need immigration restrictions don’t at all apply to protectionism. Trust me, he’s a Southern-fried xenophobe.

    And Christie knows how to get his message out to reporters; if he had an actual example of Rubio insulting him, he would have provided it. He’s just a crybaby, as all bullies are on the inside. Trump also whines every time someone treats him like less than a God.

    Jim, I have not read Irwin’s book.

    Anand, Are you sure we target the family of terrorists? I was under the impression that the soldiers who killed Bin Laden specifically tried to avoid shooting his wives. Are you saying they tried to kill the wives too?

    I agree that we occasional violate the Geneva Conventions, but I don’t think it’s an explicit US policy to do so.

    jknarr, What is Journolist?

    Art, You said:

    “You fancy what he said’s a bad thing?”

    Yeah, those are code words for bigotry. He’s bashing gays and other non-conformists like eco-freaks. You need to read between the lines.

    Morgan, remember:

    Reagan: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall

    Trump: Mexico, put up this wall

  69. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    29. February 2016 at 12:52

    When 5M American middle and upper middle class families own a beach condo in #NewFlorida Scott, everyone will want to TEAR DOWN TRUMPS WALL

  70. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    29. February 2016 at 13:04

    But Sessions is also a protectionist, and the excuses for why we supposedly need immigration restrictions don’t at all apply to protectionism.

    Because only a ‘loony’ would oppose ‘fast-track’ or a 40,000 page long secret treaty.

  71. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    29. February 2016 at 13:09

    Yeah, those are code words for bigotry. He’s bashing gays and other non-conformists like eco-freaks. You need to read between the lines.

    What’s wrong with jabbing homosexuals and eco-freaks? You on Facebook? You got friends who are partisan Democrats? You think such people are immune to jabbing their cultural adversaries? (No, they’re not, but since the account does not have my name on it, I’m expected to let it be).

    Life is lived socially. The common life incorporates value scales. Manners regulate interactions between people. You take it for granted that sexual transgressors and tree huggers should be treated with the deference they fancy they merit. You’ve been in academe too long.

  72. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    29. February 2016 at 13:37

    @ Art: Manners are only for interactions in the real world between people, and not for online flame wars of groups? I might actually be on board with that, but let’s be clear what you are advocating. Sounds like your position is the groups I don’t like enjoy talking smack about the groups I do like online, and that’s ok as long as my groups can do it too. But everyone needs to be civil when face to face with the ‘other’. That works for me. And before you trot out one of your tired insults about how you don’t care what works for me, note I’m trying to have a civil conversation here.

    Side question: are you still a believer in Bernie’s chances vs Hillary? You were pooh-poohing the betting markets, just curious if you still feel Bernie has a decent shot.

  73. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. February 2016 at 13:55

    “Of course I’d prefer Rubio, Trump is a racist, authoritarian xenophobe.”

    -So is Rubio. Racist (anti-non-Hispanic Gentile White), authoritarian (same as Trump, if not worse), xenophobe (immigration policy, extreme Russophobia).

    “Trump’s like Le Pen in France, completely outside the boundaries of what is acceptable. He’s toxic.”

    -Get out more.

    “The problem is that those groups don’t get along”

    -FDR still won.

    “Since it doesn’t matter who wins”

    -Oh, it does.

    “Excellent. But the Trump voters are more concerned about a few dozen people being killed by “Muslims” in Boston and San Bernardino than by 9,000 deaths per year due to drunk drivers.”

    -Yes. This is far more sensible than your being concerned by a few of Trump’s vulgarities than Rubio’s taking crazy pills. And drunks are not more likely to care about the deaths of their families than the deaths of their victims. Terrorists are. Muslim terrorists are the bigger threat due to the fact they have an intent to terrorize. Drunks don’t.

    “Is Putin not a dictator, or not a murderer?”

    -Not a dictator.

    “And how does the supposed need for an Arab strong man excuse the Lockerbie bombing?”

    -Math, Sumner. You understand it for drunk drivers v. terrorists. You don’t understand Lockerbie v. Libyan Wars. Get a grip on yourself.

    “Tom, Rubio will never be able to out-trump Trump.”

    -True.

    “He’s bashing gays and other non-conformists like eco-freaks.”

    -And you’re bashing non-conformists like Trump.

    If only there were a medicine to cure Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  74. Gravatar of Mike Sax Mike Sax
    29. February 2016 at 16:10

    Tom Brown, regarding Rubio trying to out Trump Donald Trump it hasn’t worked for him.

    1. His pol numbers have tanked since the debate the media says he won.

    2. He lost his voice today showing that he’s just not a natural at the Trump barker thing.

    http://lastmenandovermen.blogspot.com/2016/02/rubio-loses-his-voice-trying-to-out.html

  75. Gravatar of Anandr Anandr
    29. February 2016 at 16:51

    Scott,
    I think the point was made above by several people (Benjamin Cole among them) that the other candidates have made equally, if not more outrageous statements. Also, one should take into account the effect of actions, not the professed intent (which is invariably high-minded).

    Ted Cruz “carpet bombing” Syria would kill plenty of families, and is a straightforward war crime. Rubio has proposed massively escalating the war in Syria (http://www.vox.com/2015/11/25/9796242/marco-rubio-isis) including ground troops. Rubio also proposes shutting down mosques and diners in US “frequented by radical Islamists” – whatever that means. See http://reason.com/blog/2016/01/28/marco-rubio-isis-first-amendment-gop

    It is a freak show – there are no sane people around.

  76. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    29. February 2016 at 18:30

    Whew! I went through each and every comment upstream, studying them, and I have to say the only two that were on point and sound were by “Anand” and “Becky Hargrove”.

    I have one minor point to make: it’s bad form to leave a detailed personal message by voicemail to somebody you’ve never met (unless it’s an emergency). So Christie was correct to be insulted by Rubio’s voicemail. Apparently Rubio has few social skills anyway, so that explains that.

    “Instead, Christie, 53, took the message to be patronizing and deeply disrespectful, and wanted to know why 44-year-old Rubio would be telling him about his future, and he two politicians never held a direct conversation.”

  77. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    29. February 2016 at 18:45

    Apparently Rubio has few social skills anyway, so that explains that.

    He got himself elected speaker of the lower house of the Florida legislature and managed to land one of the Dolphins cheerleaders as his wife. I’d say his social skills are adequate for tasks somewhat more elevated than banging filipino hookers.

  78. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    29. February 2016 at 18:51

    Becky’s comment was an incoherent word stew. Anand’s were okay.

  79. Gravatar of XVO XVO
    29. February 2016 at 19:58

    All mainstream western parties support the destruction of the western world, whether they know it or not, personally I’d like to not live in a nation like Brazil/Mexico and I don’t want my progeny to live in nations like that either. The reason third world countries are so screwed up is because they’re populated by third world people, if we import so many we will become just like them.
    I’m not sure if youre an equalist (all people are born equal) but it’s a damned lie, the biggest lie. Only a fool cold believe after investigating the matter.

  80. Gravatar of David Tomlin David Tomlin
    29. February 2016 at 19:58

    If Trump is elected, I suspect he will step down when it stops being fun, as Sarah Palin did in Alaska.

  81. Gravatar of David Tomlin David Tomlin
    29. February 2016 at 21:05

    @Tom Brown

    Rubin’s wording suddenly made me think of Jesus and Peter. Three times Peter denied Jesus. Three times Trump refused to deny David Duke and the KKK.

  82. Gravatar of David Tomlin David Tomlin
    29. February 2016 at 21:25

    @Tom Brown

    I agree, Rubin’s vision is a pipe dream. “Reform conservatism” seems to me a bit like Marxism. It’s all about the workers, and the workers aren’t interested.

  83. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    1. March 2016 at 01:23

    Is Putin not a dictator, or not a murderer? And how does the supposed need for an Arab strong man excuse the Lockerbie bombing?

    What the hell is wrong with Westerners ? Are you completely incapable of understanding that Western mores are the exception, not the norm ?

    Newsflash – the rest of the world doesn’t really enjoy liberalism.

    If you define anything other than a Western-style liberal democracy as a “dictatorship” – then, yes, Putin is a dictator. But that only tells you about the solipsism of the Western mind.

    Also, “supposed need” ?? Are you not aware what happened in Egypt and Iraq ? They got democracy and swiftly voted themselves Sharia.

    Stop projecting your very WEIRD values upon people who are nothing like you.

  84. Gravatar of John L. John L.
    1. March 2016 at 03:38

    “If you define anything other than a Western-style liberal democracy as a “dictatorship”.
    I.e. if you define dictators as dictators,,, So why do you care if someone calls Putin a dictator? After all, the “world” doesn’t really enjoy democracy (and the secret policies make sure they don’t have many opportunities), Russians are too exotic anyway and their leader’s rule (be they named Putin or Stalin) just can’t be expect to comform to civilized behavior, right? Maybe to stick to the “down with the Western Imperialism” motif, Putin the Terrible should bring impalement back. It is so much more authentic than the rotten, WEIRD democracy.

  85. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    1. March 2016 at 04:59

    and is a straightforward war crime.

    Only because the term has been denuded of meaning.

  86. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    1. March 2016 at 05:01

    Newsflash – the rest of the world doesn’t really enjoy liberalism.

    Whether they ‘enjoy’ it or not, outside Equatorial Africa, the Near East, North Africa, Central Asia, and China, electoral systems and some degree of pluralism are the mode.

  87. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    1. March 2016 at 05:04

    Becky’s comment was an incoherent word stew.

    More concise than the other word-stew meister on this thread.

    Anand’s were okay.

    File that under ‘Chomsky’s OK’.

  88. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    1. March 2016 at 07:30

    Morgan:
    I read your Manifest Destiny Mexico article. Interesting. I think the difference between Mexico and the Louisiana Purchase is the number of people to assimilate. Mexico has a population of $120 million. Annexing Mexico, albeit peacefully through land for citizenship swaps, would have a profound effect on American politics. We have never annexed a territory that contains greater than 1/3 of our population.
    I don’t think people who have spent their lives under a more centralized and corrupt government will become libertarian in their outlook when they purchase a home in America. That’s not what has happened in the past with other immigrant groups, or is happening with other immigrant groups buying land in California now for instance.
    Another outcome is that those US beachfront property owners in Mexico could become convenient scapegoats for demagogues in Mexico. They have their own politicians of envy like Sanders.

  89. Gravatar of Becky Hargrove Becky Hargrove
    1. March 2016 at 08:23

    E. Harding,
    In simpler language: there’s no practical voting choice that “feels good”. Many Democrats don’t think the national budget is important, and most Republicans have given up on doing anything about the national budget because doing so would ruffle too many feathers.

  90. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    1. March 2016 at 08:39

    Conservative commentator Erick Erickson thinks the reason people support Trump is that they’re not Biblical inerrantists, like he is:
    http://theresurgent.com/the-more-a-person-follows-christ-the-less-a-person-supports-trump/

    Trump supporters, why won’t you see the light and realize your Bible* is 100% inerrant? [*provided it’s one Erick approves of]. Why?? Is it because you love Satan?

    Bwahshahaha! 😀

  91. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    1. March 2016 at 11:53

    @Tom Brown

    Nietzsche was right. I, for example, am not a Christian at all.

  92. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    1. March 2016 at 12:14

    E. Harding, I know you’re not. That’s one thing you and I have in common.

  93. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    1. March 2016 at 12:30

    …I’m delighted that Erickson and his minions have taken a blood oath to oppose Trump (#NeverTrump), saying he’s a fascist (their words, not mine), but then for Erickson to turn around and tie his reasoning to dogmatic loyalty to Biblical inerrancy is ironic in the extreme. In my view that’s just another form of fascism.

    The GOP needs to split into several mutually loathing sub parties.

  94. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    1. March 2016 at 13:10

    David Tomlin, I have thought the same thing: a president Trump may well get tired of the job and “fire America.” Then it becomes important who his running mate is: David Duke, Louis Farrakhan, Bernie Sanders, Andrew Dice Clay or Ted Nugent… Hmmmm who will it be? Lol!

  95. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    1. March 2016 at 13:12

    …actually I’m thinking Nugent might be his supreme Court pick.

  96. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    1. March 2016 at 13:54

    Here’s an excellent example of what I mean by Erickson’s own fascist flirtation (from an associate writer on his blog):

    “Moses had all who had not worshiped the golden calf [i.e. “good” anti-Trump Republicans] gather to him, and the rest [Trump supporters] were killed so that atonement could be made for this great sin. If the GOP (as a vehicle for the conservative movement) survives, there will be an accounting, and our New Testament forgiveness must be tempered with some Old Testament justice.”

    What they don’t get is that 8 years of nonstop incoherent hyperventilating hyperbole concerning Obama (a “Kenyan/Muslim/atheist/Satan-worshiper/Stalinist/Nazi/Weakling/Iron-fisted-despot”) has rendered those words meaningless, so when they turn on Trump they end up sounding just like the hated establishment nannies that tried to shush the mob before.

  97. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    1. March 2016 at 14:07

    What they don’t get is that 8 years of nonstop incoherent hyperventilating hyperbole concerning Obama (a “Kenyan/Muslim/atheist/Satan-worshiper/Stalinist/Nazi/Weakling/Iron-fisted-despot”) has rendered those words meaningless, so when they turn on Trump they end up sounding just like the hated establishment nannies that tried to shush the mob before.

    You might understand the world better if you gave up the habit of jumbling the utterances of people you don’t care for into one undifferentiated blob. You’re not going to find many professional opinion journalists (or avocational ones writing under their own name) subscribing to crank discourses. You find combox blowhards and C list bloggers doing that.

  98. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    1. March 2016 at 14:09

    tie his reasoning to dogmatic loyalty to Biblical inerrancy is ironic in the extreme. In my view that’s just another form of fascism.

    We get it. An understanding of political is not your strong suit and an understanding of theological terminology is not either.

  99. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    1. March 2016 at 14:12

    Conservative commentator Erick Erickson thinks the reason people support Trump is that they’re not Biblical inerrantists,

    That’s an utterly incompetent summary of an unremarkable sociological point Erickson was making.

  100. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    1. March 2016 at 14:50

    Art Deco, well, you may be right: I may not have the best interpretation, but it is fun watching them try to tear down Trump with words they overused in years and years of hyperbole. A small sampling from today:

    “Donald Trump is the Very Demagogue the Founders Feared”

    “Trump’s Brownshirts And Jackboots”

    “Republicans Face Nuclear Annihilation in November”

    “Shame on Christians Who Support Donald Trump”

    “How Many Times is it Okay to Embrace the KKK?”

    “Donald Trump is a Glass-Jawed Coward Afraid to Debate Rubio or Cruz Again”

    Wow… too bad they spent eight years wasting that language. We’ll see if the boys who cried wolf changes any minds today.

  101. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    1. March 2016 at 14:53

    … in contrast, when Sumner called Trump’s stated policies “100% pure unadulterated absolute evil” it was noteworthy. Scott doesn’t normally use that kind of language.

  102. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    1. March 2016 at 16:23

    His headlines are absurd. Much of the chatter about Trump is absurd.

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