Featured Post

Towards a Pro-America, Pro-West Foreign Policy

For years, I have written in this humble blog that Obama and his team have created an unprecedented foreign policy disaster. The disaster be...

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Texas Tangle of Feb. 25: GOP Debate Gets Rowdy

The Texas-based debate was great television. Well, perhaps, not in the way of sophisticated documentaries or high-brow dramas, but great in that it let us see our GOP lads in verbal combat and under stress.

Let me cut to the chase: I declare the winner--drumroll--Donald Trump. Let me explain.

With the exception of Dr. Carson, who just didn't get much into the show either because the moderators ignored him or he just stayed out on his own, all the others did a great job of laying out their visions for America, and, two of them, ripping into Donald Trump. Senators Cruz and Rubio clearly had decided that their road to salvation would be built over a flattened Donald Trump. They came after him hot and heavy on taxes, immigration, Israel, and health care. Both landed some good hits, but . . . they did not flatten The Donald. Governor Kasich generally stayed out of the assault on Trump and made some good and thoughtful expositions on taxes, economic growth, and even on foreign policy.

Trump, however, at least to my TV bleary eyes, remained fairly unflappable. He generally did not lose his cool, and showed an acerbic and cutting wit. He also demonstrated that he remains the master at dodging troublesome issues and turning the debate his way. He is a master debater, not in the college debate club sort of way (Rubio wins that), but in the wise-ass New York street corner sort of way. It almost doesn't matter when he gets briefly pinned on specifics; he merely says, "Politicians, all talk and no action," and goes on his way. Trump connects with ordinary people, and pulls some magnificent jiujitsu maneuvers when attacked by prominent politicians be they the Pope, Mitt Romney, or Mexican ex-President Fox. He is like some sort of sci-fi beast that draws strength from the attacks of his enemies. I am not a Trumpster but, hell, I was impressed.

I am certain you can get different and much wiser views elsewhere.

Already have said my crystal ball does not work well on American politics; must not be calibrated for 110V.

52 comments:

  1. When America gained its independence, the world's rulers didn't believe the common man was capable of self government. It seems after all these year, we have proved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cruel! Cruel! But very funny . . . and true?

      Delete
    2. The 'common man' did not give you contemporary equal protection 'jurisprudence', the contemporary arts-and-sciences faculty, the teacher training faculty, the social work faculty, the higher education apparat, the psychiatric and psychoanalytic establishment which fancies that it should be impermissible for a dissatisfied homosexual to talk to Joseph Nicolosi once a week but mandatory for insurers to pay for hormone treatments and mutilating surgery for the likes of Bruce Jenner and Donald McCloskey, and the cretins who brought you criminal justice as it was practiced ca. 1980. The common man does not give commissions to Frank Gehry and Daniel Liebskind. It isn't 'the common man' who is responsible for the Clintons' $189,000 an hour speaking fees. The common man has no interest in racial preference schemes (even when he's an intended beneficiary). It's not the common man who has been unable for 40 years to craft a way to do something we used to be able to do: enforce the immigration laws.

      Ordinary people have many misconceptions. That's why the majority of first-born children these days are bastards and that's why minimum wage laws and state lotteries are popular. That's merely bad. What you get from academe and the legal profession isn't bad, it's BAD.

      Delete
    3. In this season of (justified) lashing out at the GOP for how much Democratic mischief it has tolerated, let it be noted that the common man tolerated all the above--and continues to, insofar as he channels his objections to leftism, lying, and corruption into the support of a transparently leftist, corrupt liar.

      Now, apparently, is the time for all good men to form a circular firing squad. We all may have failed in respect of fighting hard enough or smart enough against America's enemies, foreign and domestic; but our enemies are not one another, but are America's enemies, foreign and domestic.

      Delete
    4. indeed... might not be 'the common man' directly, but 'the common man' has allowed himself to be bought on the cheap. Here's a shot of novocaine while we rip the future apart, you wont feel a thing.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    5. Mencken: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

      Delete
  2. Trump is truly the Teflon Donald. Nothing dings him, nothing sticks. Well, I guess I can just hold out hope that the Serendipity (or whatever) University professor is right that Trump has a 97% chance of beating Hillary and a 99% shot against the Bern.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If the Dems find it equally hard to land a blow, what will they do next? Go after his wife? His children?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is not one candidate wife that would be not representative of our nation; Mrs. Carson, everyone's mom; Mrs. Rubio, sweet and classy; Mrs. Cruz, smart as a whip; Mrs. Kacich, a partner.

      Mrs. Trump? A woman who posed nude for a magazine. That's just beyond the pale. A woman who becomes First Lady should represent the best of us, not the porn industry.

      Delete
    2. Mrs T might represent way too many of us quite well. Look at our sewer culture. Bill Clinton did.

      Delete
    3. Mrs. Rubio was once a professional cheerleader and she and Marco met at a foam dance. I don't think Mrs. Trump wins the vulgarity sweepstakes. While we're at it, for which magazine did she pose?

      Delete
    4. "A woman who becomes First Lady should represent the best of us": oh what piffle. I find the very notion of a First Lady to be objectionable twaddle.

      Delete
    5. " I find the very notion of a First Lady to be objectionable twaddle."

      Well, bully for you. Meanwhile, back in the world you live in, there is a fellow known variously as 'the Prince-Consort' or 'the Duke of Edinburgh'. There's also a baronet's daughter living at 10 Downing Street. She's allowed out of the house where people can see her and talk to her. She actually gives interviews, which Denis Thatcher never did.

      Delete
    6. "Art D...purely research?"

      No, that's a question. Melania Trump was employed as a model. That is to say, she was a cog in the advertising business. I think that trade used to be pretty segmented, and you didn't do nude shots if you wanted to keep working legit; not sure, because that's not my trade and never was. I'm asking the accuser to tell us where she posed.

      It's kind of a cliche, him marrying a model 24 years his junior (something John deLorean did twice). OTOH, they've been an item for at least 16 years (about as long as he was with Ivana) and they've both reached the age where filing divorce suits is atypical behavior (though still too common). She wasn't implicated in the dissolution of his first or his second marriage and she'd never been married before she married him.

      Delete
    7. Oh, Art Deco, you are being thick. My objection to the First Lady is that it's just an attempt to mimic the consort of a monarchical system. In a republic it's just silly.

      Delete
    8. Oh, Art Deco, you are being thick.

      You've mistaken your reflex to be supercilious to everyone for their actual shortcomings.

      My objection to the First Lady is that it's just an attempt to mimic the consort of a monarchical system. In a republic it's just silly.

      The First Lady has had a public role since the Washington Administration. Sorry you fancy it's silly, but the world doesn't revolve around your tuchus, your tastes and prejudices are incongruent with the customs of public life in this country, and your tastes and prejudices stink on ice.

      Delete
    9. "In 2000, Melania was photographed in the buff for a GQ photoshoot - one memorable image had her handcuffed to a briefcase on board then-boyfriend Trump's private jet."
      http://www.theweek.co.uk/us-election-2016/69907/melania-five-things-you-didnt-know-about-mrs-donald-trump
      The image is easily Googled if you'd like to take a peek. As The Donald would say, it's classy and luxurious. I'm one of the unwashed masses and even I facepalm when faced with the prospect of President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho. The man is completely unable or unwilling to articulate policy.

      Delete
    10. The GQ shots are analogous to Sally Rand fan dances. There is no full frontal nudity. The other stuff could easily be photoshop.

      Delete
  4. This could very well turn out to be the best political theater of my lifetime.

    Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton would be great television and, one hopes, Donald would ask the very relevant question: "In what sane world is Hillary running for president rather than wearing an orange jump suit while awaiting trial?"

    I've already written off the country so, I'm now watching the circus.

    -Blake

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually agree with you and am looking forward to the fall campaign.

      Delete
  5. Obviously, Diplomad watched a different debate than I did. But then, I do like to watch the body language that tells me much more than the verbal responses.

    Rubio definitely landed some really hard body blows to Trump. Did he knock Trump out? No, but Trump was bruised. And he knew it. Cruz tag-teamed (although I don't think it was pre-planned). Trump's expressions showed that he knew Rubio was hitting the target.

    I am constantly amazed that seemingly rational thinking adults would accept a man like Trump as a viable candidate. He has no definitive solutions, just 30 second sound bites. He thinks avoiding STDs when he was younger is equal to having fought in Vietnam. He hires illegals, but says he's going to seal the border and make Mexico pay for the wall. Guess he doesn't know about things like treaties. He loved universal health care/abortion/eminent domain until he didn't. He's being sued in at least one fraud case (Trump University) and has been sued for hiring illegals. He does know a lot about politicians as he has bought many of them.

    So while self-proclaimed conservatives complain about bought politicians, the lack of morals in our nation, crony capitalism, etc., Donald Trump has been guilty of all those things and his sychophants just blow it off as if because it was Trump violating those values makes it A-OK.

    Rubio, who I don't support, was the clear winner in Houston.

    Zane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where and when did he hire illegals?

      Delete
    2. Polish illegals without safety concerns or union wages. Google it.

      Delete
    3. Zane, everything you say could well be true. My point is that I don't think it will make a difference in the polls or in the primary results. The nomination is Trump's to lose; now, he might well do that, but for now . . .

      Delete
    4. Polish illegals without safety concerns or union wages. Google it.

      Delete
    5. Polish illegals without safety concerns or union wages. Google it.

      Delete
    6. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2016/02/trump-ties-cruz-in-texas-and-leads.html

      Ann Althouse discusses the issue here. They were foreign workers in the country legally.

      Delete
    7. For the demolition job for the Bonwit Teller building that had to be destroyed to make room for Trump Tower, he hired a contractor that hired illegals to rush the job. Apparently there was a deal with the union where the union would allow the contractor to hire those people if union dues were paid. Trump's contractor didn't want to pay union dues.

      Of course if every developer who hired a contractor who hired illegal alien subcontractors was counted out of the biz, I doubt that we'd have any developers at all. This is very early in Trump's career and the fact that they had to go this far back in time to find dirt seems credible to the man.

      Note that this was the demolition contract, not the construction. Since there is no real craftsmanship in demolition, it makes sense to save big bucks on the demolition so you can put your real money into the construction project where it counts.

      The allegation was that Trump supervised the contractor and was therefore liable for the unpaid dues and wages. I was unaware that was how the world worked, but apparently there was something to the case since Trump settled it.

      Delete
    8. "Something" could be very little. It's atypical for attorneys of any stripe to risk jury trials. Too much of a crapshoot.

      I thought I recalled visiting Trump Tower ca. 1986. Per the usual sources, the previous building on site was demolished in 1979.

      Delete
  6. I'm with your Mr. Amselem; I have my specific reservations about Trump but I like what I am seeing in general. He talks plainly and Identifies our problems with confidence and precision - in other words he talks as if he really would do something about them if elected president. I don't get that sense from the other candidates. As an aside I am appalled at the calumny heaped upon Trump by the mainstream conservative organs - you know which ones - instead of using the Trump phenom for auto-examination they further pile on Trump...I think the Republican party is headed for dissolution...I'm only sad for the memory of A. Lincoln...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm with your Mr. Amselem; I have my specific reservations about Trump but I like what I am seeing in general. He talks plainly and Identifies our problems with confidence and precision - in other words he talks as if he really would do something about them if elected president. I don't get that sense from the other candidates. As an aside I am appalled at the calumny heaped upon Trump by the mainstream conservative organs - you know which ones - instead of using the Trump phenom for auto-examination they further pile on Trump...I think the Republican party is headed for dissolution...I'm only sad for the memory of A. Lincoln...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I only watched the last few minutes, but it looks like Rubio has declared Trump hunting season open https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tiby6M94ONA

    In a different vein, this is pitch-perfect http://a-cnn.com/index.php/articles/item/2027-trump-becomes-catholic-now-running-for-pope

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect the conventional 'wisdom' was that The Donald would self-destruct and bow out at some point. Methinks the candidates have now decided that that's not happening.

      Delete
    2. I agree.

      Now I want a campaign ad: Cruz on the boardwalk in front of the Taj showing how well Christie & Trump work together

      Delete
  9. Probably the line frequency that has your crystal ball on the fritz. Most countries us 50 Hz. We use 60 Hz. It can cause some issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a big problem with old record players.

      Delete
  10. So, I have a lot of leftist people on my Facebook, I am in the tech field so I live in a world where my political viewpoints are in the kind of minority like being black in Maine.

    Every single day, I’ll see five to a dozen plus anti-Trump memes shared by these folks. Often the same meme by several different ones, since they all go hang out at the same leftist daily affirmation and meme generation site, and pick up their daily dose of memes to share. Occupy Democrats, Being Liberal, etc…

    Anyways, the comments they make about the Donald are horrendous. They are terrified of the prospect of him becoming President. The more memes I see and the more over the top commentary I read, the more I am drawn in to support Trump, even though I have my own misgivings about him. He has these people urinating into their undergarments. This fills me with schadenfreude, and I mouth to myself, “Payback, baby, Payback”.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we must be twins... I'm like: "Why is it that absolutely nobody I know agrees with me on anything?"
      In the SF bay area, the bernie stickers are just *everywhere*, and it's socially acceptable to use expletives in describing Trump.
      I would be *much* less inclined towards Trump, if not for the number of friends and coworkers who are just 'so smart' that they hate him with every ounce of their body. Some have said they'd vote for Stalin or Hitler over Trump.... yeah.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
  11. There is a lot of unspoken Trump support by people who know they cantonal about it. We have a daughter who is a Bernie supporter. She is well educated and speaks 4 languages but is ignorant about practical things. My wife sent her the Peggy Noonan column last week and she is very interested. Peggy understands.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-sanders-and-the-american-rebellion-1455236273

    ReplyDelete
  12. Seems likely Kasich has been angling for the veep pick all along. With the promise of bringing Ohio along with him that's not necessarily a bad thing. Gimme Cruz on SCOTUS and Christie as AG and I'mna liking the possibilities of a Trump admin. Even though Cruz is the only political candidate that I've ever contributed to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. heh.. I was thinking that if Cruz starts winning, Obama nominates him to get him out of the way? :)
      Except (my opinion), Hillary would trounce Cruz.
      Personally, he comes off as the worst kind of lawyer to me, but again, that's just my personal likability question of him.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    2. Except (my opinion), Hillary would trounce Cruz.

      She's currently trailing Cruz in the RCP averages, so she needs some breaks between now and November to trounce him.

      Delete
    3. I think if Hillary gets the nod, she'll almost disappear... her campaign will make sure her appearances are scripted and controlled in an unprecedented fashion. They'll do this with the recognition that she's got 'historic-ness' on her side and simply has to 'not screw it up by lying'. (So basically, she can't say anything)

      - reader #1482

      Delete
  13. I supported Trump already, and I saw the debate the same way as our host. Trump took some hits but didn't buckle or self-destruct. He also got in some licks of his own.

    I'm appalled at the irrational hatred directed toward Trump, by people who support a Senator who was elected specifically on opposition to illegal immigration but was one of the Gang of Eight.

    Likewise people who froth at the mouth over Trump's "Establishment" tendencies but support Cruz, whose donors and advisors are strictly neo-con GOPe.

    I doubt Trump will do everything I'd like him to do, but I'm quite certain his record will turn out to be far, far better than either Cruz's or Rubio's would be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention that in the "he seems Presidential" contest it's Trump all the way. No one else on the stage has that presence; Cruz and Rubio appeared undisciplined quarrelling children by comparison.

      Delete
  14. But did the Donald ever say anything about HOW he would manage to deport the large illegal population in our land? HOW he would deal with foreign policy issues? Frankly, I'm bothered that the "smart" which the American people now seem to admire is precisely of the [low class] New York "smart ass" sort.

    Shrillary Shroooooo vs. Male Vanity Hairdoooooo...What is our nation coming toooo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But did the Donald ever say anything about HOW he would manage to deport the large illegal population in our land?

      He may not have. In schematic outline, aspects of 'how' are not all that difficult to discern.

      1. Cleave Immigration and Customs enforcement into two agencies, a Customs Police and an Immigration Police. The latter has a dedicated mission.

      2. Gradually bulk up the immigration police. In this country, we managed a 2.6-fold increase in the dimensions of our regular army over a period of six years (1940-46). That would amount to a 17% annual increase in size.

      3. Build a dedicated court system to handle immigration matters in expedited process. Think of an analogue to small-claims court, staffed with federal JPs. This court would issue deportation orders and issue sentences for illegal entry.

      4. Have a dedicated detention system to hold illegal entrants. No bail, no released on recognizance. We collar you and then it's detention until the immigration magistrate's done with you.

      5. Actually build that check-in and check-out system the Congress has mandated, and incorporate within it taking identifying markers (fingerprints, at least) of everyone issued a visa.

      The problem would not be the expense, but getting the personnel in place and building salutary institutional cultures. The New York State court system ca. 1985 used to process 250,000 people a year from arrest to conviction. That would be sufficient (not calculating feedback effects) to reduce the net addition to the population from people overstaying their visas to somewhere around nil. The police, courts, auxilliary agencies, and prison system in 1985 employed just over 100,000 people. So, that would be the manpower requirement.

      Delete
  15. For people curious about Trump and his impact, Scott Adams of Dilbert fame wrote a series of posts showing that his popularity is no accident, and is based on Trump's mastery of deep psychological principles.

    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/139541975641/the-trump-master-persuader-index-and-reading-list

    In summary, he is not a stupid man. He knows how to manipulate people and pull them in. He is in a class of his own compared to his political opponents. He caught that the political class is not listening to the bulk of the country, and took advantage of the fact.

    I am pretty horrified by many of his policies, particularly the protectionism and anti-immigrant ones, but I have to say I admire the man personally. I will probably still vote for Rubio in the primary, but I expect Trump to win the primary easily and blow away Hillary effortlessly in the general. Scott Adams figured that out in August!

    One clue: Trump is almost impossible not to like. Hillary is impossible to like. I think this will be one of the most one-sided general elections in history, if they are the respective nominees.

    Ironically enough I think Trump might have a harder time beating Sanders than Hillary.


    ReplyDelete
  16. Ironically enough I think Trump might have a harder time beating Sanders than Hillary.

    Sanders is polling better against all the leading Republicans than does Hellary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My opinion is that it's basically rock-paper-scissors.. maybe general electron strength is a distribution like cruz(4-6), rubio(5-7), bernie(3-4), hillary(8-9), Trump(1-10)
      just my opinion... trump is the least predictable and hillary's strength would be because she's got the only real identity-advantage in the field based upon gender.
      I imagine Sanders polls better, but I can't imagine that America is really full of communists like that.

      - reader #1482

      Delete