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  • Donald Trump unbound.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on October 17th, 2015 (All posts by )

    I have been watching the phenomenon of Donald Trump and wondering if it can continue or if he will implode. So far he seems to be riding the wave of disgust with professional politicians that has dominated the Republican Party this year.

    This post by Neo-neocon raises some questions.

    What does Trump really believe ?

    …Mark Levin excoriated Trump in this clip from 2011, but now doesn’t sing the same tune although the facts he sets out here have not changed in the least (it’s the topmost clip on the page, the one that’s 12:01 minutes long; I can’t figure out a way to embed it).

    You can hear lots of fascinating stuff there. Trump likes Nancy Pelosi (5:14). He wanted her to impeach George W. Bush (5:25), because he says Bush lied about WMDs. At 6:27 he speculates that it would be hard to even imagine a worse president than Bush. At 7:26 you hear Trump saying President Bush is evil. He then contrasts Obama (who at the time he was speaking had been elected but not inaugurated), saying that Obama has:

    “…a chance to go down as a great president…I think he’s going to lead through consensus. It’s not just going to be just a bull run like Bush did—he just did whatever the hell he wanted—go into a country and attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center, and just do it because he wanted to do it.

    Is that our candidate ?

    Now, there are many ways to criticize George W. Bush. Some of them are even valid. But what Trump is saying here: that Bush lied about WMDs, that he’s evil, that it’s hard to imagine a worse president, and that he attacked Iraq “because he wanted to do it” is—well, it’s not only straight out of the leftist playbook, it borders on evil in and of itself. What’s more, Trump shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the reasons Bush actually did attack Iraq.

    We’ve been discussing this here in another post. Why would the Republican Party nominate a man who has said those things about the last Republican president ?

    Then there’s this one with Blitzer from the 2008 campaign. It contained the “impeach Bush” remark:

    BLITZER: [What do you think of] Nancy Pelosi, the speaker?

    TRUMP: Well, you know, when she first got in and was named speaker, I met her. And I’m very impressed by her. I think she’s a very impressive person. I like her a lot.

    But I was surprised that she didn’t do more in terms of Bush and going after Bush. It was almost — it just seemed like she was going to really look to impeach Bush and get him out of office, which, personally, I think would have been a wonderful thing.

    BLITZER: Impeaching him?

    TRUMP: Absolutely, for the war, for the war.

    BLITZER: Because of the conduct of the war.

    TRUMP: Well, he lied. He got us into the war with lies.

    Is that what we want ? I am very concerned about illegal immigration, as I have previously pointed out.

    I have been pessimistic about the future of the country for a while. Recently, I have been very pessimistic.

    One of the arguments for the impossibility of an event is lack of previous failure. “It never failed before and thus can never fail ever”. The Washington Post’s editorial board invokes a variant of this logic to refute Donald Trump’s border policy, arguing there are so many illegal immigrants it is too expensive to deport them all, leaving no alternative but to accept more.

    Naturally, the WaPo is certain they know what could happen.

    A useful case study is California, whose economy accounts for about 13 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and whose 2.6 million undocumented workers include almost a tenth of the state’s workforce.

    We had an interesting demonstration several years ago. The Mexican activist organizations decided to stage a “strike by illegals” to show how dependent on them California, and specifically Los Angeles, was on the work illegal aliens (although you can’t call them that). They decided to stay home for a day or two. Traffic congestion dropped to tolerable levels and we have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get them to stage another “strike” ever since. That, plus their use of Mexican flags at protests, have now been abandoned as tactics.

    I am all for controlling illegal immigration but is this what we want as our representative on the national stage ?

     

    75 Responses to “Donald Trump unbound.”

    1. roadgeek Says:

      Voters seem to want someone who isn’t “more of the same”. For the moment, and his moment is fluid in duration, that appears to be Donald Trump. His sense of timing and self-promotion is uncanny, and he makes a strong, visceral impression on those fed up with the same-old-same-old. When the pollster calls his face pops into view immediately. I suspect better informed voters know full well he isn’t for real, but is more of a mirage, created by the heat of political dysfunction.

      I had time to think about Trump a few nights ago and decided he probably wouldn’t be a bad president, especially with a strong VP, but I doubt it’ll come to that.

    2. Hurling Dervish Says:

      Trump didn’t say Bush lied about WMDs. He said Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Is there any question that this is true?

    3. Mike K Says:

      “Trump didn’t say Bush lied about WMDs.”

      TRUMP: Well, he lied. He got us into the war with lies.

      And, I mean, look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant. And they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. And, yet, Bush got us into this horrible war with lies, by lying, by saying they had weapons of mass destruction, by saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true.

      Di you read the post ?

    4. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      My first choice for president is Carly Fiorina, but she seems to be holding steady in the single digits. I also like Cruz and Carson, in that order. However, Trump is the frontrunner and I don’t see that changing much so I thought I should get more familiar with him. I watched several interviews with him and one long speech. Here’s my take (copied from a post I made at Bookworm yesterday):

      1. An ego the size of Manhattan.
      2. Very practical. Less concerned with principles, more concerned with outcomes.
      3. To a degree, tailors his words to the interviewer/audience. A salesman.
      4. Understands the working citizen is getting screwed by everyone, domestic and intn’l. Called the folks who negotiate our trade deals idiots and in the tank for the cash-in-hand lobbyists. Says America has been sold out. He’s right. He wants our trade imbalance with China and Japan corrected. Says we’re getting screwed.
      5. Will build a wall across the Mexican border.
      6. Claims he wants to dramatically deregulate the USA.
      7. Claims he wants restructure the tax code to make American business competitive.
      8. Will repeal ObamaCare.
      9. Will increase defense spending.
      10. Claims we might balance the budget by not wasting so much federal money. That may be (probably is) a dodge; easy to say, hard to do without major legislation.
      11. He needs a quality haircut.

      * Claims – Implied or talked about.
      * Will – Said so forcefully and without equivocation.

    5. Mike K Says:

      I don’t trust him what with his changes as illustrated above.

      Having said that, I have no idea how other the primary or general elections will turn out.

      I thought Romney would win in 2012 when I saw enthusiastic crowds the last month before the election.

      Two huge mistakes were made.

      One – the convention was too late.

      Two – Gingrich, who had no prospect of nomination, gave the Democrats the theme for the general campaign.

      I like Fiorina. I am leery of Cruz who is another one term Senator.

      As Peggy Noonan has written, Obama lowers the bar for presidents from now on. Anybody could be elected.

    6. Hurling Dervish Says:

      Mike K, no, I do not see that in the post above.although there is also no question that Bush said lots of things that turned out not to be true.

    7. Bill Brandt Says:

      Mike you have to remember Noonan thought Obama was the better candidate in 2008, too.

      I am ambivalent on Trump. I like what he says – he is about the only one saying what millions have waited to hear – but so much of it requires the cooperation of the courts and Congress.

      And we know about them.

      I am getting tired of being fooled by politicians.

    8. Mike K Says:

      “Bush said lots of things that turned out not to be true.”

      This is the refrain of the LIV.

      Some of the things he said that turned out not to be true were said by people like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

      Most of what he said was true at the time or was the best estimate.

      This who say he was lying, like Trump, are partisan Democrats and most know they are lying themselves.

    9. Patrick Says:

      Some very good points, and I linked in.

      http://thoughtsandrantings.com/2015/10/17/donald-trump-a-flip-flopper/

      I just hope the media, especially Fox News channel, are paying attention.

    10. Hurling Dervish Says:

      Whatever Bush said at the time, we all know that by the time of the invasion it was not true. We all watched on TV as the inspectors went to site after site, including every site Rumsfeld directed them to, and found nothing. And they were ordered out before they could complete the inspection. We all saw that and there is no question we all knew it.

    11. joe armendariz Says:

      he absolutely did say Bush lied:

      BLITZER: [What do you think of] Nancy Pelosi, the speaker?

      TRUMP: Well, you know, when she first got in and was named speaker, I met her. And I’m very impressed by her. I think she’s a very impressive person. I like her a lot.
      But I was surprised that she didn’t do more in terms of Bush and going after Bush. It was almost — it just seemed like she was going to really look to impeach Bush and get him out of office, which, personally, I think would have been a wonderful thing.

      BLITZER: Impeaching him?

      TRUMP: Absolutely, for the war, for the war.

      BLITZER: Because of the conduct of the war.

      TRUMP: Well, he lied. He got us into the war with lies.
      And, I mean, look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant. And they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. And, yet, Bush got us into this horrible war with lies, by lying, by saying they had weapons of mass destruction, by saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true.

      (CROSSTALK)

      BLITZER: Their argument is, they weren’t lying, that that was the intelligence that he was presented, and it was not as if he was just lying about it.

      TRUMP: I don’t believe that.

      BLITZER: You believe that it was a deliberate lie?

      TRUMP: I don’t believe it. And I don’t think you believe it either, Wolf. You are a very, very intelligent young man. I don’t think you believe it either.The fact is that he lied. And he got us into a war that was a horrendous mistake. And, any way you take it, that war was a mistake.

    12. joe armendariz Says:

      Levin was right before he was wrong:

      http://therightscoop.com/levin-rips-donald-trump-to-shreds/

    13. Mike K Says:

      “We all saw that and there is no question we all knew it.”

      There were WMD, just not the nuclear program that everyone, including Saddam thought he had. You are conflating two things: Before the invasion and after.

      I’m done debating you on this.

    14. Hurling Dervish Says:

      Mike K – don’t debate me – debate the Duelfer Report, which says you’re dead wrong.

    15. PenGun Says:

      It is true you wanted to impeach Bill for a blow job and praise the Bush moron for, really, starting your slide to, well, less relevance.

      Trump is no fool.

    16. rcocean Says:

      I usually like you Blog posts, but who cares. Trump doesn’t like Bush II, well join the Club.

      You can go back and drag up pre-2008 McCain comments, pre-2012 Romney comments, and pre-1996 Dole comments that would make your hair stand on end. Bush I was pro-Abortion and called Reaganomics “Voo-doo Economics”.

      I’m getting tired of the constant Trump bashing. We’re not running a referendum on Trump. Its Trump or its someone else in 14 Republican person (or is it 12 or 16?) field.

      I’d prefer Cruz, but if its Trump so be it. He’s better than anyone else on the issues I care about.

    17. Mike K Says:

      “We’re not running a referendum on Trump”

      Does that mean discussion of Trump is off topic ?

      “drag up pre-2008 McCain comments, pre-2012 Romney comments, and pre-1996 Dole comments that would make your hair stand on end.”

      Really ? Let’s see a few. I’ve been paying attention to politics since I voted for Nixon in 1960. I don’t remember a time like this except 1992 when Bush had wrecked his re-election with the tax increase that help deepen the recession. Perot was the result and he elected Clinton who had been an unknown small state governor. The presumed Democrat candidate that year was Cuomo who backed away and allowed Clinton to step in because Cuomo thought Bush would be unbeatable after the Gulf War.

      I supported McCain against GW Bush in 2000 and researched his career pretty well. I’m aware that he was probably a reluctant Naval Academy midshipman because of his family and he was probably a less than ideal aviation cadet. He did do his duty in Vietnam and served honorably by refusing to allow the NVA to use him to embarrass his father, who was CINCPAC. I thought McCain was too old in 2008.

      I’m also not aware of radical Romney comments. He was quite moderate in Massachusetts. That was a given. I am libertarian and pro-choice. I have performed abortions.

      It will take quite a lot to make my “hair stand on end.” Fortunately, I still have quite a bit so go for it.

    18. Eric Says:

      Hurling Dervish,

      Casus belli was Iraq’s noncompliance with the UNSCR 660-series resolutions, especially UNSCRs 687 and 688, ie, Iraq’s breach of the Gulf War ceasefire.

      The Duelfer Report by the Iraq Survey Group was post hoc and thus irrelevant to the operative enforcement procedure at the decision point for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

      According with the operative enforcement procedure for Iraq’s compliance, the main disarmament-related trigger for OIF was UNMOVIC finding “about 100 unresolved disarmament issues” in the UNSCR 1441 inspections for Saddam’s “final opportunity to comply” (UNSCR 1441).

      That being said, albeit the post hoc Duelfer Report could not be a factor in the decision for OIF, ISG did corroborate the UNMOVIC confirmation that Iraq remained noncompliant with the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441) for disarmament mandated by UNSCR 687 et al.

      For example, some excerpts from the ISG Duelfer Report:

      Saddam had direct command of the Iraqi intelligence services and the armed forces, including direct authority over plans and operations of both. … The IIS ran a large covert procurement program, undeclared chemical laboratories, and supported denial and deception operations.

      From 1999 until he was deposed in April 2003, Saddam’s conventional weapons and WMD-related procurement programs steadily grew in scale, variety, and efficiency.

      Prohibited goods and weapons were being shipped into Iraq with virtually no problem. The only notable items stopped in this flow were some aluminum tubes, which became the center of debate over the existence of a nuclear enrichment effort in Iraq. Major items had no trouble getting across the border, including 380 liquid-fuel rocket engines. Indeed, Iraq was designing missile systems with the assumption that sanctioned material would be readily available.

      ISG judges that Iraq failed to comply with UNSCRs up to OIF by failing to disclose accurate production totals for B. anthracis and probably other BW [biological weapon] agents and for not providing the true details of its alleged 1991 disposal of stocks of bulk BW agent.

      For more, see explanation of the law and policy, fact basis for Operation Iraqi Freedom drawn from the primary sources of the mission.

    19. Mike K Says:

      Eric, he is trolling and not worth trying to educate.

    20. Hurling Dervish Says:

      – Iraq was cooperating with inspections. UN Inspector Hans Blix Feb. 14, 2003 Report to the UN:

      In my 27 January update to the Council, I said that it seemed from our experience that Iraq had decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, most importantly prompt access to all sites and assistance to UNMOVIC in the establishment of the necessary infrastructure. This impression remains, and we note that access to sites has so far been without problems, including those that had never been declared or inspected, as well as to Presidential sites and private residences.

      – There was not UN authorization for the invasion:

      UN president Kofi Annan, Sept 2004:

      Q: So you don’t think there was legal authority for the war?

      A: I have stated clearly that it was not in conformity with the Security Council—with the UN Charter.

      Q: It was illegal?

      A: Yes, if you wish.

      Q: It was illegal?

      A: Yes, I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view, and from the Charter point of view it was illegal.

    21. Mike K Says:

      Now, this is the sort of thing that may be real.

      If Trump picks up the Reagan Democrats, he’s for real. If that happens I hope he can govern better than he sounds.

      Some major labor unions are now mulling endorsing the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

      It’s a move that would have been unthinkable in previous election cycles, but Trump has fans among the union rank and file and deviates enough from the GOP platform that labor leaders are giving him a serious look.

      It may be a way for Democrats who are disgruntled and won’t admit it to vote for the other guy.

    22. Grurray Says:

      Cuomo also waffled and strung the press along in ’88. He could never pull the trigger (so to speak) because of his mafia connections. His chief of staff was the cousin of the Capo di tutti capi Paul Castellano

    23. Eric Says:

      Hurling Dervish,

      The kind of cooperation mandated by the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441) for disarmament required better cooperation from Iraq than you think. As Hans Blix explained at the January 27, 2003 UNSC meeting:

      The substantive cooperation required relates above all to the obligation of Iraq to declare all programmes of weapons of mass destruction and either to present items and activities for elimination or else to provide evidence supporting the conclusion that nothing proscribed remains.

      Paragraph 9 of resolution 1441 (2002) states that this cooperation shall be “active“. It is not enough to open doors. Inspection is not a game of “catch as catch can”.

      The UNMOVIC Cluster Document finding of “about 100 unresolved disarmament issues”, presented to the UNSC on March 7, 2003, showed that Iraq remained noncompliant with the mandated standard for “substantive cooperation”. The post hoc ISG Duelfer Report corroborated that Iraq was noncompliant in the passive sense that you mean, too.

      For more, see the answer to “Did Bush allow enough time for the inspections?“.

      Your Annan quote goes to a murkier issue – namely, the international law of the Gulf War ceasefire enforcement. Unlike the issue of Iraq’s deficient cooperation in the UNSCR 1441 inspections, there isn’t a simple dispositive answer for the international legal controversy.

      Keep in mind that Annan expressed an opinion that is, at best, controversial. Annan wasn’t an arbitrator. His position was subordinate to the UNSC, not a higher authority.

      Substantively in March 2003, Iraq was guilty of breach in Saddam’s “final opportunity to comply” (UNSCR 1441). The Council dispute at that point was procedural. The UNSC was split on what to do about Saddam’s guilt. However, it was not a new split. The HW Bush and Clinton administrations dealt with the same UNSC rift while enforcing the Gulf War ceasefire. The disagreement came to a head in 1998 with Operation Desert Fox and the dispute was carried forward to 2002-2003 with Operation Iraqi Freedom.

      Suffice to say, OIF was the same legal (or illegal in Annan’s opinion) of ODF and the no-fly zones. I recommend President Clinton’s December 18, 1998 statement of legal authority for ODF.

      For more, see the answer to “Was Operation Iraqi Freedom legal?” – the international legal question is addressed at A2.

    24. Grurray Says:

      Trump also has some history with the mob that he probably doesn’t want to get out but for different reasons. Instead of collaborating with them, he was taken for a ride, being forced to widely overpay for property in Atlantic City and for concrete in Manhattan.

    25. Eric Says:

      Mike K,

      I appreciate that. But I’ll start with a benefit of the doubt. And anyway, you guys have a readership so it’s not just for his/her consumption – proactive and reactive opportunity to set the record straight, right?

    26. Mike K Says:

      “Annan wasn’t an arbitrator. His position was subordinate to the UNSC, not a higher authority.”

      Annan’s son was also hip deep in the oil for food corruption.

      I would hardly be impressed by anything he said. Most of the UN is substantially corrupt.

    27. Xennady Says:

      Mike K,

      The sort of nonsense spouted by Mr. Dervish (and Trump, in that interview) is, paradoxically, a significant part of the reason why the attacks on Trump aren’t working as well as would be expected.

      The behavior of GOP establishment has done such thorough damage to the party that Trump looks good by comparison.

      Even though he seems to have believed the vile leftist lies about George Bush, I have trouble holding it against him because George Bush himself never bothered to object. I still recall the myriad arguments I had about the Iraq War, with the universal context that no WMD of any kind were found. I was stunned to find out that Iraq had 35 tons of yellowcake, and even more stunned to find out that apparently Iraq had massive quantities of WMD just lying around during the entire war, yet this was never mentioned to the public by the Bush Administration. Reportedly Karl Rove even made a political decision to not tell the public, which was astonishingly stupid. I think I’ve mentioned this here before.

      So to complain that Trump believed what he was reading in the leftist media- well, why didn’t Bush object to what they were saying about him? Maybe Trump and millions of others would have ended up knowing better.

      I note also complaints that Trump hearts socialized medicine and the Kelo decision. I find it a valid criticism, yet I note that the GOP has done nothing effective to undo either Obamacare or Kelo. I note also that I’ve never even heard the party make an issue out of Kelo. Beloved by-the-establishment figure Haley Barbour even vetoed a bill aimed at overturning it in his state.

      Thus, I count these as a wash. And Trump claims he wants to repeal Obamacare now, just like all the other GOPers. Yay.

      Why should I believe him? Well, having lived through the endless deceit from the usual GOP suspects, I’m used to being lied to. It often seems to me that establishment political campaigns use words carefully chosen so that the candidate can’t be accused of lying when they openly betray their supporters. But at least Trump is willing to complain about problems the base cares about- especially illegal immigration.

      If he later doesn’t actually accomplish everything he proposes I figure I’m still better off with him than with the establishment, which has been rather openly and incompetently scheming to enrich the donor class with open borders and endless immigration- and also incompetently lying about it.

      As bad as Trump may be, they’re much worse.

    28. Mike K Says:

      Xenaddy, you make good points. Rove was no doubt the author of the election tie in 2000 with his advice to Bush to conceal the DUI so the Dims could out it in September.

      HuffPo is in full denial mode today about Hillary.

      If she is indicted we will see a replay of the Bill Clinton impeachment and I don’t know what will happen. McCarthy should get the cement overshoes for his gaffe about the Benghazi committee.

      One nice thing about being a pessimist; you are never disappointed these days.

    29. Eric Says:

      Mike K,

      The Annan quote regarding the “UN Charter” is particularly problematic because the enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire was authorized as “Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter”.

      As President Clinton explained in his December 18, 1998 letter to Congress:

      [Operation Desert Fox] is consistent with and has been taken in support of numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 678 and 687, which authorize U.N. Member States to use “all necessary means” to implement the Security Council resolutions and to restore peace and security in the region and establish the terms of the cease-fire mandated by the Council, including those related to the destruction of Iraq’s WMD programs.

      UNSCR 678, adopted on November 29, 1990, stated:

      Determined to secure full compliance with its decisions, Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, … Authorizes Member States … to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area.

    30. Ginny Says:

      Does Trump sound like he’s thought twice geographically (or strategically or morally) about the ME? He has argued for health care positions that appear drawn from his imagination – at the first debate he said we needed one like Scotland (he’d just vacationed there). And then there’s his position on eminent domain. Kevin Williamson’s observation that he was what you get when a rich kid is pushing 70 seems on the mark. I liked Bush in many ways – but I understand many did not. However a second president who blames all on Bush is not likely to learn from reality or his own mistakes – do we need another adolescent term in the White House?

    31. Xennady Says:

      Xenaddy, you make good points. Rove was no doubt the author of the election tie in 2000 with his advice to Bush to conceal the DUI so the Dims could out it in September.

      Thanks. Small anecdote about the 2000 election. I remember watching a tracking poll, from Zogby, which had been bouncing around in the weeks prior to the election.

      Just before that DUI story was released Bush looked to have broken out and at long last had managed to get ahead of Gore. If I recall it was something like 52-47, which seemed significant.

      Then the DUI story appeared, causing Bush to drop noticeably. I dimly recall that Bush went underwater in that poll, which depressed us Bush supporters at my work. I work up early election night, expecting Bush to have lost, cleanly.

      That wasn’t what I discovered when I turned on my computer.

      Shrug. Water long gone under the bridge, now, but you reminded me of all that.

    32. Jonathan Says:

      Hurling Dervish:

      There was not UN authorization for the invasion

      Why does the USA need UN authorization for anything?

    33. Jonathan Says:

      Hierarchy of Qualifications for US Presidency

      Successful governor > successful high-level private-sector executive > mediocre governor or substantial private-sector experience > US Senator > US Senator under age 50 > grifter or left-wing activist

    34. Mike K Says:

      Jonathan, we have debated the Bush decision in 2002 ad nauseum. Those who are interested in evidence and reasonable explanations should be satisfied. I for one, am not going to try to convince people of something they should know by reading a bit of history. That’s why I don’t hang around HuffPo. No amount of reasoning will convince people who live to hate and be angry.

      I tried it for a while at Washington Monthly when Kevin Drum was blogging there. I got a lot of obscene abuse for my attempts to provide reasonable arguments. They even went to my blog, where I had posted my discussion of health reform, and found items from my personal life, which I do not conceal under pseudonym, and used them to make vicious and revolting slurs.

      Finally, they began to delete my comments, leaving the nasty responses as though suspended in air. I gave up. There is no debating leftists.

      I had a somewhat similar experience at Ricochet with the right. They used similar tactics to the left in asserting they were smarter than I am or that, in one case, a doctor had done her training at a more prestigious institution. I don’t actually consider “conservative Christians” to be members of the right economically. They are beyond discussion. Shouting at each other does not attract me.

      Those who hold extreme views are equally unreasonable whether they be from the right or left.

    35. Mr Black Says:

      I just cannot understand this line of thinking, summarized as;

      “The republican establishment has sold us out and betrayed us, and continues to do so on a weekly basis. OMG, don’t vote for that independent outsider, you don’t know what he might do. Vote for the solid establishment guys who we know.”

      I instantly dismiss any argument that looks like this because it is pure partisan crap. Vote for the R, because reasons. That’s exactly what got us into the mess we’re in. R’s who betray the base because the base vote like sheep.

    36. Eric Says:

      Jonathan:
      “Why does the USA need UN authorization for anything?”

      PL 102-1 (1991):

      The President is authorized … to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 …

      PL 107-243 (2002):

      SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
      (a) AUTHORIZATION.—The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to—
      (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
      (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

      The issue isn’t that the US generally requires UN authorization to act. We act by our own sovereign authority.

      The American sovereign authority for Iraq intervention has been straightforward. Under American law, the President’s decisions for the Gulf War, no-fly zones, ODF, OIF, and current military actions with Iraq have been legal.

      However, the issue particular to Iraq is not about the UN infringing on US sovereign authority. Rather, the sovereign US mission was (and I believe still is, at least in part) structured to enforce the UN mandates for Iraq.

      The controversy was over the legal character of the UN mandates for Iraq within the Security Council.

      The Russian, Chinese, and French view was specific UN authorization was required for each (US,UK-led) military action to enforce the UN mandates for Iraq.

      The American and British view was a priori and de facto authority for enforcement of the UN mandates for Iraq carried over the legal authority of the original Gulf War authorization to enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire UNSC resolutions.

      On the substance, the UN mandates for Iraq were consistent with the US national security interests with Iraq. However, after PL 102-1 was enacted in 1991, the UNSC rift muddied the legal character of the UN mandates for Iraq.

      During the Clinton administration, the President continued citing to UNSCRs 678 and 687 but also took to characterizing the Iraq mission in terms of US national security interests alongside enforcing the UN mandates for Iraq. See, for example, PL 105-235 (1998). US national security interests, of course, are not chained to UN mandates, though the substance may be consistent. PL 107-243 (2002) updated PL 102-1 by codifying Clinton’s adjustment in the US sovereign authority to enforce the UN mandates for Iraq.

      To your question, the sovereign authority to enforce the UN mandates for Iraq under PL 102-1 was possibly affected by the UNSC rift, but that was overcome by considering Iraq’s compliance with the UN mandates as US national security interest.

    37. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>However a second president who blames all on Bush is not likely to learn from reality or his own mistakes – do we need another adolescent term in the White House?

      At this point we’re headed for either Trump or Hillary. Given that choice, I will touch the screen for Trump 10 times out of 10. I would prefer a better candidate.

    38. Hurling Dervish Says:

      Jonathan,

      When the US signed on as a charter member of the United Nations, it agreed not to wage war under illegal circumstances. No one has argued the invasion of Iraw was for self-defense, nor could they. So it could only be legal if authorized by the UN. That’s what this conversation is about.

      Eric, your arguments are contradictory, but it would only be worth continuing in conversation over a beer sometime, where I could show you that the Bush administration was not saying this stuff to the American people, but rather that it was because of mushroom clouds and 9/11 and because Rumsfeld knew for certain that the WMD were to the south of Baghdad and to the north, west and wmeadt somewhat.

      But the real point here is that when I point out that all of us knew there were no WMD before the invasion, and that the freaking president of the United Nations says that the UN did not authorize the invasion, then, at the very least, I think we can all agree that this is at least a debatable question, and it is not “derangement” to think so. Goodnight.

    39. Eric Says:

      Xenaddy:
      “George Bush himself never bothered to object”

      It’s incorrect to say that the Bush administration “never bothered to object”, but it’s understandable that you didn’t notice when they did object. Their inadequate attempt at counter-propaganda can be found at the Bush White House archive, Setting the Record Straight.

      Xenaddy:
      “I still recall the myriad arguments I had about the Iraq War, with the universal context that no WMD of any kind were found.”

      You share the blame with the Bush administration for that.

      A working knowledge of the basic disarmament standard for Iraq set by UNSCR 687 (1991) and reinforced by UNSCR 1441 (2002), UNMOVIC findings, and Iraq Survey Group findings alone would have provided all you needed to correct “the universal context that no WMD of any kind were found”.

      Yet based on your comment, it appears you undertook “myriad arguments” without familiarizing with the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” (UNSCR 1441) and the determinative fact findings that triggered enforcement in accordance with the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance”.

      Should the Bush administration have done a better job of educating We The People on the operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire? Yes.

      But at the same time, the primary sources of the mission were easily found. As well as I can recall, they were placed on-line for public access. Furthermore, the Gulf War ceasefire enforcement was over a decade along by the time of OIF. It wasn’t obscure – the Saddam problem had made headline news since 1990.

      Which is to say, you could have learned the law and policy, fact basis of OIF for yourself despite that Bush officials fell short in their counter-propaganda. You should have prepared yourself better to take on “myriad arguments” about the Iraq intervention.

    40. Veryretired Says:

      Pardon me if I ignore the never ending debate with the lefty troll of the day.

      Trump is a creature of the Clinton campaign. He is not a republican. He is not a conservative.

      The entire purpose of his candidacy was to recreate the Perot movement of 1992, which split the republican vote and allowed Bill to be elected with a minority of the vote.

      The people behind him never imagined the way his candidacy would catch on, as they have no idea of the deep level of anger and dissatisfaction that abides in the working middle class.

      The ruling coalition never understood Reagan’s appeal, have never understood the motivation or purpose of the Tea Party movement, and had no clue that Trump’s non-PC approach, especially about immigration, would resonate with voters the way it has.

      The eventual main party nominees will not be Hillary or Trump. I will keep my own counsel about what I believe is going to happen, but there will be plenty of turmoil, violence, and surprises along the way.

      Good luck to us all.

    41. Mike K Says:

      Should the Bush administration have done a better job of educating We The People on the operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire? Yes.

      The dull normal LIV will not bother to read anything. Why should they when the Democrats promise that ignorance will be honored with “stuff.”

      Historians, assuming that there are any left, will write about the amazing stupidity of the US voters who voted for nuclear war.

    42. Jonathan Says:

      Very Retired,

      I agree with much of your theory about Trump, though I don’t think there’s any conspiracy. As I’ve written before, I think Trump ran because he thought he would either 1) help Hillary and thereby gain some kind of valuable payoff or forbearance down the road, 2) gain valuable exposure for himself and his brand, or 3) get elected by some stroke of good fortune. I don’t think anyone, including Trump, expected him to do as well as he appears to be doing.

    43. rcocean Says:

      “MK: Does that mean discussion of Trump is off topic ?”

      Thanks for the response. And no it doesn’t mean a discussion of Trump is “off topic”. I simply would rather see people explaining why their Candidate is better than constantly bashing the front-runner.

      Right now, its that the entire GOP establishment, Fox News, and the MSM are determined to tell us how terrible Trump is and how “we” shouldn’t vote for him. He’s crazy, he’s stupid, he’s right-wing, he’s a secret Democrat, he’ll be a strong-man, he’s just playing us, it goes on and on.

      Well fine. Trump drops out. Then what? Who is the alternative?

      Right now, it mid-October and having watched 2 GOP debates, and read the newspapers, I still know little about the other candidates on issues. But I know all about “what Trump said” and what Carly and Jeb “said back”. The lack of seriousness is astounding.

    44. Mike K Says:

      “Who is the alternative?”

      I could see Carly, or even Carson take the lead. I am not a Cruz fan but he is raising a lot of money. I don’t really like Kasich and JEB is never going to get my vote unless Hillary is the option. I was a Walker fan but he looks cautious and decided this was not his year. My big fear about Trump is Perot. I went through that once,

      I would vote for Romney again in a nanosecond.

    45. Bill Brandt Says:

      I lost any respect for Jeb when he planted a ringer to try and taunt Trump. I was a Walker fan, too but he seemed to be a non-entity in the debates. Carly? She was really polarizing at HP, and if she gets the nomination that will be used against her. I think the Compaq merger was a disaster for HP.

      Carson is saying good things but how would he do working with a Congress or an executive? In that respect campaigning and actually governing are a dichotomy. Most of us – myself included – are paying too much attention to the campaigning rhetoric without spending too much time peering down the road at executive experience.

      Ideally you want someone who has been in office, a governor preferably, with executive experience and experience working with Legislatures.

      That’s down to Kasich and Christie.

      Christie doesn’t do much for me.

      I like Trump but under the microscope how well could he do when you have to work with a legislature? He says things as if he could wave a magic wand and they are done. Millions seem to ignore that.

      I have gotten into occasional arguments with my parents over politics – and my mother once let slip that they voted for Perot.

      “No new taxes – read my lips” is what got them.

      I had to remind her that he just gave us Clinton.

    46. Xennady Says:

      Eric,

      You’re missing the point. Most people were interested in ending the threat the Hussein regime posed to the United States. When it appeared that there was in fact no threat to us, the public felt betrayed was readily accepted the lies that Bush lied to get approval for the war.

      The Bush response should have been to point out all the weapons and programs that were in fact found, including the 35 tons of yellowcake, not to lecture the public about the ceasefire agreements or how awesome it was that we were nation building or doing nice things for foreigners.

      For what it’s worth I did point out the various additional reasons the US invaded Iraq, including the certainty that Hussein would have immediately restarted his WMD programs in a big way once the sanctions had collapsed. I think I had decent success, on the personal level.

      But that wasn’t enough to save the Bush administration from its numb political incompetence, nationwide.

      Don’t blame me because I somehow failed to lecture people enough about things they didn’t really care about, or failed to learn enough about UN resolutions.

      And your attitude, btw, is a shining example of why people leave the GOP and are happy to do so. The supporters of the party can never do enough, according to the GOP. When the party fails, it isn’t because of poor decision making or bad judgement by the people in charge.

      Nope. It’s because rank-and-file Republicans failed to do their duty and work hard enough to overcome the unpopularity and incompetence of the people at the top.

      No thanks. Yet another reason why Trump (and Carson) are beating the establishment chumps like a whole stable of rented mules.

    47. Xennady Says:

      The entire purpose of his candidacy was to recreate the Perot movement of 1992, which split the republican vote and allowed Bill to be elected with a minority of the vote.

      Brief comment- I recall this being widely discussed at the time, and the consensus I remember was that without Perot Clinton would have still beaten Bush.

      No offense, but the idea today that it was Perot’s fault that Bush lost strikes as more but-covering by the witless party establishment, still looking for someone, anyone to blame for their failure, aside from their worthy selves.

      Bush was able to turn a 92% approval rate into defeat, plus generating a major third party candidate in the process.

      That’s a pretty good example of failure, if you ask me.

    48. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Carly? She was really polarizing at HP, and if she gets the nomination that will be used against her. I think the Compaq merger was a disaster for HP.

      Really?
      The HP-Compaq Merger: Partners Reflect 10 Years Later
      http://www.crn.com/news/mobility/231601009/the-hp-compaq-merger-partners-reflect-10-years-later.htm

      Carly wants secure borders, wants to scrap the tax code and start over, wants to reduce the regulatory burden on small business and supports school choice for parents. She wants to reduce the federal budget, reduce the size and power of government, and repeal Obamacare and replace it with a market based healthcare system. On foreign policy, she opposes a nuclear armed Iran, supports Israel and believes Russia and China do not have our best interest at heart.

      Carly’s failure as CEO of HP:
      She took HP from $44 billion net worth to $88 billion net worth.
      She took HP from 2% growth to 9% growth.
      She quadrupled cash flow.

      Some failure. We could use a “failure” like that in the White House.

    49. Mike K Says:

      I agree that Carly can defend her time at HP. That said, she has to do a better job of it than Romney did against Gingrich’s slanders which the Democrats adopted whole and ran with.

      Bush killed his momentum with the tax increase that I have believed all along was a deal with Dan Rostenkowski to get the Democrats to support the Gulf War. No evidence of such a deal has emerged but I still wonder. Maybe it was just the cluelessness of the Bush family.

      I toyed with Perot for a while in 1992 and his meltdown in the summer is the reason why I gave up on him. I don’t think Trump is a stalking horse for Hillary. I just think he is an egomaniac and has made noises before about wanting to be president. He is so vulgar and repulsive I can’t watch him.

      I have previously explained that I am very pessimistic about the country and nothing this year changes my mind. I was a Walker fan but he flamed out early. Carly is my next choice, I think. Perry had a good record but he reminds me of Goldwater who was such an inept campaigner that I actually voted for Johnson, my one vote I regret.

    50. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>he reminds me of Goldwater

      I had a conversation with my dad a few months back. I told him I was thinking about the oft remarked observation that the country seemed to go to hell after the Kennedy assassination. While that was a very bad thing, I don’t think that was the cause. I think the USA took the wrong fork in the election of 64. Had we elected Goldwater, consider: no Viet Nam War, no Great Society, probably no Nixon and therefore no Carter. We would have taken a completely different trajectory under small government, Libertarian minded Goldwater. He thought about it for a moment, said he’d never considered that, then agreed that was probably true. He voted for Goldwater.

    51. Bill Brandt Says:

      Really?
      The HP-Compaq Merger: Partners Reflect 10 Years Later
      http://www.crn.com/news/mobility/231601009/the-hp-compaq-merger-partners-reflect-10-years-later.htm

      Carly wants secure borders, wants to scrap the tax code and start over, wants to reduce the regulatory burden on small business and supports school choice for parents. She wants to reduce the federal budget, reduce the size and power of government, and repeal Obamacare and replace it with a market based healthcare system. On foreign policy, she opposes a nuclear armed Iran, supports Israel and believes Russia and China do not have our best interest at heart.

      Carly’s failure as CEO of HP:
      She took HP from $44 billion net worth to $88 billion net worth.
      She took HP from 2% growth to 9% growth.
      She quadrupled cash flow.

      Some failure. We could use a “failure” like that in the White House.

      At the time of the merger Michael things were so acrimonious that the last family member on the BoD, Walter Hewlett, quit. Compaq was a failing company on the verge of bankruptcy. Hp was always an engineering-oriented company known for making high quality and innovative products. It was known as a big family with layoffs nearly unheard of. Compaq made desktop and laptop PCs,hardly leading edge development.

      When Carly took over, mass layoffs ensued while she ordered 1-2 more corporate jets. She used to take her private hairdressor with her on trips.

      Particularly galling to the HP employees were Compaq people moving in to managerial positions while HP people were getting layed off.

      The article you cited came from a vendor who supplied Compaq and at the time was wondering if he was still going to have business.

      Today the desktop PC business is moribound, desktop PCs are considered a commodity business.

      On a personal note my company had an HP 3000 minicomputer for 20 years – really a gold standard of computing and service. Companies from the Fortune 500 to us relied on this machine, and Carly assured everyone that she would not abandon this machine.

      She assured us right to the day there was a public announcement that in x years support would end.

      This was really the computer that put HP on the map – changing them from a company offering engineering and scientific solutions to the business community. And Dave Packard made a legendary decision early in its development. When they first started selling them, there was some kind of flaw discovered. HP recalled every computer, gave the customers an HP2000 and say they could keep using them until they fixed the problem.

      Imagine that today.

      Was it a wise merger?

      Honestly in Carly’s defense I have pointed to DEC – which at one time in the 1980s was the #2 Computer company behind IBM. Ken Olson couldn’t change with the times, and today they are gone (ironically purchased by Compaq).

      One thing Carly did was change the culture at HP.

      Was it all necessary?

      I don’t know, but a neighbor of mine, who was a long time HP employee, said that upon receiving the news that Carly had been fired by the BoD, said that internal emails were flying saying “the b!tch has left the building”

      All that being said that while Carly isn’t my first choice she is certainly a choice.

    52. Bill Brandt Says:

      >>he reminds me of Goldwater

      I had a conversation with my dad a few months back. I told him I was thinking about the oft remarked observation that the country seemed to go to hell after the Kennedy assassination. While that was a very bad thing, I don’t think that was the cause. I think the USA took the wrong fork in the election of 64. Had we elected Goldwater, consider: no Viet Nam War, no Great Society, probably no Nixon and therefore no Carter. We would have taken a completely different trajectory under small government, Libertarian minded Goldwater. He thought about it for a moment, said he’d never considered that, then agreed that was probably true. He voted for Goldwater.

      I read in American Heritage Magazine some years ago that Goldwater and Kennedy were friends from their Senate days. Kennedy assumed Goldwater would get the nomination and they had intended to have a whistle stop debate tour similar to Lincoln Douglas – imagine that for a bit of alternative history.

      I was 14 when Goldwater got the nomination and was so impressed with him I became a precinct worker for him – getting many doors slammed in my face. This was when there was a huge split with the Rockefeller wing of the Republican party.

      Of course Goldwater was excoriated by the the media and the Dems for being a “warmonger” – all the while Johnson was planning via the Gulf of Tonkin to draw us in.

      To me nothing Goldwater believed in was wrong and I think history has vindicated him.

    53. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Well, the micro-computer and unix workstation markets were ending. Nice machines, but expensive. And a shrinking market.

    54. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Also, I understand people being upset by layoffs. I’ve been through a few company closures, not fun. But Carly’s job was NOT to employ as many people as possible, it was to make HP successful. She did her job, the one she was hired for. If she hadn’t done it, someone else would have, or HP would have gone bankrupt or been bought out and broken up. That world was changing and Carly responded in a way that allowed HP to survive. It’s like faulting FDR or Truman for killing a lot of people while fighting and winning WWII. She did what had to be done as she saw it. With approval of the HP Board, I’ll add. We could use that in the White House right now.

    55. Bill Brandt Says:

      The HP Board fired her, Michael.

      And you are of course right about having to make changes – the question is were the changes she made done in the right way? Maybe one can make the argument that if big changes are needed, by definition not all the changes will be good.

      You are right about the mini computers (which DEC pioneered by the way). The way she decided to end them seemed to rub the companies who depended on them the wrong way.

      In all honesty history has been kinder to her.

      Here’s an alternative view on Carly from Fortune Magazine:

      http://fortune.com/2015/08/14/carly-fiorina-president-2/

    56. Mike K Says:

      “the last family member on the BoD, Walter Hewlett, quit”

      I have been told, and read, that the issue really was the Hewlett heirs and their belief it was a family business. If so, they should have kept it private. Going public means you lose control. Family owned businesses have been torn apart by internal struggles, Crown Books was one and U-Haul was nearly killed off by a family feud.

      The “hairdresser” stories sound like sour grapes and a little sexist. Meg Whitman is now running HP and layoffs are continuing.. Meg Whitman is a real entrepreneur having made a billion dollars with eBay.

      I was a Goldwater supporter but thought he was just too inept as a campaigner. He made Romney look like Trump. I was a supporter of Joe Shell, who made Goldwater look like Rockefeller.

      When Shell declared his candidacy for governor, he did not expect Nixon to run because the former vice president had vacillated for several months about a potential candidacy and had a national perspective, rather than extensive interest in state government.

      Shell remained in the race to carry the banner of the more conservative Republicans, with Nixon hence cast as the “moderate” candidate. Nixon defined himself in his own words as “a conservative —a progressive conservative.”[9]

      The California primary race was covered nationally because Nixon was a national figure who was expected to run again for President in the future, and California was then on the verge of surpassing New York as the nation’s most populous state. Shell was quoted in Time magazine that he had “gotten sick and tired of calling people liberals when they’re basically socialists.”

      Joe Shell was the real thing. I wonder if he could have beaten Pat Brown and become a national candidate? He had a great personal history. Navy fighter pilot among other things.

      On April 22, 1963, Shell and Assembly member Bruce V. Reagan (no relation to Ronald Reagan) founded the United Republicans of California to promote the potential presidential candidacy of U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona, who was not yet an announced contender.

    57. Eric Says:

      Xennady,

      Much of the usual debate over the Iraq intervention is conjecture. Much of the information relating to broader history and strategy, such as Mike K favors, colors the debate but is not elemental. Which is not to say those pieces have no place in the discussion. It’s not either/or – they have their place in the discussion. But if that’s all you present as a proponent of the mission, enemy propagandists can play that game.

      Your primary advantage as a proponent is the one piece that jams the spin because it’s elemental and not speculative: the dispositive law and policy progressed through 3 administrations that set the operative enforcement procedure, most critically the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance”, and the determinative fact findings in accordance with the operative enforcement procedure.

      The operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire handed from President Clinton to President Bush was the controlling method of diagnosis and prescription for the “threat the Hussein regime posed to the United States”.

      The law and policy of the Iraq enforcement provided the evaluation, “Iraqi actions pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” (Clinton, 2000).

      In other words, most of the work was done for you as a proponent during the decade-plus while the Saddam problem was in the middle of our plate as leader of the free world. Yet you tried reinventing the wheel.

      Your first step should be to establish the operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire as the primary point of reference: lay the foundation properly and set the frame with the correct terms. Then undertake the argument about the “threat the Hussein regime posed to the United States” with your footing secure on the proper foundation and the issues arranged in the correct frame.

      That works better than undertaking the argument while being spun about by the false-narrative frame that advantages enemy propagandists.

      Successful argument derives at least as much from establishing the underlying premises than from the issues atop.

      Xennady:
      “The supporters of the party can never do enough, according to the GOP.”

      It’s not they “can never do enough”. It’s that they don’t do enough to compete.

      Democratic success isn’t due to Democratic politicians and the party. Viewed in isolation, the Democrats are no more competent than the Republicans. Democratic success is due to the widespread activism of their rank and file across the social spectrum. Now, that widespread activism usually is not primarily in service of the Democrats. Nonetheless, their achievements redound on the Democrats.

      While the Democrats take advantage of their members’ activism, it’s not something either party can originate from the party. For the GOP to keep up, they need widespread activism from their rank and file across the social spectrum that competes head-on with the activism of rank-and-file Democrats.

    58. Eric Says:

      Mike K:
      “They even went to my blog, where I had posted my discussion of health reform, and found items from my personal life, which I do not conceal under pseudonym, and used them to make vicious and revolting slurs.”

      That wasn’t ‘loyal’ opposition that you may have pictured across the virtual way. That was the enemy.

    59. Mike K Says:

      “The operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire handed from President Clinton to President Bush”

      Yes but Clinton did;t mean it and the left is well aware that he didn’t

      “That wasn’t ‘loyal’ opposition that you may have pictured across the virtual way. That was the enemy.”

      Oh, I think they are a group of adolescents who have no idea of how the world works and who throw tantrums when they don’t get their way.

      They are not worth arguing with. As an example, I looked at the Facebook page of someone who made a ridiculous reply to one of mine at HuffPo.

      Take a look. You could not find a parody of that. A Yale graduate, or maybe a drop out as he describes himself as “studied at Yale.”

    60. Xennady Says:

      In other words, most of the work was done for you as a proponent during the decade-plus while the Saddam problem was in the middle of our plate as leader of the free world. Yet you tried reinventing the wheel.

      Hilarious!

      No, most of the work was not done for me and I did not attempt to reinvent anything.

      I attempted to convince people that the Iraq War was justified, using the arguments I had available. I found that people were not interested in hearing about the UN resolutions nor did they want to discuss Bill Clinton. They wanted an answer to the charges that Bush had lied, and an explanation as to why no WMD were found. They damned well weren’t interested in an invitation to search the White House archives.

      This sort of arguing is why the GOP has managed to be such a miserable and relentless failure. The left kept using the lying lie about Bush lying because it worked, politically. They kept bringing up the lack of discovery of WMD because it was the key justification for the war, as far as the American public was concerned. The fact that none were supposedly found opened the door for the vile charge that the entire war a based on a lie.

      The person to put a stop to this was George Bush. The buck stopped there. He damned well should have highlighted the fact that there were WMD found in Iraq- continuously and loudly. That he did not, despite certainly knowing that they had been found, was an error of the first magnitude, with grim consequences.

      But it is also typical of how the GOP seems to operate- completely ignore the need to make a political case, then smugly attack the people still willing to vote for the party after it get its head handed to it by the left.

      It’s not they “can never do enough”. It’s that they don’t do enough to compete.

      Hogwash. At the time of the Iraq War the GOP ran the country, supposedly. It controlled Congress and occupied the White House. The result was government that failed miserably to answer the charges made against it, failed to secure the US border- “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande”- and betrayed its activists by attempting to appoint Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, among many other stabs in the back.

      If the GOP wants to “keep up” with the democrats it needs to stop urinating on its supporters. Unfortunately that seems to be a job it just won’t stop doing.

    61. Jonathan Says:

      Bush could and should have done a much better job explaining his policies. However, if today’s media and culture had existed in 1944 half of the US population might have considered Churchill and Roosevelt to be inept warmongers.

      Bush, Romney, McCain, Cheney — all were subject to lies and slanders regardless of the content of their arguments, and people who should have known better ate it up. Sarah Palin told it straight to libertarians and conservatives and the Left destroyed her.

      The Republican Party has many flaws but it’s not the cause of the problem. Better, more media-savvy arguments will help but are not enough. The problem is that most Americans don’t know history, and most Americans under age 50 don’t remember what the 1960s through 1990s were like. Obama is a symptom of all of this. There is no way that an obvious subversive like him could have been elected twenty years ago. There is no way that a culturally leftist charlatan like Bill Clinton could have been elected in the 1970s. The cultural rot has been gradual but cumulatively it’s been devastating.

      A lot of conservatives’ political frustration comes from seeing their countrymen ignore reality time after time. But that ignorance is reality now. There may not be much that we can do about it. Many people in this country do not know better. They never learned the basic historical knowledge that is at the center of the worldview of the people who write and read this blog. Many of the ignorant will eventually learn, either through hard experience or, if we are lucky, by drawing the right conclusions from bad events that occur outside of the USA.

    62. Mike K Says:

      “The Republican Party has many flaws but it’s not the cause of the problem.”

      This guy is a big piece of it.

      The worst Speaker of the House is American history.

      Hastert isn’t naive. He’s spent a lifetime using leverage to get what he wants.

      As speaker, he traded support for war for congressional earmarks to make his Republican colleagues look good. The Republican Party has yet to recover from that arrangement.

      Still, he knows about power. So it is impossible to think of him as a hapless victim.

      Dennis Hastert is a Republican boss of the infamous Illinois Combine that has run this politically corrupt state.

      Bush was an amateur compared to Hastert. Tom DeLay had no idea. The Democrats went after DeLay because Hastert had Illinois wired shut.

    63. Jonathan Says:

      Michael, were you trying to link to the Kass column?

      It’s here.

    64. Xennady Says:

      Jonathan,

      I take your point, to an extent. But one big honkin’ reason why today’s media and culture exist is because the people elected to oppose the creator’s of today’s media and culture failed to actually oppose them.

      The GOP has won plenty of elections during my lifetime, yet it seems that the party will never have enough power to actually get around to defeating the left. If the GOP had 112 Senate seats, 4597 House members plus 7 Presidents it would still find an excuse to be unable to accomplish anything.

      Worse, it would still be p***ing on the people who supported it. I’m done with this. Done.

      Whining that your political opponents oppose you doesn’t make them stop opposing you. Complaining that people are ignorant doesn’t remove the ignorance. Smugly declaring that your party activists haven’t worked hard enough- well, I’ve already discussed that.

      The opposition party to the left-which may not be the GOP for much longer- needs to to find a way to succeed.

      Somehow. The opposition party isn’t doing that now.

    65. Mike K Says:

      “Michael, were you trying to link to the Kass column?”

      Yes, thanks.

    66. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      The opposition party to the left-which may not be the GOP for much longer- needs to to find a way to succeed. Somehow. The opposition party isn’t doing that now.

      I think we can all agree on that.

    67. Eric Says:

      Mike K:
      “Yes but Clinton did;t mean it and the left is well aware that he didn’t”

      He meant it. If Clinton didn’t mean it, then he was extraordinarily dedicated to a charade.

      Keep in mind that President Clinton did more than skate through with the law and policy on Iraq that he inherited from President HW Bush. Instead, against Iraq’s steadfast noncompliance, President Clinton meticulously built up the law and policy, including practical precedents, for the operative enforcement procedure exercised by President Bush.

      Clinton’s announcement of Operation Desert Fox, where he pronounced, “Iraq has abused its final chance,” was the mature case for regime change as the solution for Saddam’s breach of the ceasefire.

      Where your view of Clinton while president is fair is his effective enforcement fell short of the bar set by his enforcement policy. Instead, after Saddam had “abused [Iraq’s] final chance” in December 1998, Clinton left an indefinite ad hoc ‘containment’ that was broken from the outset. He then kicked the can of the festering Saddam problem to Bush.

      Clinton then failed the nation as an ex-president. In 2003-2004, Clinton at first endorsed his successor and Operation Iraqi Freedom by citing to Clinton’s own presidential experience with the Saddam problem. However, as the political pressure that stopped Senator Lieberman’s career mounted, Clinton revised his position. His later remarks included blatant contradictions of his presidential position on Iraq.

      Nonetheless, Bush’s continuity with Clinton’s presidential record on the Iraq enforcement is clear. Leftists wouldn’t be moved by that, but I’ve found pro-Clinton Democrats are jarred by the difference of the fact record from the prevalent false narrative of OIF.

    68. Mike K Says:

      “He then kicked the can of the festering Saddam problem to Bush.”

      Yes, that is most of what he did except rhetoric. Everyone has forgotten about Anthony Lake, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, who torpedoed a possible coup against Saddam.

      Following Clinton’s 1996 re-election, Lake was nominated to become the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, but his nomination was withdrawn due to Republican opposition. It has also been reported that the failure of his nomination was related to his decision to withdraw support at the last minute for an Iraqi coup that might have removed Saddam Hussein without U.S. intervention.

      This is Laurie Mylroie but some of her discussion is true.

      By the end of 1993, the INC had developed a plan of action called the “Three Cities Plan.” In the north, the two Kurdish militias, along with an INC force, would attack the two northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk. By prior understanding, friendly military commanders would go over to the opposition. In the south, the INC and the Shi’ite militia, led by Baqir al-Hakim, would attack Basra, where the same thing was to happen.

      The INC briefed US officials on this plan, but they were not enthusiastic. It was the first clear indication that the Clinton administration was not serious about Saddam. Above all, the administration did not want the opposition to do any fighting. In fact, although the US was funding the INC, the Clinton administration prohibited any US funds from being used for the purchase of weapons. US officials flippantly maintained that there were already enough weapons in Iraq. It was not long before the White House began to actively undermine the INC. George Tenet, now CIA Director, was then NSC adviser on intelligence matters. Tenet believed that he could orchestrate a coup in Iraq and he acted in co-ordination with Lake. Lake did not want to get into a confrontation with Baghdad and his hesitancy extended to matters far beyond the INC. They included the issue of UN weapons inspections. Early on, Lake advised Rolf Ekeus, UNSCOM chairman, “Don’t give us sweaty palms.”8 That is, don’t create crises. Somehow, Lake believed that he could deal with the several challenges posed by Iraq quietly. It was a remarkable assumption, because these issues constituted the unfinished business of the Gulf War, a deadly serious affair.

      Lake was not enthusiastic and..

      The Coup failed after it was penetrated by Saddam. Lake had long since cut off any support by the administration.

    69. Lexington Green Says:

      Running against George W. Bush and saying things about him that are widely believed is smart politics.

      Large majorities believe the Iraq War was a mistake and should not have happened.

      Trump has always disliked Bush and he opposed the Iraq War. That is nothing new. That is one point where he is consistent.

      Tea Party voters dislike George W. Bush for expanding government, and for being incompetent in prosecuting two wars.

      Repudiating George W. Bush is not going to hurt Trump’s effort in either the primary campaign or the general election.

    70. Eric Says:

      Xennady:
      “I attempted to convince people that the Iraq War was justified, using the arguments I had available. I found that people were not interested in hearing about the UN resolutions nor did they want to discuss Bill Clinton. They wanted an answer to the charges that Bush had lied, and an explanation as to why no WMD were found.”

      It’s apparent that you placed yourself behind the 8 ball in the “myriad arguments” by accepting premises asserted by leftists as the ‘ground rules’ of the debate.

      I guess you’ve talked about the UNSCR 660-series resolutions and President Clinton’s Iraq enforcement record like Victor Davis Hanson talks about them: jumbled in a spray of information that’s too disordered to impress the overriding structure of the operative enforcement procedure which is the necessary context to evaluate the facts correctly.

      If you’ve served on or argued in front of a jury, then you know it’s not enough to present facts in a heap. The information must be ordered and then presented as a narrative that’s coherently structured on the legal elements at bar. Otherwise, your facts will miss the mark at trial in spite of their intrinsic value and fail to combine into the necessary fact pattern for the jury to evaluate.

      Of course, in this case, there’s no judge to instruct the jury. Instead, you must establish the legal elements at bar, ie, the operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire. If you fail, then your opponent will assert his premises in replacement. If he succeeds in establishing the ‘ground rules’ with his terms, you’re no longer a proponent; then you’re his foil.

      I recommend reviewing my explanation of the law and policy, fact basis of the decision for Operation Iraqi Freedom. See especially the answers to “Why did Bush leave the ‘containment’ (status quo)?”, “Did Iraq failing its compliance test justify the regime change?”, and “Did Bush lie his way to war with Iraq?”.

      Again, the law and policy, fact basis of OIF does not substitute for the kind of broader historic, strategic analysis that Mike K favors. They complement. The former lays the foundation for the latter.

      As you read the explanation, keep in mind:

      On the facts, the decision for Operation Iraqi Freedom was right on the law and justified on the policy.

      The prevalent myth that Operation Iraqi Freedom was based on a lie relies on a false premise that shifted the burden of proof from Iraq proving it had disarmed in compliance with the UNSC resolutions to the US proving Iraqi possession matched the pre-war intelligence estimates.

    71. Mike K Says:

      I was not a George W Bush supporter in 2000 and I think Karl Rove gave him very bad advice about the DUI case. Still, he did the right thing with Iraq and the invasion and I think, and he probably thinks, that history will agree with him.

      His mistake was Bremer and that was probably his tendency to make snap judgements based on personal impressions, like his judgement of Putin. Nixon would not have made that mistake. However, Nixon, like Bush was too loyal to his underlings like Brown in Katrina. Watergate was mostly a failure of Nixon to be as cold as Obama and Hillary.

      I am puzzled and alarmed by the Trump phenomenon. We are very far down a dangerous path that resembles 1939 France in my opinion. Living through the Cold War was bad enough but I would not want to be 25 again. The 25 year olds seem to know no history and maybe that is form of anesthesia. Those kids seem to have a lot of angst and I understand why.

      My younger son and I were out shooting at the range today. I hope we never have to use the guns we fired.

    72. Eric Says:

      Lexington Green:
      “Running against George W. Bush and saying things about him that are widely believed is smart politics. Large majorities believe the Iraq War was a mistake and should not have happened.”

      Right. It’s more than academic. The controversy continues to influence American affairs.

      The convertible aspect of the controversy is the belief, “the Iraq War was a mistake and should not have happened”, follows a correctable false narrative.

      Thus, it would be smart politics for anyone adversely affected by that belief to set the record straight for the zeitgeist and simultaneously discredit promoters of the false narrative.

      Jonathan:
      “Bush could and should have done a much better job explaining his policies.”

      I agree. At the same time, the primary sources are straightforward and easily accessed on-line. For example, Xennady complains that the Bush administration neglected to broadcast a set of information he feels was needed to rebut the assertion, “no WMD were found”. Yet that set of information wasn’t necessary to argue the case for OIF. The UNSCOM/UNMOVIC and post hoc Iraq Survey Group findings, both posted on-line, are rife with violations of the “governing standard of Iraqi compliance” for disarmament.

    73. Grurray Says:

      Now that Canada will be installing a neo-Maoist snowboard instructor to be Prime Minister who thinks condemning honor killings is too insensitive, it may be time to move the wall north.

    74. Jonathan Says:

      Glenn Reynolds is correct: the talk about George W. Bush and 9/11 is a political diversion. Trump, the supposed alpha-male master media manipulator, is getting played.

    75. Mike K Says:

      Poor Canada. Australia has made a couple of similar faux pas.