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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on February 22nd, 2016 (All posts by )

    Vote ONLY for someone who has failed and has LEARNED from failure. This limits the field to Trump, Cruz and Carson.

    Chet Richards, in a response to this post at Belmont Club

     

    16 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      How do we know any of thgem have learned from it? Having failure, and overcoming it, usually brings some humility.

      Only one I see with any humility is Carson, and he has had no experience in governing…

    2. Mike K Says:

      I have some thoughts about this as well.

      Everyone is making shift for themselves because that is all that is possible. But the most significant actions have been undertaken by the Pentagon itself. It has proposed the largest budget in years for the express purpose of rebuilding the deterrent force against Russia. The New York Times reported plans to “fortify” Eastern Europe. Real Clear Defense reports a crash program called the Third Offset Strategy to boost up the combat power of the US military in the short term. The current Defense Budget is a tacit mea admission of a need to make up for ground squandered in the last 7 years.

      Gates has high praise for Ash Carter so Defense is probably in as good hands as is possible now.

      It seems clear there is widespread consensus there will be a major period of instability or conflict after Obama leaves office, perhaps even before he departs. Conflicts in Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa, China, etc. are not only possible, they have actually started and each is escalating.

      We are heading into a storm not unlike the 1938 era.

      Trump is considered unstable. So was Churchill. I’m not saying Trump is a Churchill but those who considered Churchill “unsound” resemble those who express hatred of Trump.

    3. jaed Says:

      A couple of random thoughts:

      The crisis makes the man. Absent WWII, Churchill might not have been Churchill. We might remember him very differently and much less fondly. (For that matter, Chamberlain might not have been Chamberlain if he had faced a different set of challenges.)

      Instability is not always a terrible thing, although it is always an uncertain thing. This was my major quarrel with those who opposed going into Iraq: the repetition of “But it will destabilize the situation!”, as though the status quo ante had been somehow acceptable.

      When the times are stable, there is no festering sore, and no predictable enormous problems coming up, a stable, respectable, even-tempered caretaker/administrator is an ideal President. These are not those times.

      None of this is necessarily an argument for Trump – because it’s impossible to predict with certainty whether he’d react well or badly to a crisis – but it is an argument against the arguments against him. “But he’s ill-mannered, crude, and egotistical!”, while all true, is not that relevant to what the next president may have to deal with.

    4. Mike K Says:

      I have spent years reading about Churchill and have been to his grave (not that that gives me any insight) and read his World War II memoir in college. In fact, I had it before college when it was a Book of the Month Club extra for subscribing.

      He was hated almost as much as Trump and for some somewhat similar reasons. He switched parties over India and was very unpopular with the Conservatives in 1939. Only the War brought him to power. He was seen as capricious and a bit of a wastrel, which he was. His friends before the war were typically what used to be called “Cafe Society” not at all the sort who would be invited to the typical “weekend house party.”

      Chamberlain was a business man and very “sound” as British politicians were judged.

      The comparison is striking to me. I am not at all ready to sign on to Trump but I can consider him with equanimity.

      Of course, I have been pessimistic for some time.

    5. Tyouth Says:

      ” Only the War brought him to power.”

      Not exactly Mike: In WWI Churchill was (more or less) in charge of the Navy. He pushed for the Gallapoli invasion and it was a disaster. 46,000 allies killed and no gain. I believe he resigned thereafter and got himself made an officer in the trenches in France in order to atone in some way.

      He certainly was a self-promoter by Victorian standards. I don’t know that he comes close to Trump in that respect.

    6. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> I am not at all ready to sign on to Trump but I can consider him with equanimity.

      Very similar to how I feel. Trump has, at least, demonstrated an ability to run a business successfully. He is not a serial felon. He has not been getting charged with lying and unethical behavior since he was a young adult. He appears to like America and Americans. He holds the armed forces in high esteem and values their courage and contribution. None of that can be said about either of the Democrats. He was not my first choice, but I will vote for him if he’s the nominee.

      BTW, I think there’s something poetically just about the Democratic primary coming down to Hillary: a lifelong abuser of the power, a serial liar and a felon; and Bernie: a zero-accomplishments, lifelong parasite on society and professional crybaby wannabe bully. I think that mirrors the leftist electorate perfectly. No wonder it’s so close.

    7. TangoMan Says:

      BTW, I think there’s something poetically just about the Democratic primary coming down to Hillary: a lifelong abuser of the power, a serial liar and a felon; and Bernie: a zero-accomplishments, lifelong parasite on society and professional crybaby wannabe bully. I think that mirrors the leftist electorate perfectly. No wonder it’s so close.

      Spot on!

    8. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Churchill = Trump.

      Shoot Me.

      Now.

      Please.

    9. Jonathan Says:

      Robert, I feel your pain, if you will excuse the expression.

    10. Ginny Says:

      Isn’t seeing in Trump such parallels a little like thinking Obama was going to have robust discussions in his cabinet because he carried the “in” book about Lincoln around? This seems a little too close to cargo cult thinking – and we’ve paid for 8 years for their party’s fantasy; I thought ours was the rational, reality-based party.

    11. Bill Brandt Says:

      I never thought of Churchill as unstable. I am sure that I am not as well read as some of you on him. I do know that he was debilitated by severe depression, but he wouldn’t give up. You wonder if Churchill could have been Churchill if he had been on Prozac (or Lincoln, for that matter).

      The circumstances did, of course, make the man. I read somewhere that during Britain’s darkest days, during the Blitz, he was moved to tears but the public never saw him in that state.

      Throughout the 30s he was considered I think a bit of a gadfly for his constant warning about Hitler.

      I don’t hate Trump; I see him as a bit of an opportunist who saw a weakness in the 2016 campaign message and , cynically or not, exploited it.

      I’d love to be proven wrong and the way the campaigns are going I may well get the chance.

      The Economist magazine sees him as a snake oil salesman.

      http://www.economist.com/comment/3026330

    12. TangoMan Says:

      I see him as a bit of an opportunist who saw a weakness in the 2016 campaign message

      You mean the weakness of all candidates running away from popular positions? SC exit polls showed 75% of voters support the idea of a Muslim ban. Immigration restriction is also popular.

      I don’t describe Trump entering the race as opportunism, more like patriotism compared to the paternalism of all of the other candidates, knowing better what is in people’s best interests and thus trying to force Muslims onto communities, force immigrants onto communities.

    13. Mike K Says:

      “THE nativist rage Donald Trump is whooping up across America translates into actual votes—lots of them.”

      The consternation by The Economist is almost enough to put me in Trump’s camp.

      That magazine is the embodiment of what Margaret Thatcher called “wet.”

    14. TangoMan Says:

      That magazine is the embodiment of what Margaret Thatcher called “wet.”

      I used to read the Economist when I was still wet behind the ears. Then I grew up.

      I read that they employ a lot of young, fresh graduates, and don’t give them bylines. Great way to control labor costs but the combination of loads of ideology + theoretical knowledge untempered by any independent thought + real world experience results in paper thin analysis.

      What I don’t know is if this management+editorial strategy was always in place or is a new innovation. Did I change so drastically as I came to understand the world or did the quality of analysis published within the Economist change more over the years.

    15. Ginny Says:

      One of my brothers has been reading a lot of Churchill since he’s been sick. I sent this to him and he responded to me (copied with permission)

      Churchill’s biographers don’t think he suffered from depression, that pervasive view comes from his physician’s memoirs that are (were)poorly regarded by people who knew and worked with Winston daily. The physician quoted people in meetings that he wasn’t at and is felt to have put words in people’s mouths. One Churchill aide said Churchill would no more have discussed these goings on with his doctor than discuss his bowels with his generals.

      He was in the minority in the 30’s warning about Hitler and pointing out the government was not accurate in its statements of arms and particularly airplane production and readiness-but there were a number of people who agreed with him. He said- in war fury, in victory magnanimity (does this sound like Trump?-it does sound like Lincoln). At the time of the Versailles treaty he spoke against the punitive measures feeling an economically strong Germany was important to the stability of Europe. In WWII he did feel unconditional surrender was necessary because the German people needed to experience the destruction and deprivation of war—which they hadn’t in WWI.

      There is a world of difference between Trump and Churchill and I am in the shoot me now camp.

    16. Mike K Says:

      I wasn’t saying Churchill = Trump. What I was saying is that there are similarities, especially in how they horrify standard issue politicians.

      Churchill was a Victorian and had all those prejudices. His “magnanimity” comment was after the war, I believe, when he could afford to be. He omitted many things from his war memoir, especially if they reflected badly on him.

      I also think he resembles Jackson in his followers who are willing to blow things up because they have been cheated by standard issue politicians.

      I also think he resembles Mussolini in the braggadocio and opportunism. He is not a Socialist but their public persona is similar.

      I am still watching this thing play out with some amusement. If he collapses, I will not be distressed although if that happens, we might get Hillary after all. I now think he would beat her, possibly in a landslide. I also think the vilification campaign by the GOPe is dangerous as it will make a unification move more difficult.

      I could see him choosing Rubio as VP to unify the party and pledging a one term presidency. I think I recall pressure being made on Reagan to make a similar pledge.