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  • The Romney Speech

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on March 3rd, 2016 (All posts by )

    romney

    I did not watch Romney’s speech attacking Trump but have seen short excerpts and comments about it. I think it was a catastrophic mistake by Romney and has ended any future he might have in the GOP. Had he stayed neutral, with perhaps some comments about what is important in a Republican president, his role might be intact. But nobody, especially Mitt, can out insult Trump. It was a foolish lapse of judgement.

    I read a blog every day written by a retired Foreign Service Officer, who calls it Diplomad 2.0, and it has commenters from other diplomatic services. His reaction to Romney’s speech is interesting.

    I like Romney. I think him a decent man, and one who would have been a very good president. Our country and the West would be in much better shape today if Romney had won in 2012. I had a very minor role on Romney’s foreign policy team and did my best from my lowly position to get the campaign to sharpen its message on foreign affairs, especially on Benghazi–to no avail.

    What follows is revealing in the explanation for Romney’s failure as a candidate.

    His campaign was dominated by “the oh-so-clever-ones” who think things to death, and analyze until they paralyze. The papers we sent up to Romney were wordy “on the one hand, but on the other hand” expositions of little to no use in a campaign. They read like something written for a transition team, not a campaign team. It was impossible to get Romney’s main handlers to recommend that he go after Obama and Clinton hard on Benghazi and the rest of the misadministration’s foreign policy disasters. They thought that was “too politicizing” and “unbecoming.” Well, what happened, happened.

    Romney now comes out and attacks the probably GOP nominee in terms he would never have used on Obama and probably Hillary.

    The result ?

    The punchline. I had been sitting uncomfortably on the fence re the GOP candidates. After listening to the Romney speech and the other “establishment” types, and hearing the anchor pundits, the pundit anchors, and all the other assorted wise ones, I have jumped off the fence. I have landed in Trump’s farm. He is not perfect, far from it. I might even change my mind, but for now I support Trump.

    I don’t know if Trump will be terrible; I do know that what we have right now is horrible beyond words. I can’t bear the thought of a Hillary presidency.

    I kind of feel the same way. Trump’s weakest point is foreign policy and here is a guy with years of experience all over the world, who thinks he is better than Hillary and might be OK.

     

    47 Responses to “The Romney Speech”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Michael: I have lost all respect for you.

    2. Mike K Says:

      ” I have lost all respect for you.”

      Awww. Did you have any reason to do anything either way ?

    3. Grurray Says:

      Afterwards they floated rumors that Mitt is working behind the scenes to block Trump at the convention.

      That scenario has been speculated for months, so now this speech feels very telegraphed and staged, like the GOP Establishment is now making their big strategic move against Trump. They’ve been planning this killer chess counterstroke for months, and finally they’re unleashing their ace in the hole. How proud and satisfied they must feel. We’ll done gentlemen. Now it’s time to retire to the smoke filled rooms. Nominations are far too precious to leave to voters. Whose party do they think this is anyway?

      It’s not smart, but it’s also not surprising. The last two elections a former community organizer ran circles around them. The party leaders and the candidate were embarrassed by inexperienced amateurs. Now after the most disastrous presidency in at least a hundred years, when a Republican should be waltzing into office, here comes a scheme about as fresh as a foghat concert that’s guaranteed to ensure defeat.

      Totally bereft of any idea of what their party means anymore let alone how to take that message into the White House, their last desperate move is to sink their own nominee, a person who looks like he actually cares about winning, in order to at least preserve their privledged positions.

      I suppose anything can happen at this point, but I have my doubts the GOP survives into 2017.

    4. Mike K Says:

      There are some interesting people who support Trump regardless of what you read.

      Speculating on the support for Trump among its readers, Chief Executive focused on the fact that the Donald says not only that he wants to make America great again but also that the source of the nation’s greatness is its business community. That’s not a message that business owners hear consistently from other Republican candidates. The magazine also noted that the typical CEO today must operate within an environment of political correctness, avoiding any comments that might seem even mildly insensitive and having to tussle regularly with government regulators and social media scolds. Trump’s willingness to shoot from the hip—damn the political correctness—is refreshing to these people. And not every business owner feels that unrestrained free trade at all costs is a plus. Some who have had to compete feel that Washington has allowed foreign governments—China’s in particular—to tilt the playing field too far in their own favor.

      Oh Oh. Has Romney talked to these people ?

      Trump’s background as an executive has enabled him to focus on controversial noneconomic issues that resonate with voters—like restraining Muslim immigration—while also earning at least some credibility among owners of firms as a pro-growth, business-friendly candidate. By contrast, much of the economic messaging from the other Republican candidates has seemed tepid and perfunctory. That’s an extraordinary failing in an election year in which even candidates from the president’s own party aren’t running on the “Obama economy.”

      Interesting times, Robert, interesting times.

    5. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      The Romney speech is ironically stupid beyond words. Here’s a man who couldn’t muster the gumption to take on Obama or even defend himself when he was carrying the ball as the nominee. For him to make a speech now, not attacking the lying old felon Hillary or attacking the doddering old USSR admiring socialist Bernie, but attacking the GOP frontrunner, is astounding.

      And instead of launching an attack on Trump, why not make a speech in favor of Cruz or Rubio? Why go negative on your own party? Does he want Hillary as president? For a smart guy he is amazingly stupid at times.

      I will still vote for Cruz in the primary. But I will vote for Trump in the general election if he is the nominee. I won’t like it, but I will do it and hope for the best.

    6. TangoMan Says:

      here comes a scheme about as fresh as a foghat concert that’s guaranteed to ensure defeat.

      That’s funny. My eyes saw foghat before my brain processed what followed and I immediately translated to Foghorn Leghorn, the Loony Tunes rooster, but then when my eyes saw the word concert I realized no, that’s not what you wrote, and then deep in the recesses of my mind I recalled that Foghat was some old rock band from way back when and then your point made sense and was still funny.

      It still could have worked with Foghorn Leghorn. Just sayin’.

    7. Bill Brandt Says:

      And then later in the day John McCain chimes in saying that he agreed with Mitt.

      So I’m thinking that here are the 2 last Presidential candidates, losers both, telling the rest what they should do.

      I agree with you Mike – it was foolish.

      One other thing on Mitt- I read sometime ago that his biggest failure was not addressing the concerns of the middle class – he was perceived as the Republican stereotype – multi millionaire unconcerned with everyday Americans. It wasn’t true I believe. but it was an inept campaign.

      His 47% remark, while true, didn’t help.

    8. Bill Brandt Says:

      And Michael Hiteshew – I am with you.

    9. Jim Says:

      “Trump’s weakest point is foreign policy” – Given the disastrous results of both Bush’s and Obama’s foreign policies it’s hard to imagine that Trump could do any worst. It’s hard to imagine that the Three Stooges could do any worst.

    10. Mrs. Davis Says:

      I too agree with Michael H, but my respect for Michael K has risen immeasurably.

      However, I must take issue with his assertion that Trump’s weakest point is his foreign policy. I see his foreign policy as the best of Reagan and Nixon. From Reagan he has adopted the strategy of “We win, they lose.” From Nixon the Madman tactic.

      Whoever wins the presidency is facing a world where our enemies have grown accustomed to rolling us for the last 10 years. Our military is politicized, demoralized, and diminished. Our allies in EUrope and Japan seem to be committing slow motion suicide. Israel is universally reviled as never before. And then there’s our cavalcade of enemies.

      Trump can use madman tactics to stabilize the situation. Part of this is accepting that we will need to hold our nose and accept working more closely with our least threatening and most complimentary enemy, once again Russia. Russia is equally threatened by Islamism, but willing to do the wet work necessary to deal with it. We should be working with them and drawing them from growing ties with true enemy Iran and possible enemy China into closer cooperation with us. What will Trump actually do? Beats the heck out of me and that’s how he wants it. But I know he’ll be trying to win for the people of America and that’s enough.

      Whoever becomes president will face the early term challenge from abroad. Trump is as well prepared to deal with it as the untested senators who are likely to rely on the establishment wise men who have led us from failure to failure for the past 25 years or or their demonstrably failed puppet, Clinton (Libya, Syria).

    11. Grurray Says:

      That Foghat line was a good one, but I can’t take credit for it. It’s actually a quote from the movie Kingpin, which itself is now twenty years old, so I guess it’s not so fresh either.

      Despite its crudeness, the bowling theme of the film resonated with my upper Mississippi Valley upbringing, and it was one of the few modern comedies I could sit down and watch with my father. My parents were avid bowlers in their youth, especially my mother. One of my earliest memories was sitting in a bowling alley watching her hoist the loving cup trophy after winning some local championship.

      Before we get back to the important matter at hand, here’s a nice Greek Church Split to make everyone happy this Friday.

    12. Will Says:

      “Greek Church Split” Ernie McCracken lives.

    13. Mike K Says:

      ” I must take issue with his assertion that Trump’s weakest point is his foreign policy.”

      Maybe I should have put that as “experience in foreign policy” although few presidents have it.

      Here is another view , this time from a retired FSO.

      I had a very minor role on Romney’s foreign policy team and did my best from my lowly position to get the campaign to sharpen its message on foreign affairs, especially on Benghazi–to no avail. His campaign was dominated by “the oh-so-clever-ones” who think things to death, and analyze until they paralyze. The papers we sent up to Romney were wordy “on the one hand, but on the other hand” expositions of little to no use in a campaign. They read like something written for a transition team, not a campaign team. It was impossible to get Romney’s main handlers to recommend that he go after Obama and Clinton hard on Benghazi and the rest of the misadministration’s foreign policy disasters. They thought that was “too politicizing” and “unbecoming.”

      And then this:

      I had been sitting uncomfortably on the fence re the GOP candidates. After listening to the Romney speech and the other “establishment” types, and hearing the anchor pundits, the pundit anchors, and all the other assorted wise ones, I have jumped off the fence. I have landed in Trump’s farm. He is not perfect, far from it. I might even change my mind, but for now I support Trump.

      I don’t know if Trump will be terrible; I do know that what we have right now is horrible beyond words. I can’t bear the thought of a Hillary presidency.

      That’s 30 years of foreign policy talking.

    14. Mike K Says:

      I forgot I had already posted that in the original post. Sorry but I read that blog every day and learn from it.

    15. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      His campaign was dominated by “the oh-so-clever-ones” who think things to death, and analyze until they paralyze.

      That of course is one of Nixon’s famously quoted caveats regarding decisions, ‘paralysis by analysis’. It’s on the other end of the scale from acting without thinking. They can be both be damaging.

    16. PenGun Says:

      Hillary will crush Trump. Probably the others as well. Polarizing things only makes sense when you have a majority. Trump, I doubt can get more than 35% of Americans, and the rest will try to stop him, ensuring Hillary’s ascension.

    17. Jason In LA Says:

      Pengun’s right……Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, maybe even Colorado will never vote for Trump.

      Jonathon may need to consider renaming this once fine blog. There is nothing Milton Friedmanesque about Trump.

    18. Mrs. Davis Says:

      I stop by daily also to see if there are any updates from turd world countries.

    19. PenGun Says:

      The very last person I want running America is Hillary Clinton.

    20. Sgt. Mom Says:

      OMFG – I have something in common with Penny.

      Likely the only thing, aside from being carbon-based life forms resident on the north American continent.

      I just don’t see how the Dem party establishment can see her as electable, unless massive numbers of 18-wheel trucks full of cash, fraudulent voters, and fake ballots are involved. A media establishment full of ‘it’s her turn!!!!!eleventy! sycophants can carry her only so far. She’s an awful, anti-charismatic and non-charming entitled candidate … no, she is a black hole of charm, sucking it in from every corner and dimension of the known universe. She appears to despise the ordinary electorate, is notorious for double-despising veterans and active-duty of every stripe, and seems to be going through the motions of campaign appearances, impatient for the inevitable coronation.

      Her tenure as Secretary of State was a disaster. I can only hope that the Clinton and Obama machines are secretly sabotaging each other.

    21. Anonymous Says:

      Cruz is likely right that there isn’t much to choose between the Hildabeast and the Trumpeteer. He has no known bedrock beliefs other than winning at all cost is good, even if you have to go into bankruptcy later. If we have felt betrayed by politicians before who said one thing and did another, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

      He does not favor free markets, competition and small government. He has made his mark by exploiting the favors and protection of big government by buying influence and favor. He is the crony capitalist candidate and will do fine on the supply side of it. Listening to his various positions both in this campaign and before as the self-promoting social gadfly, my conclusion is that everything he says is for effect and negotiable when execution time comes. I don’t trust him much more than I trust the Hildabeast.

      None of us actually agree with Penny, whose support likely goes to Bern it down Sanders.

      I suppose if it comes down to it I will vote for the crony capitalist over the crony traitor. At least that might slow down Chelsea. I know how to choose “the lesser of two weevils”, but I will still have to hold my nose. He will run worst of the four remaining potentials against her because there is so much dirt on him. The media will take the gloves off once he is nominated. All those dems that crossed over to back him in the open primaries will be back on the demo farm and she might actually get to pardon herself before the AG quite gets around to handling her investigation results (I mean security review).

      Death6

    22. TangoMan Says:

      Cruz is likely right that there isn’t much to choose between the Hildabeast and the Trumpeteer.

      Cruz is wrong. Imagine Trump running in the Democratic primaries. His positions would be losers. The wall, the deportations, the abortion condition on planned parenthood wouldn’t wash, they’d require him to be all-in, the protection of American culture, the only aspect that they’d find appealing would be his position on trade but everything else would sink him.

      He does not favor free markets, competition and small government.

      Opening up insurance markets to cross-state trade surely signals opposition to free markets and competition.

    23. Mike K Says:

      Amazing all the people who know what Trump thinks. I sure don’t. I just think he is inevitable and hope for the best.

      I do hope he adds good advisors and Kudlow and Sessions are a start.

      I don’t know why there is such hysteria over the possible loss of the Senate and The House. They have done little. The Senate could do some good on USSC appointments but they rolled over for Reid’s packing of the DC Circuit.

      The GOP Senate could have broken the filibuster of Estrada by going for the Nuclear Option.

      Why do we still have the Continuing Resolution ?

      I’m just not impressed.

    24. Grurray Says:

      Once fine blog?

      Trump may not be a student of Milton Friedman’s free trade principles, but do you really think Trump will be worse than Hillary? She surely isn’t a champion of free markets (unless she’s getting a cut, that is).

      Anyway, Friedman would’ve said the best mechanism for free trade is a free floating exchange rate which allows monetary and capital flows to correct any imbalances or inefficiencies without the need for government intervention. We don’t have that now because of China’s manipulation of their currency. Isn’t it prudent to get to that point, by force if necessary, in order to give free markets a chance to be free and work the way they should? Right now they certainly aren’t free.

      The few feeble threats of retaliation already have forced China to float the yuan ever so slightly and increase investment in the US by tens of billions of dollars. Instead of flushing that cash down the toilet of malinvestment in ghost towns and central planning boondoggles, they’re investing in Americans and American businesses.

      Trump will only accelerate that trend. In fact, at the same time he may just save the Chinese from themselves and get them to send their cash here where it can be productive rather than the inevitable collapse that’s now brewing in China.

    25. Anonymous Says:

      I can imagine him running in the democratic primaries, except his positions would be the ones he held until just prior to deciding he might like to run for president (about 2008) as a republican rather than a democrat since his crony capitalist history and vast resulting wealth would be a non starter with the DNC. I didn’t miss his history so it isn’t a stretch at all.

      Dr. Kennedy made a good observation that it is hard to know what he really thinks about any particular issue. All I’m going by is his long term history which tells me I’d never willingly do business with him. He believes in the type of competition where you buy your entry into an opportunity by political influence and keep it the same way. That is his history. Is there anything about the Atlantic City gambling and hotel development market that is free market and openly competitive? Help me see how his wheeling and dealing in such areas make him a free market guy. Coming up with a single policy for the health care mess of removing competitive barriers across state lines as his complete solution hardly qualifies him as a limited government and free market believer. He’s got nothing else to say about the subject- unless you count his prior support for a single payer system and ACA. Sure looks to me like a free market guy. Eminent domain for private purposes? Yep, small government.

      He says he has operated seeking political influence and paid for it. Now he says he sees the light and wants to put an end to such a system. Really? It made him $10 billion(?). My observation tells me he just wants to move to the other side of the exchange where he would hold the most bargaining power. The contest would be between him and the Hildabeast: who gets the keys to the kingdom.

      I hope I’m dead wrong about him, but I’ve lived long enough to judge people by their established behavior and his stinks. If I am wrong, I’ll be sure to own what I’m saying now and will be beyond happy to have got it so wrong.

      None of the other three republicans are perfect candidates, but no amount of faith will allow me to figure that we will be better off with the Trumpeteer. My pick is Cruz and his history is far more reassuring that he will preform well. He is the political elites worst nightmare. I could live with Rubio and could even stomach Kasich. At least he seems honest.

      Thomas Sowell has a two part series on townhall.com this week regarding the presidential contest that is worth the read. I agree with his analysis. No rose colored glasses or purple Kool-Aid for me. I’m not looking to send a message to D.C. or the GOPe, I want somebody as president who can be relied to fight for the right things.

      Death6

    26. TangoMan Says:

      I want somebody as president who can be relied to fight for the right things.

      How more “right thing” can one get than deporting 30 million future Democrats? If any other candidate doesn’t do this “right thing” and instead focuses on banning abortion or lowering capital gains taxes or whatever other “right thing” you might have in mind, your “right things” will be undone as soon as those 30 million new Democrats can be mobilized into the voting population.

    27. Mike K Says:

      “they’re investing in Americans and American businesses.”

      Lots of Chinese citizens are moving assets and children here. It’s not just the government.

      I am fascinated by the number of Chinese and Korean kids who are joining the US military. The Army runs an ESL school for new recruits who speak little English. They are on visas and legal immigrants and I think the deal is that they get citizenship after they serve out the enlistment. In Los Angles around 15 to 20% of our applicants are Chinese and Korean.

      “I want somebody as president who can be relied to fight for the right things.”

      I think our recent history suggests that presidents and other politicians cannot be trusted to do anything but what is in their OWN interest.

      Why is Trump running ? Mostly ego, I suspect. He has flirted with this idea for years. The only reason why he is a viable candidate this year is two-fold. One is Hillary.

      She is the most corrupt person to get this close to the presidency since Aaron Burr. The other is the abject failure of all those “reliable” conservatives to do anything to solve our problems.

      The reason Obama, and before him Clinton, could rule without the consent of Congress is the “Continuing Resolution. Harry Reid used this to avoid any serious votes for his Senators. That way, there was no way they could be accused of a vote against their constituents. Since 2010, we have had a GOP House. Since 2012, we have had a GOP Senate.

      Why do we still have Continuing Resolutions that Obama can veto and shut down the government ? If we had 12 appropriations bills from the House, also known as “Regular Order,” Obama would have to justify 12 vetoes.

      That’s why we have Trump. I supported Walker and Carly so far but they did not do it. She would not support limits to immigration. Maybe her record on H1B visas would be a problem. Trump backed off a little on those visas but he is still strong on immigration and Muslim immigration.

      The rest is still open to debate.

    28. Grurray Says:

      “All I’m going by is his long term history which tells me I’d never willingly do business with him. He believes in the type of competition where you buy your entry into an opportunity by political influence and keep it the same way.”

      He’s had plenty of business deals that were perfectly legal and legitimate. Sure, he’s tough. That’s a good thing.
      He obviously wants to make the best deal in his interests. Who doesn’t?
      But he’s compromised, plenty of times.

    29. Anonymous Says:

      If we ever get a look at his “off the record” immigration interview by NYT perhaps we might have more to go on then his sound bites. I want to here his detailed plan with such info as a priority of effort, costs, timeline, resources, plan for separating anchor children from their parents, etc.

      He is quite “flexible,” but specializes in absolute statements that if he believes indicates insanity. I don’t think he’s that crazy. That indicates to me that his actual performance on immigration is likely to be much less than promised. He’s all over the place on skilled immigration visas and silent on measures to get visa violations under control. Others have advanced practical measures to deal with all these issues. He continues with vacuous hyperbole like massive immediate deportation and building a 50 foot wall. I’m not amused or satisfied that he will solve the problem. I don’t think he grasps the size of this problem or the limitations of his ability and power as president.

      Certainly he often appears to imagine that the president is CEO of the country and simply gives orders (such as putting a 35% tariff on companies who move plants to Mexico, or tell our military to ignore collateral damage in combat and to use interrogation techniques that are illegal) or that he can take other actions without required coordination with the congress or that is clearly beyond his constitutional powers. After he thinks about what he has popped off about or gets some sober advice, he has walked some of that back, but it shows how his mind works and perhaps how little he knows about how a president should operate. Perhaps he is just following Barry’s example, but it still makes me think that if he were elected he would be a bull in a china shop. Dangerous stuff.

      It is time to get past the pandering and contrived emotive one liners and see some substance. I’d never support anyone without some solid evidence that they could likely follow through effectively. I am pretty sure he can and would screw up trade for the foreseeable future while enriching his chosen winners, but I have no confidence he could re-establish American comparative advantage to spur economic growth or that he could solve the immigration mess. Cruz refused to back down on deporting illegals and not letting them ever return, and his process is much more logical and workable. The Trumpeteer wants to let them come back after they are first deported. That doesn’t sound to me like the “30 million future democrats” will be prevented.

      Death6

    30. Mike K Says:

      “I’d never support anyone without some solid evidence that they could likely follow through effectively.”

      I assume then that you voted against Obama.

      The immigration thing is certainly subject to the rules of logic. Jimmy Carter declared war on energy. No bombing. Nixon declared war on cancer. No bombing.

      The attraction of Trump is that he is talking about stuff no one else will, at least no one who can be trusted.

    31. TangoMan Says:

      If we ever get a look at his “off the record” immigration interview by NYT perhaps we might have more to go on then his sound bites. I want to here his detailed plan with such info as a priority of effort, costs, timeline, resources, plan for separating anchor children from their parents, etc.

      So do I, but that’s looking for perfection when good is good enough. As I said when Palin hit the big time, if we the people want a politician who isn’t part of the regular, corrupt order then we have to be prepared to accept on who doesn’t “fits the politician mold.”

      There are many ways to make a political sale? Obama did it by appealing to the racism of white liberals and black racial solidarity. Bill Clinton did it with policy wonkery. Bush did it with folksy charm. Trump is doing it with tough talk about the national question, who are we?

      That indicates to me that his actual performance on immigration is likely to be much less than promised. He’s all over the place on skilled immigration visas and silent on measures to get visa violations under control.

      Very likely we won’t get what’s promised. The other politicians ONLY offered positions in response to the gains they saw Trump accumulating due to his positions. I don’t trust a one of them to follow through because their positions are completely responsive to political pressure. When Trump entered the race he took a fantastic risk by going against the political wisdom, exhibited by all of his competitors, and going all chips in on immigration and deportation. That could have been a political gamble on his part but even so it is enough to warrant support even if he doesn’t live up to his promises.

      One other point – because immigration is central to Trump’s campaign he needs the support of the people in order to function as a non-lame duck President and if he reversed himself on immigration, then Congress would have a free hand to ignore him and the people wouldn’t come to his defense. This puts pressure on him to live true to the central theme of his campaign.

      He continues with vacuous hyperbole like massive immediate deportation and building a 50 foot wall. I’m not amused or satisfied that he will solve the problem. I don’t think he grasps the size of this problem or the limitations of his ability and power as president.

      I don’t need a President who has mastery of all the arcane details of all federal policies. I need someone who can make good decisions based on principle when presented by analysis from his subordinates who do have mastery of the intricacies of specific subjects. If Trump wants a wall built, it’ll get built and it’ll be the job of subordinates to push the goal through the administrative, legal, financial, physical, roadblocks. Same with deportations. There are thousands of little roadblocks which can make them difficult to bring about, what I need is a President who holds firm and tells his staff to find ways around the roadblocks, to streamline, to increase staffing, to get legislation passe to remove roadblocks, to bring legal cases to establish precedents he wants/needs in order to make the job easier, to take to the bully pulpit and change the national conversation on deportations, etc. A want a leader, not an administrator. From the get-go of his campaign, he’s been leading on a number of issues and he’s dragged the national conversation onto his topics, he’s shifted the other campaigns towards his topics. He’s demonstrated his leadership qualities. No one else has. Every other candidate in both races relies on people following them simply because of stature or because they’re leading from behind the crowd by jumping on already established movements like Pro-Life or tax-cuts or Black Lives Matter for Clinton and Sanders.

      Certainly he often appears to imagine that the president is CEO of the country and simply gives orders (such as putting a 35% tariff on companies who move plants to Mexico, or tell our military to ignore collateral damage in combat and to use interrogation techniques that are illegal) or that he can take other actions without required coordination with the congress or that is clearly beyond his constitutional powers.

      Power is not something which is granted to people, it is taken. This is clearly not understood by feminists. Obama seems to get it. If Congress won’t stop his power grabs, then Obama succeeds. Trump gets it. If Trump wants to put a tariff in place, he will if no one stops him, be it domestically or internationally. That’s how you test the limits of power.

      but it still makes me think that if he were elected he would be a bull in a china shop.

      I suspect that you’re missing a powerful theme of this election – people want the system destroyed and a new one put in place. Very few are actually content with the existing order, those that are were voting for Bush and now Rubio.

      It is time to get past the pandering and contrived emotive one liners and see some substance.

      This is you being nothing more than a back seat driver. All of us want politicians to act in the way that we want them to act. Trump will do what he thinks is best to help him get elected. I suspect that most readers of this blog are very policy oriented and so we’d all like to get the nitty gritty details from all campaigns, but face it, our votes are cancelled out by those who find broad brush strokes more to their liking, who are sold on a vision. In a system where every vote counts equally, the smart play is to spend the most time to satisfy the biggest crowd.

      I am pretty sure he can and would screw up trade for the foreseeable future while enriching his chosen winners,

      I’m counting on it. The current order of society existing to facilitate commerce is backwards, commerce must exist to facilitate society. Getting things back to normal is going to upset applecarts.

      re-establish American comparative advantage to spur economic growth

      The current paradigm of growing the economy by growing the population is resulting in a hollowing out of the middle class. Walmart does well by selling the everyday consumables of life and the more people in society, the more walmart grows. Walmart doesn’t care whether the people spending their money in their stores get the money from productive work or from welfare programs. Walmart would be ecstatic if America imported 400 million Africans because all of these new people would need to buy food, clothes, toothpaste, etc. The rest of society would be devastated as our wealth was stolen from us to support the welfare given to the new “citizens” of America.

      Regular Americans care more about median incomes and GDP/Capital while CEOS and politicians concern themselves with GDP growth. GDP growth which lowers median income or lowers GDP/cap is not so fantastic for regular Americans. Importing peasants from Mexico or goat herders for Syria makes Walmart stockholders better off but not regular Americans. This is why we stress to our own kids that being a high school dropout is something to be avoided for these people cost all of us money. When we import high school, or grade-school, drop-outs they now cost us money but Walmart gets a.) a new consumer (spending tax money) and b.) a new worker who helps keep wage levels depressed. What’s good for Walmart is not necessarily good for America.

      The Trumpeteer wants to let them come back after they are first deported.

      Why trust Cruz and not Trump? Keep in mind that Cruz’s position is responsive to the electoral mood created by Trump and his positions. As for Trump bringing some back, maybe, maybe not, we don’t know. If I was Trump, I’d be doing the exact same thing as he’s doing, promising to bring them back. What I wouldn’t tell people is that I’m pulling the same scheme that the Democrats used with regards to enforcement (legalize immediately and then never get around to enforcement) – once those infiltrators are all out of the country, I’d claim extenuating circumstances and never bring them back.

    32. TangoMan Says:

      Please excuse the bad grammar. I was doing a lot of editing and changing phrasing and lots of errors are now plainly evident. Proof reading is good, I should remember that.

    33. TangoMan Says:

      Death 6:I am pretty sure he can and would screw up trade for the foreseeable future while enriching his chosen winners,

      TangoMan: The current order of society existing to facilitate commerce is backwards, commerce must exist to facilitate society. Getting things back to normal is going to upset applecarts.

      Here’s a fantastic example of what I’m talking about:

      Trade tensions between India and the United States intensified on Friday as New Delhi filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over steep fee increases for U.S. non-immigrant temporary work visas.

      The WTO said in a statement that India has disputed the doubling of the fees for H-1B and L-1 work visas and limits on their numbers. The visas are typically used by thousands of Indian nationals hired by information technology services firms operating in the United States. . .

      In its filing, India said the new U.S. visa measures seemed inconsistent with the WTO commitments the United States had made, because the moves treat Indian IT workers in the United States less favorably than their American counterparts.

      This trade deal certainly facilitates commerce and boosts earnings, but most Americans are not going to see how importing Indian workers into the US to perform work at lower wages than Americans are willing to do is to the benefit of American society and how American law is not permitted to favor American citizens over foreign indentured/guest workers.

      What is see are trade treaties negotiated by the US Government, which has been captured or co-opted by an elite and subverted to further their interests at the expense of the interests of the rest of society. Undoing this mess is going to be a long, hard, and bloody slog.

    34. Mike K Says:

      TangoMan, I agree with your post above, Trump is losing in the Kansas caucuses but I don’t think that is determinative. The caucuses by definition are GOP insiders and they will be very subject to pressure from the party organization.

      This is a year when we are definitely going to need a secret ballot.

      Trump is so hated by the establishment and its hangers on that only a secret ballot will predict general election behavior.

    35. Robert Schwartz Says:

      To me the puzzle isn’t Trump, his egomania and character as a flim-flam man explain everything about him.

      What I cannot explain is the vast number of his Trumpeters, and the strength of their convictions. Trump himself said of them that he could shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue and they would still support him.

      I have seen their comments all over the internet whenever The Donald is criticized. It seems to me that they believe in the image that they themselves have created, of a messiah* who will smite their enemies, right the injustices that have been done to them, and lead them into the promised land. Needless to say, that image and reality coincide at precisely zero points.

      I am reminded of an aphorism by Charles MacKay the author of, aptly enough, “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”. In the Preface to the Edition of 1852 he wrote:

      “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

      I do not what can shock the Trumpeters out of their delusions. I can only hope that it happens, and it happens soon enough, to enough of them, to avert a catastrophe.

      *The parallels to Obama in 2008 are frightening.

    36. TangoMan Says:

      It seems to me that they believe in the image that they themselves have created,

      Ye shall know a man by his enemies.

      I do not what can shock the Trumpeters out of their delusions.

      Who is delusional? Those who support Trump or those who support candidates who sell out American sovereignty and work to, what does the mob call it, bust-out, or loot, the commons of the US for the benefit of an elite class?

    37. Mike K Says:

      Robert, there is a force this year that has been dormant for a long time.

      Goldwater was a poor candidate. I actually voted for Johnson, the only vote I have regretted.

      Reagan was frightening to the elites who were pushing Bush. I think his offer of the VP to Bush is what got us into this mess. Kemp was in his prime then.

      Cruz is at least as polarizing as Trump but he is hated by Democrats who are very unlikely to cross party lines to vote for him.

      Trump is certainly a pig in a poke but there are indications that he may be calming down as responsibility seems to flow to him.

      The absolutely worst option is Hillary.

    38. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Robert, none of us here have control over people’s votes. Mike K is right that Cruz scares the hell out of everyone from the middle to the far left. We’ll never get the left, so who cares. But the middle is always in play. I like Cruz and I like his platform, but I don’t get to chose, everyone does. And many of those abandoned people have found a voice in Trump. He may be the only option other than Hildebeast. Hope is not a plan, but assuming he is the nominee, I’m hoping he gets elected and turns out better than Zero.

    39. Robert Schwartz Says:

      To those people who think that Hillary would be worse than Trump:

      I agree with you that Hillary is a felon, who is completely unfitted to hold any office of honor or trust, public or private. I also understand that Hillary is a left wing ideologue, a disciple of Alinsky, and far to the left of her husband, Bill.

      I understand that Hilliary’s election will result in Anthony Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court being occupied by a Mexican Lesbian Communist Dwarf who will vote against first and second amendment rights, and for forcing school children to participate in homosexual orgies. I would also remind you that the conservatives on the Supreme Court were unable to block the most blatantly unconstitutional legislation ever, Obamacare, thanks to the Dirty Little Coward.

      I understand all of that. On the other hand, I think that the House will remain firmly in Republican hands, and that the Senate, even if the Democrats take control this year, will revert to Republican control in 2018. I also believe that the Republicans in the House and the Senate will oppose hillary’s agenda, and will not give her many legislative victories.

      The Donald, if he were President, would, according to his own statements, present a legislative agenda little different from Hillary’s. As a deal maker, and a friend and confidant of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (yes, I know he will retire, but Schumer will take his place and is also a Trump buddy), Trump, having no conservative ideas in his head will be rolled by the Democrats in Congress. Republicans split by party loyalty, and by their own craven sucking up to The Donald, will be unable to mount an effective resistance to him. The damage will be tremendous.

      Conservatism will be discredited and driven from the public arena. When the whole thing blows to smithereens. Caused by a recession that is overdue, the opposition party will be Bernie’s socialists who will proceed to turn the United States into Venezuela.

      The warning was given 3000 years ago, can you accept it?

      Put not your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save you.
      When they die, they are buried, and their their words are buried with them.

    40. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Donald Trump is a very bad man, you will curse the day you first heard his name.

      Remember, your enemy cannot hurt you. You know who he (or, in the case of Hillary, she) is, and you can thwart him. The one one you think is your friend, will send you spinning towards Hades.

      I have said the last I have to say about this.

      You are on your own.

    41. Jonathan Says:

      Robert,

      A Hillary presidency is certain to be a disaster. A Trump presidency is merely likely to be a disaster. Seems like an easy choice.

    42. TangoMan Says:

      Conservatism will be discredited

      Conservatism will be discredited AFTER Trump is elected? Don’t you see Rubio’s performance as discrediting to “conservatism.”

      You never did address how one can be conservatism while selling out one’s civilization and culture. How does reaping the benefits of tax cuts for oneself while admitting 60 million 3rd world Democrats over the last 50 years count as conserving anything? What are you conserving? Our civilization is being flushed away.

    43. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Robert Schwartz Says:
      March 5th, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      I know you just said you were done talking about this. I hope you are still reading, though.

      On the other hand, I think that the House will remain firmly in Republican hands, and that the Senate, even if the Democrats take control this year, will revert to Republican control in 2018. I also believe that the Republicans in the House and the Senate will oppose hillary’s agenda, and will not give her many legislative victories.

      With all due respect, I think that you are vastly over-optimistic about Congress. Both in terms of them being re-elected, and what they would do when faced with Hillary, or Bernie. I live in the most conservative congressional district in Colorado. I have lived here for 36 years, and we have NEVER had anything but a Republican in that seat. Right now, the difference between what he says he believes talking to us, and the fact that he votes in lockstep with Boehner, now-Ryan, and the GOPe, and when asked why he can’t fight Obama all but cries and says that Obama has changed how the government is run and he cannot be fought even with a majority in both Houses has got even Republicans looking to replace him, even if it is with a Democrat.

      And as far as the Republicans in the House and Senate resisting the Left, they have not for a decade, and those who survive any putative election in November are going to be the same nutless wonders there now. I know your estimation of them varies from mine, but the history shows that a Democrat president gets whatever he wants from the Republicans in Congress, even if the Republicans have the majority.

      Now, I am supporting Trump, with Cruz as an acceptable to me second choice. I am what you so charmingly refer to as a “Trumpeter”. And actually, that is one of the milder things the GOPe calls us.

      Republicans and their media are calling Trump supporters “stupid”, “inbred”, “rednecks”, “uninformed”, “emotionally disturbed”, and the real winner Republican National Committee/Jeb Bush media consultant Rick Wilson, [who previously argued that the Republican Party should support gay marriage to win the Gay vote from the Democrats] saying that Trump supporters were “mostly childless single men who m*sturb*te to anime porn”.

      Now all y’all may sincerely believe that is true. I won’t try to argue you out of it. And from the moment Trump announced, all y’all have had no hesitation about declaiming it from the rooftops [and every media outlet you can find]. And note again please, I am not trying to argue you out of that belief.

      But I will point out that from polling and from the actual results of a statistically significant series of primaries and caucuses, that those “stupid”, “inbred”, “rednecked”, “uninformed”, “emotionally disturbed”, and “self-abusing” “Trumpeters” are between 35-45% at least of the Republican voting base. And that even one of Jeb Bush’s media consultants might be able to figure out that loudly reminding that fraction of how little you think of them and their concerns may not be the best way to convince them to vote for your candidate and down ticket, making the assumption that you drive Trump out of the race.

      Unless, of course, you think that you can win in the absence of 35-45%, at least, of your voter base. Now it may be that the Republican Party has done such a bang up job of listening to what their voters want and curried enough favor with them that they will run to beg for more of the same in any putative November election. I am somewhat skeptical, but it may be.

      Note that I am not saying that as a threat to boycott. I am saying that those opposing Trump are pushing them away.

      I am an amateur historian, and know a bit about the American Civil War. At the end, before the surrender was signed at Appomattox, there were loud voices calling for the Army of Northern Virginia to split up and carry on partisan warfare. To unleash dozens of Mosby’s and Quantrill’s throughout the country. Lee would have none of it. And they surrendered. But there was more than a little willingness to fight on.

      Joshua Chamberlain was a hero of the Civil War. It is acknowledged that he saved the Union at Little Round Top at Gettysburg. And because of his past service, he was given the assignment of accepting the actual surrender of the Confederate troops; collecting their arms, equipment, and battle flags. And that was where he may have saved the Union again.

      The Confederate troops marched between lines of armed Union troops. As they came up to them, Chamberlain ordered the Union troops to present arms and rendered the honors of war to an honorable enemy. Chamberlain’s reason was that they were no longer the enemy, but were now Americans again. The Confederates dressed ranks and returned honor for honor, salute for salute, before stacking arms. That simple gesture may have prevented a 19th Century version of Bosnia on American soil.

      You have, and have every right to have, your opinion of us. I won’t try to argue you out of it. I happen to think that our motivations are closer to this.

      https://ricochet.com/an-open-letter-to-the-conservative-media-explaining-why-i-have-left-the-movement/

      We may be the type of people all y’all want to drive out of the Republican Party. It will be your right. . . if you win. Right now, the end result of either surrendering to the GOPe and just leaving are the same, for us and the country. And we get less personal abuse by leaving. It is a good thing that all y’all neither need us or want us.

      And if Trump should win the nomination, we take your side at its word that you will not support him under any circumstances, and will in many cases vote for Hillary; as expressed by numerous Republican luminaries.

    44. Robert Schwartz Says:

      TL;DR

    45. Anonymous Says:

      SB, it comes down to the Hildebeast or the Thrumpeteer, I certainly will choose The Donald. I hope most of the others not supporting Trump feel the same way.

      It doesn’t have to be that choice regardless of him having a 100 delegate lead. It appears to me that Rubio has faded since the last debate and that Cruz is picking up some support. If Rubio loses Florida, as seems likely at this point, then he is pretty much toast. Even the GOPe will realize it in that event. If he folds his campaign or not, Cruz stands to pick up a good part of his support and could overtake Trump.

      The GOPe fear either Trump or Cruz and based on Bob Dole’s statements, they hate Cruz. It has been speculated that the GOPe might be willing to call off the super pack dogs on Trump if he shows he will be “flexible.” He has shown that he can be and that is why I don’t think he actually believes much of what he says. He is just staking out an extreme initial negotiating position. I wouldn’t mind that tactic if I could be sure in my mind what he would really fight for.

      I feel Cruz is much stronger in his positions and won’t cave as most republican elected officials do. His principles are consistent with liberty, free markets and security and he only shows a willingness to compromise on details, not core values. I’ve watched him closely as a supporter from his AG days in Texas and he is solid, but not perfect. He did exactly what he said he would do when he ran for the senate, beating the well funded and known GOPe nominee in the primary, and he took major hits from the Old Boyz Senate club for his stands in opposition to the GOPe moves. As president his ability to curb a runaway government would be decisively more than as a junior senator. His likelihood of saving us from a thoroughly progressive supreme court is a major factor in nominating him over Trump. Just my $.02

      Death6

    46. brer rabbit Says:

      Romney is guilty of every sin he claims Trump committed.

      http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/mitt-romney-is-the-real-super-fraud-heres-the-proof-chapter-and-verse/

      David Stockman was Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Reagan. He writes about Romney:

      “Now that’s a screaming case of the pot calling the kettle black if there ever was one. Mitt Romney has lashed out at The Donald for being a “phony and fraud”, but consider this. During his 16-years at Bain Capital, fully one-fourth or $600 million of the firms cumulative $2.5 billion of profits were scalped from companies which went bankrupt soon after Mitt and his partners got out of town with the loot….”

      It is Romney, not Trump, who is the conman that persuaded ignorant investors to lose millions of dollars in fake companies.

      Read Stockman’s entire article and his book on Romney, the scumbag.

      Romney gave the speech because he expects to get the GOP nomination.

    47. TangoMan Says:

      As president his ability to curb a runaway government would be decisively more than as a junior senator.

      I like a lot of the political positions espoused by Cruz, so if it comes down to Cruz versus Hillary, Cruz gets my vote without a moment’s hesitation.

      My concern is that I believe that Cruz has less public appeal than Hillary, he scares too many non-conservatives with his “radical” conservative positions.

      The desire for the gov’t to deport all the invaders has been building for a long time. Tom Tancredo tried to run on the issue and didn’t get very far, he was too far ahead of the public. Now that the public has caught up to Trancredo’s vision it’s Trump who is leading the charge. I bring this up because the same problem applies to Cruz’s conservatism – people are not yet scared, worried, livid, about Big Government, meaning Cruz is fighting to slay a dragon that most people don’t yet see as dangerous. You and I and others may see the wisdom of addressing the problem before it gets worse and reaches crisis but others don’t want to see their own lives disrupted and so Cruz’s position becomes the analog of X (I can’t remember who said this) who pledged “I’m going to raise your taxes” because he wanted to show he was serious about fiscal discipline and he lost big time, and so people will vote for the unindicted felon rather than “extremist” Cruz.