Enough Never Trump

We love Kevin Williamson, Jonah Goldberg is often entertaining, and David French writes but the NRO Never Trump Brigade needs to find a new song.  Today it is Kevin’s turn to salt the soil:

Some of the smarter right-wing talking mouths on cable news have already developed aggressive amnesia regarding their own complicity in Trump’s rise, and it is likely that many will follow. The line of argument will be: “Hey, I was a big Ted Cruz supporter, really, but, after the primary, it was Trump or Hillary.” Some people will need reminding of what they said and did.

To be fair to Kevin, he is against impeaching The Donald.  To be fair to us, we were for anyone but The Donald in the primary.  Like many, we were not a big Ted Cruz supporter but we voted for him in the primary because he was better than The Donald.  In the general election our first choice was Mitt’s second term but that wasn’t on the ballot.  The choice, and it was a binary one, was between The Donald and Herself.  We, and the country, made the right choice and voted for The Donald.

NRO deserves some credit for The Donald’s rise.  They were steadfastly against The Donald but tried to beat somebody (The Donald) with nobody for most of the primary season.  They, like many others, underestimated The Donald until it was too late and then nothing worked.

Many of The Donald’s supporters main concern was illegal immigration.  There has not been a legislative solution but there has been a change:

Illegal immigration across the southwest border is down more than 60 percent so far under President Trump, officials revealed Tuesday, even before the first new agent is hired or the first mile of his promised border wall is constructed.

Those supporters have gotten what they wanted.

It was a binary choice in November.  There were many folks that reluctantly supported The Donald.  It was the right choice.  If the Never Trump Brigade didn’t support The Donald in November then they were wrong.  They don’t need to admit it but the Never Trump Brigade needs to stop emulating The Donald.  Write less silly stuff.  Instead let us talk of serious things.

Binary Still

The Morning Jolt is discussing Conrad Black’s polemic when Jim says:

Maybe you saw Election Day 2016 as that strict binary choice. But we’re past Election Day. It’s time to stop measuring Trump merely as an alternative to Hillary and to start measuring him on his own merits. [Emphasis added]

Maybe?  The 2016 presidential election was a binary choice.  It still is.

Sidebar: Has Conrad ever written something that is not a polemic?  We enjoy him but  he can’t help recycle the same material: Nixon and FDR were great presidents and the US justice system.  This time Conrad says the Never Trump group has defected from being conservative Republicans.  It is a wonderful turn of phrase designed to infuriate his friends.  End Sidebar.

Moreover, comparisons, this time not binary, are how we measure presidents.  Reagan isn’t a great president because he batted 1.000.  He didn’t and no president is anywhere close to that mark.  Instead we compare presidents.  We need to criticize The Donald when appropriate but recognize the road ahead.

The 2020 presidential race is not yet a binary choice. If The Donald runs for the GOP next time is there anyone in the current crop of Democrats that you prefer?  We are not suggesting that you become a shill for The Donald but that you remember that there will be binary choices in the future.  So, yes, The Donald is still the [superior] alternative to Herself.

 

Venezuela Clarity

Rich Lowery is on point in discussing Venezuela at NRO.  He has a great way of summarizing how bad things are there:

The result is a sharp, years-long recession, runaway inflation, and unsustainable debt. The suffering of ordinary people is staggering, while the thieves and killers who are Chávezista officials have made off with hundreds of billions of dollars. At this rate — The Economist calls the country’s economic decline “the steepest in modern Latin American history” — there will be nothing left to steal.

The situation leaves The Donald with limited options as Rich discusses.  Read his whole analysis.  What he doesn’t remind us of is the policy of The Donald’s predecessor.  To him Chavez was mi amigo.  As Patrick Cooper at USA Today had a quote from AP back in 2009:

“President Barack Obama has gone abroad and gored an ox — the deeply held belief that the United States does not make mistakes in dealings with either friends or foes. And in the process, he’s taking a huge gamble both at home and abroad, for a payoff that could be a long time coming, if ever.”

Read all of Patrick’s column to remind yourself how controversial the predecessors actions toward Venezuela were.  The Donald’s predecessor always seemed willing to gamble with our future.  If we were at the track we would say he wasn’t an astute improver of the breed.

Recently we cited David Horowitz at PowerLine on why the Middle East is a disaster.  The Middle East is not the only disaster left for The Donald to work out.  We wish him greater insight than his predecessor.  The problem is he has less degrees of freedom because of the actions that were taken.

Never Forget

With the mitigated joy of having The Donald as president, it is good to remind ourselves of the horror of his predecessor.  David Horowitz does just that for foreign policy at the PowerLine.  His opening salvo:

During the eight years of the Obama administration, half a million Christians, Yazidis and Muslims were slaughtered in the Middle East by ISIS and other Islamic jihadists, in a genocidal campaign waged in the name of Islam and its God. Twenty million others were driven into exile by these same jihadist forces. Libya and Yemen became terrorist states. America – once the dominant foreign power and anti-jihadist presence in the region – was replaced by Russia, an ally of the monster regimes in Syria and Iran, and their terrorist proxies. Under the patronage of the Obama administration, Iran – the largest and most dangerous terrorist state, with the blood of thousands of Americans on its hands – emerged from its isolation as a pariah state to re-enter the community of nations and become the region’s dominant power, arming and directing its terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Yemen.

Do read the whole thing.  It is quite a powerful reminder.  We don’t love The Donald but he is an improvement and he is a better choice than the Secretary of State that implemented these disasters.  It does mean that The Donald has a big job.  We hope he is up to it.

 

E.G., The Hamburger Problem

Kyle Smith discusses the Left’s Hamburger Problem (HP) at NRO.  Kyle explains the phrase, coined by Josh Barro,  and why it is a problem for progressives as follows:

They ladle unto every decision, even the most mundane and trifling one, an unattractive glop of gooey political significance. They can’t resist warning the rest of us that we’re abetting the destruction of the planet every time we, say, tuck into a Quarter Pounder.

It is really worse than that because it means that progressives can’t wander off the reservation.  It is why minority conservatives are always under attack.  While Kyle was writing it a great example came up.  Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan CEO and Democrat, had a public rant about political gridlock.  Steven Hayward at PowerLine quoted it approvingly and asked, Dimon for President?

Naturally, the Left struck back because Dimon had suggested compromise.  At Vanity Fair, Bess Levin said that the Trump-Dimon Love Affair Was Getting Messy and William D Cohan explained: The Real Reason Jamie Dimon Went Berserk About America’s “Stupid Shit”. Jamie said, amongst other things:

I was just in France. I was recently in Argentina. I was in Israel. I was in Ireland. We met with the prime minister of India and China. It’s amazing to me that every single one of those countries understands that practical policies that promote business and growth is good for the average citizens.”

But William concluded that it was about JP Morgan rather than average citizens.  William notes that JP Morgan is doing well lately and that Jamie is doing well.  After trying the envy route, William notes that folks are trying to repeal Dodd-Frank and that this would be good for JP Morgan.  William puts it:

Couple that with an improving economy, higher employment and wages, and the prospect that the Trump administration stands ready, willing, and able to improve the well-being of those who make money from money—by attempting to reduce corporate tax rates, say, or allowing companies a tax holiday on repatriating profits held overseas; and repealing much of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law that Wall Street has been trying to unwind ever since Barack Obamasigned it into law seven years ago—and it is hard to imagine a more favorable set of circumstances.

Sidebar: Perhaps William is the one with the crush on The Donald.  These do sound like great circumstances that we hope come to pass.  End Sidebar.

Eliminating Dodd-Frank is unlikely to help JP Morgan because Dodd-Frank is bad news for smaller banks and good news for banks like JP Morgan.  A strong economy is likely to be good for JP Morgan but will surely be good for the average citizens.

Next William goes off to complain about the Obama-era low interest rates being favorable to banks.  He says their raw materials are free.  But it also means that lending rates are low.  Bank profits are about the differences between those two rates.  William concludes:

Dimon wants Washington to end its continuous political gridlock and do things that will unleash the American economy to grow faster than the 1 percent to 2 percent annual G.D.P. growth-rate range that it has been stuck in for the past decade, what economist Larry Summers calls “secular stagnation.” Dimon rightly says that higher G.D.P. growth will help the average American, which of course will also help JPMorgan Chase (a fact he conveniently omits).

It doesn’t matter that William doesn’t make any sense.  What matters is that Jamie left the collective and needs to be reined in.  We hope he can continue to be the rarest of creatures, a serious leftist.  Otherwise, the HP will become worse.  It will be bad for Democrats but it will be bad for the country when there is only one choice.

 

The Donald And Jimmy Carter

David French has an article at NRO (motto: we are still Never Trump) trying to blame the lack of success of the Democratic Party during the 80s entirely on Jimmy Carter.  It has the subheadline:

If the present trajectory doesn’t change, Republicans will learn what Democrats learned after their 1980 landslide defeat.

Does this mean that the GOP will learn to nominate unelectable folks?  Certainly, the Democrats were unhappy with Jimmy because he was too far right on domestic policy.  He was a deregulator.  After Carter lost to Reagan then the Democrats nominated Mondale, Dukakis, and Clinton.  David says (and might think):

Democrats, stung by defeat after defeat, kept tacking right in national politics — culminating in a Clinton presidency that in many respects was to the right of both national parties today.

The Democrat actions say the opposite.  They tacked left from Jimmy with all their nominations.  Bill campaigned and initially tried to govern from the left.  Does David remember Hillarycare?  The eruption of 1994 left him a choice: have a couple of years to make appointments or try to shape the times.  He took the latter.

Shame on David for making such a dishonest argument.  We are glad we have The Donald rather than Herself.  We hope the GOP does better in the future but that is up to the GOP.  What we really wish is that the Democrats could do better but that seems extraordinarily unlikely.  We will try to explain why soon.

Barone’s Assertions

Recently on NRO, Michael Barone was talking about The Donald and his critics and especially the critics of his Warsaw speech.  Michael said:

But Trump’s text included praise of Poland’s and Western civilization’s resistance to Nazi and Communist totalitarianism, empowering women, striving for excellence, valuing the dignity of human life, debating and challenging “everything.” Presumably, Trump’s critics embrace each of these products of Western civilization.

The Donald has lots of critics but we are talking about critics on the left here.  Critics on the right would embrace all seven of these products of Western civilization even if they would not agree with the left on how to challenge.

Sidebar: We could debate that conservatives don’t want to challenge everything.  When someone at a concert, play, or movie says something politically insensitive, conservatives are reluctant to challenge it.  Another difference between the groups is that conservatives like freedom from politics more than liberals.

We recognize that critics on the left vary but here is our take for critics on the left.

Resistance to Nazis: Embrace.
Resistance to Commies: Don’t Embrace.
Empowering women: Mixed – see support of Islam.
Striving for excellence: No – quotas are the solution.
Valuing the dignity of human life: No, abortions and euthanasia.
Debating everything: No- see Evergreen State et al.
Challenging everything: mixed – again see Evergreen State et al.

It is the problem of Red versus Blue and conservatives versus liberals.  The former sees Western civilization as worth embracing and the later sees it as something with lots of warts.