There are Norms and Then There are Norms

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One of the correct criticisms of President Trump is that he has broken norms that should guide all presidents, and I largely agree with that criticism.  His personal behavior is often childish and boorish.  His habit of twittering is a constant detraction from the dignity of the office he holds.  He engages in public insult slinging with individuals, most recently the husband of his political advisor Kellyanne Conway, that make him seem small and petty.  Trump and the truth are rarely on speaking terms.  The list could go on at some length.

However, when it comes to governing, Trump has done so largely as a mainstream conservative.  His pro-life record is second to none.  As a steward of the economy he has performed magnificently.  His record of filling the federal courts with able constitutional conservative jurists is unsurpassed, probably his longest lasting legacy.  In foreign policy he has kept the peace and avoided new military commitments.

Thus, in regard to Trump his norm breaking is largely one of tone and personal behavior.

How about the Democrats who wish to replace him?  Most of them now endorse the following:

  1. The Green New Deal that would cost in the next ten years over an estimated hundred trillion dollars.
  2. The abolition of ICE and, in  effect, the abolition of our borders, inviting the entire globe to resettle in the US.
  3. Reparations for slavery.
  4. Abortion on demand through all nine months, and immediate infanticide for late term infants who survive an attempted abortion.
  5. Abolition of the electoral college.
  6. Packing the Supreme Court with new Justices.
  7. Confiscation by the government of semi-automatic rifles.
  8. Some form of universal basic income, i.e. money for existing.
  9. Medicare for all.
  10. “Free” college for all, starting with “free” community college.

One could debate the wisdom, or lack thereof, of each of these policies, but taken together it is clear that Trump’s Democrat challengers do not give a fig about the norms that have long held sway when it comes to policy in this country.  If I must choose, and I must, I prefer Trump’s personal breaking of norms, rather than the policy breaking of norms of his would-be replacements.  (This is not to say that many of the Democrat challengers do not also have questionable, at the least, personal behavior, but that is a subject for future posts.)

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79 Comments

  1. Twitter is a necessity in my view. How else would the President communicate to the electorate without being censored or ignored by the media?
    He was not my first choice for president, but the ONLY choice against HC. I knew of his lack of shall we say civility with other candidates and his crassness of speech, but I knew this was the real Trump talking and not some polished politician that would say what ever you wanted to hear and never give you and honest answer, instead, feeding you a bunch of pablum over and over ad nauseum.

    Funny how dems like to say Trump lies, but what about all the lies they spew during the campaigns about doing this and doing that for the people and never following through? I’m tire of that…very tired of their lying.

    Trump is no saint. He says a bunch of stuff that makes me uncomfortable but I also know much of it is hyperbole. Come on! He’s from New York! He speaks like a New Yorker. Mine is bigger than yours! New Yorker! Know him by the his fruits. As is listed above in the article, Trump has accomplished much and much more than predecessors have. I will vote for him again and never, ever for a person from the party of death.

  2. Fortunately, America longer had the luxury of not selecting another smooth-talking, establishment honed, compromising DC hack, but wisely made the best choice they reasonably had. If God can bring us salvation by using a scum like Judas Iscariot, maybe, just maybe, he’s allowing sinful America one more shot at maintaining freedom and family by selecting another less than perfect instrument..

  3. President Trump loves this country. All Democrats hate it. Decorum went out the window with the election of Clinton, yet the Republic remained standing. What will kill it is another Obama.

  4. I can not believe that any of the Republican candidates for president in 2016 would of been as firm as Trump has been in regards to pro-life issues. God bless him for that.

    Don. Please allow me this pitch.
    At the end of Forty days for Life, on April 13th, a National candlelight vigil will be prayed all across America at Planned Parenthood locations. Peaceful protests start at sunset. This is the eve before Palm Sunday. The movie “Unplanned ” will be mentioned at these gatherings to help spread the word. The story is from Abby Johnson who once was a director for an Planned Parenthood office. Her conversion story is worth the trip to the Theater.

    This movie could have a very powerful effect on a number of women and men who are walking the fence regarding the worse law America ever instituted.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Phil.

    #ProtestPP

    https://www.lifenews.com/2019/03/19/packed-theater-gives-unplanned-movie-standing-ovation-after-glitzy-hollywood-premier/

  5. btw this is a good insight;
    at 4:12am
    “Twitter is a necessity in my view. How else would the President communicate to the electorate without being censored or ignored by the media.” – OC

  6. Thanks Don! I thank God that Trump is President and I pray for our country to rediscover the road to sanity. What was the old saying? “The fastest way to get through Hell is to put your head down and push straight through it.” We’re in it now…it could have been much worse, but we’re in a hot spot now. I pray we put our heads down and keeping pushing through it…May God bless all who visit and support TAC.

  7. If Donald J. Trump hadn’t triumphed in the nomination process, the eely establishment-GOP again would have handed over the WH to corrupt, incompetent Hillary who today would be feverishly laboring to wreck our country.

    Watch TV’s prophetical “The Walking Dead” as a how-to manual.

    All’s fair. The lying media (America-hating scum with bylines), Dems (traitors and knaves), liberals (worse than the Khmer Rouge), execrable leftists, et al hate you and America; and want to “fundamentally” wreck everything you hold dear.

  8. If in the last 20 years the Democrats hadn’t already shot the norms of decorum to hell and gone, Trump wouldn’t have been possible in the first place.

  9. The concatenation of stances taken by the Democratic Party (derived from the attitudes of the guilds and strata which make up the Democratic Party) are incompatible with functioning Democratic institutions. You talk to street-level Democrats, you realize they have no procedural principles at all. They just want what they want. They expect every other element in society to accede to an increasingly shambolic political order wherein they are subject to escalating abuse by the guilds and strata which make up the Democratic Party.

    The most optimistic scenario is a replay of what happened during the period running from 1978 to 1994: enough electoral losses to persuade the Democratic Party elite to unload some of their more inane stances. A less optimistic outcome would be what Gottfried Dietze called a diffidatio: a violent rupture which displaces an abusive ruling element and restores traditional liberties. IIRC, Dietze identified the baron’s revolt under King John, British civil war (1642-49), the Glorious Revolution (1688-89), and the American Revolution (1775-83) as what he had in mind. Dietze believed that the Anglophone world was due for another in the 21st century. The Hispanophone world confronted these problems in Spain (1930-39), Chile (1955-90), and Uruguay (1962-85). Imagine the country run by a board of technocrats appointed by the military chiefs of staff because the political culture and extant social relations did not permit of anything better. That’s close to where we are today.

  10. Thus, in regard to Trump his norm breaking is largely one of tone and personal behavior.

    They’ve been able for over four decades to control public discourse through manufacturing nonsense controversies. (See George Allen and the macaca controversy of 2006). Trump doesn’t apologize and generally prospers. If the rest of the GOP can go to school on Trump’s methods, the media will be neutered and the Democratic Party injured. The idea enrages them, especially in the context of their economic losses to date.

  11. If the rest of the GOP can go to school on Trump’s methods, the media will be neutered and the Democratic Party injured.

    It ought to be an easy lesson: care less about the opinions of your perceived peers in media-political complex and more about the opinions of your voters.

    But it won’t be.

  12. You are right. It won’t be a lesson they want to learn because I believe them to be at least knee deep in the swamp themselves. NOTHING they’ve done or said in the last 10 years and more leads me to believe otherwise. I no longer associate with the dems or republicans. I vote as I see fit no matter who the Republicans put before us. I used to be a conservative Republican, now I’m just a conservative. Being Republican does not a conservative make today.

  13. You talk to street-level Democrats, you realize they have no procedural principles at all. They just want what they want. They expect every other element in society to accede to an increasingly shambolic political order wherein they are subject to escalating abuse by the guilds and strata which make up the Democratic Party.

    Comment of the day, Art!

    What’s even worse is that they don’t even understand why procedural norms are needed in the first place. It’s an entire movement of spoiled brats who consider any frustration of their immediate desires to be the worst injustice of the universe.

    .

    Though this can lead to hilarious results like watching them having a serious fight because then it just becomes both sides screaming about how the other made them feel.

  14. What’s even worse is that they don’t even understand why procedural norms are needed in the first place.

    Orwell nailed it long ago:

    So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.

  15. The thing that amazes me the most about Trump is his ability to inspire both white hatred in his detractors and cult like following in his supporters. There are even some, like Dennis Prager, who went from the former to the latter.

    I still have doubts about Trump’s nomination as the GOP standard bearer is good for the conservative movement in the long term. An important part, perhaps the most important part, of the conservative movement is its morality. And needing an immoral reprobate like Donald Trump to deliver on things like the pro-life cause can’t be helpful to the credibility of the conservative movement.

  16. “And needing an immoral reprobate like ‘King David’ to deliver on things like the pro-life cause can’t be helpful to the credibility of the conservative movement.”
    We really don’t know what is the state of his soul. We cannot make that judgement. We in some way or other are also immoral but we repent and try harder. We don’t know how Trump has handled the things he’s not proud of and his relationship to God. Yes his past is not exemplary but how many of us in our own past can say was pure? Christ came for all of us. He will judge us in our particular state including Trump. Love wipes away many sins and so when I see the love that Trump has for the unborn…well that says a lot to me.

  17. Are we sure Trump is immoral? Granted, he’s lived a messy private life in a very public manner, but I don’t see him flaunting moral norms in order to demonstrate why those norms are wrong, or shouldn’t be normative for people like him, even if they should be for people like you and me.

    I’m much more concerned about the type of because I publicly hold the politically correct views on the issue d’jour I’m entitled to whatever private vice/graft happens to float my boat espoused by, say, the Clinton crime syndicate.

  18. The comparison of Trump to King David is really ridiculous when you consider that King David was rebuked by his own inner circle (namely the Prophet Nathan) and showed repentance for his actions. Neither has been the case with Trump.

  19. Yes he was rebuked by Nathan as was revealed to us, but what was not revealed was how his less than perfect life had to have led him to commit adultery AND led him to murder Uriah by ordering him to the front lines of the war in order to procure his death. David was chosen by God but that did not make David perfect by any means. Trump as with David was a vessel chosen by God to do his wilI. Neither of them is perfect. Reprobates? Yes, if they refuse to repent. David we know did repent, but just because we do not know of Trumps repentance doesn’t mean he hasn’t. Does he still fall into sin? Do we after confession? Did David?
    I think the only thing that bothered me about the response was the ‘reprobate’ part. I do not see Trump as a reprobate any more than I do David.

  20. There is a posting of Victor Davis Hanson on YouTube that touches on this issue. It is titled: “Victor Davis Hanson on 2020 Democrats’ Radical Ideas.” The URL is:
    *
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXDUWWz_HOI
    *
    At about the 15:30 to 15:40 point he starts to discuss Trump’s willingness to hit back at his critics. He talks about Trump hitting back because to Trump the demagogues that make up his critics would view his magnanimity as a show of weakness. He goes on to talk about how Republican politicians double cross their own backers by refusing to defend themselves.

  21. Noah was a drunkard, Abraham was a bigamist, Jacob was a polygamist, and a liar and a thief, Moses was a murderer and David, at the time he slew Goliath was an unremarkable, scrawny little kid.

    My point being, God uses whom He will for His reasons. The only one of which I’ve been able to suss out being: He uses the flawed and the weak so that there can be no doubt Who’s responsible for the great deeds He has done.

    Doesn’t mean I’ll be recommending Donald J. Trump to the modern Plutarch for inclusion in the updated edition of Lives of Illustrious Men; at least not for the section of men worthy of emulation.

  22. “He talks about Trump hitting back because to Trump the demagogues that make up his critics would view his magnanimity as a show of weakness.”

    I think that is unfortunately true. Bush I and II seemed to be punching bags for the Dems. Palin was hung out to dry by a McCain who didn’t seem to want to fight nor win.

  23. McCain didn’t want to be elected. He wanted to be coronated. Failing that, he wanted to show that there was, after all, such a thing in politics as losing with grace and magnanimity. At that, he succeeded all too well.

  24. McCain and Trump were like oil and water. Trump could have asked Congress to come up with a plan to eradicate poverty in the whole world and McCain would have refused to go along because it was Trumps idea. No love lost there.

  25. “and showed repentance for his actions.”

    Not to defend Trump for his bad behavior, but I rather suspect that David was only sorry that he got caught. There was a fair amount of the scoundrel in the man, which does show how God can use the most unlikely materials to serve great ends. David’s parting advice to Solomon was chilling in its ruthlessness:

    Now you know what Zeruiah’s son Joab did to me. You know what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel. He killed Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether in the time of peace as if it were in the time of war. He put the blood of war on his belt and on the shoes of his feet. 6 So act with wisdom. Do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace. 7 But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite. Let them be among those who eat at your table. For they helped me when I ran from your brother Absalom. 8 See, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim. It was he who spoke bad words against me on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to me at the Jordan, I promised him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9 So do not let him go without being punished. For you are a wise man. You will know what you should do to him. Bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.”

    Machiavelli would have had little to teach King David.

  26. Whence Trump? From the mass realization that the Democratic Party and a substantial number of Republicans are no longer interested in the well-being of the people who were the middle and working class of our country. Charity begins at home but avarice follows the money. If the money is in Communist China, no problem. If much of our population is left in the lurch as money goes in search of foreign investments to increase and multiply, no problem. The Democratic Party is the new party of the rich. They may try to pretend otherwise with the old propaganda but it is a charade. We make a serious mistake when we take the bait and let them make it about Trump, the person. We fall into that trap when we make it about Hillary, or Obama, or whoever. It is not about who is running but more a question of what is the agenda of those who prop them up with money. If more money can be made by letting it go to foreign interests, it will go there, even if it guts our own country. Trump can see that. Others close their eyes to it. Charity begins at home and we sometimes call that patriotism.

  27. Being ruthless towards enemies isn’t the issue with Trump. So, I don’t see where King David’s parting advice to Solomon is relevant here. Trump can get caught, show no repentance, and still be practically venerated by many of his supporters. What is most worrisome about the Trump phenomenon is not so much Trump himself but the cult like fawning of his supporters, many of whom have reputations as principled conservatives.

    These are the same people who screamed endlessly about how much character mattered to attack Bill Clinton long before the whole Lewinsky thing blew up. The Juanita Broderick thing didn’t become known until then. They don’t hold Trump to anywhere near the same standard.
    One can support Trump’s good policies while acknowledging Trump’s being problematic.

    Trump has certainly exposed just how phony many conservatives really are.

  28. I still have doubts about Trump’s nomination as the GOP standard bearer is good for the conservative movement in the long term. An important part, perhaps the most important part, of the conservative movement is its morality. And needing an immoral reprobate like Donald Trump to deliver on things like the pro-life cause can’t be helpful to the credibility of the conservative movement.

    I see your point. The thing is, Greg, one reason we have Trump is that ‘the conservative movement’ has since 1990 or thereabouts been a study in failure theatre. Recall Conrad Black’s remark that the American political class after the end of the Cold War managed to make a hash of every issue other than welfare reform. (And BO wanted to gut that achievement). It’s sort of disconcerting that the three starboard political figures who in this era have managed to assemble some serious accomplishments have been Rudolph Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and Scott Walker. Two of these men have severe personal shortcomings. What’s going on here?

  29. “Being ruthless towards enemies isn’t the issue with Trump. So, I don’t see where King David’s parting advice to Solomon is relevant here.”
    Being immoral is, and Trump, who is a pig around women, has never murdered anyone to cover up his adultery, has never instructed his son to slay the commander of his army, and has never promised someone his life only to later instruct his son to murder him.

    In regard to Trump, the choice in the general election in 2016 was not him and an angel but him and Hillary Clinton. To blame conservatives for opting for him in that case is absurd. If the Democrats ran a candidate of pristine personal life in 2020, who was not a wacked out Leftist, Trump could well lose a fair number of conservative votes, but there is zero chances of that.

    I think most conservatives who support Trump do so with eyes wide open and understand that politics is always a matter of comparison shopping, and often the wares on offer are damaged goods. I have voted for, as opposed to voting against, a presidential candidate once in my life; Ronald Reagan.

  30. “What’s going on here?”

    The Bush dynasty, combined with the self-destruction of Gingrich and terrible leadership in the House on the GOP side thereafter, and bad leadership in the Senate until McConnell became majority leader in 2014.

  31. I am not blaming conservatives for opting for Trump in 2016. What I am talking about is the absolute uncritical adulation he gets from many prominent “conservatives”.

  32. hat I am talking about is the absolute uncritical adulation he gets from many prominent “conservatives”.

    Who?

  33. These are the same people who screamed endlessly about how much character mattered to attack Bill Clinton long before the whole Lewinsky thing blew up. The Juanita Broderick thing didn’t become known until then. They don’t hold Trump to anywhere near the same standard.
    One can support Trump’s good policies while acknowledging Trump’s being problematic.

    Trump has certainly exposed just how phony many conservatives really are.

    Lot’s to chew on in that comment Greg. Thanks.

    For myself, I tend to see more of the Trump can do no right because he’s a bad sort/not our kind than the Trump can do no wrong because Democrats are worse type of argument. I think the “Flight 93 Election” argument is still the best one to be made to date about the Trump phenomenon. An implicit part of that phenomenon is that the plane crashed anyway. So Trump’s supporters (as opposed to the cheerleaders you’ve made note of) know he’s a deeply flawed man who may yet wreck the country. The alternatives to Trump will certainly leave it a cratered ruin. As for the evangelical/moral majority/values voters: My guess is they’ve accepted the fact that the Left has won on that issue: personal moral probity has little or nothing to do with the public welfare, only results count. Because critics of Bill Clinton’s sexual misuse a foolish young woman only slightly older than his daughter were dismissed as cranks and scolds, those cranks and scolds decided they mostly didn’t care that Trump paid hush money to a prostitute-actress —or why he paid it. Now the Left looks at what they wrought and shriek “no fair!” If morals and ethics are going to matter to our politics, it’s up to the Left to bring that about by policing their own. Because they’re the ones in control of the terms of debate, not us.

    And I don’t know any prominent conservatives (or “conservatives” for that matter) who give Trump absolute uncritical adulation. Maybe I lead too sheltered a life out here on the tall grass prairie. In fact, I would argue the most “prominent ‘conservatives'” are the ones who’ve outed themselves as opportunistic liberals who’ve finally dropped the mask.

  34. The Bush dynasty, combined with the self-destruction of Gingrich and terrible leadership in the House on the GOP side thereafter, and bad leadership in the Senate until McConnell became majority leader in 2014.

    1. Doesn’t explain why state-level Republicans are so ineffective.

    2. That’s a peculiar description of McConnell, savior of the ExIm Bank. Has there been a year since 2014 where the government was financed through something other than catch-all continuing resolutions? I’m really not seeing how McConnell improves on Messrs. Lott and Dole (much less Frist, who, unlike Lott and Dole, had other things to do with his life than fart around in Congress).

    3. What does it say about rank-and-file Republicans that they put their caucus in the hands of Kevin McCarthy (who doesn’t admit of a pre-political career and just threw Steve King under the bus), Paul Ryan (NGO functionary / fitness instructor and open-borders ideologue, installed after the House minority whip had been bounced in a primary due to the immigration issue), John Boehner (who actually had a pre-political career, bless him, but also a drinking problem), Dennis Hastert (careerist, grafteur, skeletons in closet), and Robert Michel (Congress4Life like Trent Lott, insipid)?

    4. The best you could say of George W. Bush is that he had commitments. Commitments are not convictions. His father didn’t even have that. And they show you the limits of politics as a diversion for highly competitive men. They slumbered through the Obama years (including the IRS scandal, which really demanded some public denunciation), only to awaken to throw darts at Trump. And did you notice that they’d allowed Bill Clinton to ingratiate himself with them over the years? Why would they do that? (Leaving aside the Bushes, father and son, the two recent presidents with the most similar social background were Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who I don’t think were particular friends. The pair with the most similar occupational history were Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford (who were professional / cordial, nothing more).

    Again, I’m really not understanding what’s been going on.

  35. “1. Doesn’t explain why state-level Republicans are so ineffective.”

    They aren’t. Lots of good legislation being passed in GOP controlled states.

    “That’s a peculiar description of McConnell”

    He has done a magnificent job with Judges under Trump, especially in the last Congress with a wire thin Republican margin. He had the leadership to stop the Merrick Garland nomination cold in 2016, hoping against hope that the GOP would beat Clinton. He is about to pull the nuclear option on Judges so that by election day next year there should be no vacancies, or almost none.

    “What does it say about rank-and-file Republicans”

    Nothing good. To be fair, much could have been accomplished in 2016-2018 if McConnell had had the votes to nuke the filibuster completely.

    Bravo to everything you said about the Bushes. They lived in a liberal social milieu as demonstrated by their spouses. At best George W. was a Rockefeller Republican. George the Younger was more complicated, but seemed to go to sleep after 2004 until he ordered the Surge. Their disdain for Trump while buddying up with Bill Clinton was disgusting and indicated that for them politics was a game and not a matter of deep seated beliefs. Bill Clinton, I suspect, at his core, was like them in that.

  36. Republicans at all levels are ineffective, I’m convinced, because at least half of them are closet Democrats.

  37. McConnell (R, Swamp) has done a magnificent job on judges, and nothing else. So I’d still shiv ‘im, were it in my power to do so.

    Politically speaking, of course.

  38. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about with closet Democrats:

    Scarborough: Obama Is The Most Significant President Since Lincoln, Would Vote For Him If He Could

    Now granted, Scarborough has been out of the closet for some time, but, absent 6 months in a North Korean POW camp, how does any Republic who isn’t a closet Democrat think something like that?

  39. W showed he could play hardball when the chad issue surfaced during vote counting. His father might have rolled over in the same circumstance. W displayed leadership after 9/11. The troops loved him, especially after he landed on a carrier (not a single seater, of course.) Without fanfare he and Laura spent many hours with the injured troops in military hospitals and made many trips to war zones. The Surge was definitely a success. W was a good commander-in-chief. The US and the Iraqis had won. Then Obama undid most achievements there.
    The Democrat style spending toward the last of his tenure was where W lost me.
    The problem with the Bushes was they didn’t and don’t fight back. Too nice, too patrician, their version of Christians turning the other cheek or weak?
    The Ex Presidents Club is exclusive by nature. Cordiality and politeness are expected but buddying up to sleaze Bill Clinton and being chummy with the fake Obamas was and continues to be over the top.
    Trump is a New Yorker and a street fighter, which is what our country needs at this time. Best of all, he is pro life verbally and in deeds. So is Mrs.Trump unlike pro choice Laura and Barbara Bush.

  40. I see your point. The thing is, Greg, one reason we have Trump is that ‘the conservative movement’ has since 1990 or thereabouts been a study in failure theatre. Recall Conrad Black’s remark that the American political class after the end of the Cold War managed to make a hash of every issue other than welfare reform. (And BO wanted to gut that achievement). It’s sort of disconcerting that the three starboard political figures who in this era have managed to assemble some serious accomplishments have been Rudolph Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and Scott Walker. Two of these men have severe personal shortcomings. What’s going on here?

    @Art – I think media power cannot be underestimated. To quote a meme:
    “Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your honor.”

    (see also: Romney) Why are the accomplished republicans scoundrels? Because they have nothing to lose to the media, so can act unrestrained. The Republicans which are personally virtuous also have the most honor to be stolen by the media, and so end up dancing to their tune.

    those cranks and scolds decided they mostly didn’t care that Trump paid hush money to a prostitute-actress —or why he paid it.

    @Ernst, I would also not underestimate the “cry wolf” phenomena. Namely that Trump has been accused of so much, the crowd you speak of probably don’t even believe the media about the hush money.

    Their disdain for Trump while buddying up with Bill Clinton was disgusting and indicated that for them politics was a game and not a matter of deep seated beliefs. Bill Clinton, I suspect, at his core, was like them in that.

    @Don – Sadly I wish politics were seen more as a game and less as life & death struggle (save for actual war being involved). But then that’s getting into a rant about more power being pushed to the federal level instead of being contained locally as well as the proper order of things. It’s hard not to see the numerous twitter rants of “Trump is literally killing people!” without thinking that more people need to see politics as a game (says the man who wants to make games for a living).

  41. “Sadly I wish politics were seen more as a game and less as life & death struggle”

    That is precisely what politics becomes when one party is dedicated to ever greater expansions of the power of the state. As the Democrat agenda I outlined in my post indicates, the Democrats running for President may as well be declaring war on all Americans not on the Left. Those politicians viewing this type of struggle as a game are either too cynical for office or too stupid for office.

  42. Art,

    As to which prominent conservatives who treat Trump with uncritical adulation, I would say in the world of talk radio, which garners a great deal of influence in the conservative world, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Even Dennis Prager downplays the importance of moral character of the president as a “lovely bonus”. I doubt he took that tack with Bill Clinton.

    Franklin Graham railed about how character matters with Bill Clinton reduced Trump’s fling with Daniels as nobody’s business.

  43. Donald, since you repeatedly decry Trump’s Twitter account/public pronouncements, exactly how do you propose that he get his side of things out to the 100 million who follow him on his social media accounts. Given the decayed/corrupted condition of our “media?”

    I don’t believe he could otherwise get his points out to his supporters.

  44. Greg,

    https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/trump-fights-for-us-its-why-they-hate-him/

    You have attacked & possibly slandered Trump as you do not know the current condition of his heart before the Lord. Were you not aware that there were news media accounts of Trump’s repentance of sin & reconcilation to God since he began running for president. Have you prayed for him as our leader–a command of scripture?

    You have attacked & slandered me as one of his supporters. (YES I AM THRILLED WITH THE MAN WHO SAVED US FROM HILLARY CLINTON/IMMEDIATE SOCIALISM!)

    Then you go on to attack Dennis Prager & Rev. Graham–you don’t know their hearts, either. I don’t read Prager’s stuff much. I have yet to find one thing Graham has said about Trump that I thought was false.

    I will pray & ask God to give you some compassion, mercy, & control over your electronic tongue on these matters–while I pray for my own control of my electronic tongue.

  45. I don’t think Don is decrying Trump’s use of social media pet se. I think he is objecting to the tone and the substance of many of his particular tweets. And I would concur with that.

  46. I have not slandered Trump in any way. I have made no pronouncements as to his interior disposition. I have said I see no evidence that he has repented because he has not expressed any.

  47. “I don’t think Don is decrying Trump’s use of social media pet se. I think he is objecting to the tone and the substance of many of his particular tweets. And I would concur with that.”

    So exactly what kind of time do you think one should have with these devils who are gladly destroying our country & innocent American lives? If you live in a world where you can talk sweetly to everyone & get things accomplished, good for you!! I never have lived in such a world. I have had to learn that to stop a bully the bully must get sight of some of his own blood. Then, after the bully gets the worst end of things a couple of times, the bully may go on to easier prey or decide to behave. Amazing how that works in real life. Our country is going down the tubes, & you folks are concerned about Trump’s tone?!?! You must not live in the same world O am living in. I want him to fight by every means available so that we don’t have to get to real blood shed.

    Pray, tell me exactly how you would word things to turn our country around & beat these devils who are trying to destroy our country by destroying Trump!

  48. Rush is pro- anybody who’s against the Democrats. Hannity, I’ll grant you, is a shameless brown-nosing sycophant. I’ll take Graham’s position as evidence for my thesis that the left has won on the public/private morality thing. Or at least that he’s smart enough to hold the leftist media to its standard instead of letting them cynically hold him to his for the sole purpose of clubbing Trump.

  49. Greg,
    Below is exactly what your post above said about Trump’s inner heart condition. You can’t change it now that I have called you out on it. You called him an “immoral reprobate.” See the entire sentence below.

    “And needing an immoral reprobate like Donald Trump to deliver on things like the pro-life cause can’t be helpful to the credibility of the conservative movement.”

  50. I have no problem with him hitting back hard against important political enemies or the media when they misrepresent his policies and so forth. But engaging in petty pissing contests with everyone who attacks him is not just a waste of time but counterproductive. For example, Don cites his public insult exchange with George Conway, husband of one of his closest advisors, Kellyanne Conway. An effective way to handle that would be to tell Kellyanne Conway to rein her husband in or he is going to have to ask for her resignation.

  51. Pray, tell me exactly how getting into a fight with John McCain’s corpse help Trump to turn our country around & beat these devils who are trying to destroy our country.

    I mean, I get it. A senior McCain staffer helped circulate the Clinton campaign bought and paid for Steele Dossier. That’s going to create some ire. But sometimes I wish the superego was doing more to keep the ego in check.

  52. On the Conways, I doubt George gives an O’Rourke avocado about Kellyanne’s career, so doing that would just deprive Trump of her advice.

  53. Maybe not, Ernst. But you can’t have the spouse of one your advisors trashing you in public when you’re the president.

  54. Ernest,

    McCain, as a politician, is a tyrannical, ego maniac, vengeful, traitor to our form of government. You do realize that he 1. Was passing info to the Russians behind Pres. Reagan’s back–McCain seriously thought Reagan was the enemy, 2. Is the reason we still have any form of Obamacare–just to be spiteful, 3. Tried to bring down a duly elected president, Trump, with known false evidence as well as spreading it all over Washington DC in hopes of accomplishing this purpose out of spite., 4. Has publicly expressed his hatred for people like you & me because of our religious beliefs while running for president the first time–and again at later points after he lost the presidency to Obama., 5. Advocated for & directed that the IRS under Learner use their power to attack/destroy people with political views like ours.

    And you are concerned about Trump’s tone? What he has said about McCain is mild next to what I would say if I had a national forum. McCain needed & needs to be called out for what he did. It is establishment types like him who must go if any part of our republic is to survive. But you just go ahead & worry about Trump’s failings & tone instead of what he is doing right & accomplishing for us.

  55. Greg,
    Mrs. Conway is not the problem. And I do not agree that she should be punished for her husband’s damaging, ignorant actions. Mr. Conway IS the problem. He should be dealt with in the public manner he is being dealt with by Trump whom he is attacking. I am guessing that the Conway’s marriage is in some real trouble if Mr. Conway will throw his wife under the bus in such a manner. As loyal as Mrs. Conway has been to Trump & as fantastic of a job as she has done, there is no way that Trump needs to get rid of her. Now, she may get rid of her husband before it is over with.

  56. “An effective way to handle that would be to tell Kellyanne Conway to rein her husband in or he is going to have to ask for her resignation.”

    Was Mary Matalin given that ultimatum when James Carville(husband) spewed his mind vomit on anything that resembled conservatism?

  57. Was Mary Matalin given that ultimatum when James Carville(husband) spewed his mind vomit on anything that resembled conservatism?

    Mary Matalin was a campaign hack who was first entangled with and then married another campaign hack. Although both gave public statements from time to time, and there was at least one case when one jabbed the other in print, they weren’t the subject of the campaign and campaign statements were being issued under the name of the candidate or the press secretary. Unless I’m misunderstanding, the two have worked for domestic politicians only fitfully in the last 25 years. Carville’s had foreign clients and both have been employed in media.

    Conway is a lawyer and his public remarks have been perfectly gratuitous. An analogous situation would be if Kellyanne were using Twitter to insult her husband’s clients.

    I think the smart money says Mr. and Mrs. Conway are estranged.

  58. I’d have been inclined to can Matalin for a different reason. Shortly after her association with Carville was public knowledge, a national news outlet (I think the Sulzberger Birdcage Liner) did a twee article on amatory relations between people working for opposing parties / campaigns. Of course, Matalin and Carville were interviewed. Matalin says she’d never date Republican men because, you know, they’re the sort who wear galoshes. I think had I been the Republican man who supervised her, I’d have told her to not let the door hit her nasty little tuchus on her way out.

  59. “I think the smart money says Mr. and Mrs. Conway are estranged.”

    Bingo. Why else engage in such public vituperation of the boss of his wife? he has been doing this for a substantial period of time, so I suspect the estrangement dates back to at least the beginning of his going public. Odd too that he was seeking a high position with the Trump administration if he has always held Trump to be a menace to the Republic.

  60. As for Trump’s tweeting, I have long argued that he should hire Greg Gutfeld to be his “tweditor.” POTUS tweets should go directly to Gutfeld who would be responsible for promptly editing and releasing them. Gutfeld would add humor, improve the tone, and actually enhance the clarity of the intended message.

  61. Have you all forgotten VP Pence? Another reason some of us voted for the ticket in 2016. I suspect his name hasn’t come up in this conversation is that he is incredibly loyal to his boss Trump. Pence is conservative politically and socially, pro life, family man, loyal husband, president pro tem of the Senate, good record as governor of Indiana, practicing Christian (Catholic? He acknowledges his Catholic upbringing.) Scandal free. I doubt that he is a yes man. If Trump morts or is impeached and convicted, Pence is our president.

  62. They aren’t. Lots of good legislation being passed in GOP controlled states.

    IIRC, GOP governments in Wisconsin and Michigan have been innovative to a degree. I’m going to dissent from your general statement.

    1. Some years ago, I look at a list of states ranked according to the actuarial soundness of their public sector pensions. Tops were New York and Wisconsin, in that order.

    2. You’d be hard put to find a state in the union where distributions of state revenue to localities were largely unrestricted. With few exceptions, they should be, and responsibilities sorted between different levels of government in order to strike a balance between local control and effective performance. That’s just not done. Anywhere.

    3. I don’t think you can find a state university system that isn’t a scandal. What Republican legislators do about that is bupkis. The scandals are pervasive. The two things that vary are the degree to which schools are auxilliaries of their athletic departments and the degree to which the whole system is overbuilt, is stocked with youngsters who aren’t college material, and stocked with campuses in odd places. Again, the best performer on these metrics is New York. Among the worst are Alabama, West Virginia, and Montana.

    He has done a magnificent job with Judges under Trump, especially in the last Congress with a wire thin Republican margin. He had the leadership to stop the Merrick Garland nomination cold in 2016, hoping against hope that the GOP would beat Clinton. He is about to pull the nuclear option on Judges so that by election day next year there should be no vacancies, or almost none.

    I appreciate that. Now, why does the ExIm Bank still exist?

    Nothing good. To be fair, much could have been accomplished in 2016-2018 if McConnell had had the votes to nuke the filibuster completely.

    I don’t think he had any intention of doing that.

    Bravo to everything you said about the Bushes. They lived in a liberal social milieu as demonstrated by their spouses. At best George W. was a Rockefeller Republican. George the Younger was more complicated, but seemed to go to sleep after 2004 until he ordered the Surge. Their disdain for Trump while buddying up with Bill Clinton was disgusting and indicated that for them politics was a game and not a matter of deep seated beliefs. Bill Clinton, I suspect, at his core, was like them in that.

    There’s no indication from their careers or any public statements that any of the Bushes have ever been ‘Rockefeller Republicans’. (Prescott Bush Sr. all but said in 1963 that Rockefeller was duty-bound to leave public life). There aren’t any Rockefeller Republicans any more. None have been elected to Congress de novo in more than 30 years and the last pair retired after the 2006 elections. You have nuisance Republicans like Susan Collins and Sleaza Murkowski. They have temporizing voting records, not liberal voting records. John McCain and Jeff Flake had starboard voting records – and a disagreeable habit of making themselves an exhibitionistic impediment at inopportune times. That’s not an ideological problem, but a character problem. John Hoeven has a more liberal voting record than McCain or Flake, but he doesn’t make it his vocation to throw spanners into the works just for kicks. As for the Bushes, they have certain associations which influence them, certain assumptions about social life, certain lines they aren’t going to cross. Otherwise, issues are fungible. I think you could say the same of Mitt Romney, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, and Robert Dole. I think it’s a mistake to see these men as vessels for a considered perspective. I think you can ascribe a perspective to Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, Robert Taft, John Anderson, and even Nelson Rockefeller. For Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, politics was a more agreeable way of earning a living than practicing law; Ron Nessen offered that the reason Ford ran for re-election was that the mechanics of ploughing through his daily ration of paper work was something that gave him a feeling of accomplishment. Dole appears to be a man who had an obsessive-compulsive tendency to get lost in the labyrinths of legislative process without ever asking himself if he was accomplishing anything or tending to his actual vocation as a husband and father; he’s like one of the characters in The Little Prince. As far as I can tell about Romney, he’s a Mr. Fix-it at heart. The trouble is, he hasn’t the equipment to define goals not manifest in financial statements.

  63. CAM, there are lots of reasons why Trump’s removal by impeachment will never happen, but certainly Pence’s elevation depresses the appetites of even Trump’s most feral critics.

  64. Donald R. McClarey wrote:
    *
    “but I rather suspect that David was only sorry that he got caught. ”
    *
    King David had his problems, but when challenged by the prophet Nathan the first words out of his mouth were “I have sinned.” He tried to do penance to save the life of his child that only ended when the child died. Psalm 51 came from out of this incident. If King David sinned greatly, he also repented greatly. Would a reprobate have written Psalm 51?

  65. “Would a reprobate have written Psalm 51?”

    Assuming he wrote it, absolutely based upon his conduct. In regard to his penance he had a very instrumental view of it:

    21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

    22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

    David was a man of great brightness and great darkness. God called him a man after his own heart, and Acts 13: 22 explains why:

    After removing Saul, He raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after My own heart; he will carry out My will in its entirety.’

    God can use even highly flawed men to work His will.

  66. Donald R. McClarey:
    King David was not without his shortcomings, but throughout both 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel David was unswerving in his devotion to God. It starts with his anointing by Samuel as God’s chosen one. During his battle with Goliath he makes prominent mention of God. He refuses to kill Saul because Saul was God’s anointed one. He and his wife Michal had a major falling out over his exuberant dancing before the Ark of the Covenant. She dies childless. He thinks about building the Temple for God. When David is on the run from his son Absalom he let Shimei curse him and throw things at him, thinking it to be the will of God. Psalm 132 talks about David and all the hardships he endured.
    *
    I took a Bible study of the Psalms using a video presentation from Ascension Press. In it they used Psalm 51 to compare the heart of David with that of Saul. Both 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22 say that David was a man after God’s Own heart. Despite his grievous transgressions David’s life history shows that he was not one to play games with God.

  67. “King David was not without his shortcomings,”

    Rather an anodyne description of being an adulterer and a murderer. David gets a better press in the Bible than any other King, but there is enough there to make me glad that I did not live under his reign, or that of almost all his successors. The most prophetic words the Prophet Samuel ever spoke were these:

    Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

    1 Samuel 8: 10-17

  68. The description that you give more correctly applies to David’s son King Solomon. In a Bible study I went to, the presenter on a video showed how the descriptions of King Solomon were that of a tyrant. Deuteronomy 17:14-20 establishes the laws for the kings of Israel. The most interesting point is:
    *
    16 Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ 17 And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.
    *
    King Solomon fails on all counts. He had a large army with many horses. He had many wives and concubines, the foreign ones turned his heart to idolatry. He had much wealth. In 1 Kings 10:14
    *
    14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold,
    *
    Note the number 666. In King Solomon wisdom turned into folly before the Lord.
    *
    I’m not trying to whitewash King David, I did use the words grievous transgressions when describing David. Your assertion about David’s repentance does not agree with the record of David’s relationship with God as recorded in both books of Samuel. David always played it straight with God. God was Number One in David’s life. He never let his kingship turn his head in that regard.
    *
    God had always desired for Israel to be a priestly, holy nation, with Himself as their King. The Old Testament has places where God is called Israel’s Husband, with accompanying marital imagery. The Israelite people were mired in worldly concerns and did not respond to this desire.
    *
    In 1 Samuel 8:7-8:
    *
    And the LORD said to Samuel, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds which they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you.

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