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Thursday, April 21, 2016

How William F. Buckley's brother made Trump's campaign possible

Donald Trump killed the idea of the Republican Party nomination going to the highest bidder. This is the best campaign reform in the history of American politics. Billionaires no longer own the Republican Party. They still own the Democratic Party, of course. But Trump's reform has one delicious irony.

Trump's self-funded campaign was made possible by Buckley v. Valeo in 1976.

Now then, the Democratic Party had used the Watergate affair and a weak Republican president to pass the Democratic Party Protection Act of 1974. That was not the name of it, of course, but in the name of campaign reform, Democrats dropped campaign donations to a ridiculously low level while allowing unions to continue to campaign as usual.

Enter Conservative Party Senator James L. Buckley and Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy -- as well as the ACLU and other groups -- to challenge the law. The restrictions on donations came in part because McCarthy had found a couple of liberal millionaires to fund his quixotic presidential campaign in 1968 which caused President Johnson to not seek a second full-term. Democrats were not about to let that happen again.

Buckley's brother was William F. Buckley Jr. who founded the National Review and the neo-conservative movement with its call for interventionism and unbridled free trade, both of which Trump wants to rein in.

The Supreme Court heard the challenge -- Buckley v. Valeo as it came to be known -- and among other things struck down the restriction on financing one's own campaign. Now, 40 years later, we see Trump is not renting himself to billionaires, but instead spending his own money on the campaign.

And he is kicking ass.

The other Republican candidates spent $600 million of money from their overlords. Trump spent $36 million -- most of it his own. Trump will be the nominee.

Oh and the official Establishment-sanctioned Anti-Establishment candidate, Ted Cruz, has raised nearly $120 million.

Let's see, $36 million divided by 845 delegates is $42,603.

And $120 million divided by 559 delegates is $214,669.

Spend more, get less. And yet we are told Cruz is this super organizing genius and Trump cannot run a lemonade stand. Yet Cruz spends like a drunken federal bureaucrat and still isn't halfway to 1,237.

Anyway, when officially nominated, Trump should give a shout out to the brother of the founder of the publication that hates him so much.


  1. I'll take Donald Trump's disregard of Political Correctness and playing fast and loose with his speeches over Ted Cruz's deliberate contortions and misrepresentations anyday.

  2. This is pretty good. Very Wealthy people with active business interests sometimes see politicans only as people pitching investments to them like many others they encounter in their world. . So Cruz when he went to meet certain realestate moguls in Manhattan pitched his chances of winning the nomination, or HC who pitches everyday all day. The Super rich are really too busy to engage in politics on a daily level. They want to find a reliable employee to do it. Trump and Buckley did not want to be so employed hence the present conflict. A WSJ editorial asked if it would not be better for the US to be subject to the whims of 1000 billionaires rather than one. For them the answer is yes but I would rather have this one and only, at least for now. He thinks for himself, like the Americans of old.

  3. Don - This means you are supporting super business man and self-funding Jim Justice for W.Va. Governor over Bill Cole who will be supported - in part - by a PAC which receives yuge funds from the Koch brothers? Correct?

  4. No. I go by whom I believe will do the best job. But if you want to support a tax derelict who pollutes the environment, go right ahead. I did not support Jay in his self-financed 1984 race or self-funded Gaston Caperton in 1988.

    1. So, you are supporting Cole?

    2. You're just not paying attention, deliberately, and on, and on, and on, An on.