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Sunday, April 17, 2016

What are Never Trump's grand principles?

The Never Trump crowd prides itself in standing up for principles. But I am wondering just what these principles are. Honesty and fair play cannot be on the list for they laugh and mock those who voted for Trump delegates in March, only to have party hacks appoint Cruz delegates through the back door. They say Cruz is better organized.

So was Al Capone.



But just what are the grand principles for which they stand? In its "Against Trump" editorial, the National Review failed to mention a single principle. The closest it came was this:
Indeed, Trump’s politics are those of an averagely well-informed businessman: Washington is full of problems; I am a problem-solver; let me at them. But if you have no familiarity with the relevant details and the levers of power, and no clear principles to guide you, you will, like most tenderfeet, get rolled. Especially if you are, at least by all outward indications, the most poll-obsessed politician in all of American history. Trump has shown no interest in limiting government, in reforming entitlements, or in the Constitution. He floats the idea of massive new taxes on imported goods and threatens to retaliate against companies that do too much manufacturing overseas for his taste. His obsession is with “winning,” regardless of the means — a spirit that is anathema to the ordered liberty that conservatives hold dear and that depends for its preservation on limits on government power. The Tea Party represented a revival of an understanding of American greatness in these terms, an understanding to which Trump is tone-deaf at best and implicitly hostile at worst. He appears to believe that the administrative state merely needs a new master, rather than a new dispensation that cuts it down to size and curtails its power.
I could state that Lincoln knew nothing of running a shoeshine stand much less a government, or that Harding's newspaper enterprise failed a few times but he was wise enough to marry wealth. Both were pretty good presidents. The idea that your average well-informed businessman is not good enough to be president is elitist and in error, because it makes capitalism sound easy when capitalism is far more difficult than writing or running for office.

As for limited government, Reagan made the VA a Cabinet position and Bush 43 added a the Department of Homeland Security instead of having the military take over, temporarily, pat-downs at the airport. Law enforcement at the local level has foiled more plots than the feds. Reforming entitlements? Bush 43 added prescription drug coverage to Medicare. Good luck rolling that one back into the tube.

As for free trade, Reagan imposed a 45 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles on 1983 to save Harley-Davidson.

Saying you are for limited government and free trade and little green apples in the summertime is all very nice but The Donald is for all those things too. Just ask him. When he was a delegate to the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans, he said that (OK, he was silent on little green apples).

The Cruz crowd is a little better at sounding principled. He is for a constitutional government, which implies this one is not.

But of course, this is a constitutional government. All members of Congress, members of the Supreme Court, and both the president and vice president meet the requirements for their office. As far as Obama dodging Congress through executive orders and the like, they all do. Indeed, Cruz has promised to do the same.

Obamacare is constitutional. So is abortion. So is burning the flag. So is Citizens United. Congress has a passive-aggressive relationship with the Supreme Court, letting the latter play the heavy.

For example, in 1875 Congress passed a civil rights act similar to the 1964 act. The Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional in 1883 and Congress shrugged its shoulders. Not until after World War II did the United States take up civil rights again. Eisenhower had to sneak three recess appointments to get by the Dixiecrats. But in 1957, Congress passed the first civil rights act since 1883. It cost Republicans the Senate, which they would not regain for 24 years, So you can see the disincentive to tackle big issues. That is what the court is for.

Don't like it? OK, pass a constitutional amendment to reverse Marbury versus Madison.

But saying you are for a constitutional government is like saying you are going to pass an equal pay law. We have had one on the books for 53 years and it works. It is a principle, I suppose, but I don't see where Trump or even Sanders is calling for an unconstitutional government.

Never Trump is about power, not principle. Pure and simple. Republicans said we have 16 excellent candidates and we will let the people select the nominee. The people selected a 17th one. Now the party wants to pick its own. That's the principle: power.

However, the insiders think this is all an insider's game. It is not. People are paying attention. They see an unprincipled power grab.

15 comments:

  1. Something like Trump's attitude got us to the moon. It was a a lot of duct tape technology and confidence that got us there. If we had known at the time how difficult and complicated it was to do it, knowing what we know now, we'd still be earthbound. And Columbus had neither GPS nor Google earth, but he still made his way across the ocean. Sometimes it's better not to know everything that could possibly complicate whatever it is you're trying to accomplish.

    So, the knock on Trump is that he doesn't know how Big Government works, how to grease the wheels and pull the big levers that make the gears go round. BFD. Maybe the problem is not Trump but Big Government. Isn't that what Conservatives have been saying for years, that government has gotten too large to work properly? I'm tired of hearing about how difficult it is to straighten things out. I WANT a bull in a china shop in DC. The country NEEDS a bull in the DC china shop. I say, Let's break some china.

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  2. "the ordered liberty that conservatives hold dear and that depends for its preservation on limits on government power."

    OMG - It hurts when I laugh,

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  3. When the motivation isn't clear look for either money or love. I doubt that NRO loves either the junior senator from Texas and former Canadian citizen or the son of a postal man. That leaves money. I also doubt that NRO finances their internet and publishing ventures thru sales of wine and political celebrity cruises, so they have deep pocket backers. Those backers are the reason for NRO's NeverTrump position.

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  4. From where I sit many commenters and pundits do not know what Trump is doing right now. They say he is whining about Colorado, and that Ted Cruz has a more masterful command of the rules of the delegate selection process. I see something else:

    (1) Command of the arcane rules of delegate selection (especially if those maintaining the rules favor you) tells me nothing about how someone would govern or would handle foreign powers. If Trump spent a lot of effort trying to master those rules he would still have lost for the people running those rules would not have permitted him to win. This leads me to 2;

    (2) Trump is not playing the game the commenters and pundits expect him to play. He is not playing their game by the rules that they make and can unmake or ignore when they want to. He can't win on that playing field. He is trying (we'll see if he is successful) to keep the game on the field he is the master at. Trump is a master salesman and promoter. He wins on that game field because there is no one else in American politics - with the exception of Obama who is not running - who can play that game.

    So how does Trump move the game back to his field or keep it on his field? He declares the other game rigged and corrupt, and that ignoring the will of the people (Vox Populi, Vox Dei) makes that other game illegitimate, and everything acquired through that game can be discounted as the fruits of corruption. What other does anyone expect a populist to do other than champion the voice of the people and condemn the games of the insiders?

    Will Trump be successful at this? I do not know, but he has gone further with less than anyone could have expected.

    - Mikey NTH

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  5. Actually, the #NeverTrump people have done Donald Trump a huge favor. By declaring their undying hatred they have removed any reason to conciliate them. All effort that would have been wasted that way can be used elsewhere.

    He should send each of them an FTD bouquet thanking them for their assistance.

    - Mikey NTH

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  6. Actually they do have a principal. They just cannot articulate it for obvious reasons. Their principal is to keep the taxpayer-funded, Washington gravy train rolling. That is why they'd rather have Hillary. They know she will keep it rolling (and then some). They can't be sure about Trump (although he probably will). That is why they hate and fear him.

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  7. I liked the rare honesty of this post.

    Did you know the federal government runs a large, purely communist health care program that takes care of millions of people? This health care program operates out of federal facilities and employs 300,000 federal employees.

    Tbe communistic health care program is purely for the benefit of former federal employees, who do not play a penny for lifetime coverage.

    I just described the VA.

    And don't even get me started on property zoning.

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  8. The GOP is in a symbiotic relationship with the Democratic Party. Anything or anyone that threatens that relationship is targeted for destruction without mercy or pity. - Elric

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  9. I am concerned that Kasich and Rubio are conspiring with Cruz to pool delegates and have been promised something in return. No one is looking at what Kasich is doing, he is going under the radar and nobody is questioning his motives for staying in. Please start examining this aspect.

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  10. I would not trust Cruz. Before the Wisconsin vote he suddenly went quiet, reportedly refusing interviews. There have been quite a few people reporting fraud and I believe his "win" was greater than expected and Trump was down and Kasich up on pre polls. Voter switching with machines is a trick which has been shown to happen in court (see youtube). Now again he has suddenly gone quiet before New York. I am betting there is something in the wind there. I liked Cruz the first time I saw him speak, but have changed to the stage that I do not trust him at all.

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  11. Why would Soros be funding Kasich?

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  12. "the ordered liberty that conservatives hold dear and that depends for its preservation on limits on government power."

    OMG - It hurts when I laugh,

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  13. Their principles? The same principles that motivated George III in his rule over pre-revolutionary America. Divine right.

    His rule was legal as well. People thought they should be represented and the rest is history.

    Divine right.

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  14. I can't speak for "Never Trump" since I'm not part of Them. I don't even know if They are even there. As for myself, I understand why Trump appeals to so many. There's no need to rehash the laundry list of Republican (and to some extent Democrat) grievances and the antipathy voters feel to the party apparatus. And I understand the emotional satisfaction one could derive from sticking a great, big, improbably-coifed middle finger in the faces of the higher ups who run things.

    Set all that aside for a moment. I am solidly Never Trump because I believe that he was always a plant for his bought-and-paid-for friends, the Clintons. I believe that his aim was to destroy any legitimate GOP contender to ensure smooth sailing for the Dowager Queen of Chappaqua. (Walker? Gone. Perry? Gone. Jindal, Fiorina, Rubio, Carson, even Bush. Sayanara. Say what you will about their policies or their personalities. Whatever their chances may have been, they couldn't possibly hope to compete against the $2-3 BILLION in free advertising given by the media to ANY particular candidate.) I believe he never expected to either (A) still be a contender this far in or (B) if he DID make it this far to still have any legitimate rivals. I believe that if he were truly the savvy businessman that he presents himself to be, he would have had a plan for the later states. Like Colorado. Seriously, the rules for the delegates were known to all in AUGUST. He could have been lining up and schmoozing and making his case to them for 7 months. Any serious candidate SHOULD have done that. (One of them did. Heh.) And when it is all said and done, if he somehow gets the nomination, I believe he will tank the election.

    Just my opinion. What a shame that someone who is finally making a semi-serious case about the border and someone who would cheerfully plunge a scimitar into the pathetic, evil, black heart of Political Correctness would be such a two-faced sack of manure.

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