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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Trump followed the Republican plan

President Trump is not the rogue elephant the experts predicted. No one should be surprised because Trump always was a conventional Republican, he just didn't get along with the lifers in Washington who thought they owned the party.

Look at his Cabinet picks so far. Competent men and women who shun the limelight. As boring as watching tapioca rise. Fortunately, we have Trump who gets into mischief and keeps us entertained. Dennis the Menace meets Richie Rich.

But make no mistake, Donald Trump is a conventional, workaholic tycoon. He represents the Republican wing of the Republican Party. He fits right in there with Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan.

And as the wheels turn at Trump Tower and spit out competent after competent for appointment to high office, it becomes clear: Trump is a mainstream, cut taxes, help the truly needy, football-and-golf Republican.

Far from doing improvisation, he actually followed the Republican plan.

Don't get me wrong. He trashed the Washington establishment. They deserved thrashing.

Meanwhile, Never Trumpers are high-fiving and sneering at Democrats as if Never Trump had anything to do with President Trump's historic, 30-state landslide victory. But Never Trump is as out of touch as Democrats are.

Consider this dreck from National Review on October 24:
Before rushing toward a plan to rebuild the conservative movement, let’s pause to ask the right questions about what went wrong.
There is much discussion among Republicans, and particularly for those of us who have long counted ourselves as Never Trump, about the future of the Republican party once Donald Trump is defeated on November 8, as many of us expect he will be.
You told us so, eh?

Except for the part where he actually won.

The column asked a bunch of nonsensical questions:
Does the restoration of the Republican party require total reconciliation — or is there a faction that needs to be driven out, similar to what William F. Buckley Jr. did to the John Birch Society? Are there “deplorables”? If so — and I would say the Stephen Bannon/–led alt-right movement certainly qualifies — how large is that group, and what needs to be done about them?
Idiots. Buckley purged conservatism and we wound up with HEW (now HHS and Education), EPA and the other elements of the welfare state because conservatives were divided for a generation until Reagan brought them together in 1980. By then it was too late to euthanize Medicaid.

Having told us Trump was doomed, National Review now mocks Democrats:
The Democrats’ Days of Rage and Denial
Their self-delusion in defeat is as predictable as a sunrise.
No, National Review, you do not get to mock Democrats because you are just as delusion and just as defeated.

You didn't build this.

Those alt-righters did.

You stood on the sidelines silently rooting for Hillary Clinton to win so she could appoint crazies to the courts.

You see, the dirty little secret is a liberal Supreme Court is better for ginning up donations than a conservative court. You get nine Alitos on the bench and the money stops flowing.

But National Review does not matter. The Republican Party under Trump does. After Romney lost in 2012, Reince Priebus ordered the party to do an autopsy.

Josh Marshall of Talking Points memo delivered a good summary:
1. Pass Immigration Reform Yesterday 
Normally the RNC's focus is more on infrastructure and staff than policy, which is left to politicians to chart. But the party's standing with Latino voters has gotten so dangerously low that the RNC's report openly begs Republicans to change their position in defiance of the party's own 2012 platform.
2. Listen To Minorities
Much of the report is about encouraging Republicans to listen not just to Republican minorities, but to reach out to black, Hispanic, and Asian American voters in their own communities.
3. Gays Aren't Going Away
It's not a coincidence that more Republicans are endorsing gay marriage: gay rights has gone from a wedge issue against Democrats in 2004 to a topic President Obama actively highlighted in his 2012 campaign.
4. Epistemic Closure Is Real
There's been a long running debate on the intellectual right about whether the GOP suffers from "epistemic closure," a condition in which conservatives block out all dissenting voices until eventually their own arguments sound nonsensical to anyone who doesn't already agree with them. The RNC report concludes this is a real and growing problem.
5. Look To The States
The RNC report makes a careful distinction between federal Republicans -- bad! -- and state Republicans -- good! The GOP currently holds 30 governorships and many of them, like Chris Christie in New Jersey and John Kasich in Ohio, have been both moving to the center and gaining in popularity recently. They stand in stark contrast to House Republicans, who have more conservative constituencies and typically have been more inflexible in their views.
6. Stop Being The Rich Guys
Less than year after nominating a millionaire investor who proclaimed that "corporations are people," the RNC is concerned that the party has become too closely tied with wealthy interests.
Guess what?

The plan worked.

Knock off that first item -- amnesty -- and you have President Trump's campaign.

Let's start from the bottom: No. 6. Stop being the rich guys. No matter how many billions Trump has he always identified with the working class because that is what he is.

He works. He is in Trump Tower interviewing people for hours on end as he assembles a world-class team of competents.

He is also reviewing every executive order Obama ever issued and reading how to repeal mountains of regulations and red tape. Every now and then he tweets something, or trots out Kanye West to keep the rubes in the press occupied.

No. 5. Look to the states. Trump took Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin back thanks to the good records of Governors Branstad, Kasich and Walker. Yes, Kasich is acting like a jerk now, but Ohio is solidly Republican thanks to his good work as governor.

No. 4. Listen to more than the conservative echo chamber. Trump does, which is why the National Review is mad.

No. 3. Gays Aren't Going Away. Notice that Trump ignored gay marriage. Conservatives cannot win the argument when framed by liberals. So ignore it. Peter Thiel's support came not because Trump will let Thiel marry his partner, but because Trump will save the country.

No. 2. Listen to minorities. On Tuesday, Jim Brown and Ray Lewis visited Trump and came away with the message that Trump listens and cares. Brown is 80 and has lived civil rights from when he could not play in the South. You cannot fool him. I really think Trump does care about African-Americans and will not just come around the neighborhood at election time.

Which leaves No. 1. Amnesty.



Republicans needed to stand for something. They did. They won. Now they are Trumplicans.


Please read "Trump the Press," in which I skewer media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.

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  1. Time for the Loser GOP establishment to head for the locker room. Maybe an ice cold shower will open their eyes. - Elric

  2. "football-and-golf Republican"

    In a Paul Crewe/Happy Gilmore sort of way, sure.

    1. Don't forget The Waterboy. He can dew eat.

    2. I was thinking Al Czervik but definitely Paul Crewe (the Burt Reynolds one) But I like the Adam Sandler thing you did there.
      My readers are the best.

  3. The Donald probably gets more done in a day than I do in a week, and he's twelve years my senior. The first hundred days is gonna be like that time at Busch Gardens right after a rainstorm when my son and I ran to the best coaster - no line! - and rode that thing five straight times. That's how fun it's gonna be.

    1. It's been fifteen years since I had that energy level myself.

  4. Beware commies giving advice to conservatives.

    Of the six issues the opinion-clown Marshall identified, immigration reform was the only issue that mattered to the 2016 election. The other five issues were completely irrelevant.

    And on the one important issue, Marshall recommended the Uniparty approach, exactly the position of GOPe and Democrats which is open borders and amnesty.

    The only reason Trump was nominated and ultimately won was his aggressive position on border control, wall-building and deportation. Without Trump taking those positions, we would be inaugurating the Harpy in a month.

    And expect the GOPe (represented by Eddie Munster, GOPe-WI, and the Turtle, GOPe-KY) to fight Trump every step of the way on his most important issue. The good news is that Trump doesn’t need much in the way of new legislation. He just needs to enforce existing law

    1. "Trump doesn’t need much in the way of new legislation. He just needs to enforce existing law"

      Yes. Within reason, Trump should strive to get Congress to go along with him on the immigration issue, but if Congressional Republicans balk, then Trump should ignore them the way Obama did. Trump has a phone and a Twitter account, and he knows how to use them both to speak directly to the American people.

  5. Thank you for this post. Almost nothing is pi$$ing me off as much as the Never Trumpers acting like they were with him/us all of the time.

    1. Yeah. It's a bit funny.

    2. Cluelessness and stupidity are rather amusing at times.

  6. O/T follow-up on Don's post yesterday on Obamacare. From the IBD today:

    "What they [the Heritage Foundation] found is that the Obama administration has inflated the ObamaCare coverage number by almost 42%. The actual gain in coverage between 2013 and 2015 was 14 million, Heritage found. That's close to the Census Bureau's estimate that the number of uninsured declined by 12.8 million over these years. And of that, only 2.2 million gained private coverage, Heritage figures. The other 11.8 million went on Medicaid. (Heritage only has hard data through 2015, but enrollment in the exchanges was basically flat in 2016.)"

    A little bit of history: The Feds promised the States who created their own Obamacare exchanges and who expanded eligibility for Medicaid an increase in federal funding for their state-run Medicaid programs, but just for a period of time, after which the States would have to foot the bill themselves. Some states realized the future costs for such an expansion of Medicaid would be unsustainable once the federal funding ran out, and so they declined the "generosity" of the Obama administration.

  7. I'm happy to say that Georgia was one of those states that declined the Medicaid expansion much to the dismay of the liberals at the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation. Unfortunately, we have some GOPe governors who fell for the scam. Isn't Kasich one of them?