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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

They call Trump lucky. They mean successful

If only Jon McTague of The Atlantic had done a little reading up on President Donald John Trump, he would not look as big a fool. The Art of the Deal, the Art of the Comeback, and the Art of War are all available on Kindle.

But he dismissed President Donald John Trump's success as Trumportunities, "the idea that, whether by accident or design, Trump creates chances to solve long-running international problems that a conventional leader would not."

Solving problems experts cannot, McTague said, is blind luck.

Sun Tzu rolls in laughter.

A glimmer of hope shined through in McTague's piece, as he wrote, "The president’s erratic behavior might be doing something else as well, something even more fundamental. Through a combination of instinct, temperament, and capriciousness, Trump may be reminding the world of the reality of international relations: Raw military and economic power still matter more than anything else — so long as those who hold them are prepared to use them. The air strike that killed Qassem Soleimani was a reminder that the U.S. remains the one indispensable global superpower. Iran, or indeed anyone else, simply cannot respond in kind."

But McTague lapsed into the unwarranted air of journalistic superiority that roils those actually familiar with the subject at hand. He wrote, "Although Trump’s foreign-policy strategy (if one even accepts that there is such a thing)" — McTague just had to show his foolishness — "has many limits, his unpredictability and, most crucially, his willingness to escalate a crisis using the United States’ military and economic strength have turned the tables on Iran in a way few thought possible."

President Donald John Trump's unpredictability is a tactic he deploys time and again. It has made him a billionaire and president.

I am glad to see McTague acknowledge that President Donald John Trump uses the soft power of economic sanctions, as well as tariffs, to affect foreign policy. He gave Mexico a choice between tariffs and defending our border.

McTague ended his column, "The president, accidentally or otherwise, has identified real problems, including Iran’s ability to act with relative impunity and China’s disrespect for the rules of global trade. With regard to Iran, Trump appears to have stumbled upon an effective mechanism to advance U.S. interests. But he has yet to show himself to be any better than his forerunners at solving the long-term problems he has identified — and may yet make them worse."

Losers call winners lucky.

But people also flock to winners, as Kathy Gilsinan also of The Atlantic discovered. She interviewed Rebeccah Heinrichs, who signed a Never Trump petition 4 years ago. Gilsinan wrote, "Heinrichs is an exception in the old GOP national-security world — which for the most part has stuck to its Never Trump positions — but she’s the norm in the party as a whole, which gives Trump a 94% approval rating."

Ah, a neocon sees the light.

Heinrichs said, "His personal flaws are so transparent that they can distract truly well-meaning people or turn people off altogether. I have long argued for American primacy and President Trump is, even if sometimes clumsily, defending it and fighting for it. I'm not going to yell at the clouds over his tweets or obsess over this or that expression of bad manners."

Gilsinan wrote, "Far from being inhibited by the foreign-policy establishment that shunned him, Trump has destroyed it. The list of names on the letters now reads like a memorial wall for the party’s old power brokers. Trump has barred them almost entirely from jobs in his administration, and built a new pro-Trump establishment on the wreckage of the old GOP elite."

He took out the Democrat elitists as well. They are not elite, which would imply that they are competent. They are connected, and protected from being held accountable for the mistakes they make. Just like journalists.

After 4 years, some Never Trumpers get it. Journalists still don't because if they did, they would not chalk up his successes to luck. Instead, they would credit hard work and adroit analysis and superior strategy.


  1. Might want to check with author of the Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz.

    The Times has documented Trump's fortunes as a money laundering operation from his cradle. These have never been refuted.

    1. The only laundering you are knowledgeable about is laundering for you diapers.

    2. clean up, aisle 3. ninny mouse sprung another leak.

      like a chicken dropping its load, he is.


    3. A negative article about Donald Trump in the NYT? Why, that will change my entire perspective on the man! Since they are known for their unbiased, factual, and well-researched reporting.
      You are going to have to do much better than that to affect our opinions.

    4. The Gray Lady still refuses to return Walter Duranty's Pulitzer.

    5. BARSTOW: Oh. Well, so he publishes "The Art Of The Comeback" in 1997. And it's this story of his sort of, you know, pulling himself up out of the muck of his casino collapse and, through his grit and determination and wily negotiating skills, getting himself back on his feet. Well, within - a few weeks of the publication of this book so happens to coincide with the time when he actually took possession of one-quarter of his father's real estate empire through one of these very elaborate tax schemes that we describe in the story. So at this moment when he's boasting about, you know, his derring-do of getting himself off the mat, it actually coincides perfectly with the moment when he's just taken possession of 25 percent of this enormous real estate empire. And somehow, someway, not a word of that made its way into the book "The Art Of The Comeback."

    6. He went from millionaire to billionaire. Pinch Sulzburger went from billionaire to millionaire.

    7. And doesn't show the homework? Not buying it. The Apprentice was just a reality tv show. The king of debt is no billionaire.

    8. but ninny mouse thinks himself as Mr. wizard.

      ninny not even house broken.


    9. You guys are the best. The Times? Really? Nobody has refuted them, because nobody takes them seriously. Now, how about you run along and look into Obama's rezko land deal?

    10. The stupid hypocritical dishonest troll, laughingly dumps this gem:

      "And doesn't show the homework? Not buying it. The Apprentice was just a reality tv show. The king of debt is no billionaire."

      No one at this blog buys the fact that you know what you are posting about. Your leader, Slow joe was right about you: you are full of shi#t.

      Now that you have some of the attention you so desperately seek, you can run along trollies, until you work up another bucket of diarrhea to dump here. It's not as if you have a shortage of the stuff. You ooze it you lonely loser.


  2. Luciano was lucky (for a while). PDJT is gifted. The US of A is grateful, well at least most of us are.

  3. I have always thought that the key to understanding the President is recognition that he is a child of NYC's outer boroughs. I, too, am a child of the outer boroughs and I get the bombast and exaggeration as the way we speak. That is all for show.

    1. "I, too, am a child of the outer boroughs and I get the bombast and exaggeration as the way we speak. That is all for show."

      Me as well. You need to be from the area to understand Donald Trump or any other New Yorker for that matter.

  4. IMO a better book for _understanding_ Trump is "Think Big And Kick Ass In Business And Life". (I prefer the older, non-bowdlerised title.)

  5. I don't always comment but when I do, I read Art of War

    Trump Being Surprising Update

    When General Soli-mani-pedi was sent to his 72 afterlife. There was a pause in Iranian actions. In strategic terms Iran did a "freeze".

    I truly think Trump stopped a war that day.

    In asymmetric warfare the adversary using terrorist tactics has several disadvantages. One is the long lead time between planning and execution. The other is that you really require a passive occupation like opponent that sits like a duck and takes your attacks. Or best case the duck attacks the civilians in retaliation.

    To my memory I have never seen someone target the terrorist command and control. Sure we had Bin Laden in the cross hairs pre 911. But we were not targeting his commanders who were relaying plans to the 911 hijackers.

    When Trump took out General Soli-mani-pedi it sent a message on multiple levels to the Ayatollah of Non-Rock and Rolla's in charge of Iran.

    First off kudos to Trump for dong the unexpected. Second Kudos to Trump for doing "something" that the Ayatollahs had no real response for. Third Kudos for Trump doing SOMETHING!!!

    Too many times I have been in meetings where the decision was basically "wait until they do something bad enough that justifies big casualties".

    I really believed that this was a good play. But these insane people keep poking until they insanely can't help themselves to do something insane like 911.

    But even insane people can feel fear it seems. Even insane people in charge of a theocracy DO have to go to their insane General's family and give condolences. And in that car trip to and from that condolence giving perhaps an Ayatollah became a little less insane in attacking a superpower that could obliterate their little sand country 1000 times over.

    Trump is lucky because he's good with good instincts.

    Take recent events. The mayor of Austin cancels SXSW a major media gathering representing 10s of millions of dollars in local commerce.

    Not a "bad" call I suppose. Given what happened in Milan you could see his "panic logic".

    But the law of unintended consequences is now biting him in the hindquarters. Because Austin is now a ghost town due to people cowering in fear over a virus NOWHERE NEAR Austin Texas.

    Trump rightly knew from the beginning that the real cost of Covid-19 would not be a few deaths that while tragic could be just like a bad flu season. No, the real impact would be economic.

    Trump was smart/lucky enough to not be baited into testing kit debates.

    Trump was smart/lucky enough not to pull an Austin Mayor mistake and panic the US into cowering in fear.

    after awhile you can't be really believe it's just "lucky". You have to consider that he is really just that smart.

    Europe right now is a poster child for the "not smart and not lucky leadership style". While I believe that Italy may be justified in what they are doing. They are panicking ALL of Europe. So bad Euroland economy numbers are locked in until June.

    I hope Trump can pull off a miracle in the US. I really do. He's the one to do it if anyone can.

  6. Don,I think Sun Tzu and Norman Vincent Peale should get equal credit ;)

  7. Gotta repeat the classic comeback/dissent from Tony Scalia in the Casey Martin case:

    “I guess that is why those who follow professional golfing consider Jack Nicklaus the luckiest golfer of all time, only to be challenged of late by the phenomenal luck of Tiger Woods.”

    Fookin LibCommies call it luck when somebody else EARNS something. Fook em.

    1. It is a delightful dissent.

      "If one assumes, however, that the PGA TOUR has some legal obligation to play classic, Platonic golf–and if one assumes the correctness of all the other wrong turns the Court has made to get to this point–then we Justices must confront what is indeed an awesome responsibility. It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States, laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government’s power “[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,” U.S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 3, to decide What Is Golf. I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution, aware of the 1457 edict of King James II of Scotland prohibiting golf because it interfered with the practice of archery, fully expected that sooner or later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this august Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer? The answer, we learn, is yes. The Court ultimately concludes, and it will henceforth be the Law of the Land, that walking is not a “fundamental” aspect of golf.

      "Either out of humility or out of self-respect (one or the other) the Court should decline to answer this incredibly difficult and incredibly silly question."

    2. In one of President Trump's books Trump tells of a comment he once made to Jack Nicklaus: that Trump had made more money playing golf than Nicklaus! True! The explanation was of Trump inviting a Banker (who obviously did not like Trump) to play a round of golf, before a Bankruptcy meeting. Trump helped the Banker with his golf grip; the Banker sent his people to negotiate more fair financial terms, the hostile meeting was cancelled. A $100M turnaround, in an afternoon. So Trump joked with Nicklaus that he (Trump) had made more money than Nicklaus playing golf.

  8. The death of Soleimani is to Iran as the death of Stonewall Jackson was to the Confederacy - an ill-timed and irreplaceable loss.

  9. A friend of mine said to me, "I wouldn't want to work for Trump, I wouldn't want to do business with him and I wouldn't want to socialize with him, BUT, I need him as my president."

    1. Your friend isn't too bright. I'd love to work for or do business deals with Trump. Suppose he'd rather socialize with more sophisticated folks like big mike Obama or Hillary.

  10. Amazing to note the ongoing and long list of intuitive actions with good results then attribute it all to luck. They just can't bring themselves to admit it is skill.

  11. Accident? If that's what the mental midget lefties believe then let's have MORE accidents.

  12. Soleimani was the equivalent of taking out Yamamoto. None of his replacements had quite the same experience that he did..
    In fact,even more so, as Soleimani did not have a good replacement,
    this is worse..
    They are in complete disarray...

  13. It is easy to understand Trump's continuing list of successes.

    He is the Fourth Prince of Serendip in disguise.

  14. Uh, Donald John Surber, this thing of identifying Trump by all three of his names has gotten old. You're overdoing it. Once per article is enough.