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Showing posts from January, 2016

The Trump Phenomenon: a cancer on the body politic

Grow up.

That's the advice Roger Ailes has for Donald Trump. That's the advise the venerable Thomas Sowell has for him as well.

That's the advice his mommy should have given him long ago.

Donald Trump is a petulant, thin-skinned bully, a braggart without nearly the substance to back up his bragging he would like us to think he has. He's full of promises, but pretty much wholly without any clue as to how to accomplish what he promises.

Ask him for specifics, and he'll change the subject. Refuse to let him get away with that- hold his feet to the fire- and he'll respond by personally attacking you.

He is not a serious candidate for the presidency. He is absolutely unqualified in terms of experience, knowledge, temperament and personal maturity. He says that his supporters would still be in back of him if he committed murder. And the hell of it is, he's probably right.

He does not attract supporters who are looking for a president. He attracts supporters who a…

An evening at the Marriott

Seems the Rubio caucus night "victory celebration" will be only a few blocks away, at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott. So I'll be going there after my caucus adjourns at the Historical Society building. Haven't spent an election night at the Marriott since Denise and I left for home thinking that Dubyah had lost the 2000 election, only to be pleasantly surprised once we got there.

When I get home I'll blog on what happened both in the Des Moines Precinct 55 caucus, and statewide. I'm pulling for a strong third-place finish, and who knows? Maybe lightning will strike and we'll catch Cruz.

In any event, in a little more than 24 hours we'll know just how crazy this crazy election year is likely to be- and the answer to Donald Trump's question, "How dumb are Iowans, anyway?"

I'm hoping that we turn out to be a lot less dumb than he's counting on us being.

The body of Christ isn't asleep, Sen. Cruz. And it's not necessarily for you.

Ted Cruz is making with that "awaken the body of Christ" nonsense again.

First,  for the benefit of all those unchurched journalists out there, He is not calling for Jesus to wake up and start walking around. He's already quite awake, thank you, and is wherever he chooses to be without the necessity of a wake-up call. The "body of Christ" is a Pauline term for the Church.

Nor is it necessarily the case that the Church needs to be "awakened." Many of us are quite awake, Sen. Cruz- and the more awake we are, the less you are likely to benefit from that fact.

Some members of the Body of Christ- those who apparently are unfamiliar with 1 John 1:8-10, are asleep enough to think that Donald Trump is one of them. Others are supporting Sen. Rubio or Gov. Bush or Dr. Carson or someone else.

So you are not the "Christian candidate," Sen. Cruz. Several of the other candidates are just as Christian as you are, and a great many of us don't believe th…

Enough snow may arrive early enough to mess up Iowa roads tomorrow after all

The latest word is that the Iowa blizzard may yet make roads hazardous in the southern third of Iowa Monday night.

Time will tell whether this will be enough to deter the hoards of Trump supporters expected to cover the landscape tomorrow night. Ted Cruz has got to be hoping that people will be deterred from making the trip. The lower the turnout, the better his chances.

Iowans, of course, are used to driving in snow. So the question will ultimately be whether or not all those first-time Trump caucus participants decide that it's worth the effort. There is no word as to how bad conditions will be when the caucuses begin at 7 pm local time, but they will probably go on for at least an hour and in some places longer, making the trip home a concern for some especially in rural areas.
Photo By MIKI Yoshihito via

Trump promises universal healthcare coverage

Now, don't get me wrong. I actually agree that universal healthcare insurance is good. I'm in favor of it, too.

But there are two problems. First, I wonder how many participants in tomorrow's Iowa Caucuses know about this particular position of his. And I am absolutely certain that I'm not the only one who would like to know how he plans to pay for it.

But then comes the second problem: he doesn't know. As usual, Donald Trump has absolutely no concrete answers about how he would go about achieving his goal. It's just more Trump smoke-and-mirrors; just more of Trump's traditional pattern of refusing to give concrete answers about anything.

Because he can't. He's just blowing hot air. That is literally all he does.

Neither on health care nor on any other major issue does Donald Trump have the slightest idea what he's talking about or what he's going to do. He just opens his mouth, and whatever comes out.... comes out. And heaven help you if you…

If there's a surprise Monday night, it will be Rubio

Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner has some interesting observations about that last Iowa Poll.

Trump's and Cruz's supporters are not persuadable. But Rubio has the most second-choice support of anybody- and everybody else's support seems fluid.

Carney stops short- as well he might- of predicting that Rubio will win or even finish second. But he observes that Marco has the highest "upside." If there are any surprises tomorrow night they will probably come from a better-than-expected performance by Rubio. And that could completely transform the race.

Another variable to keep in mind: Rubio has the lowest disapproval rating of anybody in the race.   All signs would seem to indicate that any late switches will probably go disproportionately Rubio's way.

And then, too... maybe there are more Iowa Republicans than we think who actually want to win this November.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Good news for Trump

The blizzard isn't going to hit Iowa until Tuesday.

I've dealt with Paulistas in the past, but I strongly suspect that my experience tomorrow night will be the closest thing to my summer as an intern chaplain at a state mental hospital I've experienced since.

I'm trying not to think about it. Back then, at least, they were medicated and sometimes restrained. There wasn't much damage they could do to themselves or to the rest of us.

Not so the Trump people.
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Musk of SpaceX: 'I'm going to Mars by 2025'

Elon Musk of SpaceX says that his company will send human beings to Mars by 2025.

While I'd be delighted- I might well live to see our first landing on Mars, if that's the case- I have my doubts.

We have the technology to send people to Mars right now. The problem is that they would die. We have no way of shielding them from the kind and amount of radiation they would be exposed to on the trip, for one thing. In the very unlikely case that astronauts survived the trip they would die at a young age of bizarre cancers.

There are, of course, various other practical problems involved in sending people to Mars. Staying in any kind of reasonable physical and psychological shape during the months the trip would require in an isolated and weightless environment would be a daunting task. The practical difficulties involved in keeping astronauts alive and healthy during and after the trip are enormous and will take years if not decades to overcome.

Which is not to say that we shouldn…

Former IG: Hillary never even had a State Department email account!

Howard Krongard, who served as the State Department's Inspector General from 2005 through 2008 (not, it should be noted, when Hillary Clinton was the Secretary) says that the State Department knew full well about Hillary's private email server because she was never assigned a State Department email address!

Krongard insists that the State Department is lying when it says that that it was unaware of Clinton's private server. "How was she supposed to do business without email?" he asks.

He also pointed out that the State Department did not have an Inspector General during Clinton's tenure, something which is unprecedented.

Krongard said  that in order for an indictment to be handed down, the case would have to go from the FBI through "four loyal Democrat women," Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. Even if a prosecution cannot be avoided, he predicted, any charges against Cli…

The Iowa Poll: Where we stand on Saturday night

Mussolini and Hillary look to win the caucuses, 

On the GOP side, Trump has 28% to 23% for Ted Cruz and 15% for Marco Rubio. Ben Carson has 10%, and everybody else is in single digits. Jeb Bush only has two percent.

It's close on the Democratic side. Clinton has 45% to 42% for Bernie Sanders, who I suspect will soon be looked back upon as the flavor of the month once Clinton is indicted and the Democrats start scrambling for a credible substitute. Of course, the Obama Justice Department might decide not to indict Clinton, and the Democrats may try to "gut it out"  with regard to their darling's legal problems. But even then, Sanders' status as a protest candidate will, after his probable victory in New Hampshire, become, I suspect, increasingly clear. Martin O'Malley looks to be discredited by his vanishing act in Iowa, but I find it hard to believe that with all the baggage Hillary will be carrying somebody- maybe Joe Biden- won't jump in and try to prov…

Let's be clear about this: Donald Trump is NOT Hitler!

Despite Donald Trump's severe allergic reaction to criticism, his contempt for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, his having constructed his entire campaign on the Fuhrerprinzip, his ranting speeches, and his fondness fo scapegoating minorities, he has never built a death camp, nor is there any reason to think that he might. His problems are with Muslims and Mexicans rather than Jews. There is no reason to believe that he actually wishes physical harm- or harm of any kind, really- upon anybody.

So I have to agree with an objection that has been raised to some of the harsher criticisms of the man. There is no justification whatsoever for comparing him with Adolph Hitler.

Benito Mussolini, on the other hand, is another matter.

Photo By DonkeyHotey via

And now the debate of the century: Trump vs Trump!

So what if he skipped the last Iowa debate?

Here- thanks to Stephen Colbert- is the debate that counts: Donald Trump vs. Donald Trump.

Since Mr. Trump has been on both sides of virtually every issue raised in this campaign- or is likely to be raised- this should be especially informative.

Note that Mr. Colbert is courteous enough not to offend Mr. Trump by asking him any difficult questions.

As is always the case, all assertions made by Mr. Trump are subject to change without notice, and you will be called all sorts of names and have your character assassinated should you point out that he has changed one of them.

The rules, as moderator Colbert reminds us, are simple: say the first thing that comes into your mind, and whatever it is, you go up in the polls.

Incidentally, I hope the people of Iowa pay special attention the second Mr. Trump's opinion of them.

Photo By DonkeyHotey via

Photo By DonkeyHotey via

Just for starters

Here are some of the other things that we know were on Hillary's unsecured email server.

Read 'em and weep... and wonder why the indictment hasn't already come down.

No, Hillary. No "right-wing conspiracy" here. Just a whole lot of stuff you had no business leaving laying around where America's enemies could find it- and a whole bunch of (new) reasons why we can't have you as our president.

Like we needed any more...

Photo By Charles Knowles via

Hillary is in bigger trouble than we thought

The Obama administration has admitted that some of the emails that were on Hillary Clinton's private server and accessible to the nation's enemies are "too sensitive to be released under any circumstances."

22 of them were classified "Top Secret" and at least one came from human intelligence.

Hillary is being investigated by the FBI concerning possible charges of "gross negligence" and "public corruption." They are operating under the assumption that there are still unsecured copies of some of the emails still "out there."

It will be nothing less than fascinating to see whether or not the Justice Department pursues charges against the former Secretary of State even if the FBI recommends them. Given the condition in which Hillary Clinton's indictment would leave the Democratic party, the temptation to find some excuse not to act will be strong.

Since Bernie Sanders is not a credible nominee, it will be fascinating to see wha…

Please watch this video

You won't be able to see it on YouTube because, incredibly, YouTube considers it "hate speech." You'll have to go to this page.

YouTube's reaction  is nearly as crazy as the situation this young German woman describes.Yes, she says some ugly things. No, I don't approve of every single word she says. But she's scared- and she has good reason to be.

People shouldn't be discriminated against because of their religion. But when they are steeped in a culture which causes them to act like animals, that is good reason to say "Enough is enough," and react, not against their religion, but against their behavior. And if the culture they come from causes them to react in this way, then people from that culture should not be allowed entrance to the West. It's a matter of simple common sense.

The behavior of those male Muslim immigrants should not be tolerated. One hand to the breast should be automatic deportation. And this is one situation in whic…

Do Trump supporters have any self-esteem at all?

I didn't want to let this excellent piece from the National Review get away.

Zombie-like hordes uncritically supporting candidates who don't deserve to be taken seriously are nothing new to us in Iowa. The Ron Paul crowd buzzed and muttered around the Iowa Caucuses for quite a while. They're gone now; Rand, Ron's son and political heir, is in marginally greater contact with reality than dear old dad, and apparently not nearly as adept at inspiring puzzling fanaticism.

That's particularly the case because now Donald Trump is on the scene.

The Trump phenomenon isn't that hard to understand on one level. People are angry and frustrated and feel lied to and taken advantage of. Here's a guy who says what they're thinking (and told to be ashamed that they're thinking it)- and not only getting away with it, but prospering.

Never mind that he's lying to them and taking advantage of them even more than those other politicians. Never mind that he's th…

It takes more than a little snow to slow down an Iowa Caucus

The weathermen predict a snowstorm in iowa just in time to mess with the Iowa Caucuses.

That's the good news for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and the rest of us not taken in by Donald Trump.

The bad news is that it doesn't look like anything Iowans aren't going to take in stride, and in any case will probably come to late to have any real effect.

Still, anything that holds the turnout down is bad news for Trump. The virulent brain-eating Trump virus that has infected much of the country is spreading here in Iowa as well, and the polls currently predict a Trump victory powered by an unprecedented avalanche of first-time caucus-goers similar to that which swung Iowa to Barack Obama in 2008. Bad weather might cut into it.

We shall see. Of course, there's another variable: bad weather favors the most motivated caucus-goers, a fact which has combined with the general extremism of Iowa voters to give an extra advantage to the tinfoil hat crowd in election after election. As far as…

That third party thing

Sorry, but there's no market for a Michael Bloomberg third party (or fourth, if Jim Webb runs) in 2016.

But if Cruz or especially Trump gets the Republican nomination, there might be room for a Center-Right third party candidate.

The only question would be who. Lindsey Graham? Mitt Romney? John Kasich?

How about... Jeb Bush?

Hard to find an obvious fit. But the niche is there if anybody wants to grab it. Unless, of course, Rubio gets the nomination. If that doesn't happen, though- if it's Trump or Cruz- I, for one, would be interested in supporting such a candidate.

Incidentally, I don't buy the notion of Trump running as a third-party candidate if he doesn't get the Republican nomination. He'd be wasting his money, and that doesn't sound like Trump.

A late Rubio surge?

Suddenly catching Cruz here in Iowa before Monday, while still unlikely, no longer seems impossible:

If the print's too small, that's Trump 32%, Cruz 25%, and Rubio 18%. Rubio is one point back of Cruz in New Hampshire,  and six back in South Carolina.

Maybe there's hope of electing a Republican president this year yet.

The one thing every Iowa Republican needs to know before Monday night

The Democrats- who are salivating at the thought of running against either Ted "Shut 'er Down!" Cruz or Donald (chuckle) Trump, are scared to death of Marco Rubio.

Even the New York Times admits it. And there is a reason for this. The reason is that whereas Hillary (or whomever else they nominate if she's in jail by then) would clean the electoral floor with Cruz, the personification of gridlock, or with Trump, whom the Democratic attack machine would tear into pieces.

But Marco Rubio would win. 

On Monday, Iowa Republicans will decide whether to send Washington a message... or a president.

Care to try again, Obama supporters?

You know that temporary seizure of an American ship and kidnapping of American sailors that Obama fans were so quick to defend in order to defend our feckless Commander-in-Chief?

Well, it violated international law. As long as they weren't engaged in military operations the American vessels had every right to be in Iranian waters under the doctrine of "innocent passage" without being molested by the Iranians.

Yet supporters of Mr Obama have been quick to praise the Administration's spineless response to Iran's criminal act by claiming- falsely- that we would have done the same thing were an Iranian vessel to stray into American waters under the same circumstaces.

Fascinating, isn't it, how quick some Americans are to side with America's enemies against their own country?

HT; Real Clear World

Bernie thinks Microsoft might steal the Iowa Caucuses

Break out the tinfoil hats, people

Between Bernie, Hillary, Trump and Cruz, there's a whole lot of crazy going on in this state right now. And Bernie Sanders has just ratcheted it up a notch on the Democratic side by warning that the evil corporate capitalists at Microsoft might steal the caucuses.


Which, in one sense, is par for the course. As I've said repeatedly, both Democratic and Republican voters in Iowa tend to be extreme, even more so than nationally. In fact, in my opinion the single best argument against Iowa remaining first in the nation- or having any disproportionate influence in the nominating process at all- is that it not only gives an advantage to unelectable candidates but forces all the candidates to say things they'll regret later just to connect to the ideologically-oriented Iowa caucus-goer.

This year, of course, we have Donald Trump, who is not only extreme but all over the place. His chief rival figures to be Ted Cruz, a conservative so rig…

Iowa poll predicts Trump, Cruz and Rubio as the three "ticket bearers"

The Iowa Poll- the one to pay attention to in this state- has Trump at 30%, Cruz at 23%, Rubio at 16%, Carson at 10%, Bush at four percent, Huckabee at three percent, Kasich at three percent, Paul at three percent, Christie at two percent, and Fiorina at two percent.

That's pretty much my sense of how things are shaking out. The three "tickets" out of Iowa look to go to Trump, Cruz and Rubio. With Rubio ahead of Bush, Kasich and Christie in New Hampshire, he seems to be in a pretty strong position to consolidate his place as the centrist alternative to Trump and Cruz.

Bush, Kasich and Christie, on the other hand, have to make something happen fast or fade out of the picture.

The real question on Caucus Night may be one of margin- how much Trump beats Cruz by (the expected influx of first-time caucus goers will probably inflate that margin) and how close Rubio can come to the two leaders.

Finishing lower than third would be a disaster for Rubio, and throw him into a free-…

Amazing! Even the Washington Post gets it- almost alone among the MSM

Curious. The Washington Post (!) does an opinion piece on how the rest of the MSM failed to pick up on that remarkable exchange between an atheist and Marco Rubio.

The First Amendment is misused by many on the left to suggest that any political position motivated by religion is somehow out of bounds in a country in which separation between church and state exists. But the separation of church and state isn't a separation between religion and state. If it were, the struggle against the slave trade, the Abolitionist movement, the Civil Rights movement of the 'Sixties, the campaign against child labor, and all manner of other social reforms universally acknowledged today to be good things but first advanced by Christians carrying their religious convictions into the public square would all have to be ruled out of bounds.

In fact, if the separation of church and state meant the separation of religion and state, the originator of the concept, Thomas Jefferson, would hardly have bas…

"Not by might, nor by power..."

Even when humans do nothing but dither and fret, God works to vindicate His cause by the mightest of weapons- the Cross.

European Muslims- confronted with the truth and with the power of the Gospel- are converting.

Uwe Siemon-Netto shares a disturbing- yet also encouraging- look at the West during Islam's new onslaught.

As he observes, at least at the moment we lack a Charles Martel to turn back the menace. It's dificult to see where the Tours of ur generation will be fought- unless in the hearts and minds of men, with what a contemporary translation of Luther's "A Mighty Fortress" calls "weapons of the Spirit."

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

(1 Corinthians 1:22-25 ESV)

Trump takes his ball and goes home from Fox debate

I'm not going to say more than that because I don't think this latest bit of arrogance deserves any publicity.

Instead, I'll simply give him a nice, big, juicy...

HT: Drudge

Pro-life leaders reject Trump

Pro-Life leaders are calling on Iowans to support anybody except Donald Trump at next week's caucuses.

I doubt that anyone who is inclined to support him will listen. But it's worth the effort.

Among Trumps ever-so-convenient "conversions" before deciding to run for president as a Republican is a sudden devotion to the pro-life cause, whereas he previously had been a pro-abortion radical who opposed even restrictions on partial birth abortion.

And now, he may be in the process of performing an abortion on the Republican party.

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This is the first thing I've heard a Trump supporter say about him that makes sense

Laura Ingram says that Donald Trump's appeal is based on the fact that he's "not ideological."

Well, that's certainly true. He seems to change his convictions to meet the pragmatic needs of the moment. On the other hand, he's also arrogant, ignorant, uninformed, erratic, and contemptuous of the Bill of Rights. But he's not ideological.

On the other hand, Ted Cruz attributes his success to the fact that he is ideological. There's no contradiction here, of course; the two men are appealing to two entirely different thirds, roughly speaking, of the Republican electorate.

The crucial point is that both of them are out of touch with reality, and neither can be trusted, on the basis of their public behavior, with the most powerful office in the world.

So how about this: Why not nominate someone well-informed, competent, with at least a touch of humility, who is stable, supports the Constitution he'll be required to swear to support and defend, who is …

A Fifth Avenue shooting

Donald Trump said last week that he wouldn't lose any votes even if he shot somebody in broad daylight on New York's FIfth Avenue.

Well, he's just done something nearly as dangerous: he's publicly defended Planned Parenthood with the Iowa Caucuses less than a week away, calling down upon himself the ire of the Susan B. Anthony List and pro-life groups generally.

Now, before I say anything else, let me acknowledge an uncharacteristically nuanced statement by the Trumpmeister. He differentiated between the work PP does in the area of abortion and what it does in providing birth control help and other legitimate services to women There's only one thing wrong with his reasoning: any funding, Federal or otherwise, that helps support PP's other work makes money available for it to spend on abortion.

Is this a "Fifth Avenue shooting?" Frankly, I'd be surprised if it caused a single Trump voter to bat an eyelash. Voting for Trump has nothing to do with l…

Ted Cruz: poster child for everything that's broken in American politics

Ted Cruz is betting the farm- and America's future- on the extremely dubious premise that there are enough hard-core conservatives or, at least, people sympathetic to hard-conservatism to win a national election.

It's a common delusion on the hard Right. It has been for years, no matter how many polls and how many elections disprove it. America is a crazy quilt of social liberalism, theoretical fiscal conservatism, vague libertarianism, and a kind of fuzzy, mindlessly emotional approach to issues to which Cruz or someone like him might appeal in some ways, but which he would alienate in far more.

The really telling point is that Americans have generally given Congress a favorability rating below 20% since time nearly immemorial for one basic reason: its inability to compromise and get anything done. Both parties are guilty of this. Regrettably, though, Republicans- and Ted Cruz, preeminently- have gone out of their way to do it, and to do it in such a way that they, rather tha…

And speaking of dumbing down, how about the dumbing down of American Evangelicals?

I just don't believe this.

American Evangelicals flock to  a hypocrite whom 1 John 1 labels as self-deceived and a person who calls Christ a liar. 

Their second choice is a man whose entire candidacy is built on a refusal to turn the other cheek and meet his opponents halfway.

And third is a guy who has as much chance of being elected as I do. I will not even get into Ben Carson's theology.

I wonder whether we are absolutely determined to justify every snarky stereotype the Left and the Neo-atheists try to sell about us.

Interestingly, the Southern Evangelical who wrote the book has an interesting theory about why Evangelicals- including Missouri Synod Lutherans- so easily fall prey to this stuff: our history of non-involvement with the secular culture has left us without the tools necessarily to engage it politically in a thoughtful and effective way.

HT: Drudge

The Dumbing Down of Conservatism

Every once in a while one comes across an article so spot-on that one shakes one's head in amazement.

Here we have an explanation of how a proudly intellectual movement like American conservatism could produce... Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, Ted Cruz.

It's happened to our culture at every level and in every way, to not a small degree from the "progressive" emotionalizing of matters which ought first to be addressed by the intellect, but also (I believe) from the influence of the movement that more than anything else is destroying our society- libertarianism, and its effective deification of the individual.

But I digress... and in any case, it's probably best that I not even get started on that particular subject right now. But I commend the article- and the book- to your consideration, not the least because if conservatism is about anything, it's about preventing this kind of deterioration of our society and culture.

HT: Drudge

Photo By DonkeyHotey vi…

Donald Trump doesn't like freedom of speech any more than he likes freedom of religion

This guy is truly pathetic. For a guy who makes such a big deal about being anti-PC, he's really big on silencing and intimidating anyone who disagrees with him.

Why should it be a surprise that his supporters are irrational? What rational person could possibly be a Trump supporter?

Donald Trump has got to be the most frightening major candidate for president in my lifetime- and that includes the pre-conversion George Corley Wallace, who at least had a limited demographic in back of him. Trump attracts goofballs of all creeds, colors, and planets of origin.

Speaking of which, I still want to see him produce evidence that he's a natural-born Earthling.

Ok, I'm ready. I'm switching to Marco Rubio.

Just got home from hearing two U.S. Senators who are small in stature but big in every way that counts,

As readers of this blog know, I have a great deal of respect for Joni Ernst, the conservative ELCA Lutheran who is my junior U.S. Senator and for whose election I worked two years ago. Joni introduced Marco Rubio today. She declined to actually endorse him- she's promised not to endorse anybody prior to the Caucuses- but she came pretty close. Sen. Ernst, the only female combat veteran in Congress, emphasized his tough and well-informed national security positions and his strength on defense issues.

Rubio- who is probably a more inspiring speaker than any presidential candidate I've heard since Jack Kennedy- spoke of being a child of immigrants who is in favor of immigration but thinks that there have to be consequences for breaking any of our laws. He talked of the need, not to "degrade" ISIS, but to destroy it. He promised to abrogate the deal with Iran on his f…

Is this the GOP's Year of the Lemming?

Sorry, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin.. but choosing a path certain to lead to crushing defeat is NOT the way to win.

Only a lemming would support Donald Trump. Or, for that matter, Ted Cruz.

But the Republican party seems to be full of lemmings this year. Perhaps the GOP should even consider changing its symbol from the elephant to the lemming.

A tale of two parties

As the demographics of the Western democracies change, this article takes on new significance.

As one considers the relative paths taken by the British Conservative Party and the American Republican Party on the issues of immigration and assimilation, it might be interesting to reflect upon two questions: first, what is the party of the British Prime Minister? And secondly, what is the party of the American President?

And maybe a third one: what can we learn from that about the relationship between appealing to minorities and winning elections at this moment in history?

HT: Real Clear World

Des Moines Register endorses Rubio

Two days before I go to hear Sen. Rubio make his case, I got an email from his campaign informing me that the Des Moines Register has endorsed him.

The Register is by far the most powerful paper in Iowa, but I'm not sure how much good its endorsement will do Sen. Rubio. Although it endorsed Mitt Romney over President Obama four years ago, it's pretty much a far Left publication whose editorial opinion is not highly thought of my most Republicans.

In any event, Caucus Night should tell us a lot. I don't know at this point whether I'll be attending a victory party or here at home blogging on the result once my own caucus adjourns. But by the next morning, we'll know to what extent the Trump phenomenon is real and to what extent it's an exercise in expressing anger. And of course, we'll get our first hint as to how things may shake out in the months ahead.

Traditionally it's said that there are three "tickets" out of Iowa. In other words, the top…

Before the first ballot is cast, here's where we are

Excellent article by noted conservative commentator Stephen Hayes on the state of the GOP race.

So which nominee DOES the party deserve? I think Hayes is right: it will get him.

And of the three alternatives dealt with herein, as far as I can see there is only one real alternative if Republicans believe that they deserve to win.

How does C.S. Lewis apply to the Republican race?

Gina Delfanzo writes in First Things that Lewis sort of foresaw Donald Trump when he wrote Prince Caspian.

Trump, she suggests, is the White Witch, to whom Nikabrick wants to turn when he fears that Aslan won't come to Narnia's aid against the Telmarines:

Tired of waiting for Aslan—who may be nearer than we think—we turn elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if our candidate hates, bullies, and exploits other people, the reasoning goes, just as long as he’s good to us and gives us what we want. Hatred is a perfectly acceptable weapon, as long as it’s “on our side.”

So said Nikabrik as he prepared to unleash a great evil on the land of Narnia.

C. S. Lewis may have lived well before Donald Trump’s time, but he was prescient about the situation. The only fate that awaits a group that turns against its own core values for the sake of security and power is the fate of Nikabrik.
I commend the article to you. Even more strongly do I commend its message.

Would you really give Donald Trump a match?

Donald Trump is bragging that if he shot somebody right in the middle of Fifth Avenue he wouldn't lose any votes.

Dear Trump Supporter, really. He's actually come right out and said that he's playing you for a chump, that he thinks you're an idiot and will vote for him no matter what he says or does.

He actually thinks that you'll vote for him even if you know that that's what he's thinking!

Is he right? Are you really that foolish? Are you really so mindless, so lacking in not only common sense but self-esteem? Where is your anger at Trump? No, where is your outrage?

There's a great German play in which one of the characters- he's the Devil, although that is never explicitly said- gets a man's permission to begin moving barrels into his basement. In the course of the play, it becomes clear that the barrels are filled with gunpowder, and that the Devil plans to blow up not only the man's house but the whole city.

The Devil keeps making reques…

Now here's a thought!

You know, that Reuters poll showing that over a quarter of Republicans wouldn't vote if the primary race came down to Trump and Cruz gives me an idea.

"Refuse to choose between Trump and Cruz" might make a pretty good slogan. Maybe I'll have some buttons made up before Caucus Night.

More sloppy agape at the Vatican

It seems that following a conversation with Pope Francis, a group of Finnish Lutherans received Communion at a Mass in St. Peter's despite their initially having declined it.

"This was not a coincidence," one of the Finns, a bishop, said afterward.

Years ago when I was in the ELCA, one of my parishioners married a Catholic girl at a Catholic nuptial mass. Although in retrospect I shouldn't have, I agreed to participate to the extent of sitting in the chancel while vested and giving a blessing to the couple.

The priest apologized for the fact that I and the groom's side of the church wouldn't be able to receive the Sacrament. I replied that when he demonstrated his integrity and that of his congregation by declining to commune those with whom he was not in confessional agreement, I felt closer to him and to Rome itself than at any other point in the service.

Not for the first time, I am disappointed in this pope's penchant for mistaking the making of nice-…

Take a look at that last figure

Reuters poll:
If the Republican presidential primaries came down to these two candidates, for whom would you vote?

Donald Trump 41.6%
Ted Cruz 32.5%
Wouldn't vote 25.9%Nearly a quarter of Republicans would refuse to choose between Trump and Cruz.

The Democrats certainly aren't going to vote for either of them. And neither has much appeal for the independents. And over a quarter of Republicans consider the choice between Trump and Cruz unacceptable.

'Nuff said. Good luck getting to 270 electoral votes with that.

What Donald Trump thought of Ronald Reagan at the time

Ann Coulter's comparison of Donald Trump to Ronald Reagan is laughable. As one Facebook commenter said earlier today, "Comparing Trump to Reagan is like comparing Lady Gaga to the Beatles."

Donald Trump is a hypocrite and a phoney. Here's what The Donald thought of the greatest president of my lifetime when we were still privileged to have Mr. Reagan around.

WIlliam F. Buckley on Trump

Any conservative considering voting for The Donald needs to read Bill Buckley's assessment of the man.

Buckley had Trump's number even then.

Nor is Ted Cruz a viable option. He, too, is a certain loser to Hillary.

I am getting very close to endorsing Rubio as the only acceptable option with a snowball's chance in the nether regions of being both nominated and elected.

Read it and weep: Peter Wehner on why he (and I) can't vote for Trump

I will never vote for Trump either, and if he is nominated will follow the same course as Peter Wehner- and for precisely the same reasons.

And Mr. Wehner and I will have the company not only of every true Republican, but of every rational voter in America.

The next time I hear a rational argument for this guy's election will be the first.  Norman  Lear is right when he calls him "America's middle finger." Jeb Bush is right when he calls him "the chaos candidate.

If he's nominated- and I still doubt that- the Republican party will deserve its subsequent defeat and death. And let nobody who voted for him ever dare complain about anything Hillary does as president.

After all, they could have chosen a viable alternative to her.

Donald Trump: The Anti-Lincoln

National Review's eloquent condemnation of the most unqualified man ever to be seriously considered by a major party for a presidential nomination- Donald Trump- has predictably been met by a tsunami of incoherent but hostile babble by his misguided supporters.

Predictably, instead of refuting what NR has to say about their hero, they have responded pretty much as he himself responds to criticism: not by refuting it, but by attacking those who have made it.

e have at length reached the point where I firmly believe that anyone who would under any circumstances go beyond using Trump as a megaphone for his or her own anger by supporting The Donald in the polls and opinion columns and vote for him in a process designed to choose a president is beyond convincing and beyond reason.

I cannot respect anyone who could do that. Nor will I shrink for making it as clear as I can to them what the consequences of such a breathtakingly self-defeating action would be.

Trump is an egomaniac and a …