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Showing posts from August, 2019

No, it's not that Never Trumpers want the Democratic candidate next year to agree with us

I've recently become a regular reader of The Bulwark, a rationally conservative electronic publication whose ideological posture is more or less my own. Yes,  it's Never Trump. But it's at least as critical of the Democrats, and especially the far-left wing of the party which seems to dominate its rank-and-file just as much as the far-right dominates that of the Republicans.

Here's an excellent article on the way exactly the kind of hubris and short-sighted ideological self-indulgence we're used to hearing from the Tea Party folks have become prominent among the Democrats these days. It shows how the Trumpist right and the fanatical left in the media have been smearing each other lately with such lurid, badly-reasoned, and over-the-top opinion pieces that only a fellow fanatic could fail to laugh at them. It dwells in particular on the peculiar idea some on the Democratic left seem to have somehow gotten that Never Trumpers expect or even want the Democrats to nomi…

President Trump does something right

I pride myself on not technically being "Never Trump," however proudly I wear that label on general principles. If the truth is told, I'm more "Very Seldom, But Once In A Blue Moon Trump." Every once in awhile he gets something right. I approve of his Supreme Court appointments, for example. I approved when he showed uncharacteristic restraint (even though at the last minute) when he called off the retaliation he had previously ordered on Iran for shooting down an American drone as "disproportionate."

The fact that it was Donald Trump who was doing that, and doing that on those grounds, very nearly sent shivers of shock, amazement, pleasure, and gratitude up and down my spine. When Mr. Trump does something right, I try to go out of my way to praise him for it. It happens seldom enough to be remarkable, and though of course, he doesn't read this blog we know that praising him is the one way to get him to respond to anything favorably. So on the of…

Just sayin'

Some folks seem to think that John Kasich hasn't entirely given up the idea of challenging President Trump. Mark Sanford, whose bizarre behavior while governor of North Carolina raises its own questions, is said to also be considering it. And so is former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

The part of me that is realistic says better Walsh than Trump. Better Sanford than Walsh. Better Flake than Sanford (if only because, his name aside, he's much less flaky than the others I've mentioned so far). And better Kasich than Flake.

Except, of course, none of them has a snowball's chance in Houston.

Right now, as I ponder the very real possibility that the choice I may face next year will not be Trump and Joe Biden but Trump and Elizabeth Warren, part of me is slipping into panic mode and thinking in much the same terms I thought after the Republican convention in 2016: I'm simply looking for a voice, for a place to stand. Trump is unthinkable. Warren is pretty close to unthink…

A nightmare for Trump enters, stage right

Donald Trump has a new challenger for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. He's someone who has absolutely no chance of winning, of course; the overwhelming majority of Republicans have embraced Donald Trump and his insanity, and are not going to budge. Libertarian William Weld has already committed to making the race, but only a handful of hard-core libertarians will support him. Despite efforts to mount a challenge from the center, those in a position to do so realize how hopeless the task truly is.

But now, a challenger to Mr. Trump has entered the lists from the right.

Joe Walsh is a radio talk-show host and one-term Republican congressman elected as a part of the Tea Party movement. Accusing him of being some sort of liberal or 'RINO,' the knee-jerk response of Trumpenvolk to any opposition to our erratic and egotistical president from within the Republican party, would be kind of silly. Of course, such accusations are usually rather silly, especially since t…

Kasich won't run next year. I don't know whether this is good news or bad news.

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich is a serious, well-known man with no known baggage who could unite sane Americans of goodwill against the extremes and give them a voice in American politics they are lacking at present. I and many others had hoped that he might lead a third-party effort next year so that we would have a non-crazy alternative to the two extremist political parties who monopolize the stage today.

My great fear was that he would listen to those who were encouraging him to take the hopeless and suicidal step of challenging President Trump for the nomination of a Republican Party that has sold its soul to the White Nationalists, the nativists, and the alt-right pretty much from top to bottom.

The good news is that he realizes how thoroughly the Republican rank-and-file is behind our thoroughly regrettable president. He won't run for the nomination. The bad news is that he doesn't sound like he's going to lead a third-party ticket, either.

It sounds like publisher B…

Relax, everyone. The president was joking. He's not nuts.

Yesterday Snopes.com, the Internet's best-known debunker of urban legends and real "fake news," advised us that no, the President of the United States had not publicly claimed to be God.

This was, of course, reassuring. So was the statement by the president himself that when he seemed later the same day to be claiming messianic status, he was joking. Not so reassuring was the fact that, as usual, he blamed somebody else for the fact that he, and nobody else, had made him look foolish and set himself up for ridicule.

Next, Mr. Trump used Twitter to "order" FedEx and UPS not to deliver Chinese goods, and American businesses, in general, to look for alternatives to dealing with China in response to that nation's latest round of retaliatory tariffs in the trade war Mr. Trump started with it.

Yes, this has been quite a couple of days for the Leader of the Free World. And Donald Trump has nobody to blame for it but himself. Not that this matters, of course; he n…

It's the Democrats' election to lose

Bruce Gyory may be a Democrat, and The Bulwark may be a "Never Trump" conservative publication, but this article by the first appearing in the second repeats and amplifies the point I've made in this blog: that President Trump has almost no chance of being re-elected next year.

I was firmly convinced back in 2016 that Mr. Trump's idiosyncratic and badly-informed beliefs in the efficacy of protectionism and trade wars, combined with his outmoded, inward-looking foreign policy and his erratic personality, would guarantee an unsuccessful, chaotic, and possibly disastrous four years for America, a spell so bad that his re-election prospects would be doomed even if he won (I was also convinced that Hillary Clinton's abrasive personality and the Democratic party's accelerating drift to the left would have also made her a one-term president). He's done plenty of damage to our relationships with most of our allies through his false claims about their supposed fa…

Remember Rush Limbaugh? He's even more ridiculous than he used to be.

Rush Limbaugh suggests that there is a conspiracy of the "globalist elites" to defeat Donald Trump by bringing about a recession. Which we are not on the brink of, by the way.

Every time I think the radical right (or left) can't get any more transparently goofy, they prove me wrong- and large numbers of people who apparently have enough gray matter to get out of bed and get dressed in the morning without breaking their necks and killing themselves believe them. On the other hand, while President Trump is obviously responsible for the steady uptick in the economy which began in the Obama administration, obviously any recession that takes place on his watch would have to be somebody else's fault.

Even a recession that isn't going to happen.

Rush has always been more of an entertainer than an actual pundit, of course. And he's nowhere near as funny as some of the folks who take nonsense like this seriously.

On the other hand, given their numbers and the fact tha…

'Turtles all the way down:' Have liberal religion scholars been bamboozled by Darwinism?

This article by Robert Shedinger of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, confirms a great deal of which I became convinced while a student at Wartburg Theological Seminary and a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the denomination which sponsors both institutions.

Naive subscription to "theistic evolution" by theologians is, on one level, sort of understandable. To reject evolution is to simply not be taken seriously in the academy; besides, since science, by definition, encompasses only that which can be directly observed (or at least for which quantifiable evidence can be inferred), science must necessarily dismiss what cannot be empirically verified. And frankly, the rhetoric, arguments, and logic of the creationist movement are often embarrassingly weak. They've mostly been argued before other creationists who, more inclined to accept than to challenge them, have come to overestimate their strength. In academic debate and the rough-and-tumble of public …

Steve King does it again

Rep. Steve King (R-Ia) has to go. His penchant for obnoxiously off-the-wall remarks is an embarrassment not only to the Republican party but to the House and to the state of Iowa. He is a liability to the conservative movement. When Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy) said yesterday that of King that "it's time for him to go," she was wrong in only one respect: it is long past the time he should have gone.

His most recent remark is unforgivable. But remember, this is the guy who was stripped of his committee assignments by the House Republican leadership for asking, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

At the time, King defended himself by saying that he was only asking why the term "Western civilization" was offensive, not  "white nationalist" or "white supremacist." Perhaps. Nobody can look into the mind of another. But it's precisely for that reason that we have the spoken word. A…

Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Paranoia, and Occam's Razor

The professor in a college journalism class I once took went out of his way to emphasize that journalists should be skeptical. Not cynical, but skeptical.

A cynic is a jaded soul predisposed to disbelief. but a skeptic neither believes nor disbelieves. His mantra (or hers) is "show me."

We live in the golden age of the tinfoil hat. Conspiracy theorists are everywhere- on both sides of the political spectrum, and even in the Oval Office. Now, conspiracies do exist. Cynicism about conspiracies is unwise. But skepticism is only reasonable, Common sense illustrates why.

Benjamin Franklin once observed that "Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead." Most of us have had experiences that illustrate his point. Secrets are very fragile things. All it takes is one inadvertent slip, and the secret is out. If there are many people involved in keeping a secret, the chances against it remaining a secret are astronomical no matter how powerful and influential the conspir…

Donald Trump has cooties- and their bite spreads insanity

Is Donald Trump a white supremacist? I, personally, don't for a moment think so. I don't think race is an issue that concerns Donald Trump because the only issue that truly concerns Donald Trump is Donald Trump.

But as Congressman Tim Ryan, one of the more obscure of the myriad Democrats running for president, said on Fox News this morning, "The white supremacists think that Donald Trump is a white supremacist." And that in itself is a pretty damning indictment.

It's also, in a nutshell, why the guy must be not only repudiated at the polls next year, but repudiated so decisively as to discredit him and everything he stands for- not simply for the same of America as a whole, but for the sake of the Republican party and all those decent conservative people who are also not white supremacists but who cast themselves in that light by supporting him.

This is the thing Republicans and conservatives don't seem to get: by embracing Donald Trump, they are also embrac…