Archive for the ‘Reagan’ Category
Saying that Laura Ingraham isn’t honest isn’t easy for me to say. Still, it’s what I must do after reading her latest pro-Trump spin piece. It isn’t that I disagree with everything in her article. I’d be lying if I said she’s constantly dishonest. Still, I can’t sit silent after she said “I, too, would have preferred an ideal candidate who would unite us and cruise to an easy win over Hillary. Unfortunately, the conservative movement failed to field such a candidate. Much of this is due to the fact that many so-called conservatives, and their enablers in the donor class, wasted their time and money promoting the candidacies of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, two men who were, and are, utterly unacceptable to almost all actual voters in the Republican Party.”
While there’s no disputing the fact that large parts of the GOP rejected Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, it’s equally true that they were significantly more qualified, and more honest, than the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Further, Trump has been rejected by a large percentage of “actual voters in the Republican Party.” He just wasn’t rejected by as many people as Bush or Rubio.
This paragraph can’t go unquestioned:
First, some NeverTrumpers (like the Bush family) violently disagree with Trump on issues relating to immigration, trade, and foreign policy. In each of these key issues, however, Trump represents the traditional views of conservatives like Ronald Reagan, while the supporters of Bushism are locked into an extremist ideology that makes no sense in theory, and has been a disaster in practice.
That’s breathtakingly dishonest. The only other explanation is that Ms. Ingraham is just stupid. Since she once clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, it’s a safe bet that she isn’t stupid.
Saying that Trump’s foreign policy is identical to Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy is like saying that an arsonist’s goals are essentially the same as the firefighters’ goals. First, when did President Reagan ask President Gorbachev to squash America’s enemies? When did President Reagan think it was wise to give the Soviet Union free run in the Middle East? When did President Reagan insist that we were getting screwed by other countries? When did President Reagan insist that America couldn’t compete with the world if our taxes were low and our regulations were reasonable?
The answer to these questions is simple: never.
Further, saying that Trump’s foreign policy is virtually identical to President Reagan’s is saying that Trump has carefully thought through what he’d do. How does that square with Trump telling a rally that he’d “bomb the s—” out of ISIS, then telling a national audience during a debate that he’d get President Putin to take ISIS out?
The reality is that Ms. Ingraham isn’t being honest with her readers or with us. That’s a sad thing because she used to be a person of integrity. I wish that woman hadn’t disappeared.
Donald Trump loves comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. His no-nothing followers have bought into that comparison. That isn’t surprising. That isn’t a fair comparison, though, either. When Trump is exposed as a policy lightweight, which happens frequently, the reflexive response from Trump’s no-nothings is that Trump will hire great advisers. Thus far, there’s no proof that that’s what will happen. In fact, there’s significantly more proof that it won’t happen than proof that it will happen.
The important point worth noting is that Ronald Reagan delegated assignments in carrying out his agenda but he didn’t delegate out putting his agenda together. President Reagan didn’t delegate that responsibility because he knew exactly where he wanted to take the United States. That’s because he wasn’t the policy lightweight that liberals thought he was.
When he called the Soviet Union the “evil empire”, liberals like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry said this was reckless, that we had to make nice with the USSR. A year after President Reagan left office, the USSR disintegrated. Reagan was a great leader because he knew what he was doing.
By comparison, Trump said that he’d become fast buddies with Putin. Trump was foolish enough to state that Putin would destroy ISIS for us. A month after Trump said that, Putin announced that they’d accomplished their mission and that they were pulling their troops out of Syria. Trump looked like a child sent to do a man’s job. The gravitas gap between Trump and President Reagan was shown to be gigantic. Grand Canyon-sized gigantic.
Finally, President Reagan wasn’t the immoral man that Trump is.
This op-ed reminds us that Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party didn’t start smoothly. In fact, it’s true that the Republican Party initially rejected Ronald Reagan’s reforms. Then as now, the GOP preferred policies that maintained the status quo. Then as now, there was a rebel wing to the GOP. Back then, Ronald Reagan was that rebel. That rebel wing of the GOP was idea-driven and idealistic.
Today, the GOP Establishment, in its truest definition, prefers policies that maintain the status quo and that took care of big corporations through corporate welfare, aka crony capitalism. Today, the GOP’s rebel wing has a formal name. It’s called the TEA Party. At its best, the TEA Party is bustling with ideas that would solve America’s biggest problems. At its worst, the GOP has been the party of crony capitalism and corporate welfare.
These days, both parties are guilty of supporting crony capitalism and using the governments’ regulatory authority to limit competition.
In 1981, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (D-NY), called the Republican Party the party of ideas. When Republicans got crushed in the 2006 midterms, Mara Liasson said that that election was “the ideology-free election.” It was a referendum on GOP corruption. It was about Democrats running on criticism alone. They opposed the Iraq War for the wrong reasons but at the right time.
It’s obvious that Donald Trump isn’t an ideas guy. Ted Cruz isn’t the Republicans’ top idea man but he’s a good candidate with a very good campaign organization. That’s why I think Sen. Cruz translates into being the Republicans’ best hope of recapturing the White House.
Sen. Cruz isn’t just comfortable with Gov. Walker’s reform agenda. It’s that he gets the importance of getting government off the people’s backs so they can innovate and prosper. While a well-trained work force is essential, it’s indisputable that a good education is wasted if people aren’t willing to put their capital at risk.
I’m not advocating for a return to the glory years of the Reagan administration. I’m advocating for rejecting Donald Trump so the GOP can return to being the party of ideas.
This year, the unthinkable happened. Some of the formerly unquestioned leaders of the conservative movement started comparing Donald Trump with President Reagan. Frankly, anyone that thinks Donald Trump is at all similar to President Reagan isn’t thinking clearly.
Tuesday night, Corey Lewandowski assaulted Michelle Fields. After last night’s debate, Donald Trump said he thinks that the entire situation is a figment of Ms. Field’s imagination. Mr. Trump said this despite the fact that Lewandowski told Breitbart.com’s Matthew Boyle that he’d roughed her up but that it was an accident. Lewandowski told Boyle that he “didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.”
I’m glad we’ve gotten that cleared up. Apparently, Trump’s people only rough up unfriendlies. Thank God they don’t indiscriminately beat up anyone in their path. I’ll sleep easier tonight knowing that the GOP frontrunner’s staff aren’t total thugs.
The reason I mention this in this context is simple. It’s impossible for anyone who knew President Reagan to think that he would’ve tried rationalizing this thug’s actions away. It’s striking that Mr. Trump isn’t just rationalizing Mr. Lewandowski’s actions. He’s denying that the incident ever happened.
This isn’t the first time Mr. Lewandowski has threatened women this campaign. Before the Fox News debate in Iowa, Mr. Lewandowski threatened Megyn Kelly:
In a call on Saturday with a Fox News executive, Lewandowski stated that Megan had a “rough couple of days after that last debate” and he “would hate to have her go through that again.” Lewandowski was warned not to level any more threats, but he continued to do so. We can’t give in to terrorization toward any of our employees.
Democrats who hated President Reagan’s agenda called him an “amiable dunce” in their attempt to belittle him. Nobody will characterize Trump as amiable.
President Reagan was a God-fearing Christian. Trump isn’t a Christian. He’s gotten to where he’s gotten through threats and intimidation. Finally, President Reagan was a policy wonk and a fantastic negotiator. Trump is a policy lightweight, especially with regards to foreign policy and national security.
To say that Mark Levin has lost it with regards to Marco Rubio is understatement. His latest diatribe reads like the rantings of an unhinged lefty. One statement that questions Levin’s state of mind starts with him saying “But Rubio has no significant accomplishments other than his election to various public offices. He has few if any accomplishments outside of politics and virtually no accomplishments in public office as a U.S. senator.”
There’s no question that Mr. Levin is a well-informed conservative. That doesn’t mean he’s always right. This time, he’s terribly dishonest. Yuval Levin highlights Sen. Rubio’s biggest accomplishment, saying “The answer, it seems to me, is that none of it would have happened if Rubio had not made the risk-corridor insurer bailout an issue, starting in 2013. Before that, a few health wonks on the right had raised red flags about the issue, but it wasn’t until Rubio and his staff grasped its significance, insistently drew attention to it, and produced a bill to avert an insurer bailout that the issue became prominent among the priorities of Obamacare’s opponents. Rubio was without question the first and most significant congressional voice on this subject, and if he hadn’t done the work he did, the risk-corridor neutralization provision would not have been in last year’s (or this year’s) budget bill.”
Unlike Sen. Cruz, who shut down the government trying to do the impossible, Sen. Rubio highlighted a provision that would have been used to bail out insurance companies, then wrote legislation that was eventually included in a major spending bill that prevents insurance company bailouts. Is Mr. Levin willing to insist that this isn’t a significant accomplishment? If he’s willing to deny the importance of Sen. Rubio’s bailout prevention provision, then he isn’t honest.
Rubio fancies himself the next Ronald Reagan. But such self-aggrandizement is unmerited.
With all due respect to Mr. Levin, who worked in the Reagan administration, I’ll trust Michael Reagan’s word over Levin’s:
If @marcorubio beats Cruz tonight that’s the win of the night….
Levin hasn’t hidden the fact that he’s supporting Sen. Cruz. He’s certainly entitled to do that. What he isn’t entitled to do, though, is use deceptive arguments to make Sen. Cruz’s chief competitor look bad. I’d expect that from a Democrat. I won’t tolerate that from a former member of the Reagan administration.
According to this NY Times article, Laura Ingraham wants the GOP to head in a populist direction. That isn’t leadership. That’s capitulation. That’s handing the nomination to Donald Trump. What’s worst is that it means our courts will be packed with activists whether Trump wins or Hillary wins.
Ms. Ingraham is famous for lecturing the DC insiders for their failures. It’s time to lecture her for her foolishness. Populism is what got this nation into this situation. Populism is liberalism with a different name. Populism isn’t rooted in constitutional principles. Populism is prone to mob rule, which is just a step away from anarchy. Does Ms. Ingraham really want to deal with a system of government where the mob rules? Does Ms. Ingraham prefer government of and by judicial fiat? That’s what populism will give us. In fact, populism will give us that sooner rather than later.
If she doesn’t, then she’d better stop being Trump’s apologist. It isn’t just Ms. Ingraham that’s making this tragic mistake, either. Andrea Tantaros, Eric Bolling and Sean Hannity are making the same mistake. That trio has bent over backwards rationalizing away Mr. Trump’s contradictory statements. This weekend, Hannity went so far as to tell Steve Hayes that Trump didn’t say that he’s in favor of the Obamacare mandate even though there’s video of Trump making that statement during Thursday night’s town hall meeting on CNN:
“The establishment G.O.P. is lying to itself. This election at its core is a rejection of their globalist economic agenda and failed immigration policies — and of rule by the donor class,” said Laura Ingraham, the conservative talk-radio host and political activist. “Millions want the party to go in a more populist direction.”
Ms. Ingraham isn’t really that stupid. You can’t be that stupid and be a Supreme Court law clerk. It’s possible, however, to misdiagnose the root cause of the problem. The economy isn’t failing because of globalism. It’s failing because our taxes are outrageous, the compliance costs of our regulations are crushing businesses and our regulations are designed to crush competition.
When Mr. Trump argues that companies are leaving the United States, he’s right. It’s just that his plan to fix that won’t fix anything. The type of tariffs that Mr. Trump is advocating for kill jobs. President Reagan and President Clinton are the 2 greatest job creators of my lifetime. They both thought that the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act caused the Great Depression. Most economists agree with that.
Trump’s economic plans aren’t rooted in capitalism. They’re rooted in corporatism. Trump hasn’t talked a single sentence during the debates about helping small businesses create jobs. Trump certainly hasn’t said anything about regulatory reform.
William F. Buckley once famously said that “A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling ’Stop!’” It’s time this generation of conservatives stood athwart history yelling ‘Stop’! It’s imperative because American exceptionalism is what’s on trial.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Laura Ingraham, Populism, Liberalism, Anarchy, Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, Great Depression, Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Free Trade, Capitalism, Conservatism, Supreme Court, Election 2016
Before Sarah Palin’s endorsement of fellow reality TV personality Donald Trump, a series of tweets were posted by an account named TrumpLandslide. I’d hope that this account isn’t part of the Trump campaign, though I can’t be certain, given the state of Trump’s mind and his temperament. One of TrumpLandslide’s tweets said “What do libs and DC elites fear more than a conservative politician? One who used to be a liberal and then got smart. Like Reagan or Trump.”
First, what proof do we have that Trump is conservative? We’ve heard his words but that isn’t proof. If words were proof, we’d have the most conservative Senate in the history of the Republic. Further, comparing Trump to Reagan is like comparing Milton Friedman, an unabashed champion of capitalism, to Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist. Let’s compare President Reagan’s character and temperament with Mr. Trump’s. This won’t be pretty.
President Reagan was a confident man. Mr. Trump is an insecure man. (Anyone who repeatedly tells the world that he’s great is insecure.) President Reagan was known for his humility and steadfastness. Mr. Trump is known for his brashness and his constant mood swings. President Reagan was a man who you could count on. Mr. Trump can’t be trusted to do now what he said he’d do an hour ago.
Can anyone picture Mr. Trump delivering Reagan’s famous Tear Down This Wall Speech?
I can’t. I can’t because I don’t think Mr. Trump puts a high price on confronting evil. Thus far, Mr. Trump has stated repeatedly his eagerness to negotiate with Russia and Iran. By contrast, President Reagan didn’t hesitate to criticize the Soviet Union, calling it an “evil empire.”
Publicly, Mr. Trump hasn’t shown a sense of humor. He’s shown himself to be a thin-skinned man unable to poke fun at himself. It that respect, he’s the anti-Reagan. Here’s a sampling of President Reagan’s sense of humor:
Throughout his political life, President Reagan railed against universal health care. As recently as this summer, Mr. Trump still trumpeted the virtues of universal health care for our veterans. It’s insulting to hear Mr. Trump’s campaign compare him with the greatest president of my lifetime.
Michael Reagan was interviewed in September about the field of GOP presidential candidates. When he was asked who was the least Reaganesque, Reagan replied “Donald Trump.”
Chris Murphy is a Democratic senator from Connecticut and, as near as I can tell, a staunch advocate for censorship and a hater of religion. He can afford to be. He’s from Connecticut, which isn’t known for its deep religious roots.
Peggy Noonan is a former speechwriter for the greatest president of my lifetime, Ronald Reagan. She’s a gifted wordsmith and a lady of stature and dignity. Even when I disagree with her, which is occasionally, I still have immense respect for her. That’s because, at heart, she’s constantly cheering to see America at its best. She isn’t an ideologue. Instead, she’s a patriot. That’s why I couldn’t resist reading Ms. Noonan’s column about the fragile state of the First Amendment.
She noted that Sen. Murphy injected invective into the conversation about San Bernardino while it was happening, saying “Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing—again.” Then Ms. Noonan made the observation that there’s “a real censorship movement backed by an ideology that is hostile to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
Twenty years ago, that statement would’ve been laughed at. Today, thoughtful people furrow their brow and worry that Ms. Noonan is right. Then Ms. Noonan offered this insight into winning debates:
If you really are for some new gun-control measure, if you are serious about it, you just might wait a while, until the blood has cooled, for instance, and then try to win people over to see it your way. You might offer information, argument, points of persuasion. Successful politics involves pulling people together. You don’t use a tragedy to shame and silence those who don’t see it your way; that only hardens sides.
I won’t assume that Sen. Murphy is interested in winning a debate. (Ms. Noonan didn’t either.) It’s quite possible that Sen. Murphy only wants to speak up and be heard.
Now that the blood has started cooling, it’d be easy to criticize Sen. Murphy. I won’t do that, though. I’ll just add some information and, hopefully, a little insight into this nightmare. First, the information flooding in is that this wasn’t a criminal action as much as it was a terrorist attack. Though President Obama and the FBI have tap-danced around that possibility, the truth is that that proverbial train left the station when the FBI found literally thousands of rounds of ammunition, a bomb-making factory in the Farooks’ apartment and an assortment of pipe bombs and IED in the Farooks’ SUV.
The insight I have for Sen. Murphy is to start talking about how President Obama, the FBI and our other intelligence agencies can connect the terrorist network dots faster. They clearly were caught flat-footed on San Bernardino. Couple that with their unwillingness to call it what it obviously is and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
This post is meant as a bit of a thank you to Ms. Noonan for writing something insightful on the subject of winning debate. Here’s hoping for more sanity to break out shortly.
It’s fitting that Esther Goldberg’s post proclaims Goldberg’s devotion to Donald Trump. It’s fitting because Ms. Goldberg’s post is like Trump — mostly ad hominem attacks. It’s telling that the post is titled “Why I don’t like Carly Fiorina.” That’s fair enough. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.
It didn’t take Ms. Goldberg long to start with the ad hominem attacks. She started by criticizing Mrs. Fiorina, saying that Mrs. Fiorina turned her off “when she referred to Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei as the ‘Supreme Leader’ during the second debate”, arguing that there’s “something incongruous about anyone, especially the leader of the free world, addressing a brutal dictator who wants to take us all back to the 7th century as ‘Supreme Leader’.”
After saying that Fiorina wouldn’t meet with Putin, Ms. Goldberg said that “Trump believes that if you are respected as a leader you have an advantage. And unlike Obama, he’d be respected.” My first question is simple. Why Trump would be respected? His understanding of the U.S.-Russian relationship is virtually nonexistent. Trump said in a debate that he’d bone up on foreign policy if he became president.
Mrs. Fiorina, like Sen. Rubio, understands the subtleties and details of the U.S.-Russian relationship. She understands, as does Sen. Rubio, that Putin isn’t impressed with having a chat. Putin won’t be impressed until there’s a show of force. Mr. Trump would likely be more forceful than Obama, though that isn’t a high bar to step over.
Mrs. Fiorina said that she’d rebuild the Sixth Fleet, put additional soldiers in Germany, conduct aggressive military exercises with the Baltic States and re-arm Poland with a missile defense system. That’s the blueprint President Reagan used in toppling the former Soviet Union.
Foreign policy realists criticized President Reagan for not meeting with the Soviet Union during his first term in office. President Reagan’s strategy was to challenge the Soviet Union wherever they could to impress on them the fact that they could (and would) checkmate Gorbachev’s expansionist policies wherever they were tried.
By acting first and talking later, Fiorina is sending the same signal to Putin that President Reagan sent to the Soviets. If given the choice between following President Reagan’s blueprint or trusting in Trump’s negotiating skills, I’ll pick President Reagan’s blueprint every time.
Recently, President Obama’s sympathizers have tried making the case that he’s as consequential as Ronald Reagan. If they define consequential as doing historic things that are disastrous, then President Obama has been consequential.
Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster. Premiums are sharply higher. Deductibles have exploded. Choices are fewer. Networks are limited. We’re forced into buying policies that cover things that we don’t need. We couldn’t keep our doctors even though we were promised that we could.
Despite that, President Obama insists that he’s protected the middle class:
After having a friendly chat on the tarmac at LaCrosse Regional Airport with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, President Obama made fun of the GOP field jockeying to succeed him and ripped into Walker’s actions as governor.
“You all have enough for an actual Hunger Games,” Obama said about the large Republican presidential field. “That is an interesting bunch,” he quipped before explaining why trickle-down economics doesn’t work.
He said that many of the contenders are proposing ideas that they say would benefit the middle class. “Tammy, Ron, me — we were talking about the middle class before it was cool,” he said referring to Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Ron Kind, whose district encompasses LaCrosse, who were in the audience at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse auditorium. “We were talking about it before the polls” said politicians “should be talking about it,” he added.
Mr. President, talking about the middle class isn’t the same as improving middle class lives. President Reagan created more high-paying union jobs than you’ve created jobs. That’s before talking about how many companies shifted from full-time employees to “29ers.” Mr. President, is it a triumph that companies shifted from full-time jobs to part-time jobs?
That’s what Obamacare did. It also created “49ers.” Let’s review. 29ers are employees whose hours were cut from 40 hours to 29 hours to avoid having to provide health insurance to the. 49ers are companies that’ve chosen to not expand past 49 employees so they don’t have to comply with the employer mandate.
In September, 1983, the US economy created 1,100,000 good-paying full-time jobs. Thanks to President Reagan’s policies, we had 6 straight quarters of economic growth of more than 5%. Internationally, the United States vanquished the Evil Empire, aka the Soviet Union. President Obama resurrected it. Israel knew it could count the United States as a steadfast ally. President Obama couldn’t push Israel to the side quickly enough.
Thanks to President Obama’s policies of non-intervention, the global terrorist network is expanding rapidly. President Reagan’s policies of militarism checked Soviet expansionist policies.
We’ll be cleaning up President Obama’s messes for years. By comparison, President Reagan’s economic policies ushered in a quarter century of unprecedented economic growth.