That was then, this is now

From 2012:

The Republican Party will continue to lose presidential elections if it comes across as mean-spirited and unwelcoming toward people of color, Donald Trump tells Newsmax.

Whether intended or not, comments and policies of Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates during this election were seen by Hispanics and Asians as hostile to them, Trump says.

“Republicans didn’t have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians,” the billionaire developer says.

“The Democrats didn’t have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren’t mean-spirited about it,” Trump says. “They didn’t know what the policy was, but what they were is they were kind.”

Romney’s solution of “self deportation” for illegal aliens made no sense and suggested that Republicans do not care about Hispanics in general, Trump says.

“He had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal,” Trump says. “It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote,” Trump notes. “He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.”

The GOP has to develop a comprehensive policy “to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country,” Trump says.

Here is the link, via Rebecca Berg and Robin Grier.  Does this get filed under “Model this” or “Solve for the Equilibrium”?  Or perhaps both?


In another notable interview, David Duke told National Review yesterday that the Republicans have been losing voters to Democrats because of the GOP's racism and the Republican's obvious affinity to KKK.

You had me until you said Republican's affinity.

The Republicans get every other eight years in the White House, been that way since LBJ with two four years terms breaking the rule. But the keeper of that rule is an explicit avoidance tactic between California and Texas. California and Texas politicians each make sure they get a turn at the wheel, and Mexico gets to butt in now and then. What is new is the resurgence of the North Eastern Republican. Most of us had given up New York and Illinois as dead, but that is just the view out here in the South West.

Funny how it turns out that the richest region of America would turn out to be more powerful in the long run than the Sun Belt, which whose "wealth" was built on housing construction spurred by a speculative bubble induced by Greenspan (jewish, btw).

"There was no housing bubble except in very few limited areas."

And Lincoln wasn't shot except in a limited area of his head.

On its own, Texas is the 8th largest economy in the world. There wasn't much of a housing bubble in Texas. Energy is a factor, but there are a lot of other things, and it is better than being dependent on finance, which can be done anywhere.

Texas has managed to prosper from negative capitalism - pillage and plundering natural capital build by nature over about a billion years. West Virginia and surrounding sections of adjacent States have simply sunk deeper in poverty as the capital runs out.

But Texas did benefit from a lot of tax and spend pork barrel wealth redistribution. Pork put NASA mission control in Texas and that dragged lots of high tech to Texas.

Texas did have a huge housing bubble in the 80s, but the State pols and bankers did not buy the conservative claim that the bubble was caused by too much regulation, but instead increased mortgage and bank regulation, in the 00s people still remembered bulldozing entire house developments in the 90s.

Yes. It is a bit ironic that one reason Texas avoided much of the excess that led to the 2008 crisis is that it had, in general, much stricter bank regulation than most other states.

Not quite as ironic as the fact that under the guise of social justice the left is tearing up lending standards left and right. I'm sure you meant to include that taste of irony in your comment but ran out of room.

"It is a bit ironic that one reason Texas avoided much of the excess that led to the 2008 crisis is that it had, in general, much stricter bank regulation than most other states" [SNIP]

Mate, banks in the US are regulated at the federal level.

Insurers are regulated by the States.

"Mate, banks in the US are regulated at the federal level. "

Banks in the US are regulated at both the Federal and State levels.

" In the U.S., banking is regulated at both the federal and state level. Depending on the type of charter a banking organization has and on its organizational structure, it may be subject to numerous federal and state banking regulations. Apart from the bank regulatory agencies the U.S. maintains separate securities, commodities, and insurance regulatory agencies at the federal and state level, "

"finance, which can be done anywhere"

So why don't Mississippi and other low-wage red states become hubs of finance, since it can be done anywhere?

Mate, banks in the US are regulated at the federal level.


And I'm not your mate.

Politicians are doing it again, seems like they only have one trick:

I want to vote for Trump but have misgivings

What I like:

1-lack of political correctness, 2-his position on immigration. 3- His position on climate change,

What I don't like:
--Too self referential and self absorbed, uses personal attacks, often in a feud with some irrelevant person or another.

--not consistent over time on many issues. "a random idea generator -- he just throws out a lot of different policy plans, many of them contradictory". (that's a Noah Smith quote). To be fair I think he is settling down now and more consistent

--some bad economic ideas ( ex: US Sovereign default)

--galvanizes and emboldens some very hateful groups (perhaps that's not under his control)
example below

Who can make America great again if not Trump ? Gary Johnson?

For every person supporting him for positions you like, there is someone else supporting him for the ones you don't.

You might not like immigrants, but nobody is resourceful enough to keep them out. There are tens of thousands in incentives per person per year to get them in, along with the political support of half the country who will do anything within and without the law to defeat you. Trump is too stupid to realize there has been no net migration and most not in compliance with regulations just overstay their visas anyway. Better to charge them for the infrastructure they use and end the welfare state.

Gov. Johnson knows America is already great and always will be, for those who accept and adapt to reality.

To the not consistent claim: W Bush ran initially on a platform of environmentalism, education, and no-nation-building. Obama on a platform of transparency, not being Bush, and curbing the executive. We saw how both those turned out. I suspect Trump is throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks, which seems to be a decent model for a salesman and a populist. That's not really what I'm looking for in a prez, but if the case, it's not as bad as a Principled Politician completely ignoring his candidacy.

To the emboldening very hateful groups - yes, it's not exactly under his control, much like Hillary doesn't really have control over the SJWs (who are as much a hate group as the KKK), but they do have SOME control. I think both sides here could earn a lot of respect by repudiating their extreme followers.

To the bad economic ideas - bankruptcy is where we're headed anyway if we don't talk about the deficit and severely curb our military spending/SS/Medicwhatever. Krugman (pbuh) and others have made austerity a dirty word. I don't think we've got the intestinal fortitude for medicine now so that we don't have bankruptcy later.

What turns me off most with Trump was the statements to the effect of torture is sometimes justified and that he'd kill relatives, etc of terrorists. I'm no peacenik, but I don't want anything to do with these wars we're in. While we may not use torture now, I would not be surprised if we simply outsource it to more willing countries, and the point of double- and triple-tap strikes, which we already are famous for performing, is to kill close associates of suspected terrorists.

The fact that all his negatives are Status Quo and/or shared by the opposition is good proof to me that America is NOT great right now. He is NOT a principled opposition to the insanity of our current system, but he is opposition. I wonder how the opposition in Venezuela felt as leadership kept dragging the nation down. Hold on to principles, as our 3rd parties do (and probably lose), or abandon them, do what you must to win, and hope that you have enough soul left after victory to reverse the national course...

"The fact that all his negatives are Status Quo and/or shared by the opposition is good proof to me that America is NOT great right now" - I mean that as his negatives are shared by the Democrats, his opposition but the national establishment. And, frankly, the Republicans, also Trump's opposition but national establishment.

'who are as much a hate group as the KKK'

Yeah, those SJWs have been bombing churches with children in them all over the place in the last few years, haven't they?

Uh? When was the last church bombing by the KKK? The worst I've heard of them doing recently is failing to clean up litter on a highway that they adopted. More violence and threat thereof is coming from the SJW side of things nowadays.

I'll gladly play the citation game if you're willing.

'When was the last church bombing by the KKK? '

When was the last church bombing by SJWs? Klan 1, SJWs 0, apparently.

Prior, don't be so disingenuous. Are we still at war with the Germans? You know damn well recent history has more importance than old history. How many riots in Ferguson are each responsible for? How many burning churches?
(and because that was the National Review...) (which puts it as Likely Not News) - more violence initiated by KKK protestors. - so that's one recent murder that the KKK has. Murder's pretty bad.

The KKK is not a nice, good group. That's not even up for debate. But neither do they wield any power in the US. The SJW crowd is not a nice, good group. That is up for debate (let's play SJW or Stormfront!!!), but they've got a violent fringe. And they do wield significant power in the US and abroad.

Either way, they are both Democratic run, so I'm not sure what you are arguing about.

Last time KKK was very active was time of Bull Connor, proud DNC member.

Yep - pre-southern strategy - 'In American politics, the Southern strategy refers to a strategy by Republican Party candidates of gaining political support in the Southern United States by appealing to disaffected white southerners, many of whom were originally Democratic voters.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the African-American Civil Rights Movement achieved significant progress in its push for desegregation in the Southern United States. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in particular, largely dismantled the system of Jim Crow laws that had enforced legal (or de jure) segregation in the South since the end of the Reconstruction Era. During this period, Republican politicians such as Presidential candidate Richard Nixon worked to attract southern white conservative voters, most of whom had traditionally supported the Democratic Party, to the Republican Party,[1] and Senator Barry Goldwater won the five formerly Confederate states of the Deep South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina) in the 1964 presidential election. In the 1968 presidential campaign, Nixon won Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee, all former Confederate states, contributing to the electoral realignment that saw many white, southern voters shift allegiance from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party during this period.'

'Last time KKK was very active was time of Bull Connor, proud DNC member'

Guess it depends on how one views David Duke -

From a German perspective, Duke is what one would call a neo-Klansman, trying to avoid the mistakes of the past while pursuing certain goals, due to this framework - 'Duke first received broad public attention during this time, as he endeavored to market himself in the mid-1970s as a new brand of Klansman: well-groomed, engaged, and professional. Duke also reformed the organization, promoting nonviolence and legality, and, for the first time in the Klan's history, women were accepted as equal members and Catholics were encouraged to apply for membership. Duke would repeatedly insist that the Klan was "not anti-black", but rather "pro-white" and "pro-Christian." Duke told The Daily Telegraph he left the Klan in 1980 because he disliked its associations with violence and could not stop the members of other Klan chapters from doing "stupid or violent things."'

Sure. The Republicans got the Democrats to be so heavily involved with the KKK. It's their fault.

Duke was an ass, but I wouldn't call the KKK active around his time.

So, you support him on his view workers are paid to much and thus his climate change views feed into slashing wages and workers to lower costs too boost profits at constant prices?

Hahaha. Thanks for that.

I agree with you on most things, but I think it's the things you cite as defects that enabled him to be so successful as an anti-system candidate and not be marginalized politically by media and donor enmity. The man has advisors (very good ones, in fact) and healthy political instincts. Yes, he shoots from the hips and runs his mouth off, but that is what's getting the discouraged independent voters riled up. Even the ones you term hateful groups, though Trump has done very little to actually encourage them per se - he has taken a citizenist/nationalist approach, not White nationalist, he's in favor of Aff. Action, which is awful etc. And remember that the Presidency is basically a collective institution and people's apocalyptic fantasies regarding Trump are nearly impossible, other than the likelihood that he'll be very entertaining on the bully pulpit.

If you want a Trump without the distasteful Trumpery, look towards Pat Buchanan. He galvanized the Republican base, but was eaten up, every time he ran, by the party machine. His skin was too thin, his loyalty to the party to great, his dignity too precious to sully by attacking opponents and the prevailing orthodoxy the way he should have. What did it get him? Nothing! Trump is a political product adapted to a bad system, where the meek and the respectful inherit nothing but ashes.

Finally, does he annoy you so much that you'd vote for Hillary?

'If you want a Trump without the distasteful Trumpery, look towards Pat Buchanan.'

Besides, how many American politicians have ever expressed the same sympathy for Germany in both World Wars - 'Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, is a paleoconservative history book by Pat Buchanan, published in May 2008. In it, Buchanan argues that both world wars were unnecessary, and that Britain's decision to fight in them was disastrous for the world. One of Buchanan's express purposes is to undermine what he describes as a "Churchill cult" amongst America's elite, and therefore he focuses particularly on the role of Sir Winston Churchill in involving Britain in wars with Germany in 1914 and again in 1939.'

Of course, this sort of criticism is easily dismissed by those unsympathetic to the limited aims of Germany's government after 1933 - 'Hungarian-American historian John Lukacs in a review in The American Conservative compared Buchanan to David Irving, and argued that the only difference between the two was that Irving uses lies to support his arguments while Buchanan uses half-truths. Lukacs commented that Buchanan only cites the left-wing British historian A. J. P. Taylor when it suits him, and that when Taylor's conclusions are at variance with Buchanan's views, Buchanan does not cite him. Lukacs objected to Buchanan's argument that Britain should have stood aside and allowed Germany to conquer Eastern Europe under the grounds that he ignores just how barbaric and cruel Nazi rule was in Eastern Europe during World War II. Finally, Lukacs questioned Buchanan's motives in writing Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War on the grounds that Buchanan has often been accused of Anglophobia, and said he felt that Buchanan's lament for the British Empire was a case of crocodile tears. Lukacs concluded that Buchanan's book was not a work of history, instead being a thinly veiled admonitory allegory for the modern United States with Britain standing in for America and Germany, Japan and Italy standing in at various points for modern Islam, China and Russia.

Conservative American journalist Christopher Jones attacked Buchanan in a review for saying that Hitler's aims in 1939 were limited only to allowing Danzig to rejoin Germany, when in fact Hitler wanted to destroy Poland. Likewise, Jones criticized Buchanan for writing that the Czech people were better off as part of the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia ruled over by Reinhard Heydrich instead of as part of independent and democratic Czechoslovakia.[80] Jones further countered Buchanan's point that Hitler did not want a world war over Danzig as proven by the lack of readiness of the Kriegsmarine for a war with Britain in 1939, which meant Hitler did not expect his attack on Poland to lead to war with Britain and France, as did the fact that the German navy was in the middle of a major expansion code-named Plan Z intended to prepare the Kriegsmarine to take on the Royal Navy by the mid-1940s.

British journalist Christopher Hitchens in a review in Newsweek claimed Buchanan ignores just how aggressive Imperial Germany was, with the Kaiser Wilhelm II openly encouraging Muslims to wage jihad against the Western colonial powers (during WWI), conducting genocide in German South West Africa, and supporting the Young Turk government during the Armenian Genocide. Hitchens argued that given the way Imperial Germany was dominated by a "militaristic ruling caste" of officers and Junkers who recklessly sought conflict at every chance, it was simply nonsense for Buchanan to write off pre-1914 Germany being "encircled" by enemies on all sides.',_Hitler_and_the_Unnecessary_War

He could have been the love child of Genghis Khan and Stalin, but the point stands - regardless of his interpretations of history and the American national interest, that his political platform when he ran, as defined by Sam Francis, made him Trump without Trumpery.

Actually, that book makes Buchanan pretty much an honorary member of this group - 'The German American Bund, or German American Federation (German: Amerikadeutscher Bund; Amerikadeutscher Volksbund, AV), was an American Nazi organization established in 1936 to succeed Friends of New Germany (FONG), the new name being chosen to emphasise the group's American credentials after press criticism that the organisation was unpatriotic. The Bund was to consist only of American citizens of German descent. Its main goal was to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany.'

How on earth is trump's climate change position an asset to a reader of this blog? Do MR commenters really think these days that there is some sort of insane hoax from the left?

I'd guess most readers believe it's real, only somewhat influenced by human activity, not going to be particularly catastrophic. Kinda like what the actual science says. (have there not been polls that show that climate apostates have better scientific knowledge than the true believers?)

But Trump thinks it's all a plot by China to undermine American manufacturing. Is that even borderline sane?

'But Trump thinks it’s all a plot by China to undermine American manufacturing. Is that even borderline sane?

It is demonstrably wrong, but open to interpretation about being borderline sane (while openly displaying complete ignorance - the Chinese were not the people in charge of the offshoring, after all).

I doubt Trump's claims, but there is a history of Russia financing American green movements to stymie American energy production. So not quite insane.

The best reason to vote for Trump this year is that if Scalia's seat gets filled with a leftist, that means 5 hard-left justices and we can look forward to these things for the next generation:

"Who can make America great again if not Trump ? Gary Johnson?"

When was America great, and when did it stop being great? (And for what reason did it stop being great?)

Who doesn't like Trump's lack of political correctness? These days people are seriously desperate for anything that seems authentic and unscripted. I expect if he loses it will be a savage blow for authentic sounding politics everywhere.
Who likes his lack of real and consistent policy? I expect if he wins it will be quite damaging to serious politics everywhere.

Mind you I'm not saying he actually is authentic or lacking in seriousness, he just appears that way.

Also Why do we need a law-and order-candidate when crime rates are so low compared to previous decades? Are we just dumb? Or do the Americans somehow understand some insidious rise in chaos and violence that isn't in the data?

'Who doesn’t like Trump’s lack of political correctness?'

People disturbed that a candidate running for office of president of the United States is seemingly unaware that a U.S. District Court judge is not a Mexican.

'I expect if he loses it will be a savage blow for authentic sounding politics everywhere.'

Emphasis on 'sounding' when it comes to a billionaire with seemingly an endless capacity to change his views in days, weeks, or months, representing the idea of authentic politics. Unless one believes, in keeping with the Virginia School, that the only authentic politics are those involving transactions leading to the benefit of those involved in the transactions.

Yet the judge happens to be part of a radical Mexican nationalist organization whose name literally translates as "The Race."

I tend to think of a more accurate translation for la raza as "the root" in this context. Think connotations of underlying support and foundations. "The race" is kind of non sensical in context, and implAusibly forward in advancing a racial view even if one did believe (basically incorrectly) that this is much more than a Hispanic law professional association.

"The Spanish term La Raza translates as "the Race", Spanish raza having the meaning of "race, ethnicity; breed, strain, lineage".

This actually makes more sense in the context of La Raza's mission (not saying it's advertised mission is bad).

A number of whose members advocate for the return of the Southwest to Mexico.

Again, the judge does not belong to the National Council of La Raza, but to this organization - 'Formed in 1979, with a handful of Latino attorneys, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) has grown to represent over three hundred Latino and Latina lawyers practicing in San Diego County. SDLRLA is one of 18 affiliate bar associations of the California La Raza Lawyers Association, which serves several thousand Latino lawyers practicing in the State of California.'

This really doesn't die, does it? It started with an uninformed Trump spokesperson -

‘”I think what’s really interesting about this particular judge — as Mr. Trump refers to him as a ‘Trump hater’ — is he even mentions on his judicial questionnaire that he was a La Raza Lawyers Association member,” Pierson said.

“This is an organization that has been out there organizing anti-Trump protesters with the Mexican flags. They are pushing it. The signs have been very apparent. And so Mr. Trump is just stating the obvious.”


When CNN host Alisyn Camerota pointed out that Curiel was born in the United States, Pierson continued to link the judge with protests taking place outside Tump rallies. She said she doesn’t know if the judge is Mexican but that people need to identify who is protesting and what they are doing.

“Well, it’s because of what we see outside of these rallies, these anti-Trump rallies, these criminal rallies, these criminal protesters out there defacing property and attacking police officers,” Pierson said.

“They’re doing so under the guise of an anti-Trump protest, with their Mexican flags, and La Raza and this judge is connected to that.”‘

Unsurprisingly, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson seems as confused about what organization she was talking about as Trump is concerning the citizenship of a federal judge – ‘“Our organization has not been involved in organizing any of the anti-Trump rallies, much less encouraged our members or anyone to participate in any illegal activity,” La Raza Lawyers of San Diego told TheDC in a statement Wednesday. “We help empower Latino attorneys, judges and law students, and provide services to the greater local Latino community.”

You are more than welcome to actually read about the group Judge Gonzalo Curiel belongs to (the information is seemingly only available in English) –

This argument over the judge's heritage/nationality is a perfect illustration of what drives people to support Trump. This sort of censoring of speech, the calling of some one "Mexican" or whatever, if in fact that is their heritage and one that they honor and identify with themselves, AS THIS JUDGE DOES, is done so as to deny the right to call him biased in this case. It is the suppression of freedom of speech for political purposes, to supress opposition, and it stinks.

'This argument over the judge’s heritage/nationality is a perfect illustration of what drives people to support Trump.'

Since when is calling an American U.S. District Court judge a 'Mexican' something that would drive rational people to support Trump? As noted here - 'As my colleague Peter Beinart, among other observers, has pointed out, Trump’s demand that an unblemished judge step down from the case amounts to an attack on the independence of the American judiciary.

Such attacks are not unprecedented in U.S. history, but those attacks have tended be viewed as shameful and scurrilous in retrospect—and sometimes at the time. The notion that duly appointed or elected judges cannot rule fairly on cases involving groups to which they belong has been soundly rejected. In 2010, defendants arguing for the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, attempted to disqualify Judge Vaughn Walker because he was gay. One problem with that argument was that it implied that straight judges would also be hopelessly biased. In 1994, Judge Michael Mukasey—who would later serve as attorney general under George W. Bush—denied a motion for him to recuse himself from a World Trade Center bombing trial, on the grounds that he was Jewish and a Zionist. He rejected the idea that the defendant’s bigotry made it necessary for him to withdraw from the case. “That someone with an imagination or a motive might hallucinate relevance is not the standard, and therefore cannot provide the basis for decision,” he wrote.'

'This sort of censoring of speech, the calling of some one “Mexican” or whatever, if in fact that is their heritage and one that they honor and identify with themselves, AS THIS JUDGE DOES, is done so as to deny the right to call him biased in this case.'

Wait - you mean that Scalia, an extremely proud Italian American who identified fully with his heritage, should never have held any position as a judge? 'Then as now, Supreme Court appointments could be very controversial. Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts was planning to give the conservative Scalia a hard time, recalls Biskupic, until he was reminded how many Italian Americans lived in his state.

“In fact, during the confirmation hearing just about every senator ... vetting the nominee, had to claim some Italian connection," Biskupic says. "I remember [one senator] saying something to the effect of ‘I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I had an aunt who once had a babysitter who was related to someone who was Italian.' Everybody was claiming that ethnicity.”

His appointment meant a huge amount to the Italian-American community, which in the 1980s still heard slurs about possible ties to organized crime.

As part of her research for her book on Scalia, Biskupic reviewed Ronald Reagan's presidential papers. She found that “just about every Italian American group in the country sent in an endorsement.”

Scalia went to Italy after he was confirmed. He told Biskupic about the welcome he got in a small town:

"There was a parade, and he rode down the street," she says. "He was standing up on a balcony and all these people were cheering ... He said, 'I think they thought that I even was Ronald Reagan.

"They were cheering so much,' he quipped, 'that I felt like Mussolini.'”'

That's right - Scalia compared himself to Mussolini while being celebrated by Italians proud to think of Scalia as one of their own. Maybe GMU should turn down honoring such a judge by renaming the law school for 30 million dollars (20 million of it due to a publicly unidentified donor, whose heritage cannot be traced) due to his background.

"Since when is calling an American U.S. District Court judge a ‘Mexican’ something that would drive rational people to support Trump?"

I don't know. It's your sentence, not mine.

And to all that Scalia blather I will simply restate that there is nothing wrong with a citizen from saying that a judge is biased and that his affiliations prove it. But thanks for proving my assertion that some want to quash anyone's right to say this when their politics align with the judge's.

Most individuals happen to identify with radical ideologies that require adherenƒts to kill infidels, hang petty thieves, kill those working on the sabbath, kill women who are not virgins, avoid untouchables, blah blah blah. The point is, we all identify with groups that have idiotic behaviors associated with them. How about looking at someone as an individual?

Wasn't individualism the classical conservative belief?

Who doesn’t like Trump’s lack of political correctness? These days people are seriously desperate for anything that seems authentic and unscripted. I expect if he loses it will be a savage blow for authentic sounding politics everywhere. Who likes his lack of real and consistent policy? I expect if he wins it will be quite damaging to serious politics everywhere.


Only about half the things called "political correctness" are, and the other half are usually just opposing positions.

The term is used by, but loses even more meaning with, Trump.

As far as I can tell with Trump it means look at the crazy thing someone else said, while being a good follower, and ignoring the crazy thing Trump says.

Did any campus protester actually get crazier than Trump this week?

Very few campuses still running this late in the year.

UCLA protests by campus loonies (including thrown trash can)

Ok that was weird, the seconds I watched, but no one should watch. Positive reinforcement for mental illness.

The link below is similar; it supports my theory that most of Trump's policy positions, especially about illegal immigration and Muslims, are newfound ploys to gain support among Republicans. Choice passage:

“Pat Buchanan has been guilty of many egregious examples of intolerance. He has systematically bashed Blacks, Mexicans, and Gays,” wrote Trump in his 2000 campaign book The America We Deserve.
Trump went further in an interview with the The Advocate, calling Pat’s writings on Mexicans and other minorities “disgusting.”

On a similar note, anyone remember his explanation of why he switched from rabidly pro-choice to tentatively pro-life? From last August:

"I've evolved on many issues over the years. And you know who else has? Is Ronald Reagan evolved on many issues. And I am pro-life. And if you look at the question, I was in business. They asked me a question as to pro-life or choice. And I said if you let [that quoted excerpt] run, that I hate the concept of abortion. I hate the concept of abortion. And then since then, I've very much evolved. And what happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted. And it wasn't aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances. And I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life."

The guy is clearly a total pretender.

He's obviously growing in his role as politician. Regardless of whether he's a pretender or not, the simple fact of running with the positions he has now has done a great deal to awaken American society to issues that were being systematically swept under the rug. If he's a plant trying to discredit the views he claims to have, then he's doing a very bad job of it, because he's been basically performing scorched earth tactics on his occult allies.

My vague impression is that Trump has been a fairly consistently protectionist on trade over the decades, but that the immigration issue didn't fully come together in his head until he saw Ann Coulter debate Jorge Ramos in the spring of 2015 and then asked for an advance copy of her well-written book "Adios America."

Coulter's synthesis seems to have provided Trump with an obvious (to Trump, but not to the other 15 candidates) way to undermine GOP frontrunner Jeb Bush. As you'll recall, Jeb's most prominent campaign theme -- I love Mexicans more than I like Americans -- was widely assumed at the time to be political genius by sophisticates everywhere. Today, of course, it just seems bizarre that donors and pundits didn't recognize a year ago how alienating Jeb's ostentatious xenophilia would be to American voters, but we've all learned a lot over the past year.

Marco Rubio somewhat adjusted to reality, but he had already doomed his campaign by following the conventional wisdom and signing on in 2013 to push amnesty with Chuck Schumer (D-NY). If he had instead taken the lead in opposing amnesty, making himself the Hispanic face of immigration patriotism instead of the Hispanic face of demanding more privileges for Hispanics, he'd probably be the presumptive nominee today.

Ted Cruz was smart enough to quickly figure out that Trump had struck gold with the immigration issue and adjusted his campaign to try to be last man standing when Trump eventually self-destructed. But Trump proved so popular in the east that Cruz couldn't pick up traction outside of the band of states in the middle of the country that have done well in recent years off the China boom.

Works pretty well against people of a certain heritage too, such as Rubio and Cruz. And really, if a candidate for the office of president of the United States of America is unaware that a U.S. District Court judge is an American citizen, just imagine how Trump would have looked at Senator Cruz's heritage, in particular.

Actually, one need not imagine how consistent Trump's birther beliefs are, at least when it suit Trump's goals - '“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” Trump said when asked about the topic [Cruz as candidate]. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”

Trump added: “I’d hate to see something like that get in his way. But a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport.”'

Though as also noted in that article, Trump does seem to recognize the existence of 'ethnic Catholics' based on what in more recent Trump terminology would be considered 'heritage' - 'At a rally last month in Iowa, Trump told voters of Cruz: “Just remember this — you’ve got to remember, in all fairness, to the best of my knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba, okay? Just remember that . . . just remember.”'

Good find. It should be noted that the Trump interview is from 2012, but that has no impact on what it says about Trump's lack of consistency and principles.

Trump is steadfastly consistent in the only principle of any importance to Trump - doing whatever Trump feels is in Trump's best interest.

If those are true quotes, not taken out of context,

Sounds like a personality disorder.

Many Faces of Eve,

Or is it Adam.

Well, here is Trump talking about allies acquiring nuclear weapons, in particular Japan - 'Donald Trump on Wednesday night charged Hillary Clinton was misrepresenting his position by saying he wants nuclear arms for Japan -- but the presumptive Republican nominee previously has said exactly that.

At a rally in Sacramento, Trump said that Clinton "made a speech, she's making another one tomorrow, and they sent me a copy of the speech. And it was such lies about my foreign policy, that they said I want Japan to get nuclear weapons. Give me a break."

He added, "See they don't say it: I want Japan and Germany and Saudi Arabia and South Korea and many of the NATO states, nations, they owe us tremendously, we're taking care of all those people and what I want them to do is pay up."

But in an April interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Trump said, "It's not like, gee whiz, nobody has them. So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea."

Wallace asked, "With nukes?"

"Including with nukes, yes, including with nukes," Trump responded.'

Trump is not a man to let consistency stand in the way of his vision of a better world for Trump. In all honesty, it seems as if absolutely nothing stands in Trump's determination to make the world a better place for Trump.

US "nukes" are stored in depots for deployment to allies when certain unfortunate conditions are met. In the event that hostilities reach some unknown level these weapons must be distributed or they will be destroyed in place by the enemy. Ergo, US allies have nukes, they're just not presently in their possession.

Chuck, I doubt we will be giving the weapons for the others to deploy. If you meant this, please support your statement.

Chuck is channeling an inner Trump, where words mean whatever.

'Ergo, US allies have nukes, they’re just not presently in their possession.'

Well, at least in the eyes of the American military charged with guarding and deploying those weapons, no one will ever have possession of American nuclear weapons except the U.S.

If one wishes to speculate on commander in chief Trump ordering those warheads to leave American hands, it is certainly a possibility to entertain, as with so many things concerning a Trump presidency. However, the odds that President Trump would be successful in having such orders followed is open to some justified doubt.

You may be confusing the U.S. (continued) ability to use nuclear weapons in a country like Germany (without needing to ask permission in the event of circumstances determined by the chain of command in charge of authorizing and using such weapons) with the idea that the U.S. would hand over nuclear weapons to Germany. The first case is American policy (one of the major reasons that Germans are so happy the Cold War is over), the second case is essentially unimaginable - though with President Trump, who knows what is imaginable or not.

If this helps to provide some idea of just how unlikely it is that the U.S. will provide nuclear weapons to anyone, the U.S. is extremely reluctant to even let its soldiers be under the command of non-Americans for any period of time.

During the Cold War, the US did intend to distribute tactical nuclear weapons to certain allies, including West Germany and Turkey, in the event of a major war. The militaries from these allied countries trained using mockups, while the weapons themselves were held in stockpiles managed by the US 59th Ordnance Brigade.

For you, Prior: "What was remarkable then [1960] was that we were sharing these weapons with our NATO allies. In that case, [US nuclear physicist Harold Agnew] saw a powerful nuclear weapon loaded onto a jet that was part of the German air force and had the Iron Cross markings on its wings."

In reading the links, the nuclear weapons remain in the possession, custody and control of the US; if there is a war, then NATO allies will be able to use weapons because, under conditions of war, the non-proliferation treaty does not apply.

'In reading the links, the nuclear weapons remain in the possession, custody and control of the US'

Puts you ahead of the commenters who seem to think the U.S. military is in the business of giving away nuclear weapons in all but the most desperate war gamed circumstances (along the lines of invading Canada), such as a tank army two hours away from K-Town, with minimal remaining American delivery systems available . And let us be honest - if tactical nukes are being used on German or Turkish territory in desperation, the basic assumption remains that the U.S. is in complete control of how those weapons are used, to America's benefit. ( )

Just to clarify - the U.S. military, like many of the better militaries, is constantly war gaming any number of scenarios. Using nukes on German or Turkish aircraft to bomb Canada is not (one reasonably assumes) part of them - the reference was meant to suggest that war gaming even the relatively implausible is part of what good planning involves.

That at some point in 1963 (for example), following several notable international confrontations, the U.S. felt a need to plan for a nuclear war on foreign soil does not surprise me, including the possible need to use allied resources to deliver nuclear weapons. Though as noted, only training was provided - the planned scenario(s) never materialized, and it is doubtful that NATO is currently expecting a Soviet tank army to drive through the Fulda Gap with minimal warning. If only because there are no Soviets any longer, nor is anyone's tank army ready to attack or defend that region. It is equally doubtful that the U.S., which continues to draw down its German presence, still intends to provide the German or Turkish governments nuclear weapons to repel a Soviet invasion.

Nice backpedal, prior.

'Nice backpedal, prior.'

Really? As noted, the U.S., till now, has never handed nuclear weapons to any allies. And the most likely scenario for that to happen would have involved the Soviet Union, a non-existent threat for two decades at this point.

In other words, can one find planning involving scenarios were a desperate American chain of command would use any resources available to bomb foreign soil on American terms? Sure. Just like there are plans currently existing for the U.S. military to invade Canada - possibly even more recent plans than those made before the end of the Soviet Union. Which is not the same as saying that the U.S. is likely to invade Canada, merely because such planning is more up to date than fighting WWIII in Europe.

If one thinks that Trump would return the U.S. to the very nadir of Cold War planning - and actually implement it in any fashion - what makes you think that a country like Japan or Germany or South Korea would bomb themselves at President Trump's insistence? In other words, such planning makes several assumptions, the first being complete faith in an ally to use American nuclear weapons in America's interest. Something that the U.S. has not demonstrated throughout its entire history of owning nuclear weapons.

Again, the idea that two generations ago there existed Cold War contigency plans is reasonable. The idea that we continue to live in a world where the Soviet Union has massed tank armies poised to pour through the Fulda Gap is simply wrong - as is the idea that the U.S. will be handing out nuclear weapons to anyone at this point in time.

We normally like politicians with decades long track records so that we can think we can predict their behavior. I think that's a pretty good strategy. And as much as people think this or that candidate caved or abandoned, usually not so much. Nixon was Nixon all the way through. Obama was Obama.

It has been astonishing to me the degree people will defer to Trump, and think they trust his soul, without anything to pin down. In fact, they will say they like something as bizarre as the then/now contrast described above.

In 4 years we move from "people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country" to a US judge being "a Mexican."

I would not trust this guy to park my car, but some of you still trust him to be the most powerful man in the world.


Heh. Obama's track record in 2008 amounted to one speech in 2004, plus a US Senate victory in a blue state in which his Republican opponent blew up and was replaced by Alan Keyes(!?!), followed by a lackluster record in the Senate.

Prior to that, he had lectured at law school and been a community organizer. Whoop de do.

I knew "Hope and Change" was hooey, but I voted for the guy anyway. And he's done ok. The system is robust.

Trump has a decades-long track record in real estate. Businessmen in general don't make great politicians, but if there is any business in which you need to understand how to work the political system, it is real estate. The guy negotiates, he makes deals. If ever there was a business track record that could translate to the horse-trading world of politics, this guy has it in spades.

"but I voted for the guy anyway." Voted the first time, maybe. The second? No excuse for that.

" And he’s done ok." Not on this planet. What's the opposite of buyer's remorse?

I voted for Gary Johnson in 2012.

Obama has done ok. My right wing friends predicted the End of America in 2008. I laughed. Here we are.

+1 well said Brian

I am not sure Obama ever surprised me. He was a Harvard educated community organizer, and governed as one, making a fair effort to see the nation as his community.

If anything surprised me it was the Kenyan Socialist stuff, and now that the madness continues to lead on the right.

Birther for President. Of course.

immigration has been a disaster. The Democrats pushed for more legal and illegal immigration so they could dominate politics. But the cost is ever higher taxes, higher welfare, more serious deadly diseases and a dwindling middle class. We face another great depression due to overspending and lack of protection of citizens jobs and rights. The ever increasing rate of immigration will guarantee our becoming a 3rd world country. It is mass suicide brought to you be the Democrats.

Have you really processed the Reagan legacy? Is it really possible that he could be a conservative icon and the worst possible immigration President?

Democrats get all the blame for a very complicated history.

IMO the Republicans should have accepted a path to citizenship, and then worked quietly to make it a long slow path.

Instead they are stuck with plans they know to be impossible, whether that is self-deportation or mass deportation.

Build a wall, that will fix it, right boys?

If immigrants are truly here for work then self deportation seems to be an excellent policy. Put some teeth in e-verify and watch as the jobs dry up for illegals and they return home-since they are only here to work.

Accept a path to citizenship? Why? They are breaking the law. Simply enforce the law. Deport within 24 hours of apprehension. Reagan's mistake was thinking the Democrats would hold up their end of the bargain and build the wall which was part of the agreement. Build the wall, deport, charge back the country of origin for all expenses (including welfare and medical care) for their citizens.

If aggressive enforcement and deportation were the answer, why didn't Reagan or the Bushes do it?

Answer that honestly and you'll have an idea of how radically things can change in the future.

Make some simple changes and the problem would 'mostly' disappear. Make it a crime to be in the country illegally with mandatory jail time or deportation and loss of privilege to ever return. Fine any employer $1000 a day for each illegal hired. Back this up by using the SS administration to identify people using a SS# that isn't theirs Require that anyone renting housing temporary or lease verify that they are legally in the country before they can rent. Require that hospitals verify citizenship to qualify for any government reimbursements. As part of the process of deportation seize all assets/property of anyone here illegally. Make it a crime to aid an illegal (feed, house, hire, transport, etc.) with mandatory jail time. Most important: Enforce them. If a city or state doesn't cooperate than they lose federal funding.

The mode is faily simple. Trump read Adios America by Ann Coulter and came to realize some of the more salient facts of the immigration debate. With the exception of Las Vegas (and it's not like Trump spends much time with the hospitality workers when he's there) Trump hadn't spent much time in the areas where the demographic impact of unchecked immigration was clear. Now he realizes the extent of the transformation.

"The news that Donald Trump turned down 94 percent of American job applicants to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., in favor of foreign workers brought in under the H-2B visa program should come as a surprise to absolutely no one."

Trump, in man, probably represents the internal contradiction of pro-business immigration reform.

A mind that can be persuaded by Ann Coulter is a weak mind indeed.

Come on Tyler, Trump has already stated that he was persuaded by a book from brainless, moronic pundit. That's exactly who we want in the white house: someone who thinks Ann Coulter actually knows what she's talking about. Looking forward to him watching an Alex Jones documentary. His transformation will be incredible.

Ann Coulter is a lot of things but brainless isn't one of them. But it's understandable as every time open borders supporters debate in public they get humiliated. Look no further than Bryan Caplan's I2 debate where in embarrassment at Caplan's terrible case his own team mate switches sides and being arguing against Caplan.

Alternate model: Trump is a genius at meta-rationality, keeping his Bayesian priors weak and updating rapidly, which is optimal in a chaotic world where most of the essential knowledge cannot generally be known.

Tyler, whenever you start thinking good thoughts about your commenters, remember a comment ending: "Greenspan (jewish, btw)" was replied to multiple times, and no remark was made about the poster's obvious racism. Is it because they are afraid of being called sjw cucks? Or because they actually believe that Jews are engaged in some vast conspiracy?

Based on my observation that people are much more likely to lie when running for office, I assume that what Trump said in 2012 are his actual beliefs, and what he's saying now are intended to get him elected. My guess is that Trump figures that because most people don't focus on policy specifics, he just needs to get them focused on one big ticket item to rally around, and then can throw in whatever else he likes along with it. If he turns the immigration debate into one of being: are you for or against the wall then he can add whatever else he likes to the bill as long as it includes a wall. It might work if Democrats care more about passing immigration reform than they do about hurting Republicans. Otherwise Democrats could paint the Republicans as racist, and Republicans could save face by avoiding the wall issue, but by saying they won't support the bill because it includes amnesty. Yes, I'm predicting that Trump's "wall" bill will be very similar to Rubio's immigration bill.

I guess the bar is so low now that everyone who thinks they are smart have to defend a candidate that is undergoing criminal investigation. How's Libya doing these days?

Obama '16

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