Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, April 4, 2016

"The Damage Is Already Deep"

Michael Gerson:

"But the durability of Trump’s appeal creates a conundrum for many Republicans. For decades, some of us have argued that the liberal stereotype of Republicans as extreme, dim and intolerant is inaccurate and unfair. 

But here is a candidate for president who fully embodies the liberal stereotype of Republicans — who thinks this is the way a conservative should sound — and has found support from a committed plurality of the party. 

 If the worst enemies of conservatism were to construct a Frankenstein figure that represents the worst elements of right-wing politics, Donald Trump would be it. 

But it is Republicans who are giving him life. And the damage is already deep. "


Jerry Critter said...

Trump - Reagan's legacy.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ben Carson recently endorsed The Trumper for POTUS, but now says The Trumper has MAJOR DEFECTS.

So what has changed since Kindly Dr. Ben Carson gave The Trumnper this glowing tribute?:

"Carson vouch[ed] for Trump's character and integrity. He explained that there were "two Donald Trumps" -- one that the public sees, and another more reserved and "cerebral" man who "sits there and considers things very carefully."

"Some people have gotten the impression that Donald Trump is this person who is not malleable, who does not have the ability to listen, and to take information in and make wise decisions. And that's not true," Carson said. "He's much more cerebral than that."

The guy who Carson says "considers things very carefully," just this week gave the American people 5 different positions on abortion within 3 days.

Ben Carson again shows us that he knows nothing about politics and even less about judging a person's character. He went from recently praising Trump to now telling the American people that The Trumper has major defects. What those defects are, Carson doesn't say, which, IMO, proves again what a weaselly politician he really is. How can he claim The Trumper has major defects but not articulate exactly what they are. Why won't Carson tell us?

Carson still has thousands of conservatives who believe he's a brilliant man [and as a surgeon, he was], but he's shown us again that he's naive and goofy where his judgement in things political is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Donald Trump will kill off the Republican Party

Temple Kormac 'N Cheese said...

Congratulations to you Shaw, you're a hot topic on the blogisphese.

The "blogisphese" is sorta like the blogosphere, only with cheddar all over it.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Actually, Jerry, I'd say Trump is John McCain's legacy since he chose the half-wit, half-governor of Alaska as his VP.

Anonymous @4:14, The Trumper's doing a good job of ruining the GOP.

Kormac 'N Cheese, I thought the blogisphese was covered in Parmigiano. But maybe that's only in Italy.

Unknown said...

I know most of the GOP is not behind Trump, or perhaps, even Cruz, but I wonder how embarrassing it must feel to have such clowns representing the party???

Shaw Kenawe said...

Bob, the GOP brought this on itself, and made it worse by supporting Sarah Palin as a person qualified for the number two position in the most powerful country on the planet. A huge number of GOPers supported her even after she and McCain lost in 2008, and continued to see her as a person qualified to hold such a powerful position.

Ben Carson, whom many GOPers admired because he seemed reasonable and sane, endorsed Trump, and shortly after that said Trump has "major defects." What sort of person endorses for POTUS a person with "major defects?"

Clowns endorsing clowns.

Jerry Critter said...

McCain is a recent manifestation of the republican downfall to Trump, but Reagan started it all with his empty rhetoric, anti-government stance, reckless spending, and giveaways to the rich and big corporations.

Rational Nation USA said...

Ronald Reagan even given his faults is not the creator of the Drumpf. Shaw is right, it is those who embraced the lunacy of Palin and the media that gave rise to Trump. Limbaugh, Beck, Levin, Ingram, and Counter come to mind rather quickly.

Remember Jerry Reagan had a decent relationship with Tip O'neal. He understood compromise was an important component of politics and getting things done. And, he raised taxes as well.

Reagan may have put the crack in the damn so to speak but others, think GWB, created the floodwaters.

Trump is the casserole of many hands.and a gullible public.

Robert D. said...

Trump may actually want the GOP Establishment to pull the convention plug on him, so he can have an excuse to jump to a third party race, campaign with a half-hearted effort, try for Second Place so he can mock his Republican inferiors, and spend the rest of his life as the 'victim' of political enemies racking up speaking/appearance fees and living off his name (still). He may, deep down, really want the job - just to satisfy his Id and convince the naysayers he 'could be' great (aheh no) as President - but there's always been that 'easy way out' of his nature to cut and run before he's held liable for anything. He has to know being President is an actual day job that requires effort: even Dubya had to make decisions once in awhile.

Jerry Critter said...

Of course Reagan did not do it all himself. He merely started the process. That's my point. It did not start with McCain and Palin. They were simply spawn from previous eggs. Trump is not the result of an overnight burp. It has been a long time festering wound, that has finally burst.

Dave Miller said...

Of further interest will be if the GOP turns to a Jack Kempist Paul Ryan for their standard bearer. One perusal of some of the more conservative blogs shows those folks are pretty disgusted overall by Ryan and his "dealmaking".

If you listen to the crowd who want to put the "stick it to 'em" crowd in every leadership position in DC, it is hard to imagine the GOP prevailing in November, no matter who they run. A moderate, they revolt. A guy like Trump, they get crushed.

Shaw, your right... I do hope the nominee is Trump. I want to see what happens when someone alienates 75% of over 50% of the country. [women] The results should be spectacular.

Kevin Robbins said...

The dishonesty, I believe, is a huge part of their problem. Reagan and Palin got mentioned here. Republicans for years have had this myth about Reagan that leaves out the fact that he raised taxes numerous times. That gets overlooked along with "cutting and running" in Beirut and dealing arms to Iran and God knows what all. They look at Palin as if she actually should have been a heartbeat from the presidency, overlooking that she can't even string an intelligible sentence together.

I believe that on the left we are a little more cognizant of the fact our candidates have feet of clay. I'll likely vote the Bern in a few weeks. If he loses, I'll support Hillary, but not without realizing she's not my ideal candidate.

Dave Miller said...

Kevin, you're a better man than me. I just can't bring myself to vote for Hillary. Her clay feet are just too firmly set for my tastes.

And there in is our problem, as well as the Republicans.

There are no good candidates on either side of the aisle.

We should be asking ourselves why.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The slide into Trumpism started with Reagan -- who made the country "feel good" but whose legacy isn't as golden as his fans would like America to believe it is. Just think of how the TGOPers would be reacting if there were an Iran-Contra-like scandal going on in Mr. Obama's administration! There were actual indictments and people jailed for that, and Reagan himself said:

"In spite of the wildly speculative and false stories of arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments, we did not—repeat, did not—trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we."

Later Reagan admitted:

"A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not."

The TGOPers won't let go of "If you like your health plan; you can keep your health plan." And never allowed that President Obama made a mistake in saying that. Yet they've forgiven Ronald Reagan for having his "best intentions" misinform him about what his actually did: traded arms with our enemy Iran.

Reagan was also responsible for many weak-minded people repeating that the government isn't the solution, it's the problem.

I would have asked Mr. Reagan who the hell won WWII if it wasn't the U.S. Government. That was a pretty spectacular solution to a pretty large problem.

By blaming the government for all America's ills and failures, Reagan took the focus off of Wall Street banksters and the corporations who avoid paying taxes by off-shoring their manufacturing.

All any charlatan politician (but I repeat myself) had to do after Reagan is blame the government for anything and everything, starve it through tax breaks, and hope any initiative it proposes, fails. And that became the mantra and goal of the TPers. In fact GOPers vowed to obstruct and stop anything the new president Obama proposed, thereby making the government look impotent and incapable of doing anything right.

Mix that in with the goal of getting grossly unprepared, ignorant people to run for public office, and you have today's modern Republican Party.

And Donald J. Trump is the hideous example of the TGOP's self-fulfilling prophecy.

skudrunner said...


It is a sad commentary that we are presented with such a miserable selection of candidates to choose from.
With all the Reagan bashing going on everyone seems to forget that he took us from the despair of the Carter administration and set the economy moving forward. The idea that he escalated the deficit by having a tax cut for the rich is just fiction. The tax cut also eliminated a lot of deductions that only applied to some.
Tax revenue increased even though there was a tax cut. It is ongoing proof that if you give a politician money to spend they will always vote for their self interest and never do anything that does not serve their best interest.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dave, have you read this?

This may shock you: Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest
by Jill Abramson

Every single male candidate has done exactly what Hillary has done and said (changed positions, stretched the truth, dissembled, yet she's seen as somehow fundamentally corrupt, and people like Romney, Carson, Cruz, are not judged the same way as Hillary is judged. I'm not in love with Hillary, but I don't see her as a nefarious, cartoonish character that the rabid right wingers make her out to be. A lot of it has to do with her sex. She's referred to as a fat hag, an ugly lying bitch, and worse. Nothing close to that is said about her male counterparts with the exception of Trump, who is in a class all by himself.

I remember the right wingers accusing Hillary of being a lesbian (as though that were a horrid thing) while at the same time having an affair with Vince Foster, and then killing him.

She's been able to rise above a lot of what the right wingers have thrown at her. ANd she's certainly one of the best qualified candidates running for office.

BEHGHAZI?! Ronald Reagan had 250 marines die on his watch, then promised to NEVER leave Lebanon. Months later he went back on that promise. Imagine if Hillary had been in charge of that debacle, the GOP would have impeached her and her name would have been blackened for all eternity. Ronald Reagan got sainthood.

George W. Bush dragged this country into a terrible war that we're still paying for in blood and treasure both here, in Europe and the M.E., yet I don't hear the invective and calumny thrown at him that I hear being thrown at Hillary. She's apologized for her vote, George W. Bush never has.

bigger isn't always better said...

Some are simply not so naive as to believe bigger government is the ultimate solution for every problem.

Shaw Kenawe said...

bigger isn't always better,

No one said it was. That's not the point I was making. I think we got where we are by trashing government in all aspects. What makes government corrupt is career politicians who stay in office for life. We the people limited how long a president could serves, but why didn't we do the same for the House and Senate? Career politician serve lobbyists and those who keep their campaign coffers full, not the people.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... what was the deficit when Reagan took office and when he left? Just answer that simple question.

Even his own budget director, David Stockman, agrees that his economic policies were ultimately disastrous...

Here's his "money" quote... "The destruction of fiscal rectitude under Ronald Reagan — one reason I resigned as his budget chief in 1985 — was the greatest of his many dramatic acts. It created a template for the Republicans’ utter abandonment of the balanced-budget policies of Calvin Coolidge and allowed George W. Bush to dive into the deep end, bankrupting the nation through two misbegotten and unfinanced wars, a giant expansion of Medicare and a tax-cutting spree for the wealthy that turned K Street lobbyists into the de facto office of national tax policy. In effect, the G.O.P. embraced Keynesianism — for the wealthy."

Is his take accurate?

Reagan set in motion both our twin national problems... economic disparity and foreign policy failure vis à vis his stances to terrorism and Saddam...

As for the despair of the Carter era, it was not the best of times, but the recession of bacl then started in July of 1981, fully on Reagan's watch, and extended until November 1982. The high unemployment numbers at that time were 10.8%, highest of any president in the modern era.

Shaw Kenawe said...

JOBS CREATED -- Carter, Reagan, Clinton:

There were 90.9 million jobs at the start of Reagan’s presidency — and 106.9 million at the end, according to the Labor Department. That’s a gain of 16 million jobs, or 2 million per year in office.

Bill Clinton can maybe claim “tens of millions” with the 23.1 million jobs created during his time in office, but not Reagan.

Under Clinton, 2.9 million jobs a year were created.

Ironically, Reagan actually trails Jimmy Carter on the presidential list of most jobs created per year, even though he defeated Carter on charges of mishandling the economy.

About 2.6 million jobs a year were created in Carter’s single term.

Reagan's Tax Cuts and Revenue:

[T]he government’s budget numbers show that tax receipts expanded from $517 billion in 1980 to $909 billion in 1988 — close to a 75 percent change (25 percent after inflation),” Moore wrote.

We checked the historical records of the White House budget office, and those numbers are right. But it’s devoid of important context.

First of all, revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), which is the best way to compare across years, dropped from 19.1 percent in 1981 to a low of 16.9 percent in 1984, before rebounding slightly to 17.8 percent in 1989. One reason the deficit soared during Reagan’s term is because spending went up as a share of the economy and revenues went down.

But we can get even more specific about the impact of the 1981 cut in rates. A Treasury Department study on the impact of tax bills since 1940, first released in 2006 and later updated, found that the 1981 tax cut reduced revenues by $208 billion in its first four years. (These figures are rendered in constant 2012 dollars.) The tax reform act of 1986, which was designed to be revenue neutral, reduced revenues by less than $1 billion four years after enactment.

But Reagan’s tax increases in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1987 boosted revenue by $137 billion. Overall, that’s a revenue loss from Reagan’s various tax bills..."


Dave Miller said...

Shaw... I did see that...

I am not sure Hillary is any more, or less honest than any other politician.

That said, I think America needs new leadership. Not from the Bush family, not from the Clinton family, not from the Kennedy family or any other somewhat royal background.

We do need some fresh eyes on the issues.

Maybe that is Bernie, maybe Warren or maybe a Republican to be named later. Although I doubt whoever the GOP puts up can win in November.

Maybe Skud, Silver or some other conservative can explain what states any candidate from the right can expect to flip in November as they strive for 271.

Jerry Critter said...

Well, skud, I don't blame you for touting Reagan. As I said long ago, Reagan's the best republicans have.

Anonymous said...

Rush, Beck, Savage, Medved, etc., were around way before Palin.

bigger isn't always better said...

Inflation and high interest rates was Carter's big problem. That and his failed rescue attempt during the Iran hostage crisis.

BTW, I agree with points made in your response to my previous comment Shaw.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dave, Jerry, bigger..., and anon,

I've noticed that even the most ardent pro-Trump bloggers TGOPers are deafeningly quiet lately. Could that be because they're finally looking at the electoral college realities? Or are they internalizing the fact that Trump is THE MOST disliked candidate in recent presidential history -- he's disliked more than Hillary! And he's the biggest liar of this

For The Trumpeteers, that must be like chewing on razor blades and washing your mouth out with vinegar!

Shaw Kenawe said...

And he's the biggest liar of this campaign season.

dunkinville said...

Awwwww, Trump doesn't lie, he just stretches the truth!

Dave Miller said...

Liver... Heck of a stretch...

Anonymous said...

You statement means nothing to me since I'm not a Trump supporter. Just making a factual statement correcting RN.

anymouse said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You statement means nothing to me since I'm not a Trump supporter. Just making a factual statement correcting RN.

April 4, 2016 at 8:24 PM

Actually Anonymous, you weren't. RN never claimed that Limpbaugh, et al weren't around prior to Trump. His point, as I saw it, was that those kinds of empty talking heads put the ball in motion for someone like a trump to be possible by their constant slurs, lies and dividing of America they do which drives many elderly whites to stay tuned to am radio and the right wing bubble. You timeline is pointless and means nothing, actually.

skudrunner said...

Saying -H- is honest is like trying to define what it is.

Isn't it a shame when 50% of your own party think their candidate is not honest and has an unfavorable rating. That goes for both sides. I am leaning toward Bernie because he has the best ideas of government taking care of you from cradle to grave and it will not be four more years of the obama doctrine of hate and blame.

Anonymous said...

"it is those who embraced the lunacy of Palin and the media that gave rise to Trump. Limbaugh, Beck, Levin, Ingram, and Counter"
If "it is those" they were well before Palin came around.

Shaw Kenawe said...

skudrunner: "...four more years of the obama doctrine of hate and blame."

It's always so predictable of you, skud, to spew lies about Mr. Obama having a "doctrine of hate and blame" without one iota of evidence. You hang around too many wacked-out rabid right wing blogs and internalize their view of "libtards," "vermin moslems," and a "Commie, Marxist, Kenyan, America-hater/destroyer Obama."

But you know what? That attitude is fading. And fast. Look at Trumpism, for example, and see how even he's losing ground. People are waking up from their zombie support of Trump, The Man With The Worst Record for Truth-Telling.

How do I know? Mr. Obama is enjoying an upswing in his approval ratings (as of today it's at 54% approval) -- if he were the demon dictator of hate and blame that you and your friends have been squawking about for these past 7 1/2 years, why would his approval numbers be going up?

Your Conservative Republican President George W. Bush, at this point in his presidency, was on a downhill slide into the 20s for approval ratings.

The problem, skudrunner, with you and your unhappy, angry, bellowing, spittle-flecking pals is that you've been wrong about almost everything during Obama's administration.

He didn't take your guns away.
He didn't imprison you in FEMA camps.
He didn't outlaw Christianity.
He didn't institute Sharia Law.
He didn't cancel the 2012 election.
He didn't make you gay marry your neighbor.
He didn't force your wives and daughters to have abortions.
He didn't destroy America.

In fact, it's the malcontents' listening to the bilious hate-radio carnival rats and their incessant lying about all things Obama and Liberal that's torn this country apart.

Happily, the young people reject all of that. The demographics for this country, and for future elections, favor progressives, not the anti-gay, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, anti-women, anti-science, anti-poor, anti-voting excrescence that has emerged from the current TGOP.

/Rant over.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw... to quote some of those right wing extremist hate blathering anti Obama blogs... Plus 1!

Rational Nation USA said...

Wow!!! That was one hell of a rant Shaw.

As you no doubt know, skudrunner, as well as his fellow rightwing truth doesn't matter travelers, will just keep on trucking on. Ignoring facts in favor of their chosen fiction.

skudrunner said...

TGOP and Progressive are just the fringe of each party. There is no conservative party now because it has been hijacked by two extremists and reasonableness has been thrown away.
I will suck it up and say that we will have four years of the Hill/Bill show and the country will be stuck in the same economic quagmire we have been in for the last seven years. Even BJ said the last seven years have been horrible and he is -H-'s misteress.

Wage growth - stagnate unless you count the minimum wage shift for the non skilled
Opportunity growth - stagnant unless you count the unskilled minimum wage jobs
Workforce participation rate - A bright spot as it revels the highest in history

All of your hate filled vitriol does not change the last lost seven and a half years

Lady Pinkbottom said...

What this world needs is a dead Reagan and a dead Thatcher. They would put it right. Depends on it!

Rational Nation USA said...

All of your hate filled vitriol does not change the last lost seven and a half years

When has truth ever been has truth been synonymous with hate skudrunner? Inquiring minds want to know.

Jerry Critter said...

@skud - "TGOP and Progressive are just the fringe of each party. "

Sorry skud. You are wrong again. TGOP and Progressives are no longer the fringe. They are mainstream as evidenced by their winning in the presidential primaries. Fringes do not win elections.

You are correct however in one assertion. Conservatives no longer have a party.

Rational Nation USA said...

Wisconsin goes big time for Cruz. Time to get nervous? Cruz is rapidly becoming a possibility. And, Cruz is certainly as bad if not worse for America than Drumpf. He's a lot more articulate than Drumpf and certainly brighter in the political sense.

Sanders grabs Wisconsin as well. Could the dems see a contested convention?

Interesting times.

Rational Nation USA said...

Wisconsin goes big time for Cruz. Time to get nervous? Cruz is rapidly becoming a possibility. And, Cruz is certainly as bad if not worse for America than Drumpf. He's a lot more articulate than Drumpf and certainly brighter in the political sense.

Sanders grabs Wisconsin as well. Could the dems see a contested convention?

Interesting times.

anymouse said...

Much as I'd love to see Bernie as our nominee, I just don't think he'll be able to come up with the delegates needed. Also, while there is some animosity between Bernie and Hillary supporters, there's nowhere near the same level as on the Repub side where there is outright hatred between the camps. Sure, there will be a few supporters who sit out the election in protest if their candidate isn't selected, but I think (and hope) VERY few. Again, Hillary isn't my first choice and I find many flaws in her, but I will happily give her my vote should Bernie not somehow make giant strides towards getting the nomination. We've made some real progress these past few years IN SPITE of the obstructionist know-nothings on the right. I don't want to lose all those gains by allowing the Repubs to once again trash America.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Both The Trumper and Tail Gunner Ted have promised to repeal the ACA, and they've not said what they'd replace it with after depriving millions and millions of Americans insurance coverage.

Wait. The Trumper did say he would repeal and then replace Obamacare "with something terrific."

I dunno, maybe The Trumper will replace people's health insurance with a Reality Show.

Jerry Critter said...

It is time to tell Trump, "You're fired!" Then, in Nov, we will tell Tail Gunner, "You're fired too!"