Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump: Foreign Policy

For the next however long, I'm going to try to get a handle on what is likely to happen now that Trump is President. Let us start with foreign policy because that's pretty easy.

There was a fascinating article the other day at WashPo (I recommend reading it: LINK), written by a liberal, which really stuck a knife in the liberal movement for its enabling of Obama's foreign policy. The author noted that Obama had come to office with a large number of liberal principles and promises to undo the evil policies of President Bush. But the minute he took office, Obama not only adopted the Bush policies, he expanded them. Worse, the Democrats/progressives flipped to support him on a dime ("It is hard to overstate how complete the Democrats’ about-face on these questions was once their own leader controlled the levers of power."). The author considered this shocking and now worries that Trump will be given these abusive powers Obama took.

I've been saying this since 2008, so I'm glad the left finally caught up to reality... eight years late. Anyways, here's what will continue for sure:
● The right to detain and assassinate people without judicial supervision.
● Mass surveillance without oversight.
● Drone strikes without oversight, even against Americans overseas.
● Unauthorized wars (e.g. Libya).
Now, turning to specific policies:
● Trump will undo the meaningless Copenhagen Climate Agreement that promised to one day make promises, and the Paris Climate Agreement where we promised to cut carbon but there is no enforcement mechanism, i.e. it's for show only. Trump can and will undo this because Obama never submitted either to the Senate for approval. He will wipe out these symbolic agreements.

● The Iran Deal where Kerry gave Iran stuff and agreed to let them build the bomb will be dead on arrival. Again, this agreement was never sent to the Senate and therefore isn't law... it's policy, so Trump can undo it. The left will argue that it's law because the UN approved it, but that's not how American law works. And even if it does, Iran is already in violation of the agreement (Obama is dismissing their violations to avoid having to act) and Trump can call them on it and impose sanctions, which defeats the purpose of the agreement. Expect him to reverse this one by imposing sanctions.

● Obama unilaterally removed the sanctions from Cuba. Because this wasn't Senate action, Trump can reverse this by Executive Order. Trump promised to reverse this in Florida, but I suspect he won't. I suspect he will attempt to renegotiate it first because he sees casino and tourist opportunities.

● Trump has made a big deal about cancelling NAFTA, but he's switched that to renegotiating NAFTA. I don't honestly know if he will try to do this or not. I suspect he will approve the TP pipeline to Canada and then will make a big show of making minor tweaks to NAFTA.

● The Asians are worried that Trump will abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, a sort of free trade deal in Asia. I think Trump will call it dead, but will really hold it until the economy heats up. Then he'll slip it into place under the premise of a security deal to build an anti-China organization.

● China is no longer the lurking economic Dragon it seemed in 2008 -- predicted here in 2008 and later. It is in economic trouble in fact and it is getting eaten alive by cheaper Asian countries now. So I don't see Trump worrying about them manipulating their currency or trying to steal American jobs. No trade war here. That said, the Navy has refocused on the Chinese threat and I think Trump continues that. I do suspect he will try to get Japan to increase the size of their military though.

● Obama tried to refocus our foreign policy away from Europe. Trump has already called the British to say that he wants to be close friends again, and he called the British PM "my Maggie" (meaning Thatcher). I think Trump will turn back to Europe and may push a free trade agreement with Britain -- something popular on the right for a long time.

● The wars continue because they are one war and no President can abandon it and then explain a terrorist attack. Look for Trump to declare victory in one or two of these locations though, somewhere minor like Yemen, and then make a big deal of walking away without actually walking away. I suspect a lot of this is on autopilot and Trump won't mess with it.

● I wonder about Mexico. Trump's history suggests that he angers his opponent first and then comes in acting like a great friend. This is an effective way to manipulate people believe it or not, and in this case it makes me wonder if Trump isn't going to decide to do something "grand" in Mexico once he's in friend mode. I can see him sending troops to help fight their drug war or some sort of economic thing to pump them up. This is just a guess, but it seems like it fits a pattern.

● Finally, Putin. This is the wild card. I know a lot was made of Trump and Putin during the campaign, but that's all flack. Ultimately, I suspect Trump will be more willing to let Putin bomb Arabs, but otherwise, the boundaries all remain the same. In Europe, I think that Poland is the line we won't let Putin cross without a fight. Further East, I think we will only impose sanctions if Putin attacks prior Soviet territory (Baltic, Ukraine, Georgia, the "-stans"). Whether or not Putin risks it is something we can't know.


AndrewPrice said...

BTW, Trump apparently said he's "fine" with the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling. More proof that he's walking away from the hot button stuff.

Kit said...

First, he has already invaded Georgia and Ukraine, in 2008 and 2014 respectively.

My two cents: Letting Putin invade the Baltics would, in my opinion, be the biggest foreign policy screw-up since Neville Chamberlain failed to stop Hitler when he violated the Munich Agreement. It convinced Hitler that he could do whatever he wanted and Britain and France would never stand up to him.

Also, the Baltics are very different from Ukraine and Georgia. They are NATO countries. We are treaty-bound (bound by law, that is) to defend them from invasion. We fail to defend them NATO is gone as the rest of the alliance realizes that, regardless of whomever we elect, promises made by the United States are not worth the paper they are printed on.

As the Prince of Cambodia, Sisowath Sirik Matak, wrote shortly before his capture and execution at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, in what is probably the greatest "go to hell" letter this country ever recieved (and one we certainly deserved):

"I have only committed the mistake of believing in you, the Americans."

Kit said...


If Putin realizes he can invade and conquer three NATO allies, the Baltic countries, with impunity he will do the same to Poland.

If we fail to draw the line at the Baltics then we are not drawing a line at all. We are telegraphing to Putin and to the world that the world that the allies of the United States are completely and totally on their own; Japan, South Korea, Poland, all of them will now be seen as free for the taking.

It. Is. That. Simple.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, And what did we do about Georgia or Ukraine? We didn't do anything. I don't think anyone in Washington is willing to risk a nuclear war over land that was once Russian territory. And honestly, I don't think the answer would be different if it was Reagan, Bush, Obama or Clinton in office.

Would it embolden Putin if we did nothing? Sure. But is he willing to risk that we won't do anything? Don't know. I doubt it. He gains nothing from trying, but risks a lot. I think his thing is to defend his allies (like Assad) and mess with his neighbors where he can.

Kit said...


"And what did we do about Georgia or Ukraine? We didn't do anything."

Georgia and Ukraine were different. They were not NATO members. We were not bound by treaty to defend them.

The Baltic countries are NATO allies. That means were are bound by a treaty to defend them.

Kit said...

Which means if we fail to defend them then the rest of NATO, including Poland, will begin worrying whether or not we will defend them and rightfully so.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I get your point, but I don't think it changes anything. I just don't see any will in Washington or Europe to defend countries that were historically part of Russia.

But that's the thing. This kind of "diplomacy" is all about the bluff. Who is willing to do what? Neither side knows. Sometimes, one side blinks, sometimes they don't. We've let many friends go down in flames when bluffs get called and we've helped others; just as the Russians abandoned some and defended others. That's just the way it is. And I don't see any evidence that Trump is different than anyone else when it comes to this.

All Trump has been doing is echoing conservative talking points about making Europe and Japan pay for their defense. Conservatives have been saying that since the 1980's. He praised Putin in Syria, like a lot of conservatives who saw Putin as willing to kill ISIS whereas Obama was playing the refuge game -- a free shot basically at Obama. But I don't see any evidence that he wants to give Putin more power.

He's not irresponsible either. Before he was even elected, he called the British. So it's clear he's not going to walk away from the world either.

Kit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kit said...


Ok, I see what you are saying but his unwillingness to criticize Putin, at least after Putin praised him in December, and his hiring of people with Putin ties like Mike Flynn raise serious flags to me.

Anyway, Putin is making some eyebrow-raising moves, like sending his lone, smoke-belching aircraft carrier down into the Mediterranean.

And the Royal Navy is tracking Russian subs moving off the coast of Scotland.

Kit said...

But, as is always the case, we shall see.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I'm glad to see you recognizing Trump's manipulation game re: Mexico. Now just apply that to everything Trump does and you'll see what I see. His entire skill set amounts to talking down pissed-off people in order to influence and lead them. Sometimes, they're already pissed-off, like working class whites. Sometimes, you have to piss them off, like any number of his GOP rivals. And some stay pissed off, so you write them off, but anger is a difficult emotion to maintain. Which is why I gave it up (mostly). Anger is exhausting and exhausted people crave leadership. This election has made people very tired. The stage is set for big things.

tryanmax said...

Kit, it's my opinion that by taking his broke-ass ghetto-carrier into the Mediterranean, Putin was showing his belly, especially as Hillary was jangling her saber loudly in his direction at the time.

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! "His broke-ass ghetto carrier" is the perfect description for that thing!

And you're right. That was a mistake. It showed the world how badly outclassed the Russians are compared to us. If push came to shove that entire battle group would be nothing but target practice.

And keep in mind, it wasn't just Hillary. The Brits, the Nordics and even the Spanish showed their cojones vis-a-vis that sucker. I think Putin embarrassed himself there.

Kit said...

"This election has made people very tired."

If we agree on nothing else, we agree on this.

A year and a half. A YEAR AND A HALF!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Trump doesn't worry me in terms of Putin, but Putin worries me period. Putin is unpredictable and thuggish. He may do something stupid just to because it suits him. That makes him dangerous.

But in terms of how we respond, I suspect that's largely on autopilot.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It is an interesting and aggressive strategy that jolts people back and forth, but seems to create fairly strong loyalty if it works. And I think you're right that he's been doing it.

The Mexico thing is a guess based on the patterns. He may ultimately just ignore Mexico. But I see him trying to do some reconciliation with them, and those seem to be the best options. It also fits his focus on immigration and the wall. What better way to get people to leave or to wipe out the need for a wall than if Mexico becomes prosperous and people want to go there?

The next few years will be interesting. I may need to keep track of these predictions.

Kit said...

"broke-ass ghetto carrier"


Have to breath. Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out.

Kit said...

Anyway, more serious: the real danger in a war with Russia is the concept, introduced in 1999, when Putin was bombing Grozny in response to a FSB-orchestrated false flag attack, involving the use of tactical nuclear weapons to de-escelate a crisis.

By tactical nukes, I mean detonating a nuclear weapon over a US/NATO army or fleet. This is not a problem for Russia because the country exists in an alternate reality where the US does not have any nuclear capacity.


tryanmax said...

Putin is worrisome. It makes sense that there is probably a response plan in place. Furthermore, I see no reason to believe that Trump would back down from Russian aggression. His pattern is of responding to opposition in kind. For example, the man who can be "baited with a tweet" responded via Twitter. When Khizr Khan took to a stage to personally insult Trump, Trump took to a camera to personally insult Khan.

Incidentally, the man who told CNN that he would no longer appear on TV back in August was on MSNBC over the weekend demanding the man he said has a "dark soul" to unite Americans. What a putz! Make no mistake, Khan became a political figure the moment he took a DNC speaking gig. Attacking him is in no way punching down. His continued presence confirms this.

Back on topic, I'd be far more concerned about Hillary pulling a Neville Chamberlain, if only because unprovable accusations tend to be projections.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I think it's in the best interest of the US and Canada to bring Mexico up to the same standards. You can't do that by siphoning off their most enterprising people. But that's not a frame that the American people are quite ready for. I expect it is coming. I'm hesitant to make predictions, but the closest thing to a partnership the US has ever had with Mexico is a tacit agreement for us to act as a relief valve on their problems. That will change.

Also, I don't anticipate a wall per se. I expect a "digital wall" or some such thing. <-- weasel words

AndrewPrice said...

Interestingly, here is an article on how much each NATO country spends on defense. LINK.

This has long been a conservative complaint that these countries aren't paying for their own defense and that leave NATO vulnerable and the US to carry the burden.

Notice that only four NATO countries and the US are meeting the 2% of GDP requirement. Twenty are not. Many of those are spending about half of what they agreed.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm not at all surprised. Leftists love to pretend that they aren't political when they are... "gee, I'm a moderate who hates all conservatives." They also love to make fake threats -- will move to Canada, will shut down my show, will never appear in public again. But they blow those off the moment the election ends. Then they do it again next time. And exploiting the deaths of family members is huge on the left: Joe Biden (twice), the Code Pink chick, Khan, etc.

In terms of Trump v. Clinton v. Putin, I think Trump is less likely to be tested by Putin. He will be tested, they all would, but not as flippantly. Hillary has proven herself a fool and a coward. She lives in the world of sanctions and sternly worded surrenders. Trump, on the other hand, is a wild card with a knee-jerk ego reaction. So I suspect Putin will be wary of pushing Trump until he knows him better. Hillary, on the other hand, he would have rolled just for fun.

AndrewPrice said...

I agree completely on Mexico. If we could raise them to first world standards, then they would be the magnet for South/Central American immigration, not us, they would be a huge market for our goods, they would stop taking our jobs, and we wouldn't need to worry about things like having a failed drug state on our border.

If I were president, I would totally create a package of goodies to put their economy into overdrive.

Whether or not Trump does that, however, I think will be for a different reason. I think Trump wants to make them friends now and the best way to solve his immigration problem is to stop them from coming.

Kit said...

Mexico has always been a crap-hole. Always.

If you want an idea how bad things are the biggest political scandal in recent years involved not anyone's underpants but 40 protesting students at a college who were arrested, loaded onto trucks, and disappeared without a trace.

Cuidad Juarez is the murder-capital of the world and the country has been wracked by a drug war to dismantle the cartels who run the country like feudal lords.

Mexico is just stable enough to keep from becoming a failed state but not stable enough to prosper.

We have a better shot at making Beirut the Geneva of the Middle East again.

Kit said...

It is very hard for a country to have that level of instability and prosper at the same time.

There is a reason Britain and Germany function better than Italy, Oman better than Yemen, and anywhere better than Afghanistan.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Mexico is a sh*thole, but if I were to try to fix it, I would use a combination of trade benefits, fading subsidies, and a requirement for land reform, tax reform, prison reform, and strong anti-corruption measures.

Anthony said...

Trump is gonna 'dance with the one what brung him' and be very hostile to trade with developing countries though that will probably mean more for potential trade deals than existing deals. A trade deal with the UK wouldn't mean much or be very controversial.

The War on Terror is going to keep on keeping on.

If Trump sends American troops to Mexico, they are either going to be sidelined or bought.

As for Putin and Trump, as long as Putin carefully strokes his number one fan's ego, he can get away with a lot (fortunately Russia is nowhere near what it was).

Kit said...


Imagine if you were to try and clean up Chicago. That is what cleaning up Mexico would be like but a thousand times worse.

It's simply that the people who would be enforcing those tax and land reforms would be the same folks who are running it now.

Maybe if the notoriously corrupt PRI loses to PAN the next presidential election we have a chance for some reform. Though, given previous PAN presidents Calderon's and Fox's attitudes towards cross-border emigration, it's highly unlikely they'll get along with Trump.

I could see Mexico becoming a first world country in 50 years but not sooner.

tryanmax said...

Anthony, absolutely, on all counts.

Hostile trade negotiations are also called hard bargaining. Trump doesn't negotiate one-sided deals, so even with third-world partners, he's going to put contingencies on the agreement.

The War on Terror is definitionally unendable. The most Trump can do is end particular operations and contain.

Sending American troops into Mexico would be a mistake. I don't see them being bought anymore than they are bought in any other field of operation, though.

If Putin is smart, he will not attempt to engage Trump hostilely. Trump has a pattern of paying tit for tat. Donald tweets back at his twitter critics, so Vladimir had better stick to the keyboard if he wishes to make a bellicose turn.

For what it's worth, I don't view Putin or Trump as "unpredictable." Most individuals are highly predictable once you get to know them. It's just that we don't know Vlad or Don personally and they don't much resemble anyone we do know. That doesn't mean they don't follow reliable patterns, just not the patterns you or I are used to.

tryanmax said...

So, I'm trying to work out this Bannon = Satan thing, on account of not following Breitbart much for a few years now. It's certainly a branding issue, but I don't see any depth to it. There are a few flimsy bits of "evidence" but mostly it's a tautology based on the alt-right is racist because racists are alt-right. Most people accept tautologies as sound reasoning. Still, lacking substance, all Bannon and Trump need to do to re-brand is to do a few things that would be impossible for racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semites to do.

Kit said...


The alt-right can't be rebranded because it is based on ideas that are racist, anti-semitic, and, yes, at times deeply anti-Christian. Bannon knew this when he got in bed with them and made Breitbart News, in his words, the "platform of the alt-right."

He's not going to change them. He likes them.

Here is a primer on the alt-right. With quotes and links:

Kit said...

Bannon may not be a racist, I have no idea, but he willingly got in bed with them and, again, in his own words, made his site a platform for them.

If he did not know, simply going to any alt-right site would've done the trick.

So, he either knowingly got in bed with racists and anti-semites to advance himself and his site or he is a moron.

tryanmax said...

Kit, there can be no "primer" on the alt-right. There simply cannot. I wouldn't even recommend THIS except as an alternative perspective. The closest thing to a primer I can direct you to is this --> LINK <-- and trust me, this guy is no rightie.

The article you provide has internal flaws without even going to the links. It repeatedly regards mere acknowledgement of race/culture as racism/xenophobia. It name drops people and things as "prominent" with no support. It cites Milo as both a member and non-member of the alt-right. It completely flubs Vox Day's biography (he is a vocal Christian convert, having abandoned atheism). It fails to discern between what is earnest and what is satire (6 GoRillion? Really?) It repeatedly commits the "Nazis wore flare" fallacy. Need I go on?

Conservatives need to be cautious about how they define the alt-right, and that mainly means defining it for themselves rather than cribbing definitions from the movement's fiercest enemies. The alt-right are nationalists (that does not automatically connote 'white') while leftist progressives are globalists. Of course the latter are going to describe the former in the most disparaging of terms possible. This Daily Wire piece could've been lifted from the Daily Kos.

tryanmax said...

P.S. I don't know what the middle road between nationalism and globalism is called, or if there even is one. At present, it appears that the globalists have overreached, which makes it difficult to vilify the nationalists.

How this relates to Bannon? Nationalism is one of the things that has been unintelligently branded as "racist" of late. I don't dispute that Bannon has climbed into bed with nationalists, but I refuse to be swept up in progressive ideological shorthand.

Anthony said...


I remember when the Mexican army (who was respected for its professionalism and honesty) was brought into the war on drugs because the police were so corrupt.

There is an ungodly amount of money on offer and drug lords are clever. They don't just offer money (and with American soldiers I doubt they would resort to threats) they offer sex (and of course, drugs). A lot of guys abroad (including but not limited to soldiers) get their minds blown by gorgeous, dodgey women.

I was in Guatemala when then Senator Peter Weller got enmeshed with Zury Rios (daughter of the former dictator, head of his party, enmeshed in a lot of bad stuff).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Mexican drug lords would have much success corrupting the American military, but they would get tendrils in.

Koshcat said...

Andrew, in general I agree. While I don't think he will go full Ron Paul on us, Trump tended to have a more Libertarian view of foreign policy. That's is why I don't see US troops in Mexico, however, I could see him offer to pay Mexico to house Mexican National violent criminals. Say it costs us to house them at about $20,000/month and on average Mexico pays about a $1000/mo, we could offer them $2500-5000 (aside from the first numbers, the rest are entirely speculation). Clean out the prisons, save the states millions, give millions to Mexico, and get rid of the bad hombres. Win, win, win.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, Trump seems more libertarian, but I'm not sure it's a principled thing. I suspect that if he saw an opening to get an accomplishment, he would change his policies.

That said, I'm only guessing on what he may or may not do with Mexico. It just strikes me that he will do something based on his prior patterns and those alternatives seem the most logical.

That said, I could definitely see him doing what you say.

AndrewPrice said...

On Bannon, Picking him fits but also sounds like a mistake. It fits because Trump is very loyal, by all accounts. What's more, Bannon got him started when no one else thought there was a way. I kept thinking that Trump was basically incarnate and I think Bannon was the reason. He fed Trump the list of issues to win the right.

That said, Trump clearly has changed for months now and Bannon doesn't seem to fit that. I don't know what his role will be (perhaps his role will be far-right-outreach), but in terms of the things Trump has been saying and doing, Bannon seems wrong for that. But again, I don't know the man. He might be much more flexible than you would expect.

Either way, Trump has done so much right that I'm not willing to turn on him for this because every president I can think of brought bad people with them and slowly had to shed them. It seems to be part of the process.

AndrewPrice said...

On the Alt-Right, I think you need to break "conservatism" down to understand it. The alt-right is a truly tiny fringe group of weirdos.

They are obsessed with being emasculated and whine about women ("men's rights-ers") and blacks/Mexicans taking their jobs (they are low income reel-'merikan types). Hence, they lob words like "cuckservatives" and they wish for the apocalypse to show all those edukated types that they are still needed in the modern world.

They have adopted some aspects of conservatism to mask who they are. Unfortunately, conservatives were poor at spotting these people (Larry and I used to drive them away, Breitbart didn't), so they infiltrated the Tea Party movement and killed it.

Now... all that said, there are other conservatives who are not these people who share some issues:

1. People who are worried about illegal immigration. They are not racists. They are worried about law and order, the destruction of jobs by big business, and the intentional changing of American culture.

2. People who are worried about our racial politics. They are not racists, but they are sick of being so accused. They are sick of the never-ending and twisted demands of the race lobby which are essentially an apartheid system with them on the bottom.

3. People who reject militant feminism. They don't think all sex is rape or that the rule of law should be abandoned to make the delicates feel good.

These people are not alt-right, but they get unfairly jammed in with them. I think that as conservatives, we need to be VERY careful not to knee-jerk accept the anti-Trump positions which lump these people into the alt-right and leave no legitimate opposition to the left's positions. There is a world of difference between someone whining about "cuckservatives" and someone who is concerned that the allegation of rape or racism will become a "presumed-guilty" crime.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, Gwen Ifill died today. She was one of the few leftist journalists that I actually respected. RIP

Kit said...

First, I don't think Bannon is a white supremacist or a white nationalist. But Bannon does flirt with them and has worked to give them a national profile. I don't think Trump is a white nationalist, either.

And, yes, most of the alt-right sites carries a white nationalist bent. I don't see how you cannot see that. Breitbart is probably the nicest alt-right site.

What makes them dangerous is exactly what Andrew described in how they destroyed the Tea Party.

ScottDS said...

This won't be news but IMHO, no one from Breitbart should be allowed within 10 lightyears of the White House! And as much as I want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, this won't help.

A friend tweeted an interview with a #nevertrump conservative radio host and he doesn't paint a pretty picture.

ScottDS said...

BTW, apparently Trump and Co. were surprised to find out they're gonna have to do a lot of hiring. I'm tempted to apply for a White House job - I have just as much experience as he does, I've got good references, and if I ever have a question, I can just ask you guys!


Kit said...

Side note. Last Wednesday, somewhere in Middle America:
Jeff: "Uh, boss, I think I need to talk to you."
Boss: "About what?"
Jeff: "This election. I'm so torn up about it. I think I need the day off. Maybe the whole week. I thought Hillary would be our first female President and I'm worried about them Mexicans and what Trump will do—"
Boss: "Jeff, I know you voted for Trump."
Jeff: "No, really I am scared about the gays and the rest. Can love win with Trump Pres—"
Boss: You spent the whole week talking about how great Trump was."
Jeff: "I changed my mind."
Boss: "You came in wearing your Make America Great Again cap."
Jeff: "It's cold. I'm honest. I realized I needed to join Hillary and now—"
Boss: "You tweeted your ballot. It clearly shows a mark for Trump. And you giving a thumbs up."
Jeff: "Well, it was worth a shot."
Boss: "Get back to work."

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I know you're joking, but there is a serious point to be made...

The hiring thing is a typical smear. Trump apparently "expressed surprise" that he needed to appoint over a 1,000 people as White House staff.

First, I suspect he was saying it somewhat jokingly. Indeed, this has become a leftist game of taking jokes and small talk and spinning them into SHOCKING ADMISSIONS!!! That's a smear.

Secondly, even if he was truly surprised, does anyone really think Obama or anyone else knew the number of people who would need to be hired? And do you think this surprise presented any sort of true hurdle or was it a "oh, really? Huh. Ok." That's about the most it would be, yet, I see articles filled with fake shock that Trump didn't know what no one else knew either.

Kit said...

Andrew, Scott,

I had the same first response but the more I think on it the more I'm with Andrew.

I knew he had to fill a lot of people. Did not know he had to fill 1,000 senate appointments.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, As for not giving the benefit of the doubt, did you take the same position when Obama hired Van Jones who thinks there's a race war and wants to dump pollution in white neighborhoods? Or Laila Alawa who praised the 9/11 attacks?

Speaking of Trump and the left, check Rahm Emanuel's Wikipedia page. It now starts with this: LINK:

"Rahm Israel Emanuel (/ˈrɑːm/; born November 29, 1959) is an Enemy of the State who has dared to defy the God-Emperor Trump, asserting that Chicago will remain a safe haven for rapists & murderers. He is slated for physical removal from the United States in early February 2017, at which point he will be relocated to Guantanamo Bay."

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It is a shockingly high number, isn't it?

Kit said...


That could easily have been written by an alt-right troll. Or a Russian. It uses their language; The use of the middle name "Israel" and "safe haven for rapists and murderers." Even the term "God-Emperor" fits with some of the memes I've seen of Trump depicted as a sort of majestic tyrant.

No, I'm not joking. I wish I was joking, though.

ScottDS said...

Obviously, someone's hard at work on Wikipedia revisions. And the term "God-Emperor Trump" is a pretty good clue. :-)

Again, statements like that from Van Jones just make me roll my eyes because I know it's not true. And I have no idea who Laila Alawa is.

Re: the hiring thing, it's gonna be tough separating the bullshit Trump stories from the real Trump stories. That's why you're providing such a valuable service!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's funny. :)

I'm getting a kick out of the whole puppies, playdoh and safe zone garbage on college campuses right now. As one would expect, the public is mocking these delicates and today Yale's Chief Nanny came out and assured us that Yale students don't fold under pressure.

Too late. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It could be a Russian. It kind of has that feel. Either way, it strikes me as idiocy. It's basically internet vandalism with no real purpose. Only a fool would think this is real or that it was done by Trump/Anti-Trump with the intent of smearing the other.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Thanks Scott! I am trying to cut through the garbage and figure this out.

As with all things, there are good and bad signs. So far, the good outweigh the bad. But I will certainly speak up if there is bad.

Kit said...

As someone who has watched them on social media I can say that language fits pretty well with the pro-Trump, alt-right set.

Kit said...

I think it was one of the pro-Trump trolls, either in the US or Russia. Either some loser in the US or a member of Putin's troll army. Which he has, by the way. And they have been pushing Trump heavily and in the most asinine ways imaginable.

This is another reason Trump's coziness to Putin annoys me.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I said this above:

But Scott, that's my point. You dismiss the rantings on the left but aggrandize the rantings on the right. Then you say the right is scary. It's a tautology. The right is scary because I believe they are scary, but the left is not scary because I don't worry about them.

Let me finish that thought.

My point is this. The fringe right is no more powerful than the fringe left. People like Bannon slip in, just like people like Van Jones slipped in. And if you want to be scared, then it's very easy. But the truth is something very different.

The truth is that most of our Presidents (all as far as I can tell) take office with the intent of doing what they think is best for the country and leaving a legacy they will be proud of. Now, sometimes they fail (Obamacare) and sometimes their ideology blinds them to reality. But it is truly rare that the American government can be made to do anything major that isn't watered down and broadly approved of. There are just too many checks and balances.

And guys like Jones and Bannon tend to be cast aside pretty quickly once the responsibility of the office imposes itself.

Kit said...


I hope you are right.

Kit said...

"I'm getting a kick out of the whole puppies, playdoh and safe zone garbage on college campuses right now. As one would expect, the public is mocking these delicates and today Yale's Chief Nanny came out and assured us that Yale students don't fold under pressure."

I'm more jealous. I should've been a Hillary supporter instead of an Evan McMullin hold-out. I could be living it easy. No tests, no classes, just relaxation.

Boy, did I pick the wrong horse. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Derangement syndrome has become a fixture of our elections since at least Reagan's win in 1980. So much of our political discourse has been about "outrages" and nearly-apocalyptic seizures of power.

But if you step back and look at these guys without the bias and just consider who they were and what they tried and what they achieved, you see two things:

1. They were all decent men who wanted to do well.

2. Few were able to make real change, and those that could made only limited changes, and it almost always required bipartisan changes. Obamacare is probably the one exception and it's on the verge of failing because of that.

The government is like an oil tanker. It can't be turned like a car. It can only be nudged into a looooong slow turn.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, You can always pretend. They will believe you. After all, they can't conceive of another person who didn't support Hillary.

If you get into the Fortress of Safety, btw, make sure that you accuse them of being racist for having multicolored Playdoh! :D

Kit said...

Eh, too much work. It'd be too hard to keep from laughing.

tryanmax said...

These people are not alt-right, but they get unfairly jammed in with them.

This puts a nice pin in the point I was trying to make, though I'd add that some people have taken in the alt-right moniker now who would not be considered "core." It's a term in flux.

Kit said...

John Podhoretz sums the whole Bannon thing up rather well.

I would add the one possible good thing about his hiring is that it might cause the talk radio fringe to back off attacking and undermining the GOP.

Post a Comment