I absolutely must take issue with John Massoud’s Thursday ‘rebuttal’ of SBT’s Wednesday piece. If anything, SBT was cutting Donald Trump a huge amount of slack. Trump is far from a ‘transformational figure’ in politics. He is a symptom of the anger on the right at both the cultural left, and do-nothing establishment Republicans… but he is far from being the solution.
First off, let’s stop with the ridiculous superlatives for Trump, just as the left should stop cursing him as the root of all evil. He is who he has always been, a narcissistic opportunist with an animalistic ability to play on people’s instincts and emotions. Let’s respond to Mr. Massoud’s grades for Donald Trump:
On the Economy: 100% A+ As we have near 100% employment, with more to come, the average American has $2000 per year more in their wallets to spend. Obama Care will soon be relegated to the dungheap of history. I do share SBT’s concern about a trade war – but we are not there yet. And we are far from any trade war. Trump is trying to get other nations to lower their tariffs towards American made goods. One way to get them to do so is to threaten them with higher tariffs. I don’t think that raising tariffs is a winning strategy, but we are light years away from Smoot Hawley – the protectionist tariffs which gave us the Great Depression.
This is not a serious analysis. We are nowhere NEAR 100% employment, even by U3 standards. The number for U6 unemployment is higher (7.6%). Here’s the difference. We’re better off in this respect than we have been since 2000, but this claim is false. Seriously, just stop with this.
Trump wasn’t much help with the tax cut. It got seriously watered down by K Street during the legislative process, and Trump did little with his bully pulpit, other than demand Congress pass something, anything, so that he could sign it and claim a win. Congress did this, not the President.
How in the world is the ‘Affordable’ Care Act anywhere close to being gone? Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Trump failed to lead at all on repeal, then embraced a weak, watered-down repeal bill, even threatening conservatives who were holding out for real repeal. Then when a terrible, joke of a repeal bill was passing the House, he called it “mean”. The truth is that Donald Trump loves the federal welfare state, and won’t expend any serious effort on rolling it back in any meaningful sense. Here is where perhaps the biggest opportunity cost of nominating Trump is. There were 5 or 6 candidates for the nomination who would have led, and had a plan in place to pass the previous repeal bill in six weeks. Not Donald Trump.
Lastly, yes, there is a trade war happening. Both China and the European Union have retaliated. You can debate whether these are necessary steps, but it’s happening. We imposed tariffs, and our trading partners have responded. Also, apparently, he LOVES an internet tax!
On Immigration: 99% A+ We are moving in the right direction. Border security has been an ongoing issue since the late 70’s. For the 1st time in decades fewer and fewer illegals are coming over our borders. Congress deserves an F here – but that is not Trump’s fault.
You cannot both try and give the President credit for the tax cut, and then try and absolve him of blame for the lack of action on immigration. In both cases, it’s mostly on Congress, for good or for ill. As to the facts on the ground, CBP data doesn’t lie. There were over 563,000 apprehensions and entry denials at the southwestern sector of the border in fiscal year 2017. Thus far in fiscal year 2018, there have been over 415,000. That puts us on track for about 554,000 illegals for the year, roughly the same as last year. Also, between 2014 and 2015, there was a sharp drop (569,000 to 445,000) in apprehensions of illegals. So no, this isn’t the first time in decades that there’s been a decrease. In any case, there are many factors involved that carry greater weight here than whatever administration is running the executive branch.
On Foreign Policy: 100% A+ Trump helped end the Korean War, which had been technically been ongoing since 1953. Trump has defeated ISIS without putting boots on the ground. Yes our NATO allies are a bit upset, but that’s because their socialized medicine will no longer be subsidized by American taxpayers. And if Angela Merkel is offended by this – all we can say is: Good!
First, there has been NO agreement with the Norkers yet. None. Zero. They destroyed a nuclear test site they couldn’t use any more anyhow, and Trump unilaterally stopped military exercises with the Republic of Korea, upsetting our ally, showering Kim with praise all the while. The Korean war is ended? Seriously, where is this coming from?
ISIS, while having been dealt a sharp check, isn’t defeated, and Trump certainly didn’t do this alone. ISIS has lost the bulk of its territory, but it still controls oil fields and revenue streams, still has means of finance and communication, inspires attacks around the world against Western interests, both coordinated and uncoordinated. So it’s not over.
As far as NATO goes, our allies are upset because Donald Trump has recklessly talked about disregarding Article 5 guarantees if they’re attacked. Our allies lived up to their end in 2001. So must we. It is also dishonest to suggest we subsidize the medical services of NATO partners, or their defense budgets for that matter. It also bears mentioning that Trump signed on to bring Montenegro into NATO, a nation that has a force about the level of myself and my friends gathering for a trip to the range. And NO, it’s not a good idea to anger our longstanding NATO allies, given the deep security and intelligence agreements we benefit from with them. Utter foolishness.
On the Debt: 90% B+ I was horrified that Trump signed that omnibus bill earlier this year, but the fault lies with Congress. Sometimes we need to make deals – even if that deal makes one want to hack. I share SBT’s horror that a Republican government is having potential 1 trillion annual deficits. But that is Congress to blame 90% and Trump 10%.
Once again, one cannot absolve the President of blame here. He could have vetoed the omnibus with ease. There was no veto-proof majority behind it. Given his love of the federal welfare state, and commitment to a federal ‘infrastructure’ boondoogle, it’s obvious that Trump doesn’t care about addressing the national debt and attendant annual deficits.
On protecting the Constitution: 97% Low A+ He’s done a good job getting rid of Obama style regulations and has told Congress multiple times that it’s their job to bring him legislation and he will sign what they bring to him. Something Obama would not do. Obama used his phone and pen. Trump wants the legislative process to work. That there gives Trump an A+ alone.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? No. Utterly ridiculous. I will say Trump has done good job of eliminating a lot of federal regulations. Sadly, he’s offset that by creating a lot of other bureaucratic nonsense, like the “Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy” and the “Commission on Combating Drug Addiction & the Opioid Crisis”… and now he doesn’t even understand that he can’t just unilaterally ‘create’ a Space Force. He also has no grasp of why the justice system and the federal judiciary need to maintain independence. He wanted to actually undo the best thing he’s done so far, the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court because he felt Gorsuch was insufficiently “loyal” after expressing dismay in interviews with Senators about some of Trump’s more nauseating comments. He asked James Comey and others for loyalty to him personally, not the republic, and not the Constitution. He thinks he’s running a new Trump Organization! That is not how things work. He’s directed the Treasury Department to ‘judiciously’ abide by Dodd-Frank – a terrible piece of law, but the law nevertheless – meaning skate by without abiding by it where possible. He also failed to notify Congress of the Syria strikes. This demonstrates little respect for the rule of law.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a big fat F, not an A+ of any kind.
We need to be better as conservatives. As a movement. Unswerving support of any figure, be it Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Paul Ryan, or whomever, is unhealthy. Adherence to principles, not men. The preservation of the republic demands no less.
There is nothing so useless as a Republican who can’t find a good reason to support Trump. Who in the world are you waiting for? Cruz? Yeb? Good grief.
I’ve said a dozen times, Trump wasn’t my first choice. Of course he isn’t the true blue Conservative I would have preferred, but we may not live long enough to find the next Reagan, and I’m tired of waiting. What the country needs right now is a major course correction, and we have found the rabble-rousing fighter who is actually willing to do something. Trump has definitely exceeded all my expectations, and I’ve also come to believe he is also saving the Republican party from it’s moribund do-nothing uselessness.
Another anonymous troll commenter imbibes the orange Kool-Aid, bereft of any solid arguments.
More useless drivel from a useless Republican.
“…but he is far from being the solution.“
And you’ve resulted in better???
You may pick from A and win, or you may pick from B and lose.
‘Libertarians’ and other RINO’s will always choose B and/or ‘not A.’
They are not able to be ‘Tired of Winning’ because they’ve never experienced it.
The party and the electorate tires of blowhards, perhaps you will find a party more to your liking elsewhere, we will help as necessary.
Yes I agree but we Trump supporters must keep him from get soft and only beating in from the bubble of DC.
NO pandering only lead with the thpughts of Americanism.
That’s Roc, always shrinking the party, offering to help, suggesting people leave. Love it or leave it, eh?
I would hope every voter to engage the winner and more over never walk away after your man or woman wins.
As a Contractor if I don’t check on the job things are incomplete or not done to my liking and that ends up to hold ups.
Hold their feet to the fire or the rooster will be in the hen house.
Yes, I know Democrats are Liberals, don’t have those conversations and don’t let either place blame on the other. Expect and nicely demand resolution. It will keep the door open.
In the absence of any coherent argument at all, anonymous troll commenter yammers about false binary choices. Right. No. Seeya.
Silly Libertarian, politics is nothing but binary choices, even our pluralities are attempts by your factions to sarvis our binary choices. Two parties, not yours.
No one in this entire thread mentioned the LP but you, pal. But keep tryin’.
You a member of your local GOP unit committee? You participate in party run processes?
John, I agree with your piece more than this one!
This piece has a few blanket assertions, and no supporting facts.
Yeah… because an opinion piece in a Canadian paper is certainly a way to counter facts. *rolls eyes*
It would be nice if we stopped this buttal and rebuttal stuff. The democrats are out for blood and all they care about is if you are a Republican. By definition, per mad Maxine, if you are a Republican you are an enemy to be attacked and abused. I don’t know about you, but I am a deplorable and she has targeted all of us for elimination.
Actually, all this ‘buttal and rebuttal’ stuff is a platform exhibition testament to the fact that nearly everyone in the conversation is using word labels without the slightest bit rigor as to definitions. Lack of definitional rigor and widespread degraded linguistic skills is part of the reason we are pathetically where we are. Everyone is speaking, but nobody can hear a dang thing, and totally impossible without clarity of the mind.
I do not believe my piece here suffers from the afflictions you describe.
If you actually read that to mean “unswerving support” of DJT – then you are sadly mistaken. And if you note correctly, I said on at least 2 occasions that I have issues with DJT’s leading us into a possible trade war, but that we are not there yet.
Except we ARE there. And writing two times that you don’t support a trade war doesn’t make you objective. The fact that you gave him such high grades overall, shows a blind allegiance – one that I’ve rarely seen.
Ya ya ya, Trade Wars are bad — but they are worse for others than for US.
The electorate is fed up with our usual parties to the level that they have hit defcon Trump. And I don’t blame them!
If one wants to remain politically relevant, one climbs aboard the Trump Train or you can be like ‘Liberaltarians’ or SBT, or other RINO’s, or Babs and lie down on the tracks in front.
Watch close the Cruzcinellis, not that rare.
A) The original article stated ratings based on a complete lack of understanding of economic policy, foreign policy, and national defense. This article was in response to said ratings. Try and keep up.
2) Bowing down to whatever “train” comes along, instead of sticking to ACTUAL conservative principles, is how we got here in the first place. People are tired of RINOs and establishment politicians who bow to political expediency, and yet here you are recommending we do just that to be “relevant.”
iii) The author of the article in question claims there are no trade wars, that the Korean War has ended, that employment is almost at 100 percent, and that we are somehow subsidizing European nations’ health care systems – all of which are completely, idiotically false and easily proven to be so. That’s what this article is about.
But you seem to be a one-trick pony with your “get on the Trump train” bit and no facts to back you up.
But thanks for playing.
“So you would rather have Hillary” derp coming in 3…2…1…
A) John grades on a curve, Rob makes you drop the class. This article is the standard Liberaltarian ‘I’m better and purer than you, and then badmouth Republican electeds and nominees.’
2) Your claim to conservative principles means jack-squat if you cannot persuade others nor elect representation the electorate wants. I’m tired of RINO’s on ALL sides, establishment AND the fake right.
iii) Fact: Trump is the only President we have. Fact: Stewart is the only senatorial candidate we have. Fact: Babs is the only Representative we have.
If you’ve got better, next nomination process put them up and win. For now, support the party or find a better one.
This isn’t college. This is our damn nation! Rob grades you based on facts. Since you can’t refute any of them, you’re a fail.
Additionally, this is not about whom will you vote for. This is about borderline retarded ratings for a president who doesn’t deserve them based on ignorance and a complete disregard for facts.
You won’t refute them, because you can’t. So you fall back on the usual “you need to vote for so-and-so” garbage rather than address actual issues.
I’m pretty sure the vast majority of people who are republican and critical of Trump probably voted for him and will do so again. That doesn’t mean we need to fall into “defend everything he does” mode like a bunch of retarded lemmings and show ourselves to be ignorant of facts.
Don’t bet on it. And it’s going to take more than a claimed vote while preaching GOP sedition.
There’s no shame in claiming to be a Republican voter, just don’t pretend to be equivalent to an actual member of a Republican unit or organization — we may allow you to participate by periodically polling you at a primary, but please don’t believe that we think that the instruments compose the symphony.
Laughable. Sure, support the nominee in the general, but the rest of the time, it’s Republicans who need to hold elected Republicans accountable. What you advocate is lemming behavior.
Yes it is, and we hold Republicans accountable by practical politics NOT tantrums and sedition. Thinking that supporting the party and the ticket is “lemming behavior” explains why we try to keep you fringe RINO’s out of the party.
SEDITION?? Holy crud! This imbecile is off the rails idiotic!
By the way, here’s your “end to Korean War,” ignoramus.
Republican Sedition, here’s Wikipedia for ya: “Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent towards, or resistance against lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interest of sedition.
Typically, sedition is considered a subversive act, and the overt acts that may be prosecutable under sedition laws vary from one legal code to another. Where the history of these legal codes has been traced, there is also a record of the change in the definition of the elements constituting sedition at certain points in history. This overview has served to develop a sociological definition of sedition as well, within the study of state persecution.”
Sedition against our Republican Party.
Get on the Trump Train but be the engineers stoking the coal.
To be fair tariffs on steel, aluminum or Canadian soft is not going to bring manufacturing back.
In my home building business the Canadian soft wood tariffs has not cause my lumber suppliers to sell studs ,floor joist, ceiling joist and rafter materials from North Carolina or South Carolina in fact we are starting to see those materials marked Sweden.
The price is steadily increasing but we feel it to be the beginning of another bubble.
If there are not labor wage increases or job security, pop once again.
Good spot-on analysis. Trump is exactly what the author indicated. HOWEVER, Trump did something over two years for which I will be eternally grateful. He totally emasculated that “compassionate conservative” Jeb Bush and thereby demolished the Bush dynasty. Indeed, Trump is not the doctor who will cure our society from the subversive and destructive effects of PC/multicultural iberalism, but at least he is groping for a cure, rather than pretending the illness does not exist, as the Establishment Republicans do over at BD. Trump is anti-PC and stands up to the Leftist loons – albeit often ineffectively. He is no Jordan Peterson or Ben Shapiro, but at least he does not roll over and play dead.
He doesn’t play dead on illegal, Santurary he is dead.
I can say this from the knowledge I know just as late as last week.
Yes VOSHA is still issuing violations to unlicensed contractors/illegal aliens right here where he received an endorsement from Jerry Falwell Jr.
Being that the Federal OSHA is tied in with VOSHA shows he is not concerned with Santurary Employment.
‘Tis true. I won’t lie – the fact that he gives the left heartburn and seizures makes my schadenfreude applaud. That said – a bit of realism and objectivity would be nice.
Please let me know when there is an outbreak of “realism and objectivity” in public discourse and partisan politics.
Well, for one, we need to start with ourselves. Making demonstrably false statements and failing to hold our own political leaders to CONSERVATIVE standards makes us look like hyperpartisan idiots.
Our own political leaders? How are they our own when we don’t support the nominee and natter on about fantasy standards.
What kind of influence would one expect to have when you don’t have the political muscle to flex and your only weapon is an empty primary threat?
Our party has been so gutted that our nominees pretty much ignore us. We do this to ourselves and the fringe and consulting class chip in to help.
If we can’t influence enough to be a viable party, what possible hope do we have to influence or persuade our representatives?
We first need to elect leaders who actually have principles. If they have none to appeal to, it’s pretty much pointless. That means voting for someone who claims to be a republican, but stands behind NO constitutional principles will only warp the party. Glad you’re willing to destroy the GOP in favor of “winning.” ?
And you wish to destroy the GOP in favor of “Tired of Winning”
You have a choice of nominees, you push for the most conservative ELECTABLE Republican, if you succeed, you push for them; if you fail, you push the nominee that won.
If you have an inferior product, you deserve to lose. If you think ANY of the Democrats are superior to our lamest (yes you Babs,) you’re in the wrong party.
You claim to be a Republican, but then strive against our standard bearers, why would I wish to have common cause with you and the Nicki party?
You’re ust another RINO separatist on the right — a pox on both your houses!
Oh look! Ad hominem. Nothing to refute any facts with, nothing to back up your insane analysis of my wants and desires, so you fall back on tired, old pablum. You’re dull as well as ignorant.
Have fun with your derp while adults discuss issues.
Not a Republican, not my problem.
Perhaps spot on in the events and other 20/20 hindsight, but not spot on in motivation or theatre.
We didn’t have anyone better that could win. He’s dramatically exceeded my expectations, and much like Reagan, gives us another inning, or another set of downs.
In politics, winning is everything, in peanut gallery blogging, whining is everything.
While I am “noways near tarred…” ‘… of winning’ — I truly am ‘tired of the whining.’
Given how weak Clinton ended up being, almost anyone else in our field could have defeated her.
Agreed. The election was a middle finger to the status quo more than it was pro-Trump, much as was Brexit in the UK. Anyone but a Clinton or a Bush was the general winning theme. Now it is anyone but Trump.
I am with the finger and that’s where I stay until Reps change their ways.
And if my grandma…
None of our nominees could beat Trump, they certainly didn’t have game against the corrupt Clinton cabal.
But please do continue with tales of the superior Libertarian movement
winning in Reston and Fairfax.
Again, what is with you babbling about the LP? They’re a waste of time, and on one here, so far as I know, supports them.
I think Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Walker, Fiorina, and probably Perry would beat Clinton 1v1 in the general. Clinton’s own internal campaign comms showed she was most afraid of Paul and Rubio.
Her campaign comns showed a lot of things. The other nominees dropped out or lost — they couldn’t beat Trump as nominee — Fantasy Politics may allow you to pretend, but Trump was chosen as nominee, and then president — not any of the nominees who couldn’t get it together to beat Trump.
Remember Trump calling out McAuliffe on Syrian Refugees?
“Trojan Horse” Trump referred to them.
Illegal aliens, MS-13 in Virginias Construction Industry?
Fairies and Unicorns?
Let’s give all Republicans an F on illegal immigration until, we start seeing ICE show up on my local Construction sites and also we see the IRS start to audit these employers start to be audited to end Employee Misclassification ( there was a GAO Fed and JLARC427 Study).
The truth dictates an F