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Is Trump an Ordinary Republican?
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  • Andrew Allison

    “One of the most remarkable developments of the 2016 campaign was the ease with which Donald Trump’s profound differences with Republican elites—on immigration, trade, entitlements, infrastructure and foreign policy—were minimized and papered over in service of holding the party together and creating a unified front against Hillary Clinton.” Huh? Trump ran against both major party establishments, and kicked their butts. Get over it. Time to move on from denial to grief.

    • Pait

      I tend to agree with often-psychotic Andrew here. It’s time to move beyond denial and anger and accept that Americans no longer live in a democracy or a republic. Prepare for redemocratization in 20 years, by studying history of Portugal and Spain if you want. Perhaps the slide can be reversed, we should not give up the fight, but denial and anger are not the right tools.

      • Beauceron

        One of the things that depresses me about the Left is their inability to express critical opinions about opponents without resorting to slander, snark, or even a maintaining a tether to reality.

        That AA may say things that you disagree with hardly makes him “often-psychotic.” And, regardless of how much you dislike Trump as a person or disagree with his policies, likening him at this point in his administration, or even based on anything he’s said so far, to Salazar or Franco is beyond ridiculous hyperbole. Your absurd criticism says far more about you than it does Trump.

        • Pait

          Check AA’s long exchange on a post reviewing TAI columnist Eliot Cohen’s new book, The Big Stick, where he repeatedly denies that a phrase is in the text, and try to come up with a different characterization.

          As for redemocratization, I agree that it’s at this point still speculative. If you think of the present it is hyperbole, or beyond hyperbole I concede, but in the not so distant future there is a fair chance that the worst fears will be confirmed. Think of it as coping strategy that is superior to denial and anger.

          • Albert8184

            I think the chances are much worse than just “fair”. I mean… I take past history seriously when it comes to the future.

      • seattleoutcast

        Maybe you should look into Article V of the Constitution. By devolving Federal power we can return to a republic. Unfortunately, your lot want centralized power, but only when your person is in charge.

        • Pait

          I don’t see any signs of devolution of power, and I do see signs of power grab. I also see signs that state’s rights were just a throwaway rally flag, like fiscal prudence, term limits, and free trade.

          I suppose we will have to wait and see, and I fear that by the time we see it will be too late.

          • seattleoutcast

            Then call your state rep and say you want to invoke Article V. It’s that easy. Look up the convention of states.

          • Pait

            I don’t see how your comments form part of a rational, logic line of reasoning. Goodbye.

    • Albert8184

      Yeah… that’s what happened. And we shouldn’t forget it.

  • Psalms564

    My favorite part of the punditry class is their disbelief that Trump is, ministers of grace save and protect us, actually doing what he said he would do. That is what scares Dems most of all. When you are a liar and everybody you deal with are liars, it becomes easy to assume that everyone is a liar in general. When you meet someone who says what he means and means what he says, it can be a shock to the system.

  • Anthony

    When the previously unthinkable becomes normalized, it’s easy to lose your moral compass.

    “We have to keep reminding ourselves that we do not live in normal times, that the future of our much cherished institutions depends not on others but on ourselves, and that we are all individually responsible for our institutions…We are the last defense.” (Molly O’Toole)

    • Boritz

      Yeppers. That sums up how I have felt since 1992.

      • Anthony

        Yes, I remember a 1974 resignation (but it’s not about partisanship but country). I trust you truly recognize the enormity (sans partisanship) of civic obligation.

        • Beauceron

          That’s true enough. Americans have been lazy and self-absorbed.
          We should have been fighting the Left since the ’80s. Had we stood up to them and their abusive, “break the system” policies, the country would not be in the dire position it is in.

          • Anthony

            You’re too parochial and absolute. The country survived up to your birth (despite our flaws) and will survive beyond, God willing – thanks for reply.

          • Beauceron

            I didn’t say it wasn’t going to survive. I said we have been put into a dire position because we have been lazy.

            The Left, to their credit, hit the streets. They protest.They beat people who they disagree with. They burn cars and smash up businesses and threaten those who hold different opinions than their own. They take over institutions and purge anyone who doesn’t support them.

            I am agreeing with you. We have been soft and have taken what we have for granted. We don’t blink an eye at the violence of radical Leftists, we have become accustomed to it, it is the new normal now.

            We on the right need to emulate the Left in this regard. Fire must, sometimes, be fought with fire. Fortunately for us, unlike the Left, we really like our guns.

            Oh, you mean you don’t want THAT?

            Talk about parochial…

          • Anthony

            Well, the gun game goes two ways so I suggest you be careful there. Try hard to remove your either or glasses and help your country you so wistfully critique on these threads. Good luck to you and make a difference (positive).

          • Beauceron

            “Well, the gun game goes two ways so I suggest you be careful there.”

            But heavily favors one way. So you be careful. One side has people showing up in their hundreds dressed in black to smash businesses, beat up political opponents, burn cars and fight with police. YOU take care that two sides can play that game. This has been going on for decades now. You do not have a monopoly on anger and frustration. Sooner or later, people on the other side will fight back.

            “Try hard to remove your either/or glasses and help your country you so wistfully critique on these threads.”

            In case you can’t tell– and it seems you can’t– I am mocking your condescending pretentiousness here– wholly unwarranted by the thin intellectual gruel of your posts I might add. You daft goobers had no problem with a president that, for eight years, used executive orders not for agency actions, but for actions properly left to the legislative sphere. You had no problems with a president that used governmental agencies to go after his political enemies (and then, when his enemies sued him for it, defied the courts and refused to hand over documents in discovery prompting the judge to condemn him). You ignored political violence with a wink and a smirk for decades when it was only your side beating people up, but now fret because the other side has become righteously angry. Now all of a sudden you’ve placed the back of your hand to your foreheads and swooned over the supposed end of the republic.

            Spare me the faux concern for institutions you have spent decades raping. And it’s not just politics. For God’s sake, look at our press– a smoldering ruin. Look at the state of the humanities on our college campuses– a sad and sometimes frightening joke. Yeah, “we do not live in normal times” all right. The people you’ve been abusing for years seem to have had just about enough of it.

          • Anthony

            Look youngster, interpret as you choose – we live in this world and both of us must must make sense of what we see and how we choose to adapt. Don’t waste time on chat boards venting or commiserating – live life, you only have one. We’re done here.

          • Beauceron

            That is no defense to your hypocrisy.
            I know it’s delicious fun to pretend you’re defending against the rise of an American Reich and all, but perhaps, just for a moment, consider that YOU are the barbarians at the gates.

          • Anthony

            Update: Buzzfeed warned that Russia pays thousands of US residents to be on-line trolls (as well as the surprise election of Trump igniting the on-line derailing of Trump critics’ threads). The update may not apply to you directly but I advise caution (mistaken identity).

          • Beauceron

            Ugh, now I feel a little bad for challenging you. It’s clear you’re entirely defenseless. I feel like I’ve just clubbed a baby harp seal.

            And is this the same BuzzFeed that published the thoroughly discredited “Russian Dossier” on Trump? Why , yes, yes it is.

            I would implore you, sir, not to wallow in the trash of known fake news sites. Although, if this is where you get your information, it does explain your inchoate posts.

          • Anthony

            Left one thing out: commonality of on-line trolls and Trump critic thread intrruptors is “Hidden Disqus ” comment history. If any applies be forewarned! Time to end this Bauceron; because as I told you upon your initial TAI entry (a year or so ago), keep your rants at their level.

          • Beauceron

            Verbal nonsense is like your squid ink. You get called on something ridiculous you’ve written and you spew a cloud of meaningless verbiage as cover.

            Look, you got called on your overwrought “The previously unthinkable has become normalized, our cherished institutions are threatened, these are not normal times!” — that is, of course, just a way for the Left to grant themselves license to be even nastier and crazier than normal.

            And then you can’t defend it. So *POOF* comes the ink-cloud as you try and squirt away.

            The simple, easily identifiable solution is to not say things you can’t defend.

          • Anthony

            “Nonsense”, that’s where you began (1st day). So just one last time (as I did more than a year ago), “because you call a thing nonsense does not make it so” lad.

          • Albert8184

            His assessment is spot on. And really… it sounds like you agree with him… but you don’t want to sound like you like it.

          • Anthony

            For me, it’s not agree or disagree but a less jaundiced observation (but, hey, I understand).

          • Albert8184

            I figured as much.

          • Albert8184

            We HAD BEEN fighting with them up to about the mid-60’s. But we weren’t sure of ourselves and we let a few missteps dissuade us from the rightness of the cause through the 70s. Watergate didn’t help. The Left used that hesitancy to capture the culture, the media and the key institutions… and we’re just beginning to sort of wake up again. But not fast enough.

    • seattleoutcast

      It’s the Fourth Turning. It was predicted 20 years ago and a timeline is already in place. This is not unusual.

      • Anthony

        Yeah, O.K.

        • Dale Fayda

          Let me cut through the all the verbiage, if I may.

          One day (and it may be soon) we will kill a whole lot of you.

          • Anthony

            You’re recently in America and ought to be glad that not only have you been admitted but also not harmed internet Assassin – looking for your virtual “day”. Real simple tough guy (cut through that).

          • Dale Fayda

            I’m in my late 40’s and from NY, you dolt. Boy, this is just isn’t your day, is it? First, Beauceron eviscerates you, then you stick your foot in your mouth with me.

            Rest easy, precious snowflake – I have NOTHING to fear from the likes of you. If and when real violence rears up in this country, you (and I mean that personally) will be easy meat for everyone, on all sides, who’d like to take a piece of your sorry hide.

          • Anthony

            You’re an emigre whether late 40s or not (immaterial fact). Your Kremlin threats may work elsewhere (as well as your blind hatred) but vacuous, mindless internet tirades are as empty as your Triden (symbolic).

          • Dale Fayda

            Yes, that is my real name and no, I’m not an emigre. The trident symbol is a reference to my Russian – Ukrainian heritage. No, I will not “reply elsewhere”. Why should I? Because my comments get your goat? Too bad, snowflake. I will continue to post my opinions on this site and I will continue to call you out on your b.s, as I’ve been doing on this forum for several years now.

            God knows your ability to come up with pseudo-intellectual malarkey is a well that never runs dry, so I will likely get plenty of practice. To sum up, you were comprehensively out-argued by Beauceron on this topic and you be-clowned yourself with me. I did a good thing – I feel good.

          • Anthony

            You’re emigre and refusal to understand it makes my point. But ground rule setting as I have little tolerance for internet inanities: this is our last communication as You are either an unwitting tool or adjunct of FSB. You know the old Russian joke: expect the expected to not happen. You know what the Kremlin says: truth does not matter – what matters is what people can be persuaded to believe what is true (KGB Manual). Good Bye, what’s your name.

  • Boritz

    “There is and will continue to be strong institutional pressures in both parties to revert to the positions that are most familiar and comfortable”

    Yes there will. Hee Hee.

  • Pait

    Republicans had long broken with what they say the Republican Party stands for. They never believed in fiscal conservatism. Term limits as in the 1990s campaign was a joke on America. Is there any reason to believe that they are in favor of free trade and free markets? Although I have to say that it is astonishing how fast they abandoned the idea of a forceful, realist foreign policy based on mutual support between the free nations, that should not have come as a surprise either.

    What will be the next surprise, that the president is using an unsecured phone? That his advisors are registered to vote twice?

  • ljgude

    I think it remains to be seen if Trump is a realigning force in American politics, but there is much less doubt that he intends to act on his announced agenda. I think those who argue that some of his more outlandish positions are opening bids by a deal maker are a lost closer to explaining discrepancies between what he says and ends up doing than those who simply assume he is the same as all politicians -more talk than action. He has been an executive all his adult life and he now heads the executive branch. When he said that the time for talk was over and the time for action had come – this Trump skeptic was sure that action would follow. Indeed it has.

    • Kevin

      I’m waiting to see in 2018 how many existing and new politicians (D or R) frame themselves as populists or nationalists. Trump showed there’s electoral gold in those hills.

  • Disappeared4x

    First Official Clue: “…The president spent a part of Tuesday poring over artwork from the White House collections, settling on a portrait of Andrew Jackson — America’s first populist president, who has been invoked by Mr. Trump’s aides as inspiration — to hang in the Oval Office. …”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/us/politics/president-trump-white-house.html?action=click&contentCollection=Fashion%20%26%20Style&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

    I am no longer a skeptic of Trump45 as “Jacksonian”. My skepticism was because it seemed to be coming from punditry, not the candidate, Bannon’s ‘nationalist populism’ notwithstanding.
    The Democratic Party made a big deal of ejecting Jackson from their Party History; removing him from the $20; and in rejecting Jim Webb’s candidacy: the Jacksonian Identity Politics Icon: white male protestant veteran Scots-Irish extraordinary courage under fire
    My observation of 2016 was that BOTH party coalitions were fracturing and regrouping during the election cycle.
    The symbolism of placing Andrew Jackson’s portrait in the Oval Office can not be under-rated.
    Trump45’s ‘ideological unpredictability’ is because his core beliefs are too basic to fit poli-sci paradigms.
    The WH official website just removed Spanish pages.
    The NYT just designated FLOTUS Melania an “icon”.
    wonder who painted that portrait…

  • ——————————

    “Is Trump an Ordinary Republican?”

    No…TG….

  • Beauceron

    “it is tempting for Democrats because it absolves them of the need to think creatively”

    You, like so many pundits, act like its a complete mystery where the Dems are headed strategically. I think the DNC chairman leadership conference told us a lot about where the Dems are heading– and it’s the same place Obama and Hilary were steering the party: identity politics. Race, race and more race.

    What was the focus of the conference? Those damned white people. One of the people running for the DNC chair said:

    “My job is to listen and be a voice and shut other white people down when they want to interrupt…

    We pull people in and they are volunteers. They don’t know anything and then we send them out to have conversations with people, hard conversations. We promote them to chair of a party where they have power and they have no clue what they are doing. We have to, at the DNC, provide training. We have to teach them how to communicate, how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white.”

    One of the other top DNC candidates is a former leader in the Nation of Islam, a group that has as one of its core beliefs that white people are not even human beings, but rather were invented in a lab by a mad black scientist.

    All agreed BLM must be embraced fully and without question.

    Much of the Dems actual playbook can be found in the book “Brown is the New White.” It is a policy of extreme divisiveness.
    It is sad, if not surprising, that this central focus of the Left is largely ignored by most of the media– and never condemned as deeply bigoted. But then I suppose it’s a bit difficult to freak out about an alleged white supremacist president when your party is actually pursuing a racialist path to victory.

    • Albert8184

      Bingo. You nailed it. The pundits’ mentality. The extremism. The identity politics boiling over. But it’s not at all difficult for the Left to accuse the opposition of their own sins and dirty tricks. They do it all the time. Freaking out on Trump’s “racism” is typical.

    • Andrew Allison

      To call a wet-behind-the-ears Stanford graduate a pundit is a reach too far.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Before 2017 is over we will discover that Donald Trump is quite willing to permit political (aka Chamber of Commerce) Republicans to have everything they ever wanted which can possibly be signed or granted from the presidency. Oddly, this was all enabled by religious Republicans who were somewhat mad at Roe, but REALLY mad at Obergefell. But, even with Trump picks for the Supreme Court, the most likely thing for Republicans to never receive is reversal of same-sex marriage. Why? Because un-marrying people or creating a two-tier deal where old marriages stand but new ones are not allowed is such a legal mess that no SCOTUS will ever go there (IMHO), and particularly since political (aka Chamber of Commerce) Republicans couldn’t care less about it anyway.

    So, religious Republicans just completely ruined themselves and everyone else in the lower half of America for “nuthin” on the big burr under their saddle. Very transformational and nearly “unbelievable” to the political (aka Chamber of Commerce) Republicans themselves.
    The religious Republicans have no idea what they have done. It could be years before they figure it out, but when they finally do, they will be living in much-diminished economic reality.

  • Albert8184

    Let them stay stupid. We’re ALREADY seeing what the Beltway globalist Left intends to do with Trumpism breaking out everywhere in the West: They intend to double, triple, quadruple down on their particular brand of suicidal anti-nationalist behavior. Consider the stuff we’re all seeing on the internet every day, in the wake of Trump’s victory. Let them stay stupid. And let us stay the course for renewal.

  • Albert8184

    You worded this sort of…. incorrectly… didn’t you Jason?

    “There is and will continue to be strong institutional pressures in both parties to revert to the positions that are most familiar and comfortable: For Republicans to keep talking about small-government conservative values, to make-believe that Trump shares them, and to do their best to support his priorities…”

    SHOULD BE…

    “For Republican elites to keep pretending they support Trump’s small-government conservative values, to make believe they share them and support his priorities in that regard….”

  • Proud Skeptic

    “Is Trump an Ordinary Republican?”
    No
    This could have been the shortest article ever written.

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