Thomas Lifson argues that Trump intends to drain the swamp of bed-wetting, GOP-policy-obstructing liberals at Fogg Bottom, and has concluded (for some unknown reason) that Mitt Romney is the man for the job.
Donald Trump has a plan that eludes his critics, who canâ€™t help thinking about politics the way it has always been played and still do not grasp his thinking nor the range of new tools he brings to the presidency.
The Department of State is badly broken and desperately needs to be fixed. State requires fundamental restructuring as well as the departure of many entrenched figures whose goals and beliefs are antagonistic to realistic confrontation with Islamic jihad and the generations-long efforts of Muslim states to “wipe Israel off the map.” The State Department is full of people called “Arabists,” who instinctively blame Israel when it is attacked and defends itself and who presume that the U.S. should attend to the prejudices of hundreds of millions of Arab Muslims because they are so populous, and because they have oil and have funded an amazing number of sinecures for retired bureaucrats with generous compensation and few demands (other than reflexive support whenever an issue arises).
This is just a start on enumerating the problems, for the Middle East is not the only problem ahead, merely the oldest. There are serious issues with Russia, China, North Korea, and Venezuela, among major problems for U.S. diplomacy.
I think a lot of people are busy projecting their favorite personal fantasies on the blank page that is Donald Trump.
I’m skeptical myself that Trump has been secretly a hard-core Republican hawk all these years, kicking his gold-plated furniture every time he has to listen to the like of Colin Powell.
I would guess that Donald Trump is familiar with the way Mitt Romney straightened out the Winter Olympics mess and perceives Romney as highly competent manager and negotiator. Trump’s primary policy interests are probably new trade deals favoring US interests and a grand renegotiation of the NATO Alliance which extracts larger financial contributions from America’s strategic partners.
It is easy enough to see why Trump would like Mitt Romney’s combination personal distinction, professional competence, and geniality working on his behalf out of State.
Beyond Mitt Romney’s particularly desirable combination of personal characteristics and skill set, getting his strongest GOP Establishment critic to accept his leadership and come on board would go a long way toward reuniting the entire Republican Party behind Donald Trump, and would be a strong public demonstration of The Donald’s own skills at negotiation and persuasion.
Hereâ€™s the good news, Republicans. Mitt Romney is running to save the party from nominating Jeb Bush, and Jeb Bush is running to save the party from nominating Mitt Romney. Itâ€™s as if O. Henry moved into political coverage.
Ted Cruz got himself described as “the new McCarthy” by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker for asking Chuck Hagel about accepting speaker fees from North Korea. Mayer then dug deeper, and disclosed that, two and half years ago at a 4th of July speech, Cruz reminisced about his days at Harvard Law School (1992-1995), observing that Barack Obama would make a perfect president of Harvard’s Law School, which in Cruz’s time had “fewer Republicans than communists.”
Bill O’Reilly and Mitt Romney both also spent time at the little institution on the Charles, and both of them have also recently had critical things to say about Harvard’s characteristic politics and influence.
Well, you can only take so much, and the editors of the Harvard Crimson struck back this week, openly urging conservatives dissenters not even to apply for admission.
If you think Harvard is a revolutionary communist hotbed, donâ€™t apply. If you think Harvard is full of â€œpinheadedâ€ professors, donâ€™t enroll. And if you think Harvard pollutes the minds of its students, donâ€™t walk out of here with a degreeâ€”and certainly donâ€™t get two.
As Daniel Webster might have said: “It’s a bright-red, anti-American school, stuffed to the rafters with bolshies peddling pin-headed, crack-brained ideas, but some love it.”
The Third Presidential Debate proved a complete yawner, in which Barack Obama snarled and struggled to find opportunities to attack, while Mitt Romney contented himself by competing only in width of smiles, general affability, and presidential demeanor.
It could not have been more obvious that the professionals managing the Romney Campaign were confident that their candidate was winning and possessed strong positive momentum, so Mitt Romney’s debate strategy was simply to show up, and to do as little as possible to disturb outside events unfolding perfectly in his own favor.
Obama sometimes attempted to attack his opponent, and sometimes endeavored to strike triumphant poses of incumbency on his dazzling record of job creation, “saving the auto industry,” and making America safe by personally eliminating Osama bin Ladin.
Romney seemed, by comparison, the real incumbent, happily awaiting his January inauguration, politely going through the motions of indulging his already-defeated opponent in a sham contest involving matters already decided.
Obama occasionally looked mean, and at times seemed both desperate and petty. Romney was the model professional politician, giving away nothing, taking no risks.
Personally, I disliked Romney’s (as Rush would say) strategery intensely. I’d much prefer a candidate whose temperament was keener and less calculating, who could always be counted on to go for it, but we have the candidate we have. Newt Gingrich would have debated Obama into the ground even if he thought he was solidly ahead, but there is something in our national character that inevitably rewards the reserved and calculating schemer who strikes the cautious and conservative note. It’s not for nothing that Romney defeated all those Republican challengers and became the nominee.
He reminds me of Dwight Eisenhower, and like Eisenhower, Mitt Romney appears destined to go all the way. Whatever our reservations, we have to hope devoutly for his success. This country cannot afford another four years of Obama’s destruction of our economy.
The left can enjoy proclaiming that Obama won the third debate. But it was really one of those calculated refusals to engage, resembling Fabius Maximus Cunctator versus Hannibal or Kutuzov versus Napoleon, in which the cunning ultimate victor determinedly declines to permit his opponent to draw him into battle, postponing the final contest to a point which he already knows will be more certainly favorable to himself.
The best I’ve read came via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt email:
[T]he single biggest metaphorical crotch-kick of the night came from great-grandson Al Smith IV, who told President Obama, “We recognize that you have some challenges this year. It’s never good when your opponent has produced more sons than you have jobs.”
Candy Crowley alone selected the questions for the debate. Candy Crowley interrupted Romney repeatedly, and awarded Barack Obama an extra 4 minutes of speaking time. And, finally, Candy Crowley came running to Barack Obama’s assistance at the very moment when the challenger had him nailed dead to rights.
I thought that Romney did well enough anyway. My prediction was that Republicans would say Romney won, and democrats would say Obama won, but Romney had some good moments and that was all he needed.
Candy Crowley didn’t do a terrible job as moderator – although she tilted the questions and answers in Barry’s favor a bit too obviously, gave him 10% more time for responses, and frequently cut off Romney as he was making substantive points. But because she kept Carrie Fisher (dressed as “Slave Leia”) chained to her side throughout the debate, we’re willing to forgive her.
The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51 – 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 – 45 lead. That’s a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in almost all of them. Obama’s performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.
Romney’s favorables are above Obama’s now. Yes, you read that right. Romney’s favorables are higher than Obama’s right now. That gender gap that was Obama’s firewall? Over in one night:
Currently, women are evenly divided (47% Obama, 47% Romney). Last month, Obama led Romney by 18 points (56% to 38%) among women likely voters.
Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign? Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever? And we are told that when Obama left the stage that night, he was feeling good. That’s terrifying. On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion. He still has some personal advantages over Romney – even though they are all much diminished. Obama still has an edge on Medicare, scores much higher on relating to ordinary people, is ahead on foreign policy, and on being moderate, consistent and honest (only 14 percent of swing voters believe Romney is honest). But on the core issues of the economy and the deficit, Romney is now kicking the president’s ass.
Walter Russell Mead, in a typically witty and insightful essay, compares and contrasts the legacy of Massachusetts Bay and Harvard on this year’s two candidates.
When Wilsonians turn their gaze toward the United States, they become what I think of as the Bostonian school in domestic politics. Like the New England Puritans to whom they owe so much, todayâ€™s Bostonians believe that a strong state led by the righteous should use its power to make America a more moral and ethical country. This, I believe, is the tradition in American domestic politics that most profoundly shapes President Obamaâ€™s worldview; it inspired many of the abolitionists and prohibitionists who played such large roles in 19th century reform politics, and it continues to influence the country wherever the spirit of Old New England survives. (Not all domestic Bostonians are international Wilsonians, by the way; some believe that America should lead by example rather than by imposing its views on others.)
Bostonians over the years have changed their ideas about morality; few today would agree with Increase Mather and John Winthrop that the state should punish any deviation from Biblical morality as understood by 17th century puritan divines. But when it comes to punishing offenses against righteousness as defined by a congress of humanities professors, multiculturalist activists and foundation grants officers, the liberal morality police are ready to march â€” and to smite. Todayâ€™s neo-puritans would certainly agree that once morality has been re-defined in a suitably feminist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-tobacco and anti-obesity way, it is the clear duty of the Civil Magistrate to enforce the moral lawâ€”and that our governing constitutions and laws must be interpretedâ€”by the godly who alone ought to be seated on the judicial tribunalsâ€”to give said magistrates all the power they require for their immense and unending task of moral regulation and uplift.