Oh, the Shrillness!

Donald Trump and his legion of followers resent Mitt Romney’s attack on Trump. Their problem, of course, is that Romney was right on target. Their predictable riposte: Romney’s a loser. Who’s he to criticize Trump?

Well, Romney won the GOP nomination, which is more than Trump has done so far. Moreover, having lost the general election to Obama doesn’t disqualify Romney as an observer of the political scene and a representative of traditional Republican values (which aren’t Trump’s values).

The shrillness emanating from Trump and his Trumpeters is unsurprising. They have, as usual, substituted emotion for facts and logic.

I’m convinced that Trump’s main objective is to discredit and destroy the Republican Party. If he doesn’t win the GOP nomination, watch him turn on the party and its nominee.

 

The War on Conservatism

Trump’s candidacy is transforming the Republican Party and party lines. If Trump is nominated by the GOP — and especially if he wins in November — he will have transformed the GOP from the party of (nominal) conservatism to the party of working-class-whites-seeking-their-share-of-government-bestowed-privileges.

Thus the two major parties will represent the following constituencies:

  • Affluent “progressives” from Wall Street, the media, academe, and business (especially technology companies), who “know” who’s deserving, how the world should be organized, and what sentiments should (and should not) be expressed
  • Government officials and workers, especially federal but also those of most States and municipalities, who are the direct beneficiaries of bigger and more powerful government
  • Most “persons of color” (blacks and Hispanics) who turn to government for handouts and preferences
  • Working-class whites who rely on the dole, in some form — especially those who think they’ve been short-changed by “persons of color”
  • Everyone who wants to preserve or expand the power of government to do something that they favor.

In sum: The two parties will represent the grasping, intolerant, and controlling forces of oppression. True conservatives (and libertarians) — who seek nothing from government but to be defended by it, and who understand the wisdom of long-standing social norms and the civilizing institutions of civil society — will be out in the cold.

Name That Politician

[T[he most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he’s a racist … and a demagogue, but he’s also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. He lies so constantly and so fluently that it’s hard to know if he even realizes he’s lying. He delights in schoolyard taunts and luxuriates in backlash.

Ezra Klein, Vox

With the omission of one word, indicated by ellipsis dots, that’s a spot-on description of Obama. The omitted word is “sexist,” on which I’m agnostic because Obama’s cynical appointment of women (and blacks) to high positions could mask contempt for them as a group.

Anyway, Klein means to describe Trump. But Obama fits the shoes nicely.

Election 2016: Does It Matter?

If a Democrat is elected president, he or she can’t do any more damage to liberty and the economy than Obama has already done. (But … see below.)

If a Republican is elected president, he or she is unlikely to undo the damage to liberty and the economy that Obama has already done. (But … see below.) Republican presidents have a poor track record of walking back the bad things done by Democrats. They just don’t want to be “mean,” I guess.*

Here’s the “but”: The president gets to nominate justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Democrat nominees are reliable leftists; Republican nominees aren’t reliable constitutionalists (e.g., Warren, Brennan, Blackmun, Stevens, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, and Roberts) . But I’d much rather take my chances with a GOP-appointed justice than with a Democrat-appointed one.

If it weren’t for the power of appointment, I’d probably stay home on election day.

* Cruz may be “mean” enough, though possibly not electable because of his “mean” image. I’d love to have the chance to vote for Cruz, but I think Rubio would be a more appealing GOP candidate.

The Meaning of Iowa

According to Wikipedia, it means “asleep.”

Oh, that’s not what you were expecting on the day after the Iowa caucuses, in which Cruz bested Trump, and Sanders came within a liver-spot of beating Clinton. (Perhaps “beating Clinton” isn’t the right phrase. The feminazi brigade would accuse me of harboring a suppressed desire to enslave women.)

How bodes Iowa for the presidential race? I haven’t the foggiest, and anyone who opines otherwise is blowing smoke. Sure, there are some obvious losers, but they were obvious losers before Iowa. The leading contenders — Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Sanders, Clinton — are still the leading contenders.

I will say that Trump doesn’t stand a wig’s chance in a windstorm of winning the GOP nomination. The only question is which Cuban-American will get it — the Canadian or the Floridian.

And I can only hope that Hillary’s close call presages an outright defeat in New Hampshire. That’s to be expected, anyway, because Bernie is from a neighboring state, which is evidently an important qualification for the presidency. It enabled Jimmy Carter to win the South (and the presidency) in 1976.

Clinton (the misogynist one) even took Louisiana twice on the strength of his upbringing in neighboring Arkansas. I must admit, however, that Clinton’s appeal to Louisianans may have been due to his reputation for womanizing. Louisianans love “colorful” politicians (i.e., crooks and womanizers).

If the November election is between Cruz/Rubio and Sanders, the contrast between candidates will be as stark as it has been since 1964, when there was a choice between Goldwater and Johnson (JFK’s VP, not Abe Lincoln’s). Come to think of it, LBJ was a womanizer, as were predecessors JFK and FDR — also Democrats. Throw Clinton into the mix and you have a formula for electoral success: Democrat womanizer.

That would seem to rule out Hillary. Oh, wait, it doesn’t.

The Bern and I

There are two big differences between Bernie Sanders and me.

First, I’m not a socialist. Quite the opposite. To quote Marie what’s-her-name, “Let them eat pizza.”

Second, I’m a crosspatch — just like Bernie — but a cheerful one. I would have called this blog The Cheerful Curmudgeon, but that’s an overused title.

How cheerful am I? Well, it makes my day when I see a flattened squirrel on the road.

To give you an idea of my curmudgeonliness, I was tempted to write “flattened bicyclist” instead of “flattened squirrel.”

That’s enough idle chit-chat for now. I’ll return tomorrow with a post-mortem of the presidential candidates who were flattened in Iowa tonight.