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National Review Special Issue against phony conservative … Newt Gingrich

National Review Special Issue against phony conservative … Newt Gingrich

The “Against Trump Special Issue” is not unprecedented.

National Review has a special issue Against Donald Trump, with columns by 22 people, most of whom are familiar conservative writers and media personalities.

I skimmed a few of the columns and they make the case persuasively that Trump is not a conservative. You know the arguments already. He’s for activist big government, a populist with no conservative ideological compass, and is not what he purports to be even on his core issue of immigration (where he may be to the left of Marco Rubio in reality).

National Review Conservatives Against Trump Cover

(This is the point where I disclose that I’ve written a few posts for National Review and was a guest speaker on one of its cruises.)

The issue I have with the Special Issue is it smacks of top-down condescension, of an intellectual elite telling people what they must believe to be true conservatives.

It’s the opposite of the method I adhered to when I was in private law practice and I teach my students. People don’t like being told what to think; it often creates the opposite result. More important is to provide the facts and reasoning that lead people to the conclusion you want. That way they own the decision and embrace it.

I agree with this assessment by Ben Shapiro:

Now, I have my own biases on this issue – this week alone, I’ve characterized Trump as the establishment pick over Ted Cruz, slammed Trump for his establishment-style attacks on Cruz, and stated that he has “no central guiding values other than his own glorification.” And I agree with virtually everything written about Trump in this National Review special edition.

But I still think the National Review issue does Trump more good than harm.

Here’s the reason: instead of allowing the building groundswell of anti-Trump commentary to consolidate organically, National Review forced the issue to “get on the record.” They made the resistance to Trump look astroturfed by an intellectual elite. They gave Trump cannon fodder for his disenchanted base, which rightly feels disrespected by conservative thinkers.

The National Review special issue is being portrayed as unprecedented. But it’s not. When I saw on Twitter that the special issue was coming out, my immediate thought was to the December 2011 Issue Against Newt:

Might as well let it all hang out. Inside the new December 31, 2011 issue is Mark Steyn’s “The Gingrich Gestalt,” Kevin Williamson’s “How Speaker Newt Balanced the Budget, And Why President Newt Would Not,” Kris Kobach on how Gingrich’s amnesty plan would reward criminals and make the law arbitrary, and Jonathan Adler on Newt’s “longstanding love-hate relationship with environmental reform.” Plus other pieces and columns from John Yoo, Jay Nordlinger, James Lileks, Dan Foster (on Tim Tebow), Matthew Spalding, Florence King, Ross Douthat, Rob Long, and more.


That issue came at a time Newt was rising in the Iowa and national polls, and had grasped the momentum through his confrontations with debate moderators. Newt was a risk. He had issues in his past. But he was conservative, and worth the risk. I wrote, Why I Support Newt Gingrich (November 16, 2011):

I have been agnostic on the Republican primary so far, but the time for choosing has arrived.

For the reasons set forth below, I believe that the primaries will come down to Mitt Romney versus Newt Gingrich.  As such, the choice is not between Newt Gingrich and some hypothetical more perfect conservative candidate, as Newt’s most vocal critics would have us believe.

I’m supporting Newt Gingrich as the most conservative Republican who is electable and most qualified for the position of President….

In many ways this is the riskiest of times to come out in support of Newt.  Since he climbed to the top of the polls recently the long knives have come out for him.  Newt is the first to acknowledge that such a process of extreme scrutiny is a good thing, which shows an electoral maturity that some others have lacked.

If my judgment proves incorrect, and Newt cannot survive the scrutiny, so be it.  But it would not change my reasons for supporting him and for believing that he is the best candidate among the Republicans who are running.

We need someone who is conservative, inspirational, has command of the facts and arguments, and has the ability to bring it all together without fear of time clocks, debate moderators, or the mainstream media.

We need a message and a messenger. That is why I am supporting Newt Gingrich.

I supported Newt because at that time the choice was the inevitable Mitt Romney or Newt. I knew in my gut that Romney would lose. He was everything the Democrats hoped for in a Republican nominee. I knew he would lose nice and pretty. But lose he would.

Yet National Review demanded that Newt be stopped because Newt — whatever he might once have been — supposedly no longer was sufficiently conservative.

In the featured piece Mark Steyn complaint that Newt has a penchant for self-aggrandizement (true) and was not really conservative and too populist for comfort:

What exactly is so conservative about the Newt Gestalt? When Romney dared him to return his Freddie Mac windfall, Gingrich responded by demanding that Mitt “give back all of the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain.” That’s a cute line if you’re a 32-year-old Transgender and Colonialism major trying to warm up the drum circle at Occupy Wall Street, but it’s very odd coming from the supposedly more-conservative candidate on the final stretch of a Republican primary. When Romney attacked Perry’s views on Social Security by accusing him of wanting to shove Granny off a cliff, he was recycling the most shopworn Democratic talking point. Newt effortlessly trumps that by recycling the laziest anti-globalist anarchist talking point. At Freddie Mac, Newt was peddling influence to a quasi-governmental entity. At Bain Capital, Mitt Romney was risking private equity in private business enterprise. What sort of “conservative” would conflate the two? ….

After listing several Newt positions that were not in keeping with conservatism (S-CHIP, Medicaid, Climate Change), Steyn announced that Newt was not the conservative the liberals claimed he was:

Presumably this is what he meant when he told Newsweek that his Gestalt is “in many ways conservative, in many ways very moderate.” I’d prefer to formulate it this way: Gingrich is a pushover for progressivism who’s succeeded in passing himself off as a hard-line right-wing bastard.

Rich Lowry wrote of Newt in that December 2011 issue, The Myth of the New Newt:

His volatility makes it impossible to make any statement about him as a general-election candidate with assurance. Will he enthuse the Republican base? Yes, right up to the moment he stops enthusing it with some jarring provocation. Will he beat President Obama in the debates? Yes, right up until he makes an ill-tempered comment that washes away all his impressive knowledge and brilliant formulations. Will he be the bipartisan healer, the partisan bomb-thrower, or the post-partisan big thinker? Yes, yes, and yes. All that is predictable about Newt is that he is unpredictable, and, irresistibly, an election that should be about President Obama and his record will become about the heat and light generated by his electric performance. That’s the way it was as speaker, too. Eventually, he wore out his welcome in epic fashion. Benjamin Franklin said any houseguest, like a fish, stinks after three days. With the public and his colleagues, Gingrich became the houseguest who would never leave.

My post after that anti-Newt cover was Defeat National Review.

National Review’s anti-Newt issue didn’t stop Newt. A massive anti-Newt negative ad carpet bombing did that. Newt didn’t have the resources to fight back. The arguments against Newt were very similar to those against Trump.

Long ago I said that I was “not for Trump” but was “Trump-curious” and would sit back and watch the show:

I don’t know what to make of Trump. I understand fully all the criticisms, both ideologically and of the man. I share a sentiment I heard — I think on radio or TV — from Laura Ingraham, that you can’t not watch him, and he is by far the most entertaining politician we’ve had in memory.

It’s the Greatest Show On Earth. And for the first time in my adult life, I feel it’s bigger than me at the moment.

That’s why I’ve been mostly an observer to the show. About 10 rows back from the center ring, just enjoying. I figure the folks will figure it out at the voting booth. I trust the people on this more than I trust the media.

I’m not even Trump curious anymore, but I didn’t need National Review to tell me why.

I also said I trusted the voters to figure it all out. I still do.


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“Long ago I said that I was “not for Trump” but was “Trump curious” and would sit back and watch the show. I’m not even Trump curious anymore, but I didn’t need National Review to tell me why.

I also said I trusted the voters to figure it all out. I still do.”

Standing O, old son.

We will see. I believe the Trump wave is about to start. The NR piece was rocket fuel for the campaign. No matter where I go everyone is talking about Trump. On the left and on the right. I keep quiet and listen to what they say. There is real anger out there. It’s palpable and I think it will translate into votes.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to PhillyGuy. | January 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    “No matter where I go everyone is talking about Trump.”

    Excluding LI, of course. lol

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to PhillyGuy. | January 22, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    LI commenter “4fun” passed along an article to me. I think all the “high info voters” reading here will find it valuable. Here’s a snip.

    There seems to be a certain weariness in the formerly mainstream media when it comes to reporting on the Trump campaign. He’s had them so many times they’re behaving like those trout in popular catch-‘n’-release western streams that have been hooked so often that they come out of the water dragging along like an old boot.

    Instead, most negative energy now emanates from the right. This is because conservatives, and I include myself, are wedded to what we could call a conservative victory script – i.e., elect a strict constitutionalist president, Tea Party majorities in both houses, the right Supreme Court appointees, and so on down our flower-strewn imaginary road back to the former Republic.

    And Trump doesn’t fit into that scenario.

    Well, so what? Isn’t that cherished victory script only an illusion?

      Getting there through congressional and presidential elections is indeed an illusion.

      Article V Convention of States is the solution.

        Article V, sadly also an illusion. Even if you could get to the convention the Blue states and Red states would never agree on anything meaningful that could then garner the required 4/5ths (or whatever it is) vote. If one party ever takes over 40 or so of the state legislatures and governorships, then maybe. But since that has never come close to happening. Not likely.

      Or you could say your brother sent along a link. LOL.

      For those who are new on here, we’re quasi infamous as the first two to have our mugshots posted by the Prof.
      We trapped the Prof at Cornell along with his wife and blackmailed him into putting our mugs on his site.

      JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | January 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Another snip.

      “… despite all the hoopla about how many governorships and state legislatures Republicans now firmly control, those victories are essentially meaningless. None of these Republican governments has moved against the extreme left-wing taxpayer-funded mental health establishment or welfare establishment; curbed the absurd explosion of damaging zoning laws, tree commissions, and ridiculous environmental regulation at the local government level; dug out the Democrat endemic voter fraud in their big cities; or squashed taxpayer funded sexual propaganda – a list of conservative reforms that goes on and on, un-attempted, even unmentioned in our Republican-controlled state deliberative bodies. …

      Do Republican leaders come down on the side of the angels from time to time? Yes. Do they throw up the occasional great local like Scott Walker? Yes. But overall, the Republican Party at any and every level has shown it does not provide fertile soil for any return to republican values as much as it does a steady harvest of go-along-to-get-along Paul Ryans, John Kasichs, and Jeb Bushes.”

    You give NR more credit than it deserves. Mostly, people will ignore it.

Is T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII still working at National Review? 🙂

    DaMav in reply to pst314. | January 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    lol, perfect!

      pst314 in reply to DaMav. | January 22, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      I’m being snarky, because I see National Review as being, to some extent, a mouthpiece for establishment insiders. Sometimes they seem to care more about the cronies at the Chamber of Commerce than about ordinary people.
      This is not completely true, of course. They have writers who take on cronyism, the insular Beltway, and so on.
      And I don’t actually trust Trump: He has a history of positions and alliances that would put him in the Democrat camp and/or with the cronies who use government power to cheat and rob the citizens. I do one thing though, the Overton Window effect of Trump’s brash and in-your-face, up-yours-I-will-not-back-down rhetoric: He has made it easier for others to talk about things that had been deemed by the liberal commissars to be beyond the pale.

After decades of betrayal by the big name ‘conservatives,’ it is refreshing to hear someone speak with passion about issues that matter to me. Trump does that, and is immune to the nastiness on both left and right. I have no idea what kind of president he will be, but given the Obama/Bush years he can’t be any worse, and will probably be much better. The Dems and the Jeb/Marco/Christie/etc/etc. will just continue the destruction of all that I hold dear about this country.

    Ragspierre in reply to Haverwilde. | January 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    “…he can’t be any worse…”

    Exactly what T-rump said about Obama relative to BOOOOOoooosh in 2007-2008.

    How’d that work out…???

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Haverwilde. | January 22, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Vote for Trump! He can’t be the worst!


    pst314 in reply to Haverwilde. | January 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    “decades of betrayal”
    I seem to recall that National Review was supported Ronald Reagan from the beginning, and that many establishment Republicans did not.
    Can anybody here who is older say if that is accurate?

      Henry Hawkins in reply to pst314. | January 22, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      That is accurate.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

        Meant to add that the establishment GOP painted Reagan as a cowboy yahoo likely to start WWIII. George Will called Reagan supporters ‘Kamikazi Conservatives’, for example. The GOPe primary candidate favorite was George H.W. Bush, with senators Bob Dole and Howard Baker also on the bench.

          “George Will called Reagan supporters ‘Kamikazi Conservatives’ “
          Wow! He sure didn’t talk that way in the 1990’s and 2000’s as I recall. Did he ever apologize for being so wrong?

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 22, 2016 at 3:26 pm

          He did not. He took a few lumps from conservatives, as you’d expect, and his epithet faded down the news cycle hole.

      dorsaighost in reply to pst314. | January 22, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      the NRO that supported Reagan no longer exists … these lightweights are a pale shade of the NRO you are thinking of …

NR Editors: “We’ll show those idiot subscribers how real conservatives shoot themselves in the foot”

Sad to see NRO squishing itself down the garbage disposal like that, but not unexpected. Don’t think I’ll ever be renewing my long-lapsed subscription.

Like the Professor, I really don’t like having my head patted while they tell me how dumb I am; and I’m still so very dumb that I count my country higher than my political party.

That’s why I am still voting for Donald J. Trump, and encouraging others to do so as well!

“I skimmed a few of the columns and they make the case persuasively that Trump is not a conservative. You know the arguments already. He’s for activist big government, a populist with no conservative ideological compass, and is not what he purports to be even on his core issue of immigration (where he may be to the left of Marco Rubio in reality).”

Yep. As has been said over the last several months.

Mr. Establishment has proven his mettle in Iowa. All one needs to do is appraise themselves of the reality of his “politics as unusual” sell-out to crony capitalist BIG GOVERNMENT on the cheap, for a few possible caucus votes.

It’s just who he is.

Now Trump will go up 10 more points. They’re not getting it. We ALREADY KNOW trump isn’t a rock-ribbed conservative. That’s not the basis of his support. Get a clue.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to maxmillion. | January 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    He’s not a conservative at all.

      Irrelevant. He’s a leader. A leader with the right ideas.

        inspectorudy in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 4:11 pm

        Could you articulate just five of HIS ideas and not yours? Give me actual quotes instead of your opinion please. I already know about the mythological WALL so you can leave that one out. Oh and the “Wonderful” system that will replace obamacare. You can leave that one out as well since he offered ZERO details. And then there is the “Were going to make our military the best in the world” mantra but without any way of paying for any of it. Oh, wait, I can help you with one he has made a specific offering on and that is MORE F*cking ethanol in our gasoline! Yes your boy has actually said he wants more ethanol in or fuel so that we can all buy new cars in three years because of the destruction of the engines in our present ones. He might offer better negotiations of foreign deals but as we all know his companies have been BANKRUPT 4, four, IV times but hey we know it wasn’t his fault. It was bad negotiators on the other side not his. How about you watching one of his speeches, anyone will do because he says the same thing in all of them, and you write down any specific that he mentions, except his poll numbers, and print them here in the comment section. Maybe then you can win over some of us who remain skeptical of Mr. Trump.

          You already seem to think you know Trump’s ideas. I wouldn’t want to try and divorce you from your personal hallucinations and fantasies. Trump’s ideas and plans are all detailed on his website. You can go there and read them yourself. They are every bit as detailed as what others have put out. His immigration plan was written/consulted on by Jeff Sessions. And his tax plan has the advantage of being something that is possible to pass and not completely insane and dangerous like Cruz’s VAT tax plan. Cruz’s tax plan would be down right dangerous for employment and jobs, but since he doesn’t understand Trade agreements not surprising that he doesn’t understand how bad and dangerous is his tax plan.

          Cruz’s tax plan effectively doubles the payroll taxes on wages from 16% to 32% and will provide huge incentives for any business that isn’t very profitable to cut wages and/or number of employees. I don’t expect you and especially Rags to understand what I just stated, you won’t find it described this way in Cruz’s plan, but I assure you that is EXACTLY what Cruz’s tax plan does in fact do. I’m sure you or Rags will write back how I’m full of it and Cruz’s plan eliminates payroll taxes and has a max rate of 16% so what I just wrote couldn’t possibly be correct. You can show your ability at critical thinking to give it deeper thought than that and you’ll realize what I wrote is EXACTLY correct and the effect on jobs and wages at companies than are not very profitable is quite predictable as a result.

          I have watched many of Trump’s speeches. Always funny, uplifting and entertaining.

          One of the best is when to a crowd of over 10,000 he Talks about building the Wall and then Asks the crowd Who’s going to pay for it? And the crowd exclaims back in unison MEXICO !! Who’s going to pay for it? MEXICO !! shouts the crowd.

          Terrific stuff from Trump.

          I’ve also watched both of Sarah Palin’s speeches. Real barn burners. I had forgotten how good she was with a crowd.

          Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | January 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm

          “And his tax plan has the advantage of being something that is possible to pass and not completely insane and dangerous like Cruz’s VAT tax plan. Cruz’s tax plan would be down right dangerous for employment and jobs, but since he doesn’t understand Trade agreements not surprising that he doesn’t understand how bad and dangerous is his tax plan.”

          Put up your sources, you lying SOS. At least we should know were you got your lying-points.

          A conservative tax think tank has done a very good analysis of the tax plans of all the GOP candidates. One of their conclusions is that the T-rump plan will balloon the national debt. I’ll be happy to trade links with you, you lying SOS.

          Just because you have difficulty thinking for yourself and must have links doesn’t mean other people are that way. I’ve read the basics of his plan and it, effectively, does exactly what I state it does. It doubles the payroll tax on wages from 16% to 32% and the result of that will be companies that are not very profitable will be incentivized to cut wages by cutting pay and/or cutting number of employees.

          “You can show your ability at critical thinking to give it deeper thought than that and you’ll realize what I wrote is EXACTLY correct and the effect on jobs and wages at companies than are not very profitable is quite predictable as a result.”

          And I haven’t even talked about why it is insane to put a VAT tax in place without constitutional amendments to prevent democrats from raising the rate of VAT tax and to prevent democrats from also imposing an income tax ON TOP OF Cruz’s VAT tax.

          Or how a VAT tax unlike a national sales tax hides a portion of the tax from citizens so the true cost of government they are paying is not so readily apparent. I find it offensive that a “conservative” would propose that form of tax versus a national sales tax.

          Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | January 22, 2016 at 7:08 pm

          “I’ve read the basics of his plan and it, effectively, does exactly what I state it does.”

          But, Gaghdad Bob, you’re a flucking idiot. You’re known for it.

          Plus, you are a T-rump sucking liar, who will say…and has said…alllllllll kinds of outrageously FALSE bullshit about Cruz.

          So nobody believes you. Or should.

          Here’s the link to a credible analysis of all the plans…

          You can (with some help) find T-rump’s plan and analysis.

          Poor lying moron…

          Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | January 22, 2016 at 7:19 pm

          “Without eminent domain we wouldn’t have the intercontinental railroads in the 1800s and the interstate highway system in the 1900s, or public parks and schools, etc. etc.”

          HERE we go with not just LIES, but THUMPINGLY stupid AHISTORIC lies.


          HOLY Obama, Batman!

          But EVEN the TRANScontinental railroad had almost NOTHING to do with eminent domain, you MORON.

          And the interstate hiway system was not STARTED until the Eisenhower administration. And THAT was a legitimate application of ED.

          MOST parks and schools are not ED prizes, but part of a planning scheme.

          What a complete idiot.

          Thought everyone would get a good guffaw out of that piece of idiocy. Hell, it’s better than a “cat and cucumbers” video!

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 5:51 pm

        And if one doesn’t likehis ideas, it’s OK, he’s happy to change them.

          Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 22, 2016 at 5:55 pm

          His “principles” are very…versatile. Similar to the hookers in Times Square.

          In fact, just like the hookers in Times Square!

    Ragspierre in reply to maxmillion. | January 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    But T-rump lies about being a conservative, doesn’t he?

    It isn’t wrong to oppose those lies, is it?

      maxmillion in reply to Ragspierre. | January 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      When has Trump EVER lied to us? Compare his supposed lies to the lies of Boehner, McConnell, Paul Ryan, et. al. Who are the liars, really? Get a clue.

        retire05 in reply to maxmillion. | January 22, 2016 at 8:51 pm

        You say those like McConnell are the liars. Perhaps then you could square how you can even begin to think Trump is anti-establishment when he not only donated $10,000.00 to McConnell’s 2014 race but donated to a Karl Rove PAC designed just for McConnell and that Senate race to the tune of $50,000.00?

        Matt Bevin is a true conservative and Trump helped McConnell defeat him. How is that being “anti” establishment.

        Frankly, like the good Professor, I was willing to give Trump a listen. I’m done listening. His basing of everyone else has gotten old. I wanted to know HOW he was going to “Make America Great Again”. I wanted to know HOW he would force Mexico to pay for the wall without massive tariffs on Mexican goods. I wanted to know HOW he would improve the VA.

        All I got was platitudes, nothing of substance.

        I bemoaned how the Democrats fell for the shiny object in 2008. Now it seems that Republicans are doing the same thing. It didn’t benefit the nation last time, it won’t this time, either.

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Like the changing of the tides, it was inevitable that Donald Trump would brazenly misrepresent himself in last night’s Republican presidential debate.

      Asked if about his plan to raise a tariff on imported Chinese goods to 45%, reported by the New York Times, Trump said, “That’s wrong. They were wrong. It’s the New York Times, they are always wrong.”

      The New York Times, always wrong or not, is equipped with audio recorders, and the paper quickly produced this transcript of Trump’s meeting with the newspaper’s editorial board:

      I would tax China coming in—products coming in. I would do a tariff. And they do it to us. We have to be smart. I’m a free trader. I’m a free trader. And some of the people would say, ‘Oh, it’s terrible.’ I’m a free trader. I love free trade. But it’s got to be reasonably fair. I would do a tax, and the tax—let me tell you what the tax should be. The tax should be 45 percent.

      Trump concluded that if China continued what he sees as unfair trade practices, “I would certainly start taxing goods that come in from China.”

      Tariffs ALWAYS hurt the American people, and the middle-class and low-income people worst.

      And T-rump lies all the time. Often for no apparent reason. Sound familiar?

      YOU flucking get a clue, ya moron…

        Quoting the New York Times bullshit again Rags. Don’t you have any original thoughts of your own?

          Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm

          This is the fallacy of ad hominem attack.

          T-rump lied. The New York Times was only incidental in proving he lied.

          He does it all the time. Both you and he seem to be proven pathological liars.

          Neither of you are the least abashed about it.

          No this is you posting bullshit from the New York Times.

          Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 3:52 pm

          This is the fallacy of ad hominem attack.

          T-rump lied. The New York Times was only incidental in proving he lied.

          He does it all the time. Both you and he seem to be proven pathological liars.

          Neither of you are the least abashed about it.

          And I’ve seen the actualities of BOTH the 45% China tariff statement AND the LIE at the debate you lying SOS.

          I’ll put them up if you insist.

          Then we can detail SOME of the MANY T-rump lies. Like the BIG one about “not picking winners”, and then “picking winners” in Iowa

          Suck it, Spunky.

      dorsaighost in reply to Ragspierre. | January 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Trump doesn’t claim to be a conservative …

Government sucks as elected officials, both Republican and Democrat, have failed to serve anyone’s interests but their own.

People – Republicans and Democrats – are mad.

Thus, Trump. (and Bernie)

It’s not rocket science.

Well super. Let’s just pile on Trump, and then we can watch them destroy Cruz who is a lot more vulnerable, and then lose another election.

Was there an issue on Clinton?

National Review maybe had conservative impact in the days of Nixon and Buckley, but, in my lifetime, and I am middle aged, all it has accomplished is to move the country further to the left.

Every five years, they excommunicate the most conservative 10% of their writers and replace them with more liberal hires. Coulter, Steyn, Buckly Jr., Sailer, Sullivan, Frum, Derbyshire… And more. You could make a better magazine that National Review by hiring the cast offs.

Serious question: is “conservativism,” merely the policy preferences of the rich people who fund National Review? Because the same National Review that denounces Trump for not being conservative recently published a piece defending a pedophilia advocacy.

Gingrich got a bad deal from National Review. He was at least willing to stand up to the media for what he believed in.

And we do remember that. The stunt won’t work twice.

    Ragspierre in reply to rotten. | January 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Coulter, Steyn, Buckly Jr., Sailer, Sullivan, Frum, Derbyshire…

    Well, you idiot bona fides are assured.

    BUCKLY, Jr….??? The Obama supporter?

    FRUM…??? The MODERATE…???

    I don’t know what “Sullivan” you refer to.

    Steyn was not ‘excommunicated’, but did split with NR over being sued by the idiot climate fanticist hockey stick guy and tactics.

Well Said!

I have no problem with debate and argument (my to choice is Cruz) but I don’t like what NR did and it is stuff like this that makes it more likely for Trump to run 3rd party if he does lose the nomination.

I suspect this simply helps Trump and was a lost opportunity to help Ted Cruz

    Henry Hawkins in reply to EBL. | January 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    It helps the National Review. Their website hits and magazine rack sales are skyrocketing over this.

I don’t know if I’ve ever agreed more with PJ.

While I admire and respect these writers, as well as National Review, individually, witnessing this is like seeing all your nice, kind friends coalescing into a **bossy gang.

This is why the current debate format does not work. The debates should be one-on-one affairs.

Put Trump and Cruz on stage one-on-one with nothing but a small table and two chairs and minimal interference from a respected (read not hostile to conservative thought) moderator(s).

After three hours of back and forth between just the two of them without constant interminable interruptions from John Kasich and the like … who is better prepared and equipped to become president should be pretty obvious. No hold barred. Slug it out mano a mano until only one is left standing and the other cannot answer.

I’m pretty sure I know who’d be left standing.

LukeHandCool (who, speaking of **bossy, was told by his wife this morning that their youngest daughter was invited by Joan Rivers’ grandson to a formal dance at his school. Luke’s wife said their daughter turned him down in favor of one of the boy’s friends, with whom she’ll attend. Luke’s mind being what it is, he thought “That’s potentially throwing away a lot of money. And his grandmother was a Republican and close friend of President Reagan.” Luke’s wife, her female mind being what it is, said, “Can you imagine if Melissa Rivers became her mother-in-law? She seems like she could be a real b*tch!!”)

    Henry Hawkins in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 22, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Absolutely no way Trump would debate Cruz one-on-one. Nor should he.

      Sorta of like asking Cruz to organize a lemonade stand, make it successful for years and meet a payroll every week. Just not something ivy league debaters and life long government bureaucrats know how to do.

      I could just see Cruz sending Rags to negotiate the lumber deal to build the lemonade stand. LOL.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        Or we could put on a bankruptcy seminar.

        Duh Donald could teach it. We could have some of his screwed-over creditors in as presenters, too…!!!

          Handling a complicated business bankruptcy workout chapter 11 successfully and emerging on the other side still operating takes an amazing amount of strength and ability. It is one of the toughest challenges a businessman can face. Those that can manage to do it become better and tougher for the experience.

          Not something you or government bureaucrats or people who have never risked their families and childrens futures on building and running a business would ever possibly understand.

          Its easy for gutless cowards who never had the strength of character to risk it all and build a business to snipe at those that did take the risks. They just don’t understand how small and of low character such behavior makes them look.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm

          You BRAYING asshole, you have NO CONCEPT of what I’ve done, or what I’ve risked,

          and I NEVER had a $20,000,000 real estate portfolio handed me, or

          SOLD OUT to crony establishment pols like Duh Donald.

          What a pig pizzle…!!!

          Sorry Rags but I have a very good idea about what you have never done and never will do. It is no doubt quite similar to what I have never done and I will never do. The difference is I have appreciation for those who have done what you and I haven’t.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 22, 2016 at 7:10 pm

          Sorry, BRAYING asshole. You have no clue, as usual.

          Stop lying. Do it tonight!

          What is it Rags likes to say? Oh here it is from his own orifice:

          MORE stupid, lying mindless ad hominem.

          If you HAVE any argument, make it, Cruz sucker.

          Otherwise, STFU, and stop trying to thought-police the thread.

          persecutor in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2016 at 8:57 am

          I just finished reading “The Art of the Deal” and from it, it’s clear that the Donald is not a conservative–never in a million years. He’s a NY limousine liberal–and since I live in the NY metro area, I know just what one looks and thinks like, being surrounded by them.

          Trump’s schtick works only in the non-governmental arena since government takes things like prevailing wages in stride, and screw ups and do-overs are not an issue–look at the Wollman Skating Rink as an example.

          Elect him and we’d have obongo lite in the WH– ruling by executive order and hyperbole; we can’t afford another dictator, even if we agree with one of his views.

        LukeHandCool in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm

        Just because your awkward metaphor is not quite right, I would be wrong to necessarily assume you are not quite right in the head.

        But if you truly assume Ted Cruz does not possess the necessary smarts that would enable him to operate successfully in the private sector, whether it be by choice or necessity, I will have to reevaluate my assumptions.

        It’s my firm belief that by the end of a mano a mano fight using conservative ground rules and scoring, the table they shared would seem to grow and more and more look like a lemonade stand boardroom table with Cruz in the Chairman’s seat telling Trump, “You’re fired!” ***

        *** Painfully awkward metaphor intended to facilitate understanding.

          I think you can think whatever you want. It won’t make it correct or have any meaning or impact on me, my life or anyone else.

          I like the magic mushroom growing board room table. That’s the kind of thing ivy league debaters and dreamers come up with. They just aren’t any good at being actual doers of things.

          That and his general apparently horrible personality is why Cruz has no friends or support from any place he has ever worked. It is also why among several reasons why he couldn’t organize and keep that lemonade stand going. You have to be able to inspire and motivate employees in the private sector. Personality traits his senate time shows he clearly does not possess.

          LukeHandCool in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm

          Ted Cruz: Hi! Welcome to my lemonade stand. You look thirsty!

          Gary Britt: Ummm … Give me an omelette.

          Ted Cruz: Sir, this is a lemonade stand.

          Gary Britt: OMG! You don’t know what you’re doing, do you? You stupid Ivy League debater! Do you even know what an omelette is?

          Ted Cruz: Sir, while this is a lemonade stand, I assure you I know what an omelette is. Now, can I get you something to drink?

          Gary Britt: Jeez! No wonder everybody hates you! Give me an omelette. An omelette! It consists of beaten eggs! Beaten eggs!!!!

          Ted Cruz: Sir, if you’ll just sit tight for a minute, I’ll see if I can get a hold of some eggs and have you leave here a happy customer.

          Gary Britt: I can’t believe the way you treat your customers. I guess being a Harvard debate champion means you have no grasp on reality and can’t do anything right in the real world of private enterprise.

          Ted Cruz: Thank you for waiting patiently, Sir. Here is your omelette.

          Gary Britt: What the hell??!! I told you I wanted an omelette with no eggs broken, you incompetent, unlikable moron!!!

          OK, I’ll give you a B for creative writing !! That was entertaining and good for a giggle. It also shows you know a thing or two about dealing with the public.

          Maybe Cruz could use you to help develop his people skills so he could make some friends in the senate.

          LukeHandCool in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm

          Well, although I worry constantly about grade inflation in schools these days, I’ll give you an A for being a good sport.

          The B you “awarded” me stirs up some unease that maybe the pendulum is now swinging the other way and we’ve entered a troubling phase of grade deflation.

          Setting aside talk of academic economics and the grade supply, I wonder if Obama isn’t the right one to coach Cruz?

          After all, we were assured he had a “first-class temperament.”

          A statement that shows even Charles Krauthammer can be unbelievably stupid at times. Not often, but at times.

          Obama’s relationship with Democrats, (never mind his treatment of Republicans) evokes scenes from Animal House of ritual spanking and confused cries of, “Thank you, Sir. May I have another?”

          The Democrats have been all pledges and one master.

          And people are worried about Cruz? Remember the way he handled the Code Pink protestors at his rally? The video posted here at LI?

          I think “first-class temperament” Obama would have handled that situation very differently. And not in a good way.

Pat Buchanan said today that he learned long ago when a bunch of people feel compelled to get together to stop X before it is too late PUT YOUR MONEY ON X.

People are correct. This will help Trump.

I think Trump being feared by the globalist open borders free and unfair trade crowd of the gl9bal corporations and at Davos this week are responsible for pulling the NR chain on this.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 2:46 pm


    Harder, harder…

    “People are correct. This will help Trump.”

    Another “some say” excursion into lying fallacies…

      What is it Rags likes to say? Oh here it is from his own orifice:

      MORE stupid, lying mindless ad hominem.

      If you HAVE any argument, make it, Cruz sucker.

      Otherwise, STFU, and stop trying to thought-police the thread.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    “Pat Buchanan said today…”


    Well, I guess if we’re going back to Bob Dole, we can dust off another old GOP loser of the first order.


      Pat Buchanan, he’s somebody who writes his own posts and columns rather than just doing copy and paste jobs of other people’s writings.

      You should try it sometime.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm

        More lying ad hominem.

        You should try SOMETHING ELSE some time.

        Like learning to

        1. argue, and

        2. not lie.

        LukeHandCool in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm

        Yeah. At one time I would’ve agreed to a point about Buchanan. And I always found his wit refreshing.

        But then I saw him on TV one day making some needless, bizarre argument casting doubt on the scope of the Holocaust, sounding like some 9/11 truther trying to sew together bits and pieces of engineering factoids to “prove” that the WTC towers were brought down by explosives, and not those planes and their burning fuel, and it was time to say, “Goodbye, Pat. Will I listen to you from now on? Nope. Never Again.”

    Quack! Quack!

    Older and wiser Phil endorsed Ted Cruz.

      Yes I know. But the guy who built the dynasty into a 100s of millions of dollar organization is the guy who endorsed Trump. Uncle Phil is a wonderful guy. You just wouldn’t want him to be President.

        Money making is your idea of success?

        I’d rather have Phil’s and Ted’s moral compass at the helm. Money is here one day and gone the next.

          Actually no it isn’t money making. Its the ability to build, organize, inspire, motivate and keep going a large complex organization of machines, people, and activities that is the unique characteristics of success.

          The money is just a usual by product of the foregoing. It can also be a shorthand description of the size and complexity of the organization that was built and is being managed.

          In other words saying a business worth billions of dollars implies a very large organization with 1,000s and 1,000s of employees, expensive assets that have to be protected insured, maintained, complex organizational structures and management tasks that if not handled properly year end and year out can result in the death of the business and loss of its value.

          Saying a business worth $10,000 implies a much smaller organization and less difficult set of tasks.

          So it isn’t the money itself that one is valuing in such descriptions. It is the size and complexity of the business and its tasks that is being described.

          You need to get over your instinctive prejudices against money. Money is just a form of counting. It is not good or evil. It is a tool like a hammer. It is a way measuring some things no different than a ruler or measuring tape. It is also damn nice to have plenty of but that isn’t its only utility.

          I think Phil’s moral compass is pretty good mostly. But so is Willie’s moral compass.

          Its Cruz’s moral compass I find a bit more suspect because he shows signs of flip flopping a lot more than old Uncle Phil.

          LukeHandCool in reply to jennifer a johnson. | January 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm

          Fresh out of college our daughter worked for a hotel real estate developer which licenses Trump’s name. They built the Trump in Waikiki (a $3,000 a night suite in which Luke and family stayed for a week for free … a nice perk of his daughter’s stressful job).

          They’ve also built a few other Trump hotels. Trump makes a nice fortune licensing his name.

          Or what you call “building.”

          First good for your daughter and good for you for raising a successful career woman. I love hearing stories of success.

          “Building” doesn’t mean just building physical structures. It also means building a business. In Trump’s case he was smart enough to realize he had an opportunity to build a brand based on his name and his success that could be an additional profit center that added to his own real estate developments. He has tried to exploit that “Trump” brand in several ways. Some worked and some didn’t. Licensing the use of his Trump brand to other developers is a logical use of the “Trump” brand that he built.

          There is nothing wrong with building a brand and then taking advantage of the brand one has built by licensing it in appropriate circumstances.

          I was on the board of directors of a very successful car dealership many years ago. They sold around 3000 cars per year. That was a pretty large dealership at that time.

          The general manager of the dealership (effectively the COO of the dealership) told me once that “in order to make a profit you have to milk a lot of tits”. By that he meant the car business was really 5 different businesses in one. New car sales; Used Car Sales; Service; Body Shop; and Parts. He said you had to make sure you made a profit in each one of those lines of businesses in order for the dealership as a whole to make a profit.

          Trump’s licensing deals are just one of his lines of business that he needs to manage and make a profit. Just one of the tits that need milking. Nothing wrong with that. It is part of his genius that unlike most other builders/developers in the world he was able to build a brand that could be licensed.

          LukeHandCool in reply to jennifer a johnson. | January 22, 2016 at 8:04 pm

          Cheers for the kind words.

          After two years of extreme stress in that job, our daughter applied for and received a scholarship to study urban planning at a top Japanese university.

          It was a bit hard for me to enjoy the suite at the Trump, because her “vacation” consisted of daily conference calls and other work while the rest of us lounged around.

          I supported her decision to quit until they offered her a big raise to entice her to stay. Two years out of college and she would have been making quite a bit more than her dad already.

          But it’s nice seeing how happy she is now enjoying what she’s doing.

          Back to Trump. This basically says it all about the blowhard:

          “Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than if He’d Simply Invested in Index Funds.” (Link below)

          I’m certainly no business expert, but my uncannily accurate intuition tells me his supposed business expertise is as inflated as his ego.

          The link:

          “… keep going a large complex organization of machines, people, and activities that is the unique characteristics of success.”

          I have used money and much more talent to start a manufacturing business as one of three partners. The multimillion dollar revenue company has paid great dividends for the people hired in my role as VP of engineering.

          I don’t fear money. I understand its uses quite well. I know that it easily corrupts.

          And, I will vote for Cruz.

          Luke, I’m afraid your analysis that you liked is bogus. Surely you realize that. The analysis assumes 100% of net worth invested in stock market with 100% of earnings reinvested. So no money taken out for Trump’s personal salary and expenses. Also no adjustment for tax liabilities building up in the stock investments over the 34 year period of the stock holdings.

          Then they compare this to his net worth accumulated on a partially after tax basis; after he has paid himself out of earnings many millions of dollars each year for living and family expenses; paid for his childrens educations and many other things.

          So the supposed analysis compares apples to rocks they are so different. Of course the people putting forth such analysis aren’t really tring to put forth anything but propaganda.

          Further this supposed analysis doesn’t give any recognition to the fact that the Trump net worth is after having paid out millions and millions of dollars in salaries and benefits to 1000s of families and the social good derived from those activities compared to someone who buys mutual funds and employs no one and spends nothing for 34 years.

          So other than being a complete crock of horseshit tbe yahoo analysis is quite informative.

More nonsense….. Trump will come out of this much stronger.
The grassroots folks are just going to be more pissed!!

To see the hysteria from NR proves Trump is the person we need in the White House!

Hey get a dam clue. We don’t care that Trump is not a pure conservative. But then you guys have not been for a long long time.

Will Gary Busey endorse Tpump?

Brent Bozell: “Trump may be the biggest charlatan of all times”.


    Mark30339 in reply to Ragspierre. | January 22, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Given our levels of ADD, “of all times” would mean since the candidate who said:
    “Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment — this was the time — when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.”

This all makes Trump look more and more like Reagan every day !!!

President Trump. Get used to it.

Looking forward to seeing the Sarah Palin take down of the National Review. Should be pretty darn funny.

One thing is for sure – nobody is talking about Sarah Palin any more.

Comment Section Energy = WAJ Media LLC & National Review Co-Branding Click-Bait Synergy Squared.

Two-pronged attack on the non-GOPe front-runners, by two sets of elites:

Hatch, et al, carpet-bombing Cruz.
NR, et al, carpet-bombing Trump.

I’ve laid in a good supply of popcorn.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Daiwa. | January 22, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    The GOPe is in an absolute panic that they may win the White House and actually have to do something. They feel they must get it down to Jeb or Kasich if they’re to have any chance of losing against the Democrats.

Source: Emerson College

Method: Phone

Date: 01/18/2016 – 01/20/2016

Voters: 271 (Likely voters)

Margin of Error: 5.9 %

Full Result:

Trump 33%
Cruz 23%
Rubio 14%
Carson 9%
Bush 5%
Huckabee 2%
Paul 3%
Santorum 0%
Fiorina 2%
Christie 5%
Kasich 3%

– See more at:

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    You don’t know anything about polling, do you?

    Sample of 271? That’s a ‘don’t bother’ number, far too few.

    Landline phone poll? Nobody but blue hairs answering, let alone participating.

    MOE 5.9%? LOL

    This is what is called a force poll, the name taken from sleight-of-hand legerdemain where the magician uses a trick to ‘force’ the mark to pick the card he wants him to.

    Of course, you know all this. (roll of the eyes)

      Latest Reuters rolling average poll has Trump 43% and Cruz 11%.

      As for the Iowa poll I provided the full link to all the poll internals. That is not the only Iowa poll showing Trump up by 10 points.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 22, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    We all know, Trump sucker.

    This is what led Duh Donald to declare Emerson COLLEGE “a great university”.

That hit piece on Gingrich was so incredibly vile.

They lost me as a reader, permanently, as a result.

    And the Gingrich hit piece by NR helped usher in that rock ribbed conservative stallion Romney who went out and slayed the dark night of the democrats to become the 45th president of the USA. Far better to have Romney, the crown prince of romneycare land, than the fighter Gingrich.

    Coincidentally The GOPe hates Gingrich and NR does hit piece. Then GOPe hates Trump and NR does hit piece. If I didn’t know better one might think that NR did the bidding of the GOPe

Any magazine that puts the insane cult leader Glen Beck on its cover as the first columnist listed has lost all credibility and isn’t even trying to pretend what is between the covers is worth anything more than toilet paper or a rolled up starter for one’s fireplace

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 23, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Funny how that “insane cult leader” has YOUR insane cult leader so PEGGED…

    “Sarah Palin.

    Small Government, lower taxes, fewer regulations and the constitution?

    Not any more.

    Big government, bailouts, executive orders, not just abortion but partial birth abortion, nationalizing of banks, stimulus, pathway to citizenship.

    All of these views were held by Donald Trump during this administration. Pathway to citizenship in 2013. Some as recently as last year.

    What was the massive pivot point to make him change so fundamentally?

    When Sarah and the tea party won a hard fought election and were under attack in 2010, DJT was giving money to Pelosi, Reid and Rahm.”

    Insane CULT FOLLOWER, Gaghdad Bob.

      It is not surprising that you Rags are a followwer of the insane morman cultist Glenn Beck.

      I find it Ironic and a bit stupid that Cruz would try and use a morman whose faith is viewed by many evangelicals as nothing but a crazy cult almost as far out there as Scientology to try and drum up support with Iowa evangelicals.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        Ewwww… NICE job of religious bigotry, there Bierhall!!!

        Excellent. Maybe you can round up some LDS people up there in Austin, huh?

        But, aside from your bigoted ad hominem, were is your defense of the Beck observations…???

        Hmmmmmm…..??? Bigot boi…???

          You are a lying sack of shit Rags. A disgusting homophobic liar.

          My post is quite clear. The religous bigotry I mentioned is not mine but that well known bigotry of some evangelicals whi believe mormans are a cult and nit a christian denomination. Some evangelicals are also biggoted against catholics believing catholics are the anti christ church from the book of revelations. Observing the existence of this fact is not bigotry of the observer.

          Also noting that Glenn Beck is a tin foil hat wearing whacko is not biggotry any more than observing Rags is a digusting imbecilic child that adds nothing positive to the commentary at LI with his profane and at times homophobic behavior is bigotry.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2016 at 9:30 am


          You are BUSTED, Britt…!!!

          Now, lie some more. We all expect it!