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Legal Insurrection Authors Respond to Trump Victory

Legal Insurrection Authors Respond to Trump Victory

#NeverTrump, #FineWithTrump, and everything in between

When Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, we asked our fabulous bloggers to contribute their thoughts. It remains one of my all time favorite Legal Insurrection posts. Now that Trump is the president elect, have we changed our minds? Have our opinions evolved? Are we joyous, aggrieved?

I guess you’ll have to read on to find out…

William A. Jacobson

There are so many thoughts about how we got here. The disconnect between the political class, centered around a small number of big cities, and the rest of the country was enormous. That was compounded by evidence that the media was collusive with the Democrats, laid out in the Wikileaks releases. Hillary’s email and server scandal ate away at her like rust.

Trump’s victory presents enormous potential. All of Obama’s unlawful executive orders and actions can be rescinded with the stroke of a pen. The Obama legacy can be unraveled in a matter of days.

With Republicans holding the House and the Senate, an agenda actually can be accomplished. I think it’s up to us to do the best we can to make sure that the agenda passed is one that protects our individual liberties, lessens the imposition of government into our lives, frees the economy, and is in the best security interest of the country. So when Trump and Congress move in that direction, I’ll fully support them. But I’ll also be prepared to oppose any actions that infringe our rights.

Trump’s victory speech struck the right tone. He call on everyone to come together. He didn’t seek to vanquish his enemies. I hope he keeps that tone, but doesn’t relent on his promise to change the way government and the political elites work.

Kemberlee Kaye

Regular readers are aware of my disdain for Trump. I don’t like him. I didn’t vote for him. I did not buy into nor would I perpetuate the binary choice myth. That said, as in 2008, I would love nothing more than to be wrong about our president elect. I’m also thrilled Hillary and crew lost. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer gang of power hoarders. But my hope is not now nor has it ever been in our elected officials.

There’s so much to unpack from last night’s results. My reaction CliffsNotes:

2016 claims the lives of Polling and other Campaign Wisdom
I fully expected a very tight race, but I figured the seemingly unstoppable Clinton machine would claim the victory. Not only were late polls all within the margin of error, but my inbox these months past was filled with readers who supported Trump, but were afraid to share their support publicly for fear of retribution. If we learned anything from 2012, it was that polling, particularly polling averages, was jacked. Were polls rigged? I wouldn’t go that far, but the methodology is archaic and is no longer an accurate predictor of electoral outcomes.

Another interesting consequence of the 2016? The death of conventional political campaign wisdom. Trump had no ground game, burned through numerous campaign managers, was outspent, and still managed to pull off the upset. Trump did everything “wrong” and yet he defeated not just a political foe, but a nasty political machine. The disconnect between the political class and the electorate has only grown these past few election cycles, coming to a head in 2016. Conventional wisdom might still apply in some local races, but it’s a brave new world out there.

The Hillary candidacy
How terrible a candidate was Hillary? So bad she failed to ride her “first woman president” card into the White House and lost against a bad-haired, chauvinistic celebrity. Turns out progressive entitlement can achieve many things, but it doesn’t guarantee a win. How frightening it must be in Clintonland with growing legal issues and no presidency as a shield.

Seeing red
This is 2014 all over again. Not only did Republicans retain control of Congress, but state houses nation-wide remain overwhelming red.

Political parties in disarray
Both political establishments were bested this election cycle. The Democrats lost when they put all their money on Hillary The Inevitable. Life is not any easier for the Republicans who saw massive dissension after nominating Trump. Both quakes are welcome.

Beyond the party tumult is the schism between conservatism and the Republican party. Should conservatives leave and start anew or attempt to rebuild within the existing coalition? Both prospects are daunting.

The only expectation I have of elected officials is that they fail to live up to expectations. I remain skeptical of Trump and his despotic tendencies. But skepticism of elected officials is healthy. Trump won, Republicans maintain control of The Hill — they better not eff it up this time. Individual liberty must be guarded vigilantly, even, and especially after electoral victory when the temptation to hang out and ride the waves is strongest. We’ll finally be able to gauge Republican seriousness on legislative issues like the repeal of Obamacare.

What’s next?
Little has changed from my initial reaction to Trump’s ascension to party nominee. I have always and still believe that our best hope of change is not in our elected officials. Months ago I wrote:

Am I rudderless, distraught, or incensed because Trump is the Republican presumptive nominee? Never. I still believe America is the best damn country God ever gave to mankind. We were birthed out of loathe for traditional rule and for many of us, that hasn’t changed. We survived a turbulent infancy, realigned out of necessity, withstood a Civil War and dire economic conditions and we’re still standing. I’ve worked on campaigns, organized grassroots coalitions, exposed corruption, and have had the privilege of telling people’s stories. I still believe our best hope of changing course is not in the ballot box, but in our communities, families, and culture. From the day I accidentally ended up in the conservative movement, working to restore dignity to our way of life has been my focus. That has not changed because of our nominee. Politicians are not our leaders, nor are they our rulers. They are employed for one reason — to represent us.

I will not espouse hatred of those who hold opinions contrary to my own, but will always fight with love. My vote is no more important than yours or his or hers. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly,” wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama. “Let us fight passionately and unrelentingly to the goals of justice. Let’s be sure that our hands are clean. Let us never fight with falsehood an violence and hate and malice, but always fight with love,” he said. The road ahead is rough and rocky, but I remain hopeful that America’s best days lie ahead. There is always hope, even when we struggle to see it. Elections are important and have consequences for supporters and dissenters alike, but our best hope of righting the ship is in how we live.

This is the core of what I believe and what I attempt to accomplish daily, both here on the blog and in real life. Regardless of how this election pans out, life and its most important bits — family, love, friendship, and kindness, remain unchanged. The sun will still rise tomorrow and we all have a destiny to fulfill.

I remember what 2008 felt like and how scary it was to imagine what an Obama presidency might be like. Half the country is experiencing that same unsettled fear. We’d all be better offer extending a hand, offering encouragement, and finding common ground than yielding to the “I told you so, we won! nah nah nah!” temptation. The last eight years have been horribly divisive. It’s up to us to mend the divide. For better or worse, we’re all in this together.

Mary Chastain

My reaction: I chose #NeverHillary. I don’t like Trump. I didn’t support him. But thank goodness the Clinton machine is done. Hillary scared me more than Obama ever did. Oh, 2016…..weirdest year ever.

Fuzzy Slippers

Trump wins the White House, and we keep the House and the Senate; the media is stunned, the Democrats are stunned, the GOP is stunned. Heck, I’m stunned. I thought Hillary would win, or at least that trunks of Hillary ballots would mysteriously appear. Seriously, though, this is not only an historic election, but a transformational one. Americans just announced that we are well and truly fed up with the hubris and failed policies of the progressive left (and right).

Trump campaigned on undoing everything Obama and the Democrats did to our nation. From ObamaCare to the bad deal with Iran to the irrational “lead from behind” foreign policy and impotence against ISIS to the lackadaisical approach to national security to the lawlessness of the various executive agencies . . . all of it has just been rebuked. America didn’t want four more years of Obama, and we certainly didn’t want it in the person of Hillary Clinton.

It wasn’t only a rebuke of Obama but also of the entire political class. The litany of broken campaign promises and subsequent inaction, the plowing forward with policies and agendas that go against the will of the people, and the utter lack of respect for the ordinary Americans who elected them had finally ticked off enough Americans that they rose up and did something about it.

It remains to be seen if there is any real change or if we are in for more of the same, but it is my hope that–this time, finally–politicians in Washington get it and start representing us in Washington, not dictating to us from Washington.

Whatever happens, though, one thing seems clear: we just witnessed a revolution, American-style. No torches and pitchforks, no muskets at the ready, just a a good old-fashioned election that has the potential to, quite literally, change the world. After all, Obama certainly changed the world . . . and not for the better. Hopefully, Trump, along with the Republican-controlled House and Senate, will be able to clean up Obama’s mess and get us on the right track again both abroad and at home.

I want Trump to be a great president. It is my sincere hope that he will be.

Leslie Eastman

It appears with his election win that we have reached “Peak Trump.” While I won’t gloat too much, I feel entitled to crow a bit…considering I remained optimistic about Trump’s chances in the wake of significant gaslighting. I will also be relishing a little shadenfredude, too. I think Professor Jacobson is right when he says the biggest loser is the press, because of its blatant bias in campaign coverage. Personally, I refused to watch election night cable news punditry and relied on internet reports for real-time data. Tomorrow, I stop tending bar in the bar car of the “Trump Train” and continue working to make sure our representatives represent us instead of the powerful and politically connected.

Mark Finkelstein

Trump’s win gives me great hope. Not so much in him, as in the American people. Nations and civilizations rise and fall, and I have been deeply concerned that America was edging close to the point of no return. But tonight Americans have sent a signal that they want to preserve our country, our culture and our civilization. There is much work ahead to undo the statist decay. But tonight was a huge and necessary step.

Vijeta Uniyal

This might come as a rude shock to political pundits on this side of the Atlantic, but for those of us living in Post-Brexit Europe this is Deja Vu all over again.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate President Trump on winning this election. Whatever political positions we may hold, we can all acknowledge that he has a fought a tough electoral battle against all odds.

This is a “teachable moment” for conservative politicians in Europe and in rest of the free world. Even with mainstream media, cultural elites and celebrities all rooting for the other side, our message still hasn’t lost its resonance among the voters.

President Trump has won on promises of securing the border, protecting industrial jobs, and fighting Islamic terrorism. A secure and prosperous America can do a lot of good to the rest of the world.

I now hope that over-hyped celebrities like Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Reverend Al Sharpton would keep the promise they made to American voters and move north of the border. But something tells me, these divas will still be around preforming the same old act when President Trump runs for the second term.

Prof. Miriam Elman

Election Night proved how very wrong polls can be (for an exception see how historian Allan J. Lichtman called it right here). The nail-biting night also showed how disconnected and out of touch the liberal mainstream media is from the American people. After eight years of disastrous foreign policiespolarizing domestic politics, and the slowest economic recovery in 70 years, this election cycle from the get-go should’ve been a referendum on the Obama Presidency and Hillary Clinton’s dreadful record.  Instead, for months American voters were subjected to wild accusations that the Republican Party candidate is Hitler (he’s not, and saying so was indecent and obscene).

Trump’s campaign has energized and considerably strengthened the American right’s bigoted underbelly—especially on social media. Not an anti-Semite himself, Trump has nonetheless become the “poster-boy” for a collection of “gutter voices”—anti-Semites, racists and white supremacists—whose endorsements and crackpottery he (or at least his campaign) seemed to tacitly accept. But here’s the thing: shrill and unsubstantiated claims in the media that a President Trump would “rampage through government” as an authoritarian dictator (see, for example, here and here) also served as a vehicle for disparaging and demoralizing the millions of “ordinary, working-class Americans” who aren’t irredeemable haters and in fact harbor no ill-will toward their fellow Americans. They supported Trump—and turned out yesterday in large numbers to vote for him in places like Michigan and Ohio—on account of their legitimate concernsabout economic exclusion, blighted cities, poorly-crafted trade deals, and generous bank bailouts.

Now that Trump has won the White House, it worth re-reading last weekend’s Wall Street Journal editorial. In it, the case was made for Trump as a political disruptor—the fixer of a broken Washington that could only be “shaken up and refocused” by an outsider beholden to neither political party. It’s the key to understanding Trump’s success. Championing himself as such a change agent, Trump created his own populist political brand, effectively building a movement among the party’s dissatisfied rank-and-file. Someone with a different temperament might have kept the focus on necessary pro-growth domestic reforms without abrogating the traditions of American conservatism in the process. But Trump couldn’t help but be a brash and crude “insult clown” who in the course of his campaign managed to alienate and offend nearly every American ethnic and religious minority group, also repelling a huge number of women and younger voters along the way. So Election Night made one thing crystal clear: only a candidate as personally and ideologically flawed as Trump could’ve almost lost a race that—given how obviously unpopular a candidate Clinton really was—just about any Republican nominee would have easily won.

What most concerns me is the gamble of a Trump Presidency for U.S. national security. Many astute observers and practitioners of U.S. foreign policy have deemed Trump “beyond repair”—for good reason. But neither his isolationist ‘Fortress America’ impulses nor his bizarre bromance with Vladimir Putin seemed to matter much to U.S. voters yesterday. Basically, Trump’s astonishing victory underscores that America’s elite establishment can no longer ignore the white-working-class vote. Plus, you can only call hard-working Americans with real problems deplorable, racist bigots for so long before they reject you. It’s a lesson that Hillary Clinton learned last night the hard way.

David Gerstman

My first reaction to the presidential election was that I can’t imagine a worse candidate than Hillary Clinton. How could she lose to Trump? But then I noticed that Republicans not just held the House but the Senate too, and it’s clear that there’s something bigger going on. This wasn’t just Trump’s victory, it was Obama’s defeat. As those who read Legal Insurrection there was Solyndra, Cash for Clunkers, ObamaCare, the nuclear deal with Iran, and the IRS scandal, for example, which were abuses of power, disasters or expensive (or some combination) and there was no accountability for any of them. Solyndra was green energy, so it was good. but it turned out that the administration pushed for a half billion worth of loans to the company, which then failed. There was no MSM inquiry (George Kaiser, a big Obama donor had a major stake in Solyndra). The loan to Solyndra was an example of bad judgment that wasn’t penalized. And many people probably look at Solyndra and the other episodes listed above and say, “look something went wrong, where is the accountability?” Obama pursued bad policies and its the people who are paying for them.

Remember during his first campaign Obama said, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” It as if he believed that his words and eloquence could affect nature. Repeal the laws of supply and demand. Make a rogue nation behave. And he treated anyone who didn’t believe in the power of his ideas to be an unsophisticated rube or an untrustworthy scoundrel. And there was a fawning media and entertainment industry telling us that his policies were historic, when we could see that they were flights of fancy that bore no resemblance to reality. So the political class and its media allies lost their credibility and trust with large sections of the country. But they were so convinced of their brilliance and sophistication that they never considered that they, and the man they promoted could be wrong.

In many ways, the earthy, profane Donald Trump is a reaction to the phony legend of Barack Obama.

Anne Sorock

George Will suggested late Tuesday night that a Trump victory means our country is “no longer the center-right nation” the (his) Republican Party had once thought it was.

With that statement Will confirmed the unrelenting tone-deafness he and his fellow pundits, pollsters, research performance artists, and assorted #NeverTrumpers carry with them happily into defeat.

They love their paradigm, this insider group, though it was rejected thoroughly and unequivocally Tuesday (and earlier, had they cared to pay attention).

If Will and others feel the GOP electorate has left them, they might rightly ask if they ever wanted to keep its company. Especially, if it meant listening to the American people instead of themselves. You know, the Deplorables.

As a market researcher who has been studying the deepest motivations of the electorate as they relate to politics for more than ten years, the victory was no surprise. The core of our profession is to listen, and this is what I heard – not just tonight but over the past several years, beginning most prominently with the Tea Party:

Our fractured culture is not fundamentally divided on our opinion about size of government; this fails to capture the heart of the matter.
Instead, how do our political parties and leaders view the everyday American (elitism), and do they fundamentally believe America is a unique and sovereign nation (globalism).

Trump’s leadership resonated exactly because of his temperament.

Once again, the polls—like the pundits—got it disastrously wrong. Polling has a problem in this day and age, foremost that the polls are only as good as the questions you ask. When you’re oblivious to the pulse of the nation, you can’t query the same issues and data points and expect to get insightful or accurate predictions.

My counsel to those hoping to push back against the truly insidious and dangerous antithesis to the new party defined by sovereignty and the outsider Americans:

Get schooled, quickly, on how and why the old issues aren’t adequate for understanding and predicting future political behavior.
Reject your old market-research consultant class; the pollsters and focus-groupers have failed you. The methodologies are stale and inadequate for today.
Listen first, the voters will tell you what they want.

Finally, reject the flippant term “low-information voter,” which is simply the GOP’s way of referring to Hillary Clinton’s basket of deplorables. That low-information voter just schooled you on the most important issues to a nation that desires to continue its existence. Congratulations to a well-deserved victory to Trump and the promise of beginning the long fight back against more insidious forces than George Will could dream of within his small-government paradigm.

Anne in PT

I have been no fan of Trump (to put it mildly!) . His volatility, his arrogance and lack of all political experience have been a great off-putter, I won’t even mention his attitude towards women and minorities, but then again, there are plenty who are just as bad in the Democrats.

But I’m even less of a fan of Clinton, Her corruption, her wicked cronies, the crooked advisers and antisemitic, anti-Israel assistants are enough to make anyone sick, so I am so relieved that she will not be entering the White House.

Now that Trump has been elected I hope he can surround himself with good,solid advisers who can help guide him through the coming months and years. If he can put a lid on his volatility that will be even better.

The feeling in Israel is one of shock and jubilation in certain quarters. We went to bed (so to speak!) with Clinton and woke up with Trump. But we should have known better. We should have taken into account the media bias that pervades political reporting everywhere.

What I find incredible is how the left fell for their own propaganda, believing the skewed opinion polls, the exit polls (don’t they KNOW that people will lie in exit polls because they don’t want to give an advantage to the opposition?). We Israelis are past masters at false advertising, biased media, even our own domestic media, and the pressure from the left.

The left deserve all the schadenfreude they are getting now.

In truth I and all Israelis were hoping that America would send a great “eff you” to Obama and his leftist minions. And America came through. I just hope that Trump is the answer for all of us: for America, for Israel and for the civilized world.

Andrew Branca

Hey, Obama: WE WON.


One of the most divisive and surprising campaign seasons in history is over, and Donald Trump will become our next president, with a Congress controlled by Republican majorities in both houses. This is a rare opportunity that has come very seldom for the right.

No matter who had won this election—Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump—about half of the people in this country would have been beside themselves with anxiety, fear, and/or rage. Some of them were already beside themselves at the prospect of either becoming president. This is what is meant by “divisiveness,” and this is something with which the new president will have to contend, after a very close election. Trump’s acceptance speech was a very welcome first step.

Donald Trump may be feeling a great many emotions right now, too. One of them is probably triumph, and another is sweet sweet vindication. He has been so despised for so long, by so many people on both sides, that as president he will have an opportunity to exceed those low expectations in a positive way and prove them wrong. He certainly has exceeded expectations already, as far as his ability to get votes goes. Let’s hope he exceeds expectations for his ability to navigate the treacherous waters of international affairs, the economy, race relations, immigration, and all the problems this divided and troubled world faces in the 21st Century.

I was listening to Fox News late last night and heard pundit Monica Crowley say, “This is the most astounding political story of our lifetimes.” I’ve been around for quite a while, and I am in agreement with her.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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Trump’s first big challenge is whether or not to prosecute Hillary. If he does the Left will be up in arms. If he doesn’t then he’s just as bad as everyone else in Washington.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Same Same. | November 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I would be willing to support a pardon of Hillary Clinton on 1/21/17 on two conditions:

    1) Hillary must allocute in substantial detail on all matters of civil/criminal interest. She must answer questions to the satisfaction of Mr. Trey Gowdy. Her statements must be in writing and must be signed by her hand in blue ink.

    2) Hillary must place the Clinton Foundation into receivership with a Federally-appointed supervisor. That supervisor must conduct and release to the public a representative, detailed audit of the books. Thereafter the Foundation’s funds must be dispersed to legitimate, mainline charities or given over to the Federal government.

    I don’t need to see Ms. Clinton in jail. I need to see her power base demolished.

      MattMusson in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      The Offer of a Pardon should only extend to Bill and Hillary and should also be contingent on closing the Clinton Foundation.

      And, all the little rats who were part of the Conspiracy must plead guilty and serve time. You know who you are, John, Huma, IT guys, etc.

        DaveGinOly in reply to MattMusson. | November 9, 2016 at 11:35 pm

        Oh, no! All the little rats should be offered pardons if they’ll rat on the big ones (Bill, Hillary, Huma, Podesta, Brazile, Mills)! The little ones will be still be vermin, but harmless vermin, with their leadership in prison. And that would be instructive to all!

      2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      There has to be some legal consequences for mishandling classified documents. We have soldiers who have lost their entire careers, retirements and liberty over a careless picture; those folks deserve to know there are not 2 sets of laws.

      We need to see her in jail. Otherwise, the message is: commit treason, commit embezzlement (and who knows what else); if you get caught, you merely need to give a mea cupla and the money back.

      Clinton’s criminality would have been well worth the risk of getting caught.

      Don’t look for Clinton to live in her private hell – she’s a sociopath: today, she’s probably right back to her old self, living high on the hog of her fraud, enjoying the adoration of the ignorant and/or brain-washed bozos who supported her.

      Another Voice in reply to stevewhitemd. | November 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      In a perfect world…but ain’t going to happen.
      The odds are closer to Obama pardons her very close to 1/16/17 if not on date prior to inauguration if only to rock the boat as a final power play. It’s been his style to initially take the high road only to knee jerk and do a 180 shortly thereafter.

      Better on 1/18/17 a special task force of I.R.S. and F.B.I. investigators are appointed and go after the Clinton Foundation. Let the D.O.J. indict where collusion (theft) and profits were made at the largesse and oversight of government agents. Prosecute where laws were broken and close down the Foundation. A tribute to those who paid with their lives and careers while working under her command. Both of them have a longevity factor of probably 10 yrs. Why enrich and perpetuate another rape.

    All the people who bribed SecState for access should also be in the dock. Make them an object lesson today or endure more of the same corruption tomorrow.

    We dodged a bullet, we may not be so lucky next time.

      conservative tarheel in reply to Fen. | November 9, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      I suspect alot of those people who bribed Sec State are beyond
      the reach of being placed “in the dock”
      foreign powers .. and such ….

    LukeHandCool in reply to Same Same. | November 9, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    The first big challenge is to stop the unbecoming sobbing of the left.

    The Clinton Foundation’s illicit foreign donations will dry up faster than the left’s tears.

    tom swift in reply to Same Same. | November 9, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    If he doesn’t then he’s just as bad as everyone else in Washington.

    That’s a couple of centuries of accumulated “bad” he’d have to catch up on. I doubt that any one mistake would come close to doing it.

Both Vijeta and Miriam, and David and Anne seem to have very similar opinions.

Ah, to own Andrew Branca’s sword-like pen. The rest is just the same noise we’ve been hearing for months.

    tom swift in reply to Owego. | November 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Pretty much. Mountains wash out to sea, continents move around, but opinions are adamantine and never change.

    The key to decision making is like the old formula for sculpting a marble elephant—take a diffuse opinion, lop off everything that doesn’t look like a decision, and go with what’s left.

    In this case, what was left was Trump.

    Everything else is wool-gathering.

William A. Jacobson

There are so many thoughts about how we got here…

My head has been spinning since last night with all kind of thoughts, ideas, feelings and doubts. Your 4 paragraphs put everything in order.
What you wrote expresses exactly, no more and no less, everything that I have been trying to organize in my head.
Thank You and Good Job.

In the next few years there will be tens of thousands of criminals who will be sent to prison. I predict that not one will tell the judge that they should not have to do the time because they didn’t get elected president.

Today several million people also didn’t get elected President. It is not an excuse for bad behavior.

“With Republicans holding the House and the Senate, an agenda actually can be accomplished. I think it’s up to us to do the best we can to make sure that the agenda passed is one that protects our individual liberties, lessens the imposition of government into our lives, frees the economy, and is in the best security interest of the country. So when Trump and Congress move in that direction, I’ll fully support them. But I’ll also be prepared to oppose any actions that infringe our rights.”
—Prof. Jacobson

Yeeeeup. There’s a lot said there, for those who can discern…

    legacyrepublican in reply to Ragspierre. | November 9, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    And that is what I like about your postings. Honest, forthright, and looking to the endgame.

    Almost like you were, maybe, a lawyer with years of experience in asking what can we expect to get out of this track of reasoning.

    Also, people were bitching at your alleged vote for Hillary instead of apprehending the quality lessons you were teaching on what Collectivism is and how to spot it.


    TPHobbit in reply to Ragspierre. | November 9, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    That’s why we needed Trump to win. Couldn’t happen if he lost. That’s why I could not understand Never Trump.

      Ragspierre in reply to TPHobbit. | November 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Well, the insight comes if you believe that it can’t happen if he won, either. It’s a matter of faith, sort of…

        Insight? How about a mea culpa for all the faulty analysis you presented here over the last six months?

        You should also apologize to us and the blog host for turning this blog toxic.

        Be a man.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 11, 2016 at 1:29 pm

          Tick, tock lil’ lying, trolling sack of filth.

          You time here is fast ebbing away, Master Projectionist.

    MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | November 9, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    I read the authors comments earlier and I read others comments here. Pretty much missed the boat completely.

    First thing Trump needs to do is dump Chris Christie. He had brought zero to Trump and he did not even get NJ. I say he is bad baggage.

    Next he need to distance himself from anything Bush or Romney. Levin hit it on the head tonight. There is talk of bringing in retreads from Romney and Bush.

    He has to lean hard on Newt and Sessions. He has a golden opportunity to make something happen with both the House and Senate in the bag. Same old Same old is going to be a waste. 1. Get great cabinet in play. 2. Get SCourt pick in play asap. Let Rudy as AG handle Clinton Foundation. Expose her for what she is and move on. He also needs to push Congress to change the rule so another Obama care can not ever go through.

    Please Trump Team, Please get rid of Christy and any Bush or Romney folks. They are going to ruin what we were hoping to happen. 1

      Well, there is already a rule against shoving ObamaCare through Congress as it was, and that rule was ignored by then-majority leader Harry Reid. He used a combination of “deem and pass” (aka “demon pass”) and the nuclear option (bypassing the required 2/3 vote required by both the Constitution and Senate rules) to shove it through as a “budget” matter after Scott Brown was elected as the 41st vote against ObamaCare.

      The executive has no say over Senate or House rules, so Trump can’t “fix” that. Even if the Senate changed its rules at Trump’s urging, any future Senate or majority leader can change it as they see fit. Heck, that same Senate could change it the very next day.

      ObamaCare has always been in peril and was never going to work (the latter they hoped would be hidden by the intended result of the latter point). Not only is it totally flawed in all the ways we know, but the biggest problem with it was the way it was passed. History will not be kind to Reid, Pelosi, or the Obama White House. A massive, truly foundational change like that has never been attempted on a one-party vote before, and it was always going to backfire. Without even one Republican vote for ObamaCare, the GOP had nothing invested in it. They don’t have to protect it, fight for it, fix it, etc. They have always opposed it (even those who secretly love it are on record as not having voted for it and won’t be held accountable for secret support), and now they can, at long long last, do something about it.

      Because the GOP does not have a supermajority in the Senate, the replacement bill, whatever it turns out to be, will have to include Dems. That’s the only way whatever replacement is passed will stand. If McConnell pulled a Reid and fudged Senate rules to shove through a GOP health care bill without a single Dem vote, it, too, will be repealed when Dems take over again (and at some point, they will). There’s a lesson to be learned from the horrendous behavior of the Dems, and failing to learn it, would be a historical mistake that would paint the GOP not only as hypocrites but as complete morons who are incapable of learning from Reid’s, Pelosi’s, and Obama’s hubris. You simply can’t pass a massive piece of legislation that affects every single person in this country on a party vote and think it’s going to stand. It won’t. And frankly, it shouldn’t.

      The founders were very clear on the way that such bills should be written, where they need to originate, how they should be debated, amended, passed from the House to the Senate and back again, voted for by a supermajority, and then, as a final check, signed into law by an elected president. They did all this for a reason, and it’s still as solid a reason today as it was then.

        MarkSmith in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 10, 2016 at 9:25 am

        Slippers, thanks for reading my post. I hope I did not come across with sounding like Trump could change the rules.That is not what I meant.

        He also needs to push Congress to change the rule so another Obama care can not ever go through

        He does have some sway and I would think Newt and Pence have some too. With Sessions backing, I really think things can happen fast and in the right way. They have to keep the Bush and Romney layer out of it or we will have the same old same old.

        When Bush had the House and Senate, there was a chance to change the rules but the GOP did not do it. Even if the Dems change the rules back, so what. Do you really think they play nice. They prove it that they don’t. Shoot, I started voting with Reagan as my first election. Tip O’Neil was a class act compared to the clown democrats today.

        If anything, at least it will require them to take an extra step to shot gun they crappy policies though.

        It sounds like you have some political understanding. Maybe “if” the #NeverTrump people would have gotten off their high horse, we could have had a more unified win in the House and Senate. I blame Ryan, Cruz, Bush and Romney for being selfish and not thinking about whole party.

        We are looking at a great opportunity at the next mid-term election to really gain some ground. With Trump making the SC picks, we have a chance to do that. None, I repeat “None” of the other Republican candidates had the ability to bring out the vote to win the President. Cruz turned off those independent votes. He never would have gotten it. I think Newt might have been the only one that could have brought in the Independents to win, but he was not running.

        Many wrongly believed that the election was about beating Hilary, but it was about beating the media. I say shame on those did not back Trump after the primaries. You hurt the party as a whole and I think it impacted the down ticket elections. You allowed the media to play you.

        Memories are short, but in 2000, Little Green Footballs (now a bunch of loser progressives) took down CBS. The media is the problem and who we have to beat to win an election.

        Just think of the level of deception that the media was playing with us, then. I see an author mentioned George Will. I always thought George Wills was a hack. Sounds like he is the Donna Brazile of Reagan’s time, except I respect Donna Brazile. She plays a good game. She got my respect with her comments about George Bush handling of Katrina.

        The government runs at the second tier. Without changing the guards in the house and senate, we are not going to change much. Some of those power players in the second tier have been there for 40 years. 2018 could change it all. We have a chance to do that now. Are you on board?

        Sorry I was so long. Branco cartoon hits the mark. I hope Trump/Pence hit the accelerator on that bus. Not time to play the stupid GOP games on. It is show time.

buckeyeminuteman | November 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm

The picture of Trump and Obama at the top reminds of “Orange is the New Black”…

“But I’ll also be prepared to oppose any actions that infringe our rights.”

‘Inalienable Rights’. In my opinion, Obama and his near clone Hillary, were both of the opinion that they were the ones who granted ‘rights’ to people. From what a mother could pack in her childs lunch to which bathroom was acceptable to mandatory medical coverage. Neither one of those autocrats were manufactured wholly developed from unseen forces; they’re just face of their movement, the tip of the iceberg. The liberal progressive figureheads have received a wound this election, but their beliefs and goals have not changed. It’s taken 100 years to arrive at this point, and unless some drastic change takes place the citizens who love personal freedom and liberty will be in this fight for a long time.

Can’t wait for Branco’s next cartoon.

It was entrenched in Democrat Party dogma that the Soviet Union was forever… get used to it and live with it. It was Republican Party Dogma that the Democrat Party was too powerful to oppose unless they went along as Dem Lites seeking to appease to get ahead. That dogma was proved wrong also.

Kemberlee Kaye expresses my sentiments. Neither Trump nor Clinton represent the best American has to offer for leadership. That said, I am pleased Clinton didn’t win. We shall see how The Donald handles the incredible Gordian Knot al-Chicagi has left.

Tomorrow, the next Presidential Campaign starts and we must remember, there is another Clinton waiting in the wings.

I’m frankly confused by Sorock’s statement (and this isn’t snark or an attempt to pick a fight).

“Our fractured culture is not fundamentally divided on our opinion about size of government; this fails to capture the heart of the matter.
Instead, how do our political parties and leaders view the everyday American (elitism), and do they fundamentally believe America is a unique and sovereign nation (globalism).”

But “elitism” is all about the size, nature, and relationship of government to the governed. This all really boils down to Constitutional versus anti-Constitutional government, especially at the federal level.

The “elites” simply cannot exist as we now know them in a Constitutional framework. Put another way, in a limited government (much smaller government) they simply cannot exist as they do.

Apart from a few idiots, nobody I know reads George Will to be against the idea of America being a unique and sovereign nation. And those few idiots merely falsely ascribe their view to ANY conservative, without the slightest support in the canon of the conservative’s writings (except where they have asked “thought questions”). There may be some exceptions, of course, but let’s not confuse hard Liberatians with conservatives.

T-rumpism is BIG GOVERNMENT with a few pie-crust promises that seem conservative. It is Progressivism, and in that sense, Will seems totally correct. Plus, how do you get MORE “elite” than a crony capitalist New York oligarch?

It may be that the middle of the American electorate has accepted the welfare state, just as expressed by some nice old ladies at TEA party rallies: “Control government spending and taxes…but leave my Medicare alone!”

Or it may well be this election is an aberration that really reflects very little of Americans’ thinking about government at all…except they don’t like where it is.

    Rag: The “elites” simply cannot exist as we now know them in a Constitutional framework

    You still aren’t getting it. Instead of reflexively downvoting anything that challenges your false narrative, you should pause and reflect on how you got so many things wrong about this election. A bit of humility is in order. Else, you are no better than these ignorant WaPo pundits blaming the loss on misogyny.

    This is what my people mean when they use the term “elites”

      Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

      It’s simply hi-larry-ous that you cannot resist picking at anything I post, AND that you are such a self-parody!

      I voted my conscience, and YOUR false narrative never approached being true.

      We’re not DOOOOOOOOOOOMED, are we, Hysterics Boi?

      I am relieved that you and “your people” won’t be joining the OccupyWhatever bois now, and raining death and destruction down on the poor old GOPe (that T-rump endorsed). ‘Cause that REALLY had me worried.


      Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 10, 2016 at 9:28 am

      I read the Codevilla piece when it first came out, and so I was mystified by your reference to “this is what my people mean by ‘elites'”.

      He never defines that, in fact only uses the term once in a long piece, but he DOES say this…

      “In fact, the United States of America was great because of a whole bunch of things that now are gone. Yes, the ruling class led the way in personal corruption [T-rump], cheating on tests [or bankruptcy], lowering of professional standards, abandoning churches and synagogues for the Playboy Philosophy and lifestyle [T-rump], disregarding law [T-rump], basing economic life on gaming the administrative state [T-rump], basing politics on conflicting identities [T-rump], and much more. But much of the rest of the country followed. What would it take to make America great again—or indeed to make any of the changes that Trump’s voters demand? Replacing the current ruling class would be only the beginning.

      Because it is difficult to imagine a Trump presidency even thinking about something so monumental as replacing an entire ruling elite, much less leading his constituency to accomplishing it, electing Trump is unlikely to result in a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction. Continuing pretty much on the current trajectory under the same class will further fuel revolutionary sentiments in the land all by itself. Inevitable disappointment with Trump is sure to add to them.”

      So, Codevilla and I agree. You don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

        MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | November 10, 2016 at 9:40 am

        I am in Fen’s court here:

        You still aren’t getting it. Instead of reflexively downvoting anything that challenges your false narrative, you should pause and reflect on how you got so many things wrong about this election. A bit of humility is in order.

        I know you have a good point every once in awhile, how about you start thinking of solving problems instead of being a sore loser.

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | November 10, 2016 at 9:52 am

        The “elites” simply cannot exist as we now know them in a Constitutional framework. Put another way, in a limited government (much smaller government) they simply cannot exist as they do.

        You mean like this…???

        Solving problems is all I think about. Hence, when we move in the WRONG direction, it bothers me.

        See now?

        Ragspierre, I think you may have missed some negative aspect of Trump’s character. Could you please elaborate? We’re all waiting to hear from you.

    MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | November 10, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Rags, let it go. Trump won! George Wills is a waste to read. He can kiss Clinton’s rats….

The reputations of many reporters,writers, bloggers and the media outlets they contribute to have been ruined. Never to come back either. New personalities have risen in their place. That is very healthy. Everyone can learn and grow from this.

What Fuzzy Slippers said! I just hope the authors who have spent the last year bad-mouthing Trump don’t decide to play the part of bitter old shrews, criticizing every move he makes in the future. Give the guy a chance, OK?

Henry Hawkins | November 9, 2016 at 3:56 pm

As for me, it’s wait and see. The GOPe remains in power and the question will be whether they and Trump can or will work together. The GOP now has the Senate, House, and White House, the lack of which has been their excuse since at least 2008. Put up or shut up time.

That Obamacare needs to go is obvious – it’s going to die on its own in a few years. The repeal part is now made easy, but any replace part will be very difficult to get right, so bad is the damage to the health insurance industry. The relacement plan has already been written, if Trump will accept it, sign off on it, but it had better work.

That the federal government needs to be greatly reduced in size and scope is obvious, but it is not difficult to envision Trump and the GOP congress failing to undertake entitlement reform beyond nipping at the edges in hopes it shuts people up, the usual GOP approach.

That the monstrous overload of regulations across the board is strangling business – and therefore employment rates – is a gimme, but much of these regulations are to support one or more players at the expense of other players. Are they willing to untangle this mess?

As stated, I’ll wait and see.

On the rosier side of things….

The Clinton political dynasty has been as marginalized as it can be. Hillary avoided the media like they had rabies for the entirety of her campaign. The media talked about her all day every day, but rarely *to* her. Now she has less reason to talk to media, and the media has less reason to talk to or about her. Adios, she with a black hole for a soul. Likewise Bill.

72 days, is it? The countdown for when Obama is finally out of office. Obama… GONE.

This very minute, media bigwigs are ordering ‘WTF Happened?’ studies from their perceived on-staff experts. Print and cable media outlets are dead of bias and hypocrisy and dying financially.

My argument against polls is that they fall on a scale between outright fakery to honest error, and that if any given poll is found to have called a contest accurately, they will be lauded and asked to explain how they did it, the LA Times poll this cycle. Well, when there are dozens of polls, at least one of them will be found correct after the election, when it’s too late. Political media: “But we have to go on something! Polling is all we have!” and, incredibly, even knowing its 95% flaws coupled with 5% luck, they still go with polls. I hope this cycle ends that.

Obama GONE. 72 days.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | November 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    One thing I noted about the LAT poll is the wild amplitude.

    It could be shown that they benefited from the purely serendipitous event that the election happened in one of the wild swings they show.

    But I dunno…

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | November 9, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      You could make a case that the LA Times was more coincidence/luck than skill, that they purposely kept Trump in the lead as a white crow market scheme, the uber-liberal LAT polling Trump out front – I’m betting the liberal readers of the LA Times were apoplectic over their running poll, couldn’t wait to read the next edition, and the next…..

      MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | November 10, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Or it could show how the media is playing games and LAT and Bruce Karsh has keep Koch and the anti-Trump crowd at arms lengths.

    Obama gone? Trump is to announce a trillion dollar infrastructure package.
    Sounds familiar?
    He’s buying the federal bureaucracy. With our money.

      Sorry but the country is run by more than Trump. He has not even started yet, give me a break.

        Keep talking. I’m just going to sit here and signal my virtue.

          Gee , he hasn’t even started yet and Canada and Mexico (hey maybe they will pay for the wall) want to do a redo on NAFTA. TTP is dead and our allies want to start talking about who is paying for their defense.

          The fun has begun.

          I am waiting for the reports of inner city folks asking help to get the illegal gang member out of town.

          The wave is coming. Time to buy a surfboard.

DieJustAsHappy | November 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Andrew Branca:
Hey, Obama: WE WON.

And, as someone once said, “Elections have consequences.” I daresay one of them will be that America will fare better with a Trump administration than it has under an Obama one. And, that’s saying something considering the messes Donald Trump will inherit.

Nevertheless, I anticipate he will surround himself with the best team that he can. And, in the end, may just well surprise quite a few people.

Andrew Branca

Hey, Obama: WE WON.

😀 Short & to the point!

“Trump’s campaign has energized and considerably strengthened the American right’s bigoted underbelly—especially on social media. Not an anti-Semite himself, Trump has nonetheless become the “poster-boy” for a collection of “gutter voices”—anti-Semites, racists and white supremacists—whose endorsements and crackpottery he (or at least his campaign) seemed to tacitly accept.”


I have a PhD, two master’s degrees, have been an academic for 20 years and I voted for Trump. Thank you for vilifying me and those like me. Your writing off of Trump voters by smearing us with a handful of crackpots represents the kind of political arrogance that caused Hillary’s loss.

I look forward to President Trump going after the PC nightmare that is killing America.

And on the side – if you didn’t support Trump and play a part in his Victory, its really not yours to give away. Not your place.

I’m taking my direction from the blue collar workers in Michigan and Penn that finally said “Enough!”.

And some of us need to get over our contempt for “those” people.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Fen. | November 10, 2016 at 12:25 am

    The NeverTrumpers lost this election as much as Hillary supporters lost it.

      A lot of #NeverTrumpers voted for Trump in the end, myself included. Don’t you think it’s time to move past this kind of pettiness and have all of us rally around president-elect Trump? One thing about Republican #NeverTrumpers that set us/them apart from the left’s NeverTrumpers/ImWIthHer folks is that we actually love this country, respect the Office of the president, and now that he’s been elected, want Trump to succeed. Isn’t that a good thing?

        Wrathchilde in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 10, 2016 at 9:03 am

        Agree with you 100% here Fuzzy Slippers. It is time to put the divisiveness to bed and work together to recover our country.

        It doesn’t matter if you supported Trump or not, it is time to pull up the big boy pants, and get to work on making our society function again.

        Fuzzy: “Don’t you think it’s time – ”

        I’m not a Republican anymore. I left the party the day after Ryan passed a $1 Trillion omnibus spending bill to promote “bipartisanship” in the House. It was the last betrayal of many.

        I think its great that you came on board at the end. I respect that. I supported Walker and Cruz, and when they lost I held my nose to support Trump, but I had several months to get accustomed to the stench. So I’m sure it was harder for you to deal with so suddenly.

        But what bothers people like me is that, since Reagan, we have been told to hold our nose and vote for the RINO in the name of party unity. And when the dilemma was reversed, people like you threw all that out the window and fought against us.

        You never really meant it. So you are not to be trusted in the future. We have lost faith, not only in the GOP, but in the people we once considered our fellow countrymen.

        Forgiveness? Sure. But separate bedrooms.

    Wrathchilde in reply to Fen. | November 10, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Thanks Fen. I’m one of those UAW workers in Michigan, so to quote Donna I know what persecution feels like.

    It’s been an interesting couple of months at work, as I long ago let slip that I’m conservative. I’ve found that there are far more conservatives in my coworkers that I had expected. Most of us wouldn’t admit to it if cornered, to avoid the harassment if for nothing else.

    But I actually saw one of the black guys from another line wearing a Trump t-shirt about 2 weeks ago. He got the secretive thumbs-up from several of us.

    We had to put up with comments such as not voting for him because his wife is a whore (ok, she did some nude photography when she was a model. This = whore to some). Not sure how that impacts Donald’s qualifications, but Ok.

    All that said, there was more support for Trump in the auto plants than you would expect.

Miriam: “Trump’s campaign has energized and considerably strengthened the American right’s bigoted underbelly—especially on social media. Not an anti-Semite himself, Trump has nonetheless become the “poster-boy” for a collection of “gutter voices”—anti-Semites, racists and white supremacists—whose endorsements and crackpottery he (or at least his campaign) seemed to tacitly accept.”

I’m trying to understand why you felt the need to include this gem in your post-election analysis. It reads straight from the Identity Politics playbook of the Left. Are you a liberal Democrat? If so, then it follows.

The slime of antisemitism is especially rank, as Trump’s own daughter has married a Jew and converted to Judaism. And yet, you still attempt to imply Trump champions such bigotry. Why?

Related: three wackos over on Stormfront agree with you. Bob, Bob and Joe. I note the absence of any attempt by you to distance yourself from them. Is it fair to assume you are now a poster girl for the white supremacist movement? I only ask because it appears you are “tacitly” accepting their support. Please stop “energizing” and “strengthening” these bigots. I eagerly await your denouncement of Bob, Bob and Joe…

“When you give yourself and your political party over entirely to left-wing identity politics, issues of class become invisible to you, and you end up forgetting that you ever knew people like the white working-class and rural people of the Rust Belt. You lose elections that way. I do not like identity politics. I believe it is dangerous, especially in a pluralistic democracy like ours. But look, if that’s how the left is going to rig the system, then it should not be surprised when white people get tired of it, and decide to play by the same hardball rules.” – Rod Dreher

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 10, 2016 at 9:47 am

    You spin Straw Men very like Obama.

    You’re really a remarkably facile liar and smear-merchant.

      MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | November 10, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Rags, BTW Trump Won.

      Rag: [pout whine tantrum]

      More irony, courtesy of the Sally Struthers School of Law. You argue by assertion. Did you miss the day they taught you to back up your claims with evidence? See, this is how I know you can’t really be a lawyer. Its like a “nurse” going blank when asked what guage the IV needle is…

      Rag: “You spin Straw Men very like Obama.”

      I challenge you to find the Strawman. I don’t even think you know what the term means. And all I did was simply turn Miriam’s point back against her.

      Rag: “You’re really a remarkably facile liar and smear-merchant”

      I wish you were smarter. This isn’t even sporting. Which is why I was talking to Miriam, not you.

        Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | November 11, 2016 at 9:34 am

        “It reads straight from the Identity Politics playbook of the Left. Are you a liberal Democrat? If so, then it follows.”

        There’s your straw man…or one.

        You lie so skillfully, it would take too much time to fully fisk your mendacity. You really have an Obamic talent for it.

Some people seem happy to cash in on a victory which they were unwilling to soil their own hands to help achieve. They can avoid losing friends and alienating family members. They can eat their Thanksgiving turkey in peace. If it goes right, they will cheerfully accept the resulting benefits to themselves and their children. If it goes wrong, they will claim they are not responsible.

I find it impossible to respect this kind of behavior.

Thanks for writing these – I really enjoyed them. I will admit that never had a good understanding of what Trump was able to achieve during his campaign, but thirty seconds after Wisconsin went for the Republicans, I finally got it. If you want to blame my MBA or zip code for why it took me so long to comprehend, go right ahead. Regardless, he deserves enormous credit for his white working class anti-media victory and its truly one for the history books.

But while everyone seems to have a cautiously optimistic view of his Presidency my apparently overeducated frontal and temporal lobes can’t quite get there. The strategic and economic position of the US is precarious at best yet Trump seems to want to skip over formulating coherent and consistent policies in trade, defense, immigration, taxes, etc and go straight to implementation.

    MarkSmith in reply to tyates. | November 10, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Pundits are saying that Clinton got less women votes than Obama. What does that tell you.

      Ragspierre in reply to MarkSmith. | November 10, 2016 at 10:47 am

      That you cite to “pundits” without attribution and for authority.

      To dovetail with Mark, the stats on college educated whites was

      48% Clinton
      43% Trump

      So much for the “ignorant rubes” argument… And they still can’t figure out why they lost. The Left is nowhere near as intelligent as they pretend to be. Which is why they need a “study” every 6 months to reassure them they are “superior”.

I like this from the Treehouse:

So far it appears the missing 2016 voting bloc was the cocktail class (Never Trump) strain of the GOPe. Together with the Romney, Bush, Mcain, Ryan progressive GOPe types.