Wednesday, September 16, 2015

REPUBLICANS 101---The Trump Menace

Somewhere around the 4th of July, Ann Coulter casually remarked, on some show or other, that it would be easy for the Republicans to get rid of Trump.  “All they have to do is take his issue away from him.”

And yet, no one will do it.  It wouldn’t be that difficult for a half dozen stalwarts of the Republican Party (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Priebus, McCain, Kasich, Walker and Rubio, for example), to issue a joint statement along the following lines:
“OK.  We finally get it.  Really.  We’ve pretended to care about border security, and we’ve pretended to care about changing the immigration protocols so we get educated people from Belgium and Australia rather than people from primitive cultures that think gang rape is a sort of party game, and we’ve pretended to care about enforcing existing American laws, but of course, all we really wanted was to please the Chamber of Commerce and the business guys who give us money so they can hire cheap maids and gardeners.  All we really cared about was granting amnesty to anybody who managed to get here, so we could then encourage the next squad of cheap illegals to sneak in.
“That’s still all we care about.  There’s no point lying about that.  But here’s the deal.  We promise that we will enforce the law, we will patrol the border, we will build a wall, we will deport illegals who commit crimes, and we will change the immigration quotas and protocols so that civilized, educated people will have an advantage in the who-gets-to-be-an-American sweepstakes.  You win.  There will be no more talk of “a path to citizenship” or “dreamers.”  Ever.  We will suck it up and give the nanny an extra $3.50 an hour.  OK?
“Just lose Trump.  We get it.  Now lose him.  Maybe we’ve lied to you over the years, and it’s pretty obvious you don’t trust us, but we can do better than him, can’t we?  Do we really need a guy who, when he gets pissed off at a woman, starts throwing tampons at her?  We will do what we should have done years ago and we will enforce the law.”

But the Republican Party won’t make this offer, will it?  It will NOT abandon amnesty, at least not yet.  Trump rises and rises in the polls, but still the Party will not give in to a majority of the American people, and a large majority of Republicans.  The Party establishment won’t embrace the one issue that has propelled Trump to the top in order to take that issue away from him.

At least not yet.  With more than four months to go until the Iowa Caucuses are held on February 1, they are still holding out hope that Trump will melt down, or voters will tire of him, or something will happen to restore what they view as the natural order of things.  And maybe they’ll get what they wish.  Aren’t we all a little surprised the Trump phase of the 2016 presidential campaign has gone on as long as it has?

But what happens if February 1 approaches and Trump is still riding high in the polls?  It’s fine to hope for him to disappear, or snipe at him from the sidelines, but once he actually starts collecting delegates, it may no longer be possible to stop him from winning the Republican nomination.  The big question of this campaign season is whether, before the Iowa caucuses, the Republican establishment will shout “Uncle” on the immigration issue and start promising that our laws will be observed and enforced.

I suspect they will not.  I believe the Bushes and McCains and Kasichs and Priebuses and Walkers and Rubios would rather lose than give in on their dreams of open borders and amnesty.  Rather than cede an inch to Trump and the American people on this issue, they are willing to sit back and hope Hillary (or Biden, or somebody) beats Trump in the general election.


In one of those quotations that is attributed to everybody because nobody knows who said it first (I give the credit to Mark Twain), somebody once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

Donald Trump is not exactly Herbert Hoover, but he certainly rhymes.

Hoover was a highly successful businessman who became president, though he had no previous experience in elective office, because he was the kind of guy who could “get things done.”  As a Republican Progressive, he believed in “efficiency” and in hiring experts who would tell us all what to do and how to do it.

When the stock market crashed in 1929, Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariffs into law (the largest tariffs in our history), raised both income and corporate taxes, and plunged the nation into the Great Depression.  Even based on the economic science of the day, what he did was foolish.  As he dragged the American economy into an abyss, economists were begging him to reconsider.  

Sound familiar?  Trump loves tariffs, and advocates them today.  He has always been in favor of increasing taxes, and talks about it a lot in the campaign.  And of course, his appeal is the same as Hoover’s was.  He’s an “outsider,” not part of the political class, and a rich guy who can’t be bought, but who cares about the little guy and knows how to cut through the swamp and fix things.

Hoover regularly appears on lists of “America’s Worst Presidents.”  There is no other President with whom Trump is even remotely similar.