What If?

On the weekend before the official kickoff of the GOP nomination season, Donald Trump would seem to have the momentum.  Now, both of “my guys” for this race – Walker and Jindal – are long gone, so my short list is (in very rough order) Rubio, Cruz, Paul, Christie.

Trump’s ascendancy has, of course, brought out the usual jeremiads about the oncoming implosion of the GOP (to which cooler and more historically-grounded heads reply “What?  Again?  This happens every eight years or so“).

But I keep getting asked – what if Trump is, at the end of the day, the nominee?

Simple.  I’ll hold my nose and vote for Trump.

It’s not just because I regard third-party candidacies as irrelevant exercises in personal philosophical navel-gazing – that’s between you and your conscience, and is none of my business.

And it’s not that I’m a “my party, right or wrong” guy; I’m a Tea Party Conservative who votes GOP because it is, to evoke Buckley, the most conservative party that can win.  And if Trump, heaven forefend, is the most conservative person on the ballot who can win next November, then I’ll vote for him.

But Trump promises to be a rerun of the Jesse Ventura years, only coast-to-coast.   So why bother?

Three reasons:  Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Scalia – one of the better conservative minds in the history of the court – lamentably can’t last forever.  Having Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders nominate his “replacement” – or that of Kennedy, the most powerful “Moderate” in the history of the universe – would turn the SCOTUS bright blue for decades to come.  Kiss any chance of rolling back Obamacare, getting control of immigration or voting or the borders, or the Second Amendment, goodbye right now.

And by the opposite token, if Kennedy retires, or Ginsburg gets called by her overlords back to her mothership, during a GOP administration, there’s at least a chance of getting a much better, more conservative justice on the bench.  And don’t be caterwauling at me about what disappointments Roberts and Souter turned out to be as conservatives; without a GOP president and GOP Senate, “eventual disappointment” is the best you can hope for.

Remember – Trump may well nominate a complete idiot.  But the Senate has to confirm them.  And if both a hypothetical President Trump and a GOP Senate are idiots, then we’re screwed – but those are both “maybes”; you can bet a hypothetical President Sanders will nominate Saul Alinksky, and Clinton’s nominees will make Sonia Sotomayor look like John Marshall.

So yeah.  I’ll hold my nose and vote Trump.

And then set to work on fixing the rot that led us to this point.

46 thoughts on “What If?

  1. I honestly don’t know what Trump will do as President, but the reason we can’t have another 4-8 years of leftwing gov’t-loving liberal Democrat is what Obama just did. By order, not law, he is forcing all American employers (with I think 100 or more employees) to list the race, gender and other special interest criteria, and what they make. Then decide if it is acceptable. Doesn’t matter what the job entails, how dangerous it is, experience, work ethic, skills, etc. Just pay.

    Its basically a promotion for more off-shoring of jobs.

  2. I’d hold my nose and vote for Trump (against Hilliary or Bernie, more accurately), too, but given Trump’s meeting with Bill before he declared his candidacy, I have to wonder if he’s just Hilliary with a comb-over. He talks the right talk, sometimes, but when push comes to shove, what does he really believe?

  3. It will be interesting to see how that important balance between government power and individual rights will be struck by future Justices Snooki, Gary Busey and Honey Boo-Boo.

    (Angryclown is laughing at you rubes, not with ya.)

  4. Angryclown is laughing at you rubes

    Yeah, the suspense was killing me.

    And it’ll be fun to see how checks and balances fare when the “Sanders Youth” becomes the fourth branch of government.

  5. As IowaHawk said, the Democrats have spurned Webb and OMalley, and are now deciding between Ho Chi Min and Emelda Marcos.

  6. I think AC’s referring to Sotomayor and Kagan, if I’m not mistaken, and hoping for another. And I think we know quite well already how jurisprudence and our republic are faring with these two on the court.

  7. No worries, Mitch. The Democrats have this weird system that actually delivers viable candidates instead of coughing up electoral roadkill. But keep on hoping Democratic primary voters are as mentally unstable as the Republicans. Otherwise it’s gonna be a long election cycle for you guys.

    Hey, four names and you only misspelled three, UpChuck. That’s a big improvement! Don’t tell Angryclown you finally enrolled in community college. So proud!

  8. Hmmm, the surprising return of Clownie to the commentariat does challenge the working assumption that many of us had — that Angryclown actually **is** Donald Trump.

  9. What’s cool about AngryClown’s new smart phone is that he can post things while sitting in his van…..the one with “free candy” spray painted on the side……while parked across the street from the playground.

  10. I’ve given up believing that my vote for president in the general election makes a difference. So, if Trump gets the nomination, doesn’t matter, I won’t be voting. But, I have my candidate for whom I’ll caucus. I caucus because I think that is the place where I can make a difference. I can elect delegates who can move on and have a real impact for the Republican party.

  11. Once you take away the bombast, Trump’s positions are centrist Democrat, so no, I won’t be voting for him.
    Yet I find myself defending Trump from liberal attacks because they are attacking him as a Republican, which he is not. It is not, for example, Republican policy to protect American jobs from foreign competition. It is not Republican policy to place any meaningful limits on immigration.

  12. You are right about Ventura redux. I do not believe Trump would be anything but demoncrat light. Maybe even to the left of AC.

  13. That being said, I think Trump’s brand of populism gives him a better chance to beat Hillary than Cruz or Rubio. This is because Hillary’s allies in the MSM have a playbook already written against Cruz and Rubio. They haven’t figured out how to poison the minds of the swing voters against Trump yet.
    Dana Milbank probably speaks for the majority of MSM journalist in this column:
    They want Sanders, but they know that Sanders is not a candidate who will have wide appeal. They can’t carry him across the goal line like they did with Obama.
    We will know more a month from now, but at this point I think there is a good chance we will see a Trump-Sanders matchup in November.

  14. Of course Hillary could face an indictment for her handling of classified material.
    The last time I heard her speak on the matter, she said that she never received or sent email content from her home server marked as classified, which is typical Clintonian legal speak.
    If the JD is going to indict Clinton, look for it to happen sooner rather than later. I think the JD and the FBI don’t want to be seen as overtly political in terms of national security. They wouldn’t indict halfway through the primary season.

  15. “Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses”
    Juvenal, Rome, circa 100 C.E.

  16. MBerg: Trump is almost the ideal candidate for a nation dominated by “sound and fury, signifying nothing” and although he may narrowly fail to capture the White House it is evident that a more intelligent and calculating version of Trump will pursue a similar strategy with ultimate success.

  17. The Roman Empire was the greatest power in Europe and the Mediterranean for three and a half centuries after Juvenal wrote his bread-and-circuses bit. The Romans were handing out a bread dole long before they were an empire.
    To me, the ascent of Trump, Hillary, and Sanders represent a failure of political leadership, not a failure of the people.

  18. I’m hating myself and trying to convince myself otherwise but add me to the growing chorus of people who have called Trump a fascist but are now thinking, “Maybe he wouldn’t be so bad.”

    Prediction markets and models are showing a last minute surge in Iowa. For the first time, it’s looking like there’s a real possibility Trump could win a clean sweep of the states. If and when he locks up the nomination, I can easily see him doing a hard pivot towards the center and it will be credible given the fact that much of the country never believed he believed what he’s been saying. Hell, he can even say, “I only said those things to win the nomination,” and I bet his popularity would rise for being so honest! Having said that, everyone’s Trump predictions have been wrong thus far. We’re in uncharted waters.

  19. Trump’s father’s parents were foreign born, as were two of his wives.
    The term ‘xenophobic’ doesn’t work on Trump. Neither does ‘anti-immigrant’, unless ‘anti-immigrant’ means that you believe that there should be some government enforced limit on immigration.
    The term ‘fascist’ doesn’t work for Trump, unless you so mangle the term fascist that it becomes meaningless.
    ‘Populist’ is more accurate.
    The biggest danger of a Trump presidency is that his agenda and presidential power will be hijacked by people much more savvy about how government works than is. He has no political principles that I can identify. Imagine president Jesse Ventura, and you won’t be far wrong.

  20. If I’ve got my history right, fascist governments have only gained power in cases where a nation was in a crisis. Not just political division, but in a ‘the government cannot maintain order’ crisis. The case of Germany is especially interesting because, prior to WWI, the army had been the backbone of German civil society (something like the constitution is the backbone of American civil society). The German army had been more or less dismantled by the allies after WWI, and had been discredited in the eyes of many Germans because they did not fight to the end (there is a good argument that the ‘unconditional surrender’ agreed to by the German military was the result of promises made by the allies that the Germans would be allowed to keep the Russian territory gained in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk).
    Benito Mussolini gained power during a period of civil strife and general strikes directed by the Soviet Union. Franco gained power under similar circumstances (via a civil war fought against Russian proxies).
    One of the crappy things about being a student of history in early 21st century America is that it quickly becomes apparent that the European fascist movements of the 1920s and 1930s were largely a reaction to aggression by Stalin’s communist party, but no academic historians are willing to say so. Instead they blame the middle class and the bourgeois for supporting nationalist and ‘law and order’ political movements.

  21. Angry Clown has it just right.

    All of America is laughing at you crap white right wing men. President Hillary will open the borders to swarms of immigrants, none of whom are white, none of whom speak English, none of whom have the slightest idea how to operate the white man’s crap machinery, none of whom like guns…well most of them don’t like guns. These new immigrants don’t care about crap white history or shit white culture. They will tear down everything and start fresh, with a new a non-white Constitution that is not crap. They will probably write it with goat’s blood on a brown grocery bag in Swahili, which will be a smart thing. Everyone will have to TURN IN THEIR MACHINE GUNS, MERG. And Xtian fascists will be replaced with modern, progressive Muslims, we will all wear the hijab, especially white men, but probably not super smart college educated women. There will be women’s health centers in every CVS drug store will have a skilled staff DISPENSING ABORTION ON DEMAND FOR FREE…just like in Mogadishu and Damascus.

    Here is some research that proves it BEYOND A DOUBT:




    You pathetic white right wing fascists are not capable of doing FACTCHECKING like that, are you? Nope, you are shit.

    President Hillary will put intelligent women on the Supreme Court. like Rachel Maddow and Lena Dunham. Oh and Barack Obama too, because he is a strong black man, not a crappy white man. Our new Supreme Court will decree that free stuff for brown people will be paid for by white men who used to be right wingers. And you will do it because it will be the LAW OF THE LAND. The new brown majority will bring their non-white culture to our new America. Written words will be outlawed, English will be outlawed. Concrete streets will become a thing of the past so goats and Tata bicycles can navigate in comfort and ease. Displaying a Christmas tree will be punishable by a thousand lashes. Wearing a CRAP CRUCIFIX WILL BE PUNISHED BY CUTTING OFF HANDS. There will be two chickens for every yard. Goats and cows will be revered for the special animals they are. Everyone will wear house slippers to the market. Deodorant will be outlawed and there will be a no-poo mandate. Bathroom sinks will be installed no higher than 6″ off the floor so feet may be washed in them. White men will no longer put their crap idea of female perfection on us. Unibrows will be celebrated for the beauty enhancing delights they are, in fact, shaving or plucking hair from any part of the body will be a felony. White former reicht wingers will be forced to watch as young brown men joyously celebrate female beauty with the ancient walking of the gauntlet ritual.

    Smart, progressive white men like Angry Clown are joining hands with the DEMOCRATIC PARTY to wipe the scourge of white men off the face of the planet, and you SHIT Neanderthals can just suck it.

    Hope your families are doing well.

  22. Everyone will have to TURN IN THEIR MACHINE GUNS, MERG.

  23. So I got in my illegal clips from Mexico with a case of codeine cough syrup. I took the cough syrup and my weak, old 8 round clips to the laundromat at the trailer park to sell them. When they ask ‘can I have some Mexican cough syrup?’ I say, yeah, but you gotta by one of these righteous 8 round clips, too, man.’
    And then they’re like ‘I got no need for an 8 round clip. I don’t even have a gun, man!’ So I tell them the government banned 8 round clips and then I can’t sell them fast enough. Even them little trailer park kids want a banned 8 round clip.
    I won’t take EBT though. ‘The card won’t go through’, I tell them. ‘You want us all to end up in Guantanamo?’

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  25. Benito Gussolini said: “Trump’s father’s parents were foreign born, as were two of his wives. The term ‘xenophobic’ doesn’t work on Trump.”

    Benito thinks as long as Trump can claim “I’ve had foreign tail,” every dumbass thing he’s said about Muslims and Mexicans is above criticism. You know Hitler was foreign-born, right? Didn’t seem to hold him back any.

  26. I think we need more Mexican-Muslims in this country!
    You with me on this, clown?
    Let’s fill the streets with them!

  27. You know Hitler was foreign-born, right?

    In the sense that Alan Thicke and and Geddy Lee are “foreign-born”.

  28. A prefer the foreign analogy with Mr. Cruz. His old man was born in Cuba. I believe that according to Cuban law, Cruz is also a Cuban citizen. In other words, he’s a Cuban-Canadian masquerading as a southern redneck.

  29. We forget how full-on insane our federal government has gone on the subject of open borders. Nothing Trump says would have been out of the mainstream when Clinton was prez, provided you worded it differently.
    Believe it or not, there was a time when Democrats recognized the basic economic principles of supply and demand, and knew that importing millions of unskilled and semi-skilled labor would depress the wages of native born unskilled and semi-skilled labor.
    It is a bit unreal to hear them talk about it now. They’ve gone full-on command economy, where they believe that they can compensate for their oversupplying the labor market with low skilled workers by ordering an increase in wages, and if businesses don’t hire at the new mandated wage, they’ll order them to hire people, because it’s a clear case of MARKET FAILURE!!
    They’ll end up doing the Soviet thing of imprisoning people for saying that they are starving.
    It’s not like command economics haven’t been tried before.

  30. Mitch warned: “In the sense that Alan Thicke and and Geddy Lee are `foreign-born.'”

    And Rafael Edward Cruz.

    Angryclown knows how you right-wing types like to use people’s full names as a sign of respect.

  31. Ha! Once again Angry Clown laughs at you WHITE, MALE RUBES. You are not smart enough to catch Angry’s subtle jab, Mitch. Hitler was a conservative. Yup, a Republican white male that brought crap Eurocentric fail to Germany. Instead of progressive diversity, Hitler filled his clown car with other fat white men. He also failed to properly exterminate the Jewish Zionists, which is why ISIS is fighting for the freedom of their brown, progressive sisters and brothers in Palestine.

    As usual, I have extensively FACTCHECKED the facts to back up the truth.




    Progressives will not fail. Instead of CRAP National Socialism, the Bern is bringing glorious Democratic Socialism, which is completely different, by the way, and not the same at all. Soon, the Republican CLOWN CAR will be driven by brown taxi drivers from Somalia and India. You will have to learn Spanish to tip them. Ha!

    I have more, so much more, to say but I have to go drown a litter of shitty puppies that failed to meet my exacting standards of breed conformity.

    Feel the Bern, you white Republican males!

  32. And angryclown pounts out the “offensiveness” of using peoples full names.

    He has so much to teach us.

  33. DGSL
    ” I have to go drown a litter of shitty puppies…”
    What happened did the muffler fall off your ’79 Ford Maverick so you can’t just gas them the way you used to?

  34. Cuban-Canadian masquerading as a southern redneck

    This is the problem with EmeryTheAntiSemiticSoci@list – he has no scruples about selective fact picking. It is this misdirection that make him the most vile of oxygen wasters that remind me so much of the commissariat I left behind. Fact that Cruz’s mother is American has no bearing on his thinking. None. His brain is missing cognitive function. Must have been the lobotomy.

  35. If being named Rafael Edward Cruz makes you a Cuban, what does being named Barack Hussein Obama make you?
    If having a Cuban father makes you Cuban, what does having a Kenyan father make you?
    If being Senator from Texas makes you a Southern redneck, what does being senator from Illinois make you?

  36. Both Cruz and Rubio are first term Senators with no executive experience. What could go wrong?

  37. To go back to “What would a Trump presidency be like?” I think it will differ markedly from Ventura’s governorship. Trump is a capitalist; a good one, and a successful one. Bankruptcies not withstanding (as a business bankruptcy/reorganization is often not a sign of financial incompetence like a personal bankruptcy usually is), he is smart enough to know how to surround himself with people who will not direct him towards policies that will cause business and capitalism to suffer.

    Socially? Who knows, but for economic policy? He’ll be damn close to another Reagan.

  38. Both Cruz and Rubio are first term Senators with no executive experience. What could go wrong?

    Cruz was a lawyer arguing cases in front of the Supreme Court. And winning. False equivalence straw man comments you pull from the ass where your brain resides showcase your nefarious, repugnant nature, EmeryTheAntiSemiticSoci@list.

  39. So Mr. Cruz and the Religious Right won Iowa. Winning it is predictive of nothing. Just ask President Huckabee (2008) and President Santorum (2012).

  40. So Mr. Cruz and the Religious Right won Iowa.

    That’s actually the Tea Party, thankewverymuch.

    Winning it is predictive of nothing.

    Cue the lists of previous winners who went on to lose.

    These historical curiosities are always true until they’re not.

    The main point being, dissatisfaction with the establishment won; Trump lost.

  41. On the one hand, Cruz scares me more than Trump. On the other hand, Cruz is less likely to get the crossover votes needed to win a national election.

  42. Cruz scares me more than Trump

    Of course adherence to the Constitution would scare a Canadian soci@list.

  43. Perhaps justplainangry would prefer to have the GOP make a statement with an ideological candidate. I would much rather see a Republican win the White House. Someone like Rubio would attract crossover voters. Whereas Cruz is an ideologue and his support is more narrow.

  44. I do prefer a constitutionalist. If defending the Constitution is an ideology, then I am all for it. Settling for establishment crossover candidates worked very well for GOP in general elections in 2008 and 2012. But then what would you expect from a soci@list Trojan horse like EmeryTheAntisemite than to root for a Demoncrat light?

  45. I dislike Rubio because his budget ideas don’t add up, and because he’s needlessly inflammatory on Iran. I have no doubt that he would change his foreign policy tune once in office, just as Obama, Bush, and Clinton did before him, but he’d have to deliver on top rate marginal tax cuts, which is not the approach needed except as part of a much broader tax reform that preserves revenues.

    But he’s the best of the electable Republicans right now, and I’ll judge him vs. Hilary on the basis of his governing proposals in October, not now when he’s pandering to the right wing and Hilary’s doing the same to the left. In a couple of years, he might be able to put through some sensible immigration reforms, as well. The Gang of Eight work shows he can be sensible, even if he has to disown it today.

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