Issues & Insights
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Looking A Gift Trump In The Mouth

I&I Editorial

Many Americans have been hoping and praying for decades for a president whose foreign policy would first and foremost be based on what every other country’s foreign policy is based on – the national interest.

For a president who would slash regulations and red tape, drastically reduce the sky-high corporate tax rate, as well as individual marginal rates, so much so that the stock market would set new record after new record, and unemployment would drop to record lows for both the general public and minorities.

A president who would rely on the Federalist Society to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary with jurists who accept the Constitution and other laws as they are written, and whose opposition to legal abortion was so deeply held that both sides would consider him the most pro-life president in American history.

During Richard Nixon’s first term, in 1970, William F. Buckley, Jr. in The Playboy Interview famously said, “My ideal conservative president would be one who would strike out for certain radical reforms that, in my judgment, would greatly benefit America and augment human freedom. But such a president cannot be elected – at this time – and couldn’t get his program through Congress.”

Buckley added that “in this highly divided society,” Nixon “is a good president from the conservative point of view.” Nixon ultimately would execute many policies that were far from conservative, from wage and price controls to detente with the Soviet Union to appointing the Supreme Court justice who would write the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.

If Bill Buckley, the intellectual who was instrumental in popularizing and legitimizing conservatism, permanently rescuing it from the political wilderness and allowing it to gain dominance in the Republican Party and ultimately attain national power in all three branches of government, could recognize that Nixon was far preferable to an increasingly left-leaning Democratic Party, there is no excuse today for complacency in defending Trump from a united, aggressive left much more dominant in the Democratic Party today.

Today the impeachment inquiry goes public. The interrogation will star a mobster specialist prosecutor as Democrat counsel, Daniel Goldman, who is an MSNBC contributor to boot, and who a year and a half ago declared in an appearance on the cable channel, “we already now know that the president has committed a felony in order to obtain the office of the presidency.” Goldman was, of course, referring to the Mueller Russia probe, which ultimately delivered nothing damning on Trump.

A compliant media will happily be providing wall-to-wall TV coverage of the hearings, likely sacrificing a hefty share of financially lucrative ratings in hopes of helping to do Trump in. Democratic leaders know conviction and removal, requiring two thirds of senators, is very much a long shot, but their strategy is to taint Trump and GOP senators so badly that they win the White House, retain the House, and possibly even gain a Senate majority a year from now.

Scanning the leading Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts plans on spending $43 trillion to have the federal government socialize health care, extend coverage to illegal aliens, criminalize most fossil fuel usage, and make college “free.” Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose views are a cloning of Warren’s, at least admits he’s a socialist. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg proposes releasing multitudes of violent criminals from prisons, leading to lots more minority homicides, and systematically tie the hands of police. And if multi-billionaire ex-NYC mayor-turned-UN-climate-alarmism-operative Mike Bloomberg runs, you might need Washington’s permission before choosing what you order for dinner.

Distaste For Trump Vs. What Is At Stake In 2020

Yet from Fox to MSNBC we have commentators either espousing conservative principles or brandishing Republican credentials apparently eager to destroy the Trump presidency. Judge Andrew Napolitano rattles off numerous supposed legal offenses by the president. Left-friendly MSNBC provides perches for George W. Bush White House aides whose personal ill will toward Trump bowls over whatever philosophical affinity they ever had with the conservative policies he’s been enacting – in some respects more conservative than even Ronald Reagan’s.

Political writers devoted to the ideology of shameless self-promotion, like Max Boot and David Frum, who failed to become the conservative movement’s new Buckleys as they planned, see spoils for themselves in a post-Trump conservative landscape if they join in destroying this president. In a similar vein, the more serious and far less-self-seeking Bill Kristol’s bruised ego will apparently never rest until Trump is fully discredited and disowned by the voters.

Frequent conservative Trump critic David French claimed yesterday, “there’s so much first-hand evidence of a quid pro quo tying American aid to demands for Ukrainian investigations of the Bidens and Trump’s pet conspiracy theories that you could (and probably should) bring an entire impeachment case without once mentioning” the name of the whistleblower.

If the U.S. in pushing Ukraine to squash long-standing corruption in its government finds that the leader in the national polls for the Democratic nomination, ex-Vice President Joe Biden, is connected to that corruption through his son, Hunter Biden, how exactly is that an offense, impeachable or otherwise? There are certainly no statutes Democrats have been citing in their talking points that they accuse Trump of violating.

A Senate conviction of Trump has little hope of ever being considered a good bet by Vegas oddsmakers. But if Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who lost as the 2012 GOP nominee against President Obama, and one or a handful of other philosophically shaky Republican senators, like Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted with the Democrats in the Senate trial, the blemish might conceivably doom Trump’s re-election chances, along with the party’s 2020 congressional fortunes.

Importantly, the stain of impeachment might dilute in voters’ minds the extremism of whoever attains the Democratic nomination; that could end up being the key to victory in a close presidential race next year.

Distaste for Trump runs deep within certain corridors of the right. Some loathe his vulgarity. Others fear his erratic decision-making, pointing to high turnover in White House staff and elsewhere within the administration, plus some inscrutable foreign policy decisions. The powerful Matt Drudge, whose reporting two decades ago helped impeach President Bill Clinton, has become a Trump skeptic. But even the most serious objections pale in comparison to the alternative – which in one form or another is aggressive socialism in the form of Democratic Party control of most or all of Washington.

Not only is such opposition to an undeniably flawed (but equally undeniably effective) Donald Trump unwarranted and unreasonable. Considering what the ever-more-radical opposition have planned, anti-Trumpism on the right is mortally dangerous to economic and social freedom in America.

— Written by Thomas McArdle

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Add IBD editors to the list of conservatives I once respected that will abandon principles for the support of Trump. Also this list of other politicos and Congressional lick spittles who for reasons that are beyond me, will continue to support an unprincipled and unqualified man who has drastically raised deficits and is trying hard to ruin the economy with idiotic tariffs. Not to mention his childish demeanor, lack of understanding of the Constitution, and cluelessness on how the economy works, he is no conservative.

    Trump has always been corrupt. What is distressing is the amount of good people that he is corrupting along with him. I am a libertarian who has enjoyed most of the columns since this site was published, but after today will unsubscribe. I cannot with any honesty support a platform that claims to be for the Constitution, rule of law and limited government, that will go out of their way to defend Trump and bash actual principled conservatives who have the wherewithal to go against him and his cult of personality, that so many will bow down to.

    He has ruined the GOP for maybe a generation, and it will continue to lose elections the longer he is in office. Mr. McArdle, your point seems to be that we have to support Trump to prevent a Democrat from being elected president. I disagree. We have to go against Trump in order to save the only party that will be a check on the Democrats and their terrible policies.

    • This may be the stupidest commentary I’ve ever read. It amounts to: burn the house down to save the children within. You bet my point is prevent a Democrat from being elected. And I have no idea what a libertarian thinks he’s doing inviting the election of Elizabeth Warren or Pete Buttigieg or Michael Bloomberg. Rand Paul is not being elected President in this life. Neither is Mitt Romney or John Kasich, or whatever deficit hawk any fiscal purist out there fantasizes about taking the oath of office. Go out there yourself and run on an austerity platform and see how many votes you get, or how many checks to your campaign you can convince anyone to sign. Economic growth is how you generate revenues and that means extensive tax reduction, which Trump has done and there may be more to come. Trump for all his many defects and questionable character is the guy who, unlike Romney or war heroes McCain or Dole, found a way to get elected, and as regards to most policies and appointments has exceeded conservatives’ wildest dreams. To allow the perfect to be the enemy of the mostly good and abandon Trump to the socialist wolves is idiotic and self-defeating — and ultimately self-destructive for the country and the free world. I’ve heard of dumb and dumberer, but this is dumberist.

      • I completely agree Mr. McArdle, guys like Derek are mixed up a little like a typical NeverTrumper.

        I was a #nervoustrumper at first, but he is demonstrably more conservative than the Bushes and even Ronaldus on most subjects.

        Absolutely LOVE this summary, sir.

  • Mr. McArdle – You can both be critical of Trump and Democrat socialist policies. Many intelligent people in politics and economics can realize that being a cheerleader for Trump is self-defeating, as it is a sure way for Democrats and their ill-begotten policies for being enacted, as the last two election cycles show.

    The economy has been doing well due to less regulation and tax cuts, that I agree with. However, Trump is doing everything he can to combat this with his trade policies and unhinged Twitter commentary. This has led to uncertainty with corporate decisions, and not to mention the taxpayer giveaway to farmers help for his tariffs.

    I would’ve expected more reason from I&I, and that your immature reply more from sites like Breitbart and the Twitterverse. Thank you for convincing me to no longer support this site financially nor from my readership.

    • Trumps trade plan is essentially ending the Marshall Plan which gave Europe and Asia tax/tariff rights on our stuff to aid in their rebuilding. Trump is simply ending this to move toward fair trade. In addition, our tariffs are applied at the first point of sale outside the United States which adds up to under 2% of the final price here on average. You are going to pay that price increase either way as other countries – working with US multinationals – gain market share of certain goods.

      Most importantly, Trump is using our tremendous ECONOMIC leverage to force other countries to toe lines rather than sending our military everywhere.

  • It is apparent you did not read the Mueller Report, which was exhaustive on Russian contacts and attempts to Obstruct Justice.

    In the Ukraine disaster, Trump tried to get Ukraine to investigate Biden to hurt his election chances, which is against not just the law, but was put directly into the Constitution itself!

    Title 52 USC 30121

    • Believe it or not, not everyone who’s read the Mueller Report (which may not include Mueller himself, by the way) agrees with you about impeachment. (That may be a shock to that Brobdingnagian ego of yours.)

      Remarkable how the Framers put Trump trying to get Ukraine to investigate Biden directly into the Constitution itself, as you reveal to us. That’s what I call prescience! I think you’re onto something big there. It’s astounding the clairvoyant powers that a Master’s of Science bestows! I’m in awe.

  • Great essay, Mr. McArdle.

    Never mind the juvenile critics. Libertarians are useful idiot tools of leftists which they use to further break down society and atomize the citizens of integral nations and communities into mere economic units. And of course the Mueller Report completely exonerated Trump from any accusations of collusion with Russia or obstruction of the Ahab-like persecution. If Mueller hadn’t completely exonerated Trump, why have the Dems moved on to the Ukraine Fantasy? And Max Boot, David Frum and Jonah Goldberg all hate Trump because he won’t start new wars in the Middle East.

    Trump has been a God-send to American citizens and the American economy. The positive impacts on the economy are reflected in the “lower than full employment” unemployment rates and the 50% increase in the stock markets since election day 2016. Only about half of the 50% increase can be attributed to the corporate tax rate reduction and simplification. The rest must be attributed to Trump’s deregulation and pro-business actions already taken and expected during his second term.

    I wouldn’t worry about the Ukraine Fantasy. Americans (at least conservative Americans who are most of us) are a skeptical bunch. The Russia Fantasy blew up in the Dems faces and thanks to the alternative media this explosion was extremely well publicized. Now the Ukraine Fantasy is a case of “Fooled me once, shame on you. Fooled me twice, I must be a Dem voter. Or maybe a Libertarian.”

    During the first three days of the Inchworm’s (Inchworm being Schiff’s wife’s pet name for him) impeachment TV show, the market went up all three days and hit new highs on Friday and Trump’s approval ratings went back up to 50%. If the markets had any concern about the Inchworm’s fantasies, they would have crashed violently. If the populace had any concerns, Trump’s approval ratings would have gone the other way.

    Pelosi is spitting out her dentures on the situation she is in now. She went all-in on the Inchworm being able to engineer an impeachment and that is not happening. She doesn’t have the votes to pass articles of impeachment and failing to do so, or only passing a censure motion will greatly demotivate her base and cause her to lose the House in 2020.

    This ain’t Watergate, Dentures. Nobody with any sense believes the MSM anymore.

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