Friday, March 3, 2017

The Speech and Other Thoughts on Trump…So Far

I return to the podcast of Lew Rockwell interviewing Angelo Codevilla, where Codevilla offers, and I will paraphrase: the media talking class are wrong about Trump voters, that they will stick with Trump no matter what.  If Trump doesn’t continue along the path on which he campaigned, they will look for someone else, someone even stronger and more belligerent.  They voted for Trump because he is the one who gave the establishment the middle finger.

This, perhaps, should be considered throughout this post.

Trump gave his first of four (maybe more, maybe less) annual speeches to congress.  I find one proposed action that a libertarian could get behind:

We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce jobcrushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every Government agency; imposing a new rule which mandates that for every 1 new regulation, 2 old regulations must be eliminated…

That’s it.  One.  Of course, let’s see if this tree bears any fruit.

Ron Paul examines the speech wonderfully well.  There is little I can add to Dr. Paul’s comments.

Jacob Hornberger suggests that it was a speech that could have been given by pretty much any conservative.  He’s right…except for one pretty important point.  It was also a speech that pretty much any liberal could give.  Subtract a few lines, add a couple different lines…and there you have it.

So…pretty much a speech that could have been given by any conservative or any liberal.  This isn’t really a middle finger.  Is this really what those who voted for Trump voted for?

I guess I have a couple of comments; these are on the only two topics for which I felt Trump offered something during his campaign that was meaningful for libertarians: first, as mentioned by Dr. Paul, the word “Russia” was not uttered once.  No Russia, no peace.  Perhaps this was strategic – to avoid giving ammunition to Trump’s enemies.  But if this is so, it would seem to be the first time Trump took this approach.

Which comes to my second comment: there was no fire and brimstone.  There were no middle fingers in this speech.

For an alternative view on Trump’s speech, perhaps we can look to the two pearls:

In a town hall hosted by CNN Wednesday night, [John McCain and Lindsey Graham] heaped praise on Trump for…his tone in Trump's Tuesday night address to Congress…

It seems likely that this tells you far more about the speech than any of the comments offered by Ron Paul or Jacob Hornberger.

But they lambasted Trump over his approach to Russia…

And this is after a speech where he didn’t even mention Russia.

 McCain offered:

"I think he laid out a positive agenda, and frankly I think it was different from his inaugural address. And I think it was well-received by the American people."

Probably not by many of those American people who supported Trump’s middle finger.

"We need more of that guy -- less of the tweeting guy," Graham said.

“We,” I guess, refers to Graham and McCain.  Because this “we” doesn’t need more of “that guy” and less of the other guy.  I enjoy the other guy.

No matter the visceral animosity many have toward Trump, there are magic words that can, at least for a moment, bring the entire brotherhood together.  And Trump found those words:

During his Tuesday night address to the U.S. Congress, President Trump paid tribute to Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed in the January commando raid in Yemen that Trump ordered. As he did so, television cameras focused for almost four full minutes on Owens’s grieving wife, Carryn…

Media commentators predictably gushed that this was the moment Trump became “presidential.”

Worshipping the sacrificial lambs is always a winner.

Glenn Greenwald captured the never-to-be-mentioned truth:

The raid in Yemen that cost Owens his life also killed 30 other people, including “many civilians,” at least nine of whom were children. None of them were mentioned by Trump in last night’s speech, let alone honored with applause and the presence of grieving relatives. That’s because they were Yemenis, not Americans…

Perhaps suggesting an alternative meaning behind the term “America First.”

Moving on from the speech…

Washington (CNN) — House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is telling her rank-and-file members that she is confident a good portion of President Donald Trump's voters will eventually turn on him -- and Democrats just have to wait it out.

Wait it out for what?  Unless you bring out a radical like Bernie Sanders, they don’t want you.

As an aside, Pelosi offered an interesting comment:

Pelosi did, however, make a sweeping judgment about educated women who voted for Trump rather than Hillary Clinton.

"White educated women who voted against Hillary? They voted with their husbands on taxes and they always have," declared Pelosi.

So I guess only dumb minority (and presumably unmarried) women voted for Hillary? 

And then there is the next step in the growing police state…who would have thought that Trump and Rahm Emanuel would find common cause?  Speaking on the topic of the high number of murders in Chicago, Emanuel offers:

"We have repeatedly made specific requests of the administration for greater law enforcement integration and resources…”

Trump has been in office for what, a month?  Emanuel has made “repeated requests” of Trump in one month?  What on earth has he been doing for the several years before this?  Wasn’t his buddy the president then?

"The better question, I’d suggest, is whether the President cares enough about violence in our city to do more than talk or tweet about it."

Yes, I suspect he does.  And this is scary.  Of course, a starting point could be to decriminalize the use of drugs.  But Trump is going the other way on that one.

Speaking of the drug war, the chief prosecutor may be in trouble:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice last year with the top Russian diplomat in Washington whose interactions with President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn led to Flynn's firing, according to the Justice Department.

Sessions did not mention either meeting during his confirmation hearings…

Even if Trump has moved further to the mainstream, it doesn’t mean the entertainment value of his administration will diminish.  Until Trump goes after Russia, he will not find a formula that will pacify his enemies.

I hope Trump stays firm about peace with Russia.  If he does, we win two ways: the political theater will continue, and we may avoid catastrophic nuclear consequences.


  1. I voted for Trump on to issues; immigration and Russia.
    My family thinks I defend Trump every time they criticize Trump. Last night I told my wife and child number two that I do not like Trump but that he is my blunt instrument to undo as much of the crap created by the Democrats and Republicans as is possible. That Trump is the Republican Party's fault. We tried nice with Ron Paul and look what the "Party" did to him. I was a witness as a delegate to GOP county and state conventions.
    There are things that Trump has stated that I do not like and oppose (I do not trust much of what is reported) about Trump which are things that Hillary or any other Republican would have advocated anyway.
    Trump has my qualified support as my tool.

  2. "Trump’s Speech: No Cliché Left Behind" :

    "It was an extraordinary show.

    Nation of Miracles

    “Our children will grow up in a nation of miracles,” he said.

    He went on to say that we needed more education. More military spending. More holidays for moms and pops.

    More welfare. And more warfare, too.

    There was practically nothing that the U.S. government couldn’t do, “The Donald” implied.

    “Every American child should be able to grow up in a safe community,” he said.

    It was “presidential,” said the commentators.

    “Imagine the wonders our country could know in America’s 250th year…”

    “The time for small thinking is over…”

    “Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed…”

    “I am asking all citizens to embrace this renewal of the American spirit…”

    Yes, there was no cliché left behind. But it was presidential in another sense. It confirmed our guess that this president will do what every president has done for the last half century: He will add to the swamp, not drain it.

    “I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military… and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”

    Power Struggle

    Now we know.

    Not the future, of course. We don’t get a chance to peek at the next chapter or turn the pages to see how the story ends.

    It goes on… day by day… page by page; there is no way to know where it will end or how it will get there.

    But at least we now know more about what Mr. Donald J. Trump is up to. One wild card has been taken out of the deck. Plenty more remain.

    Off the table is the idea of a power struggle between the Deep State and Team Trump. ......":

    Regards, onebornfreeatyahoo

  3. And so far, the best match we have found for Mr. Trump is former Argentine President Juan Perón. A colorful, larger-than-life rascal, Perón “took on the Establishment” south of the Río de la Plata.

    Perón didn’t have Twitter. He didn’t have “fake news.” All he had were old-fashioned speeches and old-fashioned lies. He railed against the rich, the landowners and the church.

    And he ranted against the newspapers, the bankers and the universities. The plain people loved it. Perón spoke for them. He stood up to the old elite. But he didn’t drain the swamp. He didn’t even drain the sink.

    Instead, he took over the Establishment’s power and used it for himself. Whatever dirty deeds Perón ascribed to the old elite, his new elite committed even dirtier ones.