Donald Trump

Trump's Attacks on Bush's Foreign Failures Haven't Hurt Him

Not yet, anyway

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Trump Sensitivity Syndrome
Sony Pictures Classics

Donald Trump is no dove, but that doesn't keep him from periodically pricking the Republican hawks' balloons. At last Saturday night's debate, he called the second Iraq war "a big fat mistake" and said "they lied" when "they said there were weapons of mass destruction." When Marco Rubio declared that President George W. Bush "kept us safe," Trump replied: "The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe."

South Carolina is, famously, one of the most hawkish states in the country; if this sort of talk is going to hurt Trump anywhere, it'll hurt him here. And if his actual comments aren't enough to frighten pro-war Republicans, other people's distorted descriptions of his remarks might be expected to do the trick. Some pundits and reporters are now claiming the candidate "blames Bush" for 9/11, as if Trump had been sketching out a Truther theory rather than responding to the idea that Bush "kept us safe."

Yet The State has now published the results of the first poll conducted entirely after the debate, and Trump's comments don't seem to be hurting him:

Donald Trump still is leading the S.C. Republican presidential race after the weekend's explosive GOP debate in Greenville….Behind Trump, who has 35 percent support in a new poll, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas are tied for second place—at 18 percent each, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released exclusively Monday to The State.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is in fourth at 10 percent support, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, tied with 7 percent support each.

South Carolina doesn't vote until Saturday, and a lot can change in that time. Maybe Trump's numbers will fall; maybe an ad blitz built around his remarks will vault another man into the lead. But for now, we have the strong possibility that this year we'll see a candidate win Iowa while attacking ethanol subsidies and a candidate win South Carolina while attacking George W. Bush's foreign policy.

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  1. Following Trump around is like driving behind a Prius. Give it a minute, it’ll do something stupid.

    1. Criticizing Iraq war and Bush is stupid?

      1. No, my point is, give it a minute.

        1. He was having a reactionary moment.

    2. Or someone with Oregon or BC plates. Don’t forget that, Paul. As for a Prius with Oregon or BC plates? RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!

      1. Why? The worse thing a Prius might do is scratch my paint.

      2. I disagree. Oregon drivers seem to be better. They actually have a law down there that says “get out of the left lane unless you’re passing”. Here, it’s like they have a law that says “If you’re doing 54 mph, stay in the left lane and pace someone”.

        1. Paul, Washington has the same law. It’s just that everyone utterly ignores it or doesn’t even know it exists (and don’t care), and even the cops don’t enforce it.

          1. Yeah, same thing in the states I’ve lived.

            1. It’s so, so bad here, though, because PNW drivers have this weird impulse to clump up/pace each other (I think this is a result of them hating having to pay the slightest bit of attention while driving, so they just let the other cars guide them), and so you will frequently be trapped behind two or even three cars abreast on the highway doing the exact same speed in all lanes. And they might be going 55. All of them. It’s seriously unreal.

              And flashing your lights at them? It confuses them, so…they slow down more. All of them.

              1. you will frequently be trapped behind two or even three cars abreast on the highway doing the exact same speed in all lanes

                I call this the “Maryland shuffle”. But unlike you pikers, we can do it with 4, 5, or even 6 whole lanes at a time.

              2. Flashing your lights at other cars is not a good idea. I’m not going to look for them, but I can think of two articles in HandR in recent years that flashing headlights resulted in murder by cop. God that’s depressing.

          2. It’s funny, I spend a lot of time driving in Oregon and on the long highways I notice Oregon drivers get in the left lane to pass, and immediately get back right.

            A friend of mine from Miami commented to me that “people in Seattle tend to drive in little clumps on the freeway [with big open spaces in front and behind].” I told him that’s because people like to drive at 54mph in the left lane and pace the person next to them in the right.

            It’s maddening. Maddening I tell you.

      3. Drive around Greater Tampa/Clearwater behind Ontario plates, FTW.

        Nobody drives lousier than a retired autoworker from Oshawa.

        Kevin R

    3. Uh, are Prius owners supposed to be bad drivers or something? I see a lot of them on the roads and I’ve never considered them to be especially slow or unpredictable.

      1. Have you ever driven in Seattle, Hugh? Paul is not making this up. There is about a 90% chance that any Prius you encounter here will drive slowly/unpredictably/retardedly. This is a real thing that I as well have noticed for years and years.

        1. Huh. They’re all over the place in LA, and they’re just as safe as any other car. I guess people here know how to drive better than they do in the PNW?

          1. I’m sure they do. PNW drivers are, by far, the worst overall drivers I have ever experienced anywhere. It’s absolutely unreal how bad they are. I do not go on a single drive–even a quick jaunt to the club–without some fucking moron driving so badly that I end up shaking my head. Or screaming. It’s really, actually that bad.

          2. I wouldn’t call them more dangerous. I don’t see them in a lot of accidents. They drive too slowly here to be much of a danger.

          3. Epi isn’t observant enough to be able to tell the difference between a Prius and a Camry.

            1. Are the PNW drivers just sad they aren’t on their $2K carbon fibre bicycles?

              Kevin R

              (Drives a 20 year old Jeep, and occasionally rides my 1980s Chromoly-framed
              Univega hybrid, a $40 Craigslist find.)

      2. Here they’re the worst. Well, one of the worst. The forest green minivan being a close second.

        Lots of weaving, rarely getting up to the speed limit.

        I think it’s a northwest thing. I suspect Prius drivers in other parts of the country may be different.

      3. The “hypermiling” thing is basically a crime against humanity.

        1. And texting. When the texting laws first started to get passed, I thought it was unlibertarian and I argued vociferously against them. That was when everyone thought texting would be causing grizzly accidents with people running off the road. I figured Darwin would take hold of the driving world and leave the roads to just me and Richard Branson, driving safely and alone at 100mph.

          But it’s turned out very differently. Here in Seattle, texting hasn’t caused more accidents, it’s merely slowed everyone down. Everyone’s going half -and I do mean half– the speed limit, and when I finally get a chance to pass these fuckers at the tire-melting, engine-blowing speeds of 32mph, they’re texting. 100% of the time.

          And lights, no one goes WHEN THE GODDAMN LIGHT GOES GREEN. They sit there for 45 seconds and when they finally look up from their phone, the light is turning red.

          When I thought texting was just going to be killing people in fiery crashes, I was against the anti-texting laws. Now that all texting does is slow everyone down and hold me at lights for multiple cycles, texting should carry the death penalty.

          1. Paul is not exaggerating. I would say that 95% of the time, when I get past someone being fucking stupid about a light or driving way too slow, etc., they are clearly and obviously on their phone.

            I really cannot stress or exaggerate how bad the drivers here are. It’s insane. And if you really want to lose your mind? Go over to the eastside and drive in Bellevue or, if you really want to pull your hair out, Redmond.

          2. Everyone’s going half -and I do mean half– the speed limit,

            It’s exactly the same with pedestrians. And I cut them off just like I would in a car…

          3. And lights, no one goes WHEN THE GODDAMN LIGHT GOES GREEN.

            I give 5 seconds (which I count down), before I hit the horn. And not just a little bump on the horn either. I lean until they get moving.

            And if anyone wants to bump road rage uglies with me because I honked at their dumb ass, well, they can bring it if they think they’re hard enough.

    4. Diane — Please inform the readers what Mr Trump has done in this election cycle that you consider “stupid.”

      And if you’ve really grown a ball of cojones please let us know who you want for president out of all of the nominees. Then you can sit back, relax and watch me destroy that person right in front of your dizzy eyes!

  2. The only thing that deflates the Donald will be Democrats acting contrite and accepting his criticisms.

    Challenging him only makes him stronger. “Strike him down with YUGE hatred, etc.”

  3. i still have a difficult figuring him out. I see a lot of Buchanan, but then he gets so belligerent on things. That might be for the crowd and trying to determine his actual policies is a fool’s errand.

    1. Doesn’t he want to sue one of the other candidates for saying something mean?

      1. He said he is going to sue Cruz for being ineligible to run

        1. Oh, my bad. I just heard a blurb on the news about it, somehow I got the impression it was based on something another candidate said about him.

          Huh. Cruz is the secret Kenyan, right?

          1. In a way it was, Trump had tweeted that he would have standing to challenge Cruz’s eligibility to run for President if he didn’t stop running negative ads against him.

  4. Neo Cons getting exposed as small minority of GOP in 2016. Establishment even brought Cheney out to criticize Trump like that will help them

    1. A Trump presidency might mean the end of the neo-cons. I must say the thought of that might make me vote for him, and besides worse case scenario is he’s just as bad as the last two clowns Americans put into office.

  5. Yet The State has now published the results of the first poll conducted entirely after the debate, and Trump’s comments don’t seem to be hurting him:

    From PPP? Sorry, that’s a joke even in the world of political polling.

  6. Get used to hearing “President Trump”.

    1. I’m still warming my hands on the President Hillary bonfire.

      1. President Hillary? Come on now, there are somethings you just don’t joke about.

      2. Hillary will not win.

        Obama needed record turnout of young people in combination with record turnout out of blacks to win both elections.

        The young people that voted for Obama are no longer young and are disillusioned with what little they got from Obama. The young today are totally in it for Bernie and most seem to dislike Hillary.

        Blacks will continue to vote Democrat, but it is hard to see Hillary matching the record turnout of the Obama elections.

        Many old and young woman hate Hillary — really hate her.

        And Trump seems to be pulling strong support from blue collar men (Reagan Democrats) that hate immigrants for taking their jobs.

        I actually look forward to The Donald bashing the shit out of Hillary in debates.

        1. Blacks will continue to vote Democrat, but it is hard to see Hillary matching the record turnout of the Obama elections.

          Everything I’m hearing– everything, is Hillary pwns the black and latino voters because of her husband’s legacy. I’m not making arguments about a Hillary/Trump faceoff, I’m merely talking about the Hillary/Sanders primary.

          Many old and young woman hate Hillary — really hate her.

          They’ll learn to like her.

          1. They’ll learn to like her.

            I don’t think anyone can ever convince my wife to like Hillary.

          2. Hillary pwns the black and latino voters because of her husband’s legacy.

            Sure, she’ll get 90% of their votes. It just won’t be nearly as many votes as Obama got (caveat: assumes no increase in voter fraud).

            1. It just won’t be nearly as many votes as Obama got

              That is the whole point. 90% of a smaller turnout means fewer votes overall.

          3. What was Bill’s legacy? He end slavery in Ark. or something?

            1. “First black president”.

              No, I don’t get it either but it was a thing at the time.

              1. “Smell my finger. “

              2. “No, I don’t get it either but it was a thing at the time.”

                It wasn’t due to his low standards for women?

              3. Yep. Non-stop happy-fun-time media reports of his glowing, unbending support from minorities.

        2. You might be on to something. Just going by the turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire, Republicans are coming out in much larger numbers this year than in 2008. I swear I read that they had all died off.

  7. Trump replied: “The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe.”

    Interesting choice of word for The Donald. And by “interesting” I mean “telling”.

    1. He said it multiple times. It was definitely a thing.

      1. His Grace King Donald, the First of His Name

        1. And he gets Prima Nocta with your mom.

          1. Everyone does, Paul. Everyone does. Except you, for some reason. What did you do to piss her off?

            1. I don’t think it was so much that he pissed her off, as it was what he pissed on.

  8. The secret to Trump’s success? Witch hunts. He wants to round up illegals, put Muslims on registries, and take the ‘mentally ill’ off the streets if they show ‘red flags and warning signs’ before they can do any damage. He wants to ‘bomb the hell out of ISIS’. And of course if you complain about any of that: ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.” So it really doesn’t matter if Bush’s war was a mistake. He is offering a delightful array of new options that should tickle the taste buds of any SC warmonger.

    1. take the ‘mentally ill’ off the streets if they show ‘red flags and warning signs’ before they can do any damage

      Given the regularity with which the mentally ill cut people’s faces open or push them in front of a subway train, I imagine this is a winning argument at least here in NYC.

  9. PPP’s new Iowa poll, conducted in partnership with Progress Iowa, continues to find Donald Trump leading in the state. He’s at 31% to 23% for Ted Cruz, 14% for Marco Rubio, 9% for Ben Carson, 4% each for Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul, 3% for Carly Fiorina, 2% each for Chris Christie and John Kasich, and 1% each for Jim Gilmore and Rick Santorum.

    PPP’s newest New Hampshire poll finds Donald Trump leading in the state by 14 points. Trump’s position in the state has been steady over the last three months- we found him at 28% in mid-October, 27% in early December, and we find him at 29% this month. 5 other candidates are in double digits but pretty closely clustered and all well behind Trump- Marco Rubio at 15%, Chris Christie and John Kasich at 11%, and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz at 10%. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina at 4%, Rand Paul at 3%, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum at 1%, and Jim Gilmore with less than 1% round out the field.

  10. Safe, starring Julianne Moore is an excellent movie.

    1. Did you see her in Cronenberg’s film Maps to the Stars? Hollywood was certainly glad that this flew under the public’s radar as it came out the same time that she won her Oscar for her other movie (which I’ve completely forgotten about…).

      1. I have not. Is it any good? Was her oscar film called Still Alice?

        1. Well, I’m a Cronenberg fan boy so given that, I enjoyed it.

          It was very explicit with a heavy incest theme.

          There were only three other people in the theater.

  11. Trump sucks in general, and this is more a case of a broken clock being right twice a day, but I will admit the prospect of a GOP nominee actually being in a position to call out Hillary’s vote for the Iraq War and other interventionist fails is pretty appealing.

  12. “South Carolina doesn’t vote until Saturday, and a lot can change in that time. Maybe Trump’s numbers will fall; maybe an ad blitz built around his remarks will vault another man into the lead. But for now, we have the strong possibility that this year we’ll see a candidate win Iowa while attacking ethanol subsidies and a candidate win South Carolina while attacking George W. Bush’s foreign policy.”

    I really don’t think it matters that much, Trump’s not particularly conservative on anything else either. He’s just a force of nature.

    It’s nice to see subsidies and hawkishness taking a back seat though.

    1. I really don’t think it matters that much, Trump’s not particularly conservative on anything else either. He’s just a force of nature.

      I know the political junkies will forget this lesson just like they did after 1992 and 2008, but this election should be a permanent reminder to us of how populist and dim politics really is and how far a big or charming personality can get with a few slogans and a total lack of humility.

      Eggheads have been babbling about rational irrationality for a few generations, but Hillary vs. Trump will be the gold standard of what rational irrationality gives us for a long time. If we’re lucky.

      1. Eggheads have been babbling about rational irrationality for a few generations, but Hillary vs. Trump will be the gold standard of what rational irrationality gives us for a long time. If we’re lucky.

        Really? I’ve only ever read Bryan Caplan talk about it.

  13. “Trump’s Attacks on Bush’s Foreign Failures Haven’t Hurt Him”

    Come Saturday eve, we’ll see if that is still true.

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