Donald Trump

Is it the Ides of March for #NeverTrump?

Listen to Election Day commentary from Kyle Smith, Liz Mair, Patrick Ruffini and Matt Welch on Sirius XM Channel 121 at Noon ET

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Pop quiz: In how many of the past nine states that have held GOP presidential primaries or caucuses has the establishment-friendly duo of Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich combined to match frontrunner Donald Trump's 2016 voting average of 34.9 percent? Drumroll please for the #NeverTrumpers….

Uh, zero.

Yes, the unambiguously interventionist duo did grab more than two-thirds of the vote in Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, but as has been the case for almost all of this campaign season, the overall "establishment lane" is just not quite wide enough for even one challenger to knock Trump's block off, let alone two. If pre-election polls are any guide (not always a safe bet!), today could be the last stand for the establishment's real last hope, Marco Rubio.

Such topics and more will dominate today's discussion on SiriusXM's Insight Hour (channel 121), where I am again hosting at noon ET. Joining me will be the great New York Post film critic and political columnist Kyle Smith (who recently pinned some of the blame for the rise of Trump on the Democrats), numbers-crunching #NeverTrumper Patrick Ruffini, and Make America Awesome political strategist Liz Mair, who is behind such ads as this:

Can Trump be stopped? Who's to blame for his rise? Why did it take Republicans so long to go after him? And is he really as bad as they all say? These questions and more will be tackled. Call in at 877-974-7487 to join the conversation.

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  1. Serious question about Trump: Now that I have seen him in profile for the first time, I can’t help but wonder whether his hair qualifies as a mullet and/or hockey hair. Discuss.

    1. It defies all logical means of categorization.

    2. You’d think a man with his money could afford to keep it off the collar. Maybe he really isn’t as rich as he claims to be.

      I vote: Coward’s Mullet.

      Too much much hair for business in the front, not enough for a decent party in the back.

    3. Hockey hair, with elements of a full head combover.

      We had a teacher at school who had something close to it, where he started his part right over his ear and combed it over to the other ear, then back to cover more of the bald spot. He got in the rain one day and came in with his side head hair down on one shoulder at least 8 inches longer than any male student could wear it under the dress code.

      1. Hockey hair? I’m now combing through your writings to see if you ever had the hair say the word “about” and if you failed to write “aboot” instead. If I find it, then this counts as retconning, which is the mark of Lost-quality plot development.

    4. It’s not really short enough on top to be a mullet or hockey hair, is it?

    5. Penn Jillette has called it “cotton candy made of piss.”

      You can’t argue with science.

      1. That, or shredded wheat cereal when it falls apart in wispy chunks in a bowl of milk

    6. I’m guessing it’s a blonde hijab.

  2. “”””Why did it take Republicans so long to go after him?”””

    I assume you mean establishment Republicans, if so then there is the big problem that to go after Trump you need something and the establishment have nothing that most voters want. Even Trumps hair is more something then what the establishment has.

  3. First Ted makes me feel better dead than to be a Texas voter, now those other looters are trying to make me achamed, thass right, achamed to be Puerto Rican!

  4. Why did it take Republicans so long to go after him?

    They liked the attention at first, but underestimated the gullibility of their own extended base to fall for populist nonsense. By the time they figured out what was going on, they lost their own party to the campaign equivalent of a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl: Belligerent and misplaced nationalism, street fights and cheap plastic hats filled with green vomit.

    1. There’s also the little fact that anyone who did go after him got bounced from the race within weeks of doing so.

      1. Yeah, they didn’t really know how to attack him for most of the past year, and seem to have thought the over-exposure would lead to him fizzling out, anyway.

        The obsessive media coverage didn’t help, either, and didn’t allow for discussion of any other issues. I remember, for instance, that Smart Rick Perry (the one with glasses, not like the old, stupid Rick Perry from 2012) gave a two-hour speech about foreign policy that was very well-received by those present, but the only mention it received on the news was when, toward the end, he got a question about Trump.

        1. The way to attack him was to co-opt him. Offer a more palatable candidate who addressed the issues his supporters were concerned about. Doing that, however, would have alienated their big money backers. And no one wants that. So, they sat around and pretended his appeal was about celebrity and that he would fizzle out on his own. And of course he didn’t because the Republicans ceded the field to him on the issues people are most fired up to vote on this year.

          1. Plus, JEB! had a lot of the big-money insiders on lock really early on, even though absolutely no voters supported him.

            1. I will never understand how they convinced themselves that anyone was going to vote for Jeb. It is amazing how out of touch they are.

              1. I hope that JEB! wasted enough of their money that political donors will rethink the value of campaign contributions in the future, but I doubt it.

        2. Obsessive media coverage?

          Indeed.

          1. A recent Sean Trende article on Real Clear Politics discussed the rise of Trump. It was a really interesting article that I recommend, but not so much that I’m going to bother tracking it down and posting a link. One of the things he mentioned was the way Trump just commanded media attention. A review of CNN during one time period showed that he received 15 times more coverage than every other candidate combined.

    2. the campaign equivalent of a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl: Belligerent and misplaced nationalism, street fights and cheap plastic hats filled with green vomit.

      I am so stealing this.

      1. That particular turn of phrase is a beauty

      2. Belligerent nationalism is never misplaced.

    3. That is pretty close to what happened. They live in just as much of a bubble as the Progs do. They convinced themselves that the majority of their voters where some strange combination of social conservative and libertarian economics with a bit of internationalism thrown in.

      Then Trump comes along and offers the opposite of all that and they haven’t gotten over the shock that Republican voters were not just like them.

      1. More of a buble than the progs. At least the DNC doesn’t openly antagonize their voters.

  5. The conservative movement can’t stop Trump because it is intellectually bankrupt and has lost the ability for self reflection. Conservatives honestly think their ideas are self evident and beyond legitimate debate. Trump has arisen primarily because of his position on trade and immigration. The conservative movement pays lip service to the immigration issue and is completely unable to engage in debate on trade. Conservatives know they like free trade but have no idea why and are totally unable to engage with or compromise with the millions of people in this country who feel that free trade as it is currently practiced has harmed them. The conservative response has ranged from condescension to outright hatred and contempt. They have ceded the field to Trump and refuse to engage his supporters or offer any kind of compromise or alternative solutions.

    1. beyond legitimate debate

      You’re confusing them with progs, there.

    2. The conservative movement can’t stop Trump because it is intellectually bankrupt and has lost the ability for self reflection.

      So what? Trump’ supporters are intellectually bankrupt and never had the ability for self-reflection.

      1. Maybe they are. But if they are, perhaps the conservative movement’s intellectual bankruptcy on these issues has something to do with that? It never occurs to these ass clowns that perhaps they bear responsibility for people turning to someone they consider as vile as Trump. It is forever someone else’ fault. The people are just unworthy of their masters.

      2. “Trump’ supporters are intellectually bankrupt and never had the ability for self-reflection.”

        Yes, but the 1% who aren’t intellectually bankrupt are revving up for the Libertarian moment!

    3. Immigration, immigration, immigration. Good, bad, or ugly, the GOP is clueless about this. If everyone in Bangladesh moved to the US the US economy would bounce up to match the sum of the US and Bangladesh economy. Perhaps a tad more with the gain in economic freedom. But how would this improve the quality of life for ordinary Americans? Crickets.

      1. They have bought into the idea that gains in overall GNP is the ultimate goal of government policy to the expense of everything else. That of course is insane. Even Libertarians don’t buy that because the smart ones at least understand freedom is more important than wealth.

        1. It’s a tricky problem. I very pleased that Razib Khan is here. He grew up in Bangladesh but would have little to no venue for his work there. But hiring Bangladeshi electrical power-grid engineers to work in the US for a lower cost than US engineers when Bangladesh can’t keep the lights on seems to be more of a colonialist brain-drain than an ecumenical call for diversity.

          1. It is a very tricky subject. And conservatives have lost the ability to engage on it. They just respond with buzz words and appeals to often contradictory principles.

  6. This Trump guy has taken the political art of pandering to economic-ignorance to a new level. It is truly astounding.

    1. This Trump guy has taken the political art of pandering to economic-ignorance to a new level.

      It’s a degenerate level. Bernie is there as well.

      1. Bernie is just a typical progressive idiot who wants to cure the world of envy. You know, when everyone is equally poor there is no one to envy, and that is better than being unequally rich.

        Trump is on a different plane. It is impressive to watch in a depressing kind of way.

        1. Except for our Superiors, who will never go without. They need it to make sure society works.

          “Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.”

      2. Demagogues like Bernie and Trump are the reason the Framers put the Senate in the hands of the State governments and the presidential election in the hands of electors. We’ve done away with all of that, and this is what we’re left with. Democracy is just as dangerous as any other form of government.

        1. And why they put all of the ultimate power with the Congress. The Congress, if it ever united, could crush any President. Even if they didn’t impeach him, they could impeach all of his appointees, pass the budget over his veto, restrict his action virtually any way they wished.

          The reason why we have such an out of control executive is that the founders didn’t see the rise of political parties and party loyalty. The congress was supposed to represent regional interests and thus would turn on any President who turned into a tyrant. Today, half or more of the Congress will never turn on a President, no matter how tyrannical because their loyalty lies in their party and not to their district or region.

          1. John, from the AM links, squash is awesome! Better than racquetball I say!

            When I played anyway.

            1. I had friends in college who loved it. I have never played. I was just giving you a hard time. Honestly, I could see it being better than racquetball. The problem with racquetball is that you just pound the ball too much. There isn’t enough finesse. I like tennis much more because tennis is like golf, swinging harder with bad technique does you no good. I assume squash, because it has a softer ball, is like that as well.

              1. Exactly. That’s why I prefer it.

                I know you were busting.

          2. their loyalty lies in their party and not to their district or region

            For someone who gets so many things so very wrong so much of the time, that statement is right on. Broken clock syndrome or something.

              1. Seriously. That statement is completely right on the money. We vote for people to represent the voters, but their loyalty is to their party. I never thought about it like that, and it’s totally right.

                1. Thank you. That dawned on me a while back. My dad always told me that the problem with Congress was that they didn’t have loyalty to the institution like they used to. I never really bought that because no one ever can be counted on to have loyalty to anyone but themselves. And the founders certainly knew that and didn’t write the Constitution assuming they would be any different.

                  Then I remember there were no political parties back then. They wrote the constitution figuring Congress would represent regional interests and Congress would therefore stop any tyrannical President as they eventually pissed off the majority of the country. Party loyalty ended that.

                2. I think you can attribute the fact that Representatives loyalty is to party and not to voters is due to the fact that the # of Representatives has been capped at 435

                  When you are selected as the personal representative of 30,000 people you can quite readily know many of them if not by name, at least by sight. You have no choice but to be sensitive to the needs of your district ahead of the party since a bare handful of them can oust you.

                  When you are the representative of 700,000 you recognize the big donors and party leadership.

                  1. That is a very good point Dave. Also, the caps on campaign contributions haven’t been raised since 1973. Basically only professional politicians or rich people with nothing better to do can get elected to Congress. Campaign finance reform killed the citizen legislator.

          3. I think that’s what happened to Franklin Pierce. Ah, the good old days.

  7. So when do you think he will make that announcement that he is actually Andy Kaufman? Will it be during the convention, or will he just see how long he can keep trolling us … right into the white house?

    Mud wrestling in the White House Rose Garden anyone?

    1. At his commitment level, he might announce it on his headstone.

  8. Here is a good example of the stupid responses of the “never Trump” crowd. Jonah Goldberg laments how much he hates conservatives attacking one another. He says.

    I know I’m being glib and jocular as I criticize Bill and other friends. That’s basically how I argue. But let me be clear (as Obama likes to say too often): I hate this. I hate it. I hate attacking people I respect. I hate hearing from former fans who say they’re ashamed to have ever admired me or my writing. I hate being unable to meet fellow conservatives half-way.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/node/432708/prin

    That sounds nice and all but it is towards the end of an article whose first three paragraphs are spent comparing Trump supporters to zombies and how no one who supports Trump could have a rational reason to do so.

    Goldberg doesn’t hate insults. He hates it that people don’t just automatically agree to him and completely lacks the intellectual imagination to understand how there could be principled objections to his position.

    More importantly, even if he is right, who does Goldberg expect to convince here? Goldberg is doing to Trump supporters what Progs have been doing to Libertarians and Conservatives for decades; claiming their positions are illegitimate and racist and thus unworthy of debate. And somehow, Goldberg just can’t understand why everyone just can’t get along.

    1. You misread Goldberg. What he was lamenting is people turning their backs on their professed principles to support a winner, not that people are arguing with him. He hates that he’s taking the position Bill Bennett has consistently taken for each of the past 40 years while arguing with Bill Bennett himself.

      It’s the same thing that happens on this board every two years when libertarians are told to shut up and vote Republican or else the socialists win. Trump is splitting conservatism from the Republican party, and the committed conservatives are not happy to find out that many of their allies are just GO TEAM! hacks.

      I imagine the same thing happened when the DLC took over the Democrats 25 years ago, but without the internet it wasn’t public. Likewise, the conservatives will be back once the Trump virus has run its course.

      1. I think what they are shocked to find out is that the majority of GOP voters never agreed with them. People like Goldberg convinced themselves that the majority of Republican voters were SOCONs who bought into Libertarian economics and George Bush national building. That isn’t true and never was true. Somehow this peculiar strain of Washington based conservatism managed to become one in the same with the Republican Party. The majority of the actual party never bought into it. They were skeptical of the internationalism, didn’t generally vote on SOCON issues even if they agreed with them and were never economic libertarians, though they did believe in capitalism.

        For two decades people like Goldberg have been telling these people to fuck off and vote for whatever hack the party put up and forgive any sin in the name of TEAM. And now Godberg and company are shocked they have stopped listening and have turned to someone Goldberg finds distasteful.

      2. Goldberg spent 08 shilling for McCain and 12 shilling for Romney and then the years in between shilling for the Congressional leadership. Sorry but if anyone is a GO TEAM hack, it is him.

    2. Yeah, fuck that looser. Goldberg can’t even buy pants! Mr. Trump said so!!!!

  9. Wasn’t it Goldberg who recently wrote that Trump represented the unfortunate triumph of libertarianism in the GOP?

    1. I don’t know. I hadn’t heard that. That is, if true, the dumbest claim I have read this election cycle.

    2. That doesn’t sound like Goldberg, but it’s possible.

  10. #NeverTrump includes Cruz, who won 4 of the past 9 and the only republican presidential candidate yet to get above 50% of a states voters. But not gonna include him in this article because why?

    1. Because A) it’s not an article, it’s a blog post; B) it’s a blog post promoting a satellite radio broadcast; C) the only people who might drop out because of today’s vote are Marco Rubio and John Kasich, which is interesting, not least because that represents an ongoing, full-throated repudiation of what’s perceived to be the Republican establishment.

    2. Because A) it’s not an article, it’s a blog post; B) it’s a blog post promoting a satellite radio broadcast; C) the only people who might drop out because of today’s vote are Marco Rubio and John Kasich, which is interesting, not least because that represents an ongoing, full-throated repudiation of what’s perceived to be the Republican establishment.

      1. Not even The Matt Welch is immune from his own squirrels.

  11. The problem with Republicans stopping Trump is that a lot of Democrats are voting for him in the primaries.

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