Donald Trump

Republicans Are Coming Around to Donald Trump. Of Course They Are.

The billionaire candidate's presidential campaign reveals both the emptiness and the awfulness of the GOP.

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Foter / Gage Skidmore

The closer Donald Trump comes to winning the Republican presidential nomination, the more apparent it becomes that much of the GOP will back him when he does. In the process, Trump's campaign is revealing both how little the party truly stands for and the ugliness of what it is willing to tolerate in its name.  

Over the last few days, an array of GOP elites have made it clear that even if they do not exactly care for Trump, they will offer him their support in the general election. Former Speaker of the House John Beohner and Judd Gregg, an ex-GOP Senator from New Hampshire, both said they would pull the lever for Trump in a general election. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had previously denounced Trump's proposed ban of Muslim immigrants as running counter to the nation's values. But last week he lavished praise on Trump's foreign policy address, calling it a "very good foreign policy speech" that challenged establishment thinking on the issue.

On Capitol Hill, more Republicans are looking for ways to cooperate and coordinate with the likely nominee, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Trump campaign's outreach to the party, which is predicated on the idea that Trump's outrageous trail persona is an act—essentially that he has been putting on a show for voters—appears to have effectively mitigated some of the skepticism party stalwarts have had about the candidate.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence gave a waffling endorsement to Ted Cruz last week, but he also spoke up for Trump at the same time. Trump's outreach effort may not generated full-throated support from the GOP, but it has made the candidate tolerable.

Indeed, even some of those who have been most critical of the candidate now admit they will support him in a general election.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who blasted Trump as a "cancer on conservatism" during his brief presidential run last year, said recently that "at the end of the day, I'll vote for Trump." Maybe cancer isn't so bad after all?

And then there is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another former rival who spent the final weeks of his presidential campaign vigorously insisting that Trump should not and could not be the party's general election representative. In February, for example, Rubio said Trump was "trying to hijack the conservative movement and the Republican Party, and he cannot be our nominee." Rubio even offered #NeverTrump branded merchandise in his campaign store.

Yet Rubio too made clear last week that he would support Trump, should he win the nomination. Because Trump has the most important, and perhaps the only necessary, qualificaiton: He is running as a Republican. "I've always said I'm going to support the Republican nominee, and that's especially true now that it's apparent that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee," Rubio said last week. That is not exactly an endorsement; but it signals a willingness to fall in line. It is tacit support.

Which, of course, is what the party apparatus has pleaded with everyone to do. Reince Preibus, the head of the Republican National Committee, has repeatedly urged Republicans to agree that they will support the GOP nominee, period, regardless of who that person is.

It is true, of course, there are Republicans, like Sen. Ben Sasse, who have vowed not to support Trump under any circumstances. It is possible that some number of down-ballot candidates this fall will distance themselves from Trump.

But on the whole, Priebus' admonishments appear to be working. The Republican party is moving to support Trump, its likely nominee. Of course it is. 

Despite talk of third-party runs and anti-Trump absolutism, it was predictable, and perhaps inevitable, that most of its members would fall in line.

Perhaps the most charitable way to think about this is that the party, as an institution, lacks a functional mechanism for declaring a candidate unacceptable. The party apparatus has been designed to offer support for the nominee, whoever that person is, but not to set standards for its candidates. In some sense this is true of all political parties by definition: Both Republicans and Democrats coalesce around the goal of winning elections, with all other concerns rendered secondary at best. 

But Trump's campaign demonstrates just how far that sort of standards-free backing goes, and how easily it happens. Yes, Trump has been controversial and widely criticized, even within Republican circles: Witness George Will's call for conservatives to help ensure a 50-state loss for Trump if he wins the nomination.

That call suggests the unusual nature of Trump and his candidate, but it also demonstrates the distinction between party and ideology, and why it is important to distinguish between the two. Will is committed to a political ideology, and interested in the party mainly as a vehicle for that ideology. The party is interested exclusively in its own fortunes, and relies on ideological appeals only when it is convenient. Those who identify more as conservatives than as Republicans have tended to be much more forceful in their opposition to Trump.

Trump, then, is exposing the emptiness of a Republican party which stands for nothing but its own continued electoral success. In this view, there is essentially nothing that he could have said or supported that would have caused the party to withdraw its support. Trump's campaign has provided plenty of evidence for this; over and over he has said things that appear to go too far—and then paid no political price for it. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the only way that Trump could have made himself truly unacceptable in the GOP primary would have been to run as a Democrat.

There is an alternative, however, which is that the GOP does have the ability to weed out objectionable candidates—and that Trump has simply not met the threshold that would render him unacceptable.

There is evidence for this view as well. Yes, he is rougher around the edges than most Republicans, and more vulgar in his style and personal presentation, but he is faithful enough to the core tenets that the party actually represents that he does not represent a serious departure or a threat.

Trump may express his hostility towards immigrants more crudely than other Republicans, but, in a world where most GOP presidential candidates press for substantially increased restrictions on immigration, and Trump's closest rival, Ted Cruz, has been vocal about his willingness to order mass deportation, it is mostly a departure in tone. He may have a nonsense tax plan that he misdescribes and a half-baked health care proposal that he doesn't himself understand, but isn't that true of many, even most, of his Republican rivals? Yes, he's more open in his embrace of old age benefit programs and budget math that doesn't add up, but functionally, is he really so far from how the GOP has behaved, in practice, when it comes to fiscal policy and entitlements

The reality is likely a mix of these two frameworks, with some in the party supporting him simply because he's the Republican nominee, and some because they see a candidate who ultimately shares enough of their political values. 

In any case, the picture that emerges under either understanding is not flattering for the Republican party. So long as the GOP and its leaders are willing to stand by Trump if he becomes the nominee, the clear message it is sending is either that it stands for nothing—or that, like Trump, everything it stands for is awful. 

Addendum: Maybe the question to ask here is, well, should the Republican party reject Trump? There's not much recent precedent for either party taking such a drastic action. And there's no question that a wholesale rejecting, in any form, would be a major step. But it does raise the question of just what it would take for Trump to simply lose the support of the party apparatus, its elected officials and professional class. The point is that in backing Trump, even tacitly, Republicans are still giving their blessing to his behavior. They may not be entirely enthusiastic about it, but they are admitting that they do not find anything he has done or said to be truly unacceptable for the person who, for at least six months of an election year, will be far and away the most prominent representative of their party. 

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  1. In the process, Trump’s campaign is revealing both how little the party truly stands for…

    It stands individually either for stopping the Democrat or gaining/maintaining personal access with power.

    1. that’s doing it right, isn’t it? And the same applies for Dems.

      1. What else would you do with a party?

        1. lose perennially like good Libertarians

    2. The article makes it sound as if Trump doesn’t line up with 95 percent of the Republican platform. He’s pretty much in lockstep, as are his followers. The differences are only in style, and on crushing free trade and prosperity vs. moderately reining in the military-industrial complex.

      1. The latest Republican Platform contains six main headings:

        1. Restoring the American Dream: Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs
        2. We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government
        3. America’s Natural Resources: Energy, Agriculture and the Environment
        4. Reforming Government to Serve the People
        5. Renewing American Values to Build Healthy Families, Great Schools and Safe Neighborhoods
        6. American Exceptionalism

        I don’t know that you can say that Mr. Trumpery (look up the word, it fits) lines up with 95% of it. I’d say it would be lucky to say 50%.

  2. So… It’s the Empty and Awful Party vs. the Awful and Empty Party?

    Sounds like fun.

    Sign me up. for therapy. or a spa day. or Jonestown Kool-Aid.

    1. You, me, a mani-pedi and some ‘ritas? How about it, girlfriend?

      1. Sounds like a better party than this one.

      2. I like the blue toenail polish and the classic rita, extra strong. 2 should give a good buzz.

      3. I would totally go for that. I’ll even drink a cosmo and then go pee in the women’s restroom.

        1. You’re my hero, man.

    2. You know if you did a find and replace for ‘Donald’ ‘Trump’ and ‘Republican’ with ‘Hillary’ ‘Clinton’ and ‘Democrat’, you’ll have next weeks article written, Pete?

      1. Actually, doesn’t Hillary seem more like a Republican and Donald more like a Democrat? Or is that just me?

        1. Not just you at all. The Donald and Abuela Pantsuit both illustrate the emptiness of go-team-go.

  3. Trump’s Republican Party is now just as awful as the Democratic Party has been for awhile. Just in its own way.

  4. Wow, that’s weird, we were just saying that there should be another Trump article any time now…

  5. But is Trump exposing water as wet? Back in the eighties, I heard the leader of Maryland’s Team Red effectively admit that the GOP is a mystery cult and that what it says to the masses to get votes is a lie. Later, I got a Maryland Team-Blue-bot admit that the Democratic Party says the exact opposite things to voters on opposite sides of the state. In his mind, that was a good thing.

  6. How can I make money off this catastrophe?
    Probably selling ammo and bathtub gin.

    1. I wouldn’t sell any ammo right now.

      Now is a good time to hoard.

    2. This is what I’m talking about. =D

  7. The establishment, after they ran out of Jeb and then ran out of Marco, seemed to turn Cruz into a zomboid establishment clone quickly enough.

    1. When Rand dropped out, I had hopes for Cruz… until he turned to the dark side. Does he thing answering every question with …”Trump is ___” is going to win favor for people looking for substance?

      I don’t know why, but I feel more frustrated than I did in 2008 and 2012.

      Gary J… Want another meaningless vote this year? Just be less of a jerk.

  8. It’s going to be a very, very long summer, a sweaty stumble down a hallway filled with the grotesque faces of Trump and Hillary leering from every portrait. Nausea is the political moment.

    1. Is there anyway anyone could have imagined anything worse? Jeb and Hillary? Jeb and Bernie? Trump and Bernie? We’re doomed.

      1. Trump and Bernie would have been funnier, and in a way more honest in that they represent the heart of each party: The Unspeakable Truth vs. The Incoherent Argle-bargle.

        1. I admit, I would rather it be Bernie vs Trump. That probably means a commie gets elected, but I’ll take the commie over Grandmao Pantsuit. Congress won’t let Bernie do much, we’re out of money anyway. Maybe he’ll legalize cannabis. Hillary OTH, might start a nuclear war.

          1. And Bernie would at least have the decency to die in office. Ironically, Hillary is the one most likely to be Weekend At Bernie’s’d by the sycophant press if she croaks.

            1. You know which other world leader stroked out and had a puppet government run by their spouse?

              1. Your mom?

                1. If my mom was a world leader you should temper your comments. Cause I’d be all “Maaaa, some guy are the interwebz is being mean!”

                  1. Gene Roddenberry?

              2. Dimebag Schicklgruber?

    2. Do you think Hillary’s pantsuits are ventilated? I feel riding in the bulletproof limos with her after outdoor campaign appearances this summer is going to be a real hazard for her aides.

      1. I assume they dip her in talcum powder before installing her in those suits.

        1. Sug, I hope you’ve got a Huma-and-Hillary joint fermenting.

          1. Did you miss it? Spoiler: Turns out it was just an Anthony Weiner deathdream while he was choke-jerking.

            1. Dang.

              Can you spare a brother a link?

              1. Spoiler: I was just joking.

                1. Fuck.

                  People in adjoining cubicles thought I was having a seizure trying to hold that one in.

                  1. I’ve mentioned Huma a few times, but I’ve not done a full vignette yet. I keep hoping for some National Enquirer pics.

        2. I guess no need to worry about any wet spots.

          1. That hasn’t been a problem since 1998 or so.

            1. There’s a short bridge between cervical moisture and cough-pee.

    3. But which one will end up on Mt. Rushmore?

  9. Trump hasn’t announced a Veep yet, has he?

    1. Negative. There’s been guesses flying around here, but I think most of them were just sarcasm. The only one I heard mentioned that might actually happen, is Rubio.

      1. It will be Miss [insert country’s name here ].

    2. He’ll pick them reality tv – style

    3. Trump’s Veep is gonna be a cardboard cutout of Trump.

      1. I would vote for the cardboard Trump.

        1. Only if it has better hair.

    4. Ivanka will be old enough before the election.

      1. A lotta guys would pull the lever for her.

        1. Including her father.

        2. Dude, we’re trying to keep the euphemisms abstract. Tow the damn lion, already!

  10. Reason staff are constantly flummoxed by the Trump appeal. What they need to realize is Trump’s appeal is only in contrast to the other options. It will be funny watching Reason staff try to rationalize why Shrillary is the better option (somehow) than Trump.

    1. It’s just anti-establishment. That’s what his appeal is. Plus he can say shit no one else will say and get away with it. I think some people like that. People are just mad at the GOP establishment and you can’t blame them. If most people were intelligent, it would be Rand Paul, not Trump. I’m afraid public education has not served us very well.

      1. It’s just anti-establishment. That’s what his appeal is.

        The fact that this is so difficult for so many Reason writers is kinda disturbing, since you’d think libertarians would be tuned in to anti-establishment vibes.

        1. Well said, RC. In some respects I think Reason writers like to think of themselves as part of the establishment – just the ones that like to piss in the punch bowl when no one is looking, sniggering smugly to themselves while pretending to care about freedom for the common man.

          1. The other thing is, I think all of these Trump supporters are not just racists and thugs and all that. I think a lot of them know fully well that Trump is more NYC liberal than conservative. But their desire to punish the establishment is just so strong that it overrides everything else. Look what happened to Cruz as soon as people got the sense that he sold out to the establishment. Which is why he’ll probably lose Indiana today and that’s pretty much it for him.

        2. I think as far as the articles have went, the staff had to pick on Trump much harder than Hillary because, you know, cocktail parties with the cool kids.

          1. No, it’s because despite all the evidence of their senses, a lot of so-called libertarians support Trump, whereas as no one but recognized trolls support Hillary.

            It’s actually a compliment in that they think Trumpettes can still be brought to their senses.

            1. Irish is not a troll! Well, no more than the rest of us.

            2. I know a few Trump supporters, but none of them are what I would call libertarians.

              1. To my mind, the Trump supporters are the Tea Party after the Republicans stole that show and redirected the brand back into the Party and sublimated it. The Repubs thought they’d successfully done the ol’ run around on the hicks. Turns out they were just huffing their own farts while their base radicalized even more. The problem is they STILL haven’t figured it out.

                And, no, they aren’t libertarian.

                1. What Toolkien said.

                  You hit it about perfect. They are not Libertarians but they are not nasty fascists either. I see no reason outside of cultural snobbery why Libertarians should have any more of a problem with them than they do any other of the supporters for the major party candidates.

                  Bernie Sanders is an unapologetic socialist and reason treats him and his supporters with a thousand times more respect than they do Trump’s.

            3. I don’t know a single self described Libertarian who supports Trump. Will some of them vote for him? Sure, but that is just a strategic vote against Hillary.

              The subject of strategic voting and taking the best option available rather than waiting for a good option has been debated here to death. Some are okay with it and some are not. That issue will never be settled.

              So what is there to bring anyone to their senses? Is Trump better than Hillary? By a long shot. Is a good choice from a Libertarian view? No. But he isn’t any worse than Romney or McCain or any of the other GOP nominees since Reagan.

              So what is with the pants shitting over him?

              1. Ima go with the idea that Reason writers are like pundits everywhere – the idea that a non-pol might be elected and not totally fuck things up scares them because it would effectively kill the self-perceived specialness of the political class. “I mean if this guy can be president, what other office might non-wonks seek?”

                1. Bingo wareagle. You nailed it.

                2. Amy: You all obey a big computer?

                  Kug: Yes. It appear mysteriously just about time men die out.

                  Leela: So why did you make it your leader?

                  Ornik: It seemed like different kind of politician.

                  Kug: Not beltway insider.

                3. As I used to say about many of the affirmative action hires, in my FD, who got promoted to high-level jobs:

                  If that clown can hold down that job, it isn’t one that needs to be filled.

            4. no one but recognized trolls support Hillary

              Fair enough. Even the lone “Libertarian Case for Hillary” article awhile back was quite backhanded.

              I honestly can’t recall any regulars here who support Trump based on policy or “leadership”. Much of the anti-anti-Trump chatter here is based on (a) he’s got all the right people all wee-wee’d up and (b) fer fuck’s sake Reason, there’s other things going on.

              To Reason’s credit, the Trumpalanche has abated recently.

              1. I think the majority of HnRers that enjoy certain aspects of Trump’s candidacy wouldn’t vote for him in a million years.

                1. I enjoy him for the lulz, I admit that much. No way I would ever vote for the guy. Fuck, I enjoy Biden for the lulz.

              2. (a) he’s got all the right people all wee-wee’d up and

                In my estimation, that’s 94% of it.

            5. no one but recognized trolls support Hillary

              Ed Krayewski is a troll?

    2. Reason staff are constantly flummoxed by the Trump appeal
      Well, they are a part of the opinion crafting elite that have little or nothing to do with flyover country, and want even less to do with them except maybe on a philosophical, hypothetical level

      It will be funny watching Reason staff try to rationalize why Shrillary is the better option (somehow) than Trump
      I don’t think they’ll go that far. Won’t a ‘libertarian’ publication have to endorse the ‘libertarian’-ish candidate?

      1. They can’t make a case for Hillary. No way they do that. If they do, they probably should stay out of the comments section unless they want to dodge the flaming projectiles.

    3. Reason staff are constantly flummoxed by the Trump appeal.

      Why vote for the puppet when you can vote for the puppeteer?

  11. Get real — are Republicans going to vote for Hillary or Bernie? Even an awful Trump is better to them.

    1. I’ve heard at least one Republican say he will vote for Bernie. All I said was ‘he’s a commie’. That was the end of the conversation. When I tell people I’m voting for Gary Johnson, they laugh. And they don’t know who that is.

      1. When I tell people I’m voting for Gary Johnson, they laugh. And they don’t know who that is.

        Nobody else knows who Gary Johnson is either. That’s why they laugh.

        1. First I tell them, well my candidate dropped out a long time ago. So they ask me who and when I say Rand Paul, they roll their eyes and laugh. So then I tell them I’m going to vote for Johnson and they laugh again. This is what being a libertarian is like.

      2. My favorite response is that he’s the grownup in the race.

        Seriously. You have one candidate who’s running under the cloud of possible felony indictment whose major platform plank is that she has a vagina and people liked her husband. Another who’s an unreconstructed socialist. The third is a reality television star who wants to build a big wall to keep the Mexicans out.

        The Libertarian is a popular two-term governor running on fiscal responsibility, social tolerance and a restrained foreign policy. The Libertarians have become the grown-ups in the room.

        Isn’t that one of the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse?

        1. So the guy who is all about forcing people to bake cakes for gay weddings is the “grown up”. I am not saying you are not right Bill, I am just saying it is pretty fucking depressing.

          1. John, are you saying with a straight face that Trump, Clinton or Sanders would refrain from forcing the exact same thing?

            But, yeah, it’s depressing when your choice is who would do the least damage.

  12. The “ugliness” of Trump’s words and positions generally seems to me to be mostly non-existent or extremely mild in reality, primarily existing in the wildly overblown hyperbole of his detractors.

    1. Let’s be completely honest: Trump has made Suderman’s job as a professional fake libertarian about as easy as it could ever possibly get.

      Imagine how hard his concern trolling efforts would be for the next six months if the party had gone with some fairly inoffensive schlemiel like John Kasich.

      1. Would Kasich be the most boring presidential candidate of all time? I think a case could be made for that. If the guy were elected, the entire country would fall asleep all at the same time.

        1. Meh.

          Don’t give too short a shrift to boring.

          The only problem is that Kasich strikes me as the sort who might see getting elected as some sort of mandate to do something exciting.

  13. First a tranny thread, now a Trump thread. No all we need is an abortion thread, a circumcision thread, and a deep dish pizza thread.

    1. What if Trump comes out as a Tranny and goes to the ladies room, then say he’s dumping the wife and marrying Caitlyn? What do the SJWs and progs do?

      1. To many of them, Caitlyn is the wrong kind of trans because she has voiced ungoodthink.

        1. She’s now referred to as “Republican Caitlyn Jenner” by LGBT-progs.

          Republican Caitlyn Jenner Films ‘I Can Take a Pee’ Stunt at Trump Hotel

        2. the wrong kind of trans

          Transvestite?

        3. It’s funny how quickly the progs turn against you. It went from stunning and brave to freakin’ privileged Caitlyn pretty fast

          1. But didn’t he/she say he/she supported Ted Cruz at one point? I think that’s what turned it around.

        4. Caitlyn is the wrong kind of trans because she has voiced ungoodthink.

          “Hey, they cut off my dick. They didn’t cut off my brain.”

          1. One of them is still there and functioning.
            Guess which one.

      2. Caitlyn Jenner would be a hilarious Veep pick.

        1. Total lulz, I would love it.

        2. Popcorn hardest hit

        3. In this particular presidential election, she seems entirely appropriate – not to mention the most fit to hold the office among Trump, Hillary, or Hillary’s veep.

    2. Not all we need.

      We also need another “what do the millennials believe?” thread.

    3. Could we combine the abortion thread and the deep dish pizza thread together since the outcomes look pretty much the same?

      Two birds and what not.

      1. If they were to say that deep dish pizza had to be disposed of as a “red bag” biohazard, I wouldn’t object.

  14. RE: Republicans Are Coming Around to Donald Trump. Of Course They Are.
    The billionaire candidate’s presidential campaign reveals both the emptiness and the awfulness of the GOP

    The republican party empty and awful?
    Who would’ve thought that just because they’re closet fascists.
    Thanks for the revelation.

    1. Two words. Stupid Party.

  15. How is this news? Did John Beohner ever believe in anything?

    That’s the problem – the Republican leadership has been ideologically disconnected from their core voters for generation. The national GOP is dead. Trump can’t hurt it, he might revive it and turn it into something else.

    1. Did John Beohner ever believe in anything?

      Self tanning lotion?

      1. IOW, the same thing Trump believes in.

  16. Perhaps the most charitable way to think about this is that the party, as an institution, lacks a functional mechanism for declaring a candidate unacceptable.

    Uhh… The problem is that governments been forcing the major parties into less and less controlled primaries. Back when nominees were decided in smoke-filled back rooms, this sort of thing didn’t happen.

    Now it is mostly out of the parties’ hands. And getting more so, what with mandated open primaries, top two, and other lunacy hurled at the nomination process in a vain attempt to moderate the winning candidate.

    So you get candidates from complete left field like Trump and Sanders bringing voters who are not really Republicans and Democrats out of their houses to “vote for the first time”. That is a minus, not a plus, both for the parties and for the country as a whole.

    Bleah.

    1. the party, as an institution, lacks a functional mechanism for declaring a candidate unacceptable.

      You’d think even the most minimal screen for unacceptable candidates would be “Is he a member of our party?”.

      1. You’d think even the most minimal screen for unacceptable candidates would be “Is he a member of our party?”.

        Boom.

    2. No, actually at the national level, gov’t has practically no control on how the parties choose their nominees. At the state level yes, but not national conventions. If a party wanted to change its rules such that all decisions were made by a particular bartender, there’d be no law against that. If the parties are incorporated, general corporate law would apply as to their money business, but not affecting their politics.

  17. The fact that adjectives are not arguments seems to have been lost on this article. Since the GOP is Democrat-lite most of the time, what exactly differentiates them except for a candidate like Trump? Of course the GOP is coming around to him… he has a chance of winning. The question is whether he will be hung for the inevitable crash of the economy that has been delayed for years.

  18. Beohner?

    Did you mean Beowulf?

      1. Scott Baio?

        I loved him in Joannie Loves Chachi!

    1. Beohner, son of Fafnir, son of Brony.

      1. + Lots of ball bearings

  19. “Today, Defense Secretary Boehner announced that he has ordered the Army’s Chief of Staff to mandate spray-on tans for all new recruits. Boehner dismissed reports that the lucrative DoD contract for the tanning solution may go to Leatherface, a well-known tanning conglomerate based in Boehner’s home state, as ‘baseless’ and ‘irrelevant.'”

    And so on.

  20. “Addendum: Maybe the question to ask here is, well, should the Republican party reject Trump?”

    Maybe the real question to ask is if it has to be Trump or Hillary, why would Hillary be better than Trump?

    1. He is better than Hillary for two reasons

      1. He would not command blind loyalty from the Republicans in Congress. Trump would be the first President to be subject to actual Congressional oversight and opposition since Reagan. Hillary in contrast would command the same zombie like party loyalty that Obama has and would continue the country on the road towards an elected dictatorship with a debating society as a Congress.

      2. If Trump were to win, the fear and grip of PC culture would be greatly weakened. It would be a lot harder for the media and the rest of the cretins in the elite to dismiss ideas by just saying “you can’t say that”. Since Libertarians are as often as anyone the victims of that kind of bullshit and are unable to get many of their ideas taken seriously as a result, Trump winning and the resulting weakening of PC culture would over the long term create a very good opportunity for Libertarians and Lbiertarian ideas.

      There. That is the Libertarian case for Trump.

      1. #3 – His promises to build a wall are pure sop to a portion of his base, and once he got in office wouldn’t lift a finger to that end. (See: Obama, Barack re: Guantanamo)

        1. Maybe. I can’t read the guy’s mind. But I don’t see any reason to think he is lying anymore than I think he is for sure going to do it. It is just as foolish to assume he is lying about everything he says as it is to assume he is some kind of savior who means everything he says.

          1. I don’t think he’s lying about everything he says; the wall just feels like a Gitmo to me. Even if he tries to build it, how is he going to begin to make headway with a Congress that’s not friendly?

            1. The problem is that you would have to get Congress to fund it and waive all of the environmental laws to get it built. And that won’t happen. So even if he means it, he won’t get it built.

            2. The scariest thing about Trump in my opinion is his anti trade rhetoric. That’s scary stuff to me. Of course he’s not going to build a wall. Only idiots believe the wall talk.

              1. It shouldn’t. If you honestly believe that a trade war would doom the world, then why do you think the Chinese or the rest of the world would get into one? Are they suicidal?

                I don’t think so. What will happen is Trump will rattle his saber and the Chinese and the rest will make a few concessions that Trump can take home to his supporters and that will be that.

        2. #3A – His promises to build a wall support or execute any kind of conservative agenda are pure sop to a portion of his base, and once he got in office wouldn’t lift a finger to that end. (See: 2nd Amendment, Balanced Budget)

          The man is a carnival barking huckster.

          But he will have an R after his name, so I think John’s point #1 is completely wrong for a significant portion of the Rs. Power is the only thing that matters to an overwhelming portion of the political class.

          This will be a dumpster fire, either way.

          1. The DC establishment hates him. And Trump will likely take some National Review puke as a VP candidate. If you think the Rs in Congress won’t happily support canning Trump on some BS scandal and putting their VP in office, you are kidding yourself.

            1. They hate him until he’s elected. They hate Cruz. They hate Rand. They hated 75% of the people running, but the ones they liked were mostly non-starters. Kasich is the only one near that group’s choice.

              As I said though, power is all that matters.

      2. Get a load of the optimist!

        If we weren’t in a proverbial jetliner, nosediving at a 45* angle, at 3,000 feet it might matter who wins. The hardline is coming one way or the other, a libertarian is going to be on the wrong side of the razor wire in 10-15 years regardless of who wins. The reconciling of $50,000,000,000,000 (or more) isn’t going to come with reasonableness and civility. I suppose I have a softer spot for poor/lower-middle-class right populism than leftism, but I’m not going to be able to fake it for very long.

        1. You usually right smart things on here. Sadly, this is not one of them. If you disagree, fine. But you might try to explain why other than “not so”.

          1. Is there a friendly poke emoticon or an equivalent to /sarc? I was largely being folksy. Sorry for that.

            As far as the remainder, it IS what is at hand. There’s no way out of a multi-10’s of Trillions of dollars of misallocation. It doesn’t matter who wins, or who loses. As I’ve said many times, Trump is a road sign, the face of the decline of the body politic to go along with the cultural decline, the educational decline, the economic decline, etc. He’s the face of the descent of the US into second world status.

            I WISH I had your general optimism, but what I’ve read of yours, for good or bad, reminds of where I was about ten years ago – when I thought expressing opinions on message boards might actually matter or make a difference. But then the Republicans passed Medicare Part D, adding $11,000,000,000,000 to the accrual basis debt, and NOBODY objected (establishment anyway). But this is all absurdism of the worst kind that we are experiencing, as so many still think there’s room to maneuver out all of this, or that there’s healthy signals in play here as to behavior. All that’s left is finish that half can of coke and hollow ice cubes, finish that bag of five peanuts, and get into the crash position.

        2. a libertarian is going to be on the wrong side of the razor wire in 10-15 years regardless of who wins

          The wrong side of the razor wire, or the wrong side of the grass.

  21. “pull the lever for Trump”

    These masturbation euphemisms are getting really politicized.

  22. Maybe the question to ask here is, well, should the Republican party reject Trump? There’s not much recent precedent for either party taking such a drastic action.

    You’re nominated, and rejected.

    Come on, what kind of question is that? The party has a procedure for deciding its nominations. What sense would it make for them to follow their procedure & then deny its result?

  23. The point is that in backing Trump, even tacitly, Republicans are still giving their blessing to his behavior

    Then isn’t the same true of the Democrats and Hillary’s behavior? Whatever you think of Trump, he has not to my knowledge every left an American ambassador to die or committed any national security felonies. But Suderman would never raise the possibility that the Democratic party should walk away from Hillary or tacitly endorses her felonies by not doing so.

    This is why people think the reason staff are just Democrats pretending to be Libertarians for a paycheck.

    1. This is why people think the reason staff are just Democrats pretending to be Libertarians for a paycheck.

      Some of them don’t even bother to pretend.

    2. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the Republican establishment has been resisting Trump since Day 1, whereas Democrats are either pretending to be blind to Hillary’s…er, let’s go with “shortcomings”….or they actually don’t recognize them.

      1. They know she’s a crook, they don’t care. They all want a big piece of crony pie.

      2. Or they recognize them but view them as pluses.

  24. Republicans Are Coming Around to Donald Trump. Of Course They Are.

    Well, yes. A political party ought to support whomever it nominates, otherwise, why have a “political party” or “nominations”?

    The reason libertarians can’t elect a dog catcher is that they spend far too much time gassing about which candidate they’re too good and principled to vote for.

    1. The LP actually has proven somewhat effective at electing “dog catchers”. It’s the positions of greater significance where they struggle.

      1. Probably right.

      2. Wouldn’t dog-catching be better handled by the private sector?

        1. Agreed, that is a perfectly sound idea. And lots more government tasks should be turned over to the private sector. And many more government tasks ought to be done by nobody, ever.

  25. There were plenty of options to choose from, all coming from different strands within the GOP. Two governors from major states who were re-elected, a congressmen who shut down the government, a Senator who had potential minority appeal, a black non politician, a woman non politician, a Christian evangelical who was a governor. Even a libertarianish Senator. 17 choices, in fact.

    And who has the GOP electorate chosen? Trump. Time you stop blaming one guy, or the party apparatus, and instead consider the sad state of Republican voters.

    “In the process, Trump’s campaign is revealing both how little the party truly stands for and the ugliness of what it is willing to tolerate in its name.”

    I know when you say that you are referring to the party apparatus. It’s the GOP voters who tolerate it. And plenty of your readers as well.

    Cue the team redders

    1. And who has the Dem electorate chosen? Hillary. Time you stop blaming one gal, or the party apparatus, and instead consider the sad state of Democrat voters.

      Too. Easy.

      1. It’s not nice to pick on the mentally disabled, RC.

        1. I’m not a nice person.

    2. you don’t have to be a Team Redder to recognize that Trump is a big middle finger from those who have supported Team Red and feel screwed by it. Sure, there were plenty of candidates who in a normal cycle would be considered worthy. That the governors were among the first to drop out – Walker and Perry to name two with some bona fides – speaks to a distrust is the Red ranks.

      These voters went to the polls in teh last two mid-terms and flipped Congress. What has changed because of that?

    3. I think most of us here do consider the sad state of Republican voters. The thing is, having a lot more self awareness than you’re capable of, we also consider the equally sad state of Democrat voters.

      1. Was the article about the sad state of the GOP if Trump is the nominee? Yep, it was. Interesting that it’s cause for you, as well as others, to really complain about the Dems.

        Heeding the cue call, eh?

        1. Yeah, I know, you don’t get it. That’s what I was trying to say.

          1. At least I get what the article was about.

            1. What are you, 10 years old?

              1. Enjoy!

    4. Re: Jackass Ass,

      There were plenty of options to choose from, all coming from different strands within the GOP.

      The Democratic process is much simpler and cleaner. You see, we anoint a queen…

    5. Probably more like 170 choices, if you count everyone who filed with FEC for the nomination. And yeah, it’s not like anything about the party was fixed to favor Trump, or like they had inherently awful rules for choosing delegates. They even had as a front-runner at one point someone who’s considered a radical libertarian by anyone except radical libertarians, who consider him only libertarianish: Rand Paul. And he was a sitting US senator. The GOP’s a huge organiz’n, it’s not like they had to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Trump is the people’s choice, like it or not.

      I’d like to see him elected just because I’m extremely curious about what he’d be like. We’ll never know if he’s not elected. We’ve had similar celebrities become governors lately: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura?both disappointing because hopes for them were too high, but still probably much better than the likeliest alternatives would’ve been. I could probably think of examples in other countries. But it’s not the same as testing one out as POTUS.

  26. If by “coming around,” you mean, “After months of resistance and protestation, are admitting the defeat of all 16 of their alternatives and are acknowledging that their options are to go along for the ride or abandoned the positions they spent their lives working toward to start a doomed-from-the-start third party bid,” then yes, they are coming around.

  27. I think Suderman has the record for the most articles about Trump (by percentage of output, if not necessarily by number), as well as the whiniest.

    1. Suderman has the most establishment-aspirations of the bunch.

  28. people are slowing coming the realization that the number one problem in America is political correctness. PC is the disease. Trump is the cure.

    why vote for Trump? Fuck you – that’s why.

    1. I don’t know about Trump being the cure for anything. But I agree with you on PC as being one of the worst problems we face. It’s a direct threat to free speech for one thing. It’s also making overgrown infants out of our young people. Not sure I would call it the number one problem, there’s so many, but it’s way up there.

      1. In the USA, it’s only if you call fearing unpopularity a threat to free speech. In other countries they’re enforcing it, but in the USA, PC matters only to those who care about it.

  29. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who blasted Trump as a “cancer on conservatism” during his brief presidential run last year, said recently that “at the end of the day, I’ll vote for Trump.” Maybe cancer isn’t so bad after all?

    Anything, but please don’t throw me in that briar patch!(*)

    (*Br’er Rabbit, ‘Song Of The South’)

    1. When I’m posting on other sites, I always find it amusing how people get really confused about my identity. One thread a few days ago, I forget what it was about, but it was an economic issue, maybe minimum wage. Anyway, since I was agreeing with most of the conservative crowd at the moment, they thought I was one of their own. One of them said something like the only person to vote for is Trump because he’s the only true conservative. I’m thinking ‘WTF? Really, you believe this’. So I said ‘Trump’s not a conservative and anyway, I don’t want a conservative, I’m not even really sure what that is anymore’. So he’s like ‘What? Wait, you’re a liberal!’. I mean if you’re not one of us, you’re one of them, right? So I said ‘nope, not a liberal’. I think the guy was beyond confused at that point. Also, the proggies always think I’m one of them on any type of pro-cannabis thread and when I say something that hints I’m not a proggie, this really fucks with their whole world apparently.

    2. (*Br’er Rabbit, ‘Song Of The South’)

      Racist. /sarc

  30. Maybe the plan is to give him the nomination, select his running mat for him, and then use a Republican controlled congress to impeach his ass at the first opportunity and install their actual pic as Pres. Nah, that would take way more political acumen than the GOP has.

  31. I’m a libertarian (If you don’t like me calling myself then we can fight if you like) whose come around to Donald Trump. Social Contract is broken bro, there isn’t rule of law. It’s war now and you gotta pick your weapons

    1. Libertarian, yeah? What you say about that whiskey rebellion, George?

      1. Hahahahahaha Well done

  32. The Grand Old Party, a creation of the implosion of the Whigs, has now reached the point of its own implosion by running a life-long Democrat and Crony Capitalist for President.
    The question is which of the minor parties extant will replace them, or will something new and energetic emerge from the miasma?
    And, will there be a great cataclysm to spring this life-form fully formed upon the polity?

  33. Witness George Will’s call for conservatives to help ensure a 50-state loss for Trump if he wins the nomination.

    See! George Will really has become a libertarian. Purity before Power!

    1. Trump, then, is exposing the emptiness of a Republican party which stands for nothing but its own continued electoral success.

      Political parties are vehicles for forming coalitions to win elections and achieve political power. Not that I’d expect Libertarians to understand this.

      Trump is shifting the coalition away from the elitist internationalists, the neocons and corporatists, and toward populist nationalists. Naturally, elitist internationalists don’t like this. It’s their Party, and they’ll pout if they want to.

      But in the end, they may come to realize that they *don’t have the votes*, and if they want to win, they need to team up with the populist nationalists. They can have their elitist internationalist Party, and lose and lose and lose, or have a populist nationalist party, and have some hope of national electoral relevancy.

  34. Behind The Curtain of Deception.. Trump is the Establishment/Media who is party to this false fight..

    Please people wake up! You have been lulled to sleep by lies and big media propaganda.

    You dont think Trump can be controlled? Of course he can..

    “Socialism needs two legs on which to stand; a right and a left. While appearing to be in complete opposition to one another, they both march in the same direction.” — Paul Proctor

    The false “left vs right” paradigm is a distraction. Both political parties are CONTROLLED
    Behind the scenes if it wasn’t for the “mainstream” media’s propaganda. The “mainstream” media is controlled by Wall Street and international banker interests. This media acts as a stage curtain. On one side it hides the deceitful agenda of the elite and on the other side, in order to divert attention away from this fact, they feed the unknowing public “news” that really has nothing to do with what’s really going on. Why do you think the newspapers are “bailed out” by this financial oligarchy? It’s because just a Rockefeller said they have an agreement with the elite to sell you a sack of lies while they move behind the scenes stripping our liberty and our nation’s sovereignty away. Again Rockefeller said he was “grateful to…Time magazine” among others and wouldn’t you know that Time magazine frequently promotes on its cover the so-called man-made “global warming”.
    thinkaboutit

    1. I think you should try a different brand of aluminum foil.

      1. Aluminum was cartelized, you know.

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