CPAC

At CPAC, Trump's Big Government Cult of Personality Body-Snatches Conservative Activists

As long as conservatives are applauding a president like Trump, it's hard to see how libertarians will fit within the GOP, or a gathering like CPAC.

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Olivier Douliery/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

A year ago, hundreds of conservative activists planned to protest Donald Trump's appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference by staging a walk-out in the middle of his speech.

This year, when Trump addressed CPAC, the crowd got to its feet for a different reason. They were giving a standing ovation.

Trump didn't let the moment pass without noting it.

"Sit down, everybody, come on," Trump said, to more cheers. "The dishonest media, they'll say 'he didn't get a standing ovation.' You know why? You know why? Because everybody stood and nobody sat."

Trump has a complicated relationship with CPAC, the nation's largest gathering of conservative activists, power brokers, and professional politicos. He was wildly cheered during an appearance at CPAC in 2015—a reaction, he said Friday, that helped convince him to seek the presidency—and then backed out of an appearance at the event in 2016 during the Republican primaries amid threats of protests and walk-outs.

The crowd at CPAC has an equally complicated relationship with the new president.

"Unless he's had a more dramatic inversion than is really apparent, he's not really a conservative," said Patrick Korton, who saw Trump speak Friday at CPAC. "Everybody here knows that, and everyone accepts it for what it is."

Korton has attended dozens of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference gatherings, including the very first CPAC in 1973, when California Gov. Ronald Reagan addressed a crowd of a few hundred at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. (the massive conference has long since outgrown downtown hotels; the 44th edition of CPAC was hosted at the Gaylord Resort in nearby National Harbor, Maryland), but he acknowledges that conservatives have never dealt with someone like Trump running the show.

Still, aside from Trump's occasional lack of decorum and his tendency to tweet too much, Korton said he's been impressed with most of what the Trump administration has done during its first month in office. The new presidential cabinet, he said, might be more conservative than Reagan's.

"When he does the right thing, we should be fully supportive," Korton said. "When he does the wrong thing, we have to call him on it."

That, of course, depends on your definition of what "the right thing" might be.

Trump's remarks on Friday were remarkable mostly because of how un-conservative they sounded. Trump talked about expanding the power of the federal government to round up illegal immigrants, to make life more difficult for legal immigrants, to spend untold billions of dollars on the construction of an unnecessary border wall, and to spend more money on the military (though he also bemoaned how tax money is wasted by that very same military).

The president delivered his speech less than 24 hours after the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, suggested that the Department of Justice could soon take action against states that have legalized marijuana, an unnecessary escalation of the destructive war on drugs.

Those proposals aren't just at odds with the notion of smaller government, but will require a more powerful, muscular government.

Pollster Nate Silver has postulated that today's Republican Party is best understood as a fusion of five overlapping-but-distinct groups: the "moderates," the libertarians, the "tea party" (those who value fiscal conservatism), the Christian right (those motivated by culture conservatism), and the Establishment.

FiveThirtyEight

All the elements are visible at CPAC, but the event is mostly a showcase for the tea party and the Christian right—arguably the two parts of the party coalition most important to the GOP's post-2008 successes. It's the type of place where you'd expect to see Ted Cruz or Rick Santorum, but where Chris Christie (firmly in the "moderate" wing of the party) would seem out of place.

That understanding of the party's structure might need to be revised in the age of Trump, but the basic formulation is still accurate. His cult of personality has already overwhelmed the moderate wing of the party (see: Christie, Chris) and the Christian Conservative wing of the party, which embraced a man who has been thrice married and apparently holds to very few of the principles expoused by the so-called "moral majority" (see: Fallwell, Jerry, Jr).

Now, if this year's CPAC is any indication, Trump's cult of personality is threatening to body-snatch the fiscally conservative activist wing of the party—people energized by the tea party rallies and opposition to the budget-busting policies of Bush and Obama.

People like Albert Bryson, a self-described "independent who usually votes Republican" from Chester County, Pennsylvania who was attending his third CPAC this weekend. Bryson said he first got involved in politics after the 2008 election—he attended one of the first national tea party rallies, organized in opposition to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

On Friday afternoon, sporting one of those unmistakable red hats, Bryson said Trump's message on immigration resonated with him.

"We should go after the illegal immigrants," Bryson said.

Even if it would require growing the power of government to do it, I asked him.

"Temporarily, it may need to get a little bit bigger so we can get these people out of here as quickly as possible," he said.

Parts of the so-called establishment wing of the GOP have resisted Trump, with limited success. That leaves the libertarian wing of the party, whose most prominent voices were absent from CPAC (a deliberate move, it seems) as perhaps the only remaining portion of the GOP that can claim to be committed to the principles of limited government that formerly unified it.

Gov. Matt Bevin, of Kentucky, made the case for a "big tent" conservative movement focused on cutting regulations and handing power back to the states.

"The people need to be engaged," Bevin told me. "The people who are on the right, the people on the left, the libertarians, the authoritarians, and everyone in between."

But what do libertarians have to gain by fighting for the future of a party that has ignored or abandoned them?

Perhaps that's why libertarian leaders and liberty-minded groups largely were absent from the CPAC stage. Instead, prime speaking spots went to Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, to his controversial White House adviser Steve Bannon, and (before his appearance was canceled just a day before the convention opened) to alt-right icon Milo Yiannopoulos.

As long as conservatives are applauding a president like Trump, though, it's hard to see how libertarians will be able to fit within the Republican Party, or a gathering like CPAC. Maybe, as Korton suggests, it's possible to find common ground on certain issues—regulatory reform, for instance—while calling out the Trump administration for expanding the scope and power of the federal government in other areas.

Still, it's difficult to understand how a room full of people committed to advancing, in theory at least, the benefits of small government policies could stand and applaud a president with such authoritarian tendencies. Can the conservative movement be taken seriously of they are taking Trump seriously?

"It became necessary to take him seriously," Korton says. "But not necessarily as a conservative."

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  1. Or anywhere else for that matter

  2. “As long as conservatives are applauding a president like Trump, though, it’s hard to see how libertarians will be able to fit within the Republican Party, or a gathering like CPAC.”

    So per the article, CPAC mainly showcased the Christian Right and Tea Partiers. We’re probably not going to find a lot of common ground with the Christian Right who are Cultural Statist, but that is the dying wing of the party anyways. As far as the Tea Party goes, their original complaint of government spending is certainly something we can find common ground on. To me they resemble BLM in that anyone can be a member and no one speaks for the group. I doubt one member of the tea party talking about immigration is any more relevant than one BLM member talking about killing cops.

    1. That’s not too say the GOP as a whole is serious about limited government (it’s not), but there are a few people within who are. There is no doubt the DNC wants to grow Leviathan to encompass everything. They may “allow” for some civil liberties but they don’t think you actually have any rights except for what the government’s decides you get at its whim. So yeah, we’re screwed.

    2. We’re probably not going to find a lot of common ground with the Christian Right who are Cultural Statist

      Name a statist policy that Christian conservatives support that other groups don’t. (hint, don’t say the drug war, because it’s supported by people everywhere on the spectrum)

      I doubt one member of the tea party talking about immigration is any more relevant than one BLM member talking about killing cops.

      Now being against illegal immigration is analogous to encouraging cop killings? You do realize that the most successful libertarian politicians of the modern era, the Pauls, are both against open borders?

      1. Name a statist policy that Christian conservatives support that other groups don’t. (hint, don’t say the drug war, because it’s supported by people everywhere on the spectrum)

        I think you are going to have to be more specific. Which Christian conservatives? For example, Santorum is opposed to contraception and pornography.

        You do realize that the most successful libertarian politicians of the modern era, the Pauls, are both against open borders?

        That’s an appeal to authority. It does not mean the Pauls hold libertarian values with respect to immigration. In fact, the old saying was “Ron Paul is excellent on everything except abortion and immigration.” That was the libertarian line before all these conservatives started calling themselves “libertarians” because it’s a better word.

      2. “Now being against illegal immigration is analogous to encouraging cop killings?”

        You get an F in reading comprehension. I thought it was pretty clear that I was saying that one person doesn’t speak for the entire Tea Party any more than one person talks for all of BLM. The point being that the limited government stance shared by most tea partiers is common ground with all libertarians. Egads man, get a grip.

      3. As far as the Christian Right goes, man if you think that group is even remotely libertarian, I don’t really know what to tell you. Go ahead and vote Huckleberry and Santorum to your heart’s content.

  3. it’s hard to see how libertarians will be able to fit within the Republican Party, or a gathering like CPAC

    “libertarians” = By which they mean, “that one guy we keep shitting on for not listening to us and our super-popular ideas”

    The DNC recently had a conclave. Maybe you should point your analysis at their proffered basket of ideas and see how well ‘we’ fit in there.

    1. They’re courting the left who I am sure will be very receptive to their anti-government ideas. I wish them the best of luck.

      1. I’m sure that insulting the people who might vote for them in pursuit of the ones that never will is going to yield excellent results.

  4. Sounds like libertarians are irrelevant losers and we should ignore them forever.

    Or was that not supposed to be the takeaway?

    1. A libertarian revolution will never happen through politics. The only way to change the world is one person at a time.

      1. Which is why self-described libertarians should shout “TULPA”, “slaver!”, “taxes are theft” and “woodchipper!” at anyone interested in talking to them that doesn’t already share their ideas.

  5. In your Venn diagram, you have Ted Cruz in the middle,of the tea party cat gory with no overlap to the establishment or Christian conservatives. This,for a guy that has literally never not worked for a republican government at any point in his life and who openly campaigned for the chrisitian vote with preachers and freKs claiming that he was ordained by God to lead the country.

    1. It’s Nate Silver’s, and for only a 2-D graph it’s not bad. In just 2 dimensions it’s hard to get the distances right.

      1. It could have been done a lot better as a real Venn diagram with three groups instead of five. The Tea Party and libertarians overlap almost entirely, as do moderates and the GOP establishment.

        Hilariously, he doesn’t put Trump — the putative leader of the party — anywhere on the diagram. Which makes sense, because he and many of his supporters don’t fit in any of Silver’s categories.

        1. Look at the date: Jan. 12, 2015. Would you have thought to include Trump months before he declared his candidacy?

          1. Good catch… that date isn’t in the diagram of course, only at the link.

            Of course, that makes Mr Boehm’s attempt to use an over-two-years-old diagram to comment on the state of the GOP today even more questionable.

    2. In this case I think Teddy is in the correct sphere. From my perspective he is simply using the Christians to get what he wants. If he were to (shudder) become president the Christians would learn this very quickly.

      1. His dad is an international preacher.

        And as previously mentioned. He’s worked for the republican establishment his entir life. He’s no,so much anti-establishment as an asshole that loads of people loathe.

        1. Itenerate preacher – not international.

      2. From my perspective he is simply using the Christians to get what he wants.

        As if he isn’t using the Tea Partiers similarly. Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz, nothing more. That much is clear from his tendency to grandstand about conservative/Christian/constitutional values while simultaneously preventing those values to be implemented in practice (see 2013 shutdown/debt ceiling crisis).

        Terry McAuliffe better be sending him Christmas gift baskets for handing him the VA governorship in 2013.

  6. As long as conservatives are applauding a president like Trump, it’s hard to see how libertarians will fit within the GOP, or a gathering like CPAC.

    Given that libertarians insist on doubling down on exactly the policies voters have already made clear they’re sick and tired of, I don’t expect they’re going to be fitting in very well anywhere.

    1. libertarians insist on doubling down on exactly the policies voters have already made clear they’re sick and tired of

      Which libertarian policies are you speaking of? I haven’t seen any for decades, so hard to see how anybody could be sick of them.

      1. Probably immigration. But considering the fact both major parties have largely rejected major cuts to entitlement spending, (which Trump promised to protect) and both parties are now opposed to even the managed form of “Free” Trade that we have, who knows.

        Libertarians are pretty much at this point irrelevant nationally with only a little bit of influence in a few places like New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Alaska, and Kentucky.

  7. “Man is not a rational animal, but rather a rationalizing one” — Heinlein

    Normal people are not loyal to abstract philosophical principles, they’re only loyal to other people. 95% people have the same political goal: to advance the interests of their tribe at the expense of the other tribes. The only difference from one to the next is who they perceives as “their tribe” and who they perceive as “the other tribe”.

    Everything beyond that is just rationalizations of why their tribe deserves to benefit beyond everyone else and what amounts to verbal Maori tattoos: elaborate, yes, but ultimately just a proclamation of tribal identity.

    When a Conservative says they believe in small government, they really don’t have any strongly held belief about what size the government should be, they just know that’s one of the phrases they’re supposed to say to make sure other Conservative know they’re in the same tribe.

    Arguing politics with normal people is like arguing bakery with a parrot that’s been trained to say “Polly wants a cracker”. It probably just wants attention. If it’s particularly smart it knows there’s some vague relationship between those noises and getting fed and it may be hungry. But it has not idea what crackers are and if you respond by trying to convince it that it should ask for cookies instead, you’re just going to piss it off.

    1. Well said.

      if you respond by trying to convince it that it should ask for cookies instead, you’re just going to piss it off.

      Beautiful.

    2. That it a full load of truth, both balls. Reading your comment made it totally worth it for me to visit Reason today and waste my time reading some of these comments. Thank you, Stormy Dragon.

    3. Other than the Heinlein quote, this is idiocy masquerading as truth–small wonder considering the poster.

      Everyone is not a blind collectivist. This is why socialism always fails. But there are people, like Stormy, who ARE blind collectivists. This is why socialism constantly keeps rearing it’s microcephalic head.

      And this example of rampant assholery is simply yet another example of why we got Trump.

      The people who are not understanding are the people complaining loudly about everyone else’s inability to comprehend.

  8. New DNC chair Perez: We need an investigation by an independent counsel into whether the election was rigged by Donald Trump and Vladamir Putin.

    The level of projection is astounding. After the DNC actually rigged their primary, they’ve gotten on a “Trump rigged the election” kick.

    The kicker for this discussion was that the accusation and call for an independent prosecutor came as a response to Trump’s thumb in the eye tweet about Perez’s election being rigged, with Sanders guy getting tanked just like Sanders got tanked in the primary.

    1. This is the democrats not wanting to admit their failures by coronating a horrible candidate right after obama won 2008

    2. They dont want to develop self awareness and reasses their positions apparently.

      It is a way for them to just conclude they really are loved but it was taken due to nefarious forces

      1. This is apparently the new line. The New York Times actually took out an ad during the Oscars calling for the truth to come out about the rigging of the election.

        I don’t know that I can recall anything like this in my life time. A few months ago, questioning any of the president’s policies got you excoriated as a racist by all of the mainstream. Now we have the nation’s Premier News organization not only taking it as its mission to unseat a newly elected president, they are paying to advertise the fact on Primetime Network television. And somehow this is not a problem.

  9. Take the five circles in the picture from this article. Next draw a larger circle that encloses the previous five circles. Now in caps write down the phrase “HYPOCRITES AND LIARS.” Maybe we should add “CROOKS” as well? Nah. I guess one of them might not be a crook.

  10. Gov. Matt Bevin, of Kentucky, made the case for a “big tent” conservative movement focused on cutting regulations and handing power back to the states.

    “The people need to be engaged,” Bevin told me. “The people who are on the right, the people on the left, the libertarians, the authoritarians, and everyone in between.”

    Seems to me a significant chunk of Trump’s supporters were the blue-collar union types, i.e., old-school Democrats alienated by the socialists like Bernie’s bunch pulling the party hard left. Is it a big enough tent when you start attracting Democrats? Can you still call yourself a conservative if your bunkmate’s a Democrat? Is a five-year plan of a national industrial policy issued by the politburo how we’re doing conservatism now?

  11. Whoever it was the other day that made note of the Scott Pruitt speech/interview at CPAC, good on you and thanks for that. It’s the ten cent tour of what he’s all about. Even though I didn’t learn anything new, it never gets old listening to him talk.

  12. Earlier today we got a post about how the conservatives inviting a gay free speech advocate shows that libertarians have no place in the GOP. Now we have no place in the GOP because the conservatives are rallying behind a Republican president?

    This might be indicative of TDS.

    At this point in Obama’s presidency, he was still insisting that marriage was between a man and a woman, he was initiating hundreds of raids against state legal medical marijuana dispensaries, he had nationalized GM, was using $350 billion to bail out Wall Street, revving up the stimulus, initiated Dodd-Frank, and was busy queuing up ObamaCare and the individual mandate. Oh, and let’s not forget mass surveillance and Iraq.

    How libertarian was that?

    As non-libertarian as the GOP is, they’re are far more receptive to libertarian ideas than anyone in the Democratic party. Trump isn’t a libertarian, but he isn’t hostile to getting rid of the individual mandate, to deregulation, to getting rid of Dodd-Frank, etc., etc. We couldn’t get any of those things with Hillary in office.

    1. Earlier today we got a post about how the conservatives inviting a gay free speech advocate shows that libertarians have no place in the GOP.

      You’re making it sound like his gayness or his “free speech advocacy” is why they oppose the invitation.

      That’s as dishonest as the leftists saying that anti-Hillary elements “oppose a strong woman”.

      1. I didn’t say his gayness and free speech advocacy were why they opposed his invitation.

        Actually, I argued that they invited him specifically to show that being gay wasn’t a big problem anymore, and they invited him to demonstrate that they were more tolerant of free speech than the social justice warriors and the progressives.

        “Inviting Milo to speak allowed the conservatives in the GOP to accomplish two things. First, it let them demonstrate that being gay isn’t such a big deal in the GOP anymore, and, second, it let them demonstrate that they are more tolerant that the social justice warriors in the progressive movement.

        In other words, here’s the Republican party trying to become more libertarian–both in demonstrating their tolerance for gay speakers and in trying to make a sharp difference between themselves and the progressives on the issue of free speech.”

        —-Ken Shultz

        https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6773210

        So, you can apologize for being “dishonest” now.

        1. I didn’t say his gayness and free speech advocacy were why they opposed his invitation.

          No, but you strongly implied it.

          And I don’t give a care what you said on another thread. I’m responding to your comment here, which framed the situation dishonestly.

          Actually, I argued that they invited him specifically to show that being gay wasn’t a big problem anymore

          No, they invited him because he’s a conservative cause celebre. And dropped him like a hot potato once he wasn’t. Note that they didn’t replace him with a different gay person.

          they invited him to demonstrate that they were more tolerant of free speech than the social justice warriors and the progressives.

          How does that work? Milo’s “free speech” is agreed with by conservatives, so how would inviting him be a demonstration of tolerance? If they wanted to show tolerance for free speech and gays, they would have invited someone they disagree with.

          1. “No, but you strongly implied it.

            No, I didn’t.

            But willful obtuseness is your calling card.

            You wouldn’t be Tulpa without it.

            1. One of us is obtuse but it ain’t me.

              1. I should add that the flip side of your calling card is about insisting that other people said things they never said.

                If you aren’t Tulpa, you might as well be.

    2. Hillary? I doubt we could’ve gotten any of those things with Mit in the office!

  13. Our primary mission as libertarians shouldn’t be to influence politicians directly, anyway. Our strategy should be to influence their constituents at the grass roots. And the grass roots of the Republican party are not hostile to deregulation, gun rights, fiscal conservatism, and other libertarian issues–but the grass roots of the Democrats are hostile to all those things. Hell, the progressives are going full throttle against religious liberty and free speech, too.

    We live in a system of single member districts. Know Duverger’s law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger‘s_law

    Feel it in your bones.

    A libertarian’s best chance of influencing government is through one of the two major parties. We have more in common with the Republican constituencies than we do with the Democrats.

    That’s just the way it is.

    Before we can get Democrat politicians to care about things like fiscal conservatism and gun rights, we’ll need to convince the Democrats’ constituents to care about those things. We’ve already got a fat slice of the Republican constituency who believes in those things. Why ignore that fact?

    Just because Trump is in office?

    Again, if you believe irrational things because Trump is in office, you may have TDS.

  14. The new presidential cabinet, he said, might be more conservative than Reagan’s.

    In other words, unable to find that sweet spot?

    1. Reagan never so much as threw the social conservatives a bone.

      And Reagan had numerous Democrats in his cabinet.

      Understand, “conservative” mostly meant opposition to the New Deal back in Reagan’s day. That’s still what it means to me.

      Barry Goldwater was “Mr. Conservative”, and he hated the social conservatives in public.

      The conservative revolution was headed by people like William F. Buckley, who was openly advocating the legalization of marijuana in the ’80s.

      When Reagan came to office, it was the fulfillment of bringing the South into the GOP fold–they’d always been Southern Democrats before that, a la Lyndon Johnson. George W. Bush was a Southern Democrat a la Johnson in every way that mattered–from expanding Medicare through the prescription drug benefit to initiating wars to spread democracy. It’s just that the media started using “conservative” to mean social conservative–abortion, gay marriage, Terry Schavio, etc.

      Saying that somebody’s cabinet is more conservative than Reagan’s isn’t really saying much–since Reagan wasn’t a social conservative. Al Gore was a social conservative. Bill Bennett was a social conservative, but then he was also a Democrat–until Reagan brought him into his administration.

  15. That Venn diagram is bullshit on several levels. Carson and Cruz are as Christian conservative as they come, and Rand Paul was THE Tea Party guy in 2010. Libertarian and Tea Party overlap heavily, as do “moderate” and “establishment”, with Christian conservatives peppering every group except the moderates.

    Sad to see Nate Silver has followed in Krugabe’s footsteps, and completed the transformation from serious scientist to leftist bullshit peddler.

    1. I read a lot of fivethirtyeight last year, and between the beginning of primary season and the end of the election it seems he and his entire staff talked themselves into the idea that they are legitimate political commentators now, because they turned from a data website into a political gossip site extremely fast.

  16. One last thing . . .

    The stuff about how you can be both a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the world? You really need to rethink that.

    George W. Bush seemed to constantly justify the occupation of Iraq in terms of what was best for the Iraqis.

    I care more about the interests of the United States.

    Obama was more interested in giving the Iranians a clear path to nuclear power than he was in American security.

    Obama cared more about refugees than he did about American security, and Obama cared more about the impact of global warming on the developing world than he did about the impact of global warming treaties on the U.S. economy.

    I could go on and on . . .

    When being a citizen of the world is in the best interests of the United States, we should definitely be citizens of the world.

    Recent history is littered with spectacular blunders–where various presidents have cared more about the rest of world than they did about the interests of the United States. Obama thought caring primarily about American interests was racist and selfish.

    If Trump cares primarily about the interests of the United States, that’s refreshing. Trump may be wrong about what our best interests are, but if he cares about them more than he cares about people in Iraq, Iran, or the developing world–at least he’s on the right track. What difference does it make if Bush and Obama knew exactly what the best interests of the United States were–if they didn’t care?

    1. The stuff about how you can be both a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the world?

      *** wrings hands ***

      But, Ken — We’re a nation of *immigrants*!

      1. I know that’s tongue-in-cheek, but in all seriousness, if an expansive immigration policy is in the bests interests of the United States, then the case needs to be made in those terms.

        My fellow Americans should not support an expansive immigration policy because it’s in the bests interests of Mexico.

        I was working in a hospital on the edge of Inglewood (Los Angeles) when Prop 187 was being debated. One day, hundreds of students from the nearby high school went marching down the street in front of the hospital. You should have seen it. There were hundreds of Mexican flags.

        Not a single American flag in the bunch.

        Is it any wonder that Prop 187 passed?

        The immigrants rights groups rarely make that mistake anymore. Back then, they hadn’t learned that lesson yet.

    2. Whenever I hear “citizen of the world” I think of some airhead co-ed who just returned from her study abroad semester talking incessantly (in her new affected accent) about how much better they do things in Europe.

      1. I think of them, too.

        I also think about neocons.

        So, that’s why we spent $3 trillion, lost thousands of American soldiers, and killed untold thousands of Iraqis–because we’re citizens of the world?

        Wish we’d been preoccupied with America’s best interests instead. Iraq might have been better off, too!

        Incidentally, pursuing our own best interests often produces benevolent results. I wish more people understood that. You’d think Gillespie would. That’s what Adam Smith’s invisible hand of benevolence and the evolutionary case for altruism are both about.

        1. “Wish we’d been preoccupied with America’s best interests instead. Iraq might have been better off, too!”

          Bush only started talking like that after it was apparent to everyone that he and his cabinet were a.) liars and b.) full of shit. Before that, it was all about how we have to stop Hussein from acquiring uranium, weaponizing it, building a missile that could travel more than 200 miles, putting a nuclear weapon on top of said missile, demonstrating some launch capability and then blowing up New York City. Believe it or not, some idiots believed that shit was a serious problem. Even more sad, is that the same bullshitters are in power now and are trying to convince people that Iran– subject to the same limitations that Hussein had before blowing up Jew York– is a critical national security concern. Will the American people fall for it again? I ask you… what exactly haven’t they fallen for in the last 50 years?

          1. Bush defended the continuing occupation in terms what was best for the Iraqis. No doubt, as it became clear to average Americans that the Iraq War was not a war of self-defense, support for the occupation continually eroded.

            In regards to Iran, they were actually guilty of all the bogus accusations the Bush administration made against Hussein.

            Iran is a state sponsor of terror that had an active nuclear weapons program and and has successfully launched multi-staged rockets.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safir_(rocket)

            That technology could be used for ICBMS in the future. The question isn’t just where Iran is today; it’s also what Iran’s capabilities will be ten years from now.

            There is certainly cause for concern.

              1. I don’t know about that, but agreeing to let them enrich their own uranium again was profoundly incompetent.

                Point was, Obama was more concerned about saving the Iranian people than he was about American security.

      2. Am I the only person that knows people that travel the world in a vw bus with their kids and hustle work digitally?

    3. I’d rather have someone who knows our best interests and doesn’t care than someone who cares and doesn’t know.

      I agree that Hillary would have cared little about America beyond enriching herself and expanding her power, but at least she would recognize that some courses of action were so dangerous to America that they threatened her as well. Trump, on the other hand, shows no evidence of even a self-preservation instinct. The clock is ticking on his 100 days and he’s still engaging in petty Twitter tantrums rather than getting laws passed and repealing others.

      1. “I’d rather have someone who knows our best interests and doesn’t care than someone who cares and doesn’t know.”

        Do you know about the relationship between “necessary” and “sufficient”?

        http://tinyurl.com/p6qbgbt

        It isn’t about either/or.

        1. LOL, if you think it’s not either/or, why did you write:

          Trump may be wrong about what our best interests are, but if he cares about them more than he cares about people in Iraq, Iran, or the developing world–at least he’s on the right track.

          1. Do you not know the difference between “either/or” and “both/and”?

            I gave you a link and everything . . .

            Are you Tulpa?

            You’ve gotta be Tulpa!

            1. Not really seeing any point to continuing to talk to you if you are this dense.

      2. It is up to congress to pass laws. They didnt think he would win so they didnt decide to do anything until now

  17. to spend more money on the military (though he also bemoaned how tax money is wasted by that very same military)

    Well, Eric, you must admit “Set up a — no, let’s make it *three* — Blue Ribbon Commissions to study Pentagon financial abuse” sounds a lot more Presidential than “Fuck you, cut spending”.

  18. So reason wants to appeal to lefties…ok fine. But they are clearly doing it just for clicks and not really to convert to libertarian if they just fo mainly anti trump stuff. That isnt libertarianism at all…that is just anti trump

    The hysterics and signalling of some need to stop and make sound arguments like along the lines of scott and ed

    1. If a trump position is not libertarian…need to say why and what alternatives are and why they may better. Those make the good articles

      1. How about we start by not deporting people or building a big fucking wall on the Mexican border, Commie douche?

        1. There is a wall currently (700 miles) and where were you when obama deported over 2.5 million?

          1. Is the only defense you have that Obama is probably going to be marginally better than Trump on deportation policies? Just let me know.

            1. Yea so im not sure why you are hyperventilating now and not before

              As you admit it is just marginally more

              1. Are you sure I didn’t criticize Obama for his deportation policies?

                1. You are a socialist and who loves state power

            2. Seems like you are getting hysterical due to the team name and you know not actual results

    2. I know! If you don’t sufficiently praise Dear Leader often enough it means you are trying to appeal to Leftists. Got it, commie douche.

      1. You are so butthurt you got clowned out of your own handle comrade

        Lol

        I didnt say you have to praise him…just make sound arguments why some policies are bad and leave hyperbole and speculation at the door

  19. Gleemore why do you feel the need to have a name close to gilmore. Get your own handle bro

    1. I like it. Is that ok with you?

  20. Gleemore so tell me about yourself

      1. Yes, I have a transsexual Mexican boyfriend and live in the Castro.

        1. Nice can i join. So a transexual boyfriend is that a girl who identifies as a boy and you are gay?

  21. Hey AMSOC,

    Your boyfriend’s phraseology was too toxic even for Soviet dictators.

    From the NYTimes fake news for enemies to be burned in memory hole: “MOSCOW ? The phrase was too toxic even for Nikita Khrushchev, a war-hardened veteran communist not known for squeamishness. As leader of the Soviet Union, he demanded an end to the use of the term “enemy of the people” because “it eliminated the possibility of any kind of ideological fight.”

    “The formula ‘enemy of the people,'” Mr. Khrushchev told the Soviet Communist Party in a 1956 speech denouncing Stalin’s cult of personality, “was specifically introduced for the purpose of physically annihilating such individuals” who disagreed with the supreme leader.”

    When are liberals going to stop freaking out?

    1. Somehow i am not aroused by your hysterical nature regarding moscow

    2. And you wonder why the nyt isnt to be taken seriously…what trump says on twitter now means he is a soviet dictator or saying america first makes them hitler

    3. Gleemore arent you a big fan of the ussr since they embraced your ideology?

  22. How is conservatism being body-snatched? Even if we are to assume that fiscal conservatism/limiting government is a part of conservative philosophy its never actually been put into practice, other than a few years when Gingrich was Speaker of the House.

    Expanding government power to round up illegal immigrants has been a conservative position for years now. I agree that its not really a “small government” position, but conservatives have been talking about this long before Trump. Same goes for the border wall. The only thing that’s new about this is that your finally hearing it from the mouth of a Republican President, the conservative base though was always there.

    As for spending more money on the military….uh yeah that’s always been a conservative position. Hell, for whatever you want to say about Reagan’s contradictory positions in the 80s as symbol for conservatism versus today’s conservatives, spending a lot more money on the military they agreed on.

    Really the most scary thing about Trump is that he appears to be just a Generic Republican. It’s just that he’s also a buffoon whose politically incorrect, and he’s speaking for many of within the party’s base.

    Its like he said back in the primaries “Its called the Republican Party, not the Conservative Party” and he was right. If conservative means small government realize conservatives and Republicans (with some exceptions) have never been for small government.

    1. Trumpty Dumpty, He’s quite off-the-wall,
      Trumpty Dumpty won’t stay in His toilet stall
      He just goes ahead and takes His shits,
      Totally regardless of whereever He sits
      Whenever He simply, no way, can sleep,
      He Twits us His thoughts, they’re all SOOO deep!
      He simply must, He MUST, Twit us His bird,
      No matter the words, however absurd!
      He sits and snorts His coke with a spoon,
      Then He brazenly shoots us His moon!
      They say He’ll be impeached by June,
      Man, oh man, June cannot come too soon!
      So He sits and jiggles His balls,
      Then He Twitters upon the walls
      “Some come here to sit and think,
      Some come here to shit and stink
      But I come here to scratch my balls,
      And read the writings on the walls
      Here I sit, My cheeks a-flexin’
      Giving birth to another Texan!
      He who writes these lines of wit,
      Wraps His Trump in little balls,
      He who reads these lines of wit,
      Eats those loser’s balls of shit!”

      1. Do you think this is good?

  23. Trump has done and will execute more conservative actions then self proclaimed conservatives. I think they were in shock really.

  24. I looked at the check for $8628 , I didnt believe that…my… father in law was like actualie taking home money in there spare time on there computar. . there sisters roommate haz done this for under 17 months and just cleard the morgage on there apartment and got a gorgeous Chevrolet Corvette . go to websit========= http://www.net.pro70.com

  25. Conservatives haven’t been body snatched. This is the first time most of them have been represented.

    They have always been America First.

    On immigration, on trade, on war, even on the Welfare State, they agree with Trump and always have.

    They went along with the globalist, corporatist, Neocons because any even vaguely populist candidate would be crushed by the Cathedral, so that they had no alternative. Once we had the technology to bypass the Cathedral in place, and a populist candidate who knew how to use it, *boom*, he’s in the White House, no matter how much baggage he was carrying.

  26. Look, I don’t like Trump, because one, I don’t believe he has any intention of spending less money, and two, he’s either atrocious or inconsistent on almost every possible civil liberty. Those are two things that DO, to some extent, make conservatives hypocrites for embracing him.

    But this line of attack is really dumb. “Donald Trump, a Republican, holds traditional Republican views of immigration and defense, which is not in keeping with Republican small-government values!” Well, sure, if you define small-government values as anarchism. But Republicans have been using “small-government” as a rallying cry for 40 years without ever accepting the case for military cuts and open borders. Trump has nothing to do with that. You have to understand that you’re saying different things when you say “small government” to a group of libertarians versus a group of conservatives.

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