Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump Is a Low-Information Gasbag

Trump does not treat his ignorance as a flaw to be fixed. He treats it as a precious jewel to be protected.

Presidents can tap a fount of information unlike any in the world. A corps of foreign service officers, multiple intelligence agencies, and thousands of federal bureaucrats exist to learn all they can about crucial matters and convey it upward. The White House can also call on professors, think tanks, advocacy groups, and corporations. If the president can't find the answer to a question, it's probably because no one can.

Being able to get all the best information gives the person occupying the Oval Office a unique perspective. How many times have you heard someone defend a president's decision by saying he knows many things we don't and must have sound reasons?

But that theory doesn't apply to Donald Trump. He is the rare president who doesn't know things we don't know. He has access to facts that others lack, but they are wasted on him.

He can't be bothered to read his top-secret daily intelligence briefing (or anything else) because he's too distracted by Fox & Friends—which is where he got the idea that a caravan of dangerous migrants was about to storm our southern border. Trying to load his brain with verified data is like trying to pound a wooden peg through a steel plate.

Trump, like every president, came into office facing a steep learning curve. "As he governs, he is realizing that the campaign talk doesn't fit neatly into governing and he needs a different approach, one that gets results," his friend and Newsmax Media chief executive Christopher Ruddy said.

Early on, Trump occasionally exhibited an awareness of his limits. After he urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to force North Korea into line, Xi explained to him the relationship between the two countries. "After listening for 10 minutes," said Trump, "I realized it's not so easy." During the debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act, he marveled, "Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated."

But unlike his predecessors, he has seen no urgent need to climb the learning curve. Years ago, he developed his fundamental opinions without knowing much, and he maintains them the same way.

Trump does not treat his ignorance as a flaw to be fixed. He treats it as a precious jewel to be protected. Far from handicapping him, it furnishes a rich supply of half-baked excuses for following his whims, and he strives mightily to preserve it.

His penchant for nonsense, misinformation, and falsehoods is as strong as ever. Anytime he has to talk about the substance of policy, he makes it plain that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

He also doesn't care. In a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he insisted that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada. He later boasted, "I didn't even know. ... I had no idea."

And why wouldn't Trump make things up to support his claims? He always got away with it before. When the boss (or father or host) is rich, opinionated, and overbearing, few people are going to make a habit of correcting him.

Trump, like every low-information gasbag, seizes stray bits of information—or invents them—to bolster what he believes. He has no interest in learning anything else.

Those who want to educate him do it at their peril. National security adviser H.R. McMaster got on his nerves by acting as though Trump had some use for information. Reported Politico, "The president at one point gestured toward the general in the midst of a lengthy briefing and said to others in the room, 'Look at this guy, he's so serious!'"

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, after joining with other top officials in a determined but futile effort to make Trump understand the Iranian nuclear deal, concluded that his boss was a "moron." Like McMaster, he's gone.

It's become clear that Trump has decided he knows all he needs to know and can dispense with subordinates who challenge him. Trade adviser Peter Navarro captured the secret of pleasing the president when he explained that his job is to supply Trump with "the underlying analytics that confirm his intuition."

But even as he remains impervious to learning, Trump imagines that he's mastered everything he needs to know. "Some worried aides," reported The New York Times, "say privately that Mr. Trump does not understand the job the way he believes he does" and "fear he will become even less inclined to take advice."

No surprise there. Ignorance is not a bug in the Trump operating system. It's not even a feature. It is the operating system.

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  • DajjaI||

    Economy's doing great and yes the debt is skyrocketing but that's the republican's fault. Honestly I have no regrets supporting and voting for him. Would do it again. (Of course once behind the curtain I voted for Rand Paul so yes I'm a libertarian and you can stfu already.)

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Michael Hindered,

    Which neither Ron nor Rand Paul is. They're VERY authoritarian.


    Woa, there! Hold your horses! What makes then 'authoritarian', according to you?

  • Agammamon||

    You need to stop with this bullying of other posters.

  • Agammamon||

    Bloody hell, squirrels.

  • JWatts||

    "REAL libertarians don't hide it behind the curtain.Or vote for Donald Trump." ... "We're also tolerant."

    LOL, this reads like parody.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Everything I've seen from this particular commenter reads like a bad parody.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Eat my shorts.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You're not Michael Hihn.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Economy's doing great

    That has nothing to do with The Dotard. Although one might say he hasn't fucked it up yet so there is that in his favor.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    The de-regulation has helped, for sure.

    None of that will matter once the trade war the "stable genius" is provoking needlessly starts to hit everyone's pocketbook. The use of a tariff as a bargaining tactic is as absurd as boring holes in your dinghy to demonstrate your resolve towards the other idiot in his dinghy.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    What deregulation?

    Reason articles have shown new regulations are popping up at a slower rate - so what?

    I watched an interview with Trump's manufacturing fanboy on CNBC and he couldn't name a regulation that had been lifted (in manufacturing).

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Don't hear it from the fanboys. Hear it instead from the Demo-rat detractors who have apoplectic attacks on Tee Vee and En Pee Argh! every time they mention them.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    With a little research it seems almost all his deregulation is in Oil/Gas. Like a blow-out preventor might not be required in off shore drilling anymore. Expect another BP Deepwater fiasco then.

  • Libertymike||

    How about scrapping the Obozo CAFE regs?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    How about scrapping the Obozo CAFE regs?

    Might help in 2025 when they would have gone into effect.

    Currently of no consequence.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Peter Caca,

    With a little research it seems almost all his deregulation is in Oil/Gas.


    And banks. And the new CAFE standards. You can't deny any of this. Not that it will matter thanks to Trump's ill-advised economic tit-for-tat with China, Mexico and Canada.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Banks are doing great. Dodd-Frank actually improved their capital positions.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Wha...

    Liar!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A blow-out preventor was required by federal regulations and it failed.

    Like governments often fail to make anything better for the people.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Might not"..........

    Or, more accurately, you've got nothing but speculation.

    Fuck off you lying, cheating shitweasel.

  • BigT||

    Leaving the stupid, anti-scientific, socialist, ineffective Paris AGW suicide pact.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Deregulation is good, but I don't think the little bit that has been done works that quickly across the whole economy.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Actually Mr. Buttplug, the economy isn't doing well. Remember your link about how Sam's Club is closing a bunch of stores? That's an important indicator the economy is tanking, and it's all Drumpf's fault.

    And just wait until the devastating economic effects of the #GOPTaxScam become more apparent. Paul Krugman was right that Drumpf's election would cause irreversible economic damage to this country.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Paul Krugman was right that Drumpf's election would cause irreversible economic damage to this country."

    If so, it would be the first time he's been right about anything.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Open-something-something,

    Sam's Club is closing a bunch of stores? That's an important indicator the economy is tanking, and it's all Drumpf's fault.


    *Cough! * Amazon! *cough! *

    Sorry, my throat got itchy...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Where are the Sam's Club's closing? In high tax states or because there is not much business there to support a Sam's club? Normal corporate restructuring.

    Economies have booms and then adjustments which can drop to recessions. When government gets all involved the adjustments tend to turn into Great Depressions and Great Recessions like when FDR and Obama got involved.

  • Agammamon||

    OBL's point - hidden in sarcasm - is not too long ago PB was crowing about how Sam's Club restructuring (ie, closing unprofitable locations) was all a sign that Trump himself was driving the economy into the ground.

    Now he's told that the economy is thriving and, lo and behold!, it now has 'nothing to do with the Dotard'.

  • damikesc||

    That has nothing to do with The Dotard.

    The racist economy was just waiting for the black guy to leave to begin performing, eh?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I heard the economy snuck out at night and burned a cross on the Obama's yard.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Not yet.

  • Agammamon||

    So, economy has nothing to do with the Dotard but when the Kenyan was in office we were all saved from destitution in The Great Recession by his quick action?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The Nazis are coming! The Nazis are coming!"

    You're such a delusional schmuck.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    "The anti-trade economic ignoramuses are coming! The anti-trade economic ignoramuses are coming!"

    That's the reality. Be 'proud' of being part of it. Trunpista.

  • Harvard||

    The vexation Trump induces in hyper libs and people like Chapman and the Old Beaner is reward enough for his election, and reelection most probably.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    You mean out of pure spite?

    Yeah. Smart. Because we all know 'smart' people voted for a guy who said more than half(*) of Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers.

    (*) Implied by his other statement that some are good people, where 'some' cannot mean anything more than 1/2 minus one.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He said half, huh? You have a link for that.

  • Harvard||

    And this makes me a Marxian. You're a one issue beaner, Beaner. A no- borders, sovereignty is evil, neo- college-boy mentality anarchist. You must have sported one magnificent chubby during the Mariel Boat Lift. Trumps attempts to discourage your Make America As Great As ....Guatemala movement gives you a pissy as it endears him to the electorate, which somehow makes them Marxists in your view. Piss of and stfu.

  • buybuydandavis||

    (*) When you have to redefine the most basic words to make your point, that's a clue that you're full of shit.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Mary Stack of Fort Worth, Texas is indeed a certifiable lunatic.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Mary Worth off Fort Stack? Like from the comic strip.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    I forget, how much is Left minus Right again?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Reason continues their leftward slide.
    Thinks a President is the Central Planner, instead of a manager.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Who said free people need to be managed, you Fascist FUCK?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Constitution?

    Well at least minimum management, not the Nanny-State we have not thanks to socialists who love Nanny-States.

  • James Pollock||

    As a fan of the Constitution of 1789, you're fully aware that the Constitution provides a strong central government because the weak central government had failed.
    That government ALSO failed after several decades, requiring amendment to make the central government even stronger.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    James, the central government was all replaced with fembots long ago.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bCN1TIfwoOU

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The AoC were deemed a failure but they never failed. The Revolutionary War caused immediate strain on the AoC and the Founders decided to shift to our Constitution. Who knows if the AoC would have failed and the USA would have fallen apart.

    Even with the Civil War, the Constitution didn't fail and the Union would not have fallen apart. The United States would have just been smaller than today. Or maybe the CSA would have asked to re-join the Union after slavery proved to be a failed economic system.

    The Founders fully admitted that a lazy electorate in the USA could be overtaken by government tyranny again if they were not careful even with the Constitutional protections. That is where we are at now.

    There is no documents possible that can prevent a takeover of socialists 100%. You have to fight for your right to be free.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The Federal Government is a bureaucracy that needs management by a representative, you hysterical FUCK.

  • gormadoc||

    He just implemented expansive tariffs that will help decide what companies succeed and fail. When Bush and Obama did that we called them central planners, so why don't you have the guts to call Trump a central planner?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    He's part of the "Suck Trump's Dick Squad", just like the folks at Fox & Friends.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Fuck off Mexifry

  • Iheartskeet||

    For sure, Trump shits the bed a lot (especially the last 2 months), and we ought to call him on it.

    I've been reading Reason since the mid-80's, and I don't remember the kind of personal vitriol Chapman (and other Reason writers) now exhibit towards Trump.

    Obama (and Bushes, and Clinton) shit the bed plenty, and plenty of times it was on the same damn thing Trump is doing. Chapman and others here take it to such an extreme, and they layer it with armchair psychology, that calling this "Reason" magazine now seems a bit of a stretch.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Because he's a Stalinist.

  • Iheartskeet||

    I rest my case.

  • buybuydandavis||

    We had tariffs that helped decide what companies succeed and fail before Trump. Now we have new tariffs that do the same.

    Tariff policy is foreign policy.

    The US became a world superpower under a strong protectionist foreign trade policy.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Reason continues their leftward slide.
    Thinks a President is the Central Planner, instead of a manager.

    Not sure how pointing out rather obvious attributes of Trump indicates a "leftward slide", but one can't ignore the projection there.

    The president has power. One can't reasonably dismiss that. "Manager" - whatever you call it - the Presidency's power extends to hand-picked and easily tossable cabinet members and federal agency leaders.

  • buybuydandavis||

    No, you're not sure.

    I can lead a horse to water, but I can't make him think.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Calling a moron a moron doesn't make Reason leftward. Compare Trumps protectionism against Reagan's, then you tell me who is left.

  • buybuydandavis||

    It's sad how few can make the connection between "Trump isn't studying nuclear engineering!" and the delusions of knowledge and competence of central planners and their fans.

    It's like they've never heard of Hayek.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    You know who else didn't use his vaunted president-only information network?

    St. Barack! Every time he was asked about something, he'd respond that he too had just read about it in the newspaper or seen it on TV. The result was disasters like Libya and getting involved in Syria.

    Bush also screwed up royally with Iraq, although he apparently used his info network — it was just full of crap.

    Trump indeed is a low-information gasbag, which makes him not much different than his predecessors!

    Mr. Chapman, I have heard the defence of presidents with the comment that they know stuff I'm not privy to. It is made by authoritarian statists!

    Do you know why people seek the presidency when they can get far more wealth and far less criticism by being president of a large corporation? Because the presidency is all about power and it appeals to the power-hungry. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will start to understand why libertarians are, at best, suspicious and skeptical of all presidents, not just the ones who are on one side of the aisle.

  • Get lit||

    Trump is uniquely fucked up. That he was chosen by Repubs to be their leader reflects very poorly on the judgment of these people.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hillary lost to that fuck up Trump.

    Hahaha.

    That she was chosen by Democrats to be their leader reflects super poorly on the judgment of these people.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Let's be fair to the low-level Democrats. She was chosen by the party elites, and they stacked the deck in a big way.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A lot of low-level Democrats voted for her too.

    The primary race was fairly close but, as you said, the party elites put her over the top with the unpledged Democrat delegates.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Let's be fair to the low-level Democrats. She was chosen by the party elites, and they stacked the deck in a big way."

    And who did the other dems want.........Bernie? An insane Marxist, and so worthless he would otherwise be homeless, living in a piss soaked NYC alley without an elected position to pay him.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    A Tu Quoque!

    How quaint! Now, tell us about how the pioneers churned milk to make butter! G'on!

  • SQRLSY One||

    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!
    Here I sit, on the pooper,
    Giving birth to another state trooper!
    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!"

  • buybuydandavis||

    Couldn't get the meter right throughout his poem.
    No commitment.
    Sad.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Trump Is a Low-Information Gasbag


    And water remains wet. This, plus the weather, tonight, after the game.

    Trade adviser Peter Navarro captured the secret of pleasing the president when he explained that his job is to supply Trump with "the underlying analytics that confirm his intuition."


    "I like this guy! He makes me laugh! Oh, and confirms my intuition."

    Talk about a bro-mance, bro.

  • JWatts||

    "Fox & Friends—which is where he got the idea that a caravan of dangerous migrants was about to storm our southern border."

    Fake news, am I right?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Considering the president was originally tweeting about 'CaravanS', you really don't make up a good case for the accuracy of the reporting coming from Fox & Friends, a.k.a. the "Suck Trump's Dick Squad."

  • buybuydandavis||

    CaravanS

    My God you're so dumb. These are the sorry arguments by which you console yourself. "It's not multiple caravans, it's one big caravan. Neener neener neener."

    TDS drops IQ by at least 30 points.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    This article itself seems like a low information bag of gas. Coincidence or conspiracy?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    No, it's you.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Enlighten me fuck-stain.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The article is factual yet you just dismiss it outright without argument.

    How do you explain those closest to him calling him a "fucking moron"?

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Did I defend Trump? No.
    Did I question the information content of the article? Yes.
    Was it too snarky for the simple-minded? Maybe.

    Much like you, I'm not in the habit of making fully reasoned arguments in www.blogs.whatever. Unlike you, I'm in it for the larfs. Thanks for playing along.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    PB, you are even more worthless than Chapman. Your comcept of 'facts' is a joke. So fuck off.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    I'll enlighten you: you presented no counterarguments save for your opinion. So to answer your question: Conspiracy or Coincidence?

    The answer is: Neither, it's all you. Has to be. Q.E.D

  • gaoxiaen||

    NEEDZ MOAR LEE HARVEY OSWALDS!

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    In some alternate universe, there is a diner on the grassy knoll, The Grassy Knoll Diner, or GKD. In it JFK and LHO are sharing a BLT.

  • Don't look at me.||

    OMG.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    L.O.L.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Counter argument to what? Another list of ways Trump S.U.X.? Please. That itch has flogged like pig in a hand basket. Extremely. Now what? You bitching at everyone? Fuck off.

  • James Pollock||

    It's not news that Mr. Trump neither values information nor seeks it out.

    It continues to be amazing that anyone argues otherwise.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Even more amazing is that however bad atrumo may be, he's still a million times better than the hag, or that senile commie, Sanders.

  • Drave Robber||

    his top-secret daily intelligence briefing

    Dunno about top-secret briefings but any briefing can only be as good as its sources. And courtesy of Wikileaks we sort of know State Dept. cables can occasionally beat an average tabloid when it comes to their bullshit content.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Trump is uniquely ignorant no question.

    But take his Birtherism. Does he actually believe that shit? Or is it his racism?

  • colorblindkid||

    He's just a conspiracy theorist. No need for racism. He'll believe basically anything that makes others look bad and him look better.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    So when he calls alt-right Nazi types "fine people" that is not proof of his racist beliefs?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nazis are lefty socialists, so there's that.

  • James Pollock||

    "Nazis are lefty socialists"

    Meanwhile, here in the real world... there is no level of derisive mocking which is sufficient for people who attempt to float this poop.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties always want to distance themselves from the National Socialist German Workers Party as much as possible.

    It must be the mental disease that most lefties.

    Luckily, there is no level of derisive mocking which is sufficient for people who attempt to deny that Nazis were/are socialists.

  • damikesc||

    He also labeled antifa fascists as "fine people". He is too generous.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Maybe "fine" was a verb.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Everyone I disagree with is an alt-right Nazi type"

  • buybuydandavis||

    We should, as a matter of course, require documentation that a Presidential candidate meets the constitutional requirements to be President to be on the ballot.

  • ||

    I'm commenting on Hit & Run in order to buy sex.

    Anybody got a problem with that? I'm asking you, FOSTA/SESTA!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Stormy Daniels puts out for the right price.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So does your dad. But he handles triple penetration a lot better.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Sorry, man. Jesse and his 55 gallon drum of lube don't come around here anymore.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Trump is wrong about a number of things.

    1) His ideas about free trade truly are deplorable.

    Trump is both wrong and right about a number of things.

    1a) Trump is wrong about the impact of immigration.

    1b) Trump is right to bring the border under control.

    "Opening" a border that may already have a million people walking across it illegally every year is absurd. You can't open a door that you can't control.

    Trump is right about a number of things.

    1) He was right on the individual mandate.

    2) Abandoning neocon ideals in Syria and pursuing old fashioned Reagan era pragmatism a la Pinochet with Putin was the right thing to do in regards to ISIS.

    3) Trump was right about deregulation.

    4) Trump was right about cutting corporate taxes.

    N) . . .

  • Ken Shultz||

    In summary, Trump's primary motivation appears to be to appeal to the swing voters in Midwestern swing states--those who put him in office. He's pretty much done exactly what he promised them he would do during his campaign. If he hasn't built a wall yet, it's not for lack of trying.

    Chapman calls that dumb. Seems to me that Trump is just standing in as a whipping boy for the white, blue collar, middle class in the Midwest. I believe it was Doherty who wrote that the true purpose of libertarians has always been to make more libertarians. If you can't make the case for libertarianism to the white, blue collar, middle class in the Midwest, and can only flog an effigy of their president instead, please get out of the way so the rest of us libertarians can get on with the business of preaching the libertarian gospel to the heathen.

  • Kivlor||

    I believe it was Doherty who wrote that the true purpose of libertarians has always been to make more libertarians. If you can't make the case for libertarianism to the white, blue collar, middle class in the Midwest, and can only flog an effigy of their president instead, please get out of the way so the rest of us libertarians can get on with the business of preaching the libertarian gospel to the heathen.

    Why would we need to convince the evil white plebs when we can get what we want by importing people from the third world en-masse who definitely had zero role in the destruction of their own countries and are the embodiment of liberty in the future?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "If he hasn't built a wall yet, it's not for lack of trying."

    Yes it is.
    He could have vetoed any one of a number of bills to get his wall.
    He could build it with defense money.

    He hasn't done what he could to fulfill his most repeated campaign promise. Should have been turning soil on inauguration day.

    I've never thought that the wall was that important in the first place. It can't substitute for the will to enforce immigration law.

    Build the Will
    They have to go

    Donald Trump Saying Undocumented Immigrants "Have To Go" Meet The Press...
    https://youtu.be/EBxFVgRBqqc

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Reagan era pragmatism AKA Obama's "Don't Do Stupid Shit".

    I agree. Reagan's foreign policy worked well.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    LOL brilliant

  • Ken Shultz||

    You're wrong three times over.

    Why explain it for the 100th time?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Reagan was in fact pragmatic.

    Unlike partisans like you I am free to compliment either party in the few cases where it is warranted.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No you don't. Its lefty causes with you all the way down.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    PB, you don't even pay your debts. Your word is of no value.

  • James Pollock||

    "Reagan's foreign policy worked well."

    Selling weapons to Iran in exchange for getting hostages released was a masterstroke. Can you imagine the howling if Clinton or Obama had done that?

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    And the freedom fighters, don't forget the freedom fighters. Good people. All that killing...fake news. No shit. Way back then. Sad.

  • BigT||

    Reagan's foreign policy destabilized and bankrupted the largest, most evil regime on earth. Greatest achievement in world history without firing a shot.

    We are not worthy.

  • James Pollock||

    "Reagan's foreign policy destabilized and bankrupted the largest, most evil regime on earth"

    But (oops) forgot to replace it with one more favorable to us. That was late in his second term, when the Alzheimer's was letting him drop tiny details here and there.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    What a pathetic twisted view of reality. You truly are a shitweasel.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Ken Shultz,

    He was right on the individual mandate.


    Just like Columbus was right about the Earth being round!

    Is he right about immigrants Takin' Er Jebz! or being rapists? Is he right about winning trade wars? Is he right about Amazon not paying taxes, or right about trade deficits or right about threatening companies who to not acquiesce?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Did I say he was right about "Takin' Er Jebz! or being rapists"?

    No, what I actually wrote was:

    "1a) Trump is wrong about the impact of immigration."

    Get over yourself.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Is he right about immigrants Takin' Er Jebz!"

    Of course not! The law of supply and demand is repealed when it comes to immigration. Reason told me so.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Trump was right about fucking Melania. That's about it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I can't really fault his choice in women.

  • James Pollock||

    Well,he can. He's twice-divorced, and nowadays has to pay women off after sleeping with him. That's a step up from having to pay them TO sleep with him, but not a very big step.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Always have to watch one's back when one I s around progtards. Your kind are the worst sort of treasonous trash.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Trump Is a Low-Information Gasbag

    And he's a surprisingly typical politician in other ways, too.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    ^This guy gets it

  • Rhywun||

    I used to come here as an antidote to Facebook.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I know, it's sad isn't it.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Especially since the Links were deleted.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Pointless rant says what?

  • damikesc||

    I am always amazed at Reason pretending that, somehow, Trump is unique with this. I didn't notice many comments about Obama being a low-info gasbag and he was basically identical.

  • JFree||

    Obama wasn't low-info. Obama and Trump were only identical in that they both loved hearing themselves talk/tweet. So yeah - gasbags.

    Where have you gone Calvin Coolidge?

  • damikesc||

    Obama wasn't low-info.

    He very much was. He wasn't much for PDB either. He certainly was an imbecile on most issues on which he opined.

  • JFree||

    The only Prez's who have attended the in-person PDB's by the CIA every day were the Bushs and Ford. The others have all relied on their NS adviser to do that every day - but read the PDB and have then met with and relied on their NSA. Trump obviously hasn't done that - since he's had 4 NSA's in a bit over a year - and the only one who lasted for more than a month was sidelined for most of his time in office.

    Putting Trump in the same category as ANYONE else re his interest in information is just the height of blind partisanship. Trump is UNIQUELY contemptuous of any information that isn't merely ego-boosting. And everyone who has spoken publicly about his pre-Prez mgmt/decision style has said the same thing.

    Anyone who thinks that Trumps imbecilic love of dictators and authoritarians - or who thinks he has actually opined on ANYTHING that is thought about beforehand - is beyond a merely stupid partisan. Trump is uniquely moronic - as is EVERY SINGLE PERSON who still defends him on that basis.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Obama knew everything so he never needed outside info.

  • Dizzle||

    No the real problem is them, and most people in these comments who disagree with those who sometimes support trump, is that any of us really wanted him.

    We all knew going in he was a total doofus at times, but the supreme court picks, deregulation, and tax cuts were about the best things we could hope for from the major candidates, and Gary Johnson just didn't cut it. Especially for people like me in swing states where its not as easy to always make "moral" votes if you actually want to influence things in the present.

  • damikesc||

    For me, I'd rather a guy the bureaucracy hates and who dislikes them back over a corrupt shrew who the bureaucracy LOVES (we had no idea how much) and will happily work with.

    Imagine how different the world would be if she had won. Weinstein would still be a genius artist.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I much prefer a President who doesn't have a Central Planner's delusion of omniscience.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    It's as if you don't recognize the difference between a king and a commoner...

  • James Pollock||

    le roi est morete. viva le roi.

  • Longtobefree||

    Here is a bit of wisdom from my first job. (This is in the dark ages of 1970)
    There was a sign on my boss's desk, facing whoever was facing him; "right or wrong, I'm still the boss".
    Most of my co-workers took it as a threat not to disagree; I took it as a reminder that he was human and could be wrong, but was the one who took the responsibility for what the entire department did.
    So right or wrong, he is still the President. And duly elected.
    So Steve, less whining and more campaigning next time.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I remember when Obama was a low-information gasbag too.

    Who remembers when W Bush was a low-information gasbag?

    Anyone here remember when Bill Clinton was a low-information gasbag?

  • JuanQPublic||

    Obama and W Bush were obviously standard fare for Republicrat politicians in that they routinely practiced lies of omission.

    Trump does, however, take it to another level, as he is over-the-top on nearly everything he says and does, so logically, so Trump the real estate developer easily carries over to Trump the politician. And he's quite open about it.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I try to forget.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I remember when Obama was a low-information gasbag too."

    There has never been a time when Obama wasn't a low-information gasbag.

    Right up to this very minute.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I remember when Bill Clinton had delusions of godhood, and thought he could feel the pain of 300 million people.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Trump Is a Low-Information Gasbag

    This could very well describe many of the "most outspoken" people on Twitter.

  • Jerryskids||

    Who knew health care - or anything else - could be so complicated? Trade wars, on the other hand, are good and easy to win. Easy as bombing the shit out of ISIS and taking their oil.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    To be fair, Trump's plan has ISIS nearly defeated on the battlefield.

    China is scared of tariffs as they are doubling down on retaliatory tariffs. This tells you that they do not have a good plan to counter the USA challenging their trade policies. Its clear they are going to react to any move the USA makes which Trump loves to troll people who simply react to what he does rather than defeat him.

  • James Pollock||

    You'll know China is pissed when they stop buying the Treasury's debt. They're approximately 0% scared of Trump.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I guess we will find out.

    Somehow I doubt you will give credit to Trump for getting the Chinese to cooperate.

  • James Pollock||

    I will if he has anything to do with it. I consider that a very unlikely scenario, but not impossible.

    I somehow doubt you'll call him on it if he takes credit for something that had nothing to do with him, or if he caves and gives away more than he gets, so he can claim to accomplish something.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    LC has far more integrity than you, so it isn't wises to make those assertions towards him.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    "...Trump loves to troll people who simply react to what he does rather than defeat him."

    "If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him."

  • JuanQPublic||

    This is the "economic nationalism" that was touted during Trump's campaign, where we pretend that the US can click its heels and return to a bygone era before economic globalization.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So you would have the US continue t sit back and let foreign countries run roughshod over us on trade agreements?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I'm sure the comments above are chocked full of respectful and thoughtful debate. /sarc

  • BigT||

    CA is true to his name!

  • Leeada47||

    Pity Steve Chapman has nothing to write about. Like it or not, Trump is President. Get over yourself

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    And even more importantly, he is only in there for a limited time, just like every other disaster of a president we've put up with...

  • buybuydandavis||

    Only 7 more years!

  • James Pollock||

    You said 7 years, but you meant 7 months, right? The midterm elections are only 7 months away.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Still consoling yourself with wish fulfillment fantasies of an impeachment?

  • James Pollock||

    Impeachment? Hell, no. Better an incompetent windbag than a religious autocrat.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Pollock, an impeachment is the last thing you proggies want. If you try to undo the election. It will get real fucking bad for your kind.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    GW Bush and Obama were idiots, too. But unlike Trump, they and most politicians are better at faking it.

  • Don't look at me.||

    So, no real difference then?

  • MikeP2||

    I've been mid-level management in a few large companies. I've had glimpses at times of what the CEO and top execs do on a daily basis and it is a humbling experience. The levels of intelligence, drive, energy, are simple unreal....which is why they are there at that level. I gather Chapman never had this insight, because to declare based on rumor and inference that the POTUS is an ignorant gasbag does nothing more than show to all how deep the author's own ignorance is of what it takes to function at those levels. Sad and pathetic.

    Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump have all been functionally successful at the highest levels of our society. No one functions at those levels who is "ignorant". It is laughable to declare that they are. It may not be Hawking level science smarts, but NO ONE maintains any longevity of success at those levels who isn't in the top tier of some measure of intellectual and/or emotional intelligence. It's just not possible.

  • James Pollock||

    "Trump have all been functionally successful at the highest levels of our society."

    Do you consider it "successful" to be born to wealthy parents?

    Here's a fact. If Mr. Trump had taken his inheritance and invested it entirely in stock index funds, he'd be a billionaire today, instead of a guy afraid people will see his tax returns and see how much money he ACTUALLY has.

    Objectively, he's got less money (managed himself) than he would have if he'd bought into stock index funds (managed by others). That means he's in the bottom 50% of business managers. And he ran on his history of "business success".

    We got what was advertised. EXACTLY what was advertised.

  • MikeP2||

    So your argument is nothing more then regurgitation of proggy sound bites?

    Trump has managed a sound business for decades, leveraged his name as a globally recognized brand, and got himself elected potus. Argue his policies.... but to pretend he isnt successful at the highest levels is so laughably idiotic.

  • James Pollock||

    "So your argument is nothing more then regurgitation of proggy sound bites?"

    Is that how you refer to facts? If so, yes. Those are the facts."

    "Trump has managed a sound business for decades"
    Poorly.

    " leveraged his name as a globally recognized brand"
    PT Barnum had a saying that's relevant. Something about buyers of the Trump name as a globally recognized brand every minute.

    "got himself elected potus"
    Getting elected is the START of a political career, not the highlight.

    "Argue his policies"
    What policies? They seem to vary depending on who talked to him most recently. There's no actual accomplishments to show what his policies are, other than tweeting to complain about things. Literally anyone who can operate a phone or a PC can do THAT.

    " to pretend he isnt successful at the highest levels is so laughably idiotic."
    To pretend? Maybe. But there's no pretending here.

    Tell you what, come back when he repeals Obamacare, which he's going to do on Day One of his Presidency. Brag about that Better Deal he's going to negotiate with Iran. Or point to that see-through, air-tight border wall that Mexico paid for. Or anything else he promised the suckers, er, buyers of his "globally recognized brand".

    The guy talks bullshit. He is a bullshitter. Bullshit is what he peddles, over and over, every time. You may be buying it, but none for me, thanks. You can take mine, and have a double portion.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Pollock is just regurgitating nonsense from Media Matters talking points. That's what he does.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    All of those people, even Trump, have been most successful in politics, hardly the highest level of society and arguably one of the lowest.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Trump has been successful at the highest levels in business, media, and politics.

    He is by far the most generally accomplished of the Presidents listed.

  • James Pollock||

    "Trump has been successful at the highest levels in business, media, and politics"

    Lolwut? He's 0 for 3 in these categories.

  • BigT||

    Right. His name isn't on any buildings, his TV show got no audience, and he was crushed by an incompetent, crooked bitch. Complete failure!!

    Oh, wait...

  • James Pollock||

    If your daddy was rich and left you a big pile of money, maybe you'd put your name on some buildings, too. Mine would be in businesses that made money, and honestly. The guy had a casino. A business where people literally come to you, leave their money, and go home, in large numbers. He ran that into bankruptcy. His defense for why Trump University wasn't a fraudulent scam was that it was too obviously a scam to be fraudulent.
    "His" TV show was Mark Burnett's TV show, and Mr. Burnett has a track record of successful shows.
    Finally, yes, Mr. Trump was crushed by an incompetent, crooked bitch, along with over 3 million other Americans who wanted "not him" to be President than wanted him to be President..

  • Elias Fakaname||

    More media Matters talking points........

    All bullshit really. You probably domt even understand what you're saying. You are a parrot.

  • buybuydandavis||

    TDS is the greatest hallucinogen ever!

  • plaasjaapie||

    More never-Trump bullshit by people who can't understand why, after half a century of failed "expert advice" from people like them, that they aren't in the drivers' seat any more. :/

  • James Pollock||

    So it's better to have the drivers' seat empty?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    When it comes to the federal government? Absolutely!

  • James Pollock||

    So you prefer the bureaucracy to run things? Noted.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    That's not really the only alternative option...

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Another worthless article from a worthless columnist. Chapman should be put to highest and best use by having all his organs harvested.

  • James Pollock||

    ... you took the time to read it.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Not me.

    Does anyone read the articles at Reason anymore?
    I'll read Bailey. And Ed. The weekly nut punch from Skenazy. And new writers I have yet to determine are idiots.
    But otherwise the writers are a bunch of born clowns or those beclowned by their TDS.

    This low information hissy fit would be an embarrassment to any org with even the most minimal journalistic standards. "Me hatey Trump. Trump stoopid."

    I'm here for the comments, not the articles.

  • Lucius Fergeson||

    The thing is I actually bothered to read (really watch) the article where Gillespie interviewed Justin Amash because there was something to actually be learned or understood and the writer didn't personally put his biases right in the fucking title. If Chapman can't even do that as a journalist and just writes shitty clickbaitty pieces about how much he hates Trump (essentially) instead talking about the many problems emanating from the White House in terms of the current build up to the trade war, out of control spending, immigration and the like (just like Amash did), then really what separates him from other "low-info gasbags" like Trump or Obama or Bush, who essentially do the same thing but for political ends? And this guy writes for a fucking paper called Reason for Christ's sake. Half the fucking article is an unironic ad hominem against Trump because "boo hoo Trump is a big fat idiot". The thing is that he isn't wrong, but 1) he acts like Trump is somehow special in this when we literally had Presidents like Bush who went into Iraq on sketchy information and destroyed a sovereign nation and Obama who did the same thing but with Syria and 2)he acts in the same stupid manner Trump does by doing this shit. I can truly understand why faith in the press is so low: because they essentially turned into a tabloid farm of a sort and don't actually report the news in a trustworthy manner.

  • BigT||

    Buy buy - ENB, Cathy Young, KMW and Welch are worth reading most of the time. And how about Napolitano?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Napolitano - he's ok. Maybe I've been missing his articles, but I don't remember seeing one lately. I didn't even think of him.

    The others are ok, as long as the article isn't touching on Trump. Which unfortunately, is not often enough.

    I follow ENB and Young on twitter. Young used to be my favorite writer at Reason, but she's got terminal TDS. I often point out her crazy in homage to the writer she used to be. "There is still good in you."

    Maybe for more of them, what's happening is that the Left-Right axis is shifting to a Globalist-Nationalist axis, and all of them are Globalist faithful. Open Borders and unrestricted access to US markets are articles of faith, and anyone who disagrees is taken as racist, stupid, or both.

    Fine, believe it, but *articles* that hinge on "everyone who disagrees with me is a stupid racist poopyhead" are not really journalism. Or, they're what passes for journalism at Vox and HuffPo.

    Compare to an article by Ed. Less ad hominem. Actual facts. Including ones that don't support his own biases. More reporting, less propagandizing. Old school. What was once called "journalism".

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "... you took the time to read it."

    I never read his articles, unlike you. I go straight to the comments. Chapman is a gibbering subnormal, much like yourself. His articles are all shot, so it is unnecessary to read them.

  • Sugarsail||

    Folks, Reason Magazine has been hacked by chagrined liberals trying to win the Libertarian heart. Don't be fooled. Look at the guy that wrote this article, Mr. Chapman, he is a hard-left Chicago Tribune writer whose idea of journalism, commentary and analysis is little more than a series of ad hominem attacks on Trump...he has nothing to do with Libertarian thought or rational discourse.

  • Liberty Lover||

    Trump hasn't changed one bit since becoming president, though peoples opinion of him has changed.

  • CapitalistRoader||

    And completely unlike the previous gasbag:

    "I think that I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm gonna think I'm a better political director than my political director."
    Sen. Barack Obama, as quoted in 'The New York Times', Sep. 2008

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