Tag Archives: Washington Post

Wondering: Why are conservatives turning on Trump?

Donald John Trump talks occasionally about espousing “conservative” ideals while lambasting “liberal politicians” over their own ideals.

The president campaigned as a sort of “conservative populist,” although there seems to be a counter-intuitive tilt to that description.

Millions of Americans swallowed the bait. Millions more of us spit it out.

For me, I am left to wonder: If the president is such a conservative icon and a believer in conservative principles, ideology and principle … why are so many notable conservative thinkers turning on him?

There might be a couple of thoughts at play here. One is that Trump is not the conservative he purports to be. Another is that actual political conservatives — except for evangelical Christians — are appalled, astonished and aggravated at this man’s history of hideous behavior.

I want to reel off just a few notable conservatives who now count themselves as anti-Trumpers: George F. Will, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist; Jennifer Rubin, a noted conservative columnist for the Washington Post; William Kristol, former VP Dan Quayle’s chief of staff and founder of the now-defunct Weekly Standard; David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times; Bret Stephens, another right-wing columnist for the NYT; Joe Scarborough, a former Florida Republican congressman who’s become a virulent anti-Trump spokesman; David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush 43.

Those are just a few names. They all have significant megaphones from which to comment on the state of political play.

I continue to maintain that Donald Trump is the classic, quintessential Republican In Name Only. He is the RINO’s RINO. I get that he appoints conservative judges and names conservatives to surround him within the White House.

He’s not the real deal. Donald Trump is a panderer who doesn’t understand how government works. He built his business career with one aim, to fatten his wallet and enrich his brand. He is a serial liar who is unwilling to tell the truth at any level.

True conservatives should have nothing to do with this individual. A good many notable conservatives have been willing to speak out and to declare their antipathy to what this man is pitching.

Good for them.

Ryan speaks out, draws Trump’s rage; imagine that!

Now you tell us, Mr. Speaker.

The former speaker of the U.S. House, Paul Ryan, has revealed why he left public life. He couldn’t stand working with Donald J. Trump.

Ryan is quoted in a new book about his time as speaker during the Trump Era. He says in Tim Alberta’s book, “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the rise of President Trump,” that he sought to protect the president from his “knee-jerk” policy making instincts.

According to the Washington Post: “We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions.”

Of course, Trump’s reaction was his normal way of responding to such criticism. He flew into a Twitter rage. He called Ryan a “lame duck.” He launched a series of tweets calling Ryan an ineffective speaker who lost Republican control of the House.

Again, as the Post reported: “We’ve gotten so numbed by it all,” Ryan said. “Not in government, but where we live our lives, we have a responsibility to try and rebuild. Don’t call a woman a ‘horse face.’ Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t cheat on anything. Be a good person. Set a good example.”

Yes, that is the kind of individual the nation elected as president. Ryan — a man I do not necessarily support on a policy basis — nonetheless is a man of moral character.

Donald Trump is hardly a “good person,” which I am certain is what rankled Ryan from the outset of the men’s professional relationship.

I guess what makes me angry is that it took Ryan this long to acknowledge what many of us already knew or believed about Trump. He maintained a mostly silent posture while Trump was hurling insults at foes and behaving boorishly on the world’s most public and visible stage.

I’ll give Ryan credit for this, though: He disinvited Trump while the 2016 Republican nominee was campaigning for the presidency in the wake of the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump revealed how would grab women by their “pu***.”

But then Trump got elected. Ryan had to work with the new president. Oh, but it got to be too much, according to what we have learned.

Trump’s reaction to Ryan’s candor seems to validate the former speaker’s frustrations. Imagine that.

This isn’t how you MAGA, Mr. POTUS

Well, Mr. President, you’ve crossed a fascinating threshold so early during your time in the only public office you’ve ever sought.

The Washington Post tally of lies/misstatements/fibs/prevarications has just crossed the 10,000 mark. Are congratulations in order, Mr. President? If so, then I offer them to you.

Your lying — and I’ll stick with that description for the purposes of this blog — has transcended anything many of us can remember.

I’m old enough to recall how presidents have hidden the truth from us. They do so because of because of perceived national security issues that could put the nation in peril if they were to reveal the “whole truth.”

The Vietnam War, the Cold War, specific crises (such as 9/11) all have produced incidences of presidents keeping certain information from the public.

Not you, Mr. President. You lie at every opportunity. You lie when you don’t need to lie. You’re penchant for making things up simply is mind-blogging/blowing in the extreme.

I have to wonder how you live with yourself. Oh, never mind. I know the answer to that. Your entire life prior to becoming a politician was predicated on self-enrichment. So, I gather that to further your own self you feel as though you had to lie to make yourself look better than you are . . . which I have determined isn’t all that difficult a chore.

Why, you even lied about the size of one of those buildings that has your name on it, inflating it by 10 stories.

You make these outrageous claims of being the “most” this or that, or the “best” at whatever you endeavor to do. One cannot categorize those as lies, per se.

However, you are really and truly good at lying.

Well done, Mr. President.

I just want to note that lying your way through life is not going to “make America great again.” Really. That, sir, is the truth.

‘No obstruction’? Not exactly

I respect Hugh Hewitt, a noted conservative pundit, columnist and Donald Trump fan.

However, I believe he is mistaken when he repeats the president’s mantra about the findings released by special counsel Robert Mueller. Hewitt wrote this in an essay published in the Washington Post: 

“Last week’s message from a booming economy should have rocked the Democratic field. Alas, the party seems collectively intent on poring over the Mueller report yet again in the hope that, somehow, someway, there’s something there. But the probe is over. No collusion. No obstruction.”

Whoa! Let’s stop there for a moment.

I concur with the “no collusion” finding. The “no obstruction” assertion is a figment of Donald Trump’s imagination and that of Attorney General William Barr and millions of Trumpkins around the country.

The special counsel did not conclude there was “no obstruction.” He left it wide open. It is unanswered. Indeed, Mueller instead cited several instances where Trump sought to obstruct justice. Mueller said the president sought to fire the special counsel, but that White House counsel Don McGahn and other key aides resisted.

Mueller left it up to Congress to make whatever determination it will make regarding obstruction of justice.

As much as I respect Hugh Hewitt’s intellectual wattage, he is getting way ahead of himself — right along with the president — in asserting that there was “no obstruction.”

I am willing to wait to see what Congress determines. The president’s base should do the same.

Donald J. Trump: political trailblazer

Donald John Trump is blazing a trail as president of the United States that well might establish a new benchmark that grabs the attention of future presidents.

The Washington Post has been keeping tabs on the number of lies that Trump has told since he took office in January 2017.

Trump has passed the 9,000 mark in the number of false or “misleading” statements, according to the Post. What’s more, he is on pace already to exceed the lying rate he set in the first two years of his presidency, the Post reports.

The Post reports: “The President averaged nearly 5.9 false or misleading claims a day in his first year in office. He hit nearly 16.5 a day in his second year. So far in 2019, he’s averaging nearly 22 claims a day.”

Hey, man! That is awesome.

Trump brags about his big numbers: biggest crowd in history at his inaugural; biggest tax cut in history, he’s done more in his first two years than any president in U.S. history; more jobs created than ever.

Now, though, Trump has provided demonstrable evidence that his lying numbers are No. 1 in the history of the high office he holds.

Nice going, Mr. President.

Trump vs. Bezos; Fake News vs. Real News

I am trying to wrap my arms around what I believe is one of the richest ironies I can find in today’s political discourse. Follow me for a moment.

Donald Trump despises Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon and the Washington Post. He has denigrated Bezos, bastardizing the mega-billionaire’s name by referring to him via Twitter as “Jeff Bozo.” He hates the reporting that comes from the Post, which to many of us is one of the premier newspapers in the world.

Bezos — reportedly the world’s richest human being — has filed a complaint against the National Enquirer, the world’s pre-eminent supermarket tabloid and purveyor of tawdry, juicy and occasionally defamatory gossip. The owner of the Enquirer also is a big-time friend and ally of Donald J. Trump. Bezos alleges that the Enquirer is blackmailing him by threatening to publish salacious pictures of the Amazon/media magnate with a woman who is not his wife.

The irony? Try this on for size: Trump hates what he calls “fake news,” which in reality is merely news that casts him and the presidency in a negative light. Donald Trump’s supporters stand with him, yet many of them — I will presume — continue to support the world’s No. 1 platform for “fake news” by purchasing the Enquirer from supermarket shelves while they are buying their groceries.

Donald Trump’s friendship with David Pecker — whose company AMI purchased the Enquirer in 1999 — has been in the news of late, given the tabloid’s involvement with the Stormy Daniels (the adult film actress) and Karen McDougal (the former Playboy model) stories involving the women’s alleged relationships with the future president of the United States . . . yep, Donald John Trump Sr.

“Fake news” or real news? Salacious gossip or quality journalism? Donald Trump or Jeff Bezos?

I believe the juxtaposition of it all is, well, more than just a little weird, don’t you think?

A real-life ‘Bozo’ hurls another epithet

I suppose this was to be expected. Donald J. Trump would use Twitter to poke fun at another man’s name, which where I come from is one of those off-limits targets, right along with poking fun at someone’s appearance or their ethnic background.

The president has referred to Washington Post/Amazon owner Jeff Bezos as “Bozo.” He chides the zillionaire media mogul for being challenged by other media outlets and then, quite naturally, mentions Bezos’s divorce from his wife — and his relationship with another woman.

Wow! Kettle, meet pot . . . and vice versa!

Yep, he went there

Trump vowed he would become more “presidential” once he took office. He hasn’t. I’m going to remain silent on that aspect of this individual’s presidency.

However, for this serial philanderer whose own name has been butchered and bastardized by critics to say anything critical of another man, well, it’s the kind of thing only a Bozo would do.

If only Trump were ‘good’ at lying; he isn’t

Donald Trump is setting some sort of unofficial record for lying, prevarication, misstatements muttered, uttered and sputtered from the White House.

One of his more recent, um, lies takes the cake.

The commander in chief stood before troops in Iraq the day after Christmas. He went to the war zone with his wife, Melania, and told the men and women assembled before him that they had just gotten the first pay raise in 10 years. Lie!

Then he said he fought for a 10-percent pay increase, even though others wanted to grant them a considerably smaller pay raise. Lie!

Our fighting personnel have gotten raises every year for more than three decades. As for the 10-percent raise this year, it didn’t happen. Their raise is considerably smaller than what the president described to them.

Here is what troubles me greatly: Donald Trump’s incessant barrage of falsehoods seems pointless, needless, foundationless. It is gratuitous. He lies when he doesn’t need to lie.

The Washington Post has been keeping track of the president’s lying/prevarication/misspeaking. The newspaper’s total now is past 7,500 such statements — and this is before the end of the first half of the president’s term! His lying is accelerating as well!

I should be more circumspect in calling these statements outright “lies.” To lie is to say something knowing it is false. Some critics have suggested that Trump simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about; therefore, he doesn’t necessarily purposely lie to our faces.

However, Donald Trump has told us repeatedly that he possesses a level of intelligence that few men have ever had. He knows the “best words.” He went to the “best schools.” He got the “best education.” He surrounds himself with the “best people.” Doesn’t all of that suggest to you — as it does to me — that the president should know of which he speaks when he opens his mouth?

The president is a liar. Now he’s gone before the men and women he purports to “love” and revere — our warriors in harm’s way — and lied to their faces!

Amazing.

Bolton has lost his spine

I am going to concur with Paul Begala, a former Bill Clinton political confidant and pal, who says national security adviser John Bolton has shown himself to be a coward.

Yes, Begala is a partisan. For that matter, I suppose you can argue that I am, too. Sure, I lean in the same direction as Begala, but I’ve never worked for politicians.

Begala is angry that Bolton has chosen to avoid listening to the recording of slain U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi being slaughtered by his Saudi Arabian captors, who killed him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Reporters asked Bolton why he hadn’t listen to it. He said: “Unless you speak Arabic, what are you going to get from it?”

Begala responded in an essay: A lot. You will, presumably, hear struggle. You will hear beating, according to a Turkish newspaper, citing Turkish security sources. You will hear torture. You will hear an innocent man’s final, desperate words: “Release my arm! What do you think you are doing?” You will hear one of the alleged conspirators, who allegedly put on Khashoggi’s clothes to act as a body double, comment that “it is spooky to wear the clothes of a man whom we killed 20 minutes ago.”

Bolton didn’t want to hear that. Nor did he want to ask an interpreter to translate it for him. He said he could “read a transcript” if he could find an Arabic speaker to listen to it.

Read the essay here

Bolton’s crass and callous response defies human decency, in my humble view.

He is the national security adviser, for crying out loud! He needs to hear the screams of a journalist based in Washington, D.C., a Saudi national and a champion of political dissent. He had the temerity to insist on reforms in the land of his birth . . . and this is the response reportedly from the crown prince who allegedly ordered the man’s murder.

The CIA has determined that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder. The president has blown that assessment off. So, too, I guess has John Bolton, choosing to join Donald Trump in the hideous game of disparaging the nation’s intelligence experts.

Cowardly.

Trump ‘afraid’ to visit troops at war? Aw, c’mon!

Donald J. Trump has offered varying reasons for why he has yet to visit troops deployed in war zones.

He has too much to do at home. He’s too busy. He’s dealing with the so-called “witch hunt.” Then he said he doesn’t want the troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place.

Now comes a Washington Post item that suggests the president has a fear of harm that might come to him were he to venture into a war zone. As the Post reports: Trump has spoken privately about his fears over risks to his own life, according to a former senior White House official, who has discussed the issue with the president and spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about Trump’s concerns.

“He’s never been interested in going,” the official said of Trump visiting troops in a combat zone, citing conversations with the president. “He’s afraid of those situations. He’s afraid people want to kill him.”

Come on, will ya? Didn’t the president say he would be willing to rush into a school where a shooter was gunning down innocent victims? He said that after the Parkland, Fla., massacre.

Hey, the president is fearless. That’s what he has told us!