Search This Blog

Monday, February 29, 2016

Trump And The Vulgarians At The GOP Gate

Trump And The Vulgarians At The GOP Gate

Vulgarian (vul-gar-i-an). Noun. 1. an unrefined person, especially one with newly acquired power or wealth. 2: a vulgar person.

There were times in last Thursday’s debate in Texas that Donald Trump not only entertained me (as he often does) but had me cheering. The best came when Wolf Blitzer thought he had Trump cornered as he read statements from Mexican senior officials claiming there was no way they would pay for a wall at the border. The most pointed was Vicente Fox, who refused to ever pay for a “f — king wall.” Trump didn’t miss a beat, looking at Blitzer and snapping that the former Mexican president had just added 10-feet to the wall with that comment.

It was Trump at his best. I laughed out loud.

Unfortunately, Trump at his worst emerges more often, including mere minutes later looking left and crudely denouncing Ted Cruz as a “liar” and then pivoting right and crassly ripping Marco Rubio as a “choker,” a theme that Trump excitedly continued to CNN’s Chris Cuomo after the debate and all next day. Trump’s animated mocking of Rubio was childish — playground bully stuff totally unbecoming of a president. I half-expected Trump to grab his throat pretending to gag at Rubio, just as I half-expected him to start shouting “liar, liar pants on fire!” at Cruz. The man is a spectacle.

Sadly, Donald Trump is behaving this way toward two promising conservative Republican superstars, both legitimate presidential contenders. Cruz has a 100% lifetime conservative ranking from the American Conservative Union, and Rubio has a 98%. In Rubio in particular, conservatives may never again in their lifetimes get someone with such a high conservative ranking so broadly appealing to the wider electorate (the last was Reagan). And Trump, scorched-earther extraordinaire, is gleefully doing his damnedest to destroy the young conservative.

But the long-term political damage that Donald Trump is potentially unleashing is considerably worse. In the Real Clear Politics polling average, Rubio and Cruz consistently beat Hillary Clinton in a general election, whereas Trump consistently loses to her. Trump’s stunningly huge unlikability among the wider public is the highest in the history of Gallup’s polling, whereas Cruz’s is much better and Rubio’s is remarkably positive — for now, at least. By the time the Donald is done doing them in, it might not be.

A recent NBC-Wall Street Journal surveyshows that Republicans nationwide prefer Rubio over Trump by a margin of 57-41%. The same poll has them preferring Cruz over Trump by 56-40%. So, how does Trump lead them both in the primary? The answer is easy, it’s Math 101: Rubio and Cruz and the too-many-other Republicans in the race split the non-Trump vote. It’s the perfect storm for a veritable political-psychological tsunami like Donald Trump.

The whole thing is depressing. Consider, Rubio and Cruz, the two genuine conservative front-runners, are the hardworking sons of extraordinary immigrants from Cuba. They are quintessential American success stories. They are both solid Christian family men. And into the race comes a sudden self-proclaimed born-again conservative who laughs at them and eviscerates them, and is rewarded for it. It’s hard to watch.

All of which brings me back to Trump’s mastery of an altogether new campaign tactic of non-stop rapacious ridicule of opponents within one’s own party. The New Jersey casino founder brashly accused Ted Cruz of everything from being a closet Canadian citizen to cheating when the Donald lost Iowa. Schoolboy-like, Trump threatened lawsuits. Of late, he jumps in the sandbox and taunts Marco Rubio: “choker, choker!”

Can you imagine Ronald Reagan doing this? Reagan’s “11th commandment” was never to speak ill of another Republican. Donald Trump’s commandment is to speak ill of every Republican.

Do Republicans want this as the party’s new face and standard-bearer? Apparently those on the Trump side do. Many of them even assume the insult-king’s persona, dealing with dissenters with similar levels of obnoxiousness, blow-torching Republicans in the way of their Donald.

I was in the car on Friday a little 5:00 p.m. when I tuned in to an exchange on Sean Hannity’s radio show. The voice I heard was a Trump campaign guy, Michael Cohen, his right-hand man, described as Trump’s “wingman.” He was aggressive, insulting, rude. I winced as I listened — as I did when catching another Trump spokesman on Fox that evening.

“Nobody wants them,” sneered Cohen, speaking of Cruz and Rubio. The Trump spokesman saved his nastier barbs for Rubio, clearly fuming at the Florida senator for having the audacity to go after his boss in Houston. “Marco Rubio challenging Donald Trump is like Bambi fighting Godzilla,” surmised Cohen. “Marco is trying to be a man [emphasis original]…. The American people look at Marco Rubio and they see nothing. Why? Because he’s done nothing…. Marco Rubio has no idea what he’s talking about at all…. Everything he was saying … is against the will of the voters.” Rubio exuded “the stink of desperation.”

Scorched earth. Slash and burn. Leave nothing standing.

If such assaults from Trump’s spokesman sound like something a liberal Democrat might say about a conservative, well, that’s because it is: Trump’s wingman is a lifetime Democrat who voted for Obama.

But what really floored me about the Trump spokesman was his flabbergasting claim that what we had witnessed from Trump on that stage in Houston had been magnificently “presidential.” “Trump looked to me, and to many people I spoke to,” insisted Cohen, “he looked extremely presidential.”

Really? Again, can you imagine a Ronald Reagan acting like that, glancing to his right and slamming one fellow Republican as a choker and then swiveling to his left and shredding the other as a liar? Could you imagine this behavior from other presidents? Eisenhower? Coolidge? Lincoln? Washington?

If uncorked mockery is the new “presidential,” then America truly is toast. The Democratic Party, culturally, is already in the sewer. Can we at least salvage some semblance of moral comportment from our Republican leaders?

These, ladies and gentlemen, are the vulgarians at the gate of the GOP, ready to invade and take down the party.

Please, let the left be the bullies. It comes more naturally to the left. It’s “progressives” who are picketing and shutting down and suing and jailing and ruining the lives of bakers and photographers and florists who disagree with their fundamentally transforming human nature. They relish forcing celibate nuns to fork over money for abortion drugs. The left is doing a bang-up job of being bullies. And now we’re going to nominate a Republican for president who fits the template better than anyone ever nominated by either party?

Sure, the Trump swagger and panache is sometimes appealing, as is the delicious political incorrectness. Confidence indeed is a sign of leadership, but petulance, imprudence, lack of control, lack of charity, and a flair for childish name-calling is not.

And so, the Donald holds forth: Ted Cruz, a liar. George W. Bush, another liar. Jeb Bush, a joke. Mitt Romney, dumb, stupid, moron, loser. Marco Rubio, a sweating choke artist. Carly Fiorina, a woman with an ugly face. Megyn Kelly: a bimbo with “blood coming out of her eyes”

Liars, losers, morons. All of them.

“Look at that face!” yapped Trump of Carly Fiorina. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that the face of our next president?”

Better question: Look at Trump’s mouth. Can you imagine that the mouth of our next president?

Alas, most amazing is how the penchant for insult doesn’t hurt Trump among his devotees. It’s working handily for him in blowing up the Republican primary, where he only needs one-third of votes to run the table in a race that has ranged from five candidates to 17.

And yet, here’s something that should matter to Trump’s supporters: This Trumpian tactic will not work one-on-one against Hillary Clinton. Two-thirds of the public detests this behavior (and detests Trump), and that brings me to this final miserable observation:

My bet is that Donald Trump, after eviscerating and mocking and humiliating the likes of solid conservatives like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and ruining their chances in 2016, perhaps even longer, would cool these antics if he gets on stage with Hillary. I doubt he will screech and call her a liar and choker and loser and moron and say she’s ugly. He knows that will not work in a general election where the one-third of Trump supporters who tolerate this kind of behavior are not enough to win in November.

What that means, sadly, is that Donald Trump is employing this shrillness probably only against conservative Republicans in a crucial election year that had once been conservative Republicans’ for the taking. The year 2016 was our year. It has been there, ripe for the picking. Two of our three front-runners beat Hillary, according to the polls, and Trump is not one of them. He has used the vulgarian approach to take down the two conservatives.

I bet that a Trump debating Hillary would suddenly emerge the anti-Trump, behaving like a civilized gentleman. He might well morph into a model of refinement, practically offering to fetch tea for the gentlelady of Benghazi. We may well wonder if the Donald was a Democratic Party plant after we watch his unusual class and kindness to Hillary.

In the end, Donald Trump’s antics in the GOP primary may ultimately succeed only in electing Hillary Clinton. And that will be the most vulgar thing of all.

A Donald Trump Candidacy Still Doesn’t Bother Me Because Things Can Always Be Much Worse

When seen as a political contest, it really makes no sense. On the one hand you have two, up-by-their-bootstraps decent conservative men. Men who are have been married to the same woman for years. Men with families. Men who have accomplished much and have contributed much. Men who, to all appearances, try to live Christian lives. Against them you have a man born into wealth. A man that has accomplished damned little with what was given him. A man who is an adulterer, a philanderer, a man who has literally cheated workmen of their wages and tried to take a widow’s home. A man who has been behind a string of business failures that left him either enriched or untouched while harming a great number of people. And yet, while the two conservatives can’t gain any traction, the other man is being endorsed by various church leaders and is drawing into his orbit the very people upon whom he has preyed.

How can this be?

“When my wife and I bought some land in West Virginia and built a house there, many friends in Washington asked why we would ever do that. Jokes about guns, banjo music, in-breeding, people without teeth and so forth often followed. These Washington friends, in case you were wondering, are good people. They’d be offended by crass, cruel jokes about any other group. They deplore prejudice and keep an eye out for unconscious bias. More than a few object to the term, “illegal immigrant.” Yet somehow they feel the white working class has it coming.

“My neighbors in West Virginia are good people too. Hard to believe, since some work outside and not all have degrees, but trust me on this. They’re aware of how they’re seen by the upper orders. They understand the prevailing view that they’re bigots, too stupid to know what’s good for them, and they see that this contempt is reserved especially for them. The ones I know don’t seem all that angry or bitter — they find it funny more than infuriating — but they sure don’t like being looked down on. Many of them are Trump supporters.

“Granting the appeal of the straight-talking outsider, one still must ask, why Trump? I mean, he doesn’t actually talk straight: In his own inimitable way, he panders like a pro. Shouldn’t it matter to someone who usually votes Republican that Trump isn’t a conservative — that, in policy terms, he isn’t really anything? He’s a liar and proud of it, transparently cynical and will say whatever comes into his head. How could anybody trust this man?

“Yet, contrary to reports, the Trump supporters I’m talking about aren’t fools. They aren’t racists either. They don’t think much would change one way or the other if Trump were elected. The political system has failed them so badly that they think it can’t be repaired and little’s at stake. The election therefore reduces to an opportunity to express disgust. And that’s where Trump’s defects come in: They’re what make him such an effective messenger.

“The fact that he’s outrageous is essential. (Ask yourself, what would he be without his outrageousness? Take that away and nothing remains.) Trump delights mainly in offending the people who think they’re superior — the people who radiate contempt for his supporters. The more he offends the superior people, the more his supporters like it. Trump wages war on political correctness. Political correctness requires more than ordinary courtesy: It’s a ritual, like knowing which fork to use, by which superior people recognize each other.

“This isn’t the whole explanation of Trumpism, by any means, but I think it’s part of the explanation. Supporting Trump is an act of class protest — not just over hard economic times, the effect of immigration on wages or the depredations of Wall Street, but also, and perhaps most of all, over lack of respect. That’s something no American, with or without a college degree, will stand for.”

If you have a doubt about how real this class bias is, think about the way Trump’s opponents have responded to Trump’s candidacy. They have done it by creating cute little derogatory names for his supporters and by claiming that a solid plurality of GOP primary voters are racists or white supremacists. No effort has been spent to understand why they vote for Trump but rather to denigrate them, this, in itself, is a level of contempt that we didn’t even show the “99%” bunch when we were mocking them. And, of course, we all know insulting people is the best way possible to get them to come to your point of view.

Today in The Federalist, Angelo Codevilla explains creditably why a President Trump would largely govern like President Obama, that is, we would see the extension of the rule-by-man at the expense of rule-of-law, and at the same time shows why people who loathe Obama are going to Trump:

Like Obama, Trump is not about persuading anybody. Both are about firing up their supporters to impose their will on their opponents while insulting them. Throughout history, this style of politics has been the indispensable ingredient for wrecking republics, the “final cause” that transforms free citizens into the subjects of emperors.

Both are about firing up their supporters to impose their will on their opponents while insulting them.

This style of politics has grown, along with a ruling class that rejects the notion that no person may rule another without that person’s consent. As I have shown at length elsewhere, America is now ruled by a uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party. Its control of access to prestige, power, privilege, and wealth exerts a gravitational pull that has made the Republican Party’s elites into its satellites.

This class’s fatal feature is its belief that ordinary Americans are a lesser intellectual and social breed. Its increasing self-absorption, its growing contempt for whoever won’t bow to it, its dependence for votes on sectors of society whose grievances it stokes, have led it to break the most basic rule of republican life: deeming its opposition illegitimate. The ruling class insists on driving down the throats of its opponents the agendas of each its constituencies and on injuring persons who stand in the way. This has spawned a Newtonian reaction, a hunger, among what may be called the “country class” for returning the favor with interest.

Ordinary Americans have endured being insulted by the ruling class’s favorite epitaphs [err… actually epithets, right?] —racist, sexist, etc., and, above all, stupid; they have had careers and reputations compromised by speaking the wrong word in front of the wrong person; endured dictates from the highest courts in the land that no means yes (King), that public means private (Kelo), that everyone is entitled to make up one’s meaning of life (Casey), but that whoever thinks marriage is exclusively between men and women is a bigot (Obergefell).

Trying to stop the cycle of political payback with another round of it, while not utterly impossible, is well-nigh beyond human capacity.
No wonder, then, that millions of Americans lose respect for a ruling class that disrespects them, that they identify with whomever promises some kind of turnabout against that class, and that they care less and less for the integrity of institutions that fail to protect them.

It constantly amazes me that the same people who cheered on the Tea Party in 2010 and crowed about Eric Cantor’s defeat and taking back the Senate in 2014 can’t understand that the impulse that created those things had zero to do with masses of heretofore politically disengaged conservatives voting and everything to do with the same populist chain-reaction that is fueling Trump’s campaign. And if the GOP ruling class had the conceit that they could soon co-opt and manage this movement, many smart conservatives had the same vision of an army who would push for conservative goals when, I would assert, a clear majority of Republicans reject the ideas of movement conservatives. Or, as Ben Domenech, who is one of the most astute observers of what is happening with the Trump phenomenon sums up in today’s The Transom:

Democrats and Republicans who still think that this is a phase – a fever they just need to wait out before a return to normalcy – are utterly delusional. They keep talking about voters “waking up” to realize that Trump is a bad choice – but the whole reason Trump is the choice is because voters believe they have woken up to the truth about the American leadership class. The old order is breaking down, thanks to Iraq. Katrina. The financial crisis. The failed stimulus. Obamacare’s launch. The Tea Party. Occupy Wall Street. Sanders. Trump. The American people are trying to find a new way, and they are looking for outsiders to lead them through the wasteland.

To the establishment, this breakdown looks like chaos. It looks like savagery. It looks like a man with a flamethrowing guitar playing death metal going a hundred miles an hour down Fury Road. But to the American people, it looks like democracy. Something new will replace the old order, and there are a host of smart, young leaders on all sides who must prove they have the capability to figure out how to create or retrofit institutions that can represent and channel this new energy.

In ten years, the Republican and Democratic parties may still exist – but they could look as different from what they were in 2012 as the difference between Tower Records and iTunes.

I think all of this is exactly right and it explains the Bernie Sanders brushfire that will never burst into flame because the Democrat establishment understands that voting is too important to be left to voters. Maybe I am partial to this view because it reflects the opinion I expressed back in early September in a piece titled Why A Trump Candidacy Doesn’t Bother Me.

We need to keep in mind, though, that we got into this position because we let the ‘serious’ people run the show. It was serious people who made a shambles of our immigration system. It was serious people who destroyed our economy. It was serious people who have Americans convinced, for the first time ever, that their children’s lives will not be a good as their own. It was serious people who turned our government into a jelly bean jar of crony capitalism. It was serious people who turned college education from a ticket to upward mobility into a financial millstone. Serious people gave us Obamacare and homosexual marriage. By the Great Jehovah, we have a freakin right to be pissed off. And the political establishment is damned lucky that the only torches and pitchforks we are carrying are figurative ones because given the magnitude of their criminality and duplicity we would be justified sending thousands of serious people to the gallows.

The real question for millions of Americans is ‘how can anyone do worse than the serious people?’

I am by no means a Trump supporter but I may very well be alone among RedState contributors in my determination to vote for Trump should he become the nominee, an event that looks to have high likelihood right now:

cnn poll 2-29

If anything I feel more strongly about this today than I did in September. I have no delusions about what kind of a man Trump is. He’s a blowhard. An incompetent. But Trump is the logical result of Bob Dole, Bob Michel, John Boehner, Trent Lott, George H. W. Bush, George Bush, Mitch McConnell and many other Republican luminaries. The fact that Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz can’t gain traction is that participating in contemporary politics has become so disreputable that you can all the Senate Majority Leader a liar on the floor of the Senate and still be labeled as a member of the Establishment.

Cordevilla sums up his article thusly:

But not only do opposing sets of wrongs not make anything right. As I have argued (Sophocles did it a lot better), trying to stop the cycle of political payback with another round of it, while not utterly impossible, is well-nigh beyond human capacity.

Neither Obama nor Trump seem to know or care that cycles of reciprocal resentment, of insults and injuries paid back with ever more interest and ever less concern for consequences, are the natural fuel of revolutions—easy to start and soon impossible to stop. America’s founders, steeped in history as few of our contemporaries are, were acutely aware of how easily factional enmities deliver free peoples into the hands of emperors. America is already advanced in this vicious cycle. The only possible chance of returning it to republicanism lies in not taking the next turn, and in not following one imperial ruler with another.

There is a lot of truth there. But what Cordevilla omits are one critical factors. No one believes Hillary Clinton is less imperious than Barack Obama. And now we are to the point where the choice is not going to be between Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton, in fact, their vote totals combined still would fall short of Trump’s. So it isn’t like we have an election between Trump and a Democrat who treasures civility and the Constitution. The choice is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And just like I have no delusions about Trump, I have none at all about Hillary Clinton.

The post A Donald Trump Candidacy Still Doesn’t Bother Me Because Things Can Always Be Much Worse appeared first on RedState.

Read More Here

SCOTUS: Justice Thomas Breaks 10-Year Silence

With the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, it seems as if Clarence Thomas feels compelled to fill the void left by the outspoken Originalist. Prior to Justice Alito’s confirmation, Justice Thomas and Scalia constituted the core of the conservative win on the Court. Adam Liptak of The New York Times reported that Thomas has remained silent since a 2006 case involving the death penalty. Liptak added that Thomas is self-conscious about his southern dialect, but added that his silence is also part of his personality; Thomas wrote in his memoir that he was quiet undergraduate and law school student. But not today–he finally asked some questions in a domestic abuse case:

Breaking a decade-long silence, Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday asked several questions from the Supreme Court bench. He spoke just weeks after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, whose empty seat next to Justice Thomas’s remains draped in black.

It was hard to escape the conclusion that the absence of the voluble Justice Scalia, who had dominated Supreme Court arguments, somehow liberated Justice Thomas and allowed him to resume participating in the court’s most public activity.

The questions came in a minor case on domestic violence convictions and gun rights. Justice Thomas, according to the few reporters in the courtroom, asked a question about whether such convictions suspend a constitutional right.

SCOTUSblog had a rundown of that case called Voisine v. United States that once again deals with domestic abuse charges and the forfeiture of one’s Second Amendment rights:

Whether a prior conviction for a “reckless” domestic assault qualifies as a federal “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” is, for defendants in the thirty-four states that have reckless assault statutes, not an unimportant question. Such a conviction leads to a ban on firearms possession under federal law and raises the possibility of a ten-year sentence for those who violate that prohibition. But the convoluted path through statutory and common-law precedents required to answer the question is somewhat of a snoozer.


Let’s start with the undisputed facts. The cases of Stephen Voisine and William Armstrong have been consolidated for this argument, but are otherwise unrelated. Both men pled guilty, on different occasions, in Maine’s state courts to different misdemeanor assaults on their domestic partners (girlfriend and wife, respectively). Some years later, they were each found in possession of a firearm – six guns in Armstrong’s case, during a search of his home for drug distribution; and a rifle in Voisine’s case after he shot a bald eagle.

Charged with the federal offense of “domestic abuser in possession” (my words, not the statute’s), both men lost motions to dismiss the charges, based on the same argument: that their prior assault convictions did not meet the definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” because the applicable Maine statute broadly permits a conviction for “intentional, knowing, or reckless” assaults and their indictments did not specify which type of intent they actually had. Both men then pled guilty conditionally (meaning that they preserved their legal argument for appeal) to the federal charge of possessing a firearm after their prior domestic violence convictions. The First Circuit affirmed.

Ted Cruz: The Only Candidate Who's Demonstrated Opposition to the Establishment

Donald Trump likes to pretend that he's the only reason that anyone is talking about illegal immigration this election cycle, and that he's the toughest candidate out there on the issue. That's why we hear promises about walls that Mexico will pay for, mass deportations, and rescinding birthright citizenship. Most of Trump's supporters couldn't care less about abrupt about-face he's pulled on many immigration-related issues -- or anything else, for that matter. As a refresher, Trump has hired many illegal immigrants over the years, was a DREAM Act supporter until recently, and criticized Mitt Romney's immigration rhetoric as too harsh in 2012. But as Trump regales throngs of cheering supporters with tales of hardline immigration policies, is he privately painting a very different picture for the New York Times' liberal editorial board? Buzzfeed has the intriguing scoop:

The New York Times is sitting on an audio recording that some of its staff believes could deal a serious blow to Donald Trump who, in an off-the-record meeting with the newspaper, called into question whether he would stand by his own immigration views. Trump visited the paper’s Manhattan headquarters on Tuesday, Jan. 5, part of a round of editorial board meetings that — as is traditional — the Democratic candidates for president and some of the Republicans attended. The meetings, conducted partly on the record and partly off the record in a 13th floor conference room, give candidates a chance to make their pitch for the paper’s endorsement...Sources familiar with the recording and transcript — which have reached near-mythical status at the Times — tell me that [the rumor] reflects, instead, something Trump said about the flexibility of his hard-line anti-immigration stance. So what exactly did Trump say about immigration, about deportations, about the wall? Did he abandon a core promise of his campaign in a private conversation with liberal power brokers in New York? I wasn’t able to obtain the recording, or the transcript, and don’t know exactly what Trump said. Neither Baquet, Collins, nor various editorial board members I reached would comment on an off-the-record conversation, which the Times essentially said they cannot release without approval from Trump, given the nature of the the off-the-record agreement.

One Times columnist who was present for the meeting, Gail Collins, wrote this of Trump's campaign rhetoric:

The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal. So you obviously can’t explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it’s going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.

Is Trump's real intent to negotiate a comprehensive immigration reform deal in the unlikely event that he's elected?  Collins says she cannot divulge what Trump said in the private meeting that inspired the bolded sentence above. The ball is in the Trump campaign's court. They haven't commented so far.  Knee-jerk Trump defenders will surely shout, "the Times is lying!" and be done with it.  But they've tried that once before during a dust-up pertaining to proposed tariffs.  When Trump called them liars, the paper produced audio that proved Trump, in fact, was lying.  Audio of this off-the-record immigration chat apparently exists, too.  If Trump is really the teller of blunt truths he claims to be -- as opposed to a cynical phony and con artist -- he should green light the release of this tape.  Just as he should release his still-secret tax returns, as promised.  His excuses on the latter front make no sense, by the way.  He's got nothing to hide, right?  Oh, and isn't this rather curious language coming from an allegedly staunch opponent of illegal immigration and supposed champion of American workers?

He's simply importing foreign labor to fill jobs that qualified Americans simply don't want, he says. Not true, say hundreds of qualified American workers who have been turned away by Trump:

Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., describes itself as “one of the most highly regarded private clubs in the world,” and it is not just the very-well-to-do who want to get in. Since 2010, nearly 300 United States residents have applied or been referred for jobs as waiters, waitresses, cooks and housekeepers there. But according to federal records, only 17 have been hired. In all but a handful of cases, Mar-a-Lago sought to fill the jobs with hundreds of foreign guest workers from Romania and other countries. In his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Trump has stoked his crowds by promising to bring back jobs that have been snatched by illegal immigrants or outsourced by corporations, and voters worried about immigration have been his strongest backers. But he has also pursued more than 500 visas for foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago since 2010, according to the United States Department of Labor, while hundreds of domestic applicants failed to get the same jobs.

It's almost as if this guy is making things up as he goes along, telling people what he thinks they want to hear. Sort of like a scammer. I'll leave you with this challenge from Rubio:

Trump, by the way, is hitting back at Rubio by quoting...Puerto Rico's left-wing Democratic governor who's hiked taxes and bankrupted his government:

What's next? Cutting ads with Hillary attacking Rubio or Cruz's conservative positions?  It's almost as if Trump isn't really what he's pretending to be...

Ted Cruz: The Only Candidate Who's Demonstrated Opposition to the Establishment


Monday - February 29, 2016

RUSH: Let's just get back to the audio sound bites.  Sunday morning on Meet the Press F. Chuck Todd had Ted Cruz on, and, among other things, said this.

TODD:  Let me ask you something Rush Limbaugh said earlier this week about your candidacy.  He said: "Ted Cruz has fought these guys every day that he's been in Washington, and for a lot of reasons that doesn't register."  Basically he's -- it sounds like he was almost lamenting it, but the fact is, Donald Trump stole your outsider brand.  Super Tuesday was supposed to be the day you were going to be solidifying your status as the front-runner and it's not turning out that way.  How did Trump steal your outsider brand?

RUSH:  And this is what Ted Cruz responded.

CRUZ:  We really saw this in the debate last week. We saw a contrast between Washington deal makers, and this is how we've gotten in the mess we're in now, is Republicans who cut deals with Democrats, grow the debt, grow government and give away our constitutional rights.  A contrast between deal makers and a principled constitutional conservative.  It was striking.  When Donald Trump said, "Ted, you gotta be willing to compromise on the Supreme Court. You gotta be willing to compromise on religious liberty," let me tell you, I will not compromise away your religious liberty rights.  I will not compromise away your Second Amendment.  And Donald Trump is telling us, if he's president, he'll cut a deal with Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and give away your constitutional rights.

RUSH:  All right.  Let's go back to the question here from F. Chuck Todd.  He said, "It sounds like Donald Trump stole your outsider brand.  Super Tuesday was supposed to be the day you were going to be solidifying your status as the front-runner.  It's not turning out that way."  Well, Donald Trump has stolen everybody's brand.  You know, this race was shaping up -- before Trump gets in, even after Trump gets in, because nobody thinks Trump is gonna go anywhere.  He gets in June 16th. 

Prior to that it's just rumored he's gonna run, but the rumors are being greeted with, "No way.  He's just negotiating for a new deal on The Apprentice."  That's what everybody was saying last summer. And then he did get in and had that speech announcing his candidacy.  I had CNN on while Trump was doing that and I stayed with CNN, and every commentator they had said this is the most ridiculous thing.  This is the funniest, this is a laugh riot, this is gonna go nowhere, this guy's not serious.  And then the first poll came in and the political world was shocked. 

Now, I'm sure Cruz had a plan.  I know what Cruz's plan was.  Cruz believes, or believed -- I'm sure he still does -- the 2012 returns, four to five million Republican, conservative voters didn't show up.  It has been theorized that many of those are evangelicals that opposed Romney for a host of reasons. On religious regions and the fact that Romney was a faux conservative, wasn't a real guy, but just fed up with the Republican Party, didn't vote.  And it was thought that that was the margin of victory, had those four million people shown up, that Romney would have won. 

So Cruz immediately I believe strategized how to get those four or five million back to the polls.  Well, then the field fills up and Rubio decides to go, and Jeb is in there, and early on, before Trump gets in, don't forget, everybody thinks Jeb is gonna be the guy, and Jeb's money is gonna be the obstacle, and so everybody's focused on how to get around Jeb while Jeb is figuring out how to win without exciting the base.  I mean, it was a really convoluted situation.  But the Cruz strategy was always to be who he is, the unquestioned, unquestionable, rock solid, anti-Washington establishment conservative. On whatever issue you're talking you can never doubt, you can have no doubt that Ted Cruz is your guy. 

Trump's candidacy starts blowing all that up because it took the ideology out of everything.  You know, F. Chuck Todd is right in one sense here.  Ted Cruz is only guy that was taking on the Republican establishment of all the Republicans in the race.  Now, you might want to throw Ben Carson in there, but he was not an elected official, so he had automatic outsider status, and he had come to national awareness by virtue of his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast on Obamacare.  But everybody else that was in the race, they were either governors or senators or something, and they were all establishment in one way or the other. 

Ted Cruz was it.  And he was the only guy who had been fighting the establishment and he had done it to their face.  He goes to the floor of the Senate, he calls Mitch McConnell a liar on any number of issues, from the budget to amnesty, to Senate rules, and Cruz had made it plain he was the guy that was gonna take it to the establishment.  He was such an outsider that even as a member of the Senate he was hated, despised, and that was always gonna be a resume enhancement point.  Well, Trump coming in with the force of his personality upset all kinds of apple carts, including Ted Cruz's. 

But through it all, everybody else in the race and Trump, there still is only one guy who has actively demonstrated opposition to the establishment, and that's Cruz.  But like I mentioned in that comment that F. Chuck Todd quoted to Cruz in his question and that is, it hasn't registered that that's who Cruz is.  And his question was a legitimate one.  How is it that your outsider brand -- I don't think it was stolen by Trump, it was just superseded or overpowered.  I don't know what the word would be. 

Cruz has an excellent point here.  And Trump has done this two or three times.  In a way of disqualifying Cruz, Trump has said that he's hated in the Senate, can't get along with anybody there and therefore can't make any deals there.  I have to tell you, the people that support Ted Cruz don't want him making deals with McConnell.  They don't want him making deals with any of those people.  They want him going in there and blowing the place up, and by contrast it's Trump talking about the ability to get along with these people, which is a huge contrast.  It's in diametric opposition to what people think of Trump. 

It's Trump that's out there talking about how he likes Pelosi and Reid, he could do deals with them if he had to.  Now, his caveat is, I will win those deals for the Republicans as opposed to losing those deals like every other Republican has been doing.  But Cruz has an excellent point here to keep making if he wants to, if he wants to try to regain the idea, the notion that he is the singular fighting opponent to the establishment, and he is, he's the guy, he could point out that Trump's the guy talking about working with them and making deals with 'em. 

And Cruz wasn't finished.  Chuck Todd then said, "Now, you've released summary pages of your tax returns.  So did Marco Rubio.  You said the only reason you released summary pages is because Rubio did.  Well, how are you forcing Trump to release his tax return if you only release your first two pages?  Will you be happy if Trump just releases summary pages of his returns?"

CRUZ:  Look, it would be a very positive step in the right direction.  You know, Chuck, maybe it is the case, that Donald -- there have been multiple media reports about Donald's business dealings with the mob, with the Mafia.  Maybe his taxes show those business dealings are a lot more extensive than has been reported, regardless --

TODD:  Let me stop you there.  Wait a minute, Senator Cruz, let me stop you there.  That's just -- that's openly speculative.  Do you have any facts to support that Donald Trump has mob ties?

CRUZ:  Oh, sure.  ABC, CNN, multiple news reports have reported about his business dealings with, for example, S&A Construction which was owned by Fat Tony Salerno, who was a mobster who is in jail.

RUSH:  Okay.  So you can make of that whatever you want.  Tax returns, I guess they would show if you're dealing with the mob. A mob deduction here, a mob deduction there, a deduction if you're working with the mob here on this building there, I suppose.  Look, Chuck could say, "Hey, it's speculative, Senator Cruz."  That's all Reid's was about Romney.  Harry Reid was entirely speculative.  (imitating Reid) "A friend of mine says Senator Romney or Governor Romney hasn't paid his taxes in 10 years." 

"Yeah, who?" 

"It doesn't matter.  My friend told me." 

"Who is your friend?"

"It doesn't matter.  You need to be asking Romney why he hasn't paid his taxes in 10 years."

The media said, "Oh, yeah, good point," and off they went to ask Romney why he hadn't paid his taxes.  They are not off asking Trump if he's doing deals with Mafia.  They are saying, "How dare you, Cruz, speculate like that?  Who the hell do you think you are?  Show us any proof."  And we get the fat Tony Salerno answer.  

Potential Hillary indictment clouds the nomination race