Apparently “Anti-Trump Sunday” is going to bleed into Monday. Sorry. Can’t be helped.
I have been—all right, the term is trolling—some sites and blogs where Trump supporters hang out to try to get one of them to articulate a single rational, substantive reason to support him for President of the United States of America. They can’t. I am still searching, and I have put out a challenge, but still no takers. I doubt one exists.
Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt wrote a piece for the Examiner today called “Six reasons Trump is still better than Clinton,” which isn’t exactly my quest: I can give you six reasons why waterboarding is better than flaying, too. Still, it is as close as I’ve seen to an honest effort to justify voting for Trump, even though setting the only alternative as Hillary makes it a very low bar. Personally I think Hewitt is a knee-jerk hack and favored by CNN and others as the official “Right Wing Guy” because he makes conservatives look bad, but never mind: it’s an honest effort.
It is still a failure, however. He begins by destroyng his own credibility by excusing Trump’s insults and attacks on journalists:
“Bottom line: Insults of journalists don’t matter. Short of insulting my family, it simply doesn’t matter what Donald says to me or any reporters and pundits.”
Very, very, wrong. Presidents and national leaders undermine democracy by attacking the news media and specific journalists. Leaders who do that are sliding into censorship and autocracy, and devaluing the First Amendment. Obama has already started that process; it’s unethical, irresponsible and unprofessional, as well as unpresidential and an abuse of pwoer. Before Obama, the last President who made a habit of attacking the press was Richard Nixon. Are you surprised?
After that beginning, proving to me that Hewitt really doesn’t comprehend the vital role a President has in upholding our democratic values, I’m not that interested in his analysis, but still, here are his “six reasons”:
The first three are the existing and probable two additional Supreme Court nominations he will get to make. Judges Diane Sykes and Bill Pryor are two fine judges that Trump has mentioned as possible nominees and he made the right commitment on religious liberty to me on stage Thursday night. He won’t screw these up. More precisely, it is a lock that Clinton would screw them up and at least a fighting chance he wouldn’t.
Hugh signals his desperation at the opening gun. The Supreme Court is one reason, not three. There is no reason at all to believe that Trump will appoint Judges Diane Sykes and Bill Pryor (they are mediocre jurists, by the way), or anyone else. He’s not obligated to, and he is irrational and arrogant enough to appoint his sister, or Chris Christie, or Omarosa. It is foolish to trust an unstable, untrustworthy man with wielding great power. Maybe he’ll appoint David Duke! We can’t be sure. Trump isn’t a lawyer, and those who say that he’ll appoint “great people” haven’t been paying attention to his spokespeople, who are all buffoons. I can trust Hillary to appoint a judge. It’s a low bar, but so it Hewitt’s task.
“Fourth, Trump’s an honest-to-God builder and he will rebuild the Navy, which must be done. Soon.”
Before or after he builds “the wall”? I see no reason to believe that Hillary will continue to let the Navy rot, nor that Trump will make this his priority. Again, he is a loose cannon, and completely untrustworthy. Why does Hewitt trust him to do this?
“Fifth, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will at least think twice before crossing him.”
Wait, the question isn’t “how would Trump be better than Obama?” Does anyone really think Hillary is someone to cross lightly? If your argument for Trump as President is “There are some respects in which he will meet the bare minimum requirement of the office, like showing up for meetings, filling vacancies, etc,”, then my thesis is proven. No foreign despot should be able to “cross” the United States with impunity. That many have under President Obama shows how disgracefully he has served the nation, but that does not create a new standard, or turn fulfilling a basic job requirement into a virtue.
And straining for #6, Hewitt actually stoops to…
“And, finally, sixth: Donald’s daughter and Svengali Ivanka is a smart, smart, smart lady with an extraordinary intellect and influence on her father. We get the GOP’s own Valerie Jarrett, only this one with a sense of America’s role in the world and the same resolve to succeed as Jarrett possesses.”
Well, all I can say to this is KABOOM! My brain exploded. Ivanka has no government experience, and has no experience or qualifications to advise a President. She runs a jewelry and handbag business! She managed to graduate from the same schools Trump did, which proves only that he contributed a lot of money to those institutions. There is no evidence that she is a “smart lady with an extraordinary intellect.” Why would anyone responsible want a GOP Valerie Jarrett, whose advice has been generally terrible and whose influence over Obama has been destructive? He is one of the most incompetently advised Presidents in memory.
There you have it: not six reasons but four, one of which is ridiculous on its face (the last); one that applies with equal force to Hillary as well an any competent or incompetent President except our current one; one that is pure speculation, and that three-headed first one, the presumption that Trump’s Supreme Court appointments won’t be as reckless as everything else he does.
Nice try, Hugh. Actually, it wasn’t a nice try, it was pathetic.
My quest continues.
32 thoughts on “Hugh Hewitt Bravely Takes Up The Challenge Of Identifying Substantive Reasons To Vote For Trump, And Fails Miserably”
There’s only one reason I will vote for Trump: I think he’s in a neck and neck race with Hillary Clinton.
If he’s the R-nom and she’s the D-nom and it’s heavily in one or the other’s favor, I will be voting 3rd party. If it’s close, I will vote for him to keep her out.
Well, there’s one difference between you and me. I don’t trust Hillary to nominate a judge. I recall the mass firings (or dismissals, or whatever they were) of…okay, senility strikes…I believe they were U.S. district attorneys, when her man Bill whom she still stands by (thank you, Tammy Wynette) made his first moves. Yeah. Let’s elect a new dictator, and pack those courts and courtrooms so we can get exactly the “justice” that the packer-in-chief wants. Trump would try, but fail, much more dependably than Hillary, at being a dictator. I take Trump over Hillary. Anytime.
Irrational, and nothing else. There are snakes, I’m pretty sure, who would have the decency to say, “The KKK? Of course I don’t want that hate group’s endorsement. Hillary would pass that test too, and sincerely.
No, it was Bush’s AG who purged the AUSA’s. Hillary purged the travel office, which, while wrong, was only consequential to those canned. Hillary will have, as I have said, a real motivation to make women look good.
Trump doesn’t care about making his group—you know, assholes—look good.
I was sure that Bill Clinton did the first purge of AUSAs, not Bush 41. (ninety of them? something of that magnitude) I can believe that Bush 43 did exactly as Bill did, even if not as a tit-for-tat, than as a, “Hey, he could do it, so, so can I, and so I will!”
You don’t think Hillary is an asshole. Got it.
Alberto Gonzales didn’t purge the US Attorneys. He did engage in some controversial removals of some. Janet Reno, who demanded the resignation of ALL US Attorneys the day she was sworn into office, no matter where they were in their terms, committed a purge. There’s lots of criticism you can level at GWB, but he at least let the US Attorneys appointed by Clinton finish out their terms rather than have John Ashcroft toss them all out on day one.
Thank you, Steve-O. I almost forgot about Janet Reno.
Yw. How could you forget that face that almost made Helen Thomas look tolerable?
I didn’t forget her face; I almost forgot that she was in the loop for the attorney firings – and for the overkill of the Branch Davidians in Waco. For the attorney firings, I just presumed they were under White House orders.
He did engage in some controversial removals of some.
It was based on partisan politics, and that’s unethical at Justice. It’s not controversial, it’s wrong.
I have no problem, however, and neither does the ABA, with an AG wanting to choose her own lawyers. Remember, these aren’t civil service jobs. Reno’s Department is the client: clients have a right to choose their own lawyers.
“Trump doesn’t care about making his group—you know, assholes—look good.”
Glad I wasn’t trying to drink some milk when I read that one. (But would George Washington have used “assholes.” I’m still trying to be more like George. Maybe he would have!) Made my day. Thanks.
So, Jack Marshall, for whom are you voting tomorrow? I wish I lived in an open primary state.
I’ll be voting for whoever has the best chance of beating Trump here, which in this case (Virginia) is Marco Rubio.
So, I almost typed, “I would find it hard to cast my vote for Marco Rubio,” and then I realized that I would find it hard to vote for Rubio, Trump, OR Cruz. I still don’t know which Republican I will be voting for in a few weeks, but I know for sure it won’t be Cruz.
Here’s one more reason one could come up with why Trump could wind up in the White House. Melanie his wife who is a babe and would be a great ambassador to Slovenia. I’d be happy to do a photo op with her in the unlikely chance she shows up somewhere near me.
Whew. I’m glad the ambassadorship to Slovenia is taken care of. I was worried about that.
Drumpf…. Oh my god. Drumpf.
Hey Jack, you might want to watch at least the last two minutes of that… It ties in nicely with your Google extension post.
Thanks Tim. That’s great. Those writers did a great job of pulling a lot of Trump inanity together in one place. I’d forgotten about his net worth going up and down with how he feels. You suppose any bank auditors heard that?
“Wait, the question isn’t “how would Trump be better than Obama?” Does anyone really think Hillary is someone to cross lightly?”
On the Russian and Chinese fronts? Phew. Trump or Clinton? Bile…. Rising…. Clinton would do better. Ach. Ptooey. Blarghghgerhrhrhrhrhrhrgrgrgrrrrr.
If only because the first time Trump was stood up to by an equally big bully, he would either make it worse or fold like a house of cards. He might MIGHT be able to leverage America’s relative strength to manhandle Mexico. China? Tee hee.
Will you next roam North America with a lamp looking for the one honest man? This task seems equally futile.
I have yet to find a good argument for voting for Trump, but I may have found the most unethical, cynical argument possible.
The publisher should come as no surprise:
What I’ve noticed is that Trump is using the same primary campaign tactics that Liberals have been using for years and he’s put it on a continuous IV stream of crack cocaine that’s why people can’t intelligently tell you why they’re voting for Trump.
#1 It’s all about getting the voters not to vote for the other guy, therefore the vote will go to you by default. Smear all other candidates any chance you get, regardless of truth. Once a smear is said, it can’t be unsaid, therefore it can be repeated as fact. If anyone challenges you about it the smears you spread, refer to #4.
#2 Since Liberal voters have proven for years that no one cares about the truth, then Republican voters must be the same; therefore, spread propaganda as thick and as wide as possible, if someone challenges you on the propaganda refer to #4.
#3 Blow as many dog whistles as necessary to call in as many of the fringe voters as possible; every vote counts. Once you have their votes and you’re in office, no one gives a damn where the votes came from; your in office, can do what ever you want.
#4 If anyone challenges you, then they’re obviously insane and deserve to be blown off and treated as such.
There; that should start some kind of discussion.
Well, I was missing something important before when I said that he was almost entirely organization, motivated by greed, wrath, and hubris. As Jack and John Oliver have pointed out, he also has a good deal of cowardice, and more dangerously, he’s a very low-grade narrative user (combining imagination and semantics, which he seems never to use separately) who has latched onto a very popular story and is running with it as fast as he can, because it’s the only good one he’s got: the story of the successful, ambitious, yet practical businessman who is going to raise the country up just like one of his buildings, and by bulldozing through obstacles the same way Obama tried to, only he’ll somehow succeed, because he’s not polite, and because of wishful thinking.
One of the freakiest things about him is his mental blurriness, manifesting as inarticulateness and incoherent logic. Whenever he’s asked a direct question, he repeats himself over and over and continuously reframes the question in an attempt to invoke the only narrative he knows that makes him look good (“I’m a very successful person and everybody likes me”), or a story that makes someone else look bad, until he finishes talking, at which point we’re left with a stale story, a pile of empty frames, and no picture. It’s as if he’s in a place where he barely speaks the language, and when someone asks him a question about airline prices, he hears the word “airplane” and takes that as a cue to tell about how he financed the world’s best airplanes (that were scrapped long ago) and how he is therefore the best pilot.
The power of stories, for good and for ill, is that they tie together data points in a structure that gives them meaning. When used improperly, they are tools for discounting data that doesn’t fit the chosen structure. It’s great for I’m glad John Oliver deconstructed that story and replaced it with the story of the Drumpf.
It’s fascinating to see such a feeble-minded person admired by so many. I think what that shows (apart from them being feeble-minded as well) is that there aren’t any strong-minded candidates who are able to give them the catharsis that they want.
That last assertion makes no sense. Why do you think feebleminded people appreciate or are swayed by strong logic or intellect?
I didn’t mean that the strong-minded candidates would give them catharsis by being strong-minded. I meant that we need candidates who are both strong-minded and can give people catharsis. For an example of strong-minded and cathartic, see John Oliver. Not pictured: other qualifications for being president.
Or see Network, where crazy provides catharsis. Don’t, please, point to another TV personality as an example in this discussion…we have no idea how strong minded any performer is, and that’s where Trump came from. In general, if a performer is really smart enough to do something other than perform, he’ll do it.
I’m not sure you understand what I’m saying, because it doesn’t seem like we disagree. None of the candidates, unfortunately, seem to have the qualifications for being president. TV personalities, unsurprisingly, don’t either. If we did have a candidate who was qualified, that candidate would have to demonstrate catharsis similar to a TV performer in order to beat Trump, and they would have to combine it with strong-mindedness in order to get people to see problems they’re overlooking or ignoring. Some TV performers can show people problems fairly well by demonstrating a strong-minded approach to identifying problems, but they still wouldn’t be qualified to run for president. It takes more than analysis in order to be a leader.
I should also point out that the ability to mock obvious flaws doesn’t demonstrate the analytical skill necessary to understand important things, but unfortunately it’s still better than average, so the average person can still learn from it.
The Presidency is a leadership position. One need not have the ability to have informed positions on any issue to determine that an individual is unqualified for leadership. That’s why representative democracy is, or should be, superior to direct democracy. You develop trust in someone who is capable of doing the careful analysis you don’t have the skills (or the time) to do.
Agreed. The problem we’re dealing with is that people have so little skills and time for analysis that they don’t even have the analytical literacy to know what superior analysis looks like, thus producing the Dunning-Kruger effect by proxy. The regular version is someone who is so incompetent they don’t know that they’re incompetent. By proxy, people are too incompetent to recognize incompetence in other people. You could also refer to this as the “dumb and dumber” effect.
Like I’ve said before, no system of government will work if people lack maturity, which requires numerous skills in order to develop.
It should be noted that while the Dunning-Kruger effect is a real concept, I just made up the “by proxy” bit. The real effect probably covers that already.