In the wake of Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes boasting about how he managed to hoodwink the news media and the public regarding the negotiations with Iran, this disgusting display is not so much surprising and it is clarifying.
Monday’s edition of the Charlie Rose show on PBS featured Charlie chatting with former Obama speechwriters David Litt, Jon Favreau, and Jon Lovett to discuss their collaboration with the President to assist his (over-praised) communication skills. Much of the discussion centered on Obama’s stand-up comedy chops—Ah, what might have been! I’d gladly take my chances in that alternate universe—until the discussion turned to this:
CHARLIE ROSE: My point is do you have equal impact on serious speeches? Because it’s about style, use of language, etcetera?
JON LOVETT, FORMER OBAMA SPEECH WRITER: I really like, I was very — the joke speeches is the most fun part of this. But the things I’m the most proud of were the most serious speeches, I think. Health care, economic speeches.
JON FAVREAU, FORMER OBAMA SPEECH WRITER: Lovett wrote the line about “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.”
LOVETT: How dare you!
LOVETT: And you know what? It’s still true! No.
Observations, somewhat diminished because this made MY HEAD EXPLODE:
1. Who are these creatures? What kind of leader hires people like this? “Yup, we helped the President lie to the American people and saddle them with an expensive, dysfunctional, probably un-fixable insurance scam that none of the legislators voting for even read! Huzzah!”
2. This is in the same, slime and vomit-coated territory as Harry Reid’s “He lost, didn’t he?” justification for his lies about Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign. Of course, the news media didn’t seem to mind that, either: the ends justify the means, when the ends mean electing Democrats. Seldom, however, do you see supposedly respectable mainstream media types like Rose openly applauding Presidents who lie in the American people’s face. Smug, arrogant, contemptuous–I’m going to get my Thesaurus. For now I’ll have to settle for “yecchhhh.”
3. The episode was probably deemed safe by Rose and PBS, since the network is hardly watched, and the chablis and brie crowd that mostly tunes into Charlie when no “Downton Abbey” re-runs are available and who can afford their premiums undoubtedly approve of Obama faking out the rubes with the assistance of these jerks.
This is another propitious time to note that this is an irresponsible waste of public funds, welfare for the liberal rich. Charlie could surely find a home on HBO: all he would have to do is use words like “twat” and “fuck,” like Bill Maher. He’s already funnier than Maher…
4. Is this what Trump voters and the disgraceful, corrupted pundits who enable them mean when they talk about “elites”? The previous evidence indicated that the term meant “those who are capable of rational thought,” but maybe “elites” means “assholes.”
5. If Trump runs against Hillary, I wonder if he will have the wit to make her defend the horrible conduct of the President and her party in the Obamacare debacle. He should; someone should. From The Weekly Standard:
“Hillary Clinton was stunned Monday when a small business owner told her that the cost of her health insurance had increased nearly two fold.
“A $400 increase, assuming you didn’t have some terrible healthcare event, which it doesn’t sound like you did,” Clinton said at a campaign event in Virginia. “I don’t understand.”
The voter told Clinton that her health insurance plan had a rigid income cut-off that was preventing her from qualifying for subsidies.
“I have seen our health insurance for my own family go up $500 a month in the last two years,” the voter said. “We went from $400-something to $900-something … we’re just fighting to keep benefits for ourselves.”
The woman said that she was also finding it difficult to provide benefits for her employees.”
Hillary doesn’t understand.
6. Blogging Professor Glenn Reynold mused about what the reaction of the news media would have been if ex-Bush speechwriters high-fived each other on TV over Bush lies they foisted on the American people. I am sick of this reflex cliché from the Right, but sometimes, as in this case, it is justified. We should have one, clear standard regarding Presidents manipulating public opinions with intentional dishonesty and deceit. It is wrong. It is wrong no matter what its objective.
This should not be a difficult ethical concept to absorb.
7. It is very difficult not to hate these people, everyone like them, those who hire them knowing what kind of people they are, and those who continue to support and enable the officials who do. I have to keep reminding myself that they are the product of an unethical political culture supported by an ethically bankrupt profession, journalism, and that the goal must be to find cures for the sick culture. Anger and hate focused on the symptoms of the crisis, like Rose, Litt, Favreau, Lovett, and anyone who would inflict the last three on the American people, doesn’t accomplish anything. Circulating the message of why their conduct and their atrocious values are intolerable might.
8. I have to admit, however, that the quartet’s laughter indicates that the message isn’t getting through.
27 thoughts on “Rueful Observations On Obama’s Speechwriters Laughing About Writing Lies To Pass Obamacare”
Shame. That’s all. That’s all I have the heart to write.
Why are Favreau and Lovett,writing policy speeches anyway? Has the celebrity/entertainment industry completely taken over the public debate in this country? Are these the best policy minds available? Who is next? David Spade writing speeches about tort reform? Probably. We already have Bruce Springsteen telling us what is wrong with public facilities ordinances.
Come to think of it, Lovett played “The Pathological Liar”, whose common refrain was , “Yeah, That’s the ticket”. I am surprised he didn’t write the line into the ACa: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”
I think you’re thinking of Jon Lovitz, not Jon Lovett.
Oh. My mistake. But I liked the idea anyway. Sheesh!!!! I guess I should do some research before I fly off and write something dumb. I hang my keyboard in shame. (“sniffle”)
Easy error to make. But I agree about Pathological Liar, etc.
I almost did the same thing.
John’s right, Jack. I googled these guys. They’re all TV actors and writers and producers! They’re not journalists. They’ve made fortunes writing and acting in crappy sit-coms and crappy movies. What’s going on?
You don’t want to know!
TV actors and writers create the false web of reality that engulfs the globe.
Who said they were journalists? ROSE is the alleged journalist. What’s going on is that Obama is so certain of his own intellectual superiority that he only uses speechwriters to punch up basic drafts he writes himself. These guys would have been hired by Sid Caesar or Bob Hope.
Two of them went on to write for TV just recently but were speechwriters before that. None have made a fortune in TV or film.
What was the specific lie in segment you quoted?
I can’t believe you’re asking that.
Not knowing about this nor somehow not regarding it as a lie are both incomprehensible. I hope there’s a third explanation.
Ten year coma?
“Not knowing about this … are both incomprehensible.”
You’re right; I can’t believe I could have let myself get distracted caring for a grieving mother, helping advocate on behalf of a friend in jail, caring for another friend dying of cancer, helping to run a feeding program for the homeless, and my sixty-hour work week to worry about political machinations that don’t directly affect my day-to-day life.
I’m so sorry that I let you down.
Still incomprehensible. The duty to be informed citizens run parallel to the rest of life. You have had three years to catch up.
And the fact that the President of the United States will lie to you to get his way affects everyone’s life.
1) I appreciate your continued condescension. Why not just answer the question instead of feeling the need to include the additional commentary about my perceived ignorance — especially when I’m TRYING TO BECOME INFORMED.
2) What a person chooses to concern themselves with isn’t for you to judge. Being an informed citizen comes in many shapes. I listen to SCOTUS oral arguments in my free time, I’m actively involved in local and municipal politics, and I work with the underprivileged to actively improve the community around me. I’m sorry my base of knowledge doesn’t meet your minimum standard, but the fact that I missed a sound bite in support of legislation I couldn’t care less about isn’t “incomprehensible” — it’s life.
3) I didn’t suggest it didn’t affect me, only that it didn’t affect me directly. As in, my insurance hasn’t changed nor has my premium gone up or down. What’s more, I’m not even eligible to vote, so there’s little I can directly do about it.
“Is this what Trump voters and the disgraceful, corrupted pundits who enable them mean when they talk about “elites”? The previous evidence indicated that the term meant “those who are capable of rational thought,” but maybe “elites” means “assholes.””
Part of the reason that Trump is succeeding is because he’s tapped into a previously untapped market: Normal Joes. Normal, politically unengaged Joes who feel like they’re getting screwed over by a class of people they’re referring to as “Elite” but that’s just code for a mix of politically engaged people, the media, career politicians, and basically everyone else who’s had an amount of political power over the last couple of election cycles.
Pundits don’t understand why saying dumb things about women or minorities doesn’t sewer him. I do: His voters don’t care. His voters don’t care where people pee, they don’t care how many abortions the lady down the street gets, they don’t care about racism, sexism or whatever-phobias. They care about taking care of their families. They care about jobs. This is the demographic Bernie and Trump tapped into. People not like us. Uneducated people. People living day to day. Bills to pay and mouths to feed, when nothing in the world is free. Bernie focused on the minimum wage and free education… Which got the younger Joes. Trump focused on illegal immigration, and job creation… Which got the older Joes. The disenfranchised lined up and voted. “But he hates Muslims” Don’t care. “But he made menstrual jokes” Don’t care. “He’s a racist.” Don’t care. Build the wall, I want my manufacturing job back. This is the pinnacle example of single issue voters.
And I think the media still doesn’t get it. They’re so used to their bubble that they can’t understand why this was so effective. Neither do the politicians, And the danger here is the false attribution of his success. Trump supporters don’t like the racism or sexism or whateverphobia, they didn’t care that he went out of his way to buck PC culture, they focused on the fact that he was the only one that they heard*** talking meaningfully about jobs and the economy. Bring jobs back, Make America Great Again, start winning deals, We’re gonna build a wall. Who gives a shit where Caitlyn Jenner takes a leak, we’re gonna fix America. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have a plan to follow through, at least he’s mentioning the issues they care about. And so the media and politicians who see what’s going on but don’t understand why are going to try to emulate this, not by engaging with the uneducated voter, those plebs will fall in line eventually (I really do think they still think this), they’re just gonna bring the fucking circus to DC.
***Which is so important, by the way…. There were other people talking about things that would have resonated with the Joes, but they weren’t covered and the Joes didn’t hear them because Trump was Trumping out and the media was more than happy to cover what they thought would be a train wreck. I’m left with the uncomfortable niggling in the back of my mind that he might be a genius.
Trump and Bernie tapped into a Truth this election cycle: The average voter doesn’t care about manufactured, extremist political issues. And if a… saner…. less colourful…. politician could come to terms with that, and if the media paid attention to that person, I think they’d go far. But in this election, if Hillary is the Democratic nominee…. I think Trump will win. I think Bernie voters will go home or switch parties, I think the left will vote for Hillary, but the right and the Joes will vote for Trump.
God help us all.
Great comment! Yes, assholes. “Elites” = assholes. Washington DC is a virtual mosh pit of competing assholes. Superior assholes. Only the most superior assholes rise to the top, to rule there. Trump would be eaten alive there, if he were elected to ANY position that has its ostensible “home” there. I will say this to you just one more time: There is NO. WAY. Trump will be elected President. Hillary is the Asshole to Rule Over All Assholes.
And what the Left wants, the Left gets. In Washington DC, anyway.
HT You stated, “Pundits don’t understand why saying dumb things about women or minorities doesn’t sewer him. I do: His voters don’t care. His voters don’t care where people pee, they don’t care how many abortions the lady down the street gets, they don’t care about racism, sexism or whatever-phobias. They care about taking care of their families. They care about jobs. This is the demographic Bernie and Trump tapped into. People not like us. Uneducated people. People living day to day. Bills to pay and mouths to feed, when nothing in the world is free.”
First let me say that I find Trump’s rhetoric distasteful and I did not vote for him in the MD primary.
Labeling all Trump supporters as “uneducated and unlike us” may be too simplistic. Actually many do care where people pee or how many abortions take place. You might want to consider that it is just a matter of priorities when faced with the possibility that a progressive candidate like Hillary Clinton might get elected leading to further stagnation of their upward mobility while forcing them to succumb to even more government intrusion into their lives
Perhaps there is also a group of educated voting taxpayers who are tired of being labeled as social misanthropes when engaging in reasonable debate over a variety of issues. Many well educated people who earn more than the median income but less than that which is necessary to be absolutely financially independent understand the economic repercussions of challenging some progressive ideas that are at odds with their own reasoned thinking. How exactly does a conservative faculty member debate a topic when he/she runs the risk of being labeled a racist, Uncle Tom, misogynist or other type of person in what could be called the “Hater” segment of society for not towing the employer’s or the group’s normative thinking. How many business owners publically regurgitate the progressive ideology or opt for a low profile to avoid the onslaught of protesters that can threaten that which they may have spent a lifetime working long hours to build
I could also argue that many private corporate cultures are an outgrowth of weighing the economic pros and cons of taking an ideological stand and often opt for the culture that prevents further costly governmental intrusion into their operating policies. Only a few have challenged the government’s desire to dictate corporate culture and policy.
If we examine some of the well publicized political issues that have emerged over the last eight years progressives have not proffered any solutions that might actually solve the real or perceived issue. Instead, they resort to calling any opposition to their government prescribed spending/control solution as proof of systemic and rampant discrimination against some protected group.
Take for example the issues of affirmative action, voter ID, or the massive increase in food stamp participation. Those who debate the merits of ending affirmative action, requiring photo ID for voting or questioning the wisdom of expanding the use of, and allowing food stamps to be used for items full of empty calories are immediately labeled as racists who are trying to deny a protected group some inherent right.
Why should we not discuss whether or not certain minorities should receive special consideration in hiring? Latinos or Hispanics, for example cannot claim the same historical economic suppression that African Americans faced. The Chinese and the Irish may have a better claim on historical economic discrimination than Latinos. How exactly does past economic oppression of African Americans justify special protected class status among second and third generation Sub- Saharan Africans who emigrated to the U.S.? Should African Americans and other members of protected classes who have done very well for themselves and their families also get special protected status over some poor non-protected class kid that is struggling for upward mobility? Technically, President Obama and his family have unnecessary protection under this indiscriminate protected class policy.
Why do progressive activists spend valuable time and resources insisting that requiring photo ID to vote is to promote voter suppression rather than using the same resources to help the relative few that have difficulty obtaining such documentation get the required documents. I would bet a week’s wage that most conservatives would contribute funds for such efforts.
As for the growth of SNAP, the majority of the growth has been among poor whites. So labeling opposition to government pushing expanding food stamps as evidence of racial animus is a deflection of the opposing view that too much government help creates dependency. In one example:
“The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has an award called the Hunger Champions Awards. One of the winners of 2011’s award was the Social Services department in Ashe County, North Carolina. Their accomplishment: an outreach worker found a new way to convince people to take government handouts, even though those people had decided earlier that they wouldn’t request the handouts:
Hearing from the outreach worker that benefits could be used to purchase seeds and plants for their gardens turned out to be a very important strategy in counteracting what they described as “mountain pride[.]”
The cited article goes on to show how once self-reliant communities that eschewed government handouts is now dependent on thgem
It is equally possible that Trump’s ascendency simply represents a backlash against the hyperbolic growth of progressive power that routinely uses ad hominem attacks to bolster their arguments. In short, many may think turnabout is fair play, or at least turning a blind eye toward the behavior of a candidate who is willing and economically able to weather the slings and arrows of the very far left is better than the alternative. Perhaps to them, he is their champion.
So when we think Trump is a vulgar man and devoid of policy prescriptions we must ask ourselves is what he says any more vulgar than the progressive’s use of demonizing rhetoric against those who are diametrically opposed to increasing governmental coercion of thought and behavior. Furthermore, with respect to articulated policy positions I know of no candidates whose plans yielded the desired results, or anywhere close for that matter. Moreover, asking a candidate to take a uniform position on every issue requires them to establish a one size fits all policy prescription. Policies are not goals. Our goal should be to make America strong economically and socially. How we achieve that goal is debatable. If we want thoughtful candidates then we have to allow them the opportunity to change direction when the desired outcomes are not materializing even if it means that they have to abandon a policy position without calling them a hypocrite.
As for transgendered bathrooms. This affects so few and is taking too much attention away from issues that affect the majority of the population. Solution: Just take all the signs off the doors and let the public use whichever one they want. Better yet just change the building codes to require only one bathroom with an appropriate number of stalls and urinals to meet the expected demand load for the building. How the hell would I know if a man with female genitalia is in the next stall. If women want, or do not care if, women with male genitalia are in their bathroom why should I care? Why should they? Gay men use the men’s room and lesbian women use the ladies room and I have not heard of a rise in sexual assaults as a result. The likelihood of a sexual predator in the bathroom is equally likely in either – unless you have a sub-conscious belief that all hetero-sexual males cannot control themselves sexually in such places. Who exactly are we trying to protect? However, if we go this route we should not delineate anything by anatomy anywhere; otherwise it would be a double standard.
If I had to choose between Trumpsters. and the Occupier’s behaviors to stimulate dialogue I would prefer the Trumpsters. Despite Trump’s rhetoric, one must admit the actual violence that has occurred during the campaigns has been primarily initiated by the left. Not once have I seen Trump, Cruz, Rubio or other supporters attempting to shut down a Hillary or Bernie rally nor have any of Trump’s supporters damaged private and public property as they strive to obtain political power.
Great post, Chris. Comment of the Day.
I may repeat some of this in the wrap-around when I post it, but supporting Trump is res ipsa loquitur. it can’t be defended, any more than setting off a bomb in a company that mistraeted you can be defended, or poisoning the water supply of a corrupt town. Many of the provocations you cite may be valid, but choosing an irrational, irresponsible and dangerous imagined solution to any or all of them can only be explained by corruption, narrow self-interest, insanity, viciousness or stupidity. I really don’t care how angry or betrayed you feel—don’t screw up the government, the country and the culture out of spite without any reasonable chance that you will make things better for you, while making things worse for everyone else.
Everyone is desperately trying to validate an indefensible position,m because so many people hold it. They don’t deserve that.
“You might want to consider that it is just a matter of priorities when faced with the possibility that a progressive candidate like Hillary Clinton might get elected leading to further stagnation of their upward mobility while forcing them to succumb to even more government intrusion into their lives.”
The thing is, Trump polled awfully against Hillary, still does. If the argument was that these people were looking for viable competitors for Hillary, there were 16 more viable choices.
“Perhaps there is also a group of educated voting taxpayers who are tired of being labeled as social misanthropes when engaging in reasonable debate over a variety of issues.”
Perhaps. I love the people who take the piss out of social justice… The Milos the Crowders, even the Coulters…. But I wouldn’t vote for them. These people are positioned where they are best needed to make the best impact: Behind a microphone. I think that “educated” should probably preclude someone from voting for Trump, because after a certain amount of political savvy, you’d realize that while the things he says he’ll do might align with what you’d like to see, you’d also realize that he’d have no ability to follow through.
“So when we think Trump is a vulgar man and devoid of policy prescriptions we must ask ourselves is what he says any more vulgar than the progressive’s use of demonizing rhetoric against those who are diametrically opposed to increasing governmental coercion of thought and behavior.”
Is Trump more vulgar than say… Bill Maher, or Dan Savage, or that asshat who wanted to shit in Palin’s mouth… (Bashir?), no. But that’s a bloody low bar. Look, you take the pundits and comedians out of it, and just focus on the politicians… It’s not even close: Trump IS the most vulgar of politicians. Period. There should be a barrier to entry for higher office that precludes god damned clowns.
“Furthermore, with respect to articulated policy positions I know of no candidates whose plans yielded the desired results, or anywhere close for that matter. Moreover, asking a candidate to take a uniform position on every issue requires them to establish a one size fits all policy prescription.”
I don’t understand what your point is. No one is good, so the clown is acceptable? Look, people accept a certain amount of leeway in policy shifts… Case in point: Hillary. Donald Trump changed his tax position four times in the same sit down last week. No one knows what his ideas are. HE doesn’t know what his ideas are.
“Policies are not goals. Our goal should be to make America strong economically and socially. How we achieve that goal is debatable.”
Policies are how goals are realized, they are the stepping stones that make them real. It is not enough just to have goals.
“We’re going to make America Great Again! We’re gonna build a wall” How are you going to build the wall? “By Making America great again?” How are you going to do that? “We’re going to win again!” How are you going to do that? “We’re gonna build a wall!”
HT. You make some very valid points that I do not dispute. As for Jack’s comment I am not trying to defend the indefensible. I am pointing out that many educated Trump supporters are very well educated and are so ticked off with the existing ruling class who create rules for everyone else but exempt themselves they are willing to take a chance on something else. I don’t see this as irrational when traditional politics has failed miserably since 1964 to move us toward a more cohesive society. In fact, irrespective of some good policy decisions, we are more at odds with one another than we were in 1964.
You aptly pointed out that many are single issue focused. I do not disagree. But the same could be said about the rationale for those that vote for Clinton, Sanders, Rubio, Cruz, et al. I know of no voters who evaluate the ramifications of every policy that each candidate espouses but they do tend to prioritize. Some hate Cruz for just as arbitrary reasons as they dislike Clinton. Some simply were tired of supporting another Bush, As for your first point yes there were 16 viable contenders initially. I indeed voted for one of the others. If I recall correctly, 58% of those casting votes in the Republican primary voter for someone else and not Trump but because the field was so large supporters of Trump were able to beat everyone else when the remaining votes were split among the other 16 running. As time went on Trumps margin of victory rose for a variety of reasons: Donald was choice #2 after their first choice dropped out; The Donald effectively also used bullying tactics against his republican rivals – which tends to support my theory that voters see him as the strong one and they want to glom onto a champion. They see him as fighting for them. A few candidates that dropped out and then joined his camp are doing the same thing – aligning with the perceived powerful and that begets power to them and prevents attacks on them. In a similar vein, I see this happen in sports all the time people root for the perennial winners in various sports irrespective of whether or not the team is the individuals home team.
Regarding the vulgarity issue. My point was that I see no distinction between calling someone a slut or a racist, a misogynist, bigot or otherwise to advance an argument they are all vulgar and forms of verbal intimidation. Not once did I hear any political rival challenge him on the merits of his position without first establishing him (Trump) as either a bigot, xenophobe, misogynist, or some other epithet. Each side engages in debasement tactics which has devolved into an inability to evaluate the merits of an opposing POV. Rubio lost all credibility with me when he made the little hands reference.
The rise of ill conceived Twitter posts and the blogosphere has made this possible. Anyone can dash out an anonymous epithet or ad hominem attack and other like minded people can repeat it giving them a sense of false empowerment. How many have repeated the lying Ted mantra or the low energy Jeb claim. One of the reasons I follow Jack is that while we may disagree vehemently on issues he does not place a false label on me except for the occasional nincompoop for an idea that I put forth – which may well be deserved.
When I mentioned articulated policies my point was that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Trump wants a wall. Is it a physical wall or simply an effective barrier to illegal border entries. Not once has he stated what this wall is. Is it a 2000 mile long brick wall or a minefield. Perhaps it is a metaphor for trade sanctions if the Mexican government continues to facilitate the movement of Central Americans through Mexico to the U.S and Canada. He has claimed that Mexico will pay for the wall he did not say how. He did say something about limiting the ability to send dollars out of the U.S. by legal and illegal workers. How exactly is that much different than any other candidate espousing increased border security before comprehensive immigration reform? Each one is talking about a barrier to entry and preventing open borders.
Ironically, we all build walls to shield us from what we do not wish to see or hear.
You said “Policies are how goals are realized, they are the stepping stones that make them real. It is not enough just to have goals.”
Actually, Strategies and tactics are how goals are realized. Policies define the parameters of which tactics are permissible. I can have a goal of equal opportunity for all but how it is implemented (the tactics to achieve the goal) underlie its effectiveness, efficiency and its fairness. Some believe that affirmative action goals are de facto quotas others say they are not. A good policy effectively defines the limits to which on can go to achieve the goal. Equal opportunity is a worthy goal. Equal outcomes is bad policy
Sanders believes the goal is to have everyone be entitled to an equal educational opportunity (very easy to agree with). His strategy is to make public colleges tuition free ( Hard to agree with), his tactics include requiring states to contribute 33% of the cost with the feds picking up the rest but that is not policy. He would have no power to compel the states to do so except by using coercive tactics to deny federal funding for other worthy projects within the state much like denying highway trust funds were withheld unless the state dropped the speed limit to 55. Is his policy to extort compliance from the states forcing them to increase tax rates at the state level?
Nowhere in his promises to gain votes among the young require anything from the recipient, say nothing of how much can be expended to achieve the goal, or what we cannot afford to do to achieve the goal. Are we willing to deny a child that comes from means a seat when all the seats have been take by those who up to now could not afford or had little interest in post secondary education. There is also nothing in his strategy limiting the amount of non-tuition fees that can be charged to a student. These are the fastest growing segment of college costs. Sanders idea for “free” college is also policy free because there are no parameters for the goal to be effectively implemented.
A policy statement may include the goal but it also establishes the limitations on acceptable tactics to achieve such goals. A goal of a safe and secure nation has a policy against irresponsible treatment of classified materials and we are still arguing over what constitutes irresponsible if not illegal behavior.
In management, we do periodic interim reviews of goals, strategies tactics and policies. Those that are ineffective inefficient, or create unintended costs are jettisoned in favor of a fresh new perspective and perhaps the strategy tactics and policies are changed to reflect changing conditions and priorities.
I am not a tax expert and I have not studied his plan in depth so I cannot argue whether or not he changed his position. Larry Kudlow who served under Reagan has stated he likes his plan which is posted on Trump’s website. Do I think The Donald was the chief architect of his plan – No. No more so than RR was the architect of his tax plan when Art Laffer developed the idea that as tax rates rise revenues rise and then fall. What I see in Trump is that he will shift his thinking when he hears something that sounds good and would resonate with voters. He is good at that. I am not saying that each shift reflects new thinking on the matter. But it does suggest he may not be as ideologically rigid as other candidates. Is it better to have someone shift positions 4 times in a week or to have someone forever ideologically bound to an position. We know what happened to GW when he reneged on his no new taxes pledge when he was later confronted with a significantly worse deficit than expected upon taking office. Does ideology trump rational management? I hope not.
You ask “if no one is good so the clown is acceptable” Perhaps he isn’t, perhaps he is. Only history can determine that. It is far more likely though that our professional politicians on both sides of the aisle could and would be very willing to curtail any extreme positions Trump or Sanders may take. Conversely, should Hillary Clinton be elected, I see progressives closing ranks around her giving protective cover for she is their true standard bearer. Sct. Clinton is as much of an amoral egoist as Trump. For each winning is everything. But Scy. Clinton has grown accustomed to being above the law. I really do not underestimate her power to divide us even more to maximize her hold on power.
What Trump cannot afford, nor would his ego allow for him to be labeled in history as a failed president. His greatest fear is to be called a loser and he knows he has more to lose than gain. If he were truly to – in the words of Hillary – go off the reservation I think he would be smacked down quickly. Scy Clinton would simply rely on blaming the right wing conspiracy for any failings on her part.
Personally, rather than calling him a clown I see him more as an attack dog that only obeys the commands of its master. The electorate is his master. He interprets what he considers the majority are telling him they want. He obeys. As the perceived majority grows they reward him more for his obedience and he obeys more. If the perceived majority fails to reward the attack dog changes its behavior. We hold great sway over our elected servants if we choose to exercise our power.
What I do not understand is why no one questions Trump on his claims of being above anyone’s ability to sway him through donations. Trump revels in his claim that he is self funding and not beholden to any special interest group – he is a special interest group unto himself. Has anyone asked Donald to put his business assets into a blind trust and perhaps have his children step down from their executive management positions to prevent him from using the power of the Presidency to advance his own economic interests? Would these same Trump voters like to see George Soros self fund his own campaign for President (I know he cannot run)? Of course not, they would attack him as buying the election. (reverse cliche’)
Anyway you made always make good points. I appreciate that.
It’s be nice if their aunts and grandmas could have charged in to take them by their ears, shouting ‘Shame on you, young man!!” A bar of soap would have made it better.
I know you like to rant about PBS, but I think you’re overboard there. We were never better than lower MC, and most in our small neighborhood still don’t have cable (or high speed). The PBS radio station is the only one with classical music ever playing. PBS still serves more interests than just the privileged. I will agree their news service needs a reset, but that applies to all the networks. You don’t rant that ABC network entire should be shut down if they screw up in the way they handle news? I don’t think that PBS gets that much today from Congress, about 15% of the PBS budget, or as a chunk of the fed budget it’s .014% of the 2012 budget. Yeah, the well-off won’t be that inconvenienced if it greatly shrinks or disappears, they can afford to get HBO or go to see Straight No Chaser live. But I and people, rurals like me, would miss a lot of cultural exposure.
1. “You don’t rant that ABC network entire should be shut down if they screw up in the way they handle news?”
I’m not paying taxes to support ABC’s biased reporting, either.
2. In my market, the one other classic music station shut down. You tell me: when a publicly financed entity puts a privately owned one out of business, is that a good thing?
3. “I don’t think that PBS gets that much today from Congress, about 15% of the PBS budget, or as a chunk of the fed budget it’s .014% of the 2012 budget.” Then they shouldn’t miss it, then.