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Why We’re Ungovernable, Part 12: Trump Is No Longer The Worst Case Scenario

Republican party insiders expected The Donald to have his 15 minutes and then, when the reality of what President Trump might mean sinks in, lose the nomination to someone more mainstream. Which is why so many senators and ex-governors are still in the race despite low single-digit poll numbers.

But few expected a challenger who makes Trump look reasonable by comparison — and thus makes voting for him seem like an act of party preservation. Enter Ted Cruz, an authoritarian Christian conservative who is, as the Sunday talk shows keep saying, the most hated man in the Senate:

Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Republicans Argue Over Who Is Greater Threat

(New York Times) — With Donald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz battling for the Republican nomination, two powerful factions of their party are now clashing over the question: Which man is more dangerous?

Conservative intellectuals have become convinced that Mr. Trump, with his message of nationalist-infused populism, poses a dire threat to conservatism, and released a manifesto online Thursday night to try to stop him.

However, the cadre of Republican lobbyists, operatives and elected officials based in Washington is much more unnerved by Mr. Cruz, a go-it-alone, hard-right crusader who campaigns against the political establishment and could curtail their influence and access, building his own Republican machine to essentially replace them.

The division illuminates much about modern Republicanism and the surprising bedfellows brought about when an emerging political force begins to imperil entrenched power.

The Republicans who dominate the right-leaning magazines, journals and political groups can live with Mr. Cruz, believing that his nomination would leave the party divided, but manageably so, extending a longstanding intramural debate over pragmatism versus purity that has been waged since the days of Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller. They say Mr. Trump, on the other hand, poses the most serious peril to the conservative movement since the 1950s-era far-right John Birch Society.

Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review — embracing the role of his predecessor, William F. Buckley, who in the 1960s confronted Birch Society members — reached out to conservative thinkers to lend their names to the manifesto against Mr. Trump. He drew on some of the country’s leading conservatives, including Erick Erickson, William Kristol and Yuval Levin, to write essays buttressing the argument that Mr. Trump had no commitment to restraining the role of government and possessed authoritarian impulses antithetical to conservative principles.

“Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot on behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as The Donald himself,” the magazine said in an editorial accompanying the manifesto, titled “Against Trump.”

Yet many members of the Republican influence apparatus, especially lobbyists and political strategists, say they could work with Mr. Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, believing that he would be open to listening to them and cutting deals, and would not try to take over the party.

“He’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker,” said Bob Dole, the former Republican senator and 1996 presidential candidate.

Of course, this willingness to accommodate Mr. Trump is driven in part by the fact that few among the Republican professional class believe he would win a general election. In their minds, it would be better to effectively rent the party to Mr. Trump for four months this fall, through the general election, than risk turning it over to Mr. Cruz for at least four years, as either the president or the next-in-line leader for the 2020 nomination.

And, even if Mr. Trump somehow found his way into the White House, the longtime Washington hands envision him operating as a pragmatist, leaving their power unchecked.

“We can live with Trump,” said Richard F. Hohlt, a veteran lobbyist, reflecting his colleagues’ sentiment at a Republican National Committee meeting last week in Charleston, S.C. “Do they all love Trump? No. But there’s a feeling that he is not going to layer over the party or install his own person. Whereas Cruz will have his own people there.”

Moreover, some say that Mr. Trump’s campaign could serve as a much-needed release valve for a Republican electorate.

The debate essentially revolves around what is more important — who controls the party, or what the party stands for.

It is a reminder that, even in the mainstream of the Republican Party, there are competing interests and values. Some of the intellectuals view the other faction as crass mercenaries more interested in protecting their access than in fighting for lofty principles. The lobbyists, strategists and elected officials perceive the intellectuals as aloof ideologues who do not have to worry about getting elected, building coalitions or governing.

Some of what turns the Washington class of operatives and elected officials away from Mr. Cruz, and toward Mr. Trump, is personality.

Mr. Cruz is viewed by many Republicans in Washington as stubborn and overweening. They say his record of attacking his Senate colleagues and taking relentlessly hard-line positions shows that he would have difficulty unifying the party.

If Mr. Cruz were the party’s nominee, said Charles R. Black Jr., a lobbyist who has worked on numerous Republican presidential campaigns, “what would happen is a lot of the elected leaders and party elders would try to sit down and try to help Cruz run a better campaign, but he may not listen. Trump is another matter.”

“You can coach Donald,” Mr. Black said. “If he got nominated, he’d be scared to death. That’s the point he would call people in the party and say, ‘I just want to talk to you.’ ”

Mr. Trump is also a recognizable type in the political world. A wealthy businessman, he has given money to donation-hungry candidates for decades, often welcoming the supplicants to his Manhattan office. He has also employed a small stable of lobbyists in Washington, such as Mr. Black, and in state capitals to promote his real estate and casino empire. He has had large law and lobbying firms on retainer.

Mr. Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, said the personal contempt for Mr. Cruz among some Republican insiders was blinding. “Cruz is so hated in Washington that there’s this distortion about him that he’s outside the bounds of what is plausible in American politics,” he said.

But some establishment-aligned figures, while acknowledging their disdain for Mr. Cruz, said the case against him was not merely personal. They argue that Mr. Trump has the potential to bring out new voters, who may also vote for Republicans lower on the ballot. They predict that Mr. Cruz would draw support in only a handful of states and would reorient the party around a hard-line conservatism.

“Trump won’t do long-lasting damage to the G.O.P. coalition,” said John Feehery, a Capitol Hill aide turned lobbyist. “Cruz will.”

It’s a sign of society spinning out of control when the main debate is over which candidate would do the least lasting damage to the system.

Which of course implies that the system itself is broken and voters are ready to tear it down and start over. (The same process is at work in the Democrat primary where Bernie Sanders’ Iowa and New Hampshire leads over Hillary Clinton are freaking out Wall Street’s pet “liberals”.)

This is fun to watch — and actually makes Ted Cruz a more attractive candidate (in terms of entertainment value), since he so effectively terrifies the people who deserve to be terrified. But revolutions are seldom fun in practice, and the end of the “Government put” that’s been propping up financial asset prices will cause trillions of dollars of fictitious wealth to evaporate.

Rule of thumb: When government loses legitimacy, replace financial assets with real ones.

37 thoughts on "Why We’re Ungovernable, Part 12: Trump Is No Longer The Worst Case Scenario"

  1. Exactly what do “they” hate so much about Cruz. War Monger, yes, but what else? And as for Trump, it seems “they” think they can shape his beliefs into line with theirs. Hmmmm.

  2. “Trump won’t do long-lasting damage to the G.O.P. coalition,” said John Feehery, a Capitol Hill aide turned lobbyist. “Cruz will.”
    Read: Trump won’t break apart the current republican establishment that has betrayed its supporters and allowed a Marxist to run wild by not using the power of the purse to slow him down.
    America today and tomorrow will no longer vote for a conservative, Christian, presidential candidate. Trump will be nominated and Trump will win. 2016 – 2020 will be a difficult time for any President due to the coming financial difficulties. Only a fool would want to be President during this time.

    1. “America will no longer vote for a conservative,” based on what? We haven’t had a conservative run for president since Reagan. Bush 41 wasn’t conservative, Bush 43 wasn’t conservative, Romney wasn’t a conservative, McCain wasn’t a conservative so I think your argument lacks merit.

      1. “We haven’t had a conservative run for president since Reagan.”

        Reagan deficit spent more fiat in his first 6 or 7 years in office than all of his predecessors did in almost 200 years. It is an Orwellian lie to call him a conservative.

        1. You have to put that in the context of the Cold War. By doing what he did (the arm race), he bankrupt the USSR (their economy was not performant enough to keep up with the US economy).

          Obama himself borrowed more than all the president in the history of US combined. It is the nature of the FED beast to allow money creation only by debt.

      2. Huckaby and Carson are conservatives but the population is too brainwashed by MSM. If the MSM don’t like them, they can not get coverage.
        With Trump, the MSM pretend they don’t like him but give him maximum coverage.
        The US population will get what they deserve – Trump, Sanders or Hillary, TPTB and media are fine with all 3 clowns.

  3. I have a problem with all the garbage I am getting from the informational writers & pundits.They all swear that they know,exclusively,the real truth about the political scene.My problem is that I am getting a headache trying to figure out who the liars are,..I assume that they all are! There was an old proverb I heard years ago that said “While traveling through the land of liars I came across an inhabitant of that land & asked him if he was a liar like every one else in this land of liars? He told me that was definitely the case,I am a liar & that’s the honest truth

  4. Thomas Jefferson predicted all of this. If you read his writings here a few paraphrases:
    1. Government can only do for the people in direct proportion that it does TO the people.
    2. I like a little revolution and believe we need one every few years.
    3. People in fear of the government is Tyranny, Government afraid of the people is Freedom.
    Trump just exposes government for what it is and we as voters are mad as hell and we will not put up with it any longer. YES I want to kick the table over and start over. Will it be hard. YES. Long term is it the only solution YES.

    1. I never saw Thomas Jefferson predict dip shit. He is of course the Jesus of Crus and all the Nazi’s and in Paris he aided those who ran the terror. Franklin, on the other hand, the person who invented America, more resembled Putin (the man who is has invented the new Russia/China/India et al, financial system). I reach outside the U.S. to name Putin, because our almost sub-human population has no equal to Franklin. Sanders is no Franklin, nor even a Kennedy, an FDR, a Lincoln, a Hamilton or a Washington. But, we do have lots of ignorant hypocrite slavers like Jefferson. He is still worshiped by the painfully ignorant of which the U.S. is almost completely made up of.

      Nevertheless all my whining, Sanders or Trump are the best in the run… And, this time around, even Americans SEE ENOUGH to elect one of them…

        1. You evidently don’t understand what’s going on in our too big to fail banks so let me clue you in it’s the shadow banking system from derivatives with no regulation. It dwarfs anything else and will take the rest of us down with it. maxkeiser on RT will get you started. All other segments of the economy are not growing except it’s debt which effects government’s debt too. That’s why austerity doesn’t work.

          1. I do understand what is going on but Sanders is not the answer. Despite rethoric, he will not eliminate the FED. As long as you have the FED to create money out of nothing, that would give them absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
            Sanders is the best thing it can happen to the banking cartel. As a socialist, he will increase the amount of debt to make Obama look like a thrift.
            As long as you have the FED, everything else is rearranging the chairs on Titanic AFTER it hit the iceberg. All Sanders can do is to speed up the sinking.
            Other than that I agree with what you say. From my point of view all TBTF should have been left bankrupt in 2008. Obama had the whole Congress – Senate and the House for 2 years. He didn’t do anything; zero prosecutions. On top of that he borrowed more than all the presidents in history of US combined. Like I said, Sanders will make Obama look like a thrift.

          2. The last time the Fed was eliminated was under Andrew Jackson and the country went into a deep and long depression. You will never completely eliminate it but there will be other currencies that will compete with it like bitcoin. Before the Fed things were worse as the country would go bankrupt every 15 years and even had to borrow money from JP Morgan. Nope you and the others can dream all you want but it will never be eliminated and we will never go back to the gold standard. The country through its history has seen many economic problems and it has always bounced back and the stock market has always provide good returns. The government’s debt is not the problem it’s too big to fail derivatives debt that dwarfs everything else. Yes these banks need to be audited just like the Fed. and the Fed maybe taken over by the Treasury Secretary. Anyway there is rumblings about how these derivatives will be place under control of what is called a “block chain technology.” Governments and banks are really getting nervous over this issue because it’s not sustainable.

          3. Dan, there is some truth in what you say, but you can not have substantial regulation on the TBTF. They own the FED, they can print as much as they want, buy any politician they want or have enough power to blackmail anyone who oppose them. The FED accumulated too much power and the TBTF own it.

            There is no reason the Treasury can not take over the FED. Anyone can print money (create them out of the blue). All our taxes go to the FED as interest for money they did not work for. I didn’t go into the technicalities to avoid the smoke screen.

            With the FED we get a central planned economy and all the power in few hands. That is why the USSR and any other centralized system collapsed.

            That is the reason I was saying that as long as you have the FED in current format all the regulations are re-aranging the chairs on Titanic. They were all for the current system of financial derivatives and they control too much to make a significant change. Those derivatives are weapons of mass destructions and they will blow the current financial system.

          4. The “elites” have essentially destroyed the economies of most countries with their insane “fiscal” policies.

            In order to forestall a torch&pitchfork moment, they’re now in the process of flooding those countries with illegal aliens/rapists/murders to give the civilians something more immediate to focus upon.

            Screw the Fed, screw the income tax and screw the elites of both parties who’ve pushed us to this point.

            If they destroy the US & Europe with this insanity, they WILL be kite food, and not all of the misdirection in the world will save them.

  5. Silver? No. Silver is the New Copper. Transitioning from precious metal to industrial metal, right before our eyes. Heading for pennies per pound. Save yourselves, while you still can, silverbugger idiots…

    1. Good ol’ Eric. Shilling for the shorters, despite a supply deficit that is growing greater, and a massive increase in the number of uses.

      Thanks, Eric. That idiot? The person looking at you in the mirror

    2. YOU are the idiot, Eric. Want to place a bet on the long-term outcome of this? I will at least give you credit that silver is an industrial metal, but that is certainly NOT the only use for it. It’s been money for hundreds of years, and scarcity is being compounded with the closure of many zinc, copper, and lead mining, which most silver relies on.
      To that extent, I will gladly take my chances and LAUGH OUT LOUDLY in your general direction when I’m vindicated. And no, you can’t have the hundreds of ounces of phyzz I already have safely stored outside of the bank$ter system. For that matter, you may be a bank$ter shill for all I know.

  6. I won’t be long gold or miners until I see complete and utter capitulation from you fools. And then I still want a 20% discount…

    1. There are but a handful of miners worthy of keeping during this time. This isn’t the same thing as holding phyzz, buddy. Nice try to change it up, but I know the difference and it ain’t workin’! You’re the bigger fool for not holding gold in your possession, NOT in paper form, and outside the bank$ter system, but why am I giving perfectly good advice to someone with a shoe sized IQ?

    1. Eric the not Original, do you really believe your own lies that leads you to make such unfounded irrational comments where the majority knows you are completely wrong? You are aware, aren’t you, that you cannot change anyone’s mind and your comments are only going to be regarded in great contempt? All of history and the facts it contains, reason, and logic are against you. Calling us buggers only demonstrates beyond doubt that you do not have one shred or of meaningful argument to support your incredibly ignorant position.

    1. Thank you for that quote.. I will note it and display it proudly when the exact opposite occurs, likely by 2017.

    2. Hi Eric,

      You are clearly a person of superior intelligence ! Please explain to me how the huge piles of debt/derivatives that have been accumulated around the world using a fiat based system will be resolved or corrected without the involvement of precious metals or without PM price rises ? I want to understand the mechanics of your thinking, especially for the long term.

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