Just As Only Nixon Could Go To China, Can Only Trump Go To Mexico?

The Republican Party Right Now.
The Republican Party Right Now.

By Shelton Bumgarner

shelton-Profile03Gawker, bless its heart, is all over the apparent (for the moment) insider baseball of Donald Trump apparently giving an off-the-record interview with The New York Times in which he claimed he wasn’t the anti-Mexican psychopath that we’ve all come to know and love.

But if its true that Trump is trying to give himself some wiggle room when it comes to immigration, is it possible that just as only Nixon could go to China and Reagan could raise taxes that a President Trump would be the only person able to help us out of our current immigration morass? Have we reached such a low level of political discourse that only someone as crass and moronic as Trump can govern America properly?

Don’t answer that.

It would also be even more ironic that if the thing that proved to be the silver bullet for the Trump candidacy wasn’t his extreme demagogic views, but the implication that his extreme, demagogic views weren’t, like, genuine and stuff. That would be the thing that would be the saddest about it all.

If Trump becomes president — barf — then turns around and is a really moderate technocrat who surrounds himself with the best and the brightest of a center-right coalition then I guess the joke’s on us, huh. Then I guess we’re just going to have to deal with the idea that the system is so broken that only celebrities will get elected from now on. We finally will get the Everyman we always wanted as president, too bad that Everyman is a billionaire whack job.

But we’ll see, I guess. We’re coming up on Super Tuesday and if it’s a blowout win for Trump, then I give up. I give up on the Republican Party. We will have reached a nadir of the American Republic and the notion of politics as simply a way to improve one’s celebrity brand will be established.

I don’t know what’s worse for the Republic — the idea as a celebrity as president or the idea of dynastic rule. And throw into this the idea that we have a 4-4 split in the Supreme Court right now, and you’re really preparing the nation for a crisis. The likes of which we haven’t seen in a long, long time.

Of #NeverTrump, Grant’s Stalwarts & The Bull Moose Party

By Shelton Bumgarner

shelton-Profile03We face a unique crossroads in the history of the Republican Party. It’s possible that the #NeverTrump movement will grow in intensity to such an extent that the Republican Establishment will bolt its own party, as Vox suggests.

The third and perhaps most daunting possibility is that were Trump to secure the nomination, his coronation could cause a genuine schism within the Republican Party. Azari thinks this is a not-unlikely outcome. She thinks it’s entirely possible that after pledging to back him as their nominee, Republican establishment types will back away from that promise and float a sort of “rump” candidate of their own.

In gaming out the strategy, they might figure that Trump will have taken the nomination as a plurality candidate — a candidate whose delegate allotment sits atop a mound of winner-take-all contests. If he does just win with a plurality of Republican support, that could leave party leaders wiggle room to float another party insider who’s more desirable to voters repelled by Trump’s inconsistent ideology or demagoguery.

“I’m not saying I think the third-party candidate can run and win,” Azari said. But if that outcome does materialize, it may offer one way for party leaders to save face.

Let’s think about that for moment. How wacky would that be if the very people who are supposed to run the Republican Party abandoned it in favor of a new party that actually, like, listened to what they have to say. It would be the biggest event in Republican politics since TR’s Bull Moose Party in 1912. And we all know how that worked out — it assured the election of egghead Woodrow Wilson to the presidency.

But the presidential equivalent that strikes me as right is even older — that of U.S. Grant’s Stalwarts. These were a group of people who absolutely wanted a third term for there corrupt hero Grant. Grant, as you may know, may have been a great general, but he was a shitty president. But in a weird way, I believe the dynamic would be similar if Trump won the nomination — the #NeverTrump people would bolt the party, damn the consquences and there would be so much money flowing into this new party’s coffers that you might be amazed how close they might get to winning.

It would be really weird if they won, or if the election totally spiraled out of control and the Electoral College itself wasn’t able to make up its mind. That would be a Constitutional clusterfuck of epic proportions because there would be no Supreme Court to save the day, this time. SCOTUS would be split 4-4 and so if we had to call upon it to fix an Constitutional problem caused by a hung election, they simply wouldn’t be there.

And that doesn’t even begin to address the problem of how unintended consquences could cause huge amount of problems in presidential politics for some time to come. So, I guess what I’m saying is — we need to stop Trump. Now.

Gawker Proves That Donald Trump Is Either A Fascist Or Just Really Dumb

By Shelton Bumgarner

shelton-Profile03I have repeatedly tried to have the “Donald Trump is a fascist” discussion on Blab.im to little success. Too many people either don’t really know what a fascist is, or if you try to explain it to them they just say, “You mean, like Obama?” But Gawker did do something pretty funny recently when they managed to dupe (?) Donald Trump into retweet a quote by Mussolini.

You have to give them credit, that’s a pretty cool thing to do. It sums up everything that’s wrong with Donald Trump in a manner that the average dumbass can understand. It may be difficult to explain what fascism, but you really have to be stupid — or willfully ignorant — not to know who Mussolini is.

But that still doesn’t answer the question — is Donald Trump a fascist? I don’t know. I just don’t know. He’s a demagogue, yes. But fascist? I dunno. The closest thing to what Donald Trump is up to that I can think of in modern history is Huey P. Long in about 1936. But he was coming from the Left and he was doing his thing during the height of the Great Depression. It could be that he’s just so dumb — and egotistical — that he will retweet anything that seems to praise him, no matter what.

The appeal of Donald Trump, to say the least, is beyond me.

And, yet, as I have written before, I at least understand the sentiment behind Trumpism. For some reason, people are fed up and what to over throw the Establishment in a big, meaningful manner. I just worry for the Republic when it comes to all of this. I worry a lot for various reasons. What are we going to do, people? How are we going to stop this craziness?

As I have written, Trump looks one adroit VP selection away from being president. I get the sense that we’re headed into a recession and if that is the case, this would be a Republican year. So, it’s possible that if Trump got the Republican nod, he might actually, like, win and stuff.

That’s something we all need to dwell upon.

Ok, Donald Trump May Not Be Hitler — But He’s Horace Greeley, Definitely

By Shelton Bumgarner

shelton-Profile03I am a student of history and I have be struggling to come up with a historical analogy for the current weird situation the American body politic is in. I have thrown out Hitler. I have suggested Huey P. Long. But I think the election that best compares to what we have now is that of 1872, which was weird for several different reasons.

In 1872, America was still reeling from the wake of the American Civil War. The whole thing was a clusterfuck for various reasons. Incumbent President Ulysses S. Grant was popular and stable while for some fucked up reasons there was a split in Republican ranks and some Republicans decided to form a new party, the Liberal Republicans. And who should they nominate, of all people, but well known newspaper publisher Horace Greeley.

If you know anything about Greeley, then you know he was something of a kook. He just couldn’t shoot straight. He veered from position to position as events warranted. What’s more, after his crushing defeat at the hands of Grant, the man died before the Electoral College could vote.

Now, Trump and Greeley are different in a lot of ways. Trump is much more of a quasi-fascist in American form, while Greeley at least meant well. But both men didn’t really background to run for president and yet they did. And if Trump wins the nomination, we could see the Republican Party splinter in ways not seen since, well, since 1872.

I mean, it’s possible, just possible, that should Trump get the Republican Party nomination, that the Establishment would balk and throw their lot with an independent run by Marco Rubio. Or, hell, even Mike Bloomberg. That might setup the makings of an epic win for Hillary Clinton.

But the obvious point about all of this is the American political system is broken. Something is deeply wrong with a system that allows someone like Trump to come this close to actually being the fucking President of the United States. Something wrong, indeed. Don’t quite know what is going on with all of this. It is disturbing and horrible and there doesn’t seem to be anything anyone can do to fix the issue.

Trump, Clinton & Obama’s Weak Foreign Policy Leadership

By Shelton Bumgarner

shelton-Profile03Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, I believe she would definitely be better at foreign policy than President Obama. Obama’s “lead from behind” attitude is just horrible. I am still upset about the fact that we allowed Russia to take Crimea so easily and that Ukraine continues to have a “frozen conflict” in its eastern area.

But just imagine Donald Trump as president. Imagine what a potential shit storm that would be on the world stage. No one would take us seriously and the North Koreans and Russians would surely challenge us in various ways just to test us. Just to see what Trump would do in response.

I just don’t know. The whole notion of Trump as president — from a foreign policy point of view, at least, if nothing else — is a disaster in the making of epic proportions. I am not a neocon, but I do believe America needs to uphold the established world order because no one else is able or willing to do it.

It simply wouldn’t help said order if someone has inexperienced as Trump was at the center of American foreign policy. I worry a lot that the North Koreans and Russians would be so bold and attempt to exploit Trump’s foreign policy weaknesses that it might take a long, long, long time for America to recover.

And, yet, I don’t know. I just don’t know. As I keep writing, it’s possible that Trump might surround himself with qualified people and should he become president it really won’t be any different than any other administration we’ve had. But, also, as I keep saying, that could just be wishful thinking on my part.

Trump is such a wild card when it comes to foreign policy that he absolutely must be stopped, for that reason, if no other. Obama’s weakness in foreign policy shows how the individual personality of a president can determine what happens. Clinton seems as though she would be a really strong foreign policy president and that’s a reason to vote for her, even though I worry she suffers from a bad case of Nixonism in the whole “crook” issue.

Maybe Trump would pretty much hand over all of his administration to his veep. Maybe that’s what would happen. Am I now just negotiating, hoping that I can rationalize my way out of the nightmare scenario of a Donald Trump administration? Probably. Sorry to say. Probably.

President Camacho…Er…Trump 2016! Of Neocons, Trump & Clinton

By Shelton Bumgarner

shelton-Profile03I read this article by Jacob Heilbrunn of the National Interest and was intrigued. Neocons hate Donald Trump so much that they are actually seriously considering supporting Hillary Clinton instead of him, should push come to shove.

Let’s think about this, folks.

While in some ways I support the neocon agenda, in other ways I am deathly opposed to it. I was totally against the war in Iraq for various reasons and generally I feel we could use some of the money that we current spend on the military on domestic things like education and infrastructure.

And, yet, when it comes to issues like ISIS, I am closer to Ted Cruz than you might imagine. I don’t think we should be sending them gift packages and hoping they enjoy the cupcakes, we should bomb those fuckers into oblivion.

As the Heilbrunn article reads, in part:

The impulse of the neocons to return to the Democratic Party should not be wholly surprising. In 1972, for example, Robert L. Bartley, the editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, wrote that the fledgling neoconservatives represented “something of a swing group between the two major parties.” He was right. The neoconservatives had their home in the Democratic Party in the 1960s. Then they marched rightward, in reaction to the rise of the adversary culture inside the Democratic Party. George McGovern’s run for the presidency in 1972, followed by the Jimmy Carter presidency, sent them into the arms of Ronald Reagan and the GOP.

So, in some fucked up manner, it makes a lot of sense that neocons would come to support Hillary Clinton. She’s an old school liberal in the tradition of LBJ, so I can see that they might prefer a President Clinton over a President Trump. And, really, people, we should not ignore the fact that we’re talking about Donald Trump. We’re talking about Donald Fucking Trump.

The lost in credibility America would face if Trump became president would be astonishing. And God only knows what weird side effects Trump as president would have on the world stage. Who knows, both Russia and / or North Korea might test the Trump Administration in its early days to see what it could get away with.

To call Trump a lightweight when it comes to foreign policy is a huge understatement. He has zero foreign policy experience and I just can’t see him being an effective leader on that side of the president’s duties. (Not that Obama has been, either, but that’s the subject of a different post.)

Regardless, I don’t what to tell you. Neocons are still a powerful force in American politics – at least to those who care about it — and if they switched sides and started to suppose Hillary Clinton, then maybe, just maybe, the train wreck that is Donald Trump might be stopped.

Idle Musings About Marco Rubio, Maybe, Being Too Touchy With Interns

By Shelton Bumgarner

shelton-Profile03The things you learn about on Blab.im. I was having a conversation with a young lady who was supposed to be involved in the obviously now non-existent Joe Biden campaign when she mentioned that in intern circles Marco Rubio was known for being a little bit too touchy-feely for his own good.

Now this probably means nothing. It probably means he’s just a dude who likes to be friendly. So, I’m not suggesting he has any Bill Clinton level of problem with interns. But…given that he’s supposed to be Mr. Family Man and he’s running for president, it is something to mull over. It is something that maybe someone, somewhere with far more clout and resources than me should at least look into.

Anyway. This is just idle musings. I doubt it means anything.