Happy Rick Day!

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 9.27.32 AMIn the world of presidential politics, today is clearly the day of guys named Rick. To start with, Ricochet’s own Rick Wilson published a piece in Politico detailing why “Trump Voters Are Hillary’s New Best Friends.” The article lit up social media and included the likes of Jon Gabriel posting pictures of nuclear explosions. The whole thing is worth reading, but I found his fourth point to be the most persuasive:

4. You don’t care about his record. It’s an ideological train-wreck of epic proportions if you care about any conservative values. He’s been pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-tax hikes, pro-single-payer and is a past master of crony capitalism, to say nothing of his political and financial support for the Clintons and Barack Obama. It’s a mess. You’d never give any other candidate the benefit of the doubt on such a wide portfolio of positions that have changed 180 degrees and back again so many times. And yet, I imagine you can drill into Marco Rubio’s or Jeb Bush’s or even Scott Walker’s record for some sign of apostasy that you can never, ever, ever forgive.

Above and beyond anything else, Trump’s lack of conservatism — irrespective of his current bombast — should be the focus of Republican and conservative primary voters. If there is an actual RINO in this race, it is Trump. If we want someone who represents us, our party, and our ideals we must look elsewhere. Sure, he says a few things we may agree with, and he may say them in a way that gets our blood flowing and puts us in a fighting mood, but consider whether or not he believes what he says enough to lead the party into the fray. Judging by the convoluted smorgasbord of positions he’s held, the politicians and causes he’s given money and lip-service to in the past, Trump is not a fit head for this body politic. We are being conned by a reality television celebrity. Think about that while you read the way Wilson put it:

9. You think Donald Trump is the character he plays on television. You think his swagger and bellowing is the Leadership America Needs and that he’s an antidote to the herd of RINOs running for president. You think Donald Trump is the only one speaking truth to power. You think he’s the only one who really gets you. Remember when you had a crush on some movie or TV star as a teenager? Of course you do. You weren’t really in love with them. You were infatuated by a crafted, manufactured, stage-managed image. The purpose of what Clive James called “The Fame Planet” is to manage and monetize celebrity; you’re being played by a celebrity branding operation. There is nothing authentic about the character of Donald Trump that you’re seeing on the campaign trail. (Certainly not that exotic item that rests on his head.)

Trump simply is not what he appears to be. He may currently be playing a Republican on T.V., but this election is about reality, not reality T.V.

The other Rick to “go nuclear” on Trump (as Sean Davis headlined it at The Federalist) is Rick Perry. The former Texas Governor and Republican hopeful — who has shown no fear of taking the wood to Trump — devoted an entire speech to the matter today. At the Opportunity and Freedom PAC forum in D.C. Perry set to the task of diagnosing Trump as a “cancer on conservatism” which must be excised before he “metastasize[s] into a movement of mean-spirited politics that will send the Republican Party to the same place it sent the Whig Party in 1854: the graveyard.”

Though he spoke very harshly of Trump, the speech on whole was uplifting. Perry spoke of Washington, Lincoln, and Adams as men who served with humility. He spoke of conservatism that unites the nation, uplifts the poor, and is the only hope for a nation in the doldrums of nearly a decade of bad governance.

We have tried the policies of the progressive left for the last six and a half years. The Democratic candidates for president could offer them for the next eight.

Their failures are self-evident. We have never spent more money on welfare in the history of our nation, with few results to show for it.

They have mastered the politics of grievance, when in reality Americans are the victim of their policies that caused the housing crash, that have produced the slowest recovery since the Great Depression, that have caused a precipitous increase in the cost of college tuition.

The solution, according to Perry, is conservatism, what can only be described as Reagan type vision, and the American People.

American workers aren’t looking to get something for nothing. They want to make an honest wage. They want a shot at a good job. And big government won’t give it to them.

That fair shot can only come from free people, and free markets, and the free market incentive known as the profit motive.

Conservatism can lead us out of the Valley of Economic Ruin.

It places faith in individuals, not government.

It restores personal freedom instead of restricting it.

It lets business owners and families keep more of what they make, so they can invest it in the economy and create jobs.

I believe in a conservatism that empowers people to make the most of their lives rather than government that makes a mess of their lives.

After giving historic examples of humble leadership and outlining a conservative vision for the future, Perry turned back to his assault (and brought me out of my seat just reading the material) when he tied it all together with this hard truth about Trump:

But most telling to me is not Mr. Trump’s bombast, his refusal to show any remorse for his comments about Senator McCain, but his admission that there is not a single time in his life that he sought the forgiveness of God.

A man too arrogant, too self-absorbed, to seek God’s forgiveness is precisely the type of leader John Adams prayed would never occupy the White House.

He concluded his remarks (I think) perfectly with this:

We need a president who rises above personal grievances, petty differences, raw partisan politics. Who puts the nation first, who inspires Americans to believe again and produce again and dream again.

We must move past the empty calories of Trumpism, and return to conservatism.

We shall not give up on the animating idea of our Republic – a nation founded on the principle of “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

There is nothing wrong in America that cannot be fixed with the right leadership.

We need leadership that repairs the breach in America, that brings the country together, that sets our sights on greatness after a long period of pettiness.

In all, today was a great day to be a Rick, and hopefully foretells of great days to come for being a Republican and an American.  Happy Rick Day, Ricochet!

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  1. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The King Prawn:

    Pseudodionysius:

    Carey J.:

    The King Prawn:I heard Trump yesterday talk about firing all those who work for government. Just cut pink slips for them all. He has less understanding of working within the bounds of the law than Obama.

    I’d rather have a presidential candidate talking about firing government workers than hiring more of them, which is what most of the other candidates want to do. A Republican Congress with a Republican President pushing hard for Civil Service reform could probably make it easier to get rid of dead wood and obstructionists.

    There are much worse outcomes in life than an executive of the US Federal Government waking up each day wondering who he can fire before he calls Lindsay Graham into his office for a cup of coffee and a knee in the groin.

    Agreed, but are we the rule of law party or the party of expediency? Are we going to abandon our ideals to save them?

    Most people cheering on Trump (I distinguish “cheered on” from “support”) would argue the party abandoned those rules of law a long time ago with the jury rigged campaign contribution system. A large contributor is now complaining about it. Sounds like they’re cornered.

    • #61
  2. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The King Prawn:I heard Trump yesterday talk about firing all those who work for government. Just cut pink slips for them all. He has less understanding of working within the bounds of the law than Obama.

    Enough sweet talk, when’s he going to start talking tough?

    • #62
  3. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The King Prawn:

    Carey J.:

    The King Prawn:Who didn’t see the third party threat coming?

    What he said was that if the RNC tried to screw him during the primary campaign, it would make him more willing to go third party. He did not say he would run third party if he is treated fairly and beaten fairly.

    I’d do the same thing in his position. It’s called deterrence. Knowing how to deter enemies is a fundamental Presidential skill. I’m glad to see Trump demonstrate some of it.

    And who defines fairness? This guy’s ego cannot withstand the fair beating he will receive, he will play his victim card, go 3rd party, and usher Hillary into the WH. I’d bet he’ll attend the inaugural as her personal guest.

    I think that outcome is doubtful.

    • #63
  4. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    By the way, we have yet to determine if we’re being Rick Rolled or Rick Polled.

    Just sayin’.

    • #64
  5. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Side note: someone at Rick Perry’s campaign re-tweeted this piece.

    That’s Ricochet, folks. :)

    • #65
  6. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    The King Prawn:

    Pseudodionysius:

    Carey J.:

    I’d rather have a presidential candidate talking about firing government workers than hiring more of them, which is what most of the other candidates want to do. A Republican Congress with a Republican President pushing hard for Civil Service reform could probably make it easier to get rid of dead wood and obstructionists.

    There are much worse outcomes in life than an executive of the US Federal Government waking up each day wondering who he can fire before he calls Lindsay Graham into his office for a cup of coffee and a knee in the groin.

    Agreed, but are we the rule of law party or the party of expediency? Are we going to abandon our ideals to save them?

    Abandon, no. Bend, maybe.

    By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation. – Abraham Lincoln

    Is Abraham Lincoln Republican enough for you, KP?

    • #66
  7. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Every minute wasted on Trump hurts the pundits and consultants who are going to have egg on their face if he and his campaign manager succeed in barging their way on to center stage by being loud mouthed on issues that the country club set finds impolite to say in public and that respectable consultants don’t say out loud, like 20 week abortion bans.

    Is this the man who ruined the debate at the Republican primary?

    • #67
  8. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Side note: someone at Rick Perry’s campaign re-tweeted this piece.

    That’s Ricochet, folks. :)

    Rick rolled.

    • #68
  9. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    I don’t know if Trump’s ego will cause him to sabotage the general. That is part of what makes him so dangerous. But, if he was really doing this for any cause other than himself he wouldn’t even make the threat.

    • #69
  10. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    By the way, I agree with Claire Berlinski that in a world of Turkey and Russia there is a certain Vlad the Impaler logic to having most of the world think the United States is about to elect someone as potentially unhinged as they are.

    • #70
  11. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The King Prawn:I don’t know if Trump’s ego will cause him to sabotage the general. That is part of what makes him so dangerous. But, if he was really doing this for any cause other than himself he wouldn’t even make the threat.

    Have you ever been refused entry from an expensive golf and country club? Do you know someone running for President who owns golf and country clubs? I think the message and the threat were pretty obvious. Trump is Rodney Dangerfield and he’s painting the RNC as Ted Knight:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrTqenN1SqQ

    • #71
  12. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Carey J.: By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation. – Abraham Lincoln Is Abraham Lincoln Republican enough for you, KP?

    Not sure the problems at the VA are equivalent to slavery.

    • #72
  13. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Pseudodionysius: By the way, I agree with Claire Berlinski that in a world of Turkey and Russia there is a certain Vlad the Impaler logic to having most of the world think the United States is about to elect someone as potentially unhinged as they are.

    Nuke the moon.

    • #73
  14. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Pseudodionysius:By the way, I agree with Claire Berlinski that in a world of Turkey and Russia there is a certain Vlad the Impaler logic to having most of the world think the United States is about to elect someone as potentially unhinged as they are.

    Honestly, I think almost any Republican fits this bill.

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Side note: someone at Rick Perry’s campaign re-tweeted this piece.

    That’s Ricochet, folks. :)

    Score.  Congrats, KP.  You’re famous.

    • #74
  15. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Pseudodionysius: Trump is Rodney Dangerfield and he’s painting the RNC as Ted Knight

    But to what end? If he were serious about uplifting the nation after a decade of Obama he would propose something other than simply electing him and letting him force his will on every issue.

    • #75
  16. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The King Prawn:

    Pseudodionysius: Trump is Rodney Dangerfield and he’s painting the RNC as Ted Knight

    But to what end? If he were serious about uplifting the nation after a decade of Obama he would propose something other than simply electing him and letting him force his will on every issue.

    Well, according to him, both parties have been willing to take his money while they run Kabuki election theater and give us two terms of King Barack of Taxalot. So, I’d say he’s serious about spending his own money to force his will on the election process if not the outcome.

    • #76
  17. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Consider who agrees with you and rework the thesis as necessary.

    https://youtu.be/LlBnUZGtEQM

    • #77
  18. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    The King Prawn:

    Carey J.: By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the constitution, through the preservation of the nation. – Abraham Lincoln Is Abraham Lincoln Republican enough for you, KP?

    Not sure the problems at the VA are equivalent to slavery.

    America fought a civil war to end slavery. No one’s asking the country to go to war over the VA. Just fire a bunch of despicable bureaucrats.

    The country owes veterans a debt. The VA scandals are a betrayal of that obligation. If we have created such a Gordian Knot of legalities that we can’t fire this scum, then it’s time, and past time, someone adopted Alexander’s solution.

    Frankly, simple firing is too good for the VA’s management. When it gets this bad, defenestration should be an option.

    • #78
  19. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius
    1. The genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins or fallacy of virtue) is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on someone’s or something’s history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context.
    • #79
  20. Ricochet Moderator
    Ricochet
    @OldBathos

    Trump will be gone when financial disclosures are due (you can’t enter the Fox News debates without having done that) if not sooner.

    He is a buffoon but he has done a great service by demonstrating to the 16 others that (a) candor is better than carefully sanded stances designed not to offend; (b) when others claim offense and try to silence you, defy, repeat and strike back.  If more competent, saner and more qualified candidates were all to learn that message, think about what a delight the campaign would become.  People want more than mere change.  We want a giant F’ You to the entire structure of privileged clowns in government, media and academia.

    • #80
  21. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Carey J.: America fought a civil war to end slavery. No one’s asking the country to go to war over the VA. Just fire a bunch of despicable bureaucrats. The country owes veterans a debt. The VA scandals are a betrayal of that obligation. If we have created such a Gordian Knot of legalities that we can’t fire this scum, then it’s time, and past time, someone adopted Alexander’s solution. Frankly, simple firing is too good for the VA’s management. When it gets this bad, defenestration should be an option.

    Being in the system I agree. The issue is that this points to an even bigger problem that we must solve — the giant, growing, cancerous tumor that is our government. Are bombast, asininity, and whatever the hell that thing is on his head the appropriate solution to this problem? Is Trump or his participation in the primary leading us in any way toward a solution? I have to answer with a resounding no. Can we please move on to discussing the real problems with those who at least offer a solution other than “let my light shine into the darkness and see the vermin flee in terror at my greatness”?

    • #81
  22. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    The King Prawn:

    Franco: Whenever I hear or read “we have to come together behind one candidate” or “we can’t look like we are crude bigots” or “we have to proceed with caution” I question their grasp of politics, basic understanding of human nature and democracy.

    …..

    Trump is filling a void. Let’s have it out. It’s a much-needed food fight.

    I’m certainly not arguing for any particular candidate at this point. We haven’t heard enough from any of them yet to even lean more toward one than another.

    I’m all for having a good primary food fight, but only with candidates we are seriously considering putting forward in the general.

    Well that hasn’t been decided yet has it? George Pataki is running too. In my opinion, JEB! has no business lumbering his Latinophile self onto the stage, carrying heavy Bush baggage and pretending he was just born with the name by coincidence. It’s more than a name – it’s a network.

    As I’ve said before, Trump is taking on the Omarosa role in the reality show, So You Think You Can Run For President.

    Trust him? Of course not. Trump is all over the place ideologically. He’s been typical of the corporate donor class who are supposedly Republican. But someone has to bring the debate down into the mud to get this stuff out. Then we might be able to have have a real debate.

    • #82
  23. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I think the reaction to Trump is a bit of hysteria. I certainly don’t take him seriously as a conservative and doubt he has any real prospects as a candidate — if — IF — the Republicans are smart enough to use him as the foil he could be. Our guys get to talk about real issues raised by Trump, and get to sound reasonable by contrast, while advancing the conservative agenda.

    The reason you and others are getting so much push-back, KP, is it feels like Trump is (and, by extension, we are) being told to Shut up!

    Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! You’re making us look bad.

    Have you noticed Democrats don’t do this to Bernie Sanders, self-professed socialist?

    • #83
  24. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Western Chauvinist: The reason you and others are getting so much push-back, KP, is it feels like Trump is (and, by extension, we are) being told to “Shut up!“ “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! You’re making us look bad.” Have you noticed Democrats don’t do this to Bernie Sanders, self-professed socialist?

    We’re not saying shut up. We’re saying don’t get conned. We’re saying that the nation faces serious problems post Obama and the party needs a serious candidate to prevent Hillary from making them worse.

    • #84
  25. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The King Prawn:

    Western Chauvinist: The reason you and others are getting so much push-back, KP, is it feels like Trump is (and, by extension, we are) being told to “Shut up!“ “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! You’re making us look bad.” Have you noticed Democrats don’t do this to Bernie Sanders, self-professed socialist?

    We’re not saying shut up. We’re saying don’t get conned. We’re saying that the nation faces serious problems post Obama and the party needs a serious candidate to prevent Hillary from making them worse.

    Has anyone seen Fred Thompson lately?

    • #85
  26. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Franco: What amazes me is that these people actually believe they can influence individual voters to all come together and dump Trump. Whenever I hear or read “we have to come together behind one candidate” or “we can’t look like we are crude bigots” or “we have to proceed with caution” I question their grasp of politics, basic understanding of human nature and democracy.

    I don’t know what article you’re responding to, but there’s nothing about “com[ing] together behind one candidate,” in Rick Wilson’s article. In fact he listed several viable alternatives to Trump.

    When did this race become Bush v. Trump? There are 17 candidates in the field at least half of whom are conservatives in good standing. Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina… Why does every criticism of Trump have to be an endorsement of Bush?

    • #86
  27. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Western Chauvinist: The reason you and others are getting so much push-back, KP, is it feels like Trump is (and, by extension, we are) being told to “Shut up!“ “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! You’re making us look bad.” Have you noticed Democrats don’t do this to Bernie Sanders, self-professed socialist?

    Only if they choose to take it as being told “shut up.”  He presented actual arguments.  It’s clear that KP considers those arguments overwhelmingly convincing.  It’s clear that he wants you on his side, not Trump’s.  But he doesn’t want you to shut up, he wants you to be persuaded.

    If Trump is admired for being loud and aggressive, surely those who see him as dangerous are allowed to be loud and aggressive in return.

    • #87
  28. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    The King Prawn:

    Western Chauvinist: The reason you and others are getting so much push-back, KP, is it feels like Trump is (and, by extension, we are) being told to “Shut up!“ “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! You’re making us look bad.” Have you noticed Democrats don’t do this to Bernie Sanders, self-professed socialist?

    We’re not saying shut up. We’re saying don’t get conned. We’re saying that the nation faces serious problems post Obama and the party needs a serious candidate to prevent Hillary from making them worse.

    And you don’t think that’s condescending?

    • #88
  29. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Pseudodionysius: By the way, I agree with Claire Berlinski that in a world of Turkey and Russia there is a certain Vlad the Impaler logic to having most of the world think the United States is about to elect someone as potentially unhinged as they are.

    If that’s your logic, nothing scares the rest of the world more than the name Bush.

    I doubt that’s a statement you’ll find reasonable.

    • #89
  30. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Leigh:

    Western Chauvinist: The reason you and others are getting so much push-back, KP, is it feels like Trump is (and, by extension, we are) being told to “Shut up!“ “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! You’re making us look bad.” Have you noticed Democrats don’t do this to Bernie Sanders, self-professed socialist?

    Only if they choose to take it as being told “shut up.” He presented actual arguments. It’s clear that KP considers those arguments overwhelmingly convincing. It’s clear that he wants you on his side, not Trump’s. But he doesn’t want you to shut up, he wants you to be persuaded.

    If Trump is admired for being loud and aggressive, surely those who see him as dangerous are allowed to be loud and aggressive in return.

    Not if they credibly wish to condemn him for being loud and aggressive.

    • #90
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