Trump does not signal virtue

One of the benefits of having a President with something of a checkered past, personally, is that he doesn’t pretend to be our moral superior.  He’s obviously a deeply flawed man, with an inner insecurity that drives his furious energy.  But he really doesn’t pretend to be anything other than he is.

This is why, if you can ignore his boorish boasting, he’s so refreshing.  and effective.  His congratulatory call to Putin is deplored by all his moral superiors.  He ignores them, and advances the interests of his country by dealing directly with our only real nuclear rival.  The man’s a brutal dictator, as shown recently in London.  But he speaks for Russia, and we must speak with him.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

Pompeo for President

It’s about time we had an Italian-American President, and Mike Pompeo might be the guy.  In 2024 he’ll be 61, in his prime.  On paper, he’s perfect.  We’ll soon find out about his political skills.

Another possibility is Scott Pruitt of the EPA.  I think he’ll wind up as Attorney General when Sessions is eased out, and become a star of the administration.  He’ll be 56 in 2024.

Add in V.P. Pence (who will be 65) and you have a team of rivals, just as Lincoln had.  But these three are a lot better than Lincoln had.

Another solid move by Trump.

Trump in CA to campaign in PA-18

In late April of 2016 Ted Cruz was the last man standing between Trump and the Republican nomination (Kasich doesn’t count).  Indiana’s primary was on May 3rd, and Cruz had the support of Governor Mike Pence, and everyone else who was serious about stopping the front runner.  It was tight, and if Cruz won there, he could still see a path to the nomination.

On April 29, Trump came to San Mateo to speak to the California Republican Party Convention.  This set off serious street riots the night before in some Mexican-American parts of LA, and protesters blocked Trump from reaching the site of the convention.  Trump was forced to exit his vehicle by the side of the freeway, and climb across a guard rail to get to the back entrance of the venue.

It was all great TV, and four days later Trump beat Cruz in Indiana 53-38, and took all 57 delegates.  He knew exactly what he was doing, and clinched the nomination by that trip to California.

Black Lives Matter, La Raza, the LGBT crowd and the rest of the hard left are Trump’s best political allies.  People in the heartland think they’re all crazy, and when they rally against  Trump they help him, politically, in places like PA-18 and Indiana.

That’s why Trump makes his first Presidential visit to California on the very day voters in PA-18 are deciding if they should show him their support by voting for Saccone.  He knows precisely what he’s doing.  The tariff announcement and the trip to California are timed for this election.  If Trump pulls it off, we’ll see a late surge of voting tomporrow right before the polls close.  These people will be deciding at the last minute to send a message to the protesters by voting for Trump’s guy.

Politics is sales, and the candidate is the product.  Trump is a pro at this, and Cruz and all the rest were amateurs.  He’s been in the self promotion business his whole life, and he’s a very smart and determined man.

Looking back, it finally makes sense to me how he won.  Trump is a brand, but all candidates for President are a brand.  The Bush brand was discredited, and Cruz and all the others were new brands, trying to sell themselves to the voters.  Trump’s a better salesman, making him a better politician.

His rally in PA-18 Saturday was a masterpiece.  I’m a serious student of American history and politics, and there have never been anything like these rallies.  It’s performance art.  He’s baring his soul to these crowds, and they eat it up.  “I love you,” he told them, “I love you.”  I’ve never seen a politician do that before, and it worked.

Imagine Donald Trump selling Article V and the BBA.  We’d get to 34 states in a flash.  If Larry Kudlow is his new economic adviser that’s very good news.  Kudlow would be in a position to pitch this to the President, and I’m confident we can get to Kudlow to make the “ask”.

Trump’s not ready to hear this pitch right now.  The time to approach him will be after the elections in November.  If we can’t sell it to him then, I’ll be surprised.

RIP State Representative Hal Wick of South Dakota.  He spent 30 years trying to get the BBA Resolution through the South Dakota legislature, and finally succeeded a couple years ago.  It’s because of patriots like Hal, all across the country, that we’ve got 28 states right now.  He was one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

They need us more than we need them

That’s why President Trump says trade wars are easy to win.  They’re easier for us to win, not the other guy.  Because the United States of America has the cards.

No foreign power has ever threatened our borders, or ever will.  Our military superiority and reach are vastly superior to the rest of the world.  With the fracking revolution, we are effectively a continental autarky, economically self -sufficient, if need be.  With our navy we totally control the western hemisphere.  Our standard of living would decline without international trade, but we could ride it out.

Trump is the first President of the postwar era who not only understands that he holds all the high cards, he’s eager to exploit his advantage on his country’s behalf.  No more sweetheart deals with the USA.  If any policy, trade or otherwise, in not in our national self interest, it will be discarded.

And then there’s what you might call the President’s Trump Card  —  he’s considered just crazy enough to do damn near anything.  So you’d better make a deal, than see what he’d do if you didn’t.  Trump is capable of anything, he’s a wild card.  A good card to hold, as Richard Nixon liked to say.

Someone in the European Union is threatening to put tariffs on Jack Daniels and Harley-Davidsons.  I’m sure Trump is shaking in his boots.

Come November the large majority of Americans will have suffered no adverse consequences from these tariffs.  But some Americans, in the industrial Midwest, will have received a substantial benefit.  And blue collar workers, of all races and regions, will want more of the same.

These people elected Trump.  He’s just dancing with the one who brung him.

Tariffs are good politics

We’re all consumers, and restricting our access to cheap foreign goods is bad for all of us.  Because of Trump’s tariff on aluminum, I’m going to have to pay an extra 3 cents for a six pack of beer.

But Americans are more than consumers, we’re producers, and fellow citizens and countrymen.  We have an interest in the well being of our fellows..  So I, for one, will gladly pay my extra 3 cents, knowing I’m supporting my American aluminum workers, and their vital industry.

Those who disagree, and who are upset about that 3 cents a six pack increase, are unlikely to change their vote because of it.  It’s relatively trivial, everybody pays it, and you get used to it.

On the other hand, everyone associated with the steel and aluminum industries has been waiting for this for 30 years.   They’re ecstatic.  The President of the United States is their biggest fan and salesman.  This will change votes, all to Trump’s advantage.  A week from Tuesday, in PA-18, we’ll see if it’s working.

It’s almost like a principle of politics. Disperse the pain, and concentrate the pleasure.