Baiting Joe Biden

President Trump is belittling Biden’s intelligence, with an eye toward provoking Sleepy Joe into an overreaction.  It could work.

In the spring of 1988, while campaigning for President in New Hampshire, Biden was asked about his education.  The way Biden heard the question, the guy was making sure Biden had been to college.

Biden blew up,  “. . . he started yelling how he’d graduated with three degrees, went to law school on scholarship, clawed his way up from the bottom of the class  —  or some bullshit  —  he offered to compare IQ’s  . . . all with the chin out, the hectoring voice, like … . .  I may be stupid but I’m Einstein next to you! . . . and Ruthie Berry and Jill  . . . had to scurry in and steer Joe out of there.  He coulda punched the guy out!  Joe was always sensitive about his intellect . . .”  [p. 480, What It Takes, by Richard Ben Cramer]

This came back to haunt Biden, since he was lying about his three degrees and scholarships.  In addition to being a serial plagiarist, Biden just made things up, to make himself look good.  That’s what drove him out of the race.

Biden combines an inferiority complex with an enormous opinion of himself. In other words, he’s a whack job.

President Trump’s closest ally

The United States, by God’s good fortune, has no fear of any nation, or combination of nations.  As long as we control the seas our homeland is invulnerable.  And with our Japanese and Anglosphere allies, our navy cannot be challenged.  We rule the waves, and can project our power all over the world.

Alfred Mahan figured all this out in the late 19th century, and Donald Trump is a student of Mahan.  Our navy is the source of of our security and our power, and Japan is our most important naval ally.  Their navy has 154 ships, and many of them are state of the art, world class fighting vessels.  Along with Australia and New Zealand, and hopefully Great Britain, we have such a massive advantage that no other navy is within sight.

The President and Prime Minister Abe are working out the foundations of a new relationship.  They are not going to fail.  That is not an option, for them, or for us.  Trump and Abe were both made for this momentous occasion.

What Great Britain was to us in the Atlantic, Japan will be to us in the Pacific.  Our number one ally, with whom we will have a special relationship.  Such that we would consider an attack on Japan an attack on us.  We will guarantee Japanese security, in exchange for Japan’s naval alliance.

Japan is like a huge aircraft carrier floating just to the east of China.  It is the linchpin of any alliance which seeks to contain China.  And Japan is more than willing to play its role.

China is the only other world power we need concern ourselves with, and with a revitalized Japan as our partner, we have nothing to fear from China.  And so we have nothing to fear at all.

The United States can be at peace.

 

The hatred that makes us blind

I know whereof I speak, since my blinding hatred of Bill Clinton mad me think he wouldn’t be reelected.  By 1996, people had caught on to the fact that the phony bastard was a sexual predator.  Not just in the past.  Now, in the White House.  How could the American people accept that behavior in a President?   I actually thought the wooden Indian, Bob Dole, had a shot.  I was blind.

So when I hear people hating on Trump, I know exactly how they feel.  It blinds them to his strengths.  Right now this country is doing very well, and Trump can take the credit.  To root against Trump, you’ve got to root against America, and that doesn’t work.

Democrats know this, so Trump, personally, must be demonized.  It’s their only shot in a strong economy.  Most people would be injured by the onslaught of attacks suffered by Trump.  But he’s a different breed, a throwback, a big German brawler from Queens, and since they don’t destroy him, they only make him stronger.

 

The problem with Biden is Biden

Richard ben Kramer’s “What it Takes” is the finest book ever written about American political campaigns.  He covers the 1988 Presidential race, and Biden is one of the six candidates he embedded himself with.  You get the sense that Biden, his campaign, and his family trusted ben Kramer, and his account rings true.

Joe Biden is an incredibly undisciplined politician.  He has an extremely hard time coming to a decision.  He has little faith in his own judgment, but is utterly convinced that he has special political gifts.  He has a mediocre mind, but thinks he has an inner genius.  On those occasions when he connects with a crowd, he can put on a great performance. He has the gift of Irish bullshit, and he thinks that’s all he needs.

The on again off again drama of the announcement of his candidacy could be torn from the pages of “What it Takes”.  This is Joe Biden.

How long he lasts before his candidacy implodes is anybody’s guess.  He’s never been subjected to the kind of scrutiny he’ll be getting.  He’s over the hill, and he’ll make some sort of spectacle of himself when he departs.  He’ll be the center of attention when he quits, and he’ll milk it for all it’s worth.

Because, at his core, Joe Biden is above all else a drama queen.

 

Trump, tariffs and the new (old) Republican Party

Trump now threatens the European Union with tariffs on $11 billion of EU products.  As an nationalist, not an internationalist, the President is focused on the best interests of the American worker and American business.  Tariffs are a tool he’s more than willing to use.

Historically, Republicans have always been for restrictions on free trade.  As Abraham Lincoln said in 1847, “Give us a protective tariff, and we shall have the greatest nation on earth.”  Protectionism goes all the way back to Alexander Hamilton’s Report on Manufactures.  The second bill signed by President Washington was Tariff Act of 1789, imposing a broad 5% tariff.  It was gradually increased. and stood at 40% in 1820.

From 1820 to the end of World War II, American industry was the most protected in the world.  High tariffs were coincident with economic growth.  Between 1871 and 1913 tariffs were never lower than 38%, and annual increase of Gross National Product averaged 4.3%.  The United States became the economic superpower of the world while it protected its industries.  A small country, with a small domestic market, can be punished by competitors for high tariffs.  The huge market of this country allows us to thrive with protection.

Southern Democrats were the champions of free trade.  They were commodity exporters, and wanted a free market in cotton.  The 1896 defeat of Democratic President Grover Cleveland by Republican challenger William McKinley was all about the tariff.

This all changed after World War II.  Before Trump, every Republican Presidential nominee  in the post-war era was for free trade.  And while the rest of the world recovered from the war, American free trade policy did us little harm.  But as foreign competition returned around 1970, American industry began to suffer.  But regardless of the consequences to the welfare of the American workforce, free trade remained Republican dogma.

It was part of the conservative economic gospel, from Buckley to Goldwater to Reagan.  And it was ardently supported by international business interests, so it brought in contributions.  Because of this commitment to free trade, Republicans could never truly be the party of the working man.

Then came Trump, and the switch to the restrictions of fair trade.  Trade that is fair for the average working American.  In the big picture, free trade may be good for Wall Street, and even the nation as a whole.  But if the benefits are concentrated, and the costs of free trade are disproportionately borne by the working man, then it’s not fair, and it doesn’t pass muster.

As a Republican fair trader, Trump is a new breed of Republican, and also a return to the party’s roots.  This is the kind of Republican the base of the party wants, even if it splits the party with the Chamber of Commerce.  Trump has rebranded the party, and it’s not going back.  If, with fair trade, Trump brings more black and Latino workers into his camp, he will have a majority of the country as his base.

Trump has singlehandedly transformed the Republican Party.  It’s now once more the party of fair trade, and the working man.

One man with courage has made history.

(This appears in today’s American Thinker)