Trump On The Eve of The Iowa Caucuses

AT the time of posting, it seems likely the hoax ‘impeachment’ trial of Donald Trump could be shut down with an acquittal by the weekend. The event signaling this is key swing senator Lamar Alexander’s announcement that he will not vote to allow the calling of witnesses. The Tennessee Republican says there is “no need” to do so. Politically, an acquittal is a triumph for the President, although Democrats and the media will pretend the earlier House vote – and the supposed ignominy of being impeached in the first place – sting Trump electorally (they don’t and won’t) and sully his standing in history. Like Germans in 1918, Democrats will take potshots till 11 am but the truth is witnesses would do more damage to their party and its 2020 prospects than to President Trump – and they know it. Certainly, former NSA John Bolton’s bitchy play to be invited to testify against the man who sacked him for his increasingly insane war doctrine got journalists licking their lips. But Bolton has never been a beloved figure and his views are now seen as old hat and dangerous by most Americans. He is no match for Trump. Tactically, Rand Paul’s attempt to have named the so-called “whistleblower” was brilliant – even if Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read the Kentucky senator’s question. Eric Ciaramella is the best-known ‘secret’ personality in the intelligence world since Valerie Plame (who took the title from James Bond). The funny and clever angle Senator Paul worked was the pretense of mystery surrounding Ciaramella’s identity. If nobody – including Adam Schiff and the Chief Justice – knows who he is, then how do they know his naming is legally indelicate? The Democrats know who he is because he’s one of them.

Senator Paul has grown in stature enormously over the past five years. He has moved well beyond father Ron’s puritanism while maintaining a very distinct reputation and public image for being his own man. That he has been stoic and formidable in support of President Trump throughout the dual Russia/Ukraine hoax has also burnished his credentials for national leadership with the GOP base – and could fuel his own run for the White House. There is very interesting history-making in real time going on here and the Trump-Paul interaction illustrates its nature. So does the unsentimental ouster of John Bolton.

This is a President who is not in the least beholden to ideological hangers-on and coat-pullers – as the two Bushes and Ronald Reagan were. Trump wants to discern what works – for the enrichment of the United States, the entrenchment of its global economic power and the sustainability of its foreign policy reach – and in every arena pragmatism eventually trumps dogma. Pragmatism is only bad when practitioners scuttle risky initiatives to protect their own seats (in both senses). A better word for this is expediency. Trump’s preference is to scuttle ideology instead – in favour of bottom-line returns. A downside of that has been a huge staff turnover as starry-eyed functionaries discover this Republican President is not running a libertarian or neo-conservative experiment. So be it.

If anything, the historically unprecedented hatred unleashed against him by cultural elites has only steeled Trump’s resolve to be Trump and be even more aggressively focused on results. There was a golden moment in an interview by Michael Parkinson of Michael Caine some years ago in which the legendary Cockney was asked about his famously imitable accent. Even he could do Michael Caine, said Caine, and then proceeded to do so. Likewise, there are so many hyperbolic caricatures of Trump that he sometimes joins in and does his own. The disadvantage of this is an occasional – his critics would say frequent – indiscretion. The upside of his obvious enjoyment of being (and overdoing) Donald Trump is that it enrages his foes to febrile extremes, driving them on herd-like to newer and more fantastical platforms and countermeasures. Even if some of their stances are worthy, they never come across that way; they come across as sour, insincere and unhinged. The impeachment disgrace – their disgrace – was the inevitable outcome of this phenomenon. The 2020 US Presidential Election begins officially on Monday in Iowa. If President Trump is acquitted before the big day, it will be a sweet thing for him and a defeat for Democrats. If by some procedural means an acquittal has to wait, it would result in the plainly crooked continuation of a ‘trial’ of the incumbent during a presidential campaign. That will also benefit Trump. He can’t lose either way. An enviable position to be in, it may also be propitious.

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47 Responses to Trump On The Eve of The Iowa Caucuses

  1. stackja

    Trump has been winning for nearly four years. Four more years!

  2. BorisG

    After some tribulations I now think Dems have done the right thing. Trump’s phone call clearly shows that he abused his power for personal political gain. Not good. It is really impossible to say objectively whether this is an impeachable offence – if only because the rules are actually vague. The actual process is of course political – on both sides.

    So if the outcome is clear – why bother with impeachment? Can’t it be left it for the voters to decide? Well, at the end of the day, that is what Dems have done. They laid out their case in the best possible fashion – not in the media or in TV ads, but officially in Congress. And now the voters will have all the facts to decide. If voters think the phone call was perfect, holding aid to force an announcement of an investigation into a rival etc was perfectly fine then so be it.

  3. notafan

    Thank you for that summation CL

    Oh golly an elected official did something that, subjectively, may have benefitted his electoral ambitions.

    Unprecedented!

  4. BorisG

    But Bolton has never been a beloved figure and his views are now seen as old hat and dangerous by most Americans.

    well, why then Trump appointed him in the first place? And praised him?

    and should I search Cat to see CL’s comments on Bolton during Bush years?

    This happens to everyone in Trump’s orbit. One moment they are the most distinguished general. The moment they criticise the dear leader in any slight way, they are the most overrated general. etc. etc.

    For me, just listening once to Trump insulting loyal Americans whose only crime is to disagree with him, (with words like he is watching up) is enough.

  5. Mark A

    I don’t think Boris has followed this closely at all, it happens if you only read what agrees with with you own opinion.
    But at least he has come clean now, previously he always tried to present an impartial view.

    Not very successfully, mind.

  6. Tom

    Trump’s phone call clearly shows that he abused his power for personal political gain.

    You idiot, Boris. But thanks for being here as you provide a valuable insight into the workings of the zombie leftard brain.

    Only a zombie could conclude that the Trump-Zelenski phone call demonstrates the US President “abused his power for personal political gain”. On behalf of the people who elected him, Trump was asking Zelenski to investigate US-Ukraine political corruption and the Bidens’ role in it. Trump was also providing Zelenski with lethal military aid against aggression by Putin’s rogue Russian state.

    It really is marvellous the effect that an alphamale billionaire president has on his enemies around the world.

    The key to understanding Trump Derangement is that leftards are mystified by the fact that, unlike them, he is not an ideologue: he is a highly intelligent businessman who looks at his presidency as a simple contract between him and the people who elected him and he is methodically working his way through a tick-box list of promises made and kept. In that sense, he is a political fundamentalist.

    What enrages the left is that Trump stands for traditional American values, the destruction of which is the centrepiece of leftism. In spite of the news media’s implacable hatred of him, through his speeches and rallies and his use of Twitter as a media bypass, he is now achieving cut-through to the American majority he needs if he is to be re-elected in November.

    Needless to say, 90% of the media are in the tank for the Democratic Party and are at one with its political objectives through their daily lies, misrepresentations and attempted gotchas about the Trump presidency.

    The Democrats 2020 trainwreck wobbles down the track as if in slow motion, but there is zero chance of it changing direction as it is locked onto an electorally disastrous course with only one possible outcome.

    Look and learn, Boris.

  7. Mark A

    Look and learn, Boris.

    You forgot the /sarc tag Tom.
    You are talking to Boris here.

    Never listen never learn.

  8. Tom

    Another marvellous read, CL. Thank you.

  9. Dave of Reedy Creek, Qld

    The whole whistleblower episode make on wonder is Schiff himself the hidden person. He must be the worst serial liar in politics I have heard of. The widely held belief his staff helped write the complaint adds to my very deep suspicions. Funny how the Dems always run around accusing Trump of things they have done and continue to do themselves.

  10. Tel

    Trump’s phone call clearly shows that he abused his power for personal political gain. Not good.

    Can you just quote the bit where it clearly shows that … I couldn’t find it.

  11. Herodotus

    It’s the Democrats who have covered themselves with dishonour, and revealed just how corrupt the swamp is. Schumer is still at it while the Senate moves towards throwing out the travesty of a partisan, lying farrago of impeachment.

  12. 132andBush

    . Trump’s phone call clearly shows that he abused his power for personal political gain. Not good. It is really impossible to say objectively whether this is an impeachable offence –

    IF he clearly abused his power it would be CLEARLY possible to say this is an impeachable offence.

    Borry, your two sentences should not exist together.

  13. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Tom at 6:20 am:

    ” Trump’s phone call clearly shows that he abused his power for personal political gain.

    You idiot, Boris.

    Yes – mmmm – most assuredly yes.

  14. Suburban Boy

    Thank you, CL, for a fine piece.

    On timing: The Republicans now have 51 votes locked in to vote down the call for witnesses. However, for various procedural and logistical reasons the vote to acquit likely will be delayed until Wednesday, after SOTU.

    But Trump will be able to deliver his SOTU knowing with certainty that acquittal is just a day or two away.

  15. Old School Conservative

    holding aid to force an announcement of an investigation into a rival

    Unfortunately for the Dems, the whole impeachment process has shown conclusively that the Ukraine did not think aid was withheld, and that it wasn’t withheld.

    Trump wins again – comprehensively.

  16. Colonel Crispin Berka

    Still 283 days until the 2020 Presidential election and any of the candidates could have a swing in support during that time. The Dem frontrunner is Sanders.

    Comedian Dave Chappelle has decided to support Andrew Yang.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/LaCraiMitchell/status/1222656084139220992
    That’s probably not enough to knock Sanders off his perch, but who can predict these things any more?

  17. Iampeter

    This is a President who is not in the least beholden to ideological hangers-on and coat-pullers – as the two Bushes and Ronald Reagan were.

    Yea the Bushes were very ideological!
    Also, Reagan had flaws but putting him in the same category as the Bushes is Onion-level comedy.

    Overall Trump is a big government left wing President giving us essentially a third Obama term.

    Now that conservatives have lost all pretense of being an alternative to the left and with Trumps acquittal have lost all pretense of being any less corrupt than democrats, what’s the plan?

    Where does such a complete failure of a political movement go next?

  18. Tel

    I’m back to thinking that Sanders will win the Democrat primaries.

    Biden looked like he had potential, but he is mentally not up to it and he had attempted directly bullying and abusing his own constituency.

    Tulsi is still a sentimental favourite but not getting a big swell of support amongst the voters.

    Warren is now so obviously and transparently a fake that even brainwashed college students see right through her. When she attempted to throw Sanders under the bus it was lame, no one fell for it. Warren is done.

    Yang is an interesting guy, he has potential, adds some life to the debate, but he has no chance of winning.

  19. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Tom at 6:44 am:

    “Another marvellous read, CL. Thank you.”

    I agree. CL has presented several excellent summaries and analyses during these last few months and I am grateful for it.

    I came here perhaps a decade ago, when that Rudd sheila was propelled to the top by Labor. That was astonishing enough but the electorate fell in behind and clamored for more and more of the effete little ponce, and that madness completely confused me (I would like to sit with Graham Richardson and hear his thoughts on why and how Labor plumbed such depths). This coincided with a time when I was operating solo most of the time and managing a construction operation populated by people who had no interest in, or insight into, politics. I badly needed some discussion and analysis of the matter, to order my thoughts.

    Catallaxy served its purpose for quite some time, then it lapsed into way too much 14 year old schoolboy for me, trading their prized fart jokes and all. I had certainly lost interest here, apart from a quiet period leading up to Christmas.

    I am pleased to see the emergence of these extended analyses, primarily from CL. I say it is a marked improvement for the site.

  20. dover_beach

    for personal political gain.

    Isn’t this a desire of any elected person’s decision-making?

  21. Mark M

    Trump gets it. Global warming is the west’s Waterloo.

    What Trump and Mnuchin understand: [Global-warming] denial is the only authentic defense of our absurd capitalist ideology
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-trump-and-mnuchin-understand-climate-change-denial-is-the-only-authentic-defense-of-our-absurd-capitalist-ideology-2020-01-31

  22. yarpos

    ” If voters think the phone call was perfect……” mmmm, yes. Because historically we have been soooo awash with perfect leaders

  23. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    This entire disgusting farce is so bass-ackwards it’s like finding yourself in some bizarre parallel universe.

    Orange Florida Man (Bad) has clearly done nothing even remotely wrong/corrupt/dishonest and yet the clear and undeniable corrupt activity of that senile ol’ pervert biden is out there without so much as a fig leaf used to try and obscure it – he’s even on video openly gloating about it, FFS.

    Yet again, the role of the braindead lamestream collectivist meeja in giving this shambles any kind of oxygen is a damning indictment of their continued existence. As for those syphilitic deranged morons pelosi, pencil neck schiff-fer-brains and fathead nadler (among others) my views on those individuals are unprintable here.

  24. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Ha – even the ALPBC is now admitting that Fatty Trump’s “acquittal” is imminently imminent.

    Sucked in, losers.

  25. Tom

    Yet again, the role of the braindead lamestream collectivist meeja in giving this shambles any kind of oxygen is a damning indictment of their continued existence.

    The fact that 90% of the US media is effectively the propaganda department of the Democratic Party with 90-100% negative coverage of the Trump administration and rushes every Trump gotcha to the top of news bulletins (only to disown it later when it falls apart) is the only reason the 2020 election appears to be close.

    Come November, it won’t be close at all but, having commissioned hundreds of fake opinion polls with a +10-20% Dems voter sample, the media will again by shocked by the outcome.

    Trump Derangement has made the US media even less use than Australia’s.

  26. Mother Lode

    for personal political gain.

    No one should ever do anything, no matter how right it is, if they stand to benefit from it.

    No politician should present themselves as better than rivals they are better than.

    Biden’s gloating admission to using American aid to extort an outcome that he and his family benefitted is something only Biden himself should investigate. Even Warren and Sanders can have a conflict of interest.

    In other news, when Boris G is sick he abstains from doctors because they have a pecuniary interest in people being sick.

  27. Entropy

    Biden looked like he had potential, but he is mentally not up to it and he had attempted directly bullying and abusing his own constituency.

    Tel I would think he is the dem establishment candidate like Clinton was last time. Do the unwashed rank and file matter in these things?

  28. Entropy

    I would like to sit with Graham Richardson and hear his thoughts on why and how Labor plumbed such depths

    simples: whatever it takes.
    They got rid of him the instant they thought they could get away with it.

  29. Mother Lode

    Ha – even the ALPBC is now admitting that Fatty Trump’s “acquittal” is imminently imminent.

    They will see it as yet another criminal act.

    Criminal here meaning something they don’t want to happen, not a transgression of any law.

    They always label things as ‘criminal’ – putting country shoppers on Manus Island is ‘criminal’ for example. Anatomically reconfiguring that Iranian terrorist general was a crime. Sneaking into Pakistan to red-mist Bin Laden (seen as an act of divine Obamatude) was not. Nor was Fast and Furious because the people I loved had their hearts in the right place.

  30. Mother Lode

    Nor was Fast and Furious because the people I loved had their hearts in the right place.

    …the people involved

    I swear, auto-corrupt is getting worse and worse.

    As is that cloth-eared bint Siri.

    I swear you can ask her to play an album and she will reply “Sorry, I can’t find palaeozoic trigeminal fart collections in your music.” Then when you select that exact album manually and ask what it is, she will repeat the exact name you had originally requested.

  31. BorisG,

    Trump did not even pretend he wanted an investigation, all he demanded is an announcement of investigation, to hurt his rival Biden. The fact that there are still idiots here who deny the obvious is telling.

    A bigger question is why most of trump voters don’t care. But this is also not so hard. For them:

    1. Democrats are evil, and no trump indiscretion can remotely compare with this.
    2. Democrats are evil, and all and every means to undermine and defeat them is a good thing, even if it smells bad.
    3. Abuse of power is commonplace, why should Trump be singled out for this?
    4. Even if he did something wrong, this is part of his job and as such should be judged not by a quasi-judicial process of impeachment but by the voters.
    5. Under trump the economy is doing great, and let’s not throw spanned in the works.

    Btw never Trumpers are not left wingers. Never Trumper think an evil person cannot be trusted to be president even if his policies are good. I know some people who were never trumpers but changed their mind seeing him doing good things.

    In my view there are serious repercussions from this for the constitutional order and restrains on the executive lower, but I guess this is inevitable for such a divided society. Watch the next saga when Dems assume power.

  32. BorisG,

    And this obsession with the whistleblower is also telling. He complained about the existence of the shameful home call. He did not invent the phone call, he did not distort it.

    Of course trump would have preferred that this was kept under wraps. Says volumes how perfect it was.

  33. FelixKruell

    The event signaling this is key swing senator Lamar Alexander’s announcement that he will not vote to allow the calling of witnesses. The Tennessee Republican says there is “no need” to do so.

    Strange you stop there, and don’t explain why the senator thought there was no need to do so…

  34. Faye

    I heard Nigel Farage today in an interview that he will be spending time at home and America. Obviously, President Trump values Nigel’s fine character, tenacity and talents. I believe President Trump and he have bigger things in mind – yes bigger! Of course, Nigel also will keep an eagle eye on the EU and Boris’ dealings for the next ten months.

    I envisage both men want a better world. America becoming stronger and richer than ever allows President Trump to do good for the world.
    Say:
    Help corrupt and drug infested countries to have a means of income and jobs by setting up industry and farming and job-creating commerce culminating with trade with America and others. In partnership with the various countries, help set up law and order practices, hospitals, schools, etc. Help countries like Greece to get back on its feet AFTER THEY LEAVE THE EU. Likewise ITALY plus others. This will smash the globalist EU one-world government germination. President Trump’s program of deals “we help you” and “you help us” (reciprocity) have been most successful.

  35. C.L.

    Strange you stop there, and don’t explain why the senator thought there was no need to do so…

    Not strange at all. That is the headline fact.
    Alexander believes the case for a linkage having been made by Trump – aid for investigation of Joe Biden’s criminality – has been proved but is constitutionally irrelevant. In other words, Alexander believes Trump acted lawfully and was within his rights as President.

  36. Bronson

    Boris you have absolutely no proof for your 5 points. You just made it up. At least you could admit your own bias and acknowledge that what you write is only opinion and not backed by any facts.

  37. C.L.

    should I search Cat to see CL’s comments on Bolton during Bush years?

    I was never a fan of Bolton and never wrote about him at any length. Fifteen years ago there was another political war underway that involved Democrats lying about Iraq, WMD, African yellowcake etc. I certainly wanted the US to win the war in Iraq and I saw strategic merit in America’s willingness to overthrow regimes (in extreme circumstances).

  38. FelixKruell

    CL:

    has been proved but is constitutionally irrelevant. In other words, Alexander believes Trump acted lawfully and was within his rights as President.

    Getting that first bit admitted here is like pulling teeth.

    And he said he acted inappropriately, but it didn’t rise to an impeachable offence. He didn’t say it was “lawful’ or ‘within his rights as President’.

  39. Squirrel

    The sooner this circus is over the better – so long as there’s sizzle in the sausage, do we really need to know what goes on in the sausage factory…….?

  40. C.L.

    Getting that first bit admitted here is like pulling teeth.

    Because it’s just an opinion.
    Trump’s acquittal will mean it’s an unproven opinion.

    And he said he acted inappropriately, but it didn’t rise to an impeachable offence.

    Right. So everything he did was lawful.

    Let’s not forget that Trump was impeached as a cover-up for Democrat Party crimes.
    It was a sham.

  41. Four Mile

    Your observations on Paul Rand are insightful.
    Rand has some areas of fundamental disagreement with Trump yet seems to be someone Trump always consults. I reckon you are right Rand is a likely P candidate post Trump. But I’d leave him alone when he’s mowing the lawn.

  42. FelixKruell

    CL:

    Because it’s just an opinion.

    An opinion that gets you labelled all sorts of nasty names here. Yet coming from McConnell’s bestie.

    Right. So everything he did was lawful.

    No, the absence of one doesn’t prove the other. Pretty basic logic fail.

  43. dover_beach

    No, the absence of one doesn’t prove the other. Pretty basic logic fail.

    You’ve got this arse-about, it isn’t the ‘absence of evidence’ that renders Trump’s act lawful, it is the evidence of absence, namely, the exhaustive investigation failed to establish illegality ‘evidences the absence’ of illegality.

  44. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    it isn’t the ‘absence of evidence’ that renders Trump’s act lawful

    Never said it was. Try to argue my point, not your own.

  45. JC

    Never said it was. Try to argue my point, not your own.

    Last time I did that, you straight lied about we were talking about and then other people chimed in desribing what a dishonest sack of dry shit you are. It appears you’re still doing it, suggesting it may be genetic.

  46. FelixKruell

    Last time I did that, you straight lied about we were talking about and then other people chimed in desribing what a dishonest sack of dry shit you are

    It’s all in black and white above. Scroll up. Read. Think. Then write.

    And the ‘other people’ you mention are hardly helping your cause.

  47. dover_beach

    Never said it was. Try to argue my point, not your own

    Dear oh dear. I was addressing your claim that C.L. was perpetrating an informal fallacy by suggesting that he wasn’t arguing that the ‘absense of evidence’ was conclusive but rather the ‘evidence of absense’ was, demonstrated by the failure of the investigation to uncover an illegal act by Trump in the Ukraine affair.

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