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    Donald Trump Tag

    Logically, Donald Trump should be the worst candidate against the Hillary machine. He has a colorful history that would be an oppo-researcher's dream.  Like taking candy from a baby. And his negatives are in the stratosphere. Gallup just released a survey showing that Trump's negatives not only are high, they are of a historic nature:
    At this point (two-week average through Jan. 27), 33% of Americans view Trump favorably and 60% unfavorably. It's that 60% unfavorable figure that I can focus on here. Hillary Clinton currently has a 52% unfavorable rating among all Americans, while Jeb Bush is at 45%, Chris Christie 38%, Ted Cruz 37%, Marco Rubio 33%, Bernie Sanders 31% and Ben Carson 30%. Trump's 60% is clearly well above all of these. Putting his favorable and unfavorable ratings together yields a net favorable of -27 for Trump, far above the -10 for Clinton and for Bush, the next lowest among the major candidates.... Looking across all of these candidates' unfavorable ratings outside of election years yields this conclusion: Only one of them, George W. Bush, ever had an unfavorable rating of 60% or higher. For Bush, his unpopularity crested in his final lame-duck year in office, with an unfavorable rating that hit 66% in April 2008.
    In the RCP average Trump trails Hillary by 2.7% in a head-to-head match up, while Rubio is up 2.5% and Cruz is up 1.3%. Yet, it seems that notwithstanding the Dem spin that they fear Rubio the most, the Clinton War Room is preparing for Trump, and is confounded. Politico reports, How Clinton is plotting to go after Trump:

    As a large-scale real estate developer, Trump has sometimes sued in his efforts to use government to condemn houses belonging to people of modest means whose homes---which Trump considers insufficiently attractive---have stood near his big developments and have chosen to exercise their liberty by refusing to sell to him. That's one of the reasons Trump agrees 100% with the SCOTUS decision in Kelo (decided in 2005): he sees it making it easier for him to use government to compel the sale of a person's house even against that person's will. It's Trump's prerogative to approve of Kelo, and it's certainly understandable that someone in his line of work might have that point of view. He has every right to build his projects, and to try to buy the land of those with adjacent property.

    Many conservatives opine that what we need after Obama's disastrous presidency is the same cure we had after Jimmy Carter's disastrous presidency: a Ronald Reagan. This desire isn't lost on the Republican candidates for president.  Many are comparing themselves to President Reagan in the hopes of stoking, even fulfilling, that hope.  One such comparison to President Reagan was recently made by Donald Trump who compared his very recent Democrat background to that of President Reagan. The Hill reported at the time:
    In response to questions about the business mogul’s previous status as a card-carrying Democrat, Trump said that he was in good company. “If you look at Ronald Reagan, and he was a Democrat, he was actually, Don, he was a Democrat with a very liberal, or at least a pretty liberal bent, and he became a Republican with a somewhat conservative — I wouldn’t say very, but he was a conservative Republican,” Trump said.

    Enough has been written about how Donald Trump is breaking or rewriting or ignoring all the rules. Or operating in 3 dimensions while everyone else is operating in 2 dimensions. I see something in Trump, though, that is very familiar to me. It's the concept of creating chaos in your opponent's house as a revolutionary tactic.  Or to put it another way, being a disrupter. The now deceased Abbie Hoffman and Trump seemingly have little in common. While Hoffman rejected capitalism Trump embraces it. Yet they both employed the same tactic. Hoffman tried to create chaos in the economic system, but never really succeeded. Trump has succeeded in creating utter chaos in everyone else's house (Republican Party, Fox News, other candidates, basically anyone who crosses his path).   That's only half the equation, though. It's not just enough to create chaos in others. The second part is to create community within your own house. Hoffman never was good at that; in business Trump has been good at building his own house. I first wrote about this just after Obama took office, using a passage from Hoffman's book, Steal This Book. (Text here) Here's my post, from February 9, 2009, “Steal This Country”:

    The dispute between Donald Trump and Fox News has escalated rapidly today. It went from Trump was thinking about refusing to appear, to Trump likely not appearing, to the campaign saying Trump "definitely" would not appear. Megyn Kelly, the focus of Trump's ire, just announced on her show that Trump is out based on conversations Carl Cameron had with the Trump campaign. The Trump campaign apparently has released a statement to that effect. Trump Statement Fox News Debate (added) Fox News issued the following statement:

    UPDATE - Everything changed in the three hours since this post. Trump campaign says he’s out of Fox News Debate (Reader Poll) Fox News just announced its stage line up for the debate Thursday night. Donald Trump is center stage. Fox News Debate 1-28-2016 Line Up Donald Trump is upset that Megyn Kelly is one of the moderators of Thursday's Fox News debate. Trump has been complaining for days, demanding she be removed. Fox News just said No. Now Trump is upping the ante, posting this Instagram video complaining of Kelly's bias:

    By now, word has gotten around that Donald Trump has said quite a few things---either in the past or quite recently---indicating support for many liberal positions and politicians. As a result, the arguments have gone back and forth between his supporters and his opponents as to what Trump's actual belief system might be, and what he might be willing and/or able to do if he were to hold the most powerful office in the land. But however one wishes to label him on the political spectrum, it is instructive to watch the following video. It features a sampling of clips of Trump making some of these controversial statements. As you might imagine, the video was compiled by a new super PAC founded by Katie Packer, described here as "a veteran Republican strategist." Please watch the montage and see what you think:

    The next Republican debate is coming up this Thursday and will be hosted by FOX News. Based on their back and forth the last time FOX News hosted, Donald Trump asked the network to take Megyn Kelly off the moderator desk. Unfortunately for Trump, the network is doing no such thing. USA Today reports:
    Fox to Trump: Megyn Kelly will be a debate moderator Fox News has a message for Donald Trump: Megyn Kelly will be a moderator for next week's Republican debate, despite the businessman's call for her removal.

    A recent Politico article talks about how Trump might defeat Clinton. The article's lede focuses on potential support among black voters:
    If Donald Trump becomes the next president of the United States, there will be plenty of surprises along the way. One of the biggest will be the help he gets from black voters. According to Republican pollsters and Trump’s allies, the GOP poll-leader — who has been dogged by accusations of racism, most recently for tweeting out a chart that exaggerated the share of murders committed by blacks — is poised to out-perform with this demographic group in a general-election matchup with Hillary Clinton.
    However, although it quotes pollsters, the article doesn't link to any actual polls that show Trump's support from black voters. Nor do those pollsters mention any poll numbers that would support the contention that black voters support Trump.

    National Review has a special issue Against Donald Trump, with columns by 22 people, most of whom are familiar conservative writers and media personalities. I skimmed a few of the columns and they make the case persuasively that Trump is not a conservative. You know the arguments already. He's for activist big government, a populist with no conservative ideological compass, and is not what he purports to be even on his core issue of immigration (where he may be to the left of Marco Rubio in reality). National Review Conservatives Against Trump Cover

    The Republican emeritus leadership seems to be breaking for Donald Trump over Ted Cruz as the lesser of two evils.  They reason that Trump is less extreme, less likely to cause collateral damage to Republicans in Congressional and state races, and more electable. They're also probably wrong, at least about the electability question.  Nate Silver of writes:
    It’s hard to say exactly how well (or poorly) Trump might fare as the Republican nominee. Partisanship is strong enough in the U.S. that even some of his most ardent detractors in the GOP would come around to support him were he the Republican candidate. Trump has some cunning political instincts, and might not hesitate to shift back to the center if he won the GOP nomination. A recession or a terror attack later this year could work in his favor. But Trump would start at a disadvantage: Most Americans just really don’t like the guy.

    Anyone who a year ago picked Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to be the two leading Republican candidates heading into the Iowa Caucuses either (i) is a liar, or (ii) should invest heavily in the lottery because they are beyond lucky. Certainly, the powers that be in the Republican Party were not expecting it. Here's what a Fox News poll looked like in January 2015: The pollster didn't even bother to ask about Trump. And Cruz was in low single digits. Now Trump is on top in the national polls and Cruz is in second place. In Iowa, three polls released today show Cruz leading, a dead heat, and Trump leading.

    Bob Dole, who has endorsed Jeb Bush, has weighed in on the budding Ted Cruz v. Donald Trump contest in the early GOP primaries, and backed Trump in the strongest terms.  According to the New York Times, Dole warned of "cataclysmic,” and “wholesale losses” if Cruz is nominated.

    Dole's logic is viewing the Trump/Cruz contest explicitly in terms of what is better for the Republican Party establishment:

    “I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.” . . .

    The remarks by Mr. Dole reflect wider unease with Mr. Cruz among members of the Republican establishment, but few leading members of the party have been as candid and cutting.

    Dole added that Cruz has falsely “convinced the Iowa voters that he’s kind of a mainstream conservative.”

    Donald Trump recently stated that he wanted Apple manufacturing back to the U.S.:
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he will push for companies including Apple Inc. to bring manufacturing back to the United States. "Make America great again," Trump said in a speech at Liberty University in Virginia. "We’re going to get things coming. We’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.”
    Some are interpreting his words as saying he would use the power of government to force Apple back, others put a more benign spin on it, that he would develop policies to encourage Apple. Regardless, it is an empty promise. When I heard about the statement, I recalled an article from a few years ago making the case that the scale of what is needed is so enormous, that the U.S. does not have the engineering or manufacturing capacity, much less the labor force willing to work under conditions necessary. I don't know if this NY Times article is the one I recalled, but it made the point back in 2012, How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work:

    Seems like only yesterday I was watching Sarah Palin stump for Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate Runoff race. My how times have changed. Before a huge crowd gathered in the smoldering July heat of The Woodlands, Texas, alongside then Senator Jim DeMint, Palin said:
    But the good news is, there is nothing wrong with America that a good ol' fashioned election can't fix. Ted [Cruz] is a proven, common sense, Constitutional conservative. He's a fighter and he will bring new leadership to the United States Senate. He will shrink government, he will be putting it back on the side of the people and he will defend the United States Constitution. Ted Cruz represents the positive change that we need.
    In addition to Gov. Palin, Cruz also garnered endorsements from Senator Rand Paul, Senator Pat Toomey, Senator Jim DeMint, RedState, and Sean Hannity in 2012.

    Professor Jacobson has opined on the question of whether Ted Cruz qualifies to be president as a "natural born citizen." The short answer is: he definitely does. However, as Professor Jacobson also indicated, that hasn't stopped Trump from attempting to foster doubts in voters’ minds about it. You can see the results in the increased amount of chatter about the issue---which is likely to have been exactly what Trump wanted when he put forward his oh-so-helpful suggestion that Ted Cruz could and should settle the "natural born citizen" question by going to federal court and seeking a declaratory judgment on the matter. So, why doesn't Cruz do what Trump has suggested, and put it to rest? The reason is that it is almost certain that Cruz couldn't get a court to rule on the issue. J. Christian Adams, who was in the Justice Department under George W. Bush, explains why: