Lion of the Blogosphere

Trump’s SC debate fallout

I believe that Trump attacking W in the SC debate did hurt him in the polls, especially in SC. I think he’d be riding 5 points higher if not for that debate. Nevertheless, Trump’s still has a huge margin over second-place Cruz, and in the long-run Trump will not be hurt by his attack on W, just as Trump was never hurt by any of the other things he said that the MSM insisted would finally put the nail in his coffin. Trump is the true Teflon candidate.

In fact, Trump is playing the long game and looking to September and October. In debates between Obama and McCain, Obama incessantly attacked W, and McCain was too much of a p-word to disassociate himself from W. Trump has completely neutralized the attack-W routine which Hillary would use on any other Republican candidate. In fact, Trump can use that strategy against Hillary, saying that she voted for the war against Iraq, and she was in the Senate and partly responsible for the economic collapse in 2008.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 18, 2016 at 11:54 PM

Posted in Politics

41 Responses

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  1. Trump played the long game perfectly on this issue. He has hit Bush/Iraq harder than almost Dem has done in 16 years. Lion’s analysis on this is spot on. Excellent stuff.


    February 19, 2016 at 1:29 AM

    • Is it true he opposed the Iraq War? People have been looking into it, and there’s no indication he predicted disaster “loud and clear.” The earliest comment anyone has found (so far) is a 2002 exchange on Howard Stern’s show, where Trump was asked if he supported invasion. He answered, “Yeah, I guess so.” In the debate Trump said he warned everyone about the prospect of destabilization” in the Middle-East, but he told Cavuto, “the market will go up like a rocket,” and the war looked like a “tremendous success from a military standpoint.” A month or so later, I believe, there’s a public record of him turning against the war.


      February 20, 2016 at 1:35 AM

      • Listen to the Howard Stern quote on the one-year anniversary of 9/11. Stern reels off some off-the-cuff questions and Trump gives off-the-cuff answers including a ‘i guess so, uh…’ response to the question about Iraq. Then came the UN debates and the Congressional debates. And in Jan 2003 Trump says probably not a good idea. Says Bush needs to worry about the economy not Iraq. Then in March 2003 a few days after invasion Trump says it’s not going to end well.

        And these are just the documented quotes.

        Andrew E.

        February 20, 2016 at 9:38 AM

      • So he was sort of in favor of the war before he was sort of against it? Here’s a timeline of Trump’s comments on the Iraq invasion.

        It’s mighty difficult to reconcile the documented record with his own description — i.e., that he was “loud and strong” and “loud and clear.”


        February 20, 2016 at 2:15 PM

      • I would describe Trump as never for the war, not after giving it consideration. The most important thing is that Trump wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on the war if he was in charge. He was never a believer.

        His objections to the war sound like they come from someone who doesn’t have an axe to grind with Bush, unlike the lefties who were screaming bloody murder before a shot was fired.

        Andrew E.

        February 20, 2016 at 5:25 PM

  2. I completely agree and had reached that conclusion myself. Trump opposed the war (as did I) but his making an issue of it was brilliant strategy. Trucons shouldn’t try to defend the Neocon’s war. They should follow Trump’s lead and use it to bludgeon the GOPe. Not only will that weaken the establishment’s stranglehold it will make the GOP nominee more palatable to moderates, independents and Democrats. Also, it will finally get Bush’s military boondoggle off our backs. It’s a chance at a clean slate. Plus, without that baggage the focus switches from Bush’s screw-ups in the middle east to the Democrat’s screw-ups in the middle east. While also giving the new president the freedom to do whatever is necessary to deal with Isis and Iran.


    February 19, 2016 at 4:40 AM

  3. And Hillary and BHO continued W’s war policy in Libya and Syria.


    February 19, 2016 at 4:45 AM

  4. Check this out. Bush forgot to renew his website. Trump bought and redirected it to his own. HA!

    Remember back when Trump trolled Linday Graham by giving out his private cell phone number? When Miss Graham tried to do it back, Trump replaced his greeting with a campaign ad. He’s like 5 moves ahead. That’s why hes running rings around everyone. Trump is the greatest candidate — EVER!


    February 19, 2016 at 5:59 AM

    • Oof, that seems almost too mean.

      But on the other hand, when Bush drops out, this will make it seem like Trump got his endorsement.


      February 19, 2016 at 8:29 AM

      • Nothing’s too mean, this is war. People underestimate what it takes to be a real estate developer in NY (and NJ).

        I put this link up once, it bears scrutiny:

        Trump is very knowledgeable about NY/NJ politics. You have to be to build stuff in those states. I don’t particularly like Tom Wolfe’s fiction but I believe he wrote about this in “A Man In Full.” Trump’s real estate empire in NY is vast and unbelievably complicated. True, he did it with Daddy’s money, but most of the growth was his, and he’s never neglected his core business when he did all that reality TV stuff. Building things in NY (and NJ) takes strategic vision.

        People who say that a guy with Obama’s resume was qualified, and someone with Trump’s is not, are truly delusional.


        February 19, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    • Well, the Bush campaign is apparently out of cash, soooo….


      February 19, 2016 at 9:46 AM

      • As I predicted, Bush will drop out after SC unless he wins at least 3rd place, which is not going to happen.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 19, 2016 at 9:54 AM

      • This partisan website does not seem like a credible source. I see the campaign denies the rumor.


        February 19, 2016 at 10:01 AM

  5. Although I think Trump’s attack on the war was a good play, I think he totally went over the line with copying the left’s Bush lied-People died mantra. Beside it being ridiculous, it edges close to conspiracy theory land and with Trump’s birther history, he doesn’t need to go there.

    But even with that, I think he wins South Carolina, which shows how alienated the GOP voter is from the GOPe.

    Mike Street Station

    February 19, 2016 at 7:17 AM

    • 100%. Disagreement w/Iraq should be on entirely nationalist and civilizational incompatibility grounds. I also still think his splenetic manner is a problem.

      But there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate.

      I cannot wait to see him tear into Hillary – if GOPe doesn’t steal the nom from him.


      February 19, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    • The ‘peace movement’ evaporated like the morning mist once Obama got elected, but if there are any disaffected Sanders-voting Bushitler haters around after Bernie gets humiliatingly crushed by superdelegates, they could conceivably go to Trump rather than Hillary.


      February 19, 2016 at 11:31 AM

  6. The one thing that’s consistent across the national polls is that Cruz or even amnesty boy clobber Trump head to head. The problem is that his voters are a special breed of fanboys , dupes and authoritarians that span across categories defined by ideologically consistent categories.

    So Trump doesn’t have to share his voting block the way the other candidates do. Of course that creates a huge problem in the general election which will be head to head and where Trump faces the highest negatives of any candidates in either party.

    It’s also a problem in the primaries where you need to eventually win over half the delegates. That’s why Trump keeps threatening a third party run — he’s not strong enough to win alone.



    February 19, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    • Also can someone explain to these wannabe keyboard alpha dorks that alpha males don’t flock around other alpha males like giddy, adoring schoolgirls.

      I don’t know if women want to sleep with him or not, but so far they don’t vote for him in greater numbers then men.



      February 19, 2016 at 8:36 AM

    • This analysis is way off. I think it was a Bloomberg poll from earlier this week that showed Trump’s negatives in the low 30’s (remember when his negatives were in the 60’s last August?). This was comparable to all the other GOP candidates with only Carson and Rubio with lower negatives.

      Once Trump has established his dominance in the GOP and much of the media (which he’s already done to a large extent) and isn’t being attacked from 15 angles simultaneously, then he can act presidential. And he definitely has the talent for it. Watch his townhall from last night on CNN. Trump excels at the quite, personal settings. Even the ideologues at Red State had to give him credit for his performance and ability to alter his persona for a different setting. People will start to like Trump the more they see of him.

      Andrew E.

      February 19, 2016 at 11:50 AM

  7. Lion,

    Nate Silver is giving Donald Trump an 81% chance of winning tomorrow (last updated at 11;18 PM last night). I think things are still looking good!


    February 19, 2016 at 8:39 AM

  8. I can’t be enthusiastic about Trump after he says he will be neutral about Israel and the “Palestinians.” If he thinks it is morally possible to be neutral about that, his attitude about Muslims is fundamentally wrong. Think back to when he first mentioned the ban on foreign Muslims – he said “until we figure out why these people hate us so much.”

    What does that mean? It bugged me at the time, and now it troubles me more. That doesn’t sound much different from what progressives say: “we’ve done something wrong, so people hate us. We falsely believe that we are exceptional. If only we could stop being so arrogant and stop pretending our culture is best, they would stop hating us.” If Trump believes that it is morally acceptable to be neutral about “Palestinians” it is no stretch to think that he believes the progressive explanation for Muslim behavior. In fact, he may awkwardly have been trying to say something like that – that it is unfortunately necessary to keep them out until we can play nice with them – until he realized it played better politically for it to be viewed a strong anti-Muslim statement.

    I don’t trust him. He is anti-immigration because of crime, and anti-Muslim possibly because he thinks we made them hate us. Like all the candidates, his opposition to immigration is limited to illegals. His positions don’t seem to have conviction behind them, because he doesn’t make a coherent case in support of them. The thing that he can be credited with is making it more acceptable to speak negatively about immigration, and that is no small matter. But he may well not be legitimately tough about Muslim invasion or able to articulate a cultural basis for opposition to immigration.

    I’m just losing my enthusiasm. Cruz is a Cuban who disagreed with the idea of a Muslim ban and won’t win the general anyway, and I don’t think Trump is what people hope he is.


    February 19, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    • His comments about Israel and “Palestine” don’t bother me at all. He was simply speaking as a dealmaker. A president doesn’t judge the moral rights and wrongs – he just wants to make a deal. Unfortunately, you can’t make a deal with the “Palestinians.” Right now Israel is in a very strong position so no deal is fine with me. He’s a realist. Time is not with the so-called “Palestinians.” It’s a fake identity and once their funding sources dry up, which eventually they will, they will join the Etruscans.


      February 19, 2016 at 12:12 PM

      • Of course a president judges moral rights and wrongs. Neutrality “as a dealmaker” is not somehow divorced from the morality that governs one’s decisions about when to be on someone’s side and when not to be.


        February 19, 2016 at 6:19 PM

      • gothamette-

        ” Time is not with the so-called “Palestinians.” It’s a fake identity and once their funding sources dry up, which eventually they will, they will join the Etruscans”

        That’s like saying ‘unicorns don’t exist and one day they will be extinct like the dodo’.

        prolier than thou

        February 19, 2016 at 6:54 PM

      • “That’s like saying ‘unicorns don’t exist and one day they will be extinct like the dodo’.”

        A lot of people think “the Palestinians” are a legitimate national identity, like the French.


        February 19, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    • Prolier, she means that there is no historical people called “Palestinian,” and that this identity was manufactured as a means of pretending that Israel is oppressing an indigenous people. She is correct. Much of the population now called “Palestinian” migrated to the area as a response to Zionism, some because of economic opportunities created by Jews and some as a deliberate Muslim political strategy. The idea that a pre-existing “Palestinian” culture was displaced by Zionists is fiction.


      February 19, 2016 at 8:15 PM

      • I must have misunderstood his question. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

        Palestine has always been an ill-defined territory, never a country. Jordan is Palestine.


        February 20, 2016 at 10:01 AM

  9. I just saw this new Trump quote on Breitbart, which I find interesting:

    “But you look at what’s going on in Brussels and Sweden and all of these countries, it’s a total disaster. The world is a different place. I don’t know what people are thinking, but the world is a different place.

    As far as the migration is concerned and the Syrian people, if they come in they are totally unvetted. Nobody knows where they come from. There’s zero documentation.”

    My reaction to the first paragraph is that he totally gets it: the world is a different place!

    But what about the second paragraph: and the problem is that they are UNVETTED. Well, that is true but it is not what is making the world a different place. What is going on here? Is the first statement him signaling that he gets it, and the second is a way of generating deniability? “They are transforming our culture…and in case you were about to call me xenophobic what I mean is that we aren’t able to determine which ones are bad apples.” Is that what is going on?

    What a weird election. If that is what he is doing, I don’t blame him but I’m also not very comfortable with an election based on hoping the code is being correctly interpreted.


    February 19, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    • How pro Israel is the US going to be if we continue letting in Mexicans and Muslims by the millions?

      Otis the Sweaty

      February 19, 2016 at 11:47 AM

      • His reliability on those issues is exactly what I was addressing.


        February 19, 2016 at 6:20 PM

  10. Jeb has to go just long enough that his biggest $$$ donors don’t get all pissed off at him as a quitter and drop him forever.

    Mrs Stitch

    February 19, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    • Jeb is forever out of politics after this election, so it doesn’t matter.

      Bush is going to drop out because he has no money, no donors, just more humiliation if he keeps coming in fourth place.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 19, 2016 at 11:14 AM

  11. “So I don’t want to say whose fault it is — I don’t think that helps.” -Trump

    That is exactly our problem with racial minorities. We don’t say whose fault it is. We need someone who will say whose fault it is.


    February 19, 2016 at 6:46 PM

  12. ‘Prolier, she means that there is no historical people called “Palestinian’

    I know what she meant and I’m familiar with the argument. The point is that one can only go extinct if one has existed in the first place. The Etruscans were in a position to disappear because they were once actually there. If you say ‘there is no such thing as Palestinians’ then how can the non-existent Palestinians ‘end up’ becoming extinct?

    I think the argument is false anyway. National identities can be imposed by outside forces and often are. There has to be an ‘other’ to define yourself against. Did the Native Americans see them and other Indian tribes as a ‘thing’ before white settles arrived? Of course not. But the arrival of strangers brings a change of perspective that means that the realisation that you are an ‘Indian’ is no less real just because the label hadn’t existed before.

    So the Palestinians are a Jewish creation.

    prolier than thou

    February 20, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    • Britain created the area called “Palestine” and not the Jews.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 20, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    • The point is that a large part of the “Palestinian” population arrived in the area in response to Zionism. They were not physically there before. People now pretend that they were.


      February 20, 2016 at 9:53 AM

  13. […] saying that George W. Bush “lied” to drag America into the war, Trump is maybe playing a longer game, neutralizing the attack-George-Bush routine which Hillary would use on any other Republican […]

    The Wentworth Report

    February 21, 2016 at 12:13 AM

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