Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cruz-Fiorina 2016

by JASmius

Is this a thing?  A lot of observers are skeptical, but at the very least, it can't hurt, and could very well help the Texas senator down the home stretch:

She’s strong and polished on the stump, equally at home giving a big policy speech, answering questions at a town hall, or offering one-liners on a late-night talk show. She’s an outsider, in a year when political neophytes are all the rage. And most important of all, she has the best chance of any potential running mate to negate presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton’s political strengths....

Cruz will, of course, have to wrest the nomination from Trump if he wants the chance to unleash Fiorina on [Mrs.] Clinton. But here, too, she has the potential to help him, highlighting the real-estate mogul’s toxic attitudes toward women. One of Trump’s most infamous moments in 2015 came when he was quoted scoffing at Fiorina’s face. Confronted with the remark on the debate stage, he offered a lame non-apology to Fiorina, and she cut him down to size with a single curt phrase: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” Cruz needs to weaken Trump significantly in the coming weeks, outperforming expectations in Indiana and California while continuing to persuade convention delegates that Trump is radioactive for female voters. Fiorina should make both tasks easier.

Sure, it's unorthodox and "out of the box" for a second-place candidate to announce a running mate in April.  But aren't "unorthodox" and "out of the box" the hallmarks of the 2016 cycle?  Why shouldn't Cruz beat Trump to that punch?

Meanwhile, you know that vaunted and balleyhooed foreign policy speech that was going to "prove [The Donald's] critics wrong" wherein he would reveal himself to be the reincarnation of Henry Kissinger?  That went pretty much like we #NeverTrumpers expected:

Donald Trump complained today that the United States has “lacked a coherent foreign policy” since the end of the Cold War. His vow that a Trump administration would impose coherence is about as credible as his vow to make Mexico pay for his fantasy wall. Indeed, the foreign-policy speech was itself incoherent . . . quite apart from the fact that, just the blink of an eye ago, Trump was enthusiastically supporting — with his tongue and his wallet — the very policies he now bemoans.

To summarize:

***Trump blamed Obama Regime foreign policy in Libya for turning the country into a failed, jihadist-dominated state.  Which is true enough.

But that isn't what Trump was saying five years ago before O launched Operation Lead From Behind:

I can’t believe what our country is doing. Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all [over] the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage and that’s what it is, it’s a carnage....

You talk about of things that have happened in history, this could be one of the worst. Now we should go in, we should stop this guy which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it, and save these lives. This is absolutely nuts. We don’t want to get involved and you’re gonna end up with something like you’ve never seen before.

Sounds like the Obama/Rodham Libya policy to me.  And Trump was pushing it before they were.  No wonder he made six-figure contributions to the Clinton Foundation and, a year later, paid compliment to the Empress as doing a "good job" as Commissar of State.  Ditto his financial and policy back for....Senator John McCain, who was also a big backer of turning over Libya to the Global Jihad.  And so it came to pass and remains to this day, so much so that the Regime is mulling a second Libya intervention.

***Trump blamed the rise of ISIS not on Barack Obama abandoning a liberated and pacified Iraq, but on George W. Bush's invasion of the country in 2003.  Which is absurd because Saddam Hussein was a proven and demonstrated state sponsor of jihadism with weapons of mass destruction who had serially violated eighteen separate post-Gulf War I U.N. Security Council Resolutions, and for whose toppling there was unprecedented domestic and international consensus support.

And you know who was part of that consensus?  Donald Trump:

In a September 2002 interview, while military action against Saddam Hussein was being debated, Trump said he not only supported the prospect of invading Iraq but “wish[ed] the first time it was done correctly” — an obvious reference to the 1991 Gulf War. That is, Trump believed the real mistake was failing to invade Iraq eleven years earlier.

Or, put another way, Trump first thought Bush41 erred in not conquering Iraq, then supported Bush43 conquering Iraq, then followed the Code Pink/Democrat line of turning against Operation Iraqi Freedom after the fact and when the coast was clear, essentially endorsing Bush41's original policy.

Clear as mud?

***Trump blamed the Syrian "civil war" on Obama's failure to bomb the Assad regime into oblivion as he now claims to decry The One having done in Libya.  Except that, as I wrote at the time, bombing Assad made no sense because the only possible beneficiary was what became the Islamic State.  We had no natural or even unnatural ally in that fight; it was either the Shiite jihadists or the Sunni jihadists.  Any intervention in Syria that would have been consistent with American national security interests was an Iraq-style all-out invasion that would have purged all the jihadists AND Assad into oblivion.  And Trump went on to condemn "regime-change" interventions in the very same speech.  So, effectively, he was endorsing a half-assed compromise that would have elevated and strengthened the very same ISIS he blames Obama's inaction for having done.

Clear as molasses?

Conclusion?  Trump is irresolute, unstable, unprincipled, and has abysmal foreign policy judgement.  Or, in other words, "Strength!'  Just as on the domestic policy side, Trump would bounce all over the place, poll-watch like the very pols his followers most detest, and make "deals" with all the wrong people (i.e. Democrats, since why would he bother even acknowledging the Republicans whom he would have already conquered?).   And his personality cult would mindlessly and angrily defend every mistake, misstep, and disaster, just like the Obamunists that came before them.

In short, the hallmark of "populism".

But in the real world, substance matters.  Because without it, a lot more Americans are going to needlessly perish.

Mr. McCarthy takes us out:

What is incoherent, though, is populism — Trump’s brand. It is knee-jerk demagoguery: Say whatever will get a rise out of the masses; don’t fret over whether it is at odds with whatever bromide you’ve previously spouted; and, when called on the inconsistencies attack the messenger. 
Today’s speech conveyed no comprehension of what caused ISIS to rise — of where it came from (al-Qaeda), of what drives it ideologically (sharia supremacism), or of the fact that it is just a subset of a much bigger challenge. Trump merely continued to do what populists do: He told you the people you love to hate are incoherent and incompetent. He never mentions that he was with them all the way, and never offers a reason to think he is any more coherent and competent — just more shallow.

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