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Donald Trump Tries To Bully Yet Another Critic

donald-trump-microphone

Donald Trump is threatening to sue the Club For Growth, a conservative organization that has long advocated lower taxes and spending cuts, for allegedly lying about the policies that he has advocated:

Donald J. Trump is hitting back at the Club for Growth, threatening to sue the conservative organization unless it stops running advertisements asserting that he wants to raise taxes.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Alan Garten, sent a two-page letter to the group’s president, David McIntosh, accusing it of trying to damage Mr. Trump’s reputation by lying about his policies. The threat of litigation comes a week after the group started a $1 million advertising campaign that paints Mr. Trump as a disingenuous politician who intends to impose a huge tax increase if elected president.

“We will not sit idly by and allow special interest groups and political action committees like yours to defame Mr. Trump,” Mr. Garten wrote, accusing the group of libel and threatening a “multimillion dollar lawsuit.”

The gambit is not a new one for Mr. Trump, who has a long history of tying opponents up in expensive legal adventures in hopes of bending them to his wishes.

But it is a relatively novel tactic for a political campaign, where the cut and thrust of attack ads can resemble a blood sport with no referees.

Mr. Trump has said that he wants to raise taxes on hedge fund and private equity managers, but that he does not plan an overall tax increase.

The letter goes on to remind Mr. McIntosh that he had previously solicited Mr. Trump for a $1 million donation in exchange for political support. In a statement, Mr. Trump berated the free-market advocacy group and said that he would be releasing his tax plan this week.

“I am not surprised the dishonest, irrelevant and totally failing Club for Growth has resorted to attacking the definitive front-runner, especially after I refused to contribute to their pathetic group,” he said.

The Club for Growth said the ads would not be removed and challenged Mr. Trump to defend his record.

“Tough guy Donald Trump starts whining when his liberal record is revealed,” Mr. McIntosh said in a statement. “Trump has advocated higher taxes numerous times over many years, just like he’s advocated for universal health care, the Wall Street bailout and expanded government powers to take private property.

This threat comes in the wake of last week’s news that the organization was launching an ad campaign attacking Trump for his history of advocating ideas that seem more at home in the Democratic Party than the GOP:

The conservative group the Club for Growth unveiled its upcoming barrage against Donald Trump set to air later this week: a pair of 30-second ads that will air in Iowa and peg the real estate mogul as just another politician who supports liberal policies.

“Donald Trump has the worst record of the entire field with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders on economic growth policies,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said at a press conference unveiling the ads on Tuesday. “Trump’s for higher taxes, he’s for single-payer, government-run health care, he’s for using the power of government to take people’s private property and turning it over to developers, and he’s a protectionist that would lead America into a devastating trade war.”

In one ad, the narrator says “Trump wants us to think he’s mister tell-it-like-it-is. But he has a record. And it’s very liberal.” Meanwhile images of Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders show on the screen before an image of Trump. A clip of him saying “In many cases, I probably identify more as a Democrat” plays before the 30-second ad ends.

The second ad hits Trump on his real estate record by highlighting his support of a Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain that, in the words of the ad, “gave government massive new power to take private property and give it to corporations.” That ad includes a clip of Trump saying he happens “to agree with it 100 percent.”

The ads, with an initial buy of more than $1 million, are set to start airing in Iowa later this week on cable, broadcast, and satellite television.

The ads aim to cut down Trump’s lead there. A recent CBS/YouGov poll released in early September found Trump leading the GOP field with 29 percent support followed by Ben Carson with 25 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz in third with 10 percent. No other candidate got double digits.

Trump fired back at the Club for Growth in a tweet, writing, “Little respected Club For Growth asked me for $1,000,000 – I said ‘NO’. Now they are spending lobbyist and special interest money on ads!”

Later, Trump wrote another tweet disputing a claim in one of the Club for Growth ads that he “supports higher taxes.” The ad was referring to a 1999 Trump proposal to slap a one-time, 14.25 percent tax on Americans and trusts worth more than $10 million.

“By my calculations, 1 percent of Americans, who control 90 percent of the wealth in this country, would be affected by my plan,” Trump, who was then exploring a presidential run under the Reform Party banner, said at the time.

More recently, Trump has promised to roll out a tax plan that cuts taxes for most Americans and fight so-called corporate inversions, where companies move their headquarters to other countries to avoid corporate taxes. In interviews, he’s indicated he might be willing to raise taxes for some wealthy individuals, but provided few details.

Here are the ads in question:

and:

The claims made in the letter by Trump’s lawyer are, of course, utterly absurd. Whatever one may think about the policy positions that the Club For Growth takes, its claims against Trump can all be backed up by things that Trump himself has said either in television appearances in the past or in one of the many books that he’s written. In the first ad, the group points to Trump’s long history of advocating higher taxes and greater government involvement in health care, all of which can be substantiated by looking at past interviews and writings. In the second ad, they group cites Trump’s involvement in a case in Atlantic City, New Jersey in which one of his casinos attempted to use eminent domain to seize the property of an elderly retired woman so that they could use it for additional parking spaces for limousines. This case occurred roughly around the same time as the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London, in which the Court narrowly upheld the effort of the New London, Connecticut to seize a woman’s home in order to add her property to a tract of land being given to Pfizer for the construction of a new office complex. At the time of that decision, Trump made statements fully supportive of the Court’s decision and dismissed the property rights concerns that cause many conservatives and libertarians to react very negatively to the Court’s decisions. In other words, all of the claims that the Club for Growth makes in its ads are based in fact, and that means that Trump’s legal threats against them are nothing more than bullying.

In his letter to the Club For Growth, Trump’s lawyer claims that the group is defaming Trump by using material that is, in some cases, fifteen years old to support their claims against the candidate. Given the context of the ads, this is obviously a disingenuous and legally meritless argument. The clear purpose of both ads is to argue that Trump has misrepresented his supposed “conversion” to conservatism and that he is refusing to acknowledge is long history of advocating ideas that are not supported by most Republicans, and certainly not supported by the conservative wing of the party. This isn’t an original argument on the group’s part, of course, since several of Trump’s candidates have been making this same argument for months now, including Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, and Bobby Jindal. At it’s core, the argument is that Trump is a person who will say whatever it takes to be popular or to get elected, and that Republican voters should not trust his supposed new found conservatism. It is a perfectly legitimate argument, and since it is supported by facts, the argument that it is libelous is utterly absurd. Even if Mr. Trump were not a public figure under the New York Times v. Sullivan standard, the fact that the allegations made against him are true would be complete defense to any claim of libel. Since Trump clearly qualifies as a public figure under the Sullivan standard, though, he would need to prove not only that allegations were false, which he cannot do, but also that they were made with actual malice, which an intentionally difficult standard to meet because of the Court’s recognition of the dangers that libel claims can create to journalists wishing to write about public figures.

Trump’s letter to the Club for Growth doesn’t have anything to do with succeeding in Court, of course, it is little more than yet another instance of the manner in which he bullies those who are critical for him. Even before he ran for President, Trump used his Twitter account and frequent media appearances to attack the people who criticized him. Typically, he wouldn’t attack based on the substance of what was said but on some irrelevant thing such as physical appearance or how much money they made. He’s continued that activity as a Presidential candidate, and this threat is just the latest example of it. While it’s easy to dismiss things such as this as yet another example of Trump being Trump. the fact that he is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination and has been for three months makes this somewhat more concerning. Here we have the Republican frontrunner bullying an organization that is criticizing him. As I said, even if you don’t support the agenda of the Club for Growth the image of potential President using that kind of tactic against political critics raises serious questions about what kind of President Donald Trump would actually be. If this threat and Trump’s other recent actions are any indication, a President Trump would be no friend to Freedom of the Press, and that’s something that everyone ought to worry about.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dave Francis says:

    Latino Americans and any legal resident should not be afraid of Donald Trumps illegal immigration agenda? You must understand that everybody, including Latino’s, Hispanics, Black, Caucasian or any body who came to America through the Legal Immigration doors has nothing to fear from ICE or the US Government. Its all about jobs, power, money and influence and your rights as a person who followed the rules, are part of the potential flat lining of the American Dream. It’s only the Democratic radical, the Liberal Zealots that are using the Political Correct Police society and the Liberalized media to balkanize you and your family are in some ways thinking your life in the US is at stake. That’s why the Liberals and Democrats are have adjoined the term IMMIGRANT to the same articulation with ILLEGAL ALIENS. It’s a clever conniving scheme by both political parties to fit you in the same barrel as foreigners who violated the United States Immigration laws.

    Their is a mighty divide between the true Lawful Immigrant and the ones who entered by default, stole your jobs and stole your future. If you vote for a Democrat, there will be even more Foreign nationals arriving here, to facilitate that you will be anticipated to pay their benefits. In the last six years with Obama offering free settlement to anybody who arrives at the border, unless you have professional skills; perhaps a college degree your job is at risk, your health care will cost even more. Numerous GOP establishment perceive the hordes of illegal aliens arriving and don’t see it as a financial burden, as its cheap labor for the business owners, who pay there dues to the US Chamber of Commerce. The cost is unparalleled for every Citizen or (green card holder). But for the Leftists its new blocks of voters–legal or illegal?

    Not having Donald Trumps wall or encompass MANDATORY E-VERIFY we can expect no change from either party. Millions of illegal alien families will arrive here and the money will be taken from your taxes.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 55

  2. gVOR08 says:

    Trump v Club for Growth (sic). Talk about root for injuries.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  3. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: I was thinking the exact same thing.

    (And who let the troll in here?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  4. Rafer Janders says:

    I know I’m supposed to tut-tut and wag my head sagely as I intone about the dangers of public figures threatening to sue interest groups over matters of public debate…but god help me, I love this. I really do.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  5. grumpy realist says:

    Bring out the popcorn.

    (The Club of Growth actually told Trump to stop whining? Giggle.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  6. ernieyeball says:

    @grumpy realist:.And who let the troll in here?

    We need a troll wall and by god I think Mexico should pay for it!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 0

  7. CrustyDem says:

    @Dave Francis:

    Shorter DF: THERE ARE TOO MANY STATES. PLEASE ELIMINATE THREE!

    PS: I AM NOT A CRACKPOT

    There’s really a lot in that comment, but my favorite is “If you vote for a Democrat, there will be even more Foreign nationals arriving here, to facilitate that you will be anticipated to pay their benefits.”

    I hope someone is facilitating you anticipating some coherence. Don’t skip your vitamin H, man…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  8. James Pearce says:

    At it’s core, the argument is that Trump is a person who will say whatever it takes to be popular or to get elected, and that Republican voters should not trust his supposed new found conservatism. It is a perfectly legitimate argument, and since it is supported by facts, the argument that it is libelous is utterly absurd.

    One thing Republican voters don’t like is to be told they are gullible rubes who can’t avoid getting duped. I expect Trump supporters will add the Club For Growth to the enemies list and will continue allowing themselves to be gulled by their strange haired hero.

    We’re not dealing with rational people guided by reason. We’re dealing with people who emote first, think later, if at all.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  9. al-Ameda says:

    @Dave Francis:

    But for the Leftists its new blocks of voters–legal or illegal?

    Non-citizens can vote in our federal elections?

    *****
    ALSO – Trump suing the Club For Growth? Now THAT’S deeply moving. They deserve each other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  10. Matt says:

    @Dave Francis: Just a quick google search for “wrongfully deported” comes up with pages of people like this.

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article9028529.html

    Even legal residents who were legally born in the USA to parents who were ALSO born in the USA are being accidentally deported…

    I’m sure in your mind that’s also all the libruls fault!!…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  11. Andre Kenji says:

    @James Pearce: I thought that Trump would eat the Club for Growth alive. But he committed a unforced error with this suit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. James Pearce says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    But he committed a unforced error with this suit.

    I don’t know. In normal circumstances, maybe…..

    But I think Trump’s supporters are so undisciplined and unprincipled that it will be no difficult task for them to shrug this off. You can’t reason with the unreasonable and you can’t shame the shameless.

    The peril for non-Trump conservatives is the old saw: “Be careful of the toes you step on today; they may be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.” And trust me…..if Trump’s the nominee, all his critics on the right will become supporters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. Pete S says:

    I actually like the idea of a candidate suing someone lying about them. It’s a bad, whiny look, but the option should be there. But it takes the modern Republican Party for a candidate to sue someone for telling the truth about them. Talk about a fact free campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. MarkedMan says:

    I’m curious about the troll. I don’t spend any time at all on the right wing crazy sites, so I’m wondering: when something like this gets posted, do the crazies send their drooling hordes this way? It happened with Palin lovers, after all. Now trump. And is it mandatory that they be the most grammatically and common-sense challenged?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. J-Dub says:

    @MarkedMan: Reminds me of a meme I recently saw online:

    People can be taught how to hate and people can be taught how to spell. But apparently it’s one or the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  16. J-Dub says:

    @Matt: Which brings to mind this clip from the movie Johnny Dangerously: https://www.google.com/search?q=johnny+dangerously+claims+he%27s+not+from+there&rlz=1CDGOYI_enUS590US590&hl=en-US&prmd=vni&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAoQ_AUoA2oVChMIudqj1YmMyAIVA6w-Ch1lgQwD#imgrc=RovBT4M-V6hSUM%3A

    And the question, how do you deport someone if they won’t tell you where they are from?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Pinky says:

    @James Pearce:

    And trust me…..if Trump’s the nominee, all his critics on the right will become supporters.

    Yeah, I’m sensing that a lot of the usuals on this site don’t understand conservatives. Like, for example, the meaning of this article, which is the gulf between conservatism and Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  18. Joe says:

    @gVOR08: Finally, someone from the Republican “establishment” stands up to bitch slap Trump. I am no fan of the Club for Growth (unless they have moved over to hair), but it took this long for the economic conservatives to try to get a message to the crazy train that they (the crazy train) are the chief target of Captain Bullshit. I hope Trump does sue the CFG in a federal court and they draw a Nixon appointee (conservative appointee with 100 years of bench experience) who doesn’t even wait for the motion to dismiss before he issues a one-sentence order dismissing the complaint and telling Trump’s and his lawyers to go f–k themselves. There are some parts even of the conservative system who put the system ahead of bullshit.

    Go Club for Growth! (And don’t call me even if you move over to hair products.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. Joe says:

    And this lawsuit would come from the nation’s birther in chief!?

    Mr. Trump, have you no irony?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. MBunge says:

    Between the two of them, I’ll take Trump over The Club for Growth. At least Trump knows how to tangibly measure success and failure. The ideologues at the CFG would happily destroy America in pursuit of their Randian utopia.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  21. ernieyeball says:

    @MBunge:..The ideologues at the CFG would happily destroy America in pursuit of their Randian utopia.

    As Typhoid Trump shreds the Constitution by deporting American Citizens.

    “We’re going to keep the families together, but they have to go,” Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd in a “Meet the Press” interview that aired Sunday.

    There is no such thing as the lesser of two evils.
    I reject the notion that anyone has to chose between these two ideas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:

    I’m sensing that a lot of the usuals on this site don’t understand conservatives.

    Apparently you don’t understand that there are no longer any Conservatives in the Republican Party.
    Supply side economics…the only Republican economic idea…not Conservative.
    Invading Iraq…foreign policy Republicans still support…not Conservative.
    Bombing Iran instead of pursuing diplomacy…Not Conservative.
    Denying science…Republican environmental and health care policies…not Conservative.
    Republicans are clowns…and they are not Conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  23. C. Clavin says:

    @Dave Francis:

    In the last six years with Obama offering free settlement to anybody who arrives at the border

    If you have to lie to make your point…you don’t have a point to begin with.
    Do you ever stop and think…if I have to make shit up to support my argument…then maybe I’m…you know…wrong?
    Yeah…I didn’t think so….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky:

    Yeah, I’m sensing that a lot of the usuals on this site don’t understand conservatives.

    Conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  25. grumpy realist says:

    Totally OT, but it looks like Happy Birthday is in the public domain. Finally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  26. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pinky:

    the gulf between conservatism and Trump

    As gVOR08 pointed out, that word doesn’t mean what you wish it to mean.

    There are several ways to define that word, but here’s the definition that’s most useful: beliefs held by people who identify themselves as ‘conservative.’ By that definition, there’s no “gulf.” By that definition, Trump is the epitome of “conservatism.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  27. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “Between the two of them, I’ll take Trump over The Club for Growth. At least Trump knows how to tangibly measure success and failure. The ideologues at the CFG would happily destroy America in pursuit of their Randian utopia.”

    Yes, he does – declaring corporate bankruptcy and walking away with fat pockets while everybody else suffers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Barry: Yes, Trump is, contra his hype, not really a very good businessman. There are articles out claiming he’d be a billion or two richer if he’d simply put his inheritance in an EFT and sat back. And his policies, if they can be called that, are a mish-mash of fantasy and lies. Lord only knows what he’d do if, by some disastrous happenstance he were elected Prez, but it’s reasonable to assume that by accident and incompetence he’d do a great deal of damage.

    But less than the establishment GOPs would do deliberately.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  29. ernieyeball says:

    More OT
    Summer has ended in the northern hemisphere.
    Spring is just the other side of the lion that runs around the Earth.

    http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/autumnal-equinox.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  30. Ken in NJ says:

    @C. Clavin:
    If you have to lie to make your point…you don’t have a point to begin with. Do you ever stop and think…if I have to make shit up to support my argument…then maybe I’m…you know…wrong?

    Just remember. It’s not a lie… if you believe it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  31. Pinky says:

    Yes, sometimes the meaning of a word can change over time. But if you’re using the word “conservative” to describe both Trump and Club for Growth, and they’re fighting over principles. then maybe the word doesn’t properly extend to cover both Trump and Club for Growth. I’m not calling it proof, but it is suggestive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    But if you’re using the word “conservative” to describe both Trump and Club for Growth, and they’re fighting over principles. then maybe the word doesn’t properly extend to cover both Trump and Club for Growth.

    But I thought the GOP was a Big Tent?!?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: “Conservative”: what pasty white geezers unwilling to share want, updated daily.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  34. Pinky says:

    @Rafer Janders: There’s a difference between the GOP and the conservative movement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  35. KM says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    There are several ways to define that word, but here’s the definition that’s most useful: beliefs held by people who identify themselves as ‘conservative.’ By that definition, there’s no “gulf.” By that definition, Trump is the epitome of “conservatism.”

    Yep. If you were go up to a Trump supporter and inform them they are not Conservative, you’d get bitched out at best and punched out at worst. You are what you declare you are; in true American fashion, if you don’t what the man down the street is preaching on some minor dogmatic point, you found your own church party down the street and call yourself whatever you want while preaching the same message (with your addendum, of course). If the difference is minor, then who the hell cares but purists? You are what you say you are, you are what you believe and you are what lever you pull. Walks like a duck and all that….

    Pinky – Trump is conservative because his followers are conservative and so is his message. QED. He’s just not the political denomination you want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  36. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:

    you’re using the word “conservative” to describe both Trump and Club for Growth

    You’re not getting it…neither of them is a Conservative. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  37. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin: As I said, meanings of words can change over time. The words “liberal” and “conservative” at this point in American politics mean something different than they may have in other places and times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  38. KM says:

    @Pinky:

    Yes, sometimes the meaning of a word can change over time. But if you’re using the word “conservative” to describe both Trump and Club for Growth, and they’re fighting over principles.

    Continuing my religious metaphor – since Lutherans and Baptist quibble over principles, is it fair to say one or both of them are not Christian? After all, it’s dogma they are fighting over – the basics they agree on. Has “Christian” changed in meaning other then “one who professes to follow Christ”? Is not “Conservative” defined as “one who professes to follow conservative values”?

    Face it – it’s like watching an Apostolic Christian argue a Holiness snake-handler isn’t really Christian despite being like two Bacon degrees apart. He’s your people and you are arguing over minutia. To the world at large, you are all essentially the same – right-wing Conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky:
    It’s always great fun to watch conservatives argue about what conservative means and who is or isn’t a true conservative. Enjoy. In the meantime, the rest of us have to deal with the conservative party we have, the Republican Party, and the conservatives we have, the Republican elite and base.

    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be – the purpose of a conservative party is to preserve and enhance the wealth and power of the currently wealthy and powerful. The supporters of a conservative party are the 0.1% who benefit, the hired guns and loyal servitors who support them, and whatever rubes they can con into voting with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  40. Pinky says:

    @KM: As I said, my observation wasn’t proof of a difference, but it suggests one. (What you said before “QED” wasn’t a proof either, which is more of a problem.)

    So we should just look at the evidence and see where it points. Would Walker have dropped out of the race calling for the party to unite around a conservative if he thought that the leading candidate already was one? Would Grumpy’s take make sense to describe a party where the top six candidates include a woman, two Hispanics, and a black? Would the Club for Growth have specific quotes to make an argument against Trump as a conservative? It’s all possible, but it’s pointing in another direction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  41. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:
    No. Just no.
    Conservative has a meaning, fungible as it may be. Republicans ARE NOT Conservative in any manner. They are radicals. The policies and the agendas they are pursuing are radical. Many of them have never been tried in the real world. Many of them that have been tried are abject failures. Conservative and Radical are words that are diametrically opposed in meaning. Republicans are today’s radicals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  42. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pinky: So that, say superdestroyer and Jenos are fighting over who is an idiot and who is not, “idiocy” does not extend to cover both of them?

    Meh…not buying it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  43. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You’re not getting it…neither of them is a Conservative. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    No, of course they are. Conservatism as a political philosophy (not as a personal temperament) is all about the ruthless protection of the status quo at the expense of the poor, the marginalized and/or the powerless. It’s about the protection of the existing power structure. In that case, both Trump and the Club For Growth are well within the conservative framework.

    You say, well, trashing the environment and starting useless wars aren’t “conservative.” That’s true in the sense that they aren’t consistent with a personal or social tendency towards small “c” conservatism, to prudence and moderation. But political big “C” Conservatism isn’t the same thing. Its’ driving force is keeping those in power up and those in power out, and if we need to trash the environment or start a useless war to do that, then so be it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  44. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    There’s a difference between the GOP and the conservative movement.

    No True Scotsman fallacy, now extended to cover the entire GOP. I guess we’ve reached some sort of tipping point…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  45. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    But if you’re using the word “conservative” to describe both Trump and Club for Growth, and they’re fighting over principles. then maybe the word doesn’t properly extend to cover both Trump and Club for Growth.

    There are shades here and, yes, the word “conservative” can be used to describe both Donald Trump and Club For Growth and Caitlin Jenner and Rob Lowe and a whole bunch of other people who have diverse views of varying intensities that are, nonetheless, conservative.

    You’re right that liberals aren’t “liberal” and conservatives aren’t “conservative,” but nouns and adjectives serve different purposes. Rather than argue semantics, can we agree that Trump is conservative enough to be called a conservative, even if other conservatives don’t think he has the appropriate level of conservativeness?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  46. Tillman says:

    @James Pearce:

    Rather than argue semantics…

    I only come here to argue semantics. Please don’t take that away from me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  47. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pinky:

    Would Walker have dropped out of the race calling for the party to unite around a conservative if he thought that the leading candidate already was one?

    To extend on KM’s analogy, what Walker had done is EXACTLY how this sort of sectarian separatism works. I get that you’re doing a post-modern reader response thing where the audience (or in Walker’s case, the speaker on behalf of the audience) defines reality in whatever configuration suits the audience’s worldview. And Walker’s audience is going to agree with him.

    Trump’s is going to continue to assert that Walker is just another sectarian dirtbag trying to destroy party unity by deying the identity of the one true conservative, the one true American, the one true candidate who can get things done.

    That’s why watching this (and reading your bloviations on it) is so entertaining. Pass me some of that there popcorn–and maybe one of Tyrell’s donuts from the diner.

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  48. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    Would Grumpy’s take make sense to describe a party where the top six candidates include a woman, two Hispanics, and a black?

    “Some of my best candidates are black”….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  49. DrDaveT says:

    @Tillman:

    I only come here to argue semantics. Please don’t take that away from me.

    What else could one possibly argue except semantics? Syntax? Orthography? If you aren’t arguing about meanings, the argument probably isn’t worth it in the first place.

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  50. grumpy realist says:

    @Rafer Janders: Take a look at what shows up at Tea Party rallies or Trump rallies. 99.9% white geezer.

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  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky:

    Would Walker have dropped out of the race calling for the party to unite around a conservative if he thought that the leading candidate already was one?

    Do you seriously think Little Scotty Walker has done anything in his life out fealty to “Conservatism”? Do you think he cares who gets the nomination, except to the point it affects his own future? His loyalty is to Little Scotty Walker. He’s found out that if he gives rich people what they want: breaking unions, the rest of the ALEC agenda, a stadium; then rich people will give him money so he can get elected. That’s the entirety of his conservatism. The whole “unite around a conservative” thing is just trying to put the best face on his failure. (Clumsily. Remember, he’s not the shiniest tool in the shed.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  52. Pinky says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    @grumpy realist:

    Almost seems like race stats are acceptable when they bolster your side of the argument, but unreasonable when they bolster an opponent’s side.

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  53. Pinky says:

    @gVOR08: And your evidence to support your assertion is…?

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  54. grumpy realist says:

    By the way, it looks like Trump is picking a fight with Fox again. Guess he wants his name back in the papers.

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  55. jukeboxgrad says:

    And your evidence to support your assertion is…?

    Few things are more hilarious than you asking for evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  56. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    If Bernie Sanders was a devout catholic and so was not pro choice and not pro SSM would he still be liberal? In other words is it possible to differ on some hot button issues with other people that consider themselves liberal and still be liberal? Is the same possible for conservatives?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  57. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:

    And your evidence to support your assertion is…?

    Are you seriously asking anyone else for evidence to support your assertion?
    LMFAO

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  58. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    sorry…to support their assertion.
    I’m still LMFAO, in spite of the grammatical errror….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  59. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist: Yeah, Mr. Rich McWhinypants has said he’s boycotting Fox and won’t appear on their shows anymore.

    http://wtop.com/tv/2015/09/off-the-air-trump-boycotts-fox-news-over-campaign-coverage/

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  60. grumpy realist says:

    @Mikey: And Fox News says “We fired you FIRST!!!”

    Sounds like a pair of tween girls quarreling over which one dissed the other first.

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  61. An Interested Party says:

    Almost seems like race stats are acceptable when they bolster your side of the argument, but unreasonable when they bolster an opponent’s side.

    Except for the facts that most minorities vote for Democrats and most elected minority politicians are Democrats while minorities actually are a token presence in the GOP, sure…

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  62. Joe says:

    @DrDaveT:

    What else could one possibly argue except semantics? Syntax? Orthography? If you aren’t arguing about meanings, the argument probably isn’t worth it in the first place.

    I am reminded of a law school classmate who tried to finesse the end of his shallow answer with the patronizing conclusion that “the rest is purely academic.” After pausing for comedic effect, the professor looked around the classroom and responded, “isn’t that why we’re here?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  63. the Q says:

    Now if we just get a Dem (other than Bernie) to say what the Donald said about taxing the “top 1% who control 90% of the wealth” we just might have something…or “hedge fund managers get away with murder they pay so little taxes”….those peons you schitt on who vote for Trump may be more “Dem” than you think on economic issues.

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  64. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills:
    @James Pearce:

    Trump isn’t a conservative, as the term is used politically in the US currently. This isn’t semantics or degrees of subtle difference. He’s pro-choice, he’s protectionist, he favors single-payer government-run healthcare and increasing taxes. Those aren’t peripheral to what it means to be conservative. Those aren’t slight deviations.

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  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    He’s pro-choice, he’s protectionist, he favors single-payer government-run healthcare and increasing taxes.

    And yet, even if true, he is supported by a plurality of those who identify as ‘conservative.’ His violations of orthodoxy, whether alleged or real, are all forgiven because he’s willing to say mean things about brown people. So now we know what really matters most to ‘conservatives,’ and it turns out to not be what you listed.

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  66. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    He has previously stated he is pro choice, but so have some others that identify as conservatives, as some who identify as liberal are pro life. He has given no indication that this is a high priority issue for him

    He is protectionist in a narrow sense that he sees benefit to himself just as the chamber of commerce and other conservative groups have advocated protectionist measures when it suited them. The largest free trade agreements that he opposes were shepherded through by democratic presidents, that are viewed by most self professed conservatives as far left liberals.

    His favored tax increases are very narrow and still serve the majority of the top 10% and top 1%, so while he has strayed from Norquist level orthodoxy on taxes, he isn’t exactly a liberal there.

    The only one of those where he really deviates from a strong across the board orthodoxy is single payer healthcare, but again that is in service of his narrow business interests, so isn’t outside the realm of chamber of commerce style economic conservatives.

    All that considered, conservative in the American political sense that matters most is what self professed political conservatives say it means. The plurality of self professed political conservatives find him the ‘real conservative’ in the race. It looks to me like that is largely based on xenophobia and racism, but that just speaks to the priorities of self professed political conservatives in the US.

    I can accept that Trump isn’t what you think a conservative should be and I can accept you wanting to paint him as other than conservative because you don’t want him to be part of your movement, but that is different than saying he isn’t a conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  67. James Pearce says:

    @Pinky:

    He’s pro-choice, he’s protectionist, he favors single-payer government-run healthcare and increasing taxes.

    You can’t be pro-choice and conservative? Do all these pro-choice conservatives know that?

    (Who told you that these positions were best described by the word “conservative?”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  68. Pinky says:

    We’ll see how this works out.

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  69. (407) 917-8887

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  70. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky: And you are predicting?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1