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Getting it straight on Trump — Part Three

Getting it straight on Trump — Part Three

This is the final installment of a three-part series dealing with the three primary forces that keep President Trump at the top of the news on a daily basis — day-after-day for years.  In Part One, we dealt with the role of the Trump supporters of various breeds.  In Part Two, we covered the Trump haters who believe that keeping Trump in the news will benefit them politically.  In this, Part Three of the trilogy, we will deal with Trump, himself – and his efforts to maintain his position as the nation’s number one political figure.

Trump himself

We need to first concede that no one in America wants to see Trump at the center of the political galaxy more than Trump, himself.  His monumental ego has been the key to his success — and his Achilles Heel.  He disrupted an arrogant and insulated power establishment that needed disruption – and that job is not yet complete.  The left is desperately trying to put that Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Although my stable of left-wing trolls keep calling me a “Trumpster,” “cultist” and worse, they are inventing a mythical Larry Horist to serve as a strawman in the windmills of their minds.  Just as the media has created a mythical Trump.  

My trolls follow me on a daily basis, so they must know that I am not fan of Trump, the man – no fan of that acerbic personality.  No fan of his attacks on other Republicans who are doing a relatively good job for the conservative cause.  I have called out Trump for his needless and counterproductive attacks on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Vice President Mike Pence and others.  In past commentaries, I have been critical of specific unwarranted attacks. They rise from Trump’s ego – not a good political judgment.

For sure, crossing swords with Republicans like Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger are understandable since they launched a barrage of attacks on Trump and Republicans.  Trump has a right to be pissy with those who voted to impeach or convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors.

I do make a distinction between the policies and successes of the Trump administration – of which I was pleasantly surprised – but have been a constant critic of chaotic personality.  I lament the fact that he could have been not only a more popular and effective President … could have accomplished even more for the conservative cause … and could have led the GOP to victories in 2018, 2020 and 2021.  Those were all unforced errors.

Part of my professional services was to consult with people in public life as to how to manage their public image – the person they are to a public who never knows them personally.  I can only use Trump as the bad example of what not to do.  He is primarily responsible for the damage to his own credibility – a most important asset for a politician.  

Trump seems to relish being in conflicts.  In a sense, he is in a destructive alliance with his critics.  He offers them the fodder for criticism, and they provide him with exposure through the media.  His provocative combative nature reminds me of a long-ago friend of mine who had an inexplicable habit of provoking fights for no apparent good reason.  In many ways, Trump’s public image did not only NOT grow while in office, it actually shrunk.  Polling has shown that.  While he has endorsed a few likely winners, it is hard to find any race in which his endorsement made a positive difference – although he does take credit.  But that is just his ego speaking.

Based on my professional assessment, I wrote a commentary saying that Trump is a terrible communicator.   I often wished that he would have studied President Reagan – known as Mr. Communicator.  Reagan was also a disrupter, but he knew how to do it – how to sell it.

According to the Democrats’ left-wing narrative, the fact that most Republican leaders are simply dodging any talk about Trump is because they are scared of his power.  That is not my read.  I would argue that they are wisely staying out of the fray – not picking sides in the Democrats’ staged political agenda.  They will be campaigning on more germane issues – those closer to the interests of their constituents.

What I sense at the grassroots is a devotion to conservative small government and personal freedom issues – and Tump is incidental to that.  He is more like the powerful Wizard of Oz after the curtain has been pulled to reveal a much less imposing and powerful figure.  I doubt that Trump can win the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.  I doubt he will actually run. 

To his credit, Trump does know how to keep himself in the center of the galaxy.  He may arguably be America’s first celebrity President – presiding over a political reality show.  Unlike the analogous blackhole, Trump is always visible.  And as long as he has enough loyal supporters to buoy his ego — and enough detractors to see political benefit in keeping him in the headlines — Trump will be the number one news item in America for the foreseeable future.

Summary

That completes the three-part series. So … at the bottom line, I think Trump has done some very good things for America.  But I think he has blown his greater opportunity.  I think his power over the Republican Party is not as great as his most ardent followers may believe …  as the left portrays … and as he might wish.

Of course, the issue that has dominated the news cycle for the past year – and will for the coming year – is Trump’s role in whatever that was that happened on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.  More about that in a future commentary.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry HoristLarry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

14 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    In for a peck, in for a pound. You can’t divorce the personality from the policy as they often are merged.

    So, as I have said of you many times in the past, you hold you nose as to his personality, but are willing to accept it due to the fact you get what you want.

    And what did you get? Certainly the highest deficit and debt ever; either by amount or percentage. A paltry anemic GDP growth.

    Obviously, for you, Trump was not about the money…..So, social issues? Tell us Larry, what did you get that would get you to accept this foul-mouthed, trolling, bully, who said many a thing that should not be said, especially by a President?

    Here’s a numerical view you may find humorous: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/18/politics/trump-presidency-by-the-numbers/index.html

    Here’s some more granting Trump a C on economics. Is a C good enough to put up with the LIES? https://www.yahoo.com/now/trumps-final-grade-on-the-economy-c-195348544.html

    Frankly, no matter how you numerically look at it, Trump never comes up smelling like roses and, at most, comes away with a statistical grade of: MEH. Even AP is not hot for Trump’s results: https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-iran-nuclear-health-coronavirus-pandemic-coronavirus-vaccine-22e9cd885c1d4de1b9be68e13233a306

    So, once again Larry, I hear ya but I can’t see you. You have not convinced me, and you show few facts, no numbers, and a lot of spin. I will say this: the sections were short. But I was amazed, but not shocked, when you said: “He may arguably be America’s first celebrity President – presiding over a political reality show. ” Wow, now there’s a Trumpist for you. A Republican who put Trump in the position that any sane American knows is totally owned by Ronald Reagan. I say bring back Ron’s Republicans and you know he would have never held his nose at Trump’s stink. Even LBJ would not have “get along to git along” with Trump. Take back the party, be the Real Republican that I know is still in you Larry. Decry The Big Lie. Admit the line has been crossed. Bring back conservatism and dump trumpism.

    Reply
  2. Maria Monteagudo

    So, where is the other ”stooge’s comment, named Ben? These two great intellectuals have what is being diagnosed as TDS, (Trump Derrangement Syndrome). What the h. blaming Trump for every abuse that this poor figure of a man representing America in the WH is doing to America?

    Trump’s mayor shortcoming was his lack of diplomacy! Yes, his big mistake! The other took Deep State lightly! Show craziness or courage, to call a situation in his country of what we are experiencing five years later!

    That’s why the devotion of millions of Americans toward his persona, for telling aloud of what they thought!

    In 2015, and the 2016, I said yes to a man who said our ‘infrastructure’ (coming back from other countries at J.F.Kennedy Airport) looks like we have arrived at a Third World! Right on, I said!

    Then I examine this man’s personal success: creating jobs by building beauties in America. Showing us his taste in women, who regardless of divorcing them, still seemed to like the men! Helped to create five incredible children who certainly are the envy of any parent, who is not damaged by a mental disease.

    Listen to those children in interviews talking about their father with such love, Donald Trump! This is a remarkable family. And mediocrity are demanding of them to be perfect. They are not, they are human beings, proud Americans!

    What more do we want? The ones in Washington and their admirable family? You can have it, Ben and Frank Stetson.

    Envy, the big sin in humans, admit them the man is a bocazas

    Reply
  3. Joseph S. Bruder

    In your first part of the series, you had to, of course, denounce Trump and swear that you never supported him as a candidate. But then, you call Republicans who opposed Trump “apostates” (BTW your Catholic roots are showing), and in the end, you state your admiration for Trump once again: “the bottom line, I think Trump has done some very good things for America”. I would challenge you to NAME ONE. In every possible measurement, the country was worse off after Trump than before him. Despite what you say out of one side of your mouth, your support for Trump from the other side is very clear.

    But I didn’t write to argue with any of your bloviations. I’ve given up trying to make you or Joe G. better writers or even to get any of you and your readers to think outside of your little Trump bubble. I see that it’s impossible, and I’m no longer going to try. I’ll leave it to Frank and AC, until they get tired of pissing in the wind, and Ben if he’s still around. Eventually, they will give up, and you and old Joe and your far right extremists can babble and bubble yourselves to death.

    What I really wanted to write about is something that PGP hasn’t dared touch so far – the events of January 6th and how they’re being exposed by the House Committee. You Trumpists still maintain that nothing happened, it was just a crowd of tourists, and the fact that they managed to use force to interrupt Congress’ Constitutional duty to count the ballots and select the President is a coincidence. According to Trumpists, Trump’s prediction of cheating and call to arms in the months leading up to the election and up to Jan 6th was (again) pure coincidence and the violence that occured certainly didn’t follow from Trump’s actions.

    Nor did the meetings at the Willard and Trump hotels, powerpoint presentations and discussions with Republican members of Congress on HOW TO OVERTURN THE ELECTION RESULTS represent any kind of attack on the very Constitution they were sworn to uphold. The fact that 60 members of Congress signed on to this scheme means nothing to you. As Ari Melber said to Peter Navarro in an interveiw, “Do you realize you are describing a coup?”

    Trumpists ignore the 180-degree turns (sometimes several of them) from McConnell and McCarthy and others who condemned the attempted coup on January 7th (after running from attackers and hiding under desks) and miraculously decided a month or so later to toe the Trump line and pretend it was nothing.

    Multiple states are starting to look into charges for the forged “alternate” slates of electors from the 5 or 6 battleground states that Trump lost. Even though the forged documents were all nearly identical and almost certainly came from the Republican organizers at the White House, the stupid state legislators actually signed their names to them. They will surely regret that, and will, in the end, point the fingers at others in Trump’s inner circle of advisors.

    Well, the worm has turned. Merrick Garland is actively and agressively pursuing the organizers of the attempted coup. Garland has been (in my mind) pretty lenient with the protesters that were caught up in the events of January 6th, but some have been given multi-year sentences. The leaders of the Oathkeepers have now been charged with “seditious conspiracy”. They’re just one step away from Trump, with Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows feeling pretty nervous right now… Members of Congress like Cruz, Gaetz, Taylor-Greene, Graham, Johnson, Gosar, Boebert, and others who helped organize the attempted coup are starting to get more extreme in their rhetoric in preparation for their own “invitations” to appear before the Committee. It’s probably already happened more than once, but one by one witnesses are pointing their fingers at defeated loser President Donald Trump.

    In addition to the DOJ working its way up to Trump and the organizers of the attempted coup, Trump’s criminal past is catching up with him too. New York is close to indicting Trump for his bank fraud, and Georgia is also agressively pursuing Trump’s election interference. We all heard the tape of Trump telling the SOS in Georgia to “find me just one vote more than what I lost by”. It’s not a made-up charge, it’s not a case of Democrats going after Trump for political reasons just because he’s Trump – he broke the law. Trump never shied away from illegal activity – he always thought he was above the law.

    In fact, something that disturbs and mystifies us non-Trumpists the most is that usually Trump did what he did right out in the open, and always got away with it. His supporters seem to think that “it can’t be illegal if he’s not trying to hide it, right?” Obstruction of justice, right out in the open. The Mueller report, even the tepid watered down version that the Trump DOJ allowed to be published, mentioned a half-dozen instances of obstruction. Nixon was forced to resign for far less. Trump routinely threatened witnesses, intimidated and fired anyone who told whatever truth he didn’t like, and even threatened his detractors with jail just for speaking up. His cover-up of his extortion/bribery attempt of Ukraine was clearly obstruction of justice as well (not to mention the illegality of extortion and misuse of government resources and the laws he broke by withholding payments to the Ukrainians)

    Well, the King is dethroned. He will go to prison. Soon. Probably in the next 6 months. The real question is, will that shake the Trumpists from their cult? Will seeing Trump in handcuffs being led away to a prison cell alter their belief system that Trump is their God? How many charges and how much evidence is enough to shake their faith in Trump Almighty? I suspect that they could execute Trump for his proverbial “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” with a dozen witnesses and PGP will continue debating Nancy Pelosi’s fashion choices or publish yet another article about Afghanistan.

    In the meantime, Trump is still actively forcing his own mini-Trumps into Republican elections, and the cowards in Congress seem powerless to stand up to him. This most likely spells disaster for the Republican chances in the 2022 elections. These candidates are too nationalist for the majority of voters. Note that I don’t call them “conservative” – there are very few real conservatives left in the Republican Party. They have become obsessed with winning just to stay in power, not even attempting to come up with a platform or try to help actual voters, purely working for the rich now. Trump’s supporters will support his candidates, but Independents and moderate Republicans will turn away. Even with all of the Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression laws (that have been getting overturned by the courts anyway), Republicans are going to have a hard time getting votes for extremists.

    I’m sure Larry will be overjoyed to see me step back from challenging him. The writers at PGP are on the edge of irrelevancy anyway, and when it is a total Trump bubble, it will be over the cliff. I have better things to do than to argue with writers who can’t write a decent sentence, can’t organize paragraphs into a logical sequence, can’t be bothered to do research or find facts to back up their opinions, pepper replies to readers with insults and berating, and don’t even proof-read their own columns. The delays in publishing, censorship, and lack of control of insulting and threatening writers are a hindrance to the free expression of ideas on these pages, and there’s just not enough time in the day to persuade the Trump cultists of anything other than what they already believe.

    I took a break from PGP over the holidays, and holy moley was that refreshing! I would recommend anyone (especially Frank and Ben) to take a look at Daily KOS for some well-written opinion pieces and thoughtful reader feedback. Save your sanity while you can.

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Bruder … Well, well, well. You have crumbled to the competition. I can understand that. I have always found it difficult to believe that you are the PBP owner’s brother. I find him to be a very broadly intelligent person, while you strike me as …. oh, never mind. It occurred to me that maybe you are not really his brother. Maybe you are Rachel Maddow or Ali Velshi. That thought came to mind since you seem to be a tape recording of their MSNBC commentaries. No original content. No original thinking. Not even a descent body of knowledge. Just your parroting what I already heard on MSNBC.

      Is your use of “PGP” instead of “PBP” supposed to be a dig at Gilbertson … your brother? That sounds about your intellectual paygrade. As are your sophomoric … no, childish … insults.

      Why on earth would I be overjoyed without your so-called challenges? More arrogance, I guess. Actually, I liked you frequent contributions to the commentary since they provide an example of the worst of progressive thinking — lack of understanding, lack of intellectual content, silly-ass insults and of course the offering of that Larry Hoist you created in your mind.

      You like to suggest that this site and its writers are meaningless in the measure of all things. Perhaps we are merely one planet in a massive universe — but then you — by comparison are a small bit of space dust about to orbit another philosophic planet more to you liking — a safe harbor where you will not suffer the consequences of being intellectually challenged.

      In closing, I have taken up you challenge to mention some good things Trump did as President — as I see them. This is a list I prepared more than two years ago for a debate — and I could add to it by multiples, but you are not worth that much time. Good luck in your new home — although I am betting you are too obsessed with attacking your brother — which seems to be your main purpose here — to stay away. We will see how long how long it will be before you cannot control your impulse to respond.. Ciao — or should I say aloha, which can mean both good-by and hello.

      A few of Trumps accomplishments from my perspective. This is the short list.

      1. Three conservatives to the Supreme Court
      2. Hundreds of conservative justices on the lower federal courts.
      3. Peace treaties between Israel and two three Arab states – one of which ended a war status.
      4. Negotiated for Senegal and Guinea – two Muslim majority nations – to open diplomatic relations with Israel.
      5. Organized a group of Arab nations to commit to fighting Middle East terrorism.
      6. Disallowing ex-congressman from lobbying for five year … and never for foreign governments.
      7. Allowing veterans to go to private hospitals when VA hospitals were unavailable in a timely fashion.
      8. Made the GI loan program available for a lifetime.
      9. Korea is still an unsettle issue, but Trump did get them to cease nuclear missile testing … and
      10. Got the return of the remains of MIAs that no previous administration was able to do.
      11. Imposed tough sanctions on North Korea.
      12. Imposed tough sanctions on Russia.
      13. Reversed Obama acquiescence to Russian demand to create no-fly zone for US military.
      14. Got NATO allies to increase their funding while actually increasing the strength of NATO – despite the moaning and groaning of the member nations.
      15. Brought Montenegro into NATO, infuriating Russia.
      16. Bomb Syrian air base, essentially ending use of chemicals by the Asaad regime.
      17. Sent military ships into the South China Sea to push back on China claims.
      18. Removal of excessive and ineffective regulations.
      19. Cut personal tax rates.
      20. Cut corporate taxes to stimulate business and employment. It worked.
      21. Brought unemployment to the lowest levels every.
      22. Reduced minority unemployment to the lowest lever since prior to the Great Depression.
      23. Created the Space Force to keep America competitive in outer space.
      24. Re-launched NASA’s moon program.
      25. Increased funding for the Military
      26. Cut off $50 million in anti-terrorist money to Pakistan for lack of cooperation.
      27. Advanced school choice for parents in failing urban schools.
      28. Drastically cut illegal border crossing.
      29. Increased law enforcement against illegal alian gangs – most notably MS13.
      30. Rescinded Obamacare provision to pay more of government employees coverage.
      31. Renegotiated NAFTA with Mexico and Canada.
      32. Reduced federal work force by more than 100,000.
      33. Wiped out more than $50 billion in was in HUD programs.
      34. Cut funds from nations paying “martyr” rewards for killing Jews – essentially ending the practice.

      … etc., etc., etc. So, there ’tis.

      Reply
      • larry Horist

        Bruder … Good God, I failed to mention a few of Trump’s other major accomplishments. There are so many, it is tough to remember them all. A couple of biggies.

        35. Bring down the ISIS Califate
        36. Producing the Covid vaccine in record time — way ahead of Fauci’s predictions.
        37. The China tariffs — which you might like more than me. But I could see the need in the short-term to face own China’s abusive trade policies.

        Reply
        • frank stetson

          Larry, I commend you for backing up your opinion with this list. It’s the right thing to do. I can see now why you hold your nose over personality; you support your gains by forgiving what was previously unforgivable. This will take a bit, I think I will juggle the list to simplify a bit. Some overarching points:

          First, I think support like yours, of Trump, formally ends the Republican’s hold as the values-based party; the Clinton’s thank you for taking them off the hook for Bill’s “quirks”. G. Bush’s cocaine couldn’t do break the values-party mold, but IMO Trump surpassed what was needed to end that reign.

          Second, funny, your list is pretty sparce on the money, the supposed business-icon trump suit that would drive our economy to 4% GDP growth, and beyond. Pun intended. Think he’s more a club’s man. Certainly not spades, hearts, or diamonds :>). Trump failed miserably on GDP growth, worst since Hoover. He fails on deficits: highest in US history. He fails on debt: added more, created largest US debt ever. Under Trump’s Presidency, more of the US is “owned” by foreign interests than ever before in our Republic. Where he succeeds beyond his wildest beliefs is lies: thousands of lies. Lies that even Larry consumes with delight, sometimes. Folks, it’s Trump. Trust but verify and then, it’s Trump, verify again.

          Let’s look at a few of Trump’s accomplishments from Larry’s rosed-colored glasses perspective. It’s the longest short list in the world, hopefully he picked the best ones… FYI: I tried to avoid ‘whataboutisms,” probably failed in my try. For this, we turn to (subliminal man) and we are just doing the winners, IMO, on this pass.

          First, the obvious winners:

          1. Three conservatives to the Supreme Court
          2. Hundreds of conservative justices on the lower federal courts.
          (Larry, this one is an artifact of time, not totally Trump, second part is all McConnell, not Trump, both are on his watch but so are many things he didn’t really take action to make happen. I can see where this makes Larry happy, but can Trump do it again: NO. Not busted, but not exactly Trump’s success and small chance it will happen again, ever, for anyone.)

          3. Peace treaties between Israel and two three Arab states – one of which ended a war status.
          (I hate myself for honesty, but this is a win)

          4. Negotiated for Senegal and Guinea – two Muslim majority nations – to open diplomatic relations with Israel.
          (Who? Gotta love a man who starts with the lowest priorities… Number 4? But these accords have expanded over time, a good thing)

          8. Made the GI loan program available for a lifetime.
          (damn, another win. Can’t even say this started before 2017, although it did, but it was a Republican’s bill so, damn, put it in the win column….)

          21. Brought unemployment to the lowest levels ever.
          (BUSTED: Yes, lowest in 50 years, no, not the lowest ever. He was beat in 1929, 1943, 44, 45, 1947, 1951, 52, 1966, 67, 68, and 69. And sometimes he was beat by a lot….. but it’s still a great thing that he didn’t fumble the great unemployment handoff from Obama, just not Trump’s lie and Larry’s blind acceptance. Trust but verify Larry. And then do it again. After all, if it’s Trump talking, 50% chance it’s a lie.)

          31. Renegotiated NAFTA with Mexico and Canada.
          (This is a winner, but not a sea change, just a dot release, northing major here or you would have noted it. No one else has).

          Don’t spew coffee in your keyboard for this really short list; there are a number of MIXED coming up next, they are probably as good as a win :>)

          Reply
          • larry Horist

            Frank … Happy to see that you can concede that Trump did accomplish some things which should please all Americans mostly and conservative even more. I give Trump credit for picking three solid conservatives. That is to his credit. He could have played establishment like H.W. Bush. I compliment you admitting that you hate yourself for conceding anything to Trump. I guess you hate Trump more than you like the truth — reluctantly concede when you have not choice. I mean .. and you really argue that the peace treaties were a bad thing? Mine was a very short list, but how long should I have gone to make the point — and judging from you response, it was made. I give Trump a qualified criticism on tariffs and the deficit/debt issues. I was not sure how one could push back on China’s crooked trade policies, intellectual property theft, etc. Almost everything else had been done. And the tariffs would have gone off once China complied. The debt/deficit thing is mostly due to the Pandemic — not the tax cut. Democrats are merely taking advantage of a coincidence. Or as Rahm Emmanuel said “Never let a crisis go to waste.” I also think Trump’s meetings with the Taliban were a very bad idea — as was HIS play to end the war. But it was not as bad or dangerous as Biden’s total surrender.

          • frank stetson

            Next, the ones I see with MIXED results:

            19. Cut personal tax rates. (MIXED: can’t really say busted on this, but Trump picked winners and losers and the middle class was, mathematically, the later. For example, my rate is down, so are my deductions; I pay more on an effective rate basis. His “cuts” were brutal on property owners in high income states. Not that it’s wrong, but it is certainly not a payday. Plus, this helped Trump create both the highest deficits resulting in the highest US debt ever. IOW, he sold the county to the Chinese for a few lousy votes. And that didn’t work for him either.)

            28. Drastically cut illegal border crossing. (MIXED: I see mixed results: in 2017, crossings dropped but by May 2019, they hit 132K/mth, the highest rate since the summer of 2005 and 75% of the spike on Biden’s watch. (pew research). That’s not a glowing report card for his full four years.

            35. Bring down the ISIS Califate: (MIXED: Califate maybe, ISIS no: https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/isis-attacks-surge-even-as-trump-boasts-of-a-100-defeated-caliphate/

            But he got help, just go to the map: https://theconversation.com/who-really-defeated-the-islamic-state-obama-or-trump-148066 so Obama did a third, Trump a third, Russia/Assad a third — or thereabouts so Trump’s claim that he did it is spin at best.)

            36. Producing the Covid vaccine in record time — way ahead of Fauci’s predictions. (MIXED: True mostly, but Trump results similar to rest-of-world and would not have happened without German support. Seems that a number of places beat or matched Trump’s timeline. Fauci’s vaccine development predictions cautiously consistent with the history; WHO was there too. The speed of development was helped by Trump’s funding and pressure for sure. But a decade of mRNA technologies helped a lot more. Think about that the next time you advocate for cutting medical research like stem cell research.

            The first vaccine was developed not by Trump but by China in June 2020, then, not Trump, but Russia followed in August 2020. Being great friends with Trump, they offered the US no help… The US and UK, with better vaccines, followed in 12/2 in UK and 12/21 finally by the US with a US/German entry, a lot of German funding along with Trump’s, and then a week later for US Moderna. That’s almost six months after the Chinese, four months after the Russians. And Trump transitioned no vaccine distribution plan to Biden in his transition; it was a kmayoyo hand-off (Kiss My Ass, You’re On Your Own). He was so proud of his accomplishment; he got his shots in secret and then spoke softly after being outed. It’s only in the Winter of 2022 that Trump has voiced real support for the vaccines, and even the booster God Bless him, to the boo’s of his base. But even then it’s always mixed with a “personal freedom, personal responsibility cya. Too little, too late. MIXED results.

            37. The China tariffs — which you might like more than me. But I could see the need in the short-term to face own China’s abusive trade policies. (MIXED: Did it work, no. Did a Republican embrace tariffs — priceless :>) )?

          • frank stetson

            Larry, I looked at your list. I carefully read it. I did a lot of research. I think I responded in a mature, thoughtful fashion. Your response is mostly off-topic and mostly all about me. What you think of me, your judgmental fantasies about what you think that I think, generalizing all things liberal on me and vice-versa, etc. These are all the things you blast others for doing to you. I come away with a WTF-is-your-major-malfunction?

            “Frank … Happy to see that you can concede that Trump did accomplish some things.” Yes, Larry, I got down on my knees before you, you, the God of Trumpism, although you never have liked him personally. I conceded nothing; I just said what I thought. Did you think I would say: “Trump never accomplished anything” or even “Trump did not accomplish one good thing?” Can you really be that simple? Or are you just being mean for spite.

            You drop a few OK comments followed by a back-handed compliment about my admitting I hate myself for conceding to Trump saying: “I guess you hate Trump more than you like the truth — reluctantly concede when you have not (sic) choice.” Wow, you really are a mind reader. Not. Learn to read, comprehend, and quit putting your thoughts in my mind, generalized one idea out of context across an entire liberal landscape.

            Why do you choose to pounce on a post that’s in the win column? Do you always sell after the close? You say: “I mean .. and you really argue that the peace treaties were a bad thing? Mine was a very short list, but how long should I have gone to make the point — and judging from you (sic) response, it was made.” Not sure what the hell you were dithering on about short list, how long is it, and what point? Didn’t I say this was a win? I did. And if my admitting I hate myself for having the honesty to call the peace treaties a win is such a big deal to you, go find Kyle and have a big cry. I could have said it was a freakin bluebird that fell in Trump’s lap probably because his SIL is Jewish and said SIL probably cut a deal under the table to make money off it. But no, I just said it’s a win…. And somehow me agreeing with you bothers you more than me disagreeing with you. And you can’t talk topic, it’s all about me for you. Where’s the issues? Where are the facts? Where’s the beef? Or is it just me you want to talk about?

            The only time you actually address the message, not the messenger is when you say: “I give Trump a qualified criticism……deficit/debt issues.” “The debt/deficit thing is mostly due to the Pandemic — not the tax cut.” Wow, great one to pick the as the only issue you want to discuss. Finance. Economics. It’s on your resume. You offer your expert, qualified analysis softening of the largest deficits and debt in US History. That’s conservative. And then you spin it hard by saying — it’s mostly the pandemic… Sure buddy, don’t let basic math get in your way of your prowess in economics. We’re bleeding red; we take a huge stimulus that makes us bleed more, then we take a huge tax cut that does not return any GDP growth, does not add any more jobs than were already trending, and you conclude it’s a minor negative effect in your book, financially speaking.

            Well, let’s try some facts instead of your expert economics’ guesstimate.

            “The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) analyzed the tax cuts alone, independent of the FY 2018 budget. This analysis found that the TCJA (tax cut and jobs act) would increase the deficit by $1 trillion over the next 10 years.”

            “The Tax Foundation analysis stated that the tax cuts would cost $1.47 trillion in decreased revenue”

            “Congress could choose to make the individual cuts permanent before they expire. If that happens, the cost of the tax cuts would rise to $2.3 trillion instead of $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.”

            Like all conservatives, Larry fails economics because he can’t read a calendar or do basic math, only reads political spin. Larry said: “The debt/deficit thing is mostly due to the Pandemic — not the tax cut.” The CARES act, the stimulus for the pandemic was in 2020. Uh oh Larry, calendar says it comes late in his reign. Not a good sign, buddy. According to Propublica: “Donald Trump Built a National Debt So Big (Even Before the Pandemic) That It’ll Weigh Down the Economy for Years.” https://www.propublica.org/article/national-debt-trump

            And the actual numbers. You remember how numbers show the tale of the tape, right Larry…..bottom line? Follow the money?

            In 2018, Trump added 779B to the debt. This was higher than 5 of 8 Obama years with stimulus spending. In 2019, Trump added almost 1T to the debt: no pandemic spending. In 2020, Trump added $1.083 trillion plus an additional $2.2 trillion for the pandemic; Trump’s non-pandemic deficit beat 6 of 8 Obama deficits which included The Great Recession stimulus. In 2021, Trump was down to about $1T in deficit spending plus $600B for the pandemic.

            So, when you take the $2.8T pandemic dollars out, Trump’s deficits amount to $3.8T, close to $1T per year.

            Obama, when you take The Great Recession stimulus out, added about $5T, or about $625B per year.

            I suggest that Larry quits the snark, gets back to the issues, and learns basic math, much less some economics. And skip the personal attacks, humor, or whatever the fuck that snark was. Much less on a post from a liberal agreeing with you.

        • frank stetson

          Now for some that “comes a cropper.” The ones I think I can show, with some more information, that are busted. Not that Larry did not find his comment in print, or out of the mouth of Trump, he just trusted and did not verify, I think. Wth a little more digging, I think have provided the evidence to say so there it tis not. Actually, smaller number than expected.

          Larry, on the remaining, some I need clarification on, others are somewhat nuanced, you may be right and I may say busted at the same time…. But give a moment, and I will take one last stand with the remaining. Will be interested to see if you accept any of the BUSTED or just update us on your view of my proclivities.

          Enjoy the BUST….

          6. Disallowing ex-congressman from lobbying for five year … and never for foreign governments. (BUSTED. Really, you touting Trump as fighting conflicts of interest is like saying I write abridged posts. I daresay folks call this a broken promise or just one more lie to throw on Trump’s fact-based compost heap: https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1442/enact-5-year-ban-white-house-and-congressional-off/)

          7. Allowing veterans to go to private hospitals when VA hospitals were unavailable in a timely fashion. (BUSTED: define timely because most fact checkers call this a false flag: https://www.factcheck.org/2018/03/trump-veterans-choice-program/)

          9. Korea is still an unsettle issue, but Trump did get them to cease nuclear missile testing … and
          10. Got the return of the remains of MIAs that no previous administration was able to do.
          11. Imposed tough sanctions on North Korea. (Whattya smokin, don’t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over this way.. BUSTED, BUSTED, and BUSTED: NK’s last nuclear test, was, by far its biggest was totally on Trump’s watch for response in 2017. And In 2018, NK announced it has reached it’s nuclear bomb goals, mission accomplished, would stop testing, and THEN signed agreement with Trump to stop what North Korea was already stopping, NK then pretended to destroy one facility with no inspection, continued to produce fissionable material for bombs on Trump’s watch, and after the Trump mission-accomplished agreement, has continued to make nuclear bomb delivery systems, the latest missile tested on Trump’s watch reaches the US. Mission accomplished says North Korea. I’ll give you a mulligan on the ineffective sanctions, but most feel Trump got totally played here; you say whippee, Trump got em to do what they already had done…..)

          20. Cut corporate taxes to stimulate business and employment. It worked. (BUSTED: See 19. Plus, Trump’s GDP growth was lowest since Hoover so the results suck. If GDP growth sucks, where’s the beef? If the workforce is smaller under Trump than before or after Trump, where’s the Vegetables? So, where’s the stimulation Larry?)

          22. Reduced minority unemployment to the lowest lever since prior to the Great Depression. (21 and 22; BUSTED: Let’s just let Money do the talking: https://money.com/trump-vs-obama-economy/)

          25. Increased funding for the Military (Winner and BUSTED: come on, which President can’t make this claim, Larry. It’s a gut answer. It’s a yes and so the largest military budget in the world, greater than the budgets of the next ten countries added together. Some being our allies, Trump’s military budget is in the exact same position it was before Trump increased it. It was the largest and it’s still the largest. So, what did you get should be the question? Anything? Did you really need it? Depending on how you look at it, you didn’t even really get increased spending once you look at the cost of money…..try this for Trump’s false claims on military spending: https://www.factcheck.org/2020/07/trumps-false-military-equipment-claim/)

          27. Advanced school choice for parents in failing urban schools. (BUSTED – Trump was elected promising $20B in school choice programs. He lied, he did nothing for almost four years. All I can find is an EO signed the week he left office to divert some covid funds to this cause and maybe some tax credits. Seems he lies.)

          32. Reduced federal work force by more than 100,000. (BUSTED – this seems a lie. Whether FTE or blended workforce, Trump expanded the Federal employee base. One of his tricks in the lie was the blended workforce, as Brookings notes: “Despite campaign promises to the contrary, Trump opened the contract and grant spigots instead, adding more than 2 million jobs to the blended federal workforce, including 1 million in the Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Health and Human Services alone.”

          Reply
      • frank stetson

        “I find him to be a very broadly intelligent person” who does not support what he says with facts……three times now.

        Will take a bit to comment on your list; nice job, really. Unlike Joe G. pointless rants unsupported by facts.

        But the first thing I would say is no wonder Trump has the largest deficit and national debt in history. And why his GDP was the lowest since Hoover…… :>)

        Reply
  4. David Engl;ish

    Larry,

    While I share your distaste for Trump’s abrasive personality and your grudging admiration for his successful pillories, there’s something left out of the mix when analyzing the man– Donald Trump is the most intuitive political figure in decades. The only one who came close was Winston Churchill.

    Now, before people dismiss this, I want to remind people of how many times Trump was RIGHT, and how the left and the media dismissed this as “more Trump lies”. We can start with his assertion that his campaign was being spied on by the Feds in 2016 and move forward to his conclusion that a lab leak in Wuhan was behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than list the many, here’s a quick link to just a few to remind the readers how often Trump got it right: https://dailycaller.com/2021/06/10/anti-trump-corporate-media-lafayette-square-mlk-bust-wiretapped-nice-people-white-supremacy-fake-news/

    Admittedly, Trump seldom had the facts or data to back up his assertions at the time he made them. He trusted his gut instincts and in so many cases was eventually proven to be mostly correct. You don’t often find political figures with this gift. Obviously, it’s been a key to his business success, despite his reckless personality.

    Just food for thought!

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      David … I think what you said is spot on. From the time he was elected, Trump was subjected to big lies, false accusations and disinformation in which a corrupt press participated. That is what keeps me calling out those on the left whose strategy is to keep throwing out false narratives and bogus conspiracy theories. I with I had thought of your perspective when I wrote the commentary, but thanks for the keen observation.

      Reply
  5. frank stetson

    Really Larry? Obama spied on Trump in 2018? Covid from lab leak in China? Off the deep end again eh old man…. Your source is Tucker Carlson’s hard right bias with mixed factual reporting Daily Caller than has been debunked a multitude of times. Each Daily Caller story needs to be vetted for accuracy because they don’t. More lies than a used call salesman on steroids.

    On the first, Snopes say bullshit: “no evidence showed Obama, or any member of the White House, directed counterintelligence agents to illegally monitor the Trump campaign, nor did any court record show that the former president breached his authority as president during the FBI’s Russia investigation” https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/obama-spying-trump-campaign/

    Forbes says: “Trump, Without Evidence, Claims Obama Spied On His 2016 Campaign….

    PBS with AP fact check indicates the Barr smoking gun when Barr says: “Barr says ‘I think spying did occur’ on Trump campaign.” Of course like Larry and David, “His 2020 campaign is telling supporters in fundraising pitches that Attorney General William Barr had revealed illegal spying against Trump during the 2016 presidential race.” Wow, game over…. Or is it? Because they add: “But it’s not true. While Barr told lawmakers that he believed spying took place, he never concluded it was illegal and made clear several times he was not suggesting a crime had occurred.” You know, I am not ever sure what that means but it certainly means whatever you think is unactionable. As are most tin foil hat conspiracies. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/ap-fact-check-trump-camp-suggests-ag-william-barr-found-illegal-spying

    And The Hill says: “‘Obamagate’ backfires: Documents show Biden, Obama acted properly.” https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/498494-obamagate-backfires-documents-show-biden-obama-acted-properly

    As to Wuhan —– you also have ZERO definitive proof and more experts say no than say yes on this one.

    BUSTED.

    Reply

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