Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Donald Trump phoned in to Fox & Friends this morning. Now, I just got through telling you that Trump might lose some of his luster if he starts offering actual policy positions -- he'll no longer seem to his idiot fans like the guy who'll just magically solve everything through tricks he can't possibly explain to mere mortals -- but this morning the talk on Fox & Friends turned to foreign policy, and Trump gave an expanded version of one of his usual talking points, and, well, I see how Trump might be able to slide by with a superficial and ignorant approach.

On foreign policy, he's probably the most bellicose guy in the race. And because he's so popular, it really might be Trump and not, say, Lindsey Graham or Rick Santorum who pushes the entire field, including the eventual GOP nominee, extremely far to the right.

I know the Republican National Committee wanted to limit the number of debates in the 2016 campaign in order to minimize the number of opportunities that unelectable candidates would have to create litmus tests for more electable candidates. But I think it's only going to take one or two debates for Trump to make his foreign policy view the minimal acceptable position for the entire candidate field.

What is Trump's position? Well, you try to figure it out. All I can tell is that he wants to kill 'em all, whoever they are -- and I do mean all -- and take their oil:
Host Steve Doocy asked Trump about his plans to deal with ISIS. But whether he was confused or misspoke, Trump started talking about Iran. “Iran is taking over Iraq 100%, just like I predicted years ago,” he said. “I say this, I didn’t want to go there in the first place. Now we take the oil.”

“We should have kept the oil,” Trump continued. “Now we go in, we knock the hell out of them, take the oil, we thereby take their wealth. They have so much money.”

“They have better internet connections than we do in the United States,” he complained. “They’re training our kids through the internet. We have to knock out their wealth.”
So when he's asked about ISIS, he threatens Iran (or ISIS -- I assume ISIS is the subject of that Internet reference, given the group's social media prowess; I'm not sure he knows there's a difference). Then, as you'll see in this clip, he pivots to Saudi Arabia, and implies that he might wage war on the Saudis.

"The other thing, through Saudi Arabia, Steve, through Saudi Arabia and other places, tremendous money's flowing in. We have to stop that flow of money. But take the oil, knock the hell out of 'em."
Do you think any Republican candidate, at any debate, could say anything that would get a greater round of applause than this? The cheers will go on for several minutes. It will be next to impossible to silence the crowd. Within 48 hours there'll be "Knock the Hell Out of Them and Take Their Oil" T-shirts, and they'll be huge sellers. And this from the guy who still says -- in the clip, in fact -- that he opposed the Iraq War.

He's going to be the guy who makes multiple full-scale wars in the Middle East the minimal acceptable position for Jeb Bush, or whoever the eventual nominee is -- none of the intermediate steps the other candidates have proposed will be acceptable. No wussy increased aid to foreign fighters. None of this mamby-pamby talk about merely tightening the sanction screws on Iran. Oh, and no more coddling Saudi Arabia, either, I guess. "Kill 'em all" might really be the policy the eventually nominee will have to take into the general election, the way "deport 'em all" usually is on immigration.

That's if Trump is ever asked about foreign policy in a debate. Fortunately for the GOP, debate moderators are unlikely to ask him about anything except his approach to campaigning and the skeletons in his closet. But if he ever gets this question, watch out, because if he, the most popular candidate in the race right now, says there should be limitless war, then serious aspirants will express a relative degree of caution at their political peril.

Though I should add that, given the American public's habitual amnesia with regard to the failures of the War Party (we let the GOP take over Congress two years after rejecting a presidential candidate who was clearly running for Bush's third term), and given Democrats' habitual incompetence at selling policies of moderation (the White House is getting clobbered right now in the public opinion war over the Iran deal), I'm not sure that a "total war everywhere" policy would even be a political liability in November 2016. We'll find out, I guess.


Victor said...


Every conservative male and female had orgasm's if they tuned in to that!

Trump's not only an idiot, he's a dangerous idiot!
And we have far too many people who are dangerous idiotic voters!

Marcus said...

The Megan Kelly thing is going to make him even more popular…in short what he is saying is know your place girl…..you’re a great hostess and beautiful eye candy don’t go further then that….and the base will love him for it

Let’s understand the political climate we are in….Cheney was one of the most incompetent administrator who was never brought to trial for the lying and the torture programs….Bush ran on nothing that added up…you don’t need specifics anymore. Trump will do very well in this climate……it’s nice to see the media and neocons and sugar daddies going at him
At least he has the real enemy right….SAUDI ARIBIA not Iran is the real enemy of the USA
The real problem is the wealth and elites of both nations are to intertwined that they can’t come clean with US people on this….ISIS is SAUDI ARABIA….always a proxy war with Iran who at least recognizes social programs benefiting their society.

Four Bs said...

Trump's new signature campaign ball cap says, "Kick their ass, take their gas."

Anonymous said...

He didn't misspeak. He means the real enemy is Muslims everywhere. Arabs, Persians, Sunni, Shia, he doesn't know and he doesn't care, but they should all be moved down. Name me one Republican you've ever met in daily life who cares for a second about these differences. You can't do it. They're all miserable, bloodthirsty cretins.

Feud Turgidson said...

It's all just unfocused Archie Bunkerism. It's TOO unfocused to amount to ever amount to anything other than a cartoon of Ugly American Exceptionalism.

The U.S. is now an net EXPORTER of energy. Big Coal is dying quickly. The fact that stupid Canadian full to impacted with Canadian hell crude isn't getting done also isn't having any practical effect, except in the wallets of a very few billionaire extractors. If anything, the trans-Jordan-Syria-Iraq horror is a proxy horror of Sunni Arab Saudi versus Shi'ia Iran, and even at that the mere precursor to a potentially even more dominant subtext - a longer and possibly even more desperate conflict landless Kurdistani "nationalists" versus quasi-dictatorial Turkey.

But TRUMP doesn't go anywhere near all that complexity (He's not dumb; he just doesn't give a shit about it, in the sense he knows that whatever TRUMP says or does is irrelevant to that so all its nuance is irrelevant to TRUMP.).

And who R these little trumpettes, anyway? Look, the GOP operates a measurably provably more efficient - therefore more marketable - GOTV business than does the DNC, but STILL: it's not 100%; it's not perfect. There's between 10 to 20% of registered Rs who don't turn out for any given election, and at least that % applies to the predictablee reality of those who turn out. And then you have to double - AT LEAST double - all those numbers, IOW halve or more the percentages, because GOP registrants make up around a quarter of the population even eligible to vote, and less than half of all registered voters. IMHO TRUMP's suppport is very heavily comprised of unreliable and unstable POTENTIAL voters.

Procopius said...

I wonder why the War Party currently in office never gets any mention, aside from the occasional Salon, Tom Dispatch, or Sic Semper Tyrannis article. We are very likely to be in a shooting war with Russia before the next election. That's what Victoria Nuland's putsch in the Ukraine was about.