In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


The Beating Trump Took Doesn’t Matter

No doubt, the frightened denizens of the Establishment are celebrating that their champion, Sen. Marco Rubio, finally sunk his teeth into Donald Trump. Even better, Sen. Ted Cruz bit down too, helping wound the front-runner and at last, they think, perhaps causing him harm. But there is no reason for toasting in the salons of the elite, where what is happening to them is poorly understood.

Donald Trump’s popularity and his march to a string of Super Tuesday victories likely won’t be hindered by the sudden feistiness of his opponents in Thursday night’s debate in Houston. The paradigm of American politics has changed, and one sudden burst of aggressiveness from two senators in the tenth GOP debate isn’t going to alter what is happening any more than a shooting star disrupts the paths of the planets.

The people have decided two things. First, the system is broken, and it is not serving their needs. It is not stemming unfettered immigration, it is not eschewing bad trade deals, it is not bringing jobs back to middle America, and it is letting the country and its standing in the world fall apart.

Politicians with the smooth elocution like that evinced Thursday evening by Rubio and Cruz have already promised change and not delivered it. That these two finally perked up doesn’t mean the essential problem GOP voters have with them has changed.

Rubio and Cruz made traditional conservative arguments. But traditional conservatism is not what will prevail this year. A new conservatism has arisen, grounded in populism that is more concerned with eradicating the old, ineffective order than it is with ideological purity.

Those who think what Cruz and Rubio did matters are stuck looking at their little debate scorecard. They are missing the game.

Trump projects the energy and strength to suggest he will do something different, and while he is certainly light on details, people think his essential instincts — particularly on immigration, trade, and jobs — are correct.

The beating he took was of illusory value to the Establishment. As with the Kennedy-Nixon debates more than a half century ago, if you heard it on radio you might have thought one person won, but if you saw it you might have thought another did. The body language onstage said a lot. He stood nonchalantly as he was attacked, his pose one of relaxation and command. His attackers leaned forward and appeared a little too young and eager as they went after Trump, who looked as if he couldn’t care less. And when he returned fire, he did so with his characteristic aggressiveness.

That Cruz and Rubio both did well probably wounds each of them more than Trump. They needed to take down each other so one of them could challenge the front-runner and test whether there is a “ceiling” to his support. Neither succeeded. Meantime, Trump’s core supporters feel strongly about their choice and will continue to back him and propel him to victory.

Cruz and Rubio can show off their command of policy all they want and attack Trump for his inconsistencies and alleged personality flaws. But these are things voters are already aware of, and Trump is winning. The senators are singing from a hymnal everyone has long ago put under the pew. Nobody is listening to their last-minute, Hail Mary call.

90 thoughts on “The Beating Trump Took Doesn’t Matter”

  1. Superb analysis Keith!
    “He stood nonchalantly as he was attacked, his poise one of relaxation and command”… too young and eager as they went after Trump…”
    “Relaxation and command”
    “Never interupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”-Napoleon
    Relaxation and command, that’s it in a nutshell.

      1. Keith, well said summation on the Lone Star Debate.
        Nothing to disagree with on these observations. I will say, if the two democrats have used up their best talking points with little left that will be new for November, Mr. Trump will humiliate them both, or Hillary if she is given the scepter. I can just imagine Trumps verbiage on the big show circuit.

    1. Nonchalantly? I thought he would turn blue like he turned red in the last debate against a cheesy red backdrop. His tiny lips were pursed, his head snooty and looking down the nose doing a full Obama expression. But of course, facts and passion will not daunt him or his believers.

      1. By the way, Trump said recently that if you don’t vote for him, don’t vote. First thing I EVER agreed with him on. PS He does not understand selling ins across state lines–just so you know.

  2. What is worrisome is Trump previously was opposite on which he hinges his campaign on issues. Not true with Cruz. So who can be trusted? Who is more trustworthy, populist or constitutionalist?

  3. “Relaxation and command?” You’re kidding, right? Your hero, Trump, was exposed for being the vicious, lightweight opportunist that he is. The fact that you (Keith), Laura and others defend him no matter what as the slayer of “the establishment” is puzzling and disturbing for those of us who see through the Trump phenomenon and want better.

    Trump — “Mr. High Energy” — visibly ran out of gas midway through. CNN tried to help him regain some footing with absurdly long interviews after the debate, but it just showcased the same sputtering absurdities he had just exhibited.

    Sadly, I have been trying to accept the possible inevitability (oxymoron?) of a Trump nomination. I thought that at least he would be able to put away the Clintons with his unfiltered nastiness. I’m now very worried that he will be further exposed for having very little substance to back up the bluster.

    My friends and I are fans of yours, Laura and many of the other conservative media establishment, but your bending over backwards to love on Trump and hate on the others over basically one issue (though important) makes you look as clueless as Clinton fans or the “OJ is innocent” crowd.

  4. In my non professional train of thought, I think ppl have had it up to their necks with career politicians. Ppl are tired of being told who the next great thing is by the party heads and getting the same results time and again. That’s how you end up $19 trillion in debt. I’m not saying Trump is the answer, but ppl are tired of the current system.

    1. For sure. People are fed up with current politicians, fed up with the bureaucrats who think it’s their responsibility to manage our lives down to how toilets should flush, tired with the national debt, tired of the BS coming out of Washington.

      Whether intentional or not, and whatever we think of him, Trump has tapped into a populism that reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt’s ability to do so. I’ve come to believe that Trump isn’t particularly a Democrat or a Republican in any traditional sense. He’s neither Liberal nor Conservative, in any typical way. He’s sui generis, his own type, and not what people expect from the usual hack politician running for President. That’s what’s throwing the party hacks and the My Party No Matter What people, and the political “experts” and the media elites out of joint. Their apple carts are being overturned every day. It’s about time.

      It’s the best, most interesting, goofy, surprising and most bizarre election season in a long time. I say–bring it on!

    1. As mentioned on Powerline yesterday: Congress with put up half a fight against Hillary’s progressive policies. They’ll sign off on Trump’s without question.

  5. He’s not for the small businessman. HE’s for the big business man who will SUE to make you bend to his will. He’s the establishment who was perfectly happy with it as long as he was benefiting. I have no respect for him at all.

  6. And I feel ALL THIS will come out in Spades once he wins the nomination (God help us). Suddenly the reporters will “discover” those stories.

    The masses are being lured into the brier patch.

    1. Agree, agree–suddenly I have some fellow skeptics here? I can’t believe my eyes. Someone at WaPo said would he understand FEMA if there were a disaster on his first day. I say would he undertand govt contracting–and how different it is from what he does–if that happened or if he did try to build some wall boondoggle…The bid process alone would take a year–more even…He could not single-source. And he could not call his hand-in-glove construction buddies. I worked for govt contractors, I even was a certified contractor for a year or so (never won a contract). I know this system to the degree anyone can–and Trump does not. Plus I cannot STAND how he hushes people–I hate being hushed. I know that sounds trivial, but it make my blood boil. And the blind trust–would he really turn over his 500 businesses to “killer” bankers, trusting them to mow the golf courses, complete deals, even file bankruptcies where advantageous? Hot air, all of this…Sorry…taking up too much bandwidth.

      1. Star, I’ve been (more than a ) skeptic of Trump since the beginning. I’ve seen the acceptance of him over here and it’s just depressed me so I haven’t commented. It took me a few months to get my husband to see the reality of it.

        Reading the pro-Trump stuff here just really depressed me. I’d wondered who was actually supporting him, then I’d come here and see.


        1. I am glad you came back–and of course, glad you share my fears and assessment…I catch heat here everyday for questioning Trump–but he is such a wrong number, I can’t stop. As for the site–since apparently many here did such a big turnaround on wanting a conservative, separating words from understanding and deeds, would you “hold Trump accountable” as president? I wonder.

  7. How can I possibly vote for someone like Marco after his stance in immigration and other issues. He’s part of the system we want to break up. His soul is sold. However, I’m glad Rubio exposed some of the dirt on Trump, something he should’ve done a long time ago.

  8. Sad thing is congress and big business have sold the working class down the river by allowing jobs to go overseas for cheap labor. You want jobs to come back, tax goods coming into this country to make a level playing field. At the end of the day, only the CEO’S and board of directors make out well. Who do you think are the ppl funding campaigns?

    1. That has a LOT to do with the regulatory environment. We own a small battery company – and used to buy batteries made in the United States. The EPA decided they didn’t want any of those nasty batteries built here and regulated them out of business. THAT is why the jobs go overseas. It’s the COST of doing business here – which is a much bigger factor than merely adding up the cost of labor.

      1. Completely agree with that facet of the program. When you create an environment that is bent toward the global warming crowd, things of that nature will happen. I guess Obama wants to sleep better at night with the thought of no having pollution on his wstch. Meanwhile, the battery on his watch were still produced somewhere. Just not by American workers. Maybe global warming will just hang over the countries that create it?

        1. Another issue is that here in the US, the companies are held to a higher standard. It’s bad PR to pollute, etc, so things made in the United States – by their nature – are made “cleaner.”

          1. I’m all for a clean environment. There needs to be a balance between business and the environment. How you do that, nobody knows. At least in a way that helps both and doesn’t damage the other. Meanwhile, countries overseas, China, ect. Pollute like there’s now tomorrow. But, the U.S. is the beneficiary of cheap goods that wsy.

          2. Big Dave – the problem isn’t common sense regulations. It’s the ridiculous stuff. Things that simply cost money with NO improvement in outcome.

            The government is absolutely HORRIBLE is deciding how businesses can be cleaner, etc. Most of them are lawyers or university professors who have VERY little real world experience.

    2. Of course, the greenies all got $$ for the fancy batteries so now THOSE are being built here (for now). Those batteries, of course, are even LESS environmentally friendly than the old fashioned kind. They don’t even know what to do with the spent ones.

      The old fashioned ones? 100% recyclable.

      1. Agree. But this way they can feel better about themselves. Also, ppl with lots of $$ doesn’t care what things cost. Just like trying to shut the coal industry. So what if your electric bill doubles and triples. When certain ppl’s disposable income is used up for utilities, the economy will again dry up like it does when gas hits $4 a gallon. But it’s for the environment, it’s for the children.

  9. Last night’s debate was shrill, shallow and sounded like a fight in the junior high lunch room. Personal attacks flew every direction except the left end of the stage. (Poor Ben. Completely ignored.) Kasich was the only grownup participating, but he’s not going to win. The smart kids made good points, but made them badly, with too much personal animus, and too late. Where was this passion several debates and four primaries ago?

    Trump is not the solution, but it’s more and more clear he’s the solution we are going to propose. Just not with my primary vote.

    1. One of my FB friends said Kasich had finally Jazz handed all he could take, he’s now convinced to vote for him. LOL. Jokingly. The man is a Progge, too. Who cares if his dad was a mailman?

  10. Not that the choices are good choices, no matter who get the nomination. But I guarantee you, Hillary will not be getting my vote under any circumstance. I think others feel as I do. Voters this time around won’t sit the election out due to their candidate not being the nominee. If do, Hillary will win. Then it won’t be pretty.

    1. Totally agree with Keith. Rubio and Cruz have the albatross around their neck of being Washington insiders. They are part of what people are fed up with. Thus you have Trump.

  11. The debate: two young up-and-coming wannabes who have never been inside the workplace, who have never had to decide who to hire, never worried about the bottom line, attacked a man who has worked for every dollar, hired and hires thousands of workers, who worries about the P/L bottom line, and has more real life experience than everyone on that stage.

    SenRubio surprised us – not with his puny attack, but that he didn’t know what the “line” around the states mean for health insurance buyers. Why would he, of course – his health insurance is paid for by others.

    In all, the takeaway is that the establishment candidates had their feet put to the fire, felt the burn and tried to stomp it out by stepping on MrTrump.
    Yes, both Senators are the establishment, yes indeed. Both are owned by their donors.

    1. I contend Trump is the one who doesn’t understand “buying ins across state lines.” To the extent that is not already being done, allowing it would not cost out to make up for removing the mandate forcing people to just buy something. If Trump is such a great money man, why didn’t he check into this? Buying across state lines, along with tort reform and other measures to cut costs–along with those accounts Carson blats on about (hardly enough money to cover even one of his operations), coupled with removal of all the Obamacare bells and whistles Incl letting kids stay on plans)–in a multi-pronged attack–might make ins affordable and effective for most ailments.

      1. I agree by the way that companies should not be able to deny ins to those with pre-existings or drop people who get an expensive illness. This will raise costs of any plan to make companies compete with different level plans…but I think it has to be an element. I bought my kid’s and my ins for 30 yrs on the open market–and yes from companies in other states–and had a choice of barebones catasrophic, even a discount card, or a full-fledged plan incl drugs and hospitalization. But I was routinely turned down for the good plans because I was deemed too fat, which believe me pre-existed.

        1. The “pre-existing” clause is designed (as I’m sure we all know) to prevent people from avoiding insurance UNTIL the moment they need it. that’s no insurance. That’s a scam.

          I just joined a Christian (you don’t have to be Christian) medi-share program and they don’t cover KNOWN preexisting conditions until a certain time has passed. Also – if you have issues such as obesity, you get charged a bit more for that (only fair – imho) and they make you join a program to improve your health. If/when you improve it – you’re extra charge goes away.

          1. The surcharge are for things that can be helped with lifestyle choices. Eating better, etc. My husband is overweight, so until he loses weight he pays the surcharge. I can’t get him to eat Kale no matter what I do.

          2. Plenty of people think cancer can be prevented by eating more veggies–or raw veggies–or taking supplements, or …you know the list. So if people do that and still get it, they get a lower rate? I agree on the kale–like grazing out back in the yard.

          3. Medishare is a good program. No – it won’t let you join if you already have Cancer. But that’s like buying auto-insurance after you’ve had an accident.

            You can get it before you break your leg, though. :)

            I’m happy with my choice because it’s 1) affordable and 2) doesn’t “support” ideologically Obamacare.

          4. Not sure what Medi-Share is–is it just inside the “lines” around Michigan? My approach to pre-existings is to never go to the doctor–then you can’t be on record as having something. I am only being partly facetious.

        2. I think that the government employees, all of them should have to buy health insurance on the open market just like we do.
          Anytime health insurance comes up the next question should be to them, who pays for yours ?
          Obamacare does not apply to them and that is wrong.

    2. Srdem – that’s exactly what Trump wants you to think about him. But he didn’t earn “every” dollar – he started out wealthy.

      He also has used bully lawyers to get his way – which I think is one of the WORST things done to patriotic Americans. In addition, he has scammed people out of money …

      How can I respect such a man? I don’t. I suppose America needs “dirty” businessmen, but they don’t need them as a President. A perfect system of government exists to keep such men in check. WHen they are “One”? We are doomed.

      1. Bully lawyers to get his way… has scammed people out of money… dirty businessmen…

        And what do you think “the establishment” has been up to for the last generation? You’re naive. You just prefer to be lied to more successfully?

  12. The two Cubans shaking hands and congratulating themselves behind Trump’s back was absolutely disgusting.
    As much as I dislike Trump, I wouldn’t give two cents for either one of two nothingburgers, especially Rubio.

    1. This Gang of 8 is my biggest problem with Rubio. If he would just come out and say yes I wanted to but have realized it was wrong. But no, he says it was never meant to be law?

  13. I thought Governor Kasich had a good night……..Not sure why he is not gaining traction. I like the fact that he had his hand on the rudder when the budget was balanced I. The 90’s. If the Republicans had done this since 2102 there wouldn’t be such a revolt in the party right now.

    1. I was on the Hill in the years he was–he had a good reputation..I did not know him personally…But I respect him. Someone sneered about his mentioning his dad had been a mailman–just aspect aspect of him, why sneer? I came out on WHD for him early–but he apparently isn’t toxic enough for the circus. Same for Bush. We have to deal as best we can with the facts on the ground, as they say.

    2. Kasich is squishy. Similar to our Synder. He’s the most conservative we could get up here, but not exactly a dream Republican leader. And look how he’s allowing himself to be slandered over the Flint water thing.

      1. I don’t blame Snyder on the Flint water issue.
        That wasn’t his decision.
        Kasich is better than Strickland, who we had prior, and ran Ohio into debt.
        Kasich did fix that and gave us a surplus while embracing common core and Medicaid expansion using federal dollars.
        Kasich lied to Ohioans to get elected concerning the unConstitutional use of our property taxes for school funding.

        He told us that he would fix that and he didn’t.

        1. I don’t blame Synder either – but he’s ALLOWING himself to bring the entire party down by not defending himself.

          You see – Republicans are racist and poison the children.

          1. I think that we are at the point where the people are beginning to look past the parties and the rhetoric spewed constantly on the airwaves and the internet.
            Those of us that are paying attention are privy to the tactics they use to get elected.

            I don’t know who will win the election but what I do know is that a significant number of people are awake, and they are making noise.

        2. Honestly I do not know on the property tax thing, AfVet. Here the property taxes do pay for schools–opposite, I guess, or supposedly would have been. He has adopted parts of Common Core as a starting pt for Ohio’s plan…we have gone over this several times. I don’t know why he would be compared to Snyder…who does read as a clueless guy suckered by the EPA…don’t see the parallel. But all this is pretty moot–Kasich is not mean and creepy enough for today’s politics. The era has ended.

  14. Trump is an old-fashioned JFK Democrat—read the Dem Presidential Platform of 1960 (online), if you don’t believe me: pro-free market, pro-business, pro-national defense, absolutely against communism, etc. That says it all. IOW, he’s more conservative than many of today’s Republicans. I don’t see what all the negativity is about. Re-read your history, for crying out loud.

      1. Could have included pro-big govt health care, anti-immigrant (oh, that’s right, just the illegal ones), anti-Muslim (oh, somehow just the “bad ones”), pro-services provided by a national abortion mill (well, not provided, but referred to other providers), etc.

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