Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech Part the Second: The Trump Doctrine

I’ve had a chance to read and reread the transcript of Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech, as well as reflect on both what was written and what was delivered. I will leave the fiskings and point by point takedowns of the contradictions, flaws in logic, petty vindictiveness, and inconsistencies to others. I want, instead, to focus in on the core of the address, which could, perhaps, be referred to the Trump Doctrine. The Trump Doctrine, at its core, can be boiled down to America (we) will be treated fairly. As I wrote yesterday in my initial impressions, this is essentially National Security Narcissism. The Trump Doctrine of America being treated fairly runs through all of the five weaknesses he identified in his remarks. Even when those weaknesses don’t bear a lot of close scrutiny or resemble reality or contradict each other. More than that, however, is that the Trump Doctrine is really the animating force or theme of the entire Trump campaign. The other candidates had better treat Donald Trump fairly, the Republican National Committee better treat Donald Trump fairly, the Republican establishment better treat Donald Trump fairly, the media better treat Donald Trump fairly, the state level parties that handle the primaries and all the delegates chosen better treat Donald Trump fairly. And Donald Trump will make them treat him fairly! And the only candidate, nay the only person in America who can ensure that you are treated fairly is Donald Trump. And if he isn’t treated fairly or the US isn’t treated fairly, then he will get even!

In one way this is pure genius. It seamlessly connects the domestic and foreign policy, for lack of a better term because there really has been no discussion of policies (or even the shorthand of ends and objectives by Mr. Trump or his campaign surrogates), within the campaign’s messaging. And by doing so it reaches right out to and connects with those supporting Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and ambitions. The average American, in some cases even the above average American, really does not know how policy is formulated or strategy is developed for domestic issues, let alone for foreign or defense issues. Donald Trump’s speech yesterday cut through all of that reality – that how the official business of America at the Federal, state, and municipal levels is done is often arcane and messy – and reached right for his supporter’s guts. Donald Trump has consistently been telling Americans – in his Washington Post interview, as well as the one in the New York Times,  in his media appearances, at debates and town halls, and at his rallies – that they are being taken advantage of and that only Donald Trump can stop this. All he’s now done is formally extend it into the realm of foreign and defense policy and connect the pieces together.

So what does the Trump Doctrine, America will be treated fairly, really mean? Donald Trump has provided some explanation. NATO members must start paying their minimums and the alliance’s focus must be adjusted for a post Cold War world. Never mind that the Obama Administration was already engaging on the European defense spending issue and that NATO has already adjusted their mission set for the post Cold War world. Our other allies and partners must actually pay us for the privilege of our partnerships.  The reality is that South Korea and Japan, who were both explicitly mentioned in this regard, already do so. And while there was a small amount of aid given to Saudi Arabia for military training, $10,000, that is not even a rounding error in the foreign military sales budget. It also means that if trade deals don’t actually work out to the US’s advantage, that the US will simply walk away from them. While this may work in private business deals in the US, it is not that simple when dealing with multilateral agreements negotiated through diplomatic channels. Of course it may also not mean any of these things as it is not at all clear that beyond the concept of fair treatment, Mr. Trump has actually thought through most of what would happen should he, as President, try to respond when he feels that the US has not been treated fairly.

The only people that should be happy with Mr. Trump’s foreign policy remarks are Vladimir Putin, the leadership of the People’s Republic of China, and the Islamic extremists running the Islamic State and al Qaeda. Mr. Trump’s doctrine of America will be treated fairly screams a revanchist approach to foreign and defense policy. Should the US not be treated fairly, the US will then retaliate. Maybe that’s taking our things and going home. Maybe that’s getting even. Maybe its something else, but because Donald Trump’s emphasis is on unpredictability there is no way to really know.

Vladimir Putin must be thrilled. Especially over the tough talk directed towards NATO and the EU, China and the Middle East. One of the cores of Putinism is to roll back NATO’s post Cold War expansion and weaken, if not outright dissolve, the EU. Both because he feels they are interfering in his near abroad and because part of Putinism is also revanchist; seeking retribution (h/t for both to: Stiftungleostrauss) for American and European predation on a weak post Soviet Russia. Putin also would love to have the US pull back from the Middle East and Asia so he could extend his influence there, as well as open up new opportunities and markets.

Similarly, the Chinese leadership would love for the US, in a snit, to take its expeditionary military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and go home. It seems to have escaped Mr. Trump’s notice that the only thing keeping China from not just fully capturing the Senkaku and Diaoyu Islands, but from China’s actions in regard to them from turning into a full out Asian-Pacific war is that the US’s military presence keeps the sea and ground lines of commerce and communication open in the region. The People’s Republic would be thrilled if the US pulled its personnel out of Japan and South Korea and ended regional exercises in a snit of alleged unfair treatment. They would also, just like Vladimir Putin, like to be able to seek new opportunities in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Arab North Africa. They are already pursuing their own interests in all of these places, as well as sub-Saharan Africa, so having the US pull out because its new President’s feeling were hurt would be a dream come true.

Finally, the Islamic extremists that run the Islamic State and al Qaeda are most likely giving prayers of thanks every time Mr. Trump talks about excluding Muslims from the US, going after not just suspected and identified terrorists, but members of their families as well, and bringing back water boarding and then adding worse – whatever worse is. Aside from alienating the leadership of the Muslim majority countries that we need to be partnered with to contain and ultimately attrit the Islamic State and al Qaeda until they are incapable of causing the harm, destruction, and chaos they currently do, Mr. Trump’s remarks are the best recruiting material an Islamic extremist could ask for. Rather than having to destroy the gray zone themselves in order to force Muslims to chose a side, the Islamic State and al Qaeda can sit back and watch Mr. Trump’s rhetoric do it for them. And then leverage it in recruiting materials.

While Donald Trump’s doctrine of America will be treated fairly may not make a lot of specific policy sense in regard to the global system that the US exists within, it makes perfect sense as a campaign theme to further connect Trump with his supporters. The real genius behind the Trump Doctrine is that it is Donald Trump’s promise to his supporters and anyone amenable to his message that: Donald Trump will be treated fairly, only Donald Trump can ensure Americans will be treated fairly, and only Donald Trump can ensure that America will be treated fairly. National Security Narcissism indeed.

184 replies
  1. 1
    PhoenixRising says:

    Beautifully done. Are you in the business, by any chance?

    Sharing widely.

  2. 2
    Ruckus says:

    Well really, would you expect any different from drumph?
    Yeah I didn’t think so.
    His picture is in the textbooks under narcissist as he is the defining example.

  3. 3
    redshirt says:

    We are an Empire with Imperial concerns. To unilaterally roll that back now would send the world into utter chaos.

  4. 4
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    One thing you can say about the Dumpster fire, he is consistent to a fault. There is not a single issue about which he does not feel you should be outraged that it is sooooo unfair. And only he can fix that.

  5. 5
    debbie says:

    National Security Narcissism indeed.

    With Lucifer’s seal of approval?

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PhoenixRising: Not sure what you mean by the business? If you’re asking have I worked at the strategic and policy level in regards to defense and foreign affairs? Yes, I have. I’ve also worked at the operational and tactical levels – and my deployment to Iraq in 2008 was at that level.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: I have not asked, but will check my inbox in case he emails.

  8. 8
    LAO says:

    It was, in a way, a brilliant speech, delivered to his target audience – the angry, resentful and uniformed electorate. It was simple and easy to understand. There was no nuance, no understanding of geopolitics and the reality of the international stage.

    It certainly wasn’t directed at those in attendance at the actual speech.

  9. 9

    That this buffoon is so close to the Presidency is fucking scary.

  10. 10
    SFAW says:

    I thought I heard someone on NPR say something to the effect that that Russia loved his speech/doctrine. I’ll bet they did.

    That moron thinks he’s a great deal maker and negotiator. Putin and Xi would clean his clock. Kim Jong-un, too, probably. Hell, Zombie Deng Xiaoping and Zombie Kim Il-sung probably could.

    It is so depressing to think about how stupid the electorate in this country has become. I try to console myself by pretending that the people that are voting for him are just trolling, and would never support him in the General. How’s that workin’ out for me?

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    The Trump Doctrine, at its core, can be boiled down to America (we) will be treated fairly.

    In a Trump administration, America will no longer be treated like the butt of the joke at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

    .
    .
    What?

  12. 12
    Cermet says:

    So, the 800 lbs Gorilla needs to be treated fairly because ….uh, we attack and kill as we please so exactly what in the world is the rump blowing obnoxious fumes from out of his ass talking about?

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    When the fuck in the past 25 years has America not been “treated” fairly? We pretty much do whatever we want whenever we want to, wherever we want to (more or less, depending on the president at the time). Nobody has more money than us and nobody has more weapons than us (which is why our only real threat comes from asymmetrical warfare).

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I am nowhere near to the Presidency. The question is still unanswered as to whether I’m a buffoon.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: No it wasn’t. Charles Pierce at Esquire is correct in his assessment that Trump has a particular genius in determining just what needs to be said to connect to his audience (and it is an audience) and how to engage in a fight like a rabid wolverine that hasn’t eaten in several weeks.

  16. 16
    SFAW says:

    @LAO:

    There was no nuance

    Real men (and New Yorkers) don’t do nuance. As a New Yorker, you should know this.

  17. 17
    redshirt says:

    @Cermet: This, and the other side of this coin which is somehow we are weak and fragile now. It’s a condemnation of America and it frustrates me how Republicans can bad mouth America with no consequences, whereas we all know if a Democrat dared critique American foreign policy they’d be labeled as anti-American.

  18. 18
    Miss Bianca says:

    Well, great. Here I’d read – OK, skimmed – that speech and dismissed it as Trump showing his ass as a buffoon. I figured it would be impossible for anyone, even a right-winger noisemacher, to take his pretensions seriously after that. Now I have to acknowledge that he may have shown his ass as a buffoon, but if enough people are prepared to take him seriously – or even pretend to – he is one genuinely scary mofo.

    Geez, everyone you work with must be grinding his/her teeth. What’s the chatter among your colleagues?

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SFAW: The only country where the citizenry indicates on surveys that they want to see Trump elected as President is Russia. It is because the Putin, and Putin allied, controlled media has played him up.

  20. 20
    🚸 Martin says:

    @different-church-lady:

    When the fuck in the past 25 years has America not been “treated” fairly?

    There was that time when Kenya tricked us all into voting for a foreigner for president. That was pretty mean.

  21. 21
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @Cermet:
    But despite attacking and killing at whim we somehow are less respected than we were only a decade and a half ago, the ONLY thing to do is assume we need to attack and kill more and in a more manly fashion so that everyone will loves us again!

  22. 22
    dr. bloor says:

    @different-church-lady: Welcome to the Wall Street Mentality. Geopolitics, life, hell, that tray of canapés, is a zero-sum game. If you don’t have it all, you don’t have enough, and that’s not fair.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: That’s really an interesting question that I chose not to pursue in the post as it is an important tangent, but still a tangent. How much of this is simply Trump considering/believing/feeling that if he is elected President that he is America. L’estat ce moi. Notice that in his remarks he presented the repeatedly debunked theme that President Obama bows and scrapes wherever he goes. What’s left out of that is that diplomatic protocol dictates how one greets a foreign leader – head of state, head of government, or head of both state and government – in their own country. Same with his emphasizing that the US didn’t get the Olympics. As if not getting it was somehow a personal insult to the President, the Presidency, and by extension to the entire country. The reality of it is that being awarded the Olympics sucks. Its a one way ticket to having to provide tremendous amount of money to a group of people (the IOC) that only look good when standing next to FIFA.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    Unitary hegemon.

    Nature abhors a monopole.

  25. 25
    LAO says:

    @SFAW: too true. We are a brash bunch!

    @different-church-lady: Trump’s schtick is not reality based (like most of the right wing)

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m assuming that the “no, it wasn’t” comment was directed at my “actual” audience reference.

  26. 26
    SFAW says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The only country where the citizenry indicates on surveys that they want to see Trump elected as President is Russia.

    Well, to be fair, China would, too. But they’re laughing so hard (at the morons over here that are voting for him), that the poll-takers have to wait for them to catch their collective breath.

  27. 27
    redshirt says:

    I’m assuming Trump won’t win in November but even his running must bring our reputation down among allies. How do you deal with a schizophrenic hyperpower?

  28. 28
    Mike J says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Apropos of nothing, one of the OED example sentences for buffoon is by Bulwer-Lytton, of “It was a dark and stormy night” fame.

    1835, “the stale jests of a hired buffoon”

  29. 29
    dr. bloor says:

    @Miss Bianca: NPR made a run at substance. Most of the rest of the national media was giving him a hand job because he looked more “presidential” and didn’t spontaneously combust like he has during every other public appearance.

    Gonna be a long summer.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Is there any foolish thing you won’t conduct a serious analysis of.

  31. 31
    gogol's wife says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    That’s how I feel. And I can see in the NYTimes that their tone has already changed. They’re starting to fawn over him.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: I try not to talk politics with the people I work with. I know, based on reporting, that there is serious concern among senior uniformed and civilian defense officials about a Trump presidency based on his rhetoric and statements to this point. That’s a post for another day, but this is a very good article on the topic:
    http://highline.huffingtonpost.....mp-at-war/

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: You are correct.

  35. 35
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Fair enough, that was foolish of me to forget. : /

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: How about apropos of amusing anecdote?

    I hope @schrodinger’s cat: understands I was making fun of myself, not her comment.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The thing that is both genius and utterly terrifying about Trump’s “fair/unfair” dichotomy is that the terms mean only and exactly what he wants them to mean. The definitions and interpretations are completely subjective. Not only is Trump the only person who can ensure that we are, or he is, treated “fairly” at any given moment, he’s the only person who even knows what that means or looks like!

    There’s a cunning in his psychopathy that really terrifies me.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Fair” in Drumpf’s world is “You must do what I want you to do, with a smile on your face.”

  39. 39
    redshirt says:

    @Mike J: Wow. Never knew that before. Terrifying.

  40. 40

    @Adam L Silverman: You have a good sense of humor but stop pulling my leg! I should have been more specific, but you know as well as I do that the buffoon in question is the red faced baboon who gave the speech foreign policy speech.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: It may seem foolish, and not only most people here, but from what I can gather listening to and reading a number of conservatives – from right of center to hard core social conservatives – think (and hope) there is no way he could win the election in November. But the reality is that he could. And to therefore not take it seriously would be to fail as both a citizen and as a national security professional. Thinking about what complicates our theater strategy in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State, or how we might deploy National Power along all aspects (diplomatic, informational, military, economic/the DIME) is what I do.

  42. 42
    LAO says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I agree. I’m actually concerned that the left is too dismissive of him.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: The problem is that even President Nixon knew it was supposed to be an act. And not a very plausible one at that.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud: DING DING DING DING

    The man has a self esteem problem that inherited millions cannot begin to soothe.

  45. 45
    NotMax says:

    Labeling it a doctrine is a bridge too far, IMHO. A jumble of policy-free cut-and-pasted catchphrases does not a doctrine make.

    Yes, it’s unfortunately a link to Slate, but Fred Kaplan is one of the very few there still worth a perusal from time to time.

    …In fact, it may stand as the most senseless, self-contradicting foreign policy speech by any major party’s presidential nominee in modern history.
    [snip]
    This was, I repeat, a prepared speech, not some rambling remarks by a candidate in over his head. I don’t know who wrote it, but it seems to confirm rumors that no prominent Republican national-security advisers are assisting Trump’s campaign. Clearly this is the speech of an unserious man who hasn’t read up on the issues or thought through his own instincts. The dangerous thing is not so much that he knows nothing about foreign policy; it’s that he doesn’t know just how much he doesn’t know. Source

  46. 46
    dr. bloor says:

    @Mike J: Yep. The first thing that came to mind listening to him was Bebe Rebozo.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: I have a few colleagues I do speak with about this stuff. They are mortified by what they are seeing.

  49. 49
    catclub says:

    @different-church-lady: Imagine what would happen if Iran had shot a US civilian airliner out of the sky. Now imagine what would happen if the US shot an Iranian civilian airliner out of the sky.

    Who is treated unfairly?

  50. 50
    scav says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: So in other words, it what most republicans mean by bipartisan.

  51. 51
    bmoak says:

    The usual crowd over at Salon seemed to like it, saying Trump presets a serious foreign policy alternative to Hillary.

  52. 52
    Mike in NC says:

    For the past eight years we have been subjected to idiot Republican politicians bleating about how “Our enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us”, courtesy of FOX News neocon analysts.

  53. 53
    guachi says:

    If countries that border Russia can’t be arsed to spend a tiny 2% of GDP on defense, then they don’t really think it’s worth it to defend their country and be part of NATO. They must not be too afraid of Russia.

    Either that or they are just dead beats that know they can mooch of an enabling America.

  54. 54
    AkaDad says:

    Trump makes Bush look like Einstein.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NotMax: Now we hear that the entire “Trump is going to tone it down and be more ‘presidential'” thing that newly hired adviser Paul Manafort spoke of late last week and over the weekend is now being contradicted by the assclown himself. Warning: Politico link.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    As a presidential candidate myself, I appreciate you taking my comments seriously.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’ve used this image in seminar at the war college and referred to in when doing operational work:
    https://www.wordnik.com/img/humptydumpty.png

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    — LEWIS CARROLL (Charles L. Dodgson), Through the Looking-Glass, chapter 6, p. 205 (1934).

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scav: Prezactly.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Maybe I was pulling it, maybe I wasn’t. Not possible to really know…

  60. 60
    SFAW says:

    @bmoak:

    Well, in a way, that’s true: Hillary has a rational foreign policy approach (albeit a tad too bellicose); Trump’s approach is Just Fucking Nuts/Stupid, “but at least it’s an ethos.”

  61. 61
    catclub says:

    @NotMax: Jordan Weissman, also at Slate,
    just had a useful one up. Even when Trump says something sensible, don’t take it seriously. It was probably an accident, and doing so ignores the thing he says 30 seconds later that contradicts the one sensible thing he said.

  62. 62
    Frosty in Dallas says:

    it ties in nicely with his supporters feeling that the system doesn’t treat them fairly; that the system is giving their hard earned money to “others”.

  63. 63
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: To me, it’s mortifying to have the world watch us go from President Obama to even *considering* a President Trump. That’s the thing that burns me up about the whole “make America great again” bs – as if the world weren’t *already* on tenterhooks watching and waiting and praying for us *not* to forget that we are *already* where Trump and his ilk want us to be – and not to do anything *else* unbelievably rash or stupid out of a sense of national inadequacy.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @LAO:

    Yes, and the next step from that is over-confidence and complacency.

    GOTV.
    GOTV.
    GOTV.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: In the formal sense of a doctrine you are correct, but as the shorthand that we use for the overarching theme or concept that a President or candidate has, then it works. Such as the Obama Doctrine has been shorthanded as “don’t do stupid shit!” Or the Bush Doctrine being reduced to “preemptive war.”

  66. 66

    @Adam L Silverman: Well I won’t call you a buffoon if you post the gyro recipe!

  67. 67
    smith says:

    @NotMax:

    I don’t know who wrote it, but it seems to confirm rumors that no prominent Republican national-security advisers are assisting Trump’s campaign.

    Here is an example of who advises him on foreign policy.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frosty in Dallas: Well it is, but not to the “others” that they think. To “others” like Drumpf himself.

  69. 69
    Mike J says:

    “I don’t think a guy running for president that says the F-bomb and curses and swears like a sailor, I don’t think he has the temperament to be in control of the nuclear bomb,”

    Who said it? This guy.

  70. 70
    NobodySpecial says:

    You know, the correct way to attack Trump on this one is to hit him exactly on his lack of experience. The GOP base may hate experience, but once you start making the case that he’s an uninformed clown, a LOT of people will back off of him, especially in big business where they would have to deal with the fallout from his madness.

    Plus, again, he has only a non-zero chance of winning because of lightning strikes being a thing.

  71. 71

    What do the folks at K Lo’s corner of crazy think. I haven’t been to that fever swamp in ages.

  72. 72
    jl says:

    Thanks for interesting post. I skimmed the Trump manifesto (no way I could listen to it), and will follow the links to the factual and logical fiskings and critiques.

    I think there is an unspoken counterfactual in the Trump Doctrine: “If X is not delighted to accept the Great Deal that the US offers, then X is not treating the US fairly.” The Trump Doctrine doesn’t work if Trump has to come out and say that the US was actually treated fairly on a regular basis.
    And the GOP base has been cultivated to have this state of mind for decades. No wonder the GOP base eats up what Trump has to offer.

    I think Trump actually believes this stuff. As I mentioned, a commmenter linked to youtube clips of a much younger Trump talking about foreign policy issues, and it was the same stuff from him.

    I also heard in the news that Trump is pissed that his new manager talked about the new toned-down Trump with presidential gravitas that is emerging. That is weird, since Trump himself has announced the grand transformation to come several times in interviews. Maybe Trump is a good enough marketer to know that the con has to stay low profile to work, and a political operative braying about it looks bad. Or maybe Trump will be a total 100 percent trainwreck of id and self-contradiction racing along to a 101 state loss in November.

  73. 73
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yes, I was thinking of that passage when I wrote my comment. It is apt in more than one sense.

  74. 74
    Mike J says:

    @SFAW:

    Hillary has a rational foreign policy approach (albeit a tad too bellicose)

    Is it?

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: The real problem with the way our politicians conduct themselves, especially during presidential elections, is that it makes it very difficult for the folks actually responsible for messaging and signaling, especially at the strategic level, to do so. I guarantee you that the CENTCOM Commander, the ARCENT Commander, the EUCOM Commander (also double hatted as Supreme Allied Commander Europe), the USAREUR Commander, the USARAF Commander, the SecDef, the SecState, the Combined Joint Task Force Commander dealing with the Islamic State stuff, the PACOM, USARPAC, US Forces Japan, and US Forces Korea Commanders spent all day yesterday and all day today after the speech engaging with allies, partners, clients, etc to reassure them. And that goes for every Ambassador/Chief of Mission, Charge de Affairs, Consul General, Defense Attached, etc on each and every country team in a wide range of countries.

  76. 76
    joel hanes says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    simply Trump considering/believing/feeling that if he is elected President that he is America. L’estat ce moi.

    Exactly.

    He is not really running for the Presidency.
    He’s running to be The Priest-Avatar Of The State

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I’m through my sinus infection and a massive project, so I’ll post that up this weekend.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @smith: None of those guys are even the D team.

  79. 79
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Same with his emphasizing that the US didn’t get the Olympics. As if not getting it was somehow a personal insult to the President, the Presidency, and by extension to the entire country. The reality of it is that being awarded the Olympics sucks.

    Are you talking about not getting the Olympics shortly after Obama took office? As I recall, many of the early haters (and future Trump supporters) cheered when Chicago didn’t win because it made Obama, who spoke to the selection committee, look bad.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’ve also used the:

    “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
    “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
    “I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
    “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
    “–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
    “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

    (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

    Its a great set up for discussing clarity when trying to establish a policy or strategic vision.

  81. 81
    amk says:

    National Security Narcissism

    fixed.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: That’s the one. Consistency, little minds, hobgoblins…

  83. 83
    redshirt says:

    @debbie: Yep. America First! Unless it’s in the name of Democrats, than otherwise BOO AMERICA!

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @amk: Do I fix your posts?//

  85. 85
    NotMax says:

    Adam, any comment or thoughts regarding this?

  86. 86
    Elie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I take it seriously in that I know the world and life can be chaos. But I also think that his candidacy might destabilize the financial and socio/political environment around him that helped make and keep him a “rich billionaire”. He is running at the core of that and though I will not deny there is power in his constituency, I also see the possibility of catastrophe for him and his interests. This is not a man who weights interdependencies and such. His narcissism puts him in the center of his world without valuing or weighing his vulnerabilities and liabilities. He has also made a fair number of enemies on the social metrics — enemies that might get even on their own terms because he doesn’t track his vulnerabilities. I dunno. I see his main target as Obama’s America and Obama. I think that Obama also may think that. That may be the shadow war here — though the obvious contest will be with Hillary. He is after Obama and Obama’s legacy that he wants to erase from history….

  87. 87
    aimai says:

    Yes,thank you so much Adam for this very concise analysis of Trump and Trumpism. Laid out this way its easy to see why he is so popular, and so dangerous. He’s a straight up, garden variety, demagogue but this is why the temptation to be one, or to follow one, is a perennial danger of democracies.

  88. 88
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Good God, how exhausting. And nerve-wracking. And what a distraction from the actual work that needs to be done. If I had to spend a substantial portion of my day reassuring my clients that no, my boss really didn’t mean what he was saying, and yes, they really would get their packages on time, and it really was going to cost what I’d said it was going to – regardless of what they’d just heard him say – I’d be feeling crazy as a pair of waltzing mice.

    @SiubhanDuinne: So, I think what Adam is saying is that Lewis Carroll was a military theorist. Kind of Sun Tzu, but a little more absurdist.

  89. 89
    Elie says:

    @Elie:

    …and to add to my “theory”, he has Obama in a weak time — he cannot compete with Trump directly but has to use a “woman” to defeat Trump. True test of 11 dimensional chess I guess? Trump probably under values and estimates Hillary (being a woman). He just HATES the Negro Impostor President. He would love to erase him from history…along with THAT woman…..

  90. 90
    Pogonip says:

    Popdate: to all of you who were kind enough to take an interest, his oxygen saturation is excellent and blister #2 has begun to shrink.

    Unsolicited advice: try not to come down with congestive heart failure. Unlike type 2 diabetes, which can be reduced to a minor nuisance and even stopped if you don’t mind being hungry and you have the right genes, CHF, like many of the front-pagers, just bigfoots around stomping all over everything. You end up dragging oxygen around everywhere.

    Father’s Formula For Foiling Diabetes: no added sugar anytime, anywhere. (This is where the hungry part comes in as so many foods you would not expect, spaghetti sauce for example, are loaded with sugar.). It worked; he went off all diabetes medicine 4 years ago.

    NB: I myself suspect that “type 2 diabetes,” like “autism,” is a cluster of related diseases manifesting the same symptoms, and there appears to be a large genetic component to both. But I think it’s still worth cold-turkeying sugar to see if you have the kind of “diabetes” that responds to that approach.

  91. 91
    NotMax says:

    @aimai

    Jingoism is a dish best not served at all.

    Trump douses it on everything like ketchup.

  92. 92
    geg6 says:

    OT: PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ETA: FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck!

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: If this is your comment at 110, then: I think its significant. As the article indicated, most of these careers are now over. I haven’t seen the official reports, though I understand that CENTCOM is supposed to be declassifying and posting theirs. Once I get a chance to see it I can say more.

    Here’s why I think its significant: you don’t normally see general officers/flag officers punished like this onver the past 13 years in connection with things that went wrong in Iraq or Afghanistan. For instance, when someone at one of the 101st Airborne Division’s brigade combat teams okayed a battalion plan to place a patrol base way, way, way out beyond the reach of even indirect supporting fires and that base was attacked and support wasn’t provided, the official investigation pinned almost everything at the O3/Army captain level and below. I think one lieutenant colonel got a reprimand. The word that leaked out, after the 101st rotated back home, was that Major General Schloesser chose to retire at only the two star level because he was holding himself accountable even if 1) the Army wasn’t and 2) this decision never reached his level, it happened under his command. So having something like this happen is why I say its significant.

    (For full disclosure: I did the theater strategic cultural prep for the 101st Airborne Division for that deployment. Specifically I did their Commanders’ Conference in JUL of 2009 as they started their preparations to deploy and had the Division Command Group and Staff, every Brigade Combat Team Command Group (Commander, Deputy Commander, Command Sergeant Major), and every Battalion Command Group (Commander, XO, Command Sergeant Major). I have a certificate of meritorious support and star note of commendation from Major General Schloesser for my efforts.)

  94. 94
    Elie says:

    @efgoldman:

    Agreed. And I think that the desire for revenge has escaped bounds…. like any avarice or insanity fed by even fleeting success — his narcissism and grandiosity are being stoked big time……

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elie: I think that’s a good analysis of a lot of what’s driving him. I also think, even more so than seemed to be the case with Governor Romney, that the only person of any real importance for Donald Trump is Donald Trump. Everyone else is an object to be manipulated for the benefit of Donald Trump, not a subject to be interacted with.

  96. 96
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It’s also Zen as all get-out.

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @aimai: Thank you. Coming from you I take that as high praise.
    (long time reader, never a commenter – not that your online writings are analogous to talk radio)

  98. 98
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Goes back even further. Posit that somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of his psyche, he believes it a personal affront that Trump Tower was not targeted on a certain September day.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: This is one of the reasons why GEN Petraues, when he was CENTCOM Commander asked that Israel and the Occupied Territories be placed within his Area of Responsibility (AOR) instead of in EUCOM. He argued before Congress that this single issue was what he was engaged on the most by the leaders, political and military, within the CENTCOM AOR, that the lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian problem was a major impediment to making progress within his AOR, and that it needed to be dealt with if anyone expected actual improvement within the CENTCOM AOR.

  100. 100
    Pogonip says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Don’t worry, Prime Minister. We elect crazy people all the time, and nothing much happens.”

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: Actually I’m implying that Lewis Carrol and others have relevance for understanding strategy and policy as concepts. And that if you can’t have some fun while trying to do that, you probably need to consider doing something else.

  102. 102
    catclub says:

    @efgoldman: I blame NBC for not re-upping his Apprentice gig. IN 2012 that was the MO.

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Pogonip: Glad to hear your dad is doing better. We’ll keep keeping good thoughts on this end.

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: I think that is part of it, and may be the necessary and sufficient condition that has driven him to finally do it. But he has actually run before and has been talking about it for over 20 years.

  105. 105
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It is indeed.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: My PhD isn’t in psych, but I think he’s exhibited all the hallmarks of psychopathy. It would be interesting to see how he’d score on the Minnesota Multi-phasic Index.

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: We have a unicorn on the ice!

    I have never seen a stick get wedged like that!

  108. 108
    akryan says:

    Am I a bad person because I’ve been enjoying reading the full on meltdown in the comments section on RedState?

  109. 109
    NotMax says:

    OT:

    Oh, lordy. Picture just shown on Maddow’s show of Biden exiting an Air Force plane in Iraq.

    Nickname stenciled on this Air Force plane, just above the door: Spirit of Strom Thurmond.

  110. 110
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You do know I’m yanking your chain juuust a little, right? (Not that Lewis Carroll isn’t applicable to any number of life situations – truly, one of the Wise Fool of the ages).

    @aimai: You haz a blog?

  111. 111
  112. 112
    Elie says:

    @Pogonip:

    My very best to you about CHF.. No easy way around it except to keep your diuretics, anti-hypertensives and watching salt. Stay positive and enjoy life as much as you can — and laugh!

  113. 113
    liberal says:

    @Mike J: Huh? You don’t think overthrowing Ghaddafi based on trumped-up claims of impending genocide and thus turning Libya into an ISIS recruiting center is rational? Or, making fumbling comments about a no-fly zone in a civil war where the nominal state power has invited in the Russian air force? Just WTF is wrong with you?

  114. 114
    redshirt says:

    It fascinates me in a sick sense how our media can spin bullshit into Serious Policy.

    That Morning Joe and the rest of the gang could even pretend Trump’s speech was a serious recommendation of where American policy should go is sickening. And scary. And laughable.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: http://aimaiameye.blogspot.com/

    And I knew you were teasing.

  116. 116
    liberal says:

    @guachi: Agreed.

  117. 117
    liberal says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    …the lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian problem…

    LOL. Progress? Given that Israeli policy has proceeded in a more or less straight line since 1967, it’s pretty clear we have two options: (1) continue underwriting Israeli apartheid, (2) washing our hands of the entire thing (no more aid to Israel etc).

  118. 118
    liberal says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Coming from Aimai? The person who commented recently that Hillary’s vote in favor of the Iraq AUMF didn’t matter? ROTFLMAO.

  119. 119
    liberal says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Cry me a river. The US office corps votes like, what, 90% Republican?

    Fuck them.

  120. 120
    Miss Bianca says:

    @efgoldman: Amen to that.

  121. 121
    germy says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFaRklAYanY

    They Might be Giants reinterpret the 19th century election song classic “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”

  122. 122
    liberal says:

    @redshirt: You really find it surprising?

    The Republicans could be urging funding for a device that would make the sun go nova, and the press would be asking why the Democrats haven’t met them halfway.

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @liberal: I was paraphrasing GEN Petraues’s remarks to the Senate or House Armed Services Committee (I can’t recall which right now and I’m not going to look it up).

  124. 124
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Pogonip: Yes, sending good thoughts your way. Sounds like you (and your Dad!) have had a bit to deal with this year.

  125. 125
    redshirt says:

    @liberal: The media’s imbalance while feigning impartiality always surprises me.

    I’ll note however that the residents of Free Republic think the media is completely in the left wing camp and that include Fox News. “Liberal Media”.

  126. 126
    Davebo says:

    @liberal:

    You have some insight into how US commissioned officers vote? My anecdotal experience says your number is way off despite how many may respond in the Army/Navy Times poll of the day (for obvious reasons).

    Though they may not say so out loud, many are pretty pissed at what has gone down since 2003.

  127. 127
    David S says:

    Of course, however, der Trump does not have to treat other people fairly ….

  128. 128
    Pogonip says:

    Thanks for good wishes! He has gone to bed with his feet duly elevated, looking rather like a roosting bat, and says he feels pretty good.

  129. 129
    Suzanne says:

    The longer I live, the more I realize that the true dividing line in American life—more than race, sex, class, sexual orientation, whatever—is smart vs. dumb. We’ve sorted ourselves out into two parties that roughly but truly represent a faction of non-dumbasses and the other is a total black hole of morons with just a few smart people running their show that profit from their idiocy,

    We are never coming back from this.

  130. 130
    jsrtheta says:

    (I have not read all the preceding 110 comments, so apologies if this is repetitious.)

    A minimum requirement for any national leader is the intelligence to know when you don’t know everything you need to. And I can think of no previous candidate who has been so sure about everything without doing any homework at all as Trump.

    He has shown this in business. You don’t blow it so many times on ludicrous businesses (Trump Mortgage, Trump “University,” etc.) if you’ve done your homework. By now we have more examples than any one person should have to stomach of Trump sounding off on matters where it is clear he has not done the basic study anyone with a sense of shame would know to do. Yesterday, he got a lot of what he thinks are “thoughtful” positions from “experts” with various agendas and vomited them on the media. Obviously, no one with any intelligence reviewed this crap and tried to make it consistent or somewhat intelligible. The most he established is that he can sort of tamp things down for a while, and lose the Vegas schtick. This is a man so in over his head we should all be quietly escorting him from the stage. But he taps into the false American belief that amateurism is admirable, and pointy-headed intellectuals don’t know nothin’, and why shouldn’t the presidency be an entry-level position?

    He is terrifying in ways many voters don’t even recognize. I for one don’t want to follow him over the cliff.

  131. 131
    aimai says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How very, very, kind of you! Now I’m sorry I don’t write more. Or don’t publish more of my drafts!

  132. 132
    redshirt says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not a direct quote, just a general question: Can you compare America to any other power in world history?

  133. 133

    @Adam L Silverman: All this chakra business sounds like new agey mumbo jumbo. I have heard of the director, Motwane is a protege of Anurag Kashyap who made the searing real movie about the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai called Black Friday and was name checked by Danny Boyle as one of the the inspirations behind Slum Dog. So I am intrigued. Thanks for sharing.

  134. 134
    aimai says:

    @liberal: Did it change the outcome–which was based on the Bush administration’s determination to go to war with Iraq regardless of any opposition, law, or morality? No. Therefore in a material sense it “did not matter.” I.e. it was not dispositive.

  135. 135
    J R in WV says:

    @srv:

    You are truly one of the great public idiots of this century, thoughtless and ignorant.

  136. 136
    Ken says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But how do you go about reassuring allies about this? “Don’t worry, there’s no way he can be elected?”

  137. 137
    Tim C. says:

    @J R in WV: I still am half-convinced he’s some other regular commenter or front-pager doing some kind of performance art.

  138. 138
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Tim C.: Has anyone seen srv and DougJ in the same room?

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @redshirt: At 10:40 at night? Let me think about that and get back to you.

  140. 140
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ken: Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t need to know right now what the official messaging is as I’m not assigned to any of those commands.

  141. 141
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Suzanne:

    Yup – you read my mind. I was going to post the same thought. All smart people need to ally with each other, because we’re in an existential fight with a world full of dumbasses for the nature of reality and what is a fact. It’s been scary for a while, but with Trump now, it’s officially terrifying.

  142. 142
    redshirt says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You don’t have to go into detail. Just an example. I can only think of Athens pre-Peloponnesian war and even that is rough comparison. I don’t think America has any parallel in history, which is quite remarkable if true.

  143. 143
    redshirt says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: It’s not just “smart” people. Rather, it’s “good” people. People who care about other people.

  144. 144
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @srv:

    I’ve been hearing about the commies and the ME and Asia since Carter. What have the wet-your-pants-insert-latest-bogeyman-warm-water-ports and all those trillions gotten us? 9/11 and not a dimesworth of cheaper oil.

    The price of crude peaked at $117/bbl in inflation-adjusted dollars midway through the Carter Presidency. Today it closed at about $46. So gather your facts before your next troll.

  145. 145
    Misterpuff says:

    Don’t Be Dumb
    Be a Smarty
    Go with Drumpf
    The Narczi Party!

    National Narcissism – At Least Its An Ethos
    which involves mirrors and eagles and flags…….

  146. 146
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @redshirt: Lots of things in history have no parallel.

  147. 147
    redshirt says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Lot’s of things do, though. Most things, I’d argue.

  148. 148
    Elie says:

    @liberal:

    Ahhh — too simple may friend. Either of those decisions are fraught with outcomes in our relations/positions with a host of other regional players and then there are tertiary affects with other alliances that depend on our protection…. You take things one at a time, good bad. But in the real world, every decision has fallouts and tradeoffs that have to be weighed against immediate gain and losses vs medium and long term gains and losses. Its really not surprising that this conflict remains so intractable. And did I mention other players looking for signs that they can exploit? Ah would that we could decide just on plain right and wrong….

  149. 149
    MomSense says:

    @debbie:

    Bet the IOC is regretting that decision.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: In a semi-related note, I have the NFL draft on in the background, and I giggle every time Goodell comes out and gets booed.

  151. 151
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @NotMax: There’s also this from Salon: http://www.slate.com/articles/.....=500595474

    It’s a long read, but well worth your time and study. And it pretty much confirms much of what Adam is saying here. It’s terrifying.

  152. 152
    oz29 says:

    Trump’s nonsense really takes me back. Specifically it takes me back to a symposium in 1997, when I still engaged in the serious study of foreign policy analysis. During a discussion of the appropriate US post-Cold-War footprint, someone mentioned Michael O’Hanlon’s assertion that “the Marines on Okinawa are not so much forward deployed as they are marooned” specifically in the context of widespread hostility toward US basing. Walt LaFeber suggested a few specific readings from then-recently-available Soviet strategic planning documents. I recall reading one in particular that advocated for the “fracturing” of US strategic alliances by emphasizing the economic inequality of the arrangement — specifically, it suggested that our treaty relationships were vulnerable if the American people could be convinced that smaller countries were not paying their fair share. If that could be done, it was argued, Soviet interests could exploit those attitudes by essentially convincing the Phillipines, Japan, and Germany (among others) that the goal was to force them to pay us to send our troops to rape their women, wreck their culture, and poison their territory.

    Hard to believe that a candidate for President of the United States is intent on proving the KGB right.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @oz29: Great, now BlP is going to show up as a Trumpette.

  154. 154
    seaboogie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thank you, Adam for your characteristically thorough and thoughtful analysis and follow up in the comments (with a soupcon of humor, when appropriate). Also appreciate your comments re: the IOC/impact of hosting the Olympics, and FIFA.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: Only 31 picks tonight.

  157. 157
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @liberal: You are an idiot. Or, as they say over at Wonkette, a idiot.

    I know of what I speak. I was a member of said officer corps.

  158. 158
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: A clear example of the NFL trying to bring down one team.

  159. 159
    seaboogie says:

    That Trump in a study in various psychological issues, with Narcississtic Personality Disorder at the top of the list cannot be questioned – he has major shame/pride/delusion issues and is peevish in the extreme.

    If any of all y’all want to vent at/taunt Trump for your own personal satisfaction, you can do what I did the other evening, which is to contact his website. I sent a rude message and was met with an invitation to support. I followed with an even ruder message, and received another request to support him. Third rude message from me, and nothing further from the Trumpenvolk. It’s rather cathartic, and since he started with the bullying I have no guilt on that front whatsoever. I kept it brief but very sharply pointed and quite personal.

    Not going to try it with Cruz, because he is a sociopath who is going to lose anyway, so I can’t see an upside in that.

  160. 160
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: My view, from my era, was 60-40 GOP. But 25 years may have made a difference.

    ETA: White officers? 90-10, sure. But not all officers are white.

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: Right. ::eyeroll::

  162. 162
    oz29 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: This is my fault? I was just reminiscing. Aloud. For no particular reason.

  163. 163
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: OK, you got me with that one. : ) “The horror…the horror…show…”

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @oz29: I mean no disrespect, but, damn, think about what you might have done. Damn. You still seem like good people.

    In an all seriousness, don’t be afraid to comment more often. New voices are a good thing,

  165. 165
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I also think the GOP’s favor has deteriorated since the Reagan years. Particularly the idiocy in the Middle East since then. I don’t think the dismissal of professional advice did the deserting coward folks any favors.

  166. 166
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I left in ’92. I can’t speak authoritatively beyond that.

  167. 167
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

  168. 168
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @redshirt: Feeling? What feelings?

  169. 169
    redshirt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That old sensation from 1984.

  170. 170
    ericblair says:

    @oz29:

    Hard to believe that a candidate for President of the United States is intent on proving the KGB right.

    That’s because he’s being counseled by what remains of the KGB. I doubt Trump understands the implications of any of this. I personally think it’s likely that the Russians managed to maneuver their guys into Trump’s orbit, but it could be a happy accident as far as they are concerned.

  171. 171
    Ian says:

    @srv:
    Sometimes I want to correct your unbelievably uninformed statements. You have come so far in your troll AA that I think you can solve this for yourself.

  172. 172
    tybee says:

    s/he is an excellent troll.

  173. 173
    dianne says:

    Since Trump appeared on the scene, I keep remembering two Twilight Zone episodes. The earwig one with a small bug (with a blond wig) slowly, slowly creeping through the Republican psyche, excruciating painful as he finally makes his way to the other side. The other one is the kid who was so powerful that his every thought became reality. The adults around him were tiptoeing on eggshells trying to make sure that he had only good thoughts. His Cabinet and the Joint Chiefs will have their work cut out for them if he were to become president.
    I was always a supporter of Obama, but never more so than now. Hillary has got to pull this off.

  174. 174
    Aimai says:

    @oz29: wow! Fascinating! So trump puts the idiot in useful idiot?

  175. 175
    Matt McIrvin says:

    It sounds as if some on the foreign-policy left are taking this as a refreshingly anti-imperialist speech. It reminds me of all of those “Pat Buchanan is making sense!!” episodes during the Bush years that drove me bats, because the guy may not have been a neocon but he was basically a Nazi.

  176. 176
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @different-church-lady:

    When the fuck in the past 25 years has America not been treated fairly?

    THIS^^. A million times this. And let’s remember that “fairly” is an extremely flexible term that seems to change depending on your [the US’s] mood.

  177. 177
    Racer X says:

    Laugh at Trump all you want. The entire GOP Presidential field was (is) a joke from top to bottom. No one really knows what Trump will do if he’s elected, certainly that’s worth a shot compared to the same old failed toxic ideas and lies spouted by the rest of them.

  178. 178
    Paul in KY says:

    @NotMax: I guess a long hard cylinder might well represent ‘the spirit of Strom Thurmond’.

    Hope that POS is getting it good & hard in Hell.

  179. 179
    Paul in KY says:

    @germy: Saw them up in Covington about a month ago. Great band! I urge all to see them!

  180. 180
    Paul in KY says:

    @redshirt: Maybe Rome circa AD150 or Great Britain in late 19th Century. Might say Ghenghis Khan’s empire, but it broke up so quickly.

  181. 181
    Chris says:

    @different-church-lady:

    When the fuck in the past 25 years has America not been “treated” fairly?

    Well, all the time, really. It’s just that the unfairness in the treatment has been in our favor.

    As in domestic policy, so in foreign policy; the most privileged people on the planet live under the delusion that they’re really an oppressed minority, because some latte-sipping liberal elitist in New York Paris is looking down his nose at them.

  182. 182
    Chris says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Rome was my thought, but not an exact analogy because even America still has China and Russia as major competitors, even if they’re one tier below the U.S. Whereas Rome’s hegemony over the “known world” was pretty much absolute. (Parthian Empire in the east, maybe? That’s as close as I can think of to a China/Russia figure to their America, and I think the power imbalance was still much greater).

  183. 183
    grumpy realist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And how. We here in Chicago breathed a sigh of relief when we were dropped from consideration. (A few handful whined and pouted but the rest of us figured out they were planning to make money on the land involved.)

  184. 184
    J-Fly says:

    I’ve been saying for months that Trump has an obsession with whether or not he’s being treated fairly. It’s a sickness and his run for the presidency is just a chance for him to rant and rave about it! At every rally, every debate. The Hillary team needs to make his immature narcissism and vicious name-calling a real issue in the upcoming months. Call him out for his sheer idiocy, call it for what it is. That his campaign is only about Donald. For all his ranting about all the great deals he’s going to make for America (and his cult followers), does he actually think he will personally profit from all these deals as POTUS? Is this just another long con grift? He talks about how rich he is, but what if he actually needs this job for the guaranteed income?

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