Primaires américaines: Attention, un accident industriel pourrait en cacher un autre (Rage against the PC machine: After 8 years of Dr. Obamastein, are Americans ready to pour their hopes into another totally uncertain vessel ?)

Obamastein
TrumpRevolution
donald_trump_kim_kardashian
The revolution will not be televised The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat
The revolution will be no re-run brothers; The revolution will be live …
Gil Scott-Heron
La femme serait vraiment l’égale de l’homme le jour où, à un poste important, on désignerait une femme incompétente. Françoise Giroud (Le Monde, 11.03.83)
After seizing a large segment of Iraq and Syria, beheading Western hostages on camera and slaughtering civilians in the heart of Paris, ISIS has eclipsed its extremist rival as the biggest brand in global jihad. But U.S. officials tell NBC News that al Qaeda — though its core in Pakistan has been degraded by years of CIA drone strikes — is now experiencing renewed strength through its affiliates, led by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen and the Nusra Front in Syria. (…) Both branches have expanded their territorial holdings over the last year amid civil wars. Russian air strikes against the Nusra Front, and CIA drone attacks on AQAP leaders, have set them back, but have not come close to destroying them. Al Qaeda has not managed to attack a Western target recently, but it continues to inspire plots. There is no evidence December’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California was directed by al Qaeda, but Syed Rizwan Farook, who carried out the attack with his wife Tashfeen Malik, appears to have been radicalized by al Qaeda long before the rise of ISIS. He was a consumer of videos by al Qaeda’s Somalia affiliate and the AQAP preacher Anwar al Awlaki, court records show. Al Qaeda attacks on hotels in Burkina Faso in January and Mali in November, which together killed dozens of people, appeared to affirm the threat posed by the terror group’s Saharan branch, al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, or AQIM. (…) intelligence officials are also « concerned al Qaeda could reestablish a significant presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, if regional counterterrorism pressure deceases. » In Yemen, AQAP has benefitted from the power vacuum created by the Houthi rebels’ uprising, and the air war on the Houthis by Saudi Arabia. « Jabhat al Nusra is a core component of the al Qaeda network and probably poses the most dangerous threat to the U.S. from al Qaeda in the coming years, » the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, said in a recent report. « Al Qaeda is pursuing phased, gradual, and sophisticated strategies that favor letting ISIS attract the attention — and attacks — of the West while it builds the human infrastructure to support and sustain major gains in the future and for the long term. » (…) Hoffman, who served as the CIA’s Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism, calls Nusra « even more dangerous and capable than ISIS. » Al Qaeda is watching ISIS « take all the heat and absorb all the blows while al Qaeda quietly re-builds its military strength, » he said. NBC
The number of Cubans entering the United States nearly doubled last year, compared with the year before. That trend shows no signs of slowing. More Cubans are coming to the United States because they fear that a thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations will end a longstanding policy granting legal status to any Cuban national who reaches dry land in the United States. (…) Obama is headed to Havana on March 21, the first U.S. president to do so in 88 years. Cuellar supports the President’s efforts to improve relations between the two countries, but he hopes Obama addresses the migration issue while in Havana, as well as the lack of political freedoms on the island and other human rights issues. That’s a sentiment shared by many of the migrants waiting to see an immigration officer at the Laredo border crossing. « I hope he talks to the real people, » says Melian, the migrant waiting at the Laredo border crossing. « I hope he doesn’t allow himself to be fooled by the Castros as they fooled the world for many years. » CNN
Barack Obama is the Dr. Frankenstein of the supposed Trump monster. If a charismatic, Ivy League-educated, landmark president who entered office with unprecedented goodwill and both houses of Congress on his side could manage to wreck the Democratic Party while turning off 52 percent of the country, then many voters feel that a billionaire New York dealmaker could hardly do worse. If Obama had ruled from the center, dealt with the debt, addressed radical Islamic terrorism, dropped the politically correct euphemisms and pushed tax and entitlement reform rather than Obamacare, Trump might have little traction. A boring Hillary Clinton and a staid Jeb Bush would most likely be replaying the 1992 election between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush — with Trump as a watered-down version of third-party outsider Ross Perot. But America is in much worse shape than in 1992. And Obama has proved a far more divisive and incompetent president than George H.W. Bush. Little is more loathed by a majority of Americans than sanctimonious PC gobbledygook and its disciples in the media. And Trump claims to be PC’s symbolic antithesis. Making Machiavellian Mexico pay for a border fence or ejecting rude and interrupting Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a press conference is no more absurd than allowing more than 300 sanctuary cities to ignore federal law by sheltering undocumented immigrants. Putting a hold on the immigration of Middle Eastern refugees is no more illiberal than welcoming into American communities tens of thousands of unvetted foreign nationals from terrorist-ridden Syria. In terms of messaging, is Trump’s crude bombast any more radical than Obama’s teleprompted scripts? Trump’s ridiculous view of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a sort of « Art of the Deal » geostrategic partner is no more silly than Obama insulting Putin as Russia gobbles up former Soviet republics with impunity. Obama callously dubbed his own grandmother a « typical white person, » introduced the nation to the racist and anti-Semitic rantings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and petulantly wrote off small-town Pennsylvanians as near-Neanderthal « clingers. » Did Obama lower the bar for Trump’s disparagements? Certainly, Obama peddled a slogan, « hope and change, » that was as empty as Trump’s « make America great again. » (…) How does the establishment derail an out-of-control train for whom there are no gaffes, who has no fear of The New York Times, who offers no apologies for speaking what much of the country thinks — and who apparently needs neither money from Republicans nor politically correct approval from Democrats? Victor Davis Hanson
So what to do now? The Republicans’ creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be. Robert Kagan
People wonder what accounts for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Maybe the better question is how the Obama years could not have produced a Trump and Sanders. Both the Republican and, to a lesser extent, Democratic parties have elements now who want to pull down the temple. But for all the politicized agitation, both these movements, in power, would produce stasis—no change at all. Donald Trump would preside over a divided government or, as he has promised and un-promised, a trade war with China. Hillary or Bernie will enlarge the Obama economic regime. Either outcome guarantees four more years of at best 2% economic growth. That means more of the above. That means 18-year-olds voting for the first time this year will face historically weak job opportunities through 2020 at least. Under any of these three, an Americanized European social-welfare state will evolve because Washington—and this will include many “conservatives”—will answer still-rising popular anger with new income redistributions. And for years afterward, Barack Obama will stroll off the 18th green, smiling. Mission, finally, accomplished. Daniel Henninger
We’re in the midst of a rebellion. The bottom and middle are pushing against the top. It’s a throwing off of old claims and it’s been going on for a while, but we’re seeing it more sharply after New Hampshire. This is not politics as usual, which by its nature is full of surprise. There’s something deep, suggestive, even epochal about what’s happening now. I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. (…) All this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions. We feel less respect for almost all of them—the church, the professions, the presidency, the Supreme Court. The only formal national institution that continues to score high in terms of public respect (72% in the most recent Gallup poll) is the military (…) we are in a precarious position in the U.S. with so many of our institutions going down. Many of those pushing against the system have no idea how precarious it is or what they will be destroying. Those defending it don’t know how precarious its position is or even what they’re defending, or why. But people lose respect for a reason. (…) It’s said this is the year of anger but there’s a kind of grim practicality to Trump and Sanders supporters. They’re thinking: Let’s take a chance. Washington is incapable of reform or progress; it’s time to reach outside. Let’s take a chance on an old Brooklyn socialist. Let’s take a chance on the casino developer who talks on TV. In doing so, they accept a decline in traditional political standards. You don’t have to have a history of political effectiveness anymore; you don’t even have to have run for office! “You’re so weirdly outside the system, you may be what the system needs.” They are pouring their hope into uncertain vessels, and surely know it. Bernie Sanders is an actual radical: He would fundamentally change an economic system that imperfectly but for two centuries made America the wealthiest country in the history of the world. In the young his support is understandable: They have never been taught anything good about capitalism and in their lifetimes have seen it do nothing—nothing—to protect its own reputation. It is middle-aged Sanders supporters who are more interesting. They know what they’re turning their backs on. They know they’re throwing in the towel. My guess is they’re thinking something like: Don’t aim for great now, aim for safe. Terrorism, a world turning upside down, my kids won’t have it better—let’s just try to be safe, more communal. A shrewdness in Sanders and Trump backers: They share one faith in Washington, and that is in its ability to wear anything down. They think it will moderate Bernie, take the edges off Trump. For this reason they don’t see their choices as so radical. (…) The mainstream journalistic mantra is that the GOP is succumbing to nativism, nationalism and the culture of celebrity. That allows them to avoid taking seriously Mr. Trump’s issues: illegal immigration and Washington’s 15-year, bipartisan refusal to stop it; political correctness and how it is strangling a free people; and trade policies that have left the American working class displaced, adrift and denigrated. Mr. Trump’s popularity is propelled by those issues and enabled by his celebrity. (…) Mr. Trump is a clever man with his finger on the pulse, but his political future depends on two big questions. The first is: Is he at all a good man? Underneath the foul mouthed flamboyance is he in it for America? The second: Is he fully stable? He acts like a nut, calling people bimbos, flying off the handle with grievances. Is he mature, reliable? Is he at all a steady hand? Political professionals think these are side questions. “Let’s accuse him of not being conservative!” But they are the issue. Because America doesn’t deliberately elect people it thinks base, not to mention crazy. Peggy Noonan
But honestly, Donald Trump reminds me of the Kim Kardashian of politics – they’re both famous for being famous and the media plays along. Carly Fiorina
Politicians have, since ancient Greece, lied, pandered, and whored. They have taken bribes, connived, and perjured themselves. But in recent times—in the United States, at any rate—there has never been any politician quite as openly debased and debauched as Donald Trump. Truman and Nixon could be vulgar, but they kept the cuss words for private use. Presidents have chewed out journalists, but which of them would have suggested that an elegant and intelligent woman asking a reasonable question was dripping menstrual blood? LBJ, Kennedy, and Clinton could all treat women as commodities to be used for their pleasure, but none went on the radio with the likes of Howard Stern to discuss the women they had bedded and the finer points of their anatomies. All politicians like the sound of their own names, but Roosevelt named the greatest dam in the United States after his defeated predecessor, Herbert Hoover. Can one doubt what Trump would have christened it? That otherwise sober people do not find Trump’s insults and insane demands outrageous (Mexico will have to pay for a wall! Japan will have to pay for protection!) says something about a larger moral and cultural collapse. His language is the language of the comments sections of once-great newspapers. Their editors know that the online versions of their publications attract the vicious, the bigoted, and the foulmouthed. But they keep those comments sections going in the hope of getting eyeballs on the page. (…) The current problem goes beyond excruciatingly bad manners. What we increasingly lack, and have lacked for some time, is a sense of the moral underpinning of republican (small r) government. Manners and morals maintain a free state as much as laws do, as Tocqueville observed long ago, and when a certain culture of virtue dies, so too does something of what makes democracy work. Old-fashioned words like integrity, selflessness, frugality, gravitas, and modesty rarely rate a mention in modern descriptions of the good life—is it surprising that they don’t come up in politics, either? (…) Trump’s rise is only one among many signs that something has gone profoundly amiss in our popular culture.It is related to the hysteria that has swept through many campuses, as students call for the suppression of various forms of free speech and the provision of “safe spaces” where they will not be challenged by ideas with which they disagree. The rise of Trump and the fall of free speech in academia are equal signs that we are losing the intellectual sturdiness and honesty without which a republic cannot thrive. (…) The rot is cultural. It is no coincidence that Trump was the star of a “reality” show. He is the beneficiary of an amoral celebrity culture devoid of all content save an omnipresent lubriciousness. He is a kind of male Kim Kardashian, and about as politically serious. In the context of culture, if not (yet) politics, he is unremarkable; the daily entertainments of today are both tawdry and self-consciously, corrosively ironic. Ours is an age when young people have become used to getting news, of a sort, from Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, when an earlier generation watched Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley. It is the difference between giggling with young, sneering hipsters and listening to serious adults. Go to YouTube and look at old episodes of Profiles in Courage, if you can find them—a wildly successful television series based on the book nominally authored by John F. Kennedy, which celebrated an individual’s, often a politician’s, courage in standing alone against a crowd, even a crowd with whose politics the audience agreed. The show of comparable popularity today is House of Cards. Bill Clinton has said that he loves it. American culture is, in short, nastier, more nihilistic, and far less inhibited than ever before. It breeds alternating bouts of cynicism and hysteria, and now it has given us Trump. The Republican Party as we know it may die of Trump. If it does, it will have succumbed in part because many of its leaders chose not to fight for the Party of Lincoln, which is a set of ideas about how to govern a country, rather than an organization clawing for political and personal advantage. What is at stake, however, is something much more precious than even a great political party. To an extent unimaginable for a very long time, the moral keel of free government is showing cracks. It is not easy to discern how we shall mend them. Eliot Cohen
Some explanations for Donald Trump’s success emphasize his focus on supposedly working-class issues – namely, immigration and trade – after a refusal by the GOP “establishment” to address them. When the Wall Street Journal condemns his “crude assessment of the economic relationship with China” and sneers that his “pander[ing] to his party’s nativist wing… may have endeared him to one or two radio talk show hosts” but will prove an electoral disaster, the editors only underscore the base-to-establishment gap. Except I just did that thing where I tell you the quote is about one person and it is really about someone else. Those criticisms were leveled by the Wall Street Journal, but in 2012, at Mitt Romney. From early in the primaries, Romney took the unheard-of stance that China cheated on trade and should be aggressively confronted. He even called for retaliatory tariffs against continued currency manipulation and intellectual property theft. Similarly, on immigration, Romney was far to the right by the standards of either the 2012 or 2016 GOP fields. While his use of the phrase “self-deportation” was certainly inartful, the position was similar to the one Ted Cruz has since staked out. (Though Cruz may have shifted bizarrely rightward in the last 24 hours.) He stood by it right through the general-election debates with President Obama. The post-2012 effort by the GOP to reposition itself on immigration was not an extension of the Romney approach, but rather a reaction. (…) The real difference is that Romney held himself each day to the highest standards of decency and felt keenly the burdens of leadership, while Trump is an entertainer committed to delivering whatever irrational blather of insults, threats, and lies will earn the most retweets. Sometimes the blather may take the form of a “policy” proposal like mass deportation or a ban on Muslims, but that is still part of the show – not a suggestion for how to run the country. (…) Yes he has “tapped into anger,” but let’s stop pretending it is a rational anger at problems ignored. (…) The sad irony is this: the intelligentsia’s confidence that Trump would fade was in fact a strong sign of their respect for the judgment of the Republican base. If you are looking for the people who truly disdained those voters, find the pundits who predicted from the beginning that this guy might actually win. Yet by flocking to him now, Trump voters are ensuring they will be a punchline –sometimes feared, but never respected – for years to come. Oren Cass
Si l’on regarde les élections américaines avec un regard français – et c’est ce que nous faisons tous malgré nous -, il représente le contrepoint parfait de ce que représentent les hommes politiques français. Et c’est pour cela que nous le soutenons. Il est un ovni pour la France. Il affiche sans honte son argent et affiche clairement ses idées. Concrètement, il n’a pas peur de renverser la table si besoin, ni de déplaire. On l’aime pour ce qu’il est, ou on le rejette entièrement. En plus de ses propos assumés, il a une véritable prestance, un charisme. Pour tout cela, il représente un électrochoc pour la vie politique française. En soutenant Donald Trump, nous revendiquons avant tout notre envie d’avoir un homme politique de cette trempe en France. (…) Nous ne soutenons pas Les Républicains, ni le Front national. Nous sommes avant tout des déçus de la politique telle qu’elle est pratiquée en France. On soutient Donald Trump pour changer cela. Mais la question n’est pas d’importer les États-Unis en France, il s’agit simplement de profiter de la montée de Donald Trump pour changer les choses chez nous. Les Français sont prêts à avoir un Trump à l’Élysée, j’en suis convaincu, mais il devra être assez solide pour ne pas renoncer à ses principes au nom d’une certaine bien pensance. Il ne doit pas avoir peur de mettre les pieds dans le plat. Vivien Hoch (porte-parole du comité de soutien de Donald Trump en France)
Il ne suffit pas, pour faire un bon président, d’effaroucher les bien-pensants, même si c’est une condition incontournable, ou d’avoir raison après tout le monde. Et puis est venue cette idée, peut-être devenue promesse depuis la publication de cet article, de ne plus laisser entrer les musulmans sur le sol des États-Unis. Je sais bien qu’il ne faut pas dire « les », il faut dire « des », j’ai compris la leçon. Oui, mais alors lesquels ? Telle est la question que Donald rétorque à nos indignations. Avant que des musulmans balancent des avions dans des tours ou que d’autres flinguent des handicapés, les uns comme les autres étaient de paisibles citoyens, des voisins sans histoires, des étudiants appréciés, ou des travailleurs honnêtes, car on ne peut, au pays de la troisième récidive et de la peine de mort, devenir terroriste après avoir fait carrière dans le banditisme. Comment faire, donc, pour distinguer les terroristes musulmans parmi les musulmans ? Et que faire si la mission s’avère impossible ? C’est en posant ces questions, que devrait se poser tout responsable politique qui s’est penché sur le vrai sens des mots « responsable » et « politique », que Donald est remonté dans mon estime. C’est en opposant à la liberté de circulation le principe de précaution (surtout utilisé pour nous empêcher de vivre libres, et qui pourrait bien, en l’occurrence, nous empêcher de mourir jeunes), qu’il est devenu mon candidat. La solution est radicale, entière, brutale, américaine et nous paraît folle, comme tout ce qui nous vient d’outre-Atlantique avec vingt ans d’avance, pour nous apparaître comme moderne, vingt ans après. Ainsi, les Américains ont fermé, au temps de la guerre froide, leur pays au communisme. On se souvient du maccarthysme et des questions risibles posées par les douaniers aux nouveaux arrivants, immigrés ou touristes : Appartenez-vous au crime organisé ? Êtes-vous membre du parti communiste ? Ils ont su, sous la réprobation du monde entier, éviter d’être contaminés par cette maladie du xxe siècle. Nous avons eu, en France et en Europe, une autre approche. Nous avons fait le pari que cette idéologie dangereuse et liberticide se dissoudrait dans la démocratie et dans l’économie de marché. Et nous avons gagné. Chez nous, il ne reste du communisme qu’un parti crépusculaire et folklorique, une curiosité européenne où se retrouvent des écrivains chics, idiots utiles du village souverainiste – utiles à qui, on se le demande ? On les lit avec bonheur quand ils ne parlent pas de politique. Mais alors deux questions se posent : le monde libre aura-t-il raison de l’islamisme comme il a eu raison du communisme ? Pouvons-nous attendre vingt ans pour le savoir ? Cyril Benassar
Three major have-not powers are seeking to overturn the post-Cold War status quo: Russia in Eastern Europe, China in East Asia, Iran in the Middle East. All are on the march. To say nothing of the Islamic State, now extending its reach from Afghanistan to West Africa. The international order built over decades by the United States is crumbling. In the face of which, what does Obama do? Go to Cuba. Yes, Cuba. A supreme strategic irrelevance so dear to Obama’s anti-anti-communist heart. The international order built over decades by the United States is crumbling. Is he at least going to celebrate progress in human rights and democracy — which Obama established last year as a precondition for any presidential visit? Of course not. When has Obama ever held to a red line? Indeed, since Obama began his “historic” normalization with Cuba, the repression has gotten worse. Last month, the regime arrested 1,414 political dissidents, the second-most ever recorded. No matter. Amid global disarray and American decline, Obama sticks to his cherished concerns: Cuba, Guantanamo (about which he gave a rare televised address this week), and, of course, climate change. Obama could not bestir himself to go to Paris in response to the various jihadi atrocities — sending Kerry instead “to share a big hug with Paris” (as Kerry explained) with James Taylor singing “You’ve Got a Friend” — but he did make an ostentatious three-day visit there for climate change. More Foreign Policy The Costs of Abandoning Messy Wars Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad Are Running U.S. Syria Policy With Disasters Everywhere, It’s Time to Take Foreign Policy Seriously Again So why not go to Havana? Sure, the barbarians are at the gates and pushing hard knowing they will enjoy but eleven more months of minimal American resistance. But our passive president genuinely believes that such advances don’t really matter — that these disrupters are so on the wrong side of history, that their reaches for territory, power, victory are so 20th century. Of course, it mattered greatly to the quarter-million slaughtered in Syria and the millions more exiled. It feels all quite real to a dissolving Europe, an expanding China, a rising Iran, a metastasizing jihadism. Not to the visionary Obama, however. He sees far beyond such ephemera. He knows what really matters: climate change, Gitmo, and Cuba. With time running out, he wants these to be his legacy. Indeed, they will be. Charles Krauthammer
Donald Trump has rightly reminded us during his campaign that Americans are sick and tired of costly overseas interventions. But what Trump forgets is that too often the world does not always enjoy a clear choice between good and bad, wise and stupid. Often the dilemma is the terrible choice between ignoring mass murderer, as in Rwanda or Syria; bombing and leaving utter chaos, as in Libya; and removing monsters, then enduring the long ordeal of trying to leave something better, as in Afghanistan and Iraq. The choices are all awful. But the idea that America can bomb a rogue regime, leave and expect something better is pure fantasy. Victor Davis Hanson
The many millions of Americans who are sick of being called racist, chauvinist, homophobic, privileged or extremist every time they breathe feel that in Trump they have found their voice. Then there is that gnawing sense that under Obama, America has been transformed from history’s greatest winner into history’s biggest sucker. (…) Trump’s continuous exposition on his superhuman deal-making talents speaks to this fear. Trump’s ability to viscerally connect to the deep-seated concerns of American voters and assuage them frees him from the normal campaign requirement of developing plans to accomplish his campaign promises. (…) Trump’s supporters don’t care that his economic policies contradict one another. They don’t care that his foreign policy declarations are a muddle of contradictions. They hate the establishment and they want to believe him. (…) Because he knows how to viscerally connect to the public, Trump will undoubtedly be a popular president. But since he has no clear philosophical or ideological underpinning, his policies will likely be inconsistent and opportunistic.(…) In this, a Trump presidency will be a stark contrast to Obama’s hyper-ideological tenure in office. So, too, his presidency will be a marked contrast to a similarly ideologically driven Clinton or Sanders administration, since both will more or less continue to enact Obama’s domestic and foreign policies. (…) Like Trump, Johnson is able to tap into deep-seated public dissatisfaction with the political and cultural elites and serve as a voice for the disaffected. (…) If Johnson is able to convince a majority of British voters to support an exit from the EU, then several other EU member states are likely to follow in Britain’s wake. The exit of states from the EU will cause a political and economic upheaval in Europe with repercussions far beyond its borders. Just as a Trump presidency will usher in an era of high turbulence and uncertainty in US economic and foreign policies, so a post-breakup EU and Western Europe will replace Brussels’ consistent policies with policies that are more varied, and unstable. (…) If Trump is elected president and if Britain leads the charge of nations out of the EU, then Israel can expect its relations with both the US and Europe to be marked by turbulence and uncertainty that can lead in a positive direction or a negative direction, or even to both directions at the same time. (…) Just as Trump has stated both that he will support Israel and be neutral toward Israel, so we can expect for Trump to stand by Israel one day and to rebuke it angrily, even brutally, the next day. (…) So, too, under Trump, the US may send forces to confront Iran one day, only to announce that Trump is embarking on negotiations to get a sweetheart deal with the ayatollahs the next. Or perhaps all of these things will happen simultaneously. Caroline Glick

Attention: un accident industriel  pourrait en cacher un autre !

Alors qu’avec pas moins, entre la Russie, la Chine et l’Iran et sans compter les djiadistes, de trois menaces majeures à l’ordre post-guerre froide sous ses mandats …

L’un des probables pires présidents américains achève en cette dernière année qu’il lui reste à la Maison Blanche …

Entre promesses vides (Guantanamo) et visites à l’un ou l’autre dictateur de la planète (Cuba) …

La magistrale démonstration qu’un président noir pouvait être tout aussi mauvais qu’un président blanc …

Pendant que du côté républicain et notamment néoconservateur certains en sont même à menacer de voter démocrate

Comment ne pas voir …

Avec l’apparemment irrésistible et aussi rafraichissante qu’inquiétante ascension d’un champion de l’impolitiquement correct

Mais aussi des idées simples et des boniments comme Trump …

Et sans parler du plus rouge que rouge Sanders …

Le même risque de l’arrivée comme il y a huit ans …

D’un nouvel accident industriel à la tête du Monde libre?

State of the World: Year Eight of Barack Obama
Charles Krauthammer
National review
February 25, 2016

(1) In the South China Sea, on a speck of land of disputed sovereignty far from its borders, China has just installed anti-aircraft batteries and stationed fighter jets. This after China landed planes on an artificial island it created on another disputed island chain (the Spratlys, claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam). These facilities now function as forward bases for Beijing to challenge seven decades of American naval dominance of the Pacific Rim. “China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea,” the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command told Congress on Tuesday. Its goal? “Hegemony in East Asia.”

(2) Syria. Russian intervention has turned the tide of war. Having rescued the Bashar al-Assad regime from collapse, relentless Russian bombing is destroying the rebel stronghold of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, creating a massive new wave of refugees and demonstrating to the entire Middle East what a Great Power can achieve when it acts seriously. The U.S. response? Repeated pathetic attempts by Secretary of State John Kerry to propitiate Russia (and its ally, Iran) in one collapsed peace conference after another. On Sunday, he stepped out to announce yet another “provisional agreement in principle” on “a cessation of hostilities” that the CIA director, the defense secretary, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs deem little more than a ruse.

(3) Ukraine. Having swallowed Crimea so thoroughly that no one even talks about it anymore, Russia continues to trample with impunity on the Minsk cease-fire agreements. Vladimir Putin is now again stirring the pot, intensifying the fighting, advancing his remorseless campaign to fracture and subordinate the Ukrainian state. Meanwhile, Obama still refuses to send the Ukrainians even defensive weapons.

(4) Iran. Last Thursday, Iran received its first shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft batteries from Russia, a major advance in developing immunity to any attack on its nuclear facilities. And it is negotiating an $8 billion arms deal with Russia that includes sophisticated combat aircraft. Like its ballistic missile tests, this conventional weapons shopping spree is a blatant violation of U.N. Security Council prohibitions. It was also a predictable — and predicted — consequence of the Iran nuclear deal that granted Iran $100 billion and normalized its relations with the world. The U.S. response? Words. Share article on Facebook share Tweet article tweet Unlike gravitational waves, today’s strategic situation is not hard to discern. Three major have-not powers are seeking to overturn the post-Cold War status quo: Russia in Eastern Europe, China in East Asia, Iran in the Middle East. All are on the march. To say nothing of the Islamic State, now extending its reach from Afghanistan to West Africa. The international order built over decades by the United States is crumbling. In the face of which, what does Obama do? Go to Cuba. Yes, Cuba. A supreme strategic irrelevance so dear to Obama’s anti-anti-communist heart. The international order built over decades by the United States is crumbling. Is he at least going to celebrate progress in human rights and democracy — which Obama established last year as a precondition for any presidential visit? Of course not. When has Obama ever held to a red line? Indeed, since Obama began his “historic” normalization with Cuba, the repression has gotten worse. Last month, the regime arrested 1,414 political dissidents, the second-most ever recorded. No matter. Amid global disarray and American decline, Obama sticks to his cherished concerns: Cuba, Guantanamo (about which he gave a rare televised address this week), and, of course, climate change.

Obama could not bestir himself to go to Paris in response to the various jihadi atrocities — sending Kerry instead “to share a big hug with Paris” (as Kerry explained) with James Taylor singing “You’ve Got a Friend” — but he did make an ostentatious three-day visit there for climate change. More Foreign Policy The Costs of Abandoning Messy Wars Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad Are Running U.S. Syria Policy With Disasters Everywhere, It’s Time to Take Foreign Policy Seriously Again So why not go to Havana? Sure, the barbarians are at the gates and pushing hard knowing they will enjoy but eleven more months of minimal American resistance. But our passive president genuinely believes that such advances don’t really matter — that these disrupters are so on the wrong side of history, that their reaches for territory, power, victory are so 20th century. Of course, it mattered greatly to the quarter-million slaughtered in Syria and the millions more exiled. It feels all quite real to a dissolving Europe, an expanding China, a rising Iran, a metastasizing jihadism. Not to the visionary Obama, however. He sees far beyond such ephemera. He knows what really matters: climate change, Gitmo, and Cuba. With time running out, he wants these to be his legacy. Indeed, they will be.

Voir aussi:

The tough choices of overseas intervention
Victor Davis Hanson
Townhall
February 25, 2016

The United States has targeted a lot of rogues and their regimes in recent decades: Muammar Gadhafi, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, Manuel Noriega and the Taliban.

As a general rule over the last 100 years, any time the U.S. has bombed or intervened and then abruptly left the targeted country, chaos has followed. But when America has followed up its use of force with unpopular peacekeeping, sometimes American interventions have led to something better.

The belated entry of the United States into World War I saved the sinking Allied cause in 1917. Yet after the November 1918 armistice, the United States abruptly went home, washed its hands of Europe’s perennial squabbling and disarmed. A far bloodier World War II followed just two decades later.

It may have been wise or foolish for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to have intervened in Vietnam in 1963-1964 to try to save the beleaguered non-communist south. But after 10 years of hard fighting and a costly stalemate, it was nihilistic for America to abandon a viable South Vietnam to invading communist North Vietnam. Re-education camps, mass executions and boat people followed — along with more than 40 years of communist oppression.

The current presidential candidates are refighting the Iraq war of 2003. Yet the critical question 13 years later is not so much whether the United States should or should not have removed the genocidal Saddam Hussein, but whether our costly efforts at reconstruction ever offered any hope of a stable Iraq.

By 2011, Iraq certainly seemed viable. Only a few dozen American peacekeepers were killed in Iraq in 2011 — a total comparable to the number of U.S. soldiers who die in accidents in an average month.

The complete withdrawal of all U.S. troops in December 2011 abruptly turned what President Obama had dubbed a “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” Iraq — and what Vice President Joe Biden had called one of the administration’s “greatest achievements” — into a nightmarish wasteland.

Hillary Clinton bragged of the 2011 airstrikes in Libya and the eventual death of Gadhafi: “We came, we saw, he died.”

But destroying Gadhafi’s forces from the air and then abandoning Libya to terrorists and criminals only created an Islamic State recruiting ground. The Benghazi disaster was the nearly inevitable result of washing our hands of the disorder that we had helped to create.

In contrast, when the United States did not pack up and go home after its messy wars, our unpopular interventions often helped make life far better for all involved — and the U.S. and its allies more secure.

The United States inherited a mess in the Philippines in 1899 after the defeat of imperial Spain in the Spanish-American war. But after more than a decade of bloody counterinsurgency fighting, America finally birthed a Philippine national government that was given its independence after World War II.

President Harry Truman’s intervention to save South Korea from North Korean aggression quickly turned into a quagmire. Communist China soon launched a massive invasion into the Korean peninsula. By 1953 — at a cost of roughly 35,000 American lives, about eight times more U.S. fatalities than in Iraq — America had at least saved a viable South Korea.

President Eisenhower, facing re-election in 1956, resisted calls to pull American peacekeepers from the Demilitarized Zone and quit the detested “Truman’s war.”

More than 60 years after the U.S. saved South Korea, thousands of American peacekeepers still help protect a democratic and successful south from a nightmarish, totalitarian and nuclear north.

Some 60 million people died in World War II, a global war that the United States did not start and did not enter until 1941. Yet American power helped defeat the Axis aggressors.

Unlike the aftermath of World War I, the United States stayed on to help rebuild war-torn Europe and Asia after World War II. The Marshall Plan, the NATO alliance, the defeat of Soviet Union in the Cold War, the foundations of the later European Union, and Asian economic dynamism all followed — along with some 70 years of relative peace.

In 1999, President Clinton convinced the NATO alliance to bomb Serbia’s genocidal Slobodan Milosevic out of power and stop the mass killing in the Balkans. After Milosevic’s removal, only the presence of American-led NATO peacekeepers on the ground prevented another round of mass murder.

Donald Trump has rightly reminded us during his campaign that Americans are sick and tired of costly overseas interventions. But what Trump forgets is that too often the world does not always enjoy a clear choice between good and bad, wise and stupid. Often the dilemma is the terrible choice between ignoring mass murderer, as in Rwanda or Syria; bombing and leaving utter chaos, as in Libya; and removing monsters, then enduring the long ordeal of trying to leave something better, as in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The choices are all awful. But the idea that America can bomb a rogue regime, leave and expect something better is pure fantasy.

 Voir également:

Trump, the EU crack-up and Israel
What accounts for the billionaire populist’s success?
Caroline Glick
The Jerusalem Post
02/25/16

After his smashing back-to-back victories in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries and the Nevada caucuses, going into next week’s Super Tuesday contests in 12 states, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump looks increasingly unbeatable.

What accounts for the billionaire populist’s success? And if Trump does become the next US president, what sort of leader will the former reality television star be? Trump is popular because he has a rare ability to channel the deep-seated frustrations that much of the American public harbors toward its political and cultural elites.

Trump’s presidential bid isn’t based on specific, defined economic or foreign policy platforms or plans. Indeed, it isn’t clear that he even has any.

Trump’s campaign is based on his capacity to resonate two deeply felt frustrations harbored by a large cross-section of American citizens.

As The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger explained recently, a very large group of Americans is frustrated – or enraged – by the intellectual and social terror exercised upon them by the commissars of political correctness.

Trump’s support levels rise each time he says something “politically incorrect.” His candidacy took off last summer when he promised to build a wall along the Mexican border. It rose again last November when, following the Islamic massacre in Paris, he said that if elected he will ban Muslim immigration to the US.

The many millions of Americans who are sick of being called racist, chauvinist, homophobic, privileged or extremist every time they breathe feel that in Trump they have found their voice.

Then there is that gnawing sense that under Obama, America has been transformed from history’s greatest winner into history’s biggest sucker.

Trump’s continuous exposition on his superhuman deal-making talents speaks to this fear.

Trump’s ability to viscerally connect to the deep-seated concerns of American voters and assuage them frees him from the normal campaign requirement of developing plans to accomplish his campaign promises.

Trump’s supporters don’t care that his economic policies contradict one another. They don’t care that his foreign policy declarations are a muddle of contradictions.

They hate the establishment and they want to believe him.

This then brings us to the question of how a president Donald Trump would govern.

Because he knows how to viscerally connect to the public, Trump will undoubtedly be a popular president. But since he has no clear philosophical or ideological underpinning, his policies will likely be inconsistent and opportunistic.

In this, a Trump presidency will be a stark contrast to Obama’s hyper-ideological tenure in office.

So, too, his presidency will be a marked contrast to a similarly ideologically driven Clinton or Sanders administration, since both will more or less continue to enact Obama’s domestic and foreign policies.

The US is far from the only country steeped in uncertainty and frustration today.

Today, the peoples of Western Europe are behaving much like the Americans in their increased rejection of the political and cultural elites. Like Trump’s growing band of supporters, Western Europeans are increasingly embracing populists.

Whether these leaders come from the Right or the Left, they all make a similar pledge to restore their nations to a previous glory.

These promises are based as well on a common rejection of the European Union. Like their voters, populist European politicians believe that the EU is a bureaucratic monstrosity that has pulverized and seeks to blot out their national characters while it seizes their national sovereignty.

Due to this growing popular opposition to the EU, establishment leaders throughout Western Europe find themselves fighting for their political survival. Whether their desire to exit the EU owes to its open borders policies in the face of massive Muslim immigration or to the euro debt crisis, with each passing month, the very concept of a unified Europe loses its appeal for more and more Europeans.

On June 23, this growing disenchantment is liable to bring about the beginning of the EU’s breakup. That day, British voters will determine whether or not the United Kingdom will remain in the EU.

Popular London Mayor and Conservative MP Boris Johnson is now leading the campaign calling for Britain to leave the EU against the will of Prime Minister David Cameron and the Conservative party establishment.

In recent days, several commentators have claimed that Johnson is Britain’s Donald Trump.

Like Trump, Johnson is able to tap into deep-seated public dissatisfaction with the political and cultural elites and serve as a voice for the disaffected.

If Johnson is able to convince a majority of British voters to support an exit from the EU, then several other EU member states are likely to follow in Britain’s wake.

The exit of states from the EU will cause a political and economic upheaval in Europe with repercussions far beyond its borders. Just as a Trump presidency will usher in an era of high turbulence and uncertainty in US economic and foreign policies, so a post-breakup EU and Western Europe will replace Brussels’ consistent policies with policies that are more varied, and unstable.

For Israel, instability is not necessarily a bad thing. For the past several years, we have consistently suffered under the stable, unswerving anti-Israel policies of both the EU and the Obama administration.

Our inability to influence these policies was brought home last week with the government’s announcement that it is renewing Israel’s diplomatic dialogue with the EU.

Following the EU’s announcement in November that it was implementing its bigoted, arguably unlawful labeling policy against Israeli goods produced beyond the 1949 armistice lines, the government announced that Israel was suspending its diplomatic dialogue with the EU. The government hoped that by forcing Europe to pay a diplomatic price for its hostility, Brussels would back down.

But as it turned out, the ban made no impact on the EU, whose only clear, consistent foreign policy is to oppose Israel. And so, last week, the government cried uncle and announced that it is reinstituting its diplomatic dialogue with the EU.

A senior official explained that Israel chose to end the dispute because it wished to avoid having the labeling policy used as an issue in the debate about the future of the EU. EU champions made it clear to Israeli officials that if the labeling issue wasn’t swept under the rug, then Israel would be liable to be blamed if EU member states opt to exit the union.

Clearly the government is right to seek to avoid having Israel used as an issue in the debates on the future of the EU. But then again, it is also clear that Israel’s foes – led by the likes of the Belgians – don’t need an excuse to attack us.

On the other hand, by backing down, Israel signaled to its European opponents that they can escalate their war against us with impunity.

Moreover, despite the threats of EU officials, it is fairly ridiculous to think that they future of the EU has anything to do with how Israel responds to its political war against us. The Europeans who wish to exit the EU, like those who wish to remain, feel the way they do because of issues that have little to do with Israel.

Beyond the narrow question of how to respond to the labeling assault, from Israel’s perspective, the rise of Trump like the rise of Johnson and the anti-EU forces in Europe indicates that in the coming years, both the US and Europe are likely to move in one of two directions – and Israel has to be prepared for both eventualities.

If the next US president is a Democrat, and if the EU remains intact, then Israel can expect for its relations with the US and the EU to remain in crisis mode for the foreseeable future.

If Trump is elected president and if Britain leads the charge of nations out of the EU, then Israel can expect its relations with both the US and Europe to be marked by turbulence and uncertainty that can lead in a positive direction or a negative direction, or even to both directions at the same time.

Just as Trump has stated both that he will support Israel and be neutral toward Israel, so we can expect for Trump to stand by Israel one day and to rebuke it angrily, even brutally, the next day.

So, too, under Trump, the US may send forces to confront Iran one day, only to announce that Trump is embarking on negotiations to get a sweetheart deal with the ayatollahs the next.

Or perhaps all of these things will happen simultaneously.

As for Europe, whereas the EU stalwarts will likely ratchet up their hostility toward Israel, and we may even see the likes of Sweden or Belgium cut off relations with us, states that leave the EU may be willing to vastly improve their bilateral relations with Israel diplomatically, economically and militarily.

Moreover, if the EU begins to break up, it is likely that the European economy will contract.

As Israel’s largest trading partner, a European recession will hurt Israel.

Whether Trump rises or falls, is defeated by a Republican rival or by a Democratic opponent, and whether or not the EU breaks apart or remains intact, Israel’s leaders need to prepare for the plausible scenarios of either prolonged crises in relations with the US, Europe or both, or turbulent relations that are unpredictable and subject to constant change with one or both of them.

Under these circumstances, the first conclusion that needs to be drawn is that now is not the time to expand our military dependence on the US. Consequently, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon should not conclude an agreement for expanded US security assistance to Israel for the next decade.

Beyond that, Israel needs to expand on the steps that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold are already taking to expand Israel’s network of alliances to Africa and Asia. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit this week marked just the latest achievement of this vital project. Israel’s diplomatic opening to Asia and Africa needs to be matched by similar military and economic openings and expansions of ties.

In the final analysis, Trump’s rise in America and the rise of the populists in Europe is yet another indication of the West’s growing identity crisis fueled by its economic, social, military and cultural weakness. Israel needs to read the writing on the wall and act appropriately lest we become a casualty of that identity crisis.

Voir encore:

Trump, Sanders and the American Rebellion
As institutions lose respect, voters think: Let’s take a chance.
Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

Feb. 11, 2016
What is happening in American politics?

We’re in the midst of a rebellion. The bottom and middle are pushing against the top. It’s a throwing off of old claims and it’s been going on for a while, but we’re seeing it more sharply after New Hampshire. This is not politics as usual, which by its nature is full of surprise. There’s something deep, suggestive, even epochal about what’s happening now.

I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. Gloria Steinem thought she owned feminism, thought she was feminism. She doesn’t and isn’t. The Clintons thought they owned the party—they don’t. Hedge-funders thought they owned the GOP. Too bad they forgot to buy the base!

All this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions. We feel less respect for almost all of them—the church, the professions, the presidency, the Supreme Court. The only formal national institution that continues to score high in terms of public respect (72% in the most recent Gallup poll) is the military.

A few years ago I gave a lecture to a class at West Point, the text of which was: You are entering the only U.S. institution left standing. Your prime responsibility throughout your careers will be to keep it respected. I then told them about the Dreyfus case. They had not heard of it. I explained how that scandal rocked public faith in a previously exalted institution, the French army, doing it and France lasting damage. And so your personal integrity is of the utmost importance, I said, as day by day that integrity creates the integrity of the military. The cadets actually listened to that part.

I mention this to say we are in a precarious position in the U.S. with so many of our institutions going down. Many of those pushing against the system have no idea how precarious it is or what they will be destroying. Those defending it don’t know how precarious its position is or even what they’re defending, or why. But people lose respect for a reason.

To New Hampshire: The rejection of the establishment’s preferred candidates in both major parties is a big moment. It is also understandable, the result of 15 years of failed presidencies. It is a gesture of rebuke toward the political class—move aside.

It’s said this is the year of anger but there’s a kind of grim practicality to Trump and Sanders supporters. They’re thinking: Let’s take a chance. Washington is incapable of reform or progress; it’s time to reach outside. Let’s take a chance on an old Brooklyn socialist. Let’s take a chance on the casino developer who talks on TV.

In doing so, they accept a decline in traditional political standards. You don’t have to have a history of political effectiveness anymore; you don’t even have to have run for office! “You’re so weirdly outside the system, you may be what the system needs.”

They are pouring their hope into uncertain vessels, and surely know it. Bernie Sanders is an actual radical: He would fundamentally change an economic system that imperfectly but for two centuries made America the wealthiest country in the history of the world. In the young his support is understandable: They have never been taught anything good about capitalism and in their lifetimes have seen it do nothing—nothing—to protect its own reputation.

It is middle-aged Sanders supporters who are more interesting. They know what they’re turning their backs on. They know they’re throwing in the towel. My guess is they’re thinking something like: Don’t aim for great now, aim for safe. Terrorism, a world turning upside down, my kids won’t have it better—let’s just try to be safe, more communal.

A shrewdness in Sanders and Trump backers: They share one faith in Washington, and that is in its ability to wear anything down. They think it will moderate Bernie, take the edges off Trump. For thus reason they don’t see their choices as so radical.

As for Mr. Trump, it is not without meaning that his supporters have had eight months to measure the cost of satisfying their anger by voting for him. In New Hampshire, 35% of the electorate decided that for all his drama and uncertainty they would back him.

The mainstream journalistic mantra is that the GOP is succumbing to nativism, nationalism and the culture of celebrity. That allows them to avoid taking seriously Mr. Trump’s issues: illegal immigration and Washington’s 15-year, bipartisan refusal to stop it; political correctness and how it is strangling a free people; and trade policies that have left the American working class displaced, adrift and denigrated. Mr. Trump’s popularity is propelled by those issues and enabled by his celebrity.

In winning, Donald Trump threw over the GOP donor class. Political professionals don’t fully appreciate that, but normal Americans see it. They get that the guy with money just slapped silly the guys with money. Every hedge-fund billionaire donor should be blinking in pain. Some investment!

This leads me to Citizens United. Conservatives applauded that Supreme Court decision because it allowed Republicans to counter the effect of union money that goes to Democrats. But Citizens United gave the rich too much sway in the GOP. The party was better off when it relied on Main Street. It meant they had to talk to Main Street.

Mr. Trump is a clever man with his finger on the pulse, but his political future depends on two big questions. The first is: Is he at all a good man? Underneath the foul mouthed flamboyance is he in it for America? The second: Is he fully stable? He acts like a nut, calling people bimbos, flying off the handle with grievances. Is he mature, reliable? Is he at all a steady hand?

Political professionals think these are side questions. “Let’s accuse him of not being conservative!” But they are the issue. Because America doesn’t deliberately elect people it thinks base, not to mention crazy.

Anyway, we are in some kind of moment. Congratulations to the establishments of both parties for getting us here. They are the authors of the rebellion; they are a prime thing being rebelled against.

Connected to that, something I’ve noticed. In Washington there used to be a widespread cliché: “God protects drunks, children and the United States of America.” I’m in Washington a lot, and I’ve noticed no one says that anymore. They stopped 10 or 15 years ago. I wonder what that means.

2016 AND BEYOND
The Age of Trump
Eliot A. Cohen
February 26, 2016

At stake is something far more precious than the future of the Republican Party.

How on earth did this happen?  Some, like Robert Kagan, think it is solely the result of a prolonged self-poisoning of the Republican Party. A number of shrewd writers—David Frum, Tucker Carlson, Ben Domenech, Charles Murray, and Joel Kotkin being among the best—have probed deeper. Not surprisingly, they are all some flavor of conservative. On the liberal (or, as they say now, progressive) end of the spectrum the reaction has been chiefly one of smugness (“well, that’s what the Republicans are, we knew it all along”), schadenfreude (“pass the popcorn”), and chicken-counting (“now we can get a head start on Hillary’s first Inaugural”). Their insouciance will be stripped away if Trump becomes the nominee and turns his cunning, ferocity, and charm on an inept, boring politician trailing scandals as old as dubious investments with a 1,000 percent return and as fresh as a homebrew email server. He might lose. He might, however, very well tear her to pieces. Clearly, he relishes the prospect, because he despises the politicians he has bought over the years.

The conservative analysts offer a number of arguments—a shifting class structure, liberal overreach in social policy, existential anxiety about the advent of a robot-driven economy, the stagnation since the Great Recession, and more. They note (as most liberal commentators have yet to do) Trump’s formidable political skills, including a visceral instinct for detecting and exploiting vulnerability that has been the hallmark of many an authoritarian ruler. These insights are all to the point, but they do not capture one key element. Moral rot.

Politicians have, since ancient Greece, lied, pandered, and whored. They have taken bribes, connived, and perjured themselves. But in recent times—in the United States, at any rate—there has never been any politician quite as openly debased and debauched as Donald Trump. Truman and Nixon could be vulgar, but they kept the cuss words for private use. Presidents have chewed out journalists, but which of them would have suggested that an elegant and intelligent woman asking a reasonable question was dripping menstrual blood? LBJ, Kennedy, and Clinton could all treat women as commodities to be used for their pleasure, but none went on the radio with the likes of Howard Stern to discuss the women they had bedded and the finer points of their anatomies. All politicians like the sound of their own names, but Roosevelt named the greatest dam in the United States after his defeated predecessor, Herbert Hoover. Can one doubt what Trump would have christened it?

That otherwise sober people do not find Trump’s insults and insane demands outrageous (Mexico will have to pay for a wall! Japan will have to pay for protection!) says something about a larger moral and cultural collapse. His language is the language of the comments sections of once-great newspapers. Their editors know that the online versions of their publications attract the vicious, the bigoted, and the foulmouthed. But they keep those comments sections going in the hope of getting eyeballs on the page.

Winston Churchill recalls in his memoir how as a young man he came to terms with hypocrisy, discovering the “enormous and unquestionably helpful part that humbug plays in the social life of a great people.” Inconsistency between public virtue and private vice is not altogether a bad thing. No matter how nasty the realities are, maintaining respectable appearances, minding the civilities, and adhering to the conventions is part of what keeps civilization going.

The current problem goes beyond excruciatingly bad manners. What we increasingly lack, and have lacked for some time, is a sense of the moral underpinning of republican (small r) government. Manners and morals maintain a free state as much as laws do, as Tocqueville observed long ago, and when a certain culture of virtue dies, so too does something of what makes democracy work. Old-fashioned words like integrity, selflessness, frugality, gravitas, and modesty rarely rate a mention in modern descriptions of the good life—is it surprising that they don’t come up in politics, either?

William James, a pacifist who understood this point, argued in “The Moral Equivalent War” that “intrepidity, contempt of softness, surrender of private interest, obedience to command must still remain the rock upon which states are built—unless, indeed, we wish for dangerous reactions against commonwealths fit only for contempt.” Just so. Trump might have become a less upsetting figure if he had not wriggled through the clutches of the draft in the 1960s.

Trump’s rise is only one among many signs that something has gone profoundly amiss in our popular culture.It is related to the hysteria that has swept through many campuses, as students call for the suppression of various forms of free speech and the provision of “safe spaces” where they will not be challenged by ideas with which they disagree. The rise of Trump and the fall of free speech in academia are equal signs that we are losing the intellectual sturdiness and honesty without which a republic cannot thrive.

There are other traces of rot. They can be seen in the excuses that political leaders and experts have begun to make as they cozy up to Trump. Like French bureaucrats in the age of Vichy, or Italian aristocrats in the age of Mussolini, they are already saying things like: “I can make it less bad,” “He’s different in private,” “He has his good points,” “He is evolving,” and “Someone has to do the work of government.” Of course, some politicians—Chris Christie, that would be you—simply skip the pretense and indulge in spite or opportunism as the mood takes them.

This is not the first age in which politicians have taken morally disgraceful positions, even by the standards of their time. In the 1950s and 1960s there were flagrant bigots in Congress. But many of them were in other ways public spirited­—think Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, for example, who presided with dignity over the Senate Armed Services Committee for nearly two decades. Lyndon Johnson may not have opposed the evils of his time forthrightly, but he used the full extent of his wiliness to break through the institutionalized discrimination of the South. The villainy of today takes softer forms, but it is pervasive—politicians swallow their principles (such as they are) and endorse a candidate they despise, turn on a judge they once praised, denounce the opposition for behavior identical to their own, or press their branch’s prerogatives and rules to the Constitutional limit, and beyond.

The rot is cultural. It is no coincidence that Trump was the star of a “reality” show. He is the beneficiary of an amoral celebrity culture devoid of all content save an omnipresent lubriciousness. He is a kind of male Kim Kardashian, and about as politically serious. In the context of culture, if not (yet) politics, he is unremarkable; the daily entertainments of today are both tawdry and self-consciously, corrosively ironic. Ours is an age when young people have become used to getting news, of a sort, from Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, when an earlier generation watched Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley. It is the difference between giggling with young, sneering hipsters and listening to serious adults. Go to YouTube and look at old episodes of Profiles in Courage, if you can find them—a wildly successful television series based on the book nominally authored by John F. Kennedy, which celebrated an individual’s, often a politician’s, courage in standing alone against a crowd, even a crowd with whose politics the audience agreed. The show of comparable popularity today is House of Cards. Bill Clinton has said that he loves it.

American culture is, in short, nastier, more nihilistic, and far less inhibited than ever before. It breeds alternating bouts of cynicism and hysteria, and now it has given us Trump.

The Republican Party as we know it may die of Trump. If it does, it will have succumbed in part because many of its leaders chose not to fight for the Party of Lincoln, which is a set of ideas about how to govern a country, rather than an organization clawing for political and personal advantage. What is at stake, however, is something much more precious than even a great political party. To an extent unimaginable for a very long time, the moral keel of free government is showing cracks. It is not easy to discern how we shall mend them.

Voir aussi:

Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster. Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party.
Robert Kagan
The Washington Post
February 25
Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing columnist for The Post.

When the plague descended on Thebes, Oedipus sent his brother-in-law to the Delphic oracle to discover the cause. Little did he realize that the crime for which Thebes was being punished was his own. Today’s Republican Party is our Oedipus. A plague has descended on the party in the form of the most successful demagogue-charlatan in the history of U.S. politics. The party searches desperately for the cause and the remedy without realizing that, like Oedipus, it is the party itself that brought on this plague. The party’s own political crimes are being punished in a bit of cosmic justice fit for a Greek tragedy.

Let’s be clear: Trump is no fluke. Nor is he hijacking the Republican Party or the conservative movement, if there is such a thing. He is, rather, the party’s creation, its Frankenstein monster, brought to life by the party, fed by the party and now made strong enough to destroy its maker. Was it not the party’s wild obstructionism — the repeated threats to shut down the government over policy and legislative disagreements; the persistent call for nullification of Supreme Court decisions; the insistence that compromise was betrayal; the internal coups against party leaders who refused to join the general demolition — that taught Republican voters that government, institutions, political traditions, party leadership and even parties themselves were things to be overthrown, evaded, ignored, insulted, laughed at? Was it not Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), among many others, who set this tone and thereby cleared the way for someone even more irreverent, so that now, in a most unenjoyable irony, Cruz, along with the rest of the party, must fall to the purer version of himself, a less ideologically encumbered anarcho-revolutionary? This would not be the first revolution that devoured itself.

Then there was the party’s accommodation to and exploitation of the bigotry in its ranks. No, the majority of Republicans are not bigots. But they have certainly been enablers. Who began the attack on immigrants — legal and illegal — long before Trump arrived on the scene and made it his premier issue? Who was it who frightened Mitt Romney into selling his soul in 2012, talking of “self-deportation” to get himself right with the party’s anti-immigrant forces? Who was it who opposed any plausible means of dealing with the genuine problem of illegal immigration, forcing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to cower, abandon his principles — and his own immigration legislation — lest he be driven from the presidential race before it had even begun? It was not Trump. It was not even party yahoos. It was Republican Party pundits and intellectuals, trying to harness populist passions and perhaps deal a blow to any legislation for which President Obama might possibly claim even partial credit. What did Trump do but pick up where they left off, tapping the well-primed gusher of popular anger, xenophobia and, yes, bigotry that the party had already unleashed?

Then there was the Obama hatred, a racially tinged derangement syndrome that made any charge plausible and any opposition justified. Has the president done a poor job in many respects? Have his foreign policies, in particular, contributed to the fraying of the liberal world order that the United States created after World War II? Yes, and for these failures he has deserved criticism and principled opposition. But Republican and conservative criticism has taken an unusually dark and paranoid form. Instead of recommending plausible alternative strategies for the crisis in the Middle East, many Republicans have fallen back on a mindless Islamophobia, with suspicious intimations about the president’s personal allegiances.

Thus Obama is not only wrong but also anti-American, un-American, non-American, and his policies — though barely distinguishable from those of previous liberal Democrats such as Michael Dukakis or Mario Cuomo — are somehow representative of something subversive. How surprising was it that a man who began his recent political career by questioning Obama’s eligibility for office could leap to the front of the pack, willing and able to communicate with his followers by means of the dog-whistle disdain for “political correctness”?

We are supposed to believe that Trump’s legion of “angry” people are angry about wage stagnation. No, they are angry about all the things Republicans have told them to be angry about these past 7½ years, and it has been Trump’s good fortune to be the guy to sweep them up and become their standard-bearer. He is the Napoleon who has harvested the fruit of the Revolution.

There has been much second-guessing lately. Why didn’t party leaders stand up and try to stop Trump earlier, while there was still time? But how could they have? Trump was feeding off forces in the party they had helped nurture and that they hoped to ride into power. Some of those Republican leaders and pundits now calling for a counterrevolution against Trump were not so long ago welcoming his contribution to the debate. The politicians running against him and now facing oblivion were loath to attack him before because they feared alienating his supporters. Instead, they attacked one another, clawing at each other’s faces as they one by one slipped over the cliff. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got his last deadly lick in just before he plummeted — at Trump? No, at Rubio. Jeb Bush spent millions upon millions in his hopeless race, but against whom? Not Trump.

So what to do now? The Republicans’ creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.

Voir de plus:

What If Trump Doesn’t Have Billions?
Jim Geraghty
National Review
February 25, 2016

There’s a good chance we’ll never see his tax returns. Why would Mitt Romney go on national television and declare, “I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes. Either he’s not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay”? Since when does buttoned-down, white-bread Mitt Romney make audacious, provocative accusations?

Romney’s accusation might be a safe bet — if not to be verified, then to never be refuted. Just a few years ago, Trump refused to release un-redacted tax returns, even when it could help him win a $5 billion libel lawsuit against a New York Times reporter and author. If Trump was unwilling to release his returns in that circumstance, how likely is it that Trump will release them before Election Day?

Trump’s wealth is a key part of his public image, his status in the eyes of his fans, and his self-image. On July 15, Trump issued a statement declaring, “As of this date, Mr. Trump’s net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS.” (Capital letters in original.)

In October, Forbes magazine offered its own assessment of the mogul’s wealth, concluding, “After interviewing more than 80 sources and devoting unprecedented resources to valuing a single fortune, we’re going with a figure less than half that — $4.5 billion, albeit still the highest figure we’ve ever had for him.” They pointed out that in 2014, Trump’s organization provided documentation for cash and cash equivalents of $307 million. This year his team claimed to have $793 million in cash, but were unwilling to provide documentation.

Listing all the net-worth figures Trump has claimed over the years, Gawker compared them with the significantly smaller sums indicated by available financial information.

But the most glaring evidence supporting Romney’s insinuation comes from Trump’s 2007 libel lawsuit against New York Times reporter Tim O’Brien. In his book TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald, O’Brien wrote: Three people with direct knowledge of Donald’s finances, people who had worked closely with him for years, told me that they thought his net worth was somewhere between $150 million and $250 million. By anyone’s standards this still qualified Donald as comfortably wealthy, but none of these people thought he was remotely close to being a billionaire.

Trump contended that passage was a lie and damaged his reputation. Trump fought, lost in court, appealed, and lost again. If Trump’s fortune is multiple billions as he contends, one or two tax returns would have demonstrated the three sources were wildly off-base.

In a recent interview with National Review’s Ian Tuttle, O’Brien said, “The case dragged on for as long as it did because he wouldn’t comply with discovery requests. He wouldn’t turn over the tax returns, then the tax returns came in almost so completely redacted as to be useless.”

The New Jersey Superior Court in its decision offered a blistering rebuke to Trump, contending that there was no good reason to conclude that O’Brien’s sources were being dishonest:

O’Brien has certified that he re-interviewed his three confidential sources prior to publishing their net worth estimates, and he has produced notes of his meetings with them both in 2004 and in 2005. The notes are significant, in that they provide remarkably similar estimates of Trump’s net worth, thereby suggesting the accuracy of the information conveyed. Further, the accounts of the sources contain significant amounts of additional information that O’Brien was able to verify independently.

Even worse, the court concluded that Trump was an untrustworthy source for estimates of his own net worth: “It is indisputable that Trump’s estimates of his own worth changed substantially over time and thus failed to provide a reliable measure against which the accuracy of the information offered by the three confidential sources could be gauged.”

The three-judge panel essentially called the mogul a liar: “The materials that Trump claims to have provided to O’Brien were incomplete and unaudited, and did not contain accurate indications of Trump’s ownership interests in properties, his liabilities, and his revenues, present or future.”

The court even cited a 2000 Fortune article detailing past Trump financial exaggerations: That difficulty is compounded by Trump’s astonishing ability to prevaricate. No one’s saying Trump ought to be held to the same standards of truthfulness as everyone else; he is, after all, Donald Trump. But when Trump says he owns 10% of the Plaza hotel, understand that what he actually means is that he has the right to 10% of the profit if it’s ever sold. When he says he’s building a “90-story building” next to the U.N., he means a 72-story building that has extra-high ceilings. And when he says his casino company is the “largest employer in the state of New Jersey,” he actually means to say it is the eighth-largest. One of Trump’s central arguments was that any lower figure failed to correctly account for the financial value of the Trump “brand.” He contended under oath, “These statements . . . never included the value of the brand. And there are those who say the brand is very, very valuable.” The court rejected this contention: “As Trump’s accountants acknowledge in the 2004 Statement of Financial Condition, under generally accepted accounting principles, reputation is not considered a part of a person’s net worth.” More Donald Trump Trump’s Milquetoast Distancing from White Supremacists How to Stop Clinton and Trump Me ’n’ Chris O’Brien’s lawyers cited documents from Deutsche Bank in 2005; the bank was underwriting a $640 million construction loan it made to Trump’s Chicago condo and hotel project. Deutsche Bank estimated Trump’s net worth was $788 million. That year Trump told the New York Times he was worth $5 billion to $6 million. During the libel suit, Trump had 5 billion reasons to just show his full tax returns and prove the author’s estimate was wildly off base. But he did not. If he did not release un-redacted returns then, he isn’t likely to release un-redacted returns now. Romney’s accusation will remain unanswered and unrefuted . . . probably forever.

— Jim Geraghty is the senior political correspondent of National Review.

Voir de même:

Obama’s Legacy: Trump and Bernie
How could have Obama’s policies not have produced Trump and Sanders?
Daniel Henninger
The Wall Street Journal
Jan. 13, 2016

There is Barack Obama’s State of the Union and there is the state of the union anyone else can see.

The new year began with an underground nuclear-bomb test in North Korea, the worst first week for the Dow since 1897, and Iran forcing 10 U.S. sailors to their knees.

But the man delivering the State of the Union is “optimistic” because “unconditional love” will win.

Let’s get just one SotU venting out of the way before considering what Mr. Obama has wrought for his country and its politics as he turns into his final year.

It is beyond any conceivable pale that Mr. Obama would fail at least to note the 14 Americans gunned down in San Bernardino by committed Islamic terrorists, even as he stood there lecturing the country, at least three times, about not turning against others’ religion. In the past, he said, we have “turned toward God.” Ugh.

In fact, seven years of the Obama presidency have left the United States with a historically weak economy and a degraded national politics. The causal legacy of those two realities are— Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Mr. Obama said in his speech that the economy is producing jobs, which is true, and that it is “peddling fiction” to say the U.S. economy “is in decline.” Really?

The U.S. economy’s average annual growth rate since World War II has been about 3%. In Mr. Obama’s seven years it has been about 2%. Some 65% of people think the U.S. is on the wrong track. You can discover a lot about the wrong track in that missing 1% of economic growth, Mr. Obama’s “new normal.”

The president is correct that the economy is creating jobs, but an alternative view would be that he has proven it is not possible to kill an economy with a GDP of $16 trillion.

Here’s what the new normal looks like. The gold standard of new job creation is business starts. Indeed, Mr. Obama said his new online tools “give an entrepreneur everything he or she needs to start a business in a single day.” Perhaps not everything.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of business establishments less than one year old rose steadily from 550,000 in 1997, peaked at about 650,000 in 2006, and then has gone straight down. The Kauffman Foundation’s 2015 entrepreneurship report puts startups in 2012 at just over 400,000.

The Brookings Institution in a 2014 report noted that since 2008 businesses closing annually have exceeded startups for the first time. Their yearly analysis dates to 1978.

That relative decline has a price. More businesses being born than dying is where real jobs come from, not the government tooth fairy. This data is a portrait of an economy losing its innate dynamism. That’s the real cause of “anger” in the U.S. electorate.

We’re supposed to believe that long-term “structural” factors are causing these shifts. Maybe. And if you want to wail about income disparity, go ahead. But if so, it is the president’s job to get impediments out of the way. Instead, this presidency has created them.

For example, Kauffman’s report also notes that the rate of entrepreneurship among people age 20-34—who hire employees like themselves, new breadwinners—began dropping fast in 2011. The president said Tuesday that ObamaCare would help new-business formation. It is doing the opposite. Millennials, assumed to be the Obama base, have entered adulthood to endure a decade of slow growth.

The leaders of Communist China lie awake at night worrying about creating 10 million new jobs every year to prevent a revolution. The elected leader of the U.S. lies awake every night thinking about jobs making . . . windmills and solar panels.

And we’ve got a revolution.

People wonder what accounts for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Maybe the better question is how the Obama years could not have produced a Trump and Sanders.

Both the Republican and, to a lesser extent, Democratic parties have elements now who want to pull down the temple. But for all the politicized agitation, both these movements, in power, would produce stasis—no change at all.

Donald Trump would preside over a divided government or, as he has promised and un-promised, a trade war with China. Hillary or Bernie will enlarge the Obama economic regime. Either outcome guarantees four more years of at best 2% economic growth. That means more of the above. That means 18-year-olds voting for the first time this year will face historically weak job opportunities through 2020 at least.

Under any of these three, an Americanized European social-welfare state will evolve because Washington—and this will include many “conservatives”—will answer still-rising popular anger with new income redistributions.

And for years afterward, Barack Obama will stroll off the 18th green, smiling. Mission, finally, accomplished.

Voir également:

Trump Voters Are Angry, but Why?
Oren Cass
The National Review
February 23, 2016
Some explanations for Donald Trump’s success emphasize his focus on supposedly working-class issues – namely, immigration and trade – after a refusal by the GOP “establishment” to address them. When the Wall Street Journal condemns his “crude assessment of the economic relationship with China” and sneers that his “pander[ing] to his party’s nativist wing… may have endeared him to one or two radio talk show hosts” but will prove an electoral disaster, the editors only underscore the base-to-establishment gap.
Except I just did that thing where I tell you the quote is about one person and it is really about someone else. Those criticisms were leveled by the Wall Street Journal, but in 2012, at Mitt Romney.
From early in the primaries, Romney took the unheard-of stance that China cheated on trade and should be aggressively confronted. He even called for retaliatory tariffs against continued currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.
Similarly, on immigration, Romney was far to the right by the standards of either the 2012 or 2016 GOP fields. While his use of the phrase “self-deportation” was certainly inartful, the position was similar to the one Ted Cruz has since staked out. (Though Cruz may have shifted bizarrely rightward in the last 24 hours.) He stood by it right through the general-election debates with President Obama. The post-2012 effort by the GOP to reposition itself on immigration was not an extension of the Romney approach, but rather a reaction.
Trump’s unique resonance isn’t about some other policy issue either – for instance, Trump’s tax plan is far friendlier to the wealthiest households than was Romney’s. It can’t be about business background or governing experience. It can’t be about previously held, more liberal policy positions. And long before Trump rolled out “Make America Great Again,” Romney was traveling the country in a bus emblazoned with “Believe in America.” Indeed, as one columnist noted at the time, “Romney might have been tempted to use this slogan: ‘Let’s make America great again.’ But that was already used by Ronald Reagan in 1980.”
The real difference is that Romney held himself each day to the highest standards of decency and felt keenly the burdens of leadership, while Trump is an entertainer committed to delivering whatever irrational blather of insults, threats, and lies will earn the most retweets. Sometimes the blather may take the form of a “policy” proposal like mass deportation or a ban on Muslims, but that is still part of the show – not a suggestion for how to run the country.
The Trump phenomenon does not deserve elevation to the level of some reasonable response, needed movement, or well-earned comeuppance. It is best regarded as some combination of nihilistic joke and authoritarian fantasy. Yes he has “tapped into anger,” but let’s stop pretending it is a rational anger at problems ignored. Look at what is actually different about Trump, and ask what makes those things so popular.
The sad irony is this: the intelligentsia’s confidence that Trump would fade was in fact a strong sign of their respect for the judgment of the Republican base. If you are looking for the people who truly disdained those voters, find the pundits who predicted from the beginning that this guy might actually win. Yet by flocking to him now, Trump voters are ensuring they will be a punchline –sometimes feared, but never respected – for years to come.

Voir enfin:

Des soutiens de Donald Trump en France séduits par «un véritable discours de droite»
Yohan Blavignat
Le Figaro
2016/02/23

INTERVIEW – Le porte-parole du comité de soutien de Donald Trump en France, Vivien Hoch, témoigne au Figaro les raisons pour lesquelles il soutient le candidat républicain. Déçu de la vie politique française, il espère que les élections américaines changeront la droite française.

Les primaires américaines, prélude à l’élection présidentielle qui se déroulera le 8 novembre prochain outre-Atlantique, battent leur plein. Si, chez les démocrates, la concurrence est féroce entre les deux candidats Hillary Clinton et Bernie Sanders, du côté des républicains, Donald Trump caracole largement en tête. Le milliardaire a remporté trois consultations. Il est également en tête des intentions de vote dans la plupart des onze États qui participeront – côté républicain – au Super Tuesday, le 1er mars.

Si sa candidature semblait anecdotique il y a encore quelques mois, Donald Trump a réussi à inverser la tendance de manière spectaculaire, au point d’apparaître comme le successeur potentiel de Barack Obama à la Maison-Blanche. Ses propos controversés envers les migrants, les homosexuels ou encore ses prises de position contre l’avortement ont séduit les électeurs américains, mais également certains hommes politiques et citoyens français. Un comité de soutien a ainsi été fondé fin septembre 2015, lorsque la candidature de Trump n’en était qu’à ses balbutiements, par une dizaine de personnes, dont Vivien Hoch, qui est aussi le porte-parole du mouvement. Doctorant en philosophie, vice-président de l’association Chrétienté-Solidarité, directeur de la communication de l’Agrif (Alliance Générale contre le Racisme et pour le respect de l’Identité Française et chrétienne), «passionné de politique», il explique les raisons pour lesquelles ils soutiennent le candidat républicain, et livre une vision désenchantée de la politique française.

LE FIGARO – La candidature de Donald Trump aux États-Unis prend de plus en plus d’ampleur depuis plusieurs semaines. Ressentez-vous cette dynamique en France, où le candidat républicain est très critiqué?

Vivien Hoch. – Lorsque nous avons fondé ce comité, nous ne nous attendions pas à une telle mobilisation populaire autour de Donald Trump aux États-Unis. Tout a été très vite. Si nous étions une petite dizaine de membres au départ, nous comptons aujourd’hui une centaine de sympathisants qui nous écrivent régulièrement, et qui sont impliqués dans sa campagne. Parmi eux figurent notamment des Américains membres du parti républicain venus vivre en France. D’autres sont simplement des citoyens français qui s’intéressent à la politique et voient dans la candidature de Donald Trump une chance pour les États-Unis, mais aussi pour la France. Ils voient au-delà du Trump bashing qui a lieu dans les médias français. Je n’ai d’ailleurs jamais vu un candidat tant décrédibilisé. Il y a une réelle incompréhension, pourtant un candidat comme Marc Rubio n’est pas non plus un tendre.

Pourquoi soutenir un candidat très clivant comme Donald Trump qui défend une politique très dure vis-à-vis des migrants, de l’avortement ou des armes à feu?

Si l’on regarde les élections américaines avec un regard français – et c’est ce que nous faisons tous malgré nous -, il représente le contrepoint parfait de ce que représentent les hommes politiques français. Et c’est pour cela que nous le soutenons. Il est un ovni pour la France. Il affiche sans honte son argent et affiche clairement ses idées. Concrètement, il n’a pas peur de renverser la table si besoin, ni de déplaire. On l’aime pour ce qu’il est, ou on le rejette entièrement. En plus de ses propos assumés, il a une véritable prestance, un charisme. Pour tout cela, il représente un électrochoc pour la vie politique française. En soutenant Donald Trump, nous revendiquons avant tout notre envie d’avoir un homme politique de cette trempe en France.

Selon vous, il n’existe donc pas un Donald Trump français à l’heure actuelle?

À certains égards, il y a Jean-Marie Le Pen qui n’a pas peur de dire ce qu’il pense. Robert Ménard fait également la quasi-unanimité chez les soutiens de Donald Trump en ce qu’il représente un courant anti-système. Philippe de Villiers pourrait également s’en rapprocher.

Vous reconnaissez-vous dans un parti politique français?

Clairement, non. Nous ne soutenons pas Les Républicains, ni le Front national. Nous sommes avant tout des déçus de la politique telle qu’elle est pratiquée en France. On soutient Donald Trump pour changer cela. Mais la question n’est pas d’importer les États-Unis en France, il s’agit simplement de profiter de la montée de Donald Trump pour changer les choses chez nous. Les Français sont prêts à avoir un Trump à l’Élysée, j’en suis convaincu, mais il devra être assez solide pour ne pas renoncer à ses principes au nom d’une certaine bien pensance. Il ne doit pas avoir peur de mettre les pieds dans le plat.

Pensez-vous que s’il était élu président, l’arrivée de Donald Trump à la Maison-Blanche influerait sur la vie politique française?

Je le pense oui. Cela entraînerait un tremblement de terre chez nous. Les politiques pourraient enfin dire ce qu’ils pensent réellement et lâcher la bride. Actuellement, il y a une chappe de plomb morale au-dessus d’eux, notamment en raison du poids des médias, qui les empêche d’affirmer de réelles prises de position qui permettraient à la France d’avancer dans la bonne direction. Le plus important pour nous est qu’il ne devrait pas y avoir de sujets tabous en France, notamment en ce qui concerne l’avortement ou l’immigration.

N’avez-vous pas peur que s’il parvient à être élu président des États-Unis, Donald Trump ne puisse pas réaliser son programme, comme prédisent ceux qui le qualifient de «populiste» ou de «démagogue»?

Je ne peux pas savoir si Donald Trump réalisera son programme une fois arrivé à la Maison-Blanche. Je pense que s’il est élu, il y aura quand même des changements radicaux, notamment en matière de politique étrangère. Cela commencerait par un rapprochement avec la Russie de Vladimir Poutine, puis une véritable guerre contre l’État islamique. Quoiqu’il arrive je préfère voir un Donald Trump qui n’applique pas son programme à la Maison-Blanche, qu’une Hillary Clinton qui respecte ses engagements électoraux. Dans ce cas-là, c’en sera fini des États-Unis.

Voir également:

Votez Donald!

À islam radical, mesures radicales

Cyril Bennasar

Causeur

2 février 2016

En politique, j’ai pris l’habitude de me méfier de ceux qui rassurent l’opinion pour m’intéresser à ceux qui l’inquiètent. Souvent dans l’histoire de France, les visionnaires excentriques ont concentré les méfiances et les moqueries pendant que les gestionnaires à courte vue ramassaient les suffrages. On se souvient qu’en juin 1940, Pétain était plus acclamé que de Gaulle, qu’en 2002, Jacques Chirac mit le pays dans sa poche face à Jean-Marie Le Pen et, comme on n’apprend jamais rien, il se pourrait qu’en 2017, les mêmes trouilles et les mêmes paresses nous condamnent à perdre cinq longues années avec Alain Juppé. La tentation du centre est le recours des Français qui ne comprennent rien et qui ont peur de tout, de ceux qui préfèrent s’endormir avec Alain Duhamel plutôt que réfléchir avec Alain Finkielkraut.

Les Américains, qui ont de l’audace dans les gènes et le goût de l’aventure, placent aujourd’hui Donald Trump en tête dans les sondages pour l’investiture républicaine. Ça fait beaucoup rire au Petit Journal. C’est bon signe mais jusqu’à présent, ça ne suffisait pas à me convaincre que le type était taillé pour le job. Au début de sa campagne, je n’avais pas aimé toutes ses déclarations. Surtout celles qui généralisent. Même si je n’ai aucun mal à croire qu’un peuple venu du Sud sans qu’on l’ait invité soit surreprésenté dans les prisons pour des affaires de drogue, de crimes et de viols, on ne doit pas dire : « Les » Mexicains. Il faut dire : « Des » Mexicains.

Je n’avais pas aimé non plus ses propos à l’adresse d’Hillary Clinton, lui reprochant de n’avoir pas su satisfaire son mari. Il faut être ignorant pour avancer cela. Et grossier. Nous ne trompons pas nos femmes parce qu’elles ne réveillent plus nos désirs, mais parce que nous avons de l’audace dans les gènes et le goût de l’aventure.

Or l’ignorance et la grossièreté sont trop répandues pour faire sortir du lot un candidat à la candidature suprême, même pour celui qui ambitionnerait de ne devenir qu’un président normal. Quand on promet de « make América great again », on ne peut pas être so far away des grandes figures qui ont fait l’Amérique. Même sans états d’âme avec les Mexicains et sans retenue contre les Indiens, le cow-boy savait rester un gentleman. Jamais John Wayne n’aurait laissé une dame marcher dans la boue en descendant de la diligence. Évidemment, ni dans Alamo ni dans La Chevauchée fantastique, les femmes ne se présentent aux élections pour être shérif à la place du shérif. Mais ce n’est pas une raison pour perdre son sang-froid, et un futur président devrait savoir que l’héroïsme s’arrête là où l’égalité commence.

Le terroriste est souvent un ex-voisin modèle

Je n’avais pas aimé non plus sa critique des interventions militaires menées par ses prédécesseurs, en particulier les regrettés George Bush. Comme il est facile aujourd’hui de condamner ces idéalistes, qui ont surtout péché par excès d’occidentalo-morphisme, prêtant à ces populations des aspirations démocratiques, des soifs de liberté et des rêves de paix. Peut-être eût-il fallu ne remplir que la première partie des missions, en Afghanistan comme en Irak, en éliminant massivement tout ennemi avéré et, par précaution, supposé, et en renonçant à la seconde qui ambitionnait de faire des survivants des démocrates. Peut-être eût-il fallu entendre ce général russe qui, au xixe siècle disait déjà que « L’Afghanistan ne peut être conquis, et qu’il ne le mérite pas. » Mais qui donc avait prévu que, dans le monde arabe, les alternatives aux tyrannies se révéleraient bien pires que les régimes autoritaires abattus, et que les printemps libéreraient surtout les islamismes ? En tout cas, pas ceux qui aujourd’hui rivalisent de sévérité pour condamner les erreurs passées de leurs adversaires.

Voilà pourquoi j’étais réservé sur l’opportunité de donner le poste à Donald Trump car il ne suffit pas, pour faire un bon président, d’effaroucher les bien-pensants, même si c’est une condition incontournable, ou d’avoir raison après tout le monde. Et puis est venue cette idée, peut-être devenue promesse depuis la publication de cet article, de ne plus laisser entrer les musulmans sur le sol des États-Unis. Je sais bien qu’il ne faut pas dire « les », il faut dire « des », j’ai compris la leçon. Oui, mais alors lesquels ? Telle est la question que Donald rétorque à nos indignations. Avant que des musulmans balancent des avions dans des tours ou que d’autres flinguent des handicapés, les uns comme les autres étaient de paisibles citoyens, des voisins sans histoires, des étudiants appréciés, ou des travailleurs honnêtes, car on ne peut, au pays de la troisième récidive et de la peine de mort, devenir terroriste après avoir fait carrière dans le banditisme. Comment faire, donc, pour distinguer les terroristes musulmans parmi les musulmans ? Et que faire si la mission s’avère impossible ? C’est en posant ces questions, que devrait se poser tout responsable politique qui s’est penché sur le vrai sens des mots « responsable » et « politique », que Donald est remonté dans mon estime. C’est en opposant à la liberté de circulation le principe de précaution (surtout utilisé pour nous empêcher de vivre libres, et qui pourrait bien, en l’occurrence, nous empêcher de mourir jeunes), qu’il est devenu mon candidat.

Vers un maccarthysme antidjihad ?

La solution est radicale, entière, brutale, américaine et nous paraît folle, comme tout ce qui nous vient d’outre-Atlantique avec vingt ans d’avance, pour nous apparaître comme moderne, vingt ans après. Ainsi, les Américains ont fermé, au temps de la guerre froide, leur pays au communisme. On se souvient du maccarthysme et des questions risibles posées par les douaniers aux nouveaux arrivants, immigrés ou touristes : Appartenez-vous au crime organisé ? Êtes-vous membre du parti communiste ? Ils ont su, sous la réprobation du monde entier, éviter d’être contaminés par cette maladie du xxe siècle. Nous avons eu, en France et en Europe, une autre approche. Nous avons fait le pari que cette idéologie dangereuse et liberticide se dissoudrait dans la démocratie et dans l’économie de marché. Et nous avons gagné. Chez nous, il ne reste du communisme qu’un parti crépusculaire et folklorique, une curiosité européenne où se retrouvent des écrivains chics, idiots utiles du village souverainiste – utiles à qui, on se le demande ? On les lit avec bonheur quand ils ne parlent pas de politique.

Mais alors deux questions se posent : le monde libre aura-t-il raison de l’islamisme comme il a eu raison du communisme ? Pouvons-nous attendre vingt ans pour le savoir ?

Voir par ailleurs:

Al Qaeda Makes a Comeback
Ken Dilanian
NBC
Feb. 26, 201

Intelligence analysts paid close attention last month when al Qaeda’s master bombmaker, Ibrahim al Asiri — whose name tops U.S. kill lists — issued an audiotape from his hiding place.

The content was the usual anti-Saudi Arabian screed, sprinkled with threats against America — but the news was Asiri’s sudden willingness to join the terror group’s PR campaign. For years, the man who tried to take down planes with underwear and parcel bombs had laid low, as al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate tried to protect him from U.S. drone strikes.

In 2016, however, a resurgent al Qaeda is emerging from the shadows. While ISIS has been soaking up headlines, its older sibling has been launching attacks and grabbing territory too, and U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News they are increasingly concerned the older terror group is poised to build on its achievements.

« Al Qaeda affiliates are positioned to make gains in 2016, » James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, warned the House Intelligence Committee Thursday.

Because of those far-flung affiliates, al Qaeda « remains a serious threat to U.S. interests worldwide, » Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress recently.

FROM OCT. 19, 2015: Senior al Qaeda leader Sanafi al-Nasr killed in US airstrike1:19
After seizing a large segment of Iraq and Syria, beheading Western hostages on camera and slaughtering civilians in the heart of Paris, ISIS has eclipsed its extremist rival as the biggest brand in global jihad.

But U.S. officials tell NBC News that al Qaeda — though its core in Pakistan has been degraded by years of CIA drone strikes — is now experiencing renewed strength through its affiliates, led by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen and the Nusra Front in Syria. Clapper called the two groups al Qaeda’s « most capable » affiliates in his House testimony Thursday.

Both branches have expanded their territorial holdings over the last year amid civil wars. Russian air strikes against the Nusra Front, and CIA drone attacks on AQAP leaders, have set them back, but have not come close to destroying them.

Al Qaeda has not managed to attack a Western target recently, but it continues to inspire plots. There is no evidence December’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California was directed by al Qaeda, but Syed Rizwan Farook, who carried out the attack with his wife Tashfeen Malik, appears to have been radicalized by al Qaeda long before the rise of ISIS. He was a consumer of videos by al Qaeda’s Somalia affiliate and the AQAP preacher Anwar al Awlaki, court records show.

Al Qaeda attacks on hotels in Burkina Faso in January and Mali in November, which together killed dozens of people, appeared to affirm the threat posed by the terror group’s Saharan branch, al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, or AQIM.

Stewart added that intelligence officials are also « concerned al Qaeda could reestablish a significant presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, if regional counterterrorism pressure deceases. »

In Yemen, AQAP has benefitted from the power vacuum created by the Houthi rebels’ uprising, and the air war on the Houthis by Saudi Arabia.

AQAP last April seized the city of Mukalla, the capital of Hadramout province and a port city with a population of some 300,000. It looted a bank of more than $1 million in cash, U.S. officials said, and released 300 inmates from jail.

Since then, the group has expanded its territory in the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, its traditional strongholds.

« AQAP’s expansion is unchecked because there is no one on the ground to put any pressure on the organization, » noted Geoffrey Johnsen, a Yemen expert. « What is left of Yemen’s military is too busy fighting other enemies to engage AQAP, and the Saudis are focused on rolling back the Houthis. In the midst of Yemen’s civil war, AQAP is able to pursue more territory and to plot, plan, and launch attacks. »

The CIA is watching closely. Jalal Bala’idi, a prominent AQAP field commander, was killed in an agency drone strike in February.

AQAP’s seizures of territory have « allowed them to operate more openly, have access to a port, and have access to other kinds of infrastructure that has certainly benefitted them, » a U.S. intelligence official told NBC News. At the same time, he said, the U.S. has « managed to remove many significant figures from the battlefield and keep AQAP somewhat at bay. »

Al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate gets less public attention than others. Western media reporting sometimes refers to the Nusra front as a Syrian rebel group, without mentioning that it’s part of the global terrorism organization.

But Nusra is as well-organized and disciplined as any al Qaeda affiliate, U.S. intelligence officials say. Although it is now focused on defeating Assad, its battle tested fighters could pose a risk to the West in the years ahead.

« Jabhat al Nusra is a core component of the al Qaeda network and probably poses the most dangerous threat to the U.S. from al Qaeda in the coming years, » the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, said in a recent report. « Al Qaeda is pursuing phased, gradual, and sophisticated strategies that favor letting ISIS attract the attention — and attacks — of the West while it builds the human infrastructure to support and sustain major gains in the future and for the long term. »

U.S. air strikes have set back a group of al Qaeda operatives in Syria known as the Khorasan Group, which embedded with Nusra while plotting attacks against the West, intelligence officials say.

But Nusra has trained a core of elite fighters, the ISW says. Georgetown terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman says Nusra has achieved Osama bin Laden’s goal of rebranding al Qaeda and moving away from a name that had lost its luster.

The group’s leader, Abu Mohammad al Julani, is hardly a household name in the West, but he is respected by his adversaries in American intelligence. He is believed to have been detained by the U.S. military in Iraq and released in 2008.

Hoffman, who served as the CIA’s Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism, calls Nusra « even more dangerous and capable than ISIS. »

Al Qaeda is watching ISIS « take all the heat and absorb all the blows while al Qaeda quietly re-builds its military strength, » he said.

19 commentaires pour Primaires américaines: Attention, un accident industriel pourrait en cacher un autre (Rage against the PC machine: After 8 years of Dr. Obamastein, are Americans ready to pour their hopes into another totally uncertain vessel ?)

  1. jcdurbant dit :

    Y a le feu au lac et Cruz, Kasich et Carson voient pas que c’est déjà trop tard et qu’il faut qu’ils se désistent, pour le bien du parti et du pays, pour le plus éligible d’entre eux: Rubio ?

    The candidacy of Donald Trump is the open sewer of American conservatism. This Super Tuesday, polls show a plurality of GOP voters intend to dive right into it, like the boy in the “Slumdog Millionaire” toilet scene. And they’re not even holding their noses. In recent weeks, Mr. Trump has endorsed the Code Pink view of the Iraq War (Bush lied; people died). He has cited and embraced an aphorism of Benito Mussolini. (“It’s a very good quote,” Mr. Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd.) He has refused to release his “very beautiful” tax returns. And he has taken his time disavowing the endorsement of onetime Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke—offering, by way of a transparently dishonest excuse, that “I know nothing about David Duke.” Mr. Trump left the Reform Party in 2000 after Mr. Duke joined it. None of this seems to have made the slightest dent in Mr. Trump’s popularity. If anything it has enhanced it. In the species of political pornography in which Mr. Trump trafficks, the naughtier the better. The more respectable opinion is scandalized by whatever pops out of the Donald’s mouth, the more his supporters cheer him for sticking it to the snobs and the scolds. The more Mr. Trump traduces the old established lines of decency, the more he affirms his supporters’ most shameless ideological instincts. Those instincts have moved beyond the usual fare of a wall with Mexico, a trade war with China, Mr. Trump’s proposed Muslim Exclusion Act, or his scurrilous insinuations about the constitutionality of Ted Cruz’s or Marco Rubio’s presidential bids. What too many of Mr. Trump’s supporters want is an American strongman, a president who will make the proverbial trains run on time. This is a refrain I hear over and over again from Trump supporters, who want to bring a businessman’s efficiency to the federal government. If that means breaking with a few democratic niceties, so be it. (…) Mr. Trump exemplifies a new political wave sweeping the globe—leaders coming to power through democratic means while avowing illiberal ends. Hungary’s Viktor Orban is another case in point, as is Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A Trump presidency—neutral between dictatorships and democracies, opposed to free trade, skeptical of traditional U.S. defense alliances, hostile to immigration—would mark the collapse of the entire architecture of the U.S.-led post-World War II global order. We’d be back to the 1930s, this time with an America Firster firmly in charge. That’s the future Mr. Trump offers whether his supporters realize it or not. Bill Buckley and the other great shapers of modern conservatism—Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, Robert Bartley and Irving Kristol—articulated a conservatism that married economic dynamism to a prudent respect for tradition, patriotism and openness to the wider world. Trumpism is the opposite of this creed: moral gaucherie plus economic nationalism plus Know Nothingism. It is the return of the American Mercury, minus for now (but only for now) the all-but inevitable anti-Semitism. It would be terrible to think that the left was right about the right all these years. Nativist bigotries must not be allowed to become the animating spirit of the Republican Party. If Donald Trump becomes the candidate, he will not win the presidency, but he will help vindicate the left’s ugly indictment. It will be left to decent conservatives to pick up the pieces—and what’s left of the party.

    Bret Stephens

    J'aime

  2. jcdurbant dit :

    En tout cas, pendant ce temps sur le pont du Titanic, il y en a qui se frottent les mains !

    It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. It’s a circus full of bomb throwing. Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? … The money’s rolling in and this is fun. I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.

    Leslie Moonves (CBS CEO)

    J'aime

  3. jcdurbant dit :

    WHO’S FOOLING WHO ? (Contrary to what Gawker would have you believe, demagogue Trump is no facist fool)

    Donald Trump is a special case altogether. Superficially, he seems to have borrowed a number of fascist themes for his presidential campaign: xenophobia, racial prejudice, fear of national weakness and decline, aggressiveness in foreign policy, a readiness to suspend the rule of law to deal with supposed emergencies. His hectoring tone, mastery of crowds, and the skill with which he uses the latest communications technologies also are reminiscent of Mussolini and Hitler. And yet these qualities are at most derivative of fascist themes and styles; the underlying ideological substance is very different, with the entitlements of wealth playing a greater role than fascist regimes generally tolerated. Trump’s embrace of these themes and styles is most likely a matter of tactical expediency – a decision taken with little or no thought about their ugly history. Trump is evidently altogether insensitive to the echoes his words and oratorical style evoke, which should not be surprising, given his apparent insensitivity to the impact of every other insult that he hurls. It is too bad that we have so far been unable to furnish another label with the toxic power of fascism for these abhorrent people and movements. We will have to make do with more ordinary words: religious fanaticism for the Islamic State, reactionary anarchism for the Tea Party, and self-indulgent demagoguery on behalf of oligarchy for Donald Trump.

    Tom O. Paxton

    Last year, we set a trap for Trump. We came up with the idea for that Mussolini bot under the assumption that Trump would retweet just about anything, no matter how dubious or vile the source, as long as it sounded like praise for himself. (It helps that that a number of Mussolini’s quotes sound plausibly like lines from Trump’s myriad books.) The account, @ilduce2016, was created by Gawker senior writer Ashley Feinberg and Gawker Media Editorial Labs director Adam Pash. It has tweeted solely at Donald Trump, multiple times a day, since December 2015. Our Fascist bot was anything but subtle. It was, after all, directly named after Mussolini. The New York Times today swiftly recognized that it was a parody account. At the time of the account’s creation, Gawker Media Executive Editor John Cook expressed some concern that the joke behind the account was far too obvious, and wouldn’t trick anyone but a complete idiot. Today, Donald Trump proved him—and all of us—right.

    Gawker

    J'aime

  4. jcdurbant dit :

    AND OBAMA BEGAT TRUMP (Without Obama, there is no Trump, but his prescriptions are just as often wrong – America deserves better)

    President Obama truly doesn’t get enough credit for creating one of the most polarizing forces in American politics today. There would be no Donald Trump, dominating the political scene today if it were not for President Obama. I believe that voters tend to act in open-seat presidential elections to correct for the perceived deficiencies of the incumbent.

    In 1980, after four years of President Carter’s telling us to turn up the thermostat and wear a cardigan, while the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and the Iranians invaded the U.S. Embassy, the fed-up American people elected a cowboy to the White House who made it clear that the evil empire’s days were numbered.

    After eight years of President Reagan’s supply-side economics and broadsides against welfare queens, we got a kinder, gentler President H.W. Bush. After four years of international diplomacy without the “vision thing,” we got a loquacious Arkansas governor promising to invent a third way forward focused on the economy at home. After eight years of Clintonian empathy and skirt-chasing, we got a plain-spoken President George W. Bush, who promised to restore integrity to the Oval Office. After Hurricane Katrina and post-Hussein Iraq, we got the professorial President Barack Obama, who seemed to many to promise competence.

    After seven years of the cool, weak and endlessly nuanced “no drama Obama,” voters are looking for a strong leader who speaks in short, declarative sentences. Middle-class incomes are stagnant, and radical Islam is on the march across the Middle East. No wonder voters are responding to someone who promises to make America great again. You can draw a straight line between a president who dismisses domestic terrorist attacks as incidents of workplace violence and a candidate who wants to ban Muslims from entering the country.

    Mr. Obama likes to bemoan the increasing partisan divides across the country, as if he were merely a passive observer at best and a victim at worst. Uncharacteristically, the president is being too modest. He has created the very rancor he now rails against.

    President Obama loves to construct straw men so he can contrast his heroic self against them. But Donald Trump needs no characterization; he is capable of being absurd on his own, no outside help required. Without President Obama, there is no Donald Trump. Mr. Trump often diagnoses the ills Mr. Obama has caused, but his prescriptions are just as often wrong. America deserves better.

    Bobby Jindal (former governor of Louisiana)

    J'aime

  5. jcdurbant dit :

    Attention: une violence peut en cacher une autre !

    J'aime

  6. jcdurbant dit :

    If the Republican Party, as now appears most likely, succumbs to the candidacy of Donald Trump, it will irreparably sever itself from the Party of Lincoln. (…) If Trump and Sanders have risen, it is in part because the half of the United States that has done well out of globalization and the fantastic evolution of modern technology has not cared enough about the other half, which is stretched, fearful, and overwhelmed. The solution is not to expel millions of those who have arrived illegally, although any sovereign state must secure its borders and ensure an orderly process of legal immigration. Nor will a return to the beggar-thy-neighbor trade policies of an earlier era do anything but bring another, deeper global recession. (…) a different candidate should quietly embody the old republican virtues: steadiness, civility, thrift, forthrightness, firmness, integrity, and fairness. In an age of ranting demagogues and angry activists, of secretiveness and evasion, we need someone whom we can imagine as a worthy holder of Abraham Lincoln’s office, a worthy dweller in Abraham Lincoln’s house.

    Eliot A. Cohen

    J'aime

  7. jcdurbant dit :

    Voir encore:

    The flip side is that Obama rarely shares credit for unexpectedly positive developments that he had little or nothing to do with. His administration did its utmost to stop new oil and gas leases on federal lands. But when the fracking revolution nonetheless went on to make American nearly energy-independent and sent gas prices tumbling, Obama took credit for the windfall. When Obama ran for office, he routinely blamed the Bush administration for the Iraq War. After the surge (which he opposed) worked, Obama entered office to a quiet Iraq — and immediately took credit for the post-surge calm. Vice President Joe Biden called a constitutional Iraq “one of the great achievements of this administration.” Obama himself added that Iraq was “sovereign, stable and self-reliant.” Yet when Obama pulled all U.S. peacekeepers out of Iraq before his 2012 re-election bid and the country blew up, he went back to blaming Iraq violence on Bush. (…) After nearly eight years of buck-passing, Obama is starting to sound a lot like his Republican alter ego, Donald Trump, whose failed business ventures and embarrassing rhetoric are likewise always the fault of somebody or something else.

    Victor Davis Hanson

    Trump is crude and politically clueless, but no more so than the Clintons, Sanders — or Obama. Donald J. Trump thus far has not shown that he has the level-headedness to be president. He has no political ideology and could just as well govern to the left of Hillary Clinton as to the right of her. Yet his sloppy way of speaking has earned him equally sloppy, over-the-top analogies — to Mussolini, Hitler, George Wallace, and a host of other populist and racist demagogues. (…) Trump thrives despite, not because of, his crudity, and largely because of anger at Barack Obama’s divisive and polarizing governance and sermonizing — and the Republican party’s habitual consideration of trade issues, debt, immigration, and education largely from the vantage point of either abstraction or privilege. (…) Trump is all over the place on abortion, flip-flopping almost daily and without much clue about the mission of Planned Parenthood. But he has not seen abortion on demand as a good thing because it falls inordinately on the poor and minorities — in the fashion of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who matter-of-factly said to a friendly reporter, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” If we thought Ginsburg’s callous remark was a slip of the tongue, she clarified it a few years later with a postscript: “It makes no sense as a national policy to promote birth only among poor people.” Did prominent philosophers, ethicists, and humanitarians sign a petition demanding that she step down, given her judicial ill temperament and what can only be described as displays, on not one but two occasions, of crackpot notions of racist eugenics? I agree that it is disturbing that Trump does not grasp the nature of the nuclear triad, but so far he has not, as has Vice President Biden, claimed that a President FDR went on television in 1929 or, as has President Obama, that the Falklands are better known as the Maldives. His Trump vodka and steaks and eponymous schlock are a window into his narcissistic soul and his lack of concern with integrity; but I’ll say more about the size of his ego when he says he can cool the planet and lower the seas, and that he is the one we’ve all been waiting for — accompanied by Latin mottos and faux-Greek columns. Trump has no team to speak of. (…) If he is indeed a devout churchgoer, will we learn of a Trump pastor analogous to the anti-Semitic, racist, and anti-American Reverend Jeremiah Wright? And will Trump get caught claiming that he is a loyal attendee of a church in the mold of Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ (“Yep. Every week. Eleven o’clock service. Ever been there? Good service.”) or that he could “no more disown” his racist pastor than his own (allegedly racist) grandmother? Is the title of The Art of the Deal borrowed from a sermon by a white nationalist? We could play this tu quoque all day long, but the fact that we can play it at all suggests that Trump is hardly, by current standards, beyond the pale, much less that he is aberrant in U.S. presidential-campaign history. He is or is not as uncouth as Barack Obama, who has mocked the disabled, the wealthy, typical white people, the religious, and the purported clingers, and has compared opponents to Iranian theocrats and said that George W. Bush was “unpatriotic” — all as relish to wrecking America’s health-care system, doubling the national debt, setting race relations back six decades, politicizing federal bureaucracies, ignoring federal law, and leaving the Middle East in shambles and our enemies on the ascendant. For those who point to Hillary Clinton as a more sober and judicious alternative, they might ask themselves whether the Trump financial shenanigans are on par with the quid pro quo Clinton Foundation scams, or whether the Trump companies are a bigger mess than Hillary’s resets. True, a historical precedent could be set in the current campaign, but that would be if Hillary Clinton was the first presidential candidate indicted before the election, given that all her serial explanations about illegally using a private server to send and receive various classified information have only led to updated and further misleading backtracking, and will continue to do so until she is either charged or, for political reasons, exonerated. Trump certainly sounds both reckless and naïve. He repeats ad nauseam the same trite phrases, seemingly as confused as if he were claiming to have knocked away an amphibious rabbit from his canoe. He does not quite know whether Putin is a murderous thug or, as recent biographies have argued, a rather traditional Russian autocratic nationalist. He seems clueless about Israel, and he talks nonsense about stealing oil from Iraq. My problem with all the rhetorical blather about him is whether such half-baked ideas are worse than concretely snubbing Netanyahu (e.g., “chickenshit”), or blaming, in a recent Atlantic interview, variously David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Europeans in general for the Libyan disaster — which, if I recall, was supposed to be “We came, we saw, Qaddafi died”; or perhaps it was “What difference does it make?”; or was the instigator a rogue video maker who was summarily jailed for causing our consulate to be torched? I had thought Obama was foolish for talking of ISIS as jayvees; now I learn from the Atlantic interview that it was the Pentagon that misled him with “flash in the plan” metaphors. Obama, remember, did not render null and void his own red lines. You see, it was the U.N. and Congress, not he, that set those lines in the first place — sort of like the hapless Chuck Hagel supposedly cooking up the Bergdahl swap. (…)Trump seems about on par with the current president, in terms of reckless speeches, inexperience, crudity, and cluelessness. Yet I don’t recall hearing that many in the Democratic party ever felt that Obama’s provocative and ignorant campaign utterances, along with his past associations with the likes of Tony Rezko, Revernd Wright, Bill Ayers, and Father Pfleger, had driven them to vote for a far more sober and judicious John McCain or Mitt Romney.

    VDH

    Both Donald Trump and his opponents are up against the constraints of time. Trump wants to run out the clock; Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio want overtime. (…) The problem for Trump is not just that he cannot score points on ideas and so he monotonously strikes back with ad hominem slurs, but also that, off the cuff and in passing, he is capable of saying almost anything. Over two hours, those anythings — especially when they are windows into his past and his present values — finally add up. So far Trump’s supporters have put up with his hypocrisies, self-contradictions, and unhinged statements — as if all that is felt to be a small price for hearing him pulverize Washington careerists, media flunkies, hypocritical grandees, and Republican sellouts. Americans are sick and tired of Black Lives Matter careerists and abject racists calling them racists, of wealthy apartheid liberals lecturing them about their white-privileged middle-class status, of crony green capitalists with huge carbon footprints, of hypocritical multimillionaire Malibu scolds, of the media hectoring the 52 percent who pay income taxes and canonizing the 48 percent who do not, of illegal aliens laying down to them a set of ultimatums while praising the country they were glad to leave and ankle-biting the one they want to stay in, of elites worrying more about the feelings of Islamic radicals than the terrorism that jihadists commit, and of our elected representatives borrowing more money for more government programs that make things far worse for everybody except those who run them. If it is a choice between Washington Republicans’ sober and judicious tinkering and tsk-tsking on the one hand, and raw unadulterated anger on the other, the so-called base will choose the latter every time. The furious and fed-up may not like Trump’s cruelty, but the array of targets that he crudely lashes back at — John McCain, Megyn Kelly, Jeb Bush, the Pope, Vicente Fox — in their various ways themselves often are unpopular. (…) In the last debate, Trump did not deny that he supported and gave money to John Kerry’s campaign in 2004 — and that he wanted a sitting Republican president, George W. Bush, impeached. That put him with the Michael Moore/Code Pink crowd. He said the same sort of thing in the previous debate when he suggested that Bush had cooked up the WMD threat to mislead Americans. He seemed a neo-Truther — in the manner of his earlier Obama-birther days — when he talked about what Bush should have known and done prior to 9/11. (…) In the South Carolina debate, Trump loudly proclaimed that, while Saddam Hussein was “a bad guy,” nonetheless “he killed terrorists.” In fact, Saddam’s pre-invasion Iraq was a sanctuary for most of the world’s worst terrorists, from Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas to Abdul Rahman Yasin, one of the engineers of the 1993 attempted World Trade Center bombing. Whom Saddam actually did kill was one million of his own people. Praising thugs like Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein and Moammar Qaddafi is tricky business for Trump supporters: understandable if your crude point is that it is not worth our blood and treasure to knock off these rogues only to get chaos as a reward; creepy if you hint at a bit of admiration for their anti-American, murderous, taking-care-of-business personas. In 2012, Trump blasted Mitt Romney’s notion of self-deportation as “mean” and “crazy”; in the South Carolina debate, he lauded just that approach as the cornerstone of his immigration policy. If voters are reminded clearly enough that a protectionist and immigration hawk hired illegal aliens and outsourced his product-line production to China, they will become accustomed to not liking it. Trump is a smear addict. He is most riveting when ridiculing critics, but he must understand that slurs are his addiction. And one thing about addictions is that they eventually require greater doses to remain effective, even as they prove unsustainable both to the health of the addict and to the well-being of those around him. So Trump needs to wrap up the primary race quickly, and with it the public occasions of his just being Trump. (…) Trump needs to finish the last four debates in the fashion he did all the others except the last — and thereby delay, delay, delay audits of his integrity and ethics. He does not want to discuss his tax returns in the next two weeks precisely because it is likely that they will utterly destroy his three greatest boasts: He’s a “winner” because of his massive $10 billion worth; he works on behalf of vets and little guys, as is demonstrated by his “tremendous” philanthropy; he is a genuine populist who pays the same percentage on his income as does the carpet installer and the DMV clerk. Nor does Trump want to make depositions in an ongoing civil suit about the alleged “waste, fraud, and abuse” at Trump University — any more than Hillary does about her actions as secretary of state. Currently, Trump boasts that he has almost no staff and not much of a budget; he will need both when the tsunami of opposition research finally washes over him. But if Trump can snag the nomination in March or early April, and with it the machinery of the Republican establishment, then he will get airbrushed with endorsements and big money, as he turns his invective toward Hillary Clinton. An array of friendly party experts will comb his past to provide the usual contextualizations, half-truth defenses, and excuses of the sort Hillary has mastered in the last 20 years to explain away her serial lying and hypocrisies. In other words, get Trump through March with a hold on the nomination, and then his glaring flaws and abysmal record are reduced to “He may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard,” or “Hillary does even worse stuff.” In contrast, Rubio and Cruz must fight a rear-guard battle to draw the nomination out, pricking Trump with thousands of tiny bleeds without making a single gaffe of the sort that has plagued both. They must remind Trump enthusiasts ad nauseam that their leader was until very recently a pro-abortion John Kerry liberal. Trump’s populism is in part a meaner version of Ross Perot’s, and in part a more liberal combination of Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rubio and Cruz need to survive long enough to get Kasich and Carson out of the race, and then start seeing 33 percent/33 percent/33 percent polls, which will work against Trump by leading to the obvious corollary that 33 + 33 > 33. Trump has to wrap up these primaries so that when his supporters finally tire of his smears and untruths, when the Clinton slime machine thinks it’s time to ignore Sanders and start on Trump, and when his tax returns and an array of lawsuits hit the fan, he is not just Trump the flash-in-the-pan expendable buffoon, but the Honorable Donald J. Trump, Republican nominee for president of the United States. If he cannot secure the nomination early this spring, it will likely go to Cruz or Rubio.

    VDH

    (Has a candidate ever crudely referred to the size of his phallus, and in our sick world is that a Freudian admission of doubt, or a macho reassurance in LBJ fashion?) Trump gave more than enough evidence that his positions are liquid and change as often his perceptions of his flatterers and critics. He is a blank slate, who as president could build or tear down a southern wall with equal ease, depending on the dynamics of the political deal of the moment. Has there ever been a Republican candidate that Republicans feared was too liberal and Democrats too reactionary? Planned Parenthood advocates usually do not wish to build a wall on the southern border. Trump’s perceived danger to the Republican Party is that he would move not only to the Left, but do so in an especially crass and crude way—expanding the party by not being of the party, winning as a Republican precisely by not being a Republican. To the degree that he would succeed as a president, liberals would applaud his conversion to liberalism; to the degree that he would fail, they would cite his innate conservatism. (…) His genius so far has been to turn his third of the electorate into proof he’s a winner because his opponents never united to marshal a majority against him. In other words, Trump counted on the egos of his opponents to outweigh their concerns for their establishment party. His 35% is unimpeachable, and the anti-Trump 65% is at this late date still hopelessly fragmented. The more candidates talk about “uniting” around an anti-Trump candidate, the more they sound like medieval proverbial mice who dream of someone else putting a warning bell on the marauding cat. Nor does it matter much that Trump flip-flops or outright lies as often as he calls others liars. His appeal is predicated on a general premise: He is a creature of pure emotion when a third of Republicans are sick and tired of patronizing temporizers. Just as civil wars can prove more savage than conflicts against foreign enemies, so too we have reached a point where the Trump base hates the Republican establishment (with whose agendas it agrees 75% of the time) far more than it despises Hillary Clinton (with whose policies it would support 5% of the time). All the latent class biases of the Republican gentry are now on the table, and they prove more compatible with Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. Republican nihilism is the result. (…) Aside from logic and to be crude, class is the chief divide that reveals attitudes about Mr. Trump. “Comprehensive immigration reform” for elites is a catchword that your children are not going to schools with Mexican illegal immigrants, who are not all dreamers but often include at least a few quite dangerous gang members. I know open-borders advocate Mark Zuckerberg’s kids will not enjoy a diverse Redwood City immigrant experience. (Why exactly has he stealthily bought up his surrounding neighborhood and staffed it with private security teams to adjudicate whom he sees while entering and leaving his compound?) The children of Republican elites do not sit in classes where a quarter of the students do not speak English. When that specter of diversity looms, parents yank their kids and put them in the prep schools of Silicon Valley that are rapidly reaching New England numbers (or maybe better southern academies that followed integration). Their children are not on buses where an altercation between squabbling eight year olds leads to a tattooed parent arriving at your home to challenge you to a fight over “disrespecting” his family name. The establishment Republicans have rarely jogged around their neighborhoods only to be attacked by pit bulls, whose owners have little desire to speak English, much less to cage, vaccinate, or license their dogs. They have never been hit by illegal-alien drivers in Palo Alto. In other words, they do not wish to live anywhere near those who, as a result of an act of love, are desperately poor, here under illegal auspices, and assume California works and should work on the premises of Oaxaca. But in rural Fresno County it is not uncommon to have been sideswiped and rear-ended by those who fled the scene, leaving their wrecked cars without insurance and registration. I doubt that CNN morning anchors have woken up to an abandoned Crown Victoria in their yard that swerved and went airborne in the night—its driver (who spoke neither Spanish nor English but a dialect of Mixteca Baja) found in the shrubs still sleeping it off. The police who arrive much later have zero interest in doing much other than lecturing one that the car cannot be sold to pay damages. And the driver most certainly will not be turned over for deportation in a sanctuary county. Just writing all that is, for an elite, proof of one’s xenophobia and nativism. But then again, he is rarely stopped in the Walmart parking lot by a gang-banger in the next parking stall who out of the blue says, “Hey essay, what the f— are you looking at me for already? And what are you going to do about it, punk?” (Are we back to the Old West where the wannabe with a six-shooter declares his nihilism on Main Street and thus his willingness to quick draw anyone?) In Palo Alto where I work, there is no epidemic of bronze plaque and copper wire thievery, as there is near my home, where everything metal—Romex conduit, the dedicatory plaque at a Masonic temple, or bronze fittings on irrigation pipe—is in danger of being carted off, Vandal-like. I don’t think Mitt Romney has had a dead pit bull, in ripe rigor mortis with a rope tied around its neck, dumped on his lawn, or a beautiful Queensland Heeler, torn to shreds from dog fighting, thrown into his vineyard. Does the Gang of Eight ever get accosted in the evening by a group of tattooed thugs, claiming at your door they “are lost,” as they case your rural home? Or were they dreamers and future UC brain surgeons incognito? Ask a citizen voter a simple question: If you invent a false Social Security number, and create an alias for the DMV, and lie on federal documents, will you be subject to indictment? If you arrive at an airport without a passport, will they wave you through as an act of love? I suggest you try it sometime—your version of crossing the southern border illegally. Who does and does not have to follow the law—only U.S. citizens? The point is that most of the Republican establishment sees illegal immigration not as legality or illegality, right or wrong, chaos or order, but only in terms of electoral politics. Discomfort with illegal immigration is mostly an abstraction, one that Trump yahoos and “nativists” and “xenophobes” whine about—and by such whining supposedly undermine the future demographic visions of beltway handlers. Trump, who has hired illegal alien labor, attacked Mitt Romney as insensitive on immigration and came late to the immigration debate. But even when he demagogues illegal immigration, and slurs and smears, his supporters do not care about the impracticality of his wall or his baiting of Mexico (whose leaders are far more racist than is the American working class). They care only that someone for a moment seems mad like they are, and does not lecture them on their own supposed biases and shortcomings. The way to further empower Trump is certainly to parody and mock his supporters. Ditto such emotion for all other hot-button issues. Economists are, of course, right about free trade, the dangers of protectionism, and the nihilism of a Trump trade war, but then again, universities do not usually fire tenured economics professors and import in their place part-timers from Chile or Serbia. Politico reporters are not replaced by English-speaking immigrant Punjabi journalists. Distill racial politics down to “white privilege” and the Trump divide reappears as well. Those with money, class, and influence can navigate around affirmative action and “diversity” concerns; not so the lower middle-classes. To add insult to injury, it is usually wealthy whites who abstractly apologize for their privilege to minority elites, a sort of penance that assume their stature ensures that they can be magnanimous with lives (deemed less important) other than their own. Because Trump anger is not about consistency on the issues, but raw emotion, refuting Trump by rationally exposing the myriad of his hypocrisies and vulgarities has not so far won over too many of his supporters. That might have been easily possible a year ago, had a candidate tried to infuse some passion into a workable agenda and shown some affinity with those who are otherwise written off as Ice Road Truckers or Ax Men embarrassments. Or had a candidate far earlier, as Rubio apparently is now, been willing to blow up his campaign by descending to Trump’s crude level and in kamikaze fashion trading repugnant Trumpian smears, blow for blow. Or had a Kasich, Carson, or Bush far earlier bowed out. But at least for a while longer, millions of Republicans and lots of Reagan Democrats would gladly prefer to be wrong with Trump than right with anyone else.

    VDH

    J'aime

  8. jcdurbant dit :

    WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, TANGO (While the terror he unleashed by abandoning Iraq and Syria hits Europe, US president dances with dictators)

    “It’s very important for us not to respond with fear. We send a message to those who might be inspired by them to say, ‘You are not going to change our values of liberty and openness and the respect of all people. … That is how we are going to defeat these terrorist groups. In part because we’re going after them, and taking strikes against them, and arresting them, and getting intelligence on them, and cooperating with other countries. But a lot of it is also going to be to say, ‘You do not have power over us. We are strong. Our values are right. You offer nothing except death.’ »

    Barack Hussein Obama

    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-tango-critics-brussels-terror-142641037.html

    J'aime

  9. jcdurbant dit :

    HOW BAD CAN IT GET ? (First as tragedy, second as farce: Trump’s fantasy Putin friendship and pose of strength actually reveal his crucial vulnerability)

    Putin is the real world version of the person Trump pretends to be on television. Trump’s financial success (such as it is) has been as a New York real estate speculator, a world of private deal-making that can seem rough and tough—until you compare it to the Russia of the 1990s that ultimately produced the Putin regime. Trump presents himself as the maker of a financial empire who is willing to break all the rules, whereas that is what Putin in fact is. Thus far Trump can only verbally abuse his opponents at rallies, whereas Putin’s opponents are assassinated. Thus far Trump can only have his campaign manager rough up journalists he doesn’t like. In Russia some of the best journalists are in fact murdered.

    The premise of Russian foreign policy to the West is that the rule of law is one big joke; the practice of Russian foreign policy is to find prominent people in the West who agree. Moscow has found such people throughout Europe; until the rise of Trump the idea of an American who would volunteer to be a Kremlin client would have seemed unlikely. Trump represents an unprecedented standard of American servility, and should therefore be cultivated as a future Russian client.

    Trump correctly says that Putin respects strength. But of course Putin prefers weakness, which is what Trump offers. As Putin understands perfectly well, the president of the United States has standing in Russia, and enjoys far superior power to the president of Russia, only insofar as he or she mobilizes the moral and political resources of a rule-of-law state. It is precisely Trump’s pose of strength that reveals his crucial vulnerability. As anyone familiar with Russian politics understands, an American president who shuns alliances with fellow democracies, praises dictators, and prefers “deals” to the rule of law would be a very easy mark in Moscow. It is unclear how much money Trump has, but it is not enough to matter in Russia. If he keeps up his pose as the tough billionaire, he will be flattered by the Russian media, scorned by those who matter in Russia, and then easily crushed by men far richer and smarter than he.

    Putin has been accordingly circumspect in his return of Trump’s wooing. For him Trump is a small man who might gain great power. The trick is to manipulate the small man and thereby neutralize the great power. In his annual press conference last December, after hearing six months of praise from Trump, Putin said that he welcomed Trump’s idea of placing US-Russian relations on a more solid basis, and characterized Trump as “flamboyant, talented, without a doubt.” It is hard to miss the ambiguity of “flamboyant,” but Trump chose to miss it.

    Let us imagine the first few weeks of a Trump administration. Most of his domestic agenda will quickly prove illegal, or at least very complicated to implement. He is not a man who has displayed much patience for management. It seems very likely that he would quickly turn abroad for that surge of approval that he seems to find so pleasurable. And there would be no easier way to gain such a feeling than currying favor with Putin. It is so much easier to ignore traditional allies than to cultivate them, and so much easier to ignore aggression than to maintain order. The louche style that Trump seems likely to bring to American foreign policy is all he will need to garner praise from the man he admires. Given what Trump has done thus far, under no stress and with little encouragement, it is terrifying to contemplate what he would do as a frustrated American president looking for love.

    The explicit endorsement of Trump by Aleksandr Dugin, the leading Russian fascist ideologue and a very important media presence in Russia, is particularly alarming. The premise of Dugin’s “Eurasian” movement is that Russia and the West are artificially separated by enlightened ideas of the rule of law and individual rights. Once leaders of the West understand that these are artificial (Jewish) implantations, they can join Russia in the embrace of fascism. Dugin accordingly praises the American people, calling upon them to shed their “oligarchic” elites and return to their true (fascist) values. I read Dugin’s use of “oligarchic” to mean “Jewish”—a suspicion confirmed by Dugin’s reaction to an actual oligarch who enjoys the backing of American neo-Nazis: “Trump is the voice of the real right wing in America,” he writes. “Vote for Trump!”

    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/04/19/trumps-putin-fantasy/

    Autrement dit Trump a l’air bien parti, si élu, pour faire le jusqu’ici imaginable: faire pire qu’Obama !

    Confirmant cette impression, qu’on a effectivement de plus en plus, de répétition et de bégaiement de l’histoire, d’abord comme tragédie, puis comme farce, comme disait Marx …

    J'aime

  10. jcdurbant dit :

    READY FOR A SHOTGUN WEDDING ?

    Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line? Not any more.

    Nate Silver

    J'aime

  11. jcdurbant dit :

    “I think I’m a better speech writer than my speech writers. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m . . . a better political director than my director. »

    Barack Hussein Obama

    My primary consultant is myself.

    Donald Trump

    Historians may mark the early 21st century as the moment when Americans stopped seeking probity or at least predictability in their leaders and started shopping for ecstasy and transformation; a politics beyond words. Republicans mocked the grandiosity of Mr. Obama’s first run for the presidency—the Doric columns; the pledge to make the seas recede—but is that so different from the pompous iconography of the Trump jet or his manifestly absurd promises to get foreign countries to pay for his political boondoggles? More to the point, Mr. Obama was a cult-of-personality candidate. His admirers projected on him whatever they wanted to see: passionate liberal; post-ideological pragmatist; philosopher king; cool cat. Politically, he was the equivalent of a non-falsifiable hypothesis. No evidence could disprove his rightness. (…) Both interpretations can’t be true. But it’s in the nature of cult personalities that followers rarely ask hard questions because they are seeking leaders who square circles. Non-American readers might also note the ways in which, on foreign policy, Mr. Trump is a magnification of Mr. Obama, rather than his opposite number. The president caused some consternation overseas when he complained, in a recent lengthy interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, that too many U.S. allies are “free riders” mooching off American security guarantees. “We don’t always have to be the ones who are up front,” the president explained. Leading from behind “was part of the anti-free rider campaign.” (…) Both men also share the conviction that the U.S. can’t afford much of a foreign policy anymore. (…) One man wants to shrink America’s role in the world for the sake of a bigger state; the other man for the sake of shrinking the debt. In either case, the prescription is to put America in retreat. In neither case do they want to address the real driver of the U.S.’s long-term fiscal problems, which are entitlements and welfare (59% of the federal budget), not defense and international security (16%). Which brings us to the most important way in which Mr. Trump is another version of the president: They both bend reality to suit their conveniences, and their conceits. (…) For each species of rubbish there’s a sizable political constituency. Maybe it will be large enough to launch Mr. Trump to the White House. There’s a tendency among pundits to offer high-toned explanations for why Mr. Trump has risen this far, despite political expectations and ordinary good sense. Many of those pundits performed similarly opportunistic services when Mr. Obama’s star was rising. We repeat our mistakes when we think we’re doing the opposite.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-is-obama-squared-1459207095

    Trump Is Obama Squared
    Two epic narcissists who see themselves as singularly suited to redeem America.
    Bret Stephens
    WSJ
    March 28, 2016

    Donald Trump is Barack Obama squared. Not as a matter of rhetorical style, where the president is glib and grammatical, while the developer is rambling and coarse. Not as a matter of economic instincts, where Mr. Obama is a social democrat while Mr. Trump is a mercantilist.

    And not as a matter of temperament. Mr. Obama is aloof and calculated. Mr. Trump loves to get in your face.

    But leave smaller differences aside. The president and The Donald are two epic narcissists who see themselves as singularly suited to redeem an America that is not only imperfect but fundamentally broken. Both men revel in their disdain for the political system and the rules governing it. Both men see themselves not as politicians but as movement leaders. Both are prone to telling fairy tales about their lives and careers.

    And both believe they are better than everyone else.

    “I think I’m a better speech writer than my speech writers,” Mr. Obama told an aide in 2008. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m . . . a better political director than my director.” Compare that to Mr. Trump earlier this month, when asked on MSNBC who he turns to for foreign policy advice. “My primary consultant is myself.”

    Historians may mark the early 21st century as the moment when Americans stopped seeking probity or at least predictability in their leaders and started shopping for ecstasy and transformation; a politics beyond words. Republicans mocked the grandiosity of Mr. Obama’s first run for the presidency—the Doric columns; the pledge to make the seas recede—but is that so different from the pompous iconography of the Trump jet or his manifestly absurd promises to get foreign countries to pay for his political boondoggles?

    More to the point, Mr. Obama was a cult-of-personality candidate. His admirers projected on him whatever they wanted to see: passionate liberal; post-ideological pragmatist; philosopher king; cool cat. Politically, he was the equivalent of a non-falsifiable hypothesis. No evidence could disprove his rightness.

    Mr. Trump inspires similar fancies among his supporters. Either he’s the Great Negotiator who will know how to bargain with Congress and cut better trade and security deals with the Saudis, Chinese, Europeans and so on. Or he’s the immovable man of principle who will remain unbowed when, for instance, troubles mount with his mass deportation of los ilegales.

    Both interpretations can’t be true. But it’s in the nature of cult personalities that followers rarely ask hard questions because they are seeking leaders who square circles.

    Non-American readers might also note the ways in which, on foreign policy, Mr. Trump is a magnification of Mr. Obama, rather than his opposite number. The president caused some consternation overseas when he complained, in a recent lengthy interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, that too many U.S. allies are “free riders” mooching off American security guarantees. “We don’t always have to be the ones who are up front,” the president explained. Leading from behind “was part of the anti-free rider campaign.”

    Now take Mr. Trump. NATO, he told the New York Times last week, is “unfair” to the U.S., which pays “a disproportionate share” of the defense burden. The U.S.-Japan defense treaty is “not a fair deal.” Across the world, the U.S. is being “systematically ripped off.” On Ukraine, “I would agree with” the president that the country belongs in Russia’s sphere of influence. If Europeans won’t take the lead, Mr. Trump wonders, why should the U.S.?

    Both men also share the conviction that the U.S. can’t afford much of a foreign policy anymore. Mr. Obama often faults the high cost of the war in Iraq for “constraining our ability to nation-build here at home.” Mr. Trump complains that “we’re defending the world” despite a national debt nearing $21 trillion.

    One man wants to shrink America’s role in the world for the sake of a bigger state; the other man for the sake of shrinking the debt. In either case, the prescription is to put America in retreat. In neither case do they want to address the real driver of the U.S.’s long-term fiscal problems, which are entitlements and welfare (59% of the federal budget), not defense and international security (16%).

    Which brings us to the most important way in which Mr. Trump is another version of the president: They both bend reality to suit their conveniences, and their conceits.

    In Mr. Obama’s universe, terrorism is a nuisance, climate change is an apocalypse, and economic growth is an inequality problem. In Mr. Trump’s, immigrants are invaders, trade is theft and allies are millstones. For each species of rubbish there’s a sizable political constituency. Maybe it will be large enough to launch Mr. Trump to the White House.

    There’s a tendency among pundits to offer high-toned explanations for why Mr. Trump has risen this far, despite political expectations and ordinary good sense. Many of those pundits performed similarly opportunistic services when Mr. Obama’s star was rising. We repeat our mistakes when we think we’re doing the opposite.

    J'aime

  12. jcdurbant dit :

    WHILE THE PC CROWD AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAMMER AWAY AT TRANSGENDER BATHROOM RIGHTS … (Sign of social health: It would be equally wrong to take the view that there is nothing more fueling Trump’s rise than ignorance, racism and hate)

    What makes Trump so appealing to so many voters is that the establishment does seem unusually clueless these days.The great American post-Cold War project of seeking peace and security through the construction of a New World Order based on liberal internationalism and American power doesn’t seem to be working very well, and it’s not hard to conclude that neither the neoconservatives nor the Obama-ites really know what they are doing. When it comes to the economy, it’s been clear since the financial crisis of 2008 that something is badly awry and that the economists, so dogmatic and opinionated and so bitterly divided into quarreling schools, aren’t sure how the system works anymore, and have no real ideas about how to make the world system work to the benefit of ordinary voters in the United States. With the PC crowd and the Obama administration hammering away at transgender bathroom rights as if this was the great moral cause of our time, and with campus Pure Thought advocates collapsing into self parody even as an epidemic of drug abuse and family breakdown relentlessly corrodes the foundations of American social cohesion, it’s hard to believe that the establishment has a solid grip on the moral principles and priorities a society like ours needs.

    Trump appeals to all those who think that the American Establishment, the Great and the Good of both parties, has worked its way into a dead end of ideas that don’t work and values that can’t save us. He is the candidate of Control-Alt-Delete. His election would sweep away the smug generational certainties that Clinton embodies, the Boomer Progressive Synthesis that hasn’t solved the problems of the world or of the United States, but which nevertheless persists in regarding itself as the highest and only form of truth.

    The interest groups and power centers that surround Secretary Clinton like a praetorian guard—Wall Street, the upper middle class feminists, the African American establishment, the Davoisie, the institutional power of the great foundations and educational bureaucracies, Silicon Valley, Hollywood—have defeated their intellectual and political rivals in their spheres of interest and influence. Supporting her is a massive agglomeration of power, intellect, wealth and talent. Her candidacy is the logical climax of the Baby Boom’s march through the institutions of American life. Even the neoconservatives are enlisting in her campaign.

    The American Right for all its earnest efforts has been unable to construct a counter establishment that can compete with the contemporary liberal behemoth. Libertarian nostalgia for the 1920s and 1890s, social conservative nostalgia for the faux-certainties of the 1950s; paleocon isolationism; white nationalism; ‘reformicon’ tweaks to the liberal policy agenda—none of these mutually hostile and contradictory sets of ideas can challenge the Boomer Establishment synthesis. The Clintonian center-Left won the cultural and intellectual battles of its time against both the hard left and the fragmented right. The Clinton candidacy is about inevitability, about the laws of historical and institutional gravity.

    Yet though the Boomer Consensus has triumphed in the world of American institutions and ideas, in the eyes of many Americans it has not done all that well in the real world. Foreign policy, financial policy, health policy, support of the middle class, race relations, family life, public education, trade policy, city and state government management, wages: what exactly has the Boomer Consensus accomplished in these fields? Many Americans think that the Consensus is a scam and a flop when it comes to actually, well, making things better for the average person. It has made life better, much better, for the upper middle class; few would dispute its accomplishments there. And Wall Street has every reason to pay large speaking fees and make large financial contributions to the champion of the orthodoxy that helped make it so rich.

    But many and possibly most Americans think that the Boomer Consensus didn’t work for them. They may not have much confidence in the various conservative and socialist alternatives to the consensus, but they believe that something about it is flawed, and they want it stopped dead in its tracks. This is where Trump comes in. His supporters aren’t united around a set of positive ideas, but they are united in opposition to the status quo. They believe that the emperor has no clothes, even if they can’t agree on a replacement wardrobe.

    This makes it easy and profitable for Trump to wage negative campaigns—against Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and the Republican establishment in the primary, against Hillary Clinton and the conventional wisdom of the center left in the general. It also makes it much harder for negative campaigns to hurt him: his appeal doesn’t stem from approval for particular policies, but from opposition to elements of the status quo. His supporters may not expect Mexico to pay for a border wall, but they believe that he doesn’t like unlimited illegal immigration and that he will do something about it. His supporters do not necessarily think he will start a trade war with China, but they don’t think that the conventional approach to globalization is working and they expect him to try something different. At the very least, they believe that he won’t exude serenely toxic moral smugness as he steers the country down a dead end road, that he will at least try to wrench the country off its current course.

    This makes him hard to hit. To accuse him of a business career based on flim flam and razzle dazzle doesn’t hurt him with people who think the economic game is rigged. To accuse him of sponsoring outrageous policy ideas that the experts unite in condemning won’t hurt him with people who have lost faith in the experts and the oracles of conventional wisdom. To accuse him of inconsistency won’t hurt him with people who think the establishment is hypocritical and self-serving.

    Myself, I don’t think the system is quite as corrupt as some Trump supporters believe or, perhaps more accurately, I lack their confidence that burning down the old house is the best way to build something new. But it would be equally wrong and perhaps more dangerous to take the view that there is nothing more fueling his rise than ignorance, racism and hate. The failure of the center-Left to transform its institutional and intellectual dominance into policy achievements that actually stabilize middle class life, and the failure of the center-Right to articulate a workable alternative have left a giant intellectual and political vacuum in the heart of American life. The Trump movement is not an answer to our problems, but the social instinct of revolt and rejection that powers it is a sign of social health. The tailors are frauds and the emperor is not in fact wearing any clothes: it is a good sign and not a bad sign that so many Americans are willing to say so out loud.

    Those of us who care about policy, propriety and the other bourgeois values without which no democratic society can long thrive need to spend less time wringing our hands about the shortcomings of candidate Trump and the movement that has brought him this far, and more time both analyzing the establishment failures that have brought the country to this pass, and developing a new vision for the American future. The one thing we know about 2016 is that neither of these two candidates has what it takes to repair or to renovate the ship of state. Clinton stands for the competent management of an unsustainable status quo, like Rahm Emmanuel in Chicago: a pair of safe and steady hands on the wheel as the ship glides slowly toward the reefs. Trump, at least so far as we can infer what a Trump administration would be like, stands for the venting of steam and the striking of satisfying poses.

    We can hope that a President Clinton’s instincts for power and self-preservation will make her something better than the earnest custodian of a failing status quo, and we can hope that a President Trump would prove inspired and lucky rather than bumptiously sharp-tongued. But hope is not a plan. The likeliest forecast is that under either candidate, the slow unraveling of the liberal world order and the American domestic system will continue and possibly accelerate. The 2020 election may take place against an even darker background than what we now see; if America’s intellectuals and institutions don’t start raising their games, 2016 could soon start to look like the good old days …

    Walter Russell Mead

    J'aime

  13. jcdurbant dit :

    FIRST AS TRAGEDY, THEN AS FARCE

    J'aime

  14. jcdurbant dit :

    DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN

    « John McCain right now, he’s spending an awful lot of time talking about me. You notice that? I haven’t seen an ad yet where he talks about what he’s gonna do. And the reason is because those folks know they don’t have any good answers, they know they’ve had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things. They know that you’re not real happy with them. And so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me. So what they’re saying is, ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he’s… doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, you know, he’s got a, he’s got a funny name.’

    Barack Hussein Obama (2008)

    « I mean, that’s basically the argument — he’s too risky. But think about it, what’s the bigger risk? Us deciding that we’re going to come together to bring about real change in America or continuing to do same things with the same folks in the same ways that we know have not worked? I mean, are we really going to do the same stuff that we’ve been doing over the last eight years? … That’s a risk we cannot afford. The stakes are too high. »

    Barack Hussein Obama (2008)

    « The Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. He keeps on proving it. The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge around critical issues in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job; I think I was right and Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong on certain policy issues, but I never thought that they couldn’t do the job. And had they won, I would have been disappointed, but I would have said to all Americans, ‘This is our president.’

    Barack Hussein Obama (2016)

    Don’t forget Big Bird. What kind of soulless monster would take money out of Big Bird’s pocket? Obama can say this with a straight face because traditionally he’s left the nastiest elements of politics to his surrogates so as to protect his image as The Adult In The Room. (Traditionally, but not always.) Remember when John McCain was attacked for having a temper that supposedly called his sanity, and thus his fitness to wield nuclear weapons, into question? That wasn’t O who said that, it was Harry Reid. Remember when Mitt Romney was accused, based on nothing at all, of having been a tax cheat for decades who’d paid nothing to the IRS despite his great wealth? That wasn’t O either. That was … uh, Harry Reid.

    So now we come full circle today, with Obama praising McCain as a responsible leader the better to distinguish Trump as something new and uniquely bad. Maybe if the left hadn’t cried wolf so often and so hysterically in the past, O’s point here would have more traction on the right….

    http://hotair.com/archives/2016/08/02/obama-unlike-mccain-and-romney-trump-is-unfit-for-office/

    J'aime

  15. jcdurbant dit :

    TRUMP SAW THE FUTURE OBAMA AND CLINTON ARE LEAVING US AND GUESS WHO GETS BLAMED (Hundreds of terrorists will fan out to infiltrate western Europe and the U.S. to carry out attacks on a wider scale as Islamic State is defeated in Syria, FBI Director warns)

    « At some point there’s going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before. We saw the future of this threat in Brussels and Paris. Future attacks will be on “an order of magnitude greater … “the greatest threat to the physical safety of Americans today … “a lot of terrorists fled out of Afghanistan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This is 10 times that or more.”

    FBI chief

    Attacks in France have left more than 230 dead since the start of last year. A mass shooting that killed 49 people at a nightclub last month in Orlando, Florida, was carried out by a man who claimed allegiance to Islamic State. Less than two weeks before the Olympic Games begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian police have rounded up a dozen people it said were possibly members of an Islamic State cell. Beyond the West, Islamic State took credit for a July 23 suicide bombing at a rally in Kabul that killed more than 80 people, the deadliest single attack in Afghanistan in 15 years of war …

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-27/fbi-chief-warns-terrorist-diaspora-will-be-coming-to-the-west

    J'aime

  16. jcdurbant dit :

    Obama’s insistence on the primacy of “nation building at home” is barely distinguishable from Trump’s promise “to make Ame‏rica great again » …

    How the Clinton candidacy fits into this picture of continuity between the Obama legacy and the Trump vision remains to be seen. The Sanders campaign has pushed her to the left on the domestic agenda, but not particularly on foreign policy. Indeed, parts of the neoconservative foreign policy elite are apparently warming to Clinton, given Trump’s neo-isolationism: In his acceptance speech he declared his support for “Americanism, not Globalism,” and he denounced “nation-building” abroad and “regime change.” We may be entering the first campaign in decades in which the Republican candidate runs to the left of the Democrat on foreign policy.

    However the election plays out, deep crosscurrents in the political vision of the country are coming to the surface, challenging received opinion. For Obama and Trump alike, the insistence on repairing the national domestic condition means a retreat from a global extension of American power. Some conservative critics argued early on that Obama’s policy agenda was defined by an anti-imperialism from the left, a hostility to American military deployments around the world, and a resistance to the history of western colonialism. In that sense, Trump brings an anti-imperialism from the right, a program to wind down overseas engagements in order to redirect resources domestically. Obama established the rhetoric of a ratcheting down of American global leadership in order to achieve a greatness on the home front. Will Trump be able to ride that same wave to the White House? Could his neo-isolationism appeal to the anti-war left and attract some Sanders voters, repelled by Clinton’s foreign policy? Or will she be able to put forward a hawkish message of liberal internationalism in a way sufficiently convincing to the electorate? That would require of her a willingness to criticize the Obama legacy, a risky political move.

    Whatever the eventual electoral outcome in November, as the campaign season opens in the summer, the rhetoric of polarization, which serves the interests of each camp, obscures how much continuity could exist between the current administration and a potential Trump one, producing distinctive challenges for each candidate. Trump will have to show how the American greatness that he promises can forego international leadership, and Clinton will have to distinguish her policies from Obama’s without alienating too much of the Democratic base.

    http://www.hoover.org/research/are-trump-and-obama-really-different

    J'aime

  17. jcdurbant dit :

    THE WAY HE GOT OUT OF IRAQ WAS THE FOUNDING OF ISIS (Trump was right about Obama’s disastrous decision over Iraq because that’s exactly what he would have done in his place)

    “In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS. I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.

    Donald Trump

    “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.” (…) The way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, OK? (…) I mean, with his bad policies, that’s why ISIS came about (…) If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS. (…) Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS. (…) But they wouldn’t talk about your language, and they do talk about my language, right?

    Donald Trump

    Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) « the founder » of ISIS, & MVP. THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?

    Donald Trump

    I thought it was a disaster from day one. You know, if you look at Saddam Hussein he hated terrorists. He killed terrorists. He would shoot terrorists in the street. There were no terrorists.

    Now, Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists and this week we lost 21 soldiers and how about all the people? You know they talk about the deaths. They don’t talk about the kids that come home with no arm, no leg, no face, no eyes.

    The war is a disaster and the day we leave, it’s already falling apart, it has nothing to do with us even staying there but the day we leave that country is going to be taken over by somebody who’s meaner and more vicious than Hussein, in my opinion.

    it ends by somebody being intelligent and saying « It’s time to leave. (…) we have all of these problems and we’re just embedded in Iraq, which has an M1 rifle if they’re lucky and all of them are pointed at our soldiers’ heads. So, we should be out of Iraq. We should do it quickly and effectively.

    You know I used to say in Vietnam, « Declare yourself a winner and leave, » right? Maybe that’s what we have to do in Iraq. Now, Bush declared us winners a long time ago …

    Donald Trump (2006)

    There’s an element of truth to [Trump’s] clarification. Some national security experts have said that pulling out of Iraq in 2011 left the country vastly unprepared and helped create an environment where ISIS could expand and thrive. But the real blunder, many experts say, was President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in the first place without any real plan to bring stability. Mistakes aside, calling any U.S. president the “founder of ISIS” is a grave misrepresentation.

    Time

    Under the guidance of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [ISIS] has capitalized on a series of missteps by both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations—along with a civil war in Syria and Iraqi government failures—to create a new global terror state

    CNN

    Assume you’re running for president . . . and you wish to criticize the sitting commander in chief for being oblivious to, if not accidentally enabling, the rise of the world’s deadliest terrorist organization. What might you say to make your case?

    You might point out that Barack Obama’s wholehearted support of an Iranian satrap in the form of the former Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki—a man Obama described on the White House lawn in 2011 as the elected leader of “a sovereign, self-reliant and democratic Iraq” and the “most inclusive government” in that nation’s history—was probably a bit of a bloomer in hindsight, and an avoidable one.

    Obama’s own vice president correctly assessed, not a year earlier when the administration backed the premier for re-election, that Maliki “hates the goddamn Sunnis” and that the goddamn Sunnis are the bellwether constituency determining the fortunes of Sunni jihadism in Mesopotamia as well as the necessary bulwark for destroying and discrediting it, as Obama has lately discovered to his own embarrassment.

    You might also point to the near-criminal indifference by the current White House to the slow-motion catastrophe that has unfolded in Syria. Many decent and “non-radicalized” Syrians initially saw the United States as a prospective savior from Assadist atrocities. Now many view it as an Assad accomplice, just as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the so-called Islamic State, has been saying for years.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/11/trump-s-new-conspiracy-spew-obama-founded-isis.html

    Mission accomplished for Trump: His hyperbolic statement that “Obama was the founder of ISIS” prompted media figures hostile to him and sympathetic to Obama and Mrs. Clinton to spill a good deal of figurative ink acknowledging his real point, that the Obama administration’s missteps helped ISIS to grow. That they also faulted George W. Bush doesn’t hurt the case, since Trump says he opposes the Iraq war, in favor of which then-Sen. Clinton voted in 2002.

    And yet. While Trump scored a masterful tactical victory—and, let us note, won an argument over policy—it could turn out that he’s making an important strategic error. Presidents typically maintain an air of seriousness, and voters may feel that Trump’s unconstrained use of sarcasm and hyperbole sets an unpresidential tone …

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-founder-of-is-is-1471282682

    J'aime

  18. jcdurbant dit :

    Gurfinkiel, toujours aussi bon :

    Trump a eu un coup de génie au début des primaires. Il a compris que la meilleure façon de s’imposer était de se démarquer des autres candidats républicains, qui répétaient en gros la même chose, et se constituer une solide base électorale en se tournant vers un public populaire, populiste, avide d’idées simples et de slogans cinglants. Il aurait pu être stoppé si un seul adversaire lui avait fait face. Mais la nature humaine est ainsi faite que chacun des autres candidats républicains a cru qu’il avait des chances et que les candidats les moins bien placés ont refusé jusqu’au dernier moment de se désister en faveur du mieux placé, le sénateur texan Ted Cruz.

    La ligne de Trump n’est pas très cohérente. Il veut « rendre sa grandeur à l’Amérique », mais en fait soutient sur le plan international un repli sur soi qui n’est pas très différent de la politique de Barack Obama. Il affirme que la mondialisation a moins profité à l’Amérique qu’à ses concurrents, mais fait parallèlement l’éloge de certains de ces concurrents, tels que la Russie ou la Chine, et il a même compté dans son entourage immédiat des personnalités directement liées à la Russie. Il affirme qu’il va relancer la croissance américaine, mais tolère en même temps chez ses partisans des attaques contre les banques et Wall Street dignes de la presse d’extrême gauche. Cela n’a plus grand-chose à voir avec le conservatisme moderne américain, tel qu’il a été mis en place voici une quarantaine d’années par Ronald Reagan.

    Il n’y a pas un électorat juif américain, il y en a quatre.

    D’abord, les « seniors » (âgés de plus de cinquante-cinq ans) appartenant aux groupes « conservative » (massorties) ou réformés, qui représentent près du quart de la population juive. Ils sont viscéralement attachés aux causes juives et à Israël, mais ils ont grandi à une époque où les démocrates semblaient être les meilleurs défenseurs de ces causes, et ils ont beaucoup de mal à admettre que les circonstances ont pu changer à cet égard.

    Ensuite les enfants et petits-enfants de ces derniers, qui représentent de 30 à 40 % de la population juive. Beaucoup plus assimilés que les « seniors », souvent impliqués dans des mariages mixtes, moins proches d’Israël, ils ont tendance à croire que la religion juive se limite à la justice sociale et donc au militantisme de gauche.

    Troisièmement, les orthodoxes, au sens large du mot (des ‘Hassidim jusqu’aux « orthodoxes modernes ») : 15 % de la population juive. Mieux ancrés dans leur identité, ils votent en général pour les républicains, qui leur semblent aujourd’hui plus proches d’Israël et des intérêts communautaires juifs.

    Quatrièmement, les immigrés non-religieux d’origine russe ou israélienne : 10 %. Viscéralement de droite pour la plupart, inconditionnellement pro-israéliens, ils votent républicain.

    Faites l’addition : 75 % de démocrates en moyenne, 25 % de républicains.

    Trump a toujours vécu et travaillé avec des juifs, et en particulier des juifs orthodoxes. Il semble avoir beaucoup de respect et d’admiration pour le peuple juif et Israël. Sa fille Ivanka s’est convertie au judaïsme orthodoxe, a épousé un Juif orthodoxe avec lequel elle a eu trois enfants, et mène une vie juive tout à fait traditionnelle, notamment en matière de cacherout et de Chabbat.
    Mais d’un autre côté, la politique étrangère néo-isolationniste de Trump peut constituer, à terme, un danger pour Israël.

    Hillary Clinton a été sénatrice de New York, un État où l’électorat juif pèse un grand poids. Elle a donc professé à cette époque un pro-israélisme sans faille. En tant que secrétaire d’État d’Obama, elle a en revanche poursuivi une politique plus ambiguë. Si elle est élue présidente des États-Unis, elle peut en outre être amenée à donner des gages à l’aile Sanders du parti démocrate, qui est dans l’ensemble anti-israélienne.

    http://haguesher.com/article.php?id=6239

    J'aime

  19. jcdurbant dit :


    REVENGE OF THE CLINGERS (Obama legacy: Eight years of hope and change and look who we might be getting in the White House and at the head of the Free world)

    « The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. For those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests. They partner with these people who don’t have your good in mind. It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities. »

    Trump ad

    Barack Obama is the Dr. Frankenstein of the supposed Trump monster. If a charismatic, Ivy League-educated, landmark president who entered office with unprecedented goodwill and both houses of Congress on his side could manage to wreck the Democratic Party while turning off 52 percent of the country, then many voters feel that a billionaire New York dealmaker could hardly do worse. If Obama had ruled from the center, dealt with the debt, addressed radical Islamic terrorism, dropped the politically correct euphemisms and pushed tax and entitlement reform rather than Obamacare, Trump might have little traction. A boring Hillary Clinton and a staid Jeb Bush would most likely be replaying the 1992 election between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush — with Trump as a watered-down version of third-party outsider Ross Perot. But America is in much worse shape than in 1992. And Obama has proved a far more divisive and incompetent president than George H.W. Bush. Little is more loathed by a majority of Americans than sanctimonious PC gobbledygook and its disciples in the media. And Trump claims to be PC’s symbolic antithesis. Making Machiavellian Mexico pay for a border fence or ejecting rude and interrupting Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a press conference is no more absurd than allowing more than 300 sanctuary cities to ignore federal law by sheltering undocumented immigrants. Putting a hold on the immigration of Middle Eastern refugees is no more illiberal than welcoming into American communities tens of thousands of unvetted foreign nationals from terrorist-ridden Syria. In terms of messaging, is Trump’s crude bombast any more radical than Obama’s teleprompted scripts? Trump’s ridiculous view of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a sort of « Art of the Deal » geostrategic partner is no more silly than Obama insulting Putin as Russia gobbles up former Soviet republics with impunity. Obama callously dubbed his own grandmother a « typical white person, » introduced the nation to the racist and anti-Semitic rantings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and petulantly wrote off small-town Pennsylvanians as near-Neanderthal « clingers. » Did Obama lower the bar for Trump’s disparagements? Certainly, Obama peddled a slogan, « hope and change, » that was as empty as Trump’s « make America great again. » (…) How does the establishment derail an out-of-control train for whom there are no gaffes, who has no fear of The New York Times, who offers no apologies for speaking what much of the country thinks — and who apparently needs neither money from Republicans nor politically correct approval from Democrats?

    Victor Davis Hanson

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