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February 23, 2016


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As much maligned as Trump is, at least you kinda know what you are getting with him (the Devil that you know) rather than with Rubio (the Devil you don't) or some unknown ("who the devil?").

So, for me at least I can't see how I would talk you out of that.

Do you think you get the better outcome with Trump and a GOP Congress because Trump is more willing to break from his party because of his obsession with being popular?

They've both called for repealing DACA. They've both called for repealing Dodd-Frank. They've both proposed budget-busting tax cuts.

The question would seem to be twofold between them.

(1) Would Rubio be a better manager, both in crises and otherwise:

(2) Would Trump's willingness to toss consensus foreign policy overboard and bring back honest-to-God protectionism be a bad thing?

There's no logical reason other than he might be arguing its something that ought to belong to the states alone, but that'd be dumb.

As for Trump. gah.

I think that Trump might be less horrible than the rest of the crop because fundamentally he thinks that the New Deal and most of America's welfare state are both Good Things. Movement conservatism didn't freak out because Trump is a xenophobe and a clown; they freaked out because he's okay with the New Deal.

He's not the most competent businessman, but he does have people manage his brand and Trump stuff, so I suspect that, when he's not playing a heel, he knows how to delegate to people who know what they're doing.

I don't think Trump actually has any policy stances per se, just emotional stances. He likes to talk what sounds almost like a left-populist line, but his published tax plan was more regressive than anyone's. I think he'd sign anything the Republican Congress gave him.

The xenophobia scares the crap out of me. I don't, in fact, know for sure that his election wouldn't lead to friends of mine being rounded up into concentration camps. Any of the Republicans might do that, but the feeling behind it is central to Trump's brand. He's also disturbingly fond of mob incitement, which might be a bigger problem as a candidate than as a President, but you never know.

Sometimes turning abstract fears into concrete scenarios dispels them by showing the fears to be too implausible to be worth bothering about.

Other times, it reinforces those fears by showing how they could manifest themselves under plausible circumstances.

In that vein:

What is the sequence of events under which President Trump opens concentration camps and rounds up your friends?

Trump has specifically promised to "go after" and possibly torture the family members of suspected Muslim terrorists. Not to put too fine a point on it, I know some family members of somebody who, mostly by being on the wrong flight at the wrong time with the wrong passport, was suspected of being a Muslim terrorist. They got a lot of heavy-handed attention from the DHS for a while. Someone who's promising to throw out what little rule book exists in this instance, that doesn't comfort me.

That sounds more than reasonable, Matt.

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