It’s exhausting being both a conservative and a critic of President Trump. When I aim my pen at the White House, many of my comrades on the right go nuts. And readers who love it when I go after Trump turn into a cage full of poo-flinging monkeys when I turn my attention to the Democrats.

So let me try to head things off at the pass and say that, yes, the president is inexcusably contemptuous of constitutional norms and the basic processes of our system. He is transparently ignorant on these matters, possessing a thumbless grasp of basic civics.

With that out of the way, I have a question: What is Elizabeth Warren’s excuse? Or Kamala Harris’? Or Bernie Sanders’? Or Beto O’Rourke’s?

Take Warren. She was a Harvard law professor and prizes her reputation as a serious policy wonk. And yet vast swaths of her proposed agenda are either illegal or unconstitutional. For instance, she has vowed to implement a total ban on fracking once she’s elected. The only problem: The president doesn’t have that power. Congress passed a law in 2005 giving wide latitude to states to allow fracking. The Obama administration tried to circumvent the Energy Policy Act — in a far less audacious way than Warren’s plan — and the courts slapped it down. In short, Warren is promising something illegal.

Warren’s wealth tax is almost surely unconstitutional. So is her plan for creating a national statutory right to abortion. As National Review’s David French (a former Ivy League law professor as well) recently detailed: “Time and time again, the pattern is the same. She’ll push regulatory authority beyond the statutory limit. She’ll push statutory authority beyond the constitutional limit. In so doing, she’d represent the next stage in imperial presidential evolution — reaching beyond both President Obama and President Trump, two men who have had their own problems staying within their constitutional boundaries.”

But forget about the legal and constitutional niceties and just focus on the politically possible. Like President Trump, most of the Democratic contenders say they want to get rid of the legislative filibuster, making Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a more responsible steward of the constitutional order. And nearly all of the radical proposals they support — from gun control to “Medicare for All” to the Green New Deal — are politically impossible without doing so (and probably impossible even without the filibuster). But no one explains how they could accomplish such a repeal.

To his credit, Sanders doesn’t want to get rid of the filibuster. He just claims he could socialize medicine through the budget reconciliation process. He can’t.

Then there’s math. Nearly all of the grandiose plans to socialize medicine and fight climate change would require massive tax hikes. But Warren, who won’t say she’ll raise taxes on the middle class, insists that the rich can pay for it all. They can’t. You could literally (and unconstitutionally) confiscate all of the wealth of the top 1 percent and it wouldn’t cover the Green New Deal alone by some estimates.

A majority of Americans are concerned about climate change. But when the issue moves from virtue-signaling to actually paying for it, they blanch (as Australian voters recently did). According to polls, a majority of Americans are unwilling to spend more than $24 a year on electricity to combat climate change.

Indeed, I think virtue-signaling explains much of what is going on. None of these sweeping promises have any chance of surviving contact with Congress, never mind the voters. But that’s beside the point. The Democratic primary is an emotive contest to prove who cares the most.

Last week, when Joe Biden noted, rightly, that sweeping gun bans by executive

order would be unconstitutional, Kamala Harris replied, “I would just say, hey, Joe, instead of saying, ‘No, we can’t,’ let’s say, ‘Yes, we can.’” When she was done giggling at her own quip, she didn’t provide an argument; she demagogued on the issue by pointing to the victims of gun violence, in much the same way President Trump uses the victims of criminals who are in the country illegally to support his constitutionally dubious border plans.

One of the reasons our politics are so ugly is that politicians and activists insist the impossible is not only possible, but easy. When the inevitable failure materializes, the same politicians blame it on nefarious special interests and a rigged system. This in turn leads not just to more cynicism but a desire for leaders who will tear down everything, the Constitution be damned. That’s how we got Trump, and that’s how we got this execrable field of virtue-signaling Democrats.

Jonah Goldberg’s latest book, “Suicide of the West,” is now available wherever books are sold. You can write to him in care of this newspaper or by email at goldbergcolumn@gmail.com, or via Twitter: @JonahNRO.

Copyright 2019 Tribune Content Agency.

(87) comments

jerseygrl42

Hey Noah, how about telling us what your definition of " contemptuous of constitutional norms" as compared to "Illegal"

awteam2000

Funny, Trump supporters aren’t talking about his merits but looking for deficiencies in his potential opponents, who will likely be the next president. Not a real vote of confidence for the current president.🤷‍♂️

rikkitikkitavvi

His merits are below aw. His "opponents" do not stand a chance in **** You all know that and can't stand the thought that he will be President until 2024. [whistling]

olefool

t does not matter how you say it or what you say rik, you're still just a back bench bloviator who makes outlandish, strident statements on issues, thinking that the average man will care about your opinions.

rikkitikkitavvi

Old foolish one, you already know what I think of you. I have no need to repeat myself. Go to your safe space and have a cookie and a bottle.

DickD

Wait a minute, ric a tic, you want Trump's opponents to join hi in ****?

des21

Well, he was a Democrat until 2008. You guys made him after all...……...

des21

I still think he will win despite all is flaws because the democrats are embracing ideas that most Americans don't want- particularly don't want to pay for. "Democratic" Socialism along with open borders and abortion on demand at any time are not winning issues for you guys. That's my opinion. We shall see.

lewisantq

Goldberg is a right-wing hack. Not one of Warren's proposals is unconstitutional. Most would require congressional approval. Goldberg's accusation that they are unconstitutional is simply part of the Republican playbook to paint her as a radical. Bob Lewis

rikkitikkitavvi

Economy

Dow Jones Industrial is up 32.1%

Closed on January 19th, 2018 at 26,071.72 points. It was first created in 1896 when Grover Cleveland was president or 27th president. We are now on our 45th president meaning their was a gap of 18 presidents in between (will include Grover and Trump). Then divide both numbers and you get an average increase of 1,448.43 points every 4 years. Trump has increased the DJIA by 7,000 points in just under a day of 1 year. That’s 4.83x more than any president could do in 4 years, or 2.1x more than any president could do in 8 years. (Fact).

NASDAQ is up 32.4% (Fact)

S&P 500 is up 24.1% (Fact)

Russell 2000 is up 18.2% (Fact)

Has added around 2 million+ jobs in 2017 (have yet to receive January job reports). (Fact).

Consumer Confidence at 94.4 with the highest being at 100.7. The national average is 86.21. (Fact).

Average American will get a tax break of 3% dropping from 25% to 22%. (Fact)



Corporations will get a tax break of 14% from 35% to 21%. (Fact)

Unemployment rate at 4.1% (Fact)

Average US home price up 2.96% (Fact)

Deregulated the private sector, increased productivity and added to the economy (both pro and con) (Fact)

Made the US more competitive with the rest of the world and more favorable with corporations. (Opinion)

Military

Favorability: Trump then Obama (Fact)

Marine Corps- 58.9% - 26.4%

Air Force- 38.1% - 35.1%

Navy- 39.5% - 43.4%

Army- 46.3% - 36.4%

Trump is viewed more favorably by the US military, also (this part is an opinion) trump has now made America the country who will not be crossed, while obama was basically toothless and let Russia regain influence both in the Middle East and in Europe with the hostile take over of Crimea. Obama drew lines in the sand and when they were crossed he said “well let’s step back and draw a new line” trump did the same but when they were crossed, he launched missiles. US launches missiles into Syria in response to chemical weapons attack

Afghan official: 94 ISIS fighters killed by 'mother of all bombs'

Military is getting a pay increase (Fact)

ISIS is nearly defeated, from a creation of a state/caliphate stand point. (Fact)

ISIS by the numbers Trump then Obama 11 months vs 28 Months

SQ Miles held by ISIS: 1,900 - 17,500

SQ Miles Liberated: 15,570 - 13,200

# of people freed: 5.3 million - 2.4 million

Infrastructure

Plans on spending around $1 trillion dollars on modernizing and refurbishing America’s bridges, roads, tunnels, ports and water systems. (Fact)

More industrial plants are being made in the US. (Fact)

Political

Has been politically incorrect (Fact that he has been, I think we all can agree. But it’s an opinion that it’s a pro.)

Has made the Democrats show their true colors of putting their party in front of their constituents (opinion)

Went on to be the 6th president to become president with no political history. (Fact)

Out of 304 electoral college votes he got 302 when the electoral college came together, while Clinton out of 227 only got 222. So Clinton actually lost more electoral college votes than trump. (Fact)



has appointed a Supreme Court justice and a couple other judges (Fact)

Has kept a majority of his promises and has not strayed from them or skewed them into other things (Fact and Opinion)

olefool

More alternative facts and alternative reality from the trumpster. For instance, You said "Dow Jones Industrial is up 32.1%"... However it closed on January 19th, 2018 at $26,071.72; closed yesterday, September 20, 2019 at $26,935.07, a increase of 3.25%??? Maybe a strategical misplacement of a decimal point??? I could go on and on but you get my drift. But he has been successful in less than 3 years in destroying the Constitution and Rule of Law that that has held the country together for over 243 years...

hayduke2

Hey Ricci. How’s that stock market benefiting you personally??

DickD

You are lucky, ric a tik, we couldn't begin to put down all of the unfavorable Trump reasons for why he will not be re-elected. It is easier to support Trump, who has so few achievements, compared to Obama.

rikkitikkitavvi

Lowest common denominator is the lefts truths vs. the Rights truths and which side you believe. No amount of arguing will change either sides thinking. Each side is dug in too deep. So why bother? Except for entertainment value it's meaningless and will remain that way.

thump1202

Personally I find analyzing it interesting in terms of cultural trends and keeping up with the general state of society. The people with hard views are, to each side, a minority to the average person who isn't paying attention. The ways they try to engage these people tends to lead to victory and that's always a good psychology lesson.

phydeaux994

What are Trumps views that cause you to support him? The Republicans haven’t passed any meaningful Legislation since the Prison Reform Bill. McConnell hasn’t allowed any Legislation submitted by the Democrats this year and the Republicans haven’t submitted anything. Trump keeps insisting that the Parties sit down and work things out while the Republicans are saying Democrats happp

thump1202

Not sure how many times I need to say this. I don't support Trump, I didn't vote for him, and to me he's no different than any other President in recent history. What I do support are traditional American values that were commonly shared until the turn of the century when the left started to get really weird and turn the kid in Kindergarten Cop who said boys have certain hardware and girls have certain hardware into a privileged white supremacist bigot. Stop making assumptions and trying to categorize me for disagreeing with you, I don't believe in your identity politics.

phydeaux994

Sorry thump, read your comments just today and figure where the average person would put you on the Political scale. You never criticize Trump, you say the same things CD and user1 and rb and rikkitikkitavvi do, you agree with everything they say, you defend Trump supporters actions, you don’t like the same people they don’t like, I know you didn’t vote for a Democrat, your general rhetoric is Far Right. Your identity is pure Trump supporter. If it waddles like a duck.........? Peace.

thump1202

phy I typically participate in threads about democrat candidates to beg them to give me someone to vote for and to give them advice on what I'm looking for. In this thread I disagree with rikki on several matters but he's also correct on several matters in my estimation. Me saying I understand voter frustration that led to Trump

and that in 2020 at this moment I think he will win and likely go against Warren is analysis, it's not what I want. Let me explain something clearly, I am politically a product of the 90's when there were common American values. At the time R's were still in the death throes of social conservatism and D's were still fighting for legal equality for sexual orientation and represented individualism and advocated for a colorblind society. My values have not changed. You believe that someone with the values of a 90's democrat is far right. Trump was a democrat in the 90's and is honestly to the left of Hillary no matter how you look at it, so perhaps you are correct that I fit the profile. When I'm in the ballot box in 2020 I'll have to consider it to appease your opinion of me.

gary4books

Some may think so. And for the "far-out ideas" on both sides it is likely true. But there is stuff that works and stuff that just covers up crimes or other misdeeds. We can sort that out and YES we can defend what is right.

awteam2000

Lowest common denominator isn’t applicable. Trump has no commonality. He’s the bottom.

gary4books

Jonah and I never agree. Well not often. But I am reminded of f film where a woman is decorating her condo in New York and wants a wall down. They say "That is a load bearing wall.." and she responds "I do not csre. Remove it." And the Constitution is a load bearing wall. If we want to change it - it takes time and work. And if somethig is important, we should be ready to do the work.

shiftless88

It seems to me that things like banning fracking aren't unconstitutional, it just needs Congress. Most presidential candidates' promises are based on some premise of controlling congress. Just like a candidate that says they will cut taxes. Of course they can't cut taxes; that is Congress' job.

gary4books

Shift - [thumbup][thumbup]

veritas

This is why left is left and right is right and never the Twain shall meet. You want to ban fracking? Seriously? Well of course you do. You’re a Democrat. Let’s return to the days of energy dependence. Why? Because it makes a liberal “feel good.” Oy.

des21

And remember Veritas- no blood for oil- unless that energy comes from fracking than apparently, spill all the blood you want. Logical reasoning does not come easily to the Left.

Dwasserba

I saw that. It was Joan Crawford when she was married to Al Steele.

gary4books

Debbie - [beam]

phydeaux994

“Yeah, Trump is a disaster but the Democrats are worse”.....these rousing defenses of Trump seem to be the Republican Theme of the day.

DickD

Jonah, I share some of your beliefs, but look at all the illegal things Trump has done and Republicans support him, by about 89 %.

rikkitikkitavvi

You don't believe Obama's spying on a Presidential candidate was illegal? I do.

hayduke2

Trolling again. Show the proof of this claim.

Dwasserba

"Spying" was an inflammatory term for what was done following set correct procedures.

gary4books

I thought they were investigating alleged crimes and are still working on that allegation.

threecents

Rikki, Are you referring to the FBI looking into why a presidential candidate and his staff were meeting with powerful Russians when it was known that Russia was trying to influence our elections with fake news and fake social media accounts?

awteam2000

I think Rikki’s evidence of Obama spying was Kellyanne Conway suggesting Obama was hiding in Trump’s penthouse microwave. That’s how it was uncovered that the Trump Campaign (Don Jr., Jared and Manafort) was meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower and it wasn’t over adoption of Russian orphans.

rbtdt5

"hayduke2 Sep 20, 2019 9:52am

Trolling again. Show the proof of this claim."

thump1202

Anyone else long for the days when political disagreement wasn't a big deal because we all had a set of shared values as Americans? When Obama is considered alt right based on his 2008 platform, you know there are serious problems in the DNC. I hope they get cleaned up, this war on the center and increased polarization isn't going to get us anywhere in this country. The DNC strategy seems to be threaten people with smears if you don't agree. People might smile and nod to get along but they'll remember the thuggery when they vote.

DickD

Smears? You mispoke, that is Trump.

rikkitikkitavvi

Says you dick.

DickD

Don't tell me you disagree, ric a tik. [tongue_smile]

thump1202

Trump smears people daily but it rarely leads to actions and is forgotten quickly. Wearing a MAGA hat is flat out dangerous in many places and can get you doxxed, fired, or your business protested. The chick fil a owner made a donation to a faith group years ago and ever since they're on the hate list for having Christian values in their corporate culture. Who has Trump or his supporters protested with much regularity?

hayduke2

Who has Trump or his supporters protested with much regularity? Immigrants of all types, Comey, FBI, CIA,Congress, Democrats in general, Gun reform folks, news reporting, judges who rule against Trump, Pelosi, and on and on. Did you really mean to print that? Come on man.

thump1202

And that has just been flag waving and chanting USA, that doesn't hurt anyone. The only times they get into fights are at rallies in places like Portland where antifa runs amok throwing projectiles and using weapons against unarmed people. If you've ever taken HEAT survival training, the instructors flat out tell you the only groups you have to worry about are leftist ones. I'd recommend it for you and your family if you haven't, especially if you travel to large cities often. Stands for hostile environment awareness training.

hayduke2

thump - NONSENSE - you asked who Trump or his supporters protested regularly - I answered. Sorry you don't like the response or can't see the forest for the trees.

thump1202

Let me rephrase then, replace protest with utilize violent force in opposition of. Protest can be words or actions, I was leaning towards action, I should know to be explicit as no one is a mind reader. My bad.

gary4books

Dick D - you ot that right. I must have missed what they say the Democrats have done. There is enough real stuff to not need to make up anything.

hayduke2

Remedy it - 1) get big money out of elections 2) stop all gerrymandering 3) limit the time to campaign for office to 6 months 4) impose term limits and 5) put time limits on SC terms

thump1202

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] I'd have to think about 5 but I'm with you 100% on the other issues. Now how to get viable Congressional candidates nationwide and coordinate a dump all incumbants to destroy the opposition? That would be a hell of a campaign.

hayduke2

See - folks who sometimes have differing opinions can agree and I think this would make a heck of a campaign platform. Too bad the large moderate/middle ground folks get lost in the shuffle. [beam]

threecents

So which candidates would prioritize real campaign finance reform - which is the only way it would have a chance. To me it looks like Bernie and Liz are the only ones who could pull it off.

Russian

Most republicans support an incestful cheating NY politician going to foreign countries to solicit lies on US political opponents.

wran

I assume you are referring to Hilliary Clinton and her Ukraine shenanigans

public-redux

“It’s exhausting being both a conservative and a critic of President Trump.”

Ain’t that the truth!

thump1202

Try being a parent and having moral standards while trying to explain Trump... Daddy the president said this, that means it's ok right? Ughhhhh

rikkitikkitavvi

Don't let your kid watch. Simple.

thump1202

Impossible as the entire media revolves around him, and there is countering the Trump is Hitler and Trump is King narratives. The amount of manipulation both sides are using to recruit useful idiots has ramped up noticeably over the past year and I fear it will target younger and get worse

Dwasserba

*As if* Trump doesn't suck the air out of every room everywhere.

rikkitikkitavvi

"Useful idiots"[lol] so true.

DickD

It's exhausting no matter whether you are conservative or liberal.

rikkitikkitavvi

Yes it is. But I'm no quitter.

threecents

Sounds like Rikki has a safe room for the kids until they're old enough to understand the wicked ways of the world.

DickD

My response was for Gladys, ric.

rikkitikkitavvi

"This in turn leads not just to more cynicism but a desire for leaders who will tear down everything, the Constitution be damned. That’s how we got Trump, and that’s how we got this execrable field of virtue-signaling Democrats."



No, That isn't how we got Trump. We the People were tired of the "same ole same ole" with the politicians on the left that hate Americans and the American culture. Now we have elected a man that is taking the bull by the horns and actually doing something for We the People and those same politicians hate it and are showing their true colors to the public at large. With the "Dorian Gray" portrait being exposed the Ameriphobic leftist are on their heels trying to appeal to their base in whatever way possible. Even by importing illegals from third world country's to bolster their numbers. It is a three ring circus with no end in sight. Even when the 2020 election is won in a landslide by the incumbent they will never admit that failure in policy. free stuff anybody? Grab your popcorn folks and strap yourselves in. It's going to be a rocky ride. MAGA 2020!

thump1202

I agree with the causes that lead to Trump and the seething frustration with government that he represents, I just wish we could have that with a classier messenger. Probably asking too much, Romney was as classy as Obama and he was skewered by the media. That's one thing Trump deals with effectively. Unless we see an October surprise my guess is we'll be seeing Trump vs Warren and a very low turn out election with Trump victory.

phydeaux994

Your turn rikkitikkitavvi.

DickD

God, I hope you are wrong on both of them.

thump1202

These things change. I've gotten pretty good at getting a read on various communities and the national sentiment. Most people, around 60% now are ODed on politics and just don't want to hear or think about it, especially those without a home in the middle. The Fringe people or those who are full of hatred on each side, around 10% total are frustrated the parties aren't going far enough off their cliffs. The loyal tribalists or around 30% total seem at peace as long as they have their slanted news to tell them they're good and everyone else is evil. That means at this point the likely turnout is just the loyalists. Fringe will stay home largely and no one is reaching out effectively to the disaffected crowd. RNC is banking that showing a blooper reel of the DNC primaries will shock these people into voting their way, the DNC is saying vote with us or else. I'm not convinced either of those will drive turnout.

threecents

Yah, the turnout is anyone's guess, which is why polls are problematic, but given the passions for 2020, I think there will be a big turnout.

thump1202

What's your reasoning there? I've started to see hostile reactions to trying to bring up politics with normal people and wholesale disregard for the news becoming common

threecents

From my vantage point most people are passionate about whether they want Trump to have four more years. You see something different?

thump1202

Might find this article of interest: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/12/politics/democrats-suburbs-2020-election/index.html this is what I hear when I talk to people around Frederick. I've noticed an increase since a few months before the mid-terms of people simply checking out and it's been ramping since. Amongst college educated 80% tend to vote while the blue collar high school educated are around 40%. If everyone you meet has an opinion, you're probably spending a lot of time around the college educated. Nothing wrong with that but it's not representative of the whole any more than social media is where you only hear from people with opinions.

threecents

Thump, Your assumptions about me are true. Your news looks good for Democrats, as college grads are trending toward the Democratic Party.

DickD

When it comes to hate, the Republicans have cornered the market, ric a tic.

rikkitikkitavvi

Back atcha' dicky do.

wran

Not really. Hate is the primary motivation of democrats. And, I am a registered Democrat for 58 years.

gary4books

My distinction is between "hate the sin" or "hate the sinner."

hayduke2

Exactly what do the Democrats hate? Don't generalize.

threecents

Gary[thumbup]

rikkitikkitavvi

hayduke2 Sep 20, 2019 12:43pm

Exactly what do the Democrats hate? Don't generalize.



Borders that define America as a sovereign Country. American values. Voter ID's. Working class Americans. Republicans. Veterans. The Constitution. The Declaration of Independence. Anybody that doesn't think like them. The truth. Unborn babies. The American Flag. People that believe no man should be entitled to the fruits of another mans labor. Freedom. Liberty. Self-preservation against violence. Law Enforcement officers. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Religion. Anybody that disagrees with them. Everything and anything Trump does. A Constitutional Republic.

hayduke2

And you immediately generalize that all Democrats hate those things. What a strange world you live in.

gary4books

I thought he "took the bull by the tail..."

rikkitikkitavvi

No that was Buck Owens and a tiger.

seanjames

ah yes, it's not cynicism and overly polarized partisanship, it's....that the other side HATES AMERICA!



another bright bulb trump supporter

threecents

[thumbup]Sean, Thank you. What I want is what I think is best for the country - Trump out of office and an end to his post-truth era.

rikkitikkitavvi

You will have to wait until 2024 for that cents.

threecents

If Trump is somehow re-elected, then at least I will have his impeachment and convictions to look forward to. That is one of the two main reason why I am still wondering why you Republicans don't demand real primary elections for 2020. The other reason is democratic values.

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