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The Artlessness of Empty Bloviation
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Remittances from the United States to Mexico totaled nearly $32 billion last year.

Exporting social problems in return for tens of billions of dollars and political influence in another country is an impressive bit of statesmanship. Too bad the US doesn’t have someone able to artfully pull off a masterful kind of deal like the one Mexico has worked out!

• Category: Foreign Policy, Ideology • Tags: America First, Donald Trump, Mexico 
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  1. Yeah, I’m not planning on buying any books from this guy on dealmaking. He doesn’t make good deals in foreign policy, and more importantly, he doesn’t make good deals in domestic politics. The first thing you do, President Trump, is not choose employees who will work against you! I don’t even have any books out, and I know this.

    Bloviation is indeed a good term for what Trump does, A.E.

  2. Anonymous[679] • Disclaimer says:

    But Vox Day has reliably informed me that Trump is a God-Emperor who is the greatest president since Calvin Coolidge! How, I ask you, can a God-Emperor do wrong, or even fail to do right?

    I think TRVE BELIEVERS in President Trump like Vox, Bill Mitchell, etc. need to create a new field of intellectual inquiry: “Trumpodicy.” The way that theodicy is the art of tying obfuscatory intellectual Gordian knots in response to the simple yet extremely powerful contradiction between belief in God’s omnipotence and benevolence and the fact of immense human suffering, Trumpodicy will be the art of explaining away the seeming contradiction between the God-Emperor’s unchecked power and good nature and his repeated betrayals of the base that worked so hard to elect him.

    For instance: God-Emperor Trump has failed to build the wall or secure the border, substantively relatively minor but symbolically very important campaign promises of his. Could Donald Trump thus perhaps possess less than perfect wisdom or virtue? No, it must be because, uh…he’ll do it later…or it’s 4-D chess…or the deep state is secretly blackmailing him…or something…

    I really have to credit Richard Spencer, notwithstanding his various other flaws, for his prescience in this regard. ~2.5 years ago or so he was bearish on Trump and suggesting that Trump did not really have a deep commitment to the ideals of the dissident right or to the historic American nation. Former Trump worshipers like Nick Fuentes and Andrew Anglin are starting to catch on to the fact that his presidency has been a serious failure (assuming that Trump’s stated goals were his actual goals, that is, which is open to reasonable debate).

    • Replies: @Feryl
  3. It’s not even about deal-making. Aside from 2008-2010, remittances have been climbing steadily, pretty much putting to paid the fantasy that illegal immigration abated during the Obama years. In any case, if Mr. Trump can’t build his bloody wall, or can’t do a deal with Mexico to stem the tide, could he at least use some existing law to impose an excise tax on foreign remittances, if only to see how inelastic they are to costs?

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  4. Trump is unlikely to be reelected. The wars continue, the invasion continues, cultural shift continues… Career politicians can fail to uphold their campaign promises and get reelected as they have allies. Trump has none.

  5. Dark says:

    Hey, credit where credit is due. Is it known if the current situation was a specified goal for the Mexican government, or did it just happen to turn out to be such a boon for them?

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  6. Well, Mike, that’ll be just as well, if the patriotic right can find someone else, who won’t be compromised or turn stupid (whatever is going on). Anyone should be able to beat that blue-squad group of Old Pharts and Young Turds.

  7. @The Alarmist

    “could” must be rhetorical in this context, because yes, he could–or at least he could try. Given the perpetual demonstration of bad faith from all over the intelligence agencies, congress, the judiciary, and inside the WH itself, that he hasn’t issued a flurry of EOs is maddening. It’s war, president Trump–respond accordingly!

    • Agree: The Alarmist
  8. @Dark

    My guess is more of the latter initially, but firmly the former now.

  9. Feryl says:

    (assuming that Trump’s stated goals were his actual goals, that is, which is open to reasonable debate).

    Trump said what he figured would convince people, and his instincts were mostly right (he should’ve never said that BS about Mexican rapists*, because unless you are trying to convince the populace to mobilize against a foreign and threatening army, you don’t publicly say bigoted things about an ethnic group; Mexican day laborers and nannies are not an invading army, and certainly pose much less of a threat to this country than Muslim fundies, American blacks, and…..Neo-cons/Israel).

    But Trump hasn’t had the opportunity to make good on most of his rhetoric, because neither the courts nor his own party want to rescind “free” trade, or close the borders. Trump could try and ram a lot of stuff through, against the grain of “the system”, but it would lead to shunning and possibly impeachment. Also, I don’t remember the source exactly, but the insiders are saying that Trump felt very hurt and shocked when people like Jeff Sessions didn’t do more to have his back. There were some key moments where it registered that Trump has very few strong allies, who were willing to go against the GOP grain. This evidently has really discouraged Trump in many respects (although he’s continuing to fight against starting more major wars/invasions, Trump is no dummy he attacked Bush/The Pentagon for years over Iraq/Afghanistan, and Trump is not about to obliterate his legacy by becoming the next LBJ or GW Bush).

    *The courts openly admit that Trump’s bigoted public statements indicate a constitutional problem when it comes to evaluating the intent of Trump’s immigration policy. Had Trump simply given generic statements about protecting American security via immigration restriction (and had he said that the goal was to reduce immigration from all countries), he’d be in much better shape.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  10. Twinkie says:

    Exporting social problems in return for tens of billions of dollars and political influence in another country is an impressive bit of statesmanship. Too bad the US doesn’t have someone able to artfully pull off a masterful kind of deal like the one Mexico has worked out!

    Let’s not forget the fact that the establishment of NAFTA led to the wholesale industrialization of northern Mexico with American, Japanese, Taiwanese, South Korean, and even Chinese investment.

    When you think about all the benefits Mexico has gained by leveraging its relationship with the United States, their international “statesmanship” is quite astounding. Too bad they couldn’t control their own narco-terrorism problem, which is going to be the death of Mexico as a functioning country.

    If ours were a serious country, we would disinvite Mexico from NAFTA (just have a nice bilateral treaty with Canada) and completely shutdown the southern border. We have zero gain from that relationship and massive negative externalities (even the cheap labor, not only immiserates our lower class, but also exacerbates the gap between capital and labor and worsens socio-economic polarization, which in the long run isn’t good for the capital class either).

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  11. @Feryl

    I’ll be a broken record and say yet again that Trump should’ve brought Pat Buchanan on as Chief of Staff or Senior Policy Adviser on day one. He would’ve shored up all of Trump’s personnel blind spots like no single other person could have.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  12. Anonymous[356] • Disclaimer says:

    Why wasn’t Trump doing this from day one, especially during those two years when he had a Republican senate and house? He should have used the MSM’s obsession with every word that comes out of his mouth to hammer on all of the costs associated with illegal immigration, not just the $120 billion per year in total remittances from illegal (& legal) immigration, but also the $113 billion in yearly welfare (and other costs) just for the illegals and their US-born kids.

    He should be asking the congressional critters why they are turning their noses up at the super-cost-effective bids for wall construction funding by Fisher, the contractor who is building a portion of New Mexico’s privately financed wall. Why does the US Congress reject reasonably priced construction projects? If their cronies don’t get the money, they reject the project, but they are happy to spend boatloads of money on their cronies.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Feryl
    , @Feryl
  13. Twinkie says:

    Why wasn’t Trump doing this from day one, especially during those two years when he had a Republican senate and house?

    He told gun owners that we came through for him, so he was going to come through for us. Where is the hearing protection act? Where is the normalization of short barrel long guns? Where is the national concealed carry permit reciprocity?

    Heck, where is the repeal of the Obama Care?

    No, it’s not just Trump’s fault – both the GOP and Trump burnt those two years with posturing with nothing concrete to show for them (except the judicial appointments).

    I have accepted the idea that Trump is a transitional figure. He showed the GOP that populist nationalism worked electorally, but couldn’t get anything done. I am hoping a more politically attractive AND administratively competent figure will rise, replicate Trump’s electoral map and then actually get things done – immigration restriction, gun rights, and religious freedom (+ counterattack against homosexual and transsexual agenda).

    It’s a dream, yes, but thanks to Trump, it is a dream that is now closer to reality.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  14. Feryl says:

    Trump is like Carter in some respects; they both represented ahead of their time ideologies but were met with hostility and/or pity by the party establishment. Carter jumped the gun on Reaganism, and ended up half-heartedly fighting for neo-liberal reforms, most of which weren’t implemented in the 70’s. Culturally, Americans shifted toward neo-liberalism in the late 70’s, however inertia among the political establishment prevented neo-liberalism from taking effect until the 80’s. Also, the GOP was going to usher in neo-liberalism, not the Dems, with Reagan being to the GOP and America in the 80’s what FDR was to the Democrats and America in the 30’s. FDR and the Democrats set the tone for a highly regulated America beginning in the 30’s, while Reagan and the GOP set the tone for the de-regulated America of the 80’s-present. And the GOP by the 1940’s had to abandon explicit libertarianism, just like how the Democrats in the 1990’s had to abandon explicit New Dealism.

    Parties aren’t stupid, they detect a decades long ideological shift and respond accordingly in order to survive. The GOP reacted appropriately to the populist regulatory turn among the electorate in the 20’s and 30’s, but they didn’t fully adapt until 1940; The Dems reacted appropriately to the libertarian shift of the 70’s and 80’s, but not everybody fully acclimated ’til 1990.

    Ideological phases last for about 50 years, during which one particular party suddenly becomes favored WRT the country’s overall political outlook. In the 30’s-70’s, it was the Dems; since the 80’s, it’s been the GOP who’ve flavored America’s mood.

  15. Feryl says:

    Another similarity between Trump and Carter is how befuddled and demoralized they ended up feeling, because they understand the ideological shift among the masses before the political/media/cultural establishment fully does. These trail blazers expect the establishment to get with the program, and become frustrated at the continuing complacency of most elites. Yet, by 1984 most elites in America understood that the New Deal was over, and no longer wished to defend it, thereby making the 80’s an ideologically peaceful decade. The 60’s and 70’s soured the public on the New Deal, and then elites buried the New Deal in the 80’s. It’s likely that the ideologically unsettled 2010’s and 2020’s will be understood by 2030’s elites as the decades in which the public lost it’s faith in Neo-liberalism, and were clamoring for a change which elites will acquiesce to in the 2030’s.

  16. Feryl says:
    @Audacious Epigone

    Buchanan is loathed by the neo-liberal Beltway, who think that BAU can continue forever (even as debt piles up and congress has record low approval ratings). No elite bought into Buchanan in 1992 and few commoners understood how accurate Perot and Buchanan were about the globalist future, but as of right now Buchanan represents what most Americans want while today’s establishment won’t remove it’s head from it’s posterior.

    Buchanan himself would’ve been shunned, or subjected to massive levels of media criticism as well as attacks on his character (and the ethics/legalities of his actions) from the establishment of both parties. He easily could’ve been couped, perhaps put into jail, not too long after Trump was sworn in. That’s assuming Buchanan didn’t immediately sell out, or even just lay low* to buy favor from the establishment.

    *Sessions was largely absent during his tenure, accept for the most blase Reaganite causes (like crime and drugs).He also notoriously recused himself during the “Russia” investigation, putting his own neck ahead of doing what it ethically loyal (defending Trump from bogus charges) and in the best long term interests of America (helping squash a wasteful investigation and re-directing our priorities and energies).

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  17. @Twinkie

    Twinkie and I are not the same person–it just appears to be the case at times (like this).

  18. @Feryl

    PJB has a lot of friends in the media, an astonishing number, really. Even people like Rachel Maddow like him (personally). If Trump would’ve asked him, I’d bet my house he would’ve accepted, consequences be damned.

  19. Aft says:

    What possible reason is there not to tax money leaving the country (that will NOT be spent here, not flow into aggregate demand, not flow into the US economy, and thus take away from workers, sales tax, income tax, corporate income tax, etc.)

    Just like: what possible reason is there not to tax all imports (including any form of outsourced labor) given the salaries paid are not supporting US tax revenue (income tax, and then flow through sales tax, and economic benefits of money spent here)

    None. It doesn’t have to be protectionism, it’s just basic like for like tax effects of exporting money or importing labor

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