If Donald J. Trump wishes to lessen the impact of his disappointing second in the Iowa caucuses and walk back the tack he’s taken with Ted Cruz—he must begin to think big and talk big.
Loud in not necessarily big.
Call it triangulation, a concept associated with Bill Clinton’s successful strategies, or call it “the art of the deal”: It’s time for Trump to DO IT.
To this end, Trump must quit the “we don’t win anymore” formulaic rhapsody, and start fleshing out substantive positions. A pragmatist does so by introducing the people he’ll be recruiting to “Make America Great Again.”
To Cruz belongs the Trump Department of Justice portfolio. Offering Justice to Cruz allows Trump to both put Ted in his place as unsuited to the presidency; while simultaneously making him part of Team Trump and repairing that relationship.
Ted is too soft to be US president in these troubled times. But he’d make a spectacular attorney general in charge of DOJ.
There’s a reason George W. Bush hates Ted Cruz. In 2008, Cruz gave America reason to cue the mariachi band and celebrate the death of detritus José Medellín.
As part of a gangbanger initiation rite, Medellín had raped (in every way possible), strangled, slashed, and stomped two young Texan girls to death.
“In Texas,” to quote another Ron from the Lone Star State, “we have the death penalty and we use it. If you come to Texas and kill somebody, we will kill you back.”
Bush 43 would wrestle a crocodile for a criminal alien. Backed by Bush—and on behalf of Medellín and other killer compadres awaiting a similar fate—Mexico promptly sued the US over procedural technicalities in the International Court of Justice. The president ordered Texas to halt the execution of murderer and rapist Medellín.
Texas’ heroic solicitor general said no.
Cruz took the case to the Supreme Court. There, he bested Bush and his lickspittles. As the Conservative Review gloated, Cruz “won the case, 6-to-3.” He had sought justice for Americans against a president who subjugated them to international courts. Ted, moreover, was forever gracious about Bush; Bush and his bambino bro routinely slime Ted. (In trashing Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Trump is in bad company.)
The American government currently outsources the job of vetting Muslim refugees headed for the US to the most corrupt of UN agencies: the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
If anyone can vanquish the UN and extricate America from sovereignty sundering international treaties—it’s the victor in Medellín v. Ted of Texas.
Next is Rand Paul. The senator has abandoned hopes of becoming president of the United States, in 2016. With his departure, the libertarian bloom is off the Republican race for the White House.
Rand has been the only Republican in the running to sound a strong trumpet against the warfare state of his rivals. If a giant welfare state is unconservative, what of the warfare state?
By logical extension, not signing on to the bombing of Bashar Hafez al-Assad was a good thing, observed Rand. Assad was the source of stability in Syria, much as Saddam Hussein was in Iraq. Have we learned nothing about the perils of toppling dictators, only to see the rise of barbarians worse than their predecessors?
Besides, why are we still at war in Afghanistan? Why are we dropping bombs there? Why have we been “helping” Afghanistan for over 10 years, inquired Rand in the course of his campaign? We’ve spent more in that blighted and benighted region than we did on the Marshall Plan. “Why can’t the Afghans defend themselves after a decade? Will we have to defend them in perpetuity?”
And what’s unconservative about diplomatic engagement?
As impure a libertarian as he is, when compared to father Ron Paul, Rand has mocked his rivals’ military chauvinism and jingoism as incompatible with conservatism. In particular, why was the robotic Marco Rubio being given the time of day? Rubio is spoiling for fights that’ll dwarf the wars Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton waged on Libya, surreptitiously in Syria and in Afghanistan. As president, “the Boy in the Bubble” (Governor Chris Christie’s moniker for Marco) has promised to use American power extremely liberally. Or, as Rand has kept reminding Americans, there is no daylight between the Rubio and Hillary Clinton regime-change foreign policy.
Rand has been rather rude to Donald Trump, who, in turn, has not spared Senator Paul his repartee. But the front-runner, not Rand, has some placating to do.
Promise Rand Paul a cabinet position as secretary of state in charge of US foreign policy. Trump will thus bring the libertarians in from the cold. (By Gallop’s count, the libertarian-leaning vote might be as large as 24 percent.)
Rand can have State on one condition.
In the past, Trump has praised Representative Ron Paul. Trump will further solidify libertarian backing if he places Paul senior in charge of the US Department of the Treasury. Independents and some on the Left may follow (although they’ll lie to pollsters about it). No one is better suited than Congressman Paul to the task of halting further debasement of the coin courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank. He will also put an end to the depravity that is the Internal Revenue Service.
The urgency of the strategy offered in this column dawned when a ghastly idea was floated on Twitter to approving “Retweets”: “Trump should choose Colin Powell as VP.” Powell was the establishment toady who endorsed the war on Iraq while in the employ of Genghis Bush. Later, General Powell backed Barack Obama, using the pathos of racial justice as his excuse. In Trump parlance, Powell would be a “horrible” mistake. The same can be said about Ann Coulter’s calamitous Trump-Mitt Romney suggested ticket.
No, Trump must go outside the political tribe for a vice president.
A previous column suggested “the talented James Webb” for the Trump ticket. Webb is a decorated Marine who served as Ronald Reagan’s secretary of the navy. In particular, Webb is the recipient of the “Navy Cross for heroism in Vietnam,” the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts.
Indisputably the last salt-of-the-earth Democrat of his generation, Webb had considered a bid for president as a Democrat, last year. However, he appeared out of place at the first dominatrix-dominated debate in October of 2015, where he confessed to killing a man or two in battle. He soon dropped out.
Citing paleoconservative thinker Pat Buchanan, Mr. Webb had argued forcefully against affirmative action and for poor whites, well before reports about the early demise of white working-class America percolated to the public.
Webb the Southern Democrat can galvanize Reagan Democrats as well as fans of the military on the Left.
Rand Paul will bring libertarians along provided the little guy brings his dad to work with him.
Wasted on the presidency is an outstanding mind like that of Senator Ted Cruz. An outstanding businessman like Donald Trump should appreciate the intellectual value of such an asset.
Upcoming: And the Trump United States Department of Defense portfolio goes to …