Ben Smith’s Troubled Nut Graf: You Make the Call Ben Smith’s now made a second-round correction to his recent profile. (He wrongly believed I wrote “solely” for Twitter — meaning he hadn’t read any blog items like this one. I’m firing my marketing department.)
I don’t think I’m going to get any more fixes out of him! That leaves intact his unsupported assertion, in the same troubled ‘nut graf,’ that I think
“Donald Trump is the ‘most credible’ candidate for the presidency.”
Where’d he get that? Here’s what I’d written Smith when he asked if I thought Trump should win [emphasis added to sentence Smith gets his quote from]:
Short Answer: I don’t know. Don’t rush me! That’s what long campaigns are for. I’m certainly glad he’s running.
Long Answer: I obviously think immigration’s very important. Nobody knows how to fix the overall economy so that it helps workers at the bottom. But we do know how to tighten the labor market by regulating supply through immigration control. For less skilled workers it seems more important than, say, tax reform.
Trump’s the most credible candidate when it comes to enforceable immigration controls — he’s not perfect (I’d rather see a clearer commitment to ‘enforcement first’ instead of to deporting all illegals). Cruz is getting better but he’s still vague on the crucial enforcement first test; Rubio’s still way to vague. Jeb isn’t even really pretending not to be on the other side.
(Here’s the crucial enforcement first test ; http://www.kausfiles.com/2015/11/13/a-simple-test-for-rubio/ )
I don’t trust any of them on this issue, but I trust Rubio least.
Trump also presents an attractive profile in other areas: He defends Social Security ( a sensible stand, I think, given that Social Security is the only secure structure in many peoples lives at the moment) and he’s relatively a restrained on foriegn policy, skeptical of neo-connish adventures.
It’s hard to say how he’d perform in office once all the forces of restraint (courts, Congress, his own staff etc) come down on him. I don’t know enough about him. Some of what I know is troubling, some of it is encouraging. The range of possibilities (great to awful) seems greater for him than for others. I could end up voting for him.
I do know he’s had a highly beneficial effect on the race so far, a) showing the extent of popular dissent from the suffocating Beltway/MSM/CEO consensus on immigration reform and b) showing that the Republican base cares less about tax cuts and more about preserving Social Security than the DC GOP elite hopes. Also c) more generally piercing the artificiality of modern campaigning.
Your call …
P.S.: Please leave aside that, after last night’s uninspiring debate, Trump now may well seem to be the most credible Republican candidate, at least. …
P.P.S.: Smith’s original angle seemed to be that I’d gone bonkers because I urged readers to call the Congressional switchboard during immigration fights. (Why not?) But readers care about Trump these days, so….