PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Trump Bounces Back – Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – Trump Bounces Back – Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

  • Trump Bounces Back

  • The Normandy test

  • Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

  • The Week in Pictures: Calizuela Edition

Trump Bounces Back

Posted: 12 Oct 2019 03:54 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)I wrote here and here that, although the Democrats’ impeachment claims are frivolous, they have hurt President Trump in the polls. Trump’s history is that he tends to rise in the polls until a negative news cycle hits–which happens often–and then he will drop back down.

In the latter post, I noted that before the impeachment frenzy struck, Trump had been rising in the Rasmussen survey. He was at 53% approval among likely voters as of September 24, a number that if maintained suggests a clear path to re-election. The coupling of the words “Trump” and “impeachment” in newspaper headlines–the real purpose of the Democrats’ impeachment drive–drove Trump’s approval numbers in the same survey all the way down to 45% on October 8, against 52% disapproval.

Since then, Trump’s numbers have been climbing back up, presumably as more voters become aware of how silly the Democrats’ grounds for impeachment are. As of yesterday, Trump had made up half of his decline over the prior two weeks, with 49% approval against 50% disapproval. I guess that he will continue to rise until the Democrats come up with their next stratagem to generate negative headlines.

The Rasmussen survey is valuable, by the way, for several reasons. It is the only daily presidential approval poll, based on a rolling three-day average. It also samples only likely voters, unlike virtually every other poll conducted outside the later stages of an election campaign. Whether Rasmussen’s numbers are accurate as a predictor depends on whether the likely voter model holds up. But regardless of whether the numbers are high, low, or exactly right, Rasmussen’s unique status as a rolling daily poll makes it an important indicator of trends. At the moment, things are trending the president’s way.


The Normandy test

Posted: 12 Oct 2019 10:11 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Defenders of President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from a portion of Syria, thereby enabling Turkey to have at the Kurds, make several arguments in favor of that move. I don’t find any of them persuasive, but some are better than others.

The worst argument I know of comes from Trump himself. He points out that the Kurds didn’t help us at Normandy.

He’s right, they didn’t. Neither did the Jews of what is now Israel. Like the Kurds, they were stateless. But that doesn’t mean they are not our allies today, or that we should leave them vulnerable to attack by their enemies.

The Saudis weren’t at Normandy, either. Yet, we support them in Yemen. Moreover, we are about to deploy nearly 2,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia, bringing the total to around 3,000.

The Germans were present in force at Normandy. They mowed down the invading American troops. Yet, for decades we stationed large numbers of troops — many, many more than the 1,000 or so we are pulling back in Syria — to protect West Germany from the Soviet Union. (The Soviets didn’t help us at Normandy, but they were instrumental in winning World War II).

In short, I can’t think of a less relevant test for determining U.S. troop deployment than whether a country or a people, helped us at Normandy.

Trump’s foreign policy seems to be based on two goals. He wants to maximize U.S. influence in the world but also wants to bring American troops home. This is a sensible goal, but very difficult to pull off.

Accomplishing it will sometimes require the use of foreign fighters to take on our enemies. In the long term, this will require a certain degree of loyalty to those who help us fight.

The war against ISIS in Syria is a textbook example of this “proxy” approach. The Kurds did nearly all the deadly fighting. We supported them. ISIS was defeated, at least for the time being.

In speeches, Trump touts this victory as a major foreign policy success. I think it’s one of his few to date.

Therefore, the lead role of the Kurds in defeating ISIS more than compensates for their absence from Normandy eight decades ago.


Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

Posted: 12 Oct 2019 10:01 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)What the Democrats fear most is happening: President Trump and his negotiating team are reaching wide-ranging agreements with China that will be a huge boon to the United States.

In an Oval Office press conference yesterday, President Trump and China’s Vice Premier announced a Phase 1 set of agreements that will be documented over the next several weeks. The video of the press conference is embedded below; Trump’s performance was masterful. His many years of experience as a negotiator shine through.

The Phase 1 agreement covers several important topics, including agricultural sales. China has agreed to ramp up its purchases of agricultural products to $40-$50 billion–three times the previous peak–over the next two years. Trump joked that farmers will need to buy more land and work overtime. That means, I think, that Democrats can say goodbye to hopes that tariffs would be the issue that could win votes in rural America.

The agreement also opens up China’s financial services markets to American companies, covers currency manipulation, and addresses some aspects of intellectual property and technology transfer agreements. Phase 2 negotiations will begin immediately.

Given the Phase 1 agreement, new tariffs scheduled to go into effect on October 15 have been canceled. Further tariff increases are scheduled for December 15, but Trump and Steven Mnuchin, who participated in the press conference, emphasized that there is plenty of time to reach a Phase 2 agreement that would nullify those increases. Phase 2 could be the final agreement, or, if there are still open issues, there could be a Phase 3.

Many are saying that the Chinese willingness to enter into this wide-ranging agreement shows that they understand impeachment is a joke, and expect that President Trump will be re-elected. In fact, Trump himself said exactly that in response to a question: “They expect that I’m going to win. Otherwise, they wouldn’t sign the deal. It’s very simple.” If Trump can get our relationship with China straightened out well in advance of the election, with economic benefits becoming visible, the main obstacle to his re-election will, in my opinion, be removed.

Here is the press conference in its entirety:


The Week in Pictures: Calizuela Edition

Posted: 12 Oct 2019 03:30 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)There’s a meme that I think I used once here a long while ago, showing a bunch of candles, with the legend: “What did socialists use before candles? Electricity.” This came back to me flying into San Francisco last night from the north, and looking out the window at parts of the state that used to be civilized (i.e., lit with electricity). Welcome to Bolifornia—or is it Calivia? The fun part is all the smug Tesla drivers who can’t charge their cars. (My power has remained on, but I do live in a zone where it might get cut off. But some years ago I installed an automatic gas-powered backup generator.) Final irony alert: California Democrats are calling for an investigation into why the state’s gasoline prices are $1.50 a gallon higher than the rest of the country. Should we send them mirrors with electric vanity lights? Oh, what the heck, let’s begin with a re-run:

Headlines of the week:


Okay, this one of from the Babylon Bee, but it’s so good it could easily be real:

And finally. . .


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