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Too Early To Call? A Primer for Roger and other Naifs



Elephant? Hippopotamus? WTF???

Context, Roger, context. The Elephant is the symbol of the Grand Old Party. The GOP are going to choose a candidate for the November presidential ballot by protracted process. Their big convention is in July. Today is January 6th. The protracted process is a step-wise, state-by-state, incremental battle for numbers.

The Elephant Party needs a candidate. Public opinion polls, in the aggregate, show one candidate with a plurality at the present time, averaged over the nation. If the GOP had a fearless leader like we have here, then the GOP would simply call the contest over, as our fearless leader has. It's done. It's over. Trump has won.

So, at some point in temporal reality, ether before or at the convention, The Final Elephant will have received enough delegates for the chance to kill the Donkey. The Magic Number is 1237.

The Hippopotamus is Michael's awkward metaphor for The Donald. He took my simple trope of a Musical Chairs for GOP Hopefuls ... and rambled off down the river for some congenial symbol, not attempting to fit it to any scenario but Trump Wins. He is in love; what can you do?

You shot off into the scrubland in search of a relevant illustration of a rapacious, immoral canine-ish species, Roger. You are not in love with Trump.

I too shot off into the scrubland myself, so I am not criticizing, just reporting.


Please google donald trump eminent domain (no quotes), read the first half dozen hits, and ponder whether any animal better metaphorizes Donald Trump's attitude toward private property rights better than a JACKAL.

I would hope everyone has made a good-faith effort to research Trump's attempts to use eminent domain, notably with Vera Coking in Atlantic City.


Michael has raised the point that eminent domain is supported by all the other GOP candidates -- at least in some ways. If we think of eminent domain in the context of aqueducts, dams, pipelines, electrical transmission lines, railways, highways, roads, miltary bases, ports, and so on, it seems obvious that in our mixed economies, big projects in the public interest are rammed through the property of thousands. In a perfect world -- as we have in Canada -- the 'public interest' is subject to dispute and appeal.

Was there a grand 'public interest' in condemning Coking's property? Was there a grand 'public interest' in ramming an Interstate or a border-crossing pipeline or other infrastructure across many privately held properties? That is a question for debate, comparing and contrasting the two kinds of 'interest.' To some principled people, Trump's actions were solely for his own commercial interests and desires, and using city muscle to render the wanted property into his hands was seen as a little sleazy and overbearing.

On the other hand, what about the vast use of eminent domain for such as, say, the now-cancelled Keystone completion project? Aren't they comparable? Here is Donald:

For me, the concept is 'expropriation.' In my context, the need for expropriation (as seen by government) comes for massive projects like the Site C Dam, as well as for tiny things like widening roads.

Some 'fixed mindset' people insist that the Atlantic City attempt+failure to 'grab' Coking's property shows an unpleasant side to Trump's attitude toward 'the little people.'

These issues have not been resolved in this thread.

-- I did an internal OL search for you, Roger. My link will take you to the 37 posts in this thread that discussed or mentioned eminent domain.

Please google donald trump eminent domain (no quotes), read the first half dozen hits...

I believe it has been discussed pretty deeply on this very thread.

At some point the contrast between public and private interest in expropriation can be examined. It hasn't been done in any of the 37 mentions.

Awhile back, someone on "Morning Joe" bet Mika a pickup truck that Trump wouldn't win. [...] Now he seems awfully sheepish as the time to pay up nears...

Mika Brzezinski is so brainy and sexy.

So Joe Scarborough bet Mika a pick-up truck that Trump wouldn't ... win ... the GOP nomination.

Is it just me, or does 'the time to pay up' mean time to give Mika the keys to the truck? I don't understand how "Now" is anywhere near the time to do so.

Insert reference to The Magic Number. Look at calendar. Shake head in puzzlement.

Just in case y'all wanna know:


Drip... drip... drip...

This gives me an opportunity to update Roger on another unresolved issue.


Roger, to some minds here and there, the contest for the Republican nomination is already won. It is all over. The polls are speaking. Trump just polled 42% nationally, which will translate into winning all the primaries, or enough of the delegates to clinch the nomination. He has the Magic 1237 in the bag, morons.

In those minds, It Is Over. Pay Up. Eat Crow. Bow Down. Enter the Trump Era. Believe.

I am still on the fence, or the wall, as it were. I am not going to get thrilled to the bone until around March 15, when the big delegate totals start rolling in.

Here is a thought for the stumped and the stumpers and the Trumpers. What trumps wishful thinking? Ayn Rand knows, I think. She has left clues for me.

Let us say I am a wishful thinker, an emotionalist, irrational. My sentimental favourite is the former Canadian. If I wish and wish and wish for him to come out on top in Iowa, will my wish come true?

I look at the crowing about the 42% and I think, well, does that mean that Trump will get 42% of the delegate count in Iowa, 42% in New Hampshire, 42% in North Carolina and 42% in Nevada?


I look at the crowing now and I think I will demand some crow-eating by Michael if Trump does not win Iowa. But then I think he is not claiming or predicting that Trump will win Iowa. He doesn't care who wins Iowa. He is confident that in the end, Trump will win the nomination during the protracted process of selection. That is his only claim, and the only claim I should hold him to.

Here is a final thought for Roger. What will it take for you to acknowledge that Trump is probably going to win the Republican nomination, and when might that be in the protracted process? For me it is when he gets close to the Magic Number.

I would ask the corollary question of Michael, but I don't think he swings that way.

Here I mash up Clinton's Clam and Trump's Mouth:


Source: Donald Trump



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William, such a thoughtful, helpful post. Thank you!

In re eminent domain and its thorough yet not thorough discussion on OL: I think there is a *clear* distinction between expropriation for "public" vs. "private" interest, and I think Donald Trump thinks so too, or he would not have bothered with the transparent ploy of wrapping himself in the "public interest" to legitimize such an obvious, egregious attempt to use eminent domain for his own private interest.

Creating jobs, indeed. If I go around breaking windows, that will create jobs, eh? Yet, we call that vandalism, not economic activity in the "public interest." Similarly, Trump has clearly shown himself to be nothing better than a common crook - but doesn't his suit look fine! (Al Capone "created" employment, too.)

And does it matter whether Trump succeeded or not with his privately interested eminent domain thuggishness? He tried it repeatedly, and he unrepentently kept swearing by how good a thing it was on national television. The duck may have stumbled, but he's still quacking. (Hey - Donald Duck!)

If a failed terrorist goes on Al Jazeera and talks about how good terrorism is, do we enthusiastically rave about how wonderful a prospect he would be for the Oval Office? Dumb question - apparently some of us would.

As for when and whether Trump succeeds in wrapping up the GOP nomination, I'll be watching with great interest, like so many others. But since I have made no predication, just uttered the hope (God save us!) that he not be nominated, I don't consider myself in any kind of crow-eating jeopardy any more than I was when I said I hoped Barack Obama would not be elected (or re-elected). Those happy about such catastrophes will no doubt make crowing noises, but that is on them, not me.

One other thought - counterfactual though I believe it to be - maybe, if Trump is elected, he will turn out not to be as awful as I fear he will be. The only President I've found that to be true of is President Reagan. And Trump ain't no Reagan. Maybe we don't deserve another Reagan. Maybe we deserve Clinton or Trump. But shouldn't we have some choice other than an internationalist "progressive" and a nationalist "progressive"? (Cool terms, huh! I thought it might be a bit much to call DT a national socialist. :-)


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Thanks for your thoughtful reply on list. And here. I need to think about my prey before I get back to the scrubland. But if we want to keep this to a strict topic of eminent domain ... that would be good. I will take up on list that which I disagree with. I might pose you a question from the earlier entry on Conversation Starters.

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William, I regard eminent domain as having levels of evil.

1. As a constitutionalist, I find eminent domain for "the public interest" as having some legitimacy and eminent domain for one's private interest as having none whatever and as being a gross corruption of civil government.

2. As a libertarian, I find *all* eminent domain to be a violation of property rights and thus reprehensible.

In this respect, eminent domain - as a seizing - is similar to taxation. Taxation to fund legitimate functions of government (defending rights with police, armed forces, and courts) is potentially legitimate within the powers granted by the constitution, while taxation to fund other functions is not constitutionally legitimate. In principle, though *all* taxation is theft, as is all eminent domain.

I really don't have more to say about the issue of eminent domain, nor how it applies to Trump. He fails on all levels, in my opinion. And I would say the same of any other candidate who tried to gloss over his personally aggrandizing seizure of another's property by painting it as being "in the public interest." I don't think it's true that "they all do it," however; in fact, I think DT is the *only* one who is guilty of this.

I'm interested in what you and others may have to offer on this subject, though.


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