A carry-on from the previous post. I like to bring things forward into a new post because some people don't like getting into deep comments sections, so after about comment #9 it is the same four people endlessly. I have been one of those four people in a bunch of other discussions, but I don't think it's efficient, and it tends to shut out some good thinkers.
Both Donna B and Edith Hook wondered what my pool of Trump supporters is, with the suggestion that I was choosing unreasonably or even unfairly. I don't think so, but judge for yourself.
In my liberal place of work I know of six people who are quite conservative, and I think most or all voted for Trump. They at least don't have the huge objections to him that liberals and popular media have, even if they voted for the libertarian. They divide nicely. Three of them are clearly reveling in the fight part of politics. Trump is sticking it to the liberals and that's the first thing out of their mouths. Wailing Democrats is music to their ears. Mine too, though there are places where I go "Wait, that's just not reasonable." The other three don't generally talk about the day-to-day battling and the news, but are more concerned with specific issues. One is irritated at the tax reform because he thinks it's mostly nothing, and he is distressed that Democrats warning "death, death, death" over it and partially succeeding does not bode well for tax simplification in the future. He doesn't credit either Congress or Trump, because he doesn't think much credit is due.
My friends, mostly from church, who were Trump supporters were mostly reluctantly so. They weren't comfortable, but the alternatives were so much worse that they didn't hesitate much. Let me pause to comment on Edith Hook's comment that "millions" got off their sofas, with the implication that these were new or very-infrequent voters who turned out for Trump. That is not so, and it is the type of worrisome myth that is going to defeat us going forward if we can't face reality. There was not this huge sea-change in the electorate creating any mandate going forward. When all elections are close, a swing of a few thousands who voted for Obama or no one last time but showed up this time for Trump looks huge, but it's actually not. Trump supporters are completely overlooking that the overwhelming majority of Trump's votes came from standard Republicans who just didn't want Hillary. If you think anything else, you are fooling yourself.
My other exposure to Trump supporters are posters and commenters at Maggie's, Neoneocon, Althouse, Powerline, and a few other shops. I don't count the pro-Trump comments I encounter at bigger sites, such as Instapundit or the major news sites, or sites generally opposed to him such as National Review or more liberal sites because a) they might be trolls, b) they might be sockpuppets, and c) the people who go out looking for fights are not necessarily representative of the rest of humanity. I don't even read them. I only read in places where there is a fair chance everyone is reasonable.
This pool of commenters is likely unrepresentative, because people who bother to comment are usually more intense. However, I think the other limitations I have placed on who I read improves the picture. Not all of these people are unreasonable, by a long shot. But a whole lot are, and they reinforce each other and start going down paths that don't square with recent history.
Example, you may think that George Bush was too nice and too much of a squish and therefore didn't get anything accomplished, so that's why we need a balls-kicker like Trump. Except George Bush won the war in Iraq until Obama threw it away, remember? Winning wars is usually considered a fairly sizable accomplishment. He inherited a recession and improved the economy despite a catastrophe until the people who were too good to vote for him stayed home in 2006 and we couldn't pass the regulations that Bush, McCain, and Sununu had been screaming about for a decade, and the economy collapsed and we got 8 years of Obama to boot. So thanks a lot for that. Blame the GOPe now.
So, people are going back and saying it was a bad idea to go into Iraq anyway, and we made some major mistakes early on, or never knew what our goals were, and such like. All true, maybe, but at the time, he was doing exactly what an enormous majority of conservatives said they wanted from him. And accomplished it. Everyone is entitled to second thought, but not to pretending they had always felt that way. Bush spent all his political capital on the Surge in 2006, but the piss-and-moan conservatives stayed home that year and we got lots of new Democrats. Those piss-and-moaners stayed home in 2008 and 2012 because they didn't like the candidates, and then blamed the Republicans who were left for not doing anything.
There were places I would have liked to see those Republicans go to the mat, and I agree that too many had gone native. But this four-legs good, two legs bad reasoning is for liberals. I go over to conservative sites and I read a lot of Trump supporters, sneering and insulting people who agree with them 75% of the time and talking themselves into the idea that none of this would be happening if Trump weren't tweeting about True American Football Players grabbing their crotches.
I like the deregulation that's happening under the radar, and the judicial nominations, for which Trump relies heavily on the hated GOPe. I have hopes for this repeated-pressure foreign policy, though it could prove disastrous. I don't know if anyone could have gotten McCain, Collins, and Flake on board, but what Trump did din't work, did it? Kelly Ayotte would be Senator from NH if Cruz had been the nominee. Are there others around the country like that? Don't know. It's at least a possibility.