Poll: Whom Should Donald Trump Pick for His VP Slot?

Can Republican Holdouts Be Guilt-Tripped Into Supporting Trump?

by Ramesh Ponnuru

My new Bloomberg View column is on whether Trump can unify Republicans to the degree necessary to win in November.

In the last four presidential elections, the Republican nominee has never won less than 90 percent of the Republican vote. Republicans won the popular vote only one of those times, in 2004, and when they did they carried 93 percent of Republican voters. Donald Trump has defied the odds before, but they are against his achieving this degree of party unity. . . . 

Some Republican officeholders and voters will still consider Trump unfit for office and no conservative — but his supporters, old and new, will try to shame them into supporting the presumptive nominee. Newt Gingrich, who has for months been backing Trump without explicitly endorsing him, told Sean Hannity on Tuesday night that if you’re not for him you’re “functionally for Hillary Clinton” and therefore for a “radical Supreme Court.”

Gingrich and other Trump supporters will have to overcome several problems in making this case. . . .

In those last four elections, Republicans have never made up less than 32 percent of the electorate. Keeping that number from dipping could prove a challenge for Trump, too.

New York Court Rules Suicide Is ‘Suicide’

by Wesley J. Smith

Assisted suicide advocates pretend that suicide committed due to the fears created by a diagnosis of terminal illness — sometimes wrong, by the way — isn’t really “suicide.”

They sue, claiming that laws against assisted suicide shouldn’t apply because when poisonous pills are prescribed by a doctor to be used in such cases to end life, it is really “aid in dying.”

Bunk. When a movement has to hide its agenda behind gooey euphemisms, there is something wrong with the agenda.

They also claim that committing suicide is the same as refusing life-sustaining medical treatment, an argument rejected 9-0 by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997.

With one exception in New Mexico, most courts are not (yet) so in the post modernist tank that they don’t buy the sophistry. The latest example comes from the Bible Belt court in New York. From Myers v. Schneiderman:

The word “suicide” has a straightforward meaning and a dictionary is hardly necessary to construe the thrust of Penal Law sections 120.30 and 125.15. It is traditionally defined as “the act or instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally,” especially “by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary [11th ed 2003]).

Whatever label one puts on the act that plaintiffs are asking us to permit, it unquestionably fits that literal description, since there is a direct causative link between the medication proposed to be administered by plaintiff physicians and their patients’ demise…

In light of the plain meaning of the term suicide, we hold, as a matter of statutory construction, that Penal Law sections 120.30 and 125.15 prohibit aid-in-dying.

The court also found that a right to refuse treatment isn’t the same thing as a right to make oneself dead by affirmative action (citations omitted):

Nevertheless, these cases all involved a patient’s right to refuse medical treatment, and are rooted in the same concepts that give rise to a cause of action for medical malpractice based on the lack of informed consent [“every person of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what should be done with his own body; and a surgeon who performs an operation without his patient’s consent commits an assault, for which he is liable in damages,’” quoting Schloendorff v Society of N.Y. Hosp.

Thus, plaintiffs have a heavy burden of persuasion in arguing that the same principles apply to the affirmative act of taking one’s own life.

Plaintiffs have failed to overcome this burden.

Clarity. A law against assisted suicide applies to all suicides, not just those some people think are unjustified or “irrational.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if the debate about whether to legalize assisted suicide did not get caught up in the gobbledygook shoveled by the euthanasia word engineers?

That would require the media to apply the proper, accurate, and descriptive terms regarding this debate as the court did.

But that would compel them to be journalists instead of advocates. And there are some places that reporters today just will not go.

Trump’s Contempt for Late Trump Train Passengers — And Mine

by Jonah Goldberg

Last night in his victory speech, Donald Trump said:

Many many people are calling that you wouldn’t even believe. The media, the press, they wouldn’t believe. People that have said the worst things about me—I’ve never had anything said about me like this. You know in my businesses I’ve always been very respected [sic]. People didn’t talk to me this way. But in politics it’s easy. The worst things. And they’re calling now, and they’re calling us all, and they’re saying we’d love to get on the train, the Trump train… we’d love to get on the team.

And I actually spoke to one today. And—who was vicious! I mean, this guy was unbelievable. And I said I love having you, and, you know, I think it’s terrific, but after what you said about me, how can you possibly join our team? And he said, Mr. Trump don’t even think about it, don’t worry about it, there’ll be no problem. In other words he’s a politician. There’s no problem. I woulda had a hard time. But we have a lot of people coming on. Lots of congressmen, I have to thank Jeff Sessions . . .

Assuming he’s telling the truth — and I have reason to believe him – Trump has a great point here. Indeed, this taps into what I hate most about Washington and about politics. If you’ve been saying that Donald Trump is a threat to the Republic, that it would be dangerous and reckless to give him access to nuclear weapons or even that, if nominated, he would wreck the Republican Party, on what grounds can you now jump on board the Trump Train?  

Were these people simply lying? If not, are they endorsing Trump regardless of what they actually believe? Is party loyalty that important?

I’m not talking about people who’ve sincerely supported Trump from way back. From what I can tell they truly believe that Trump is the patriotic choice. Nor am I talking about people who’ve never taken a strong position against Trump and now feel they must vote against Hillary.

But if you’ve been a committed Never Trump person and now, simply because he’s the nominee, you’re surrendering to Trump, shame on you. And it sounds like Trump agrees with me. He would have a “hard time” turning on a dime the way some of his new supplicants are, but that’s what politicians do. Even Trump holds the manhood of these late-joiners cheap — and he’s right. There’s a lesson there for those of you who think Chris Christie is some kind of hero: Trump has your number. 

Well, contrary to an army of people flooding my email box and my twitter feed, I’m not a politician either. The “people have spoken” is not some abracadabra phrase that can change my opinions, never mind my convictions. If “the people” vote that I must hate dogs, I’m not going to start hating dogs. If a plurality of Republican primary voters tells me I have to like blue cheese, I’m not going to start liking blue cheese. And even if 99.99 percent of Americans tell me that I should shed my opinions of Donald Trump, I’m not going to do that either. New facts or some new argument — in theory — could make me change my mind. But crowds, mobs, twitter trolls, bullying hacks, eye-rolling apparatchiks – or even voters can’t just because they all shout at once. Why? Because I am not a politician. 

Kasich to End Presidential Bid

by Alexis Levinson

John Kasich will end his bid for the presidency, a Kasich strategist confirms to National Review


Let’s Unite to Help the Hothead Get His Fingers on the Nuclear Codes!

by Jim Geraghty

Former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, making a detailed, passionate and comprehensive case as to why Donald Trump should not be elected president, September 10, 2015:

Donald Trump is not a serious candidate. He’s a narcissist. He’s an egomaniac. The only thing he believes in is himself…

Everybody knows this is true. This shouldn’t be new. The idea of the Donald Trump act is great. The reality of Donald Trump, however, is absurd. He’s non-serious. He’s a carnival act.

Here’s the truth about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is shallow. He has no understanding of policy. He is full of bluster. He has no substance. He lacks the intellectual curiosity to even learn. You can’t argue policy with this guy. The only thing that Donald Trump believes in is himself. Look, he tells us that his healthcare plan’s going to be fabulous. He tells us his tax plan will be really, really terrific. He is shallow, there is no substance. He doesn’t know anything about policy. He has no idea what he’s talking about. He makes it up on the fly.

He doesn’t believe in limited government. He has told us that. Over and over from his belief in socialized medicine to his desire for tax increases. He has told us over and over that he’s got no problem with big, top-down style government. The only government he’s got with D.C. today, he has no problem with big top-down style government. His only problem is he’s not the one running it today. Donald Trump’s not against big government, he’s just against the folks that happen to be running it. Donald Trump is for Donald Trump. He believes in nothing other than himself.

Look, he’s not a liberal, he’s not a moderate, he’s not a conservative. He’s not a Democrat, he’s not a Republican, he’s not an independent. Donald Trump is for Donald Trump. He’s not for anything, he’s not against anything. Issues don’t mean anything to him. Policies, ideals, they’re not important to him, he is for Donald. Donald Trump is a narcissist and he’s an egomaniac.

Donald Trump is dangerous, but not in the way you think. The reality is we have an incredible opportunity to turn our country around and the question for conservatives is this: are we going to rely and trust proven conservative principles or are we going to turn to a man who believes in nothing but himself? And that is the most essential question we’ve got to answer right now. Are we going to miss this great opportunity? Are we going to apply conservative principles, or do we trust a man who believes in nothing but himself? That’s what makes Donald Trump so dangerous. Many people think he’s dangerous, they say, “Well, you wouldn’t want somebody like that with such a hot head with his fingers on the nuclear codes.” And yeah, that’s certainly true. That’s not the real danger. The real danger is that ironically Donald Trump could destroy America’s chance to be great again.

Not much wiggle room there, right? No reason to think Jindal didn’t mean every word he said. 

And yet, last night, Jindal said he’s going to vote for him.

“I do think he’ll be better than Hillary Clinton, I don’t think it’s a great set of choices,” Jindal said. “If he is the nominee, I’m going to be supporting my party’s nominee. I’m not happy about it … but I would vote for him over Hillary Clinton.”

Let’s unite to help the hothead get his fingers on the nuclear codes?

Faux Magnanimity

by Charles C. W. Cooke

The speed with which Donald Trump went from suggesting that Ted Cruz’s father helped assassinate JFK to proposing that Cruz was a bright star within the Republican firmament reminded me of this classic sketch from the British show Not the Nine O’Clock News:

A Thank-You Note

by Jay Nordlinger

Ted Cruz will come in for much criticism, as losing candidates do. (So do winning candidates.) I want to take a moment to thank him.

He carried my beliefs — his beliefs, our common beliefs — into battle. It’s not easy to be the politician. The man in the arena. You get the cheers and the glory, yes. But you get the opposite too.

Ted announced for the presidency in March 2015. He has campaigned every day, tirelessly. I’ve seen him do a little of it. He has kept his cool and, in my opinion, rarely put a foot wrong. Every day, for all these months, he has been up and at ’em: shaking hands, making his case, asking for money, arguing with his opponents, maneuvering, thinking, taking all the slings and arrows.

What have I been doing? Lying down and typing, as I am now. That has value. But someone has to be in the arena. Someone has to have his name on the ballot. Someone has to be on the hook.

More than most conservatives, I think, I’m a respecter of politicians and political parties. Philosophy is very important. But, if you want something done — if you want a worldview enshrined in government — you have to do more than muse. Someone has to carry the banner.

And for me, that person has been Ted Cruz. Thank you, Ted. You were magnificent. You gave the voters a choice (not an echo!). They choose as they do. I wish you were taking the presidential oath of office next January. You would be superb. Carly would, too. Regardless, bright skies will soon be o’er us.

P.S. Loved your update on the Reagan/bear ad: the scorpion in the desert. Thanks for that, and everything else.