Even bright lights can be absorbed into the black hole of neoconservative thinking.

I like Dana Loesch, but this is sophomoric stuff.

“Trump says he will ‘hire the best minds’ as president but according to the news items below, apparently did not vet his own business partners.”

Except that almost none of the cited stories indicate a lack of vetting on Trump’s part, unless you’re willing to accept the premise that mobsters and drug dealers couldn’t possibly also be good at other things. Guilt-by-association works alright if the second party is guilty in some way that figures into their relationship with the first. You go to a church to pray, so that Barack Obama spent 20 years attending services at a church whose pastor was praying “God damn America” from the pulpit is a much more significant connection than it would’ve been if the story read: “Jeremiah Wright, who is also a crackpot preacher, was once the foreman of a construction crew that Barack Obama hired.”

Which leads to another problem I have with this line of attack: Can you see Barack Obama ever hiring a construction crew? Yeah, neither can I, and for that matter it isn’t something I see Marco “el niño” Rubio doing, either. So if Dana’s standard is that you should keep your hands clean by just never doing anything, then, sure, I guess Trump’s failed it big time.

Some of this seems intentionally obtuse in a way that’s obnoxious:

“Though he touts his outstanding memory, when Donald Trump was asked under oath about his dealings with a twice-convicted Russian émigré who served prison time and had documented mafia connections, the real estate mogul was at a loss.”

In other words he was smart enough to feign forgetfulness in a conversation with someone who obviously wasn’t his friend?

“Another partner prosecuted for trafficking underage girls after a dramatic helicopter raid on a yacht off the Turkish coast”
I’m sorry, “prosecuted” or “convicted”? But of course, they can’t say “convicted” because, as another article Dana cites later on admits: “a judge dismissed the charges against Arif”. But don’t go assuming he’s innocent just because he wasn’t proven guilty: “A final report on the reasons for the dismissal has yet to be issued. Usually you don’t need “reasons” to not convict someone, Dana, as in any civilized legal system the burden of proof goes the other way.

But let’s stipulate out of needless generosity to her argument that the guy was completely guilty. What’s the connection to Trump? Is this like a Clinton/Epstein thing? Was Trump a regular on Jail Bait Yacht‘s Mediterranean cruises? Was he found cowering in the head after the valiant Turkish commandos dropped from their “dramatic helicopter”? No? This was just one of the thousands of people who could accurately be called Trump’s business partners? Ah, well. Still though, underage girls, that’s pretty salacious, you’ve got to admit…

“A pending lawsuit against Trump Soho that alleges daughter Ivanka, among others, made fraudulent misrepresentations”

When I read this I thought to myself “guaranteed the same people knocking Trump as a frivolous litigant are pointing to this as though it were somehow evidence of wrongdoing.” And sure enough, in the same article, Dana knocks Trump for “frivolous, progressive lawfare.” I guess working at The Blaze renders you immunodeficient to cognitive dissonance.

“Barrett’s experience with writing about Trump?

‘While I was reporting that book in 1990, I was muscled out of Trump Castle and handcuffed overnight to a wall at the Atlantic City jail.'”

I hear Trump also instructed the jailers to confiscate his coat.

Some of these guilt-by-association connections are relatively direct, like the guy who scouted the location of a Trump property in Philadelphia being a convicted cocaine dealer. Others, though, are laughably tenuous:

“Trump partner is Alex Shnaider,[sic] who heads up the Midland Group. Shnaider, a well-connected Russian with deep ties in Ukraine, is the son-in-law of Boris Birshtein, a business partner with Sergei Mikhailov, reputed leader of the notorious Solnsteva gang, a Russia-based crime syndicate”

Pay attention to the Kevin Bacon style association attempted here: Trump has a business partner. That business partner has a wife. That woman has a father. He, in turn, has a business partner of his own. That man, Trump’s associate’s wife’s father’s associate, is the “reputed leader” of a “notorious” gang.

And how “notorious” is this gang? Is it the Crips? The Bloods? MS13? Even more notorious than that: It’s the notoriously notorious “Solnsteva gang”, who are so notorious that Dana feels the need to add that they’re “a Russia-based crime syndicate.” No need to tell us, Dana; the infamous Solnsteva gang’s notoriety precedes them!

I guess it goes without saying that now that I’ve read this explosive revelation I’ll be voting for Rubio.

After the lengthy guilt-by-association argument, Dana switches to knocking Trump for donating to Democratic politicians. This is such an audacious criticism. The Republican party does nothing, for decades, to prevent the federal government from amassing the obscene, invasive reach that makes it the effective apparatus of extortion it is, but it’s Trump’s fault for paying off the hacks who operate it to that purpose?

The final leg of the article is where Dana actually goes after Trump on his policy positions. You’d think she’d lead off with this, since it seems like Trump’s political outlook is more germane to the question of whether he’s cut out to be president than is a risible exposé on how Trump once bought concrete from a shady Italian man and another time hired a lawyer who’s also represented honest-to-goodness criminals.

But when you get down to the policy bit you realize why Dana stuck it at the very end.  Her critiques here are surprisingly anaemic, and many are (apparently unwitting, but can she really be that out-of-touch?) arguments in Trump’s favor: In describing Trump’s recognition (amazingly unique to him among the GOP candidates) during the last debate that George W. Bush was a really crummy president as a “truther-esque rant against Bush” Dana asks us to believe that she’s spent years on the internet and still doesn’t know what the term “truther” refers to. Supposedly incriminating audio is “unearthed”, but actually listening to it just improved my impression of Trump as a patriotic, intelligent, and even insightful guy. She says he isn’t sufficiently pro-privacy because he wants Apple to release data off of the San Bernardino terrorists iPhones. “Trump wants to be ‘neutral’ on Israel and Palestine.” As if I needed more reasons to love him.

The other tack is just to make absurd assertions in the hopes that some of us only started paying attention yesterday. Dana’s article isn’t the first place I’ve seen neoconservatives accuse Trump of being weak on the Second Amendment. As Gregory Hood writes:

“Trump has perhaps the strongest explicit pro-gun position of any candidate, carries a gun himself, and is even preaching the gospel of firearms ownership to the Europeans. Yet Ted Cruz bizarrely tells us Trump would ‘abolish the Second Amendment.'”

The scare-mongering on guns is outdone when Dana soberly warns us that Trump isn’t strong enough on immigration.

As I write I await the results of the Nevada caucuses. It’s a little after midnight on the Eastern seaboard, and still no numbers out of Vegas. Matt Drudge is suggesting they might more aptly be called the Nevada circuses, as it’s apparently something of a wild west free-for-all down there, with caucus-goers reportedly getting away with voting multiple times. Even with all the excitement of the moment, though, I recognize that the furious neoconservative fusillades are probably already too late. The reigns of the Republican party are slipping from their hands. Trump is effecting a hostile takeover, and the American Right is reasserting control.

I’m hoping to play my own small part in this revolution. You’re support’s (greatly) appreciated. Donations should be made out to Committee To Elect Ted Busiek and mailed to:

Committee To Elect Ted Busiek
P.O. Box 2022
Littleton, MA, 01460-3022