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With Loyalists Like These…

Summary:
Scott Sumner surveys a lot of anti-Trump stuff, and he says this recent piece by Erick Erickson “might be the single most negative report on Trump that I’ve ever read.” Similarly, Ross Douthat has been pushed to call for Trump’s removal (using the 25th Amendment) in part because: It is not squishy New York Times conservatives who regard the president as a child, an intellectual void, a hopeless case, a threat to national security; it is people who are self-selected loyalists, who supported him in the campaign, who daily go to work for him. And all this, in the fourth month of his administration. And in that excerpt from Douthat, the link on “self-selected loyalists” also goes to the Erick Erickson piece. Wow! What bombshell does this piece contain? Not a single

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Scott Sumner surveys a lot of anti-Trump stuff, and he says this recent piece by Erick Erickson “might be the single most negative report on Trump that I’ve ever read.” Similarly, Ross Douthat has been pushed to call for Trump’s removal (using the 25th Amendment) in part because:

It is not squishy New York Times conservatives who regard the president as a child, an intellectual void, a hopeless case, a threat to national security; it is people who are self-selected loyalists, who supported him in the campaign, who daily go to work for him. And all this, in the fourth month of his administration.

And in that excerpt from Douthat, the link on “self-selected loyalists” also goes to the Erick Erickson piece.

Wow! What bombshell does this piece contain?

Not a single thing, except that Erickson personally vouches for one of the anonymous sources who is saying Trump shared classified information with the Russians, and says that this guy started out as a fan of Trump. (In case you doubt my assessment, the actual title of Erickson’s post is: “I Know One of the Sources.”)

Here’s the relevant passage:

What sets this story apart for me, at least, is that I know one of the sources. And the source is solidly supportive of President Trump, or at least has been and was during Campaign 2016. But the President will not take any internal criticism, no matter how politely it is given. He does not want advice, cannot be corrected, and is too insecure to see any constructive feedback as anything other than an attack.

So notice that Erickson isn’t giving us a name. This is still a totally anonymous source.

Also, Erickson isn’t giving us a literal quotation. He is just establishing that he knows one of the leakers, and then Erickson goes on to talk about all this other dirt he heard about Trump. Strictly speaking, we don’t even know if the “Trump loyalist” is the one saying all of the things about Trump’s character that Scott Sumner thought was the most damning critique he has yet read.

In this context, then, I think it’s worth pointing out that:

==> Erickson famously disinvited Trump to a debate during the primaries, following the Megyn Kelly comment. Apparently Trump fans then went nuts on Erickson, trolling him online, sending death threats, etc.

==> Erickson is not exactly known for his sober deliberation before posting things online. A brief sample:

In a 2008 blog post, he dubbed Michelle Obama a “Marxist harpy.” In a 2009 tweet, he called the retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter “a goat fucking child molester.” Later that year, Erickson argued that President Obama won the Nobel Prize because of an “affirmative action quota.” The 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Texas, Wendy Davis, was, in due time, “Abortion Barbie.”

I have no idea whether Trump did something really scandalous when he met with the Russians last week. The people who are telling me he did, have completely burned their credibility by either outright lying/deliberately misleading many times before, and/or by linking breathlessly to such people without a moment of introspection.

Here’s a quick test: If in January you were certain that Comey was a slippery serpent who abused his power to throw the election to Trump…but then when he starts talking about what illegal things Trump said to him only after Trump fired him, you are now certain that Comey is 100% telling the truth with no political motivation… Well you need to Ctrl-Alt-Delete your news reading.

Robert Murphy
Robert Patrick Murphy (born 23 May 1976) is an American economist, consultant and author. He is an economist with the Institute for Energy Research (IER) specializing in climate change and a research fellow with the Independent Institute, He was a senior fellow in business and economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute, and he is an associated scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. In addition to economic subjects, Murphy writes about, and has presented an online video class in, anarcho-capitalism on the Mises Institute website. Murphy also has written in support of Intelligent Design theory and expressed skepticism of biological evolution.

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