Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 10:26 am | A Few Clouds 71º


Mark Shields: Pat Moynihan Would Call Donald Trump a Mole of the Democrats

The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan — four-term U.S. senator from New York, ambassador and White House adviser — was that rarest of combinations: a gifted public intellectual and a talented, practical politician.

He alone, in January 1980, during the depths of the Cold War, dared to say, “The defining event of the decade might well be the breakup of the Soviet empire.” On Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down.

Moynihan also had a wicked sense of humor. At Washington’s annual Gridiron Club dinner March 28, 1981, with President Ronald Reagan sitting not 10 feet away from him, the Democrat told the crowd how David Stockman, Reagan’s controversial boy-wonder budget director, had, as a graduate student, been the Moynihan family’s live-in baby sitter.

Young Stockman, according to Moynihan, railed endlessly against “American imperialism and the immorality of the Vietnam War.”

Moynihan continued: “So we installed him in the top floor of our house and got him into the Harvard Divinity School. There he was taught, of course, that there is no such thing as morality.”

Moynihan then “confided” to the dinner crowd and Stockman’s boss that “Dave was everything you could dream of in a mole,” that Stockman had been programmed to sabotage the Republican revolution from within by running up record-shattering budget deficits, thus swelling the national debt and destroying any Republican claim to fiscal responsibility.

Do we not know that if Moynihan ​— who departed these earthly precincts in 2003 — were still here, he would have, long ago, sounded an eloquent alarm on the Republican presidential front-runner, real estate billionaire Donald Trump, and identified him for what he obviously is, a Democratic mole?

Look at what the maverick front-runner has already done to subvert the party where there had previously been, at the presidential level, overwhelming consensus — for example, on the virtue and value of free trade.

Trump inconveniently pointed out how the United States’ trade deficit with Mexico increased more than 50-fold in the first 15 years of NAFTA and has insisted on ignoring the big picture of increased “economic growth,” while harping on the American jobs that have been sacrificed to foreign competition and on the people who lost those jobs and their hometowns.

The only non-negotiable unanimity among contemporary Republicans is found in the party’s uniform opposition to any increase in taxes.

So what has Trump done? He has spouted heresy, saying he would be “OK with” raising taxes. He, of all people, wants to punish success.

Of big earners in hedge funds, he has said: “They make a fortune. They pay no tax. ... The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.”

Yes, he would even “take carried interest out” (referring to the preference that taxes hedge fund and private equity income at only about 20 percent).

This man is clearly a Democratic plant, subversively but brilliantly undermining the Republican Party by smashing party consensus while rising to the top of polls of party members.

All this is not to mention Trump’s immigration position, which has effectively driven voters who are themselves or who have family or loved ones who are immigrants away from the GOP and into the open arms of the Democrats.

Reagan was the man who put a smiling face on American conservatism, and Trump could be the man who puts a pouty face on this year’s conservatism.

Moynihan would have warned us months ago: Donald Trump is obviously a double agent for the Democrats bent on sabotaging Republican hopes for 2016.

Mark Shields is one of the most widely recognized political commentators in the United States. The former Washington Post editorial columnist appears regularly on CNN, on public television and on radio. Click here to contact him, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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