Mark Davis Takes on Donald Trump

And both of them get it wrong. In yesterday’s News, local radio talker Mark Davis recounted his interview [reg. req.] with The Donald. Although the Nation’s Number One Publicity Seeker doesn’t have a prayer of winning the GOP nomination, Davis wanted to hammer a nail in his coffin. After asking him several times about the Iraq invasion, Davis triumphantly jumped on his answer:

“So taking steps to topple him was wrong?”

“Yes, we should have used our power elsewhere.”

I had my answer, and I had my conclusion: “You just lost the Republican nomination,” I told him…

Later, Trump tells Davis, “Well, you’re a very conservative guy.” To which Davis replies in print, Yes, sir, I am.

Both Trump and Davis are wrong. Davis is not a very conservative guy. His pro-Iraqi War stance derives in a direct line from Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to make the world safe for democracy and spent American blood and treasure in an earlier failed effort to achieve it. So far, the Iraqi War has cost over $3 trillion, lost us 5,000 American lives, damaged the U.S. economy, sent out deficit soaring, damaged our standing abroad, and done little or nothing to increase American security. There’s nothing conservative about it.  Which is why William F. Buckley, Jeffrey Hart, and other intellectual pillars of conservatism denounced it.

If the current revolutionary wave sweeping the Middle East — in which the U.S. has no part — teaches us anything, it is that we should not meddle or intervene in places we do not know to push utopian, idealistic schemes on people whose history and culture we do not understand.

I have no doubt Mark thinks he is a conservative. After all, he daily pushes the same talking points as others who claim to be conservative. He runs with the herd, and we all know that the herd provides comfort in numbers. But I also think Mark is an intellectually honest man.  I recommend that he read William Graham Sumner, Irving Babbitt, Russell Kirk, and others in the great tradition he claims to support. He might find that the herd to which he belongs has been running in the wrong direction.


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  • Steve

    How quaint, Wick still thinks that conservatives base their “thinking” on some sort of principles. Allow me to update your dictionary:

    “Liberal” – Anything Obama, Europeans, or college educated people like.

    “Conservative” – Anything that pisses off “liberals”.

  • Amen.

  • Amen to what Wick said, not Steve by the way.

  • luniz

    Sad to think that Saddam could have been toppled for the cost of a few twitter posts.

  • mm

    Amen to what Wick AND Steve said.

  • RAB

    Amen to what Trey AND Trey said.

  • Jackson

    It’s not quite accurate to say that Buckley “denounced” the Iraq War. Yes, he did finally write an online piece for National Review in February 2006 titled “It Didn’t Work,” but even there he loaded up the qualifiers, writing that the Bush administration “can defend itself historically, standing by the inherent reasonableness of the postulates” it used to justify the invasion.

    I applaud his better-late-than-never acknowledgment of failure. Even the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist George Will finally came around. Six months after Buckley, Will wrote an August ’06 essay in the Washington Post titled “The Triumph of Unrealism” in which he flatly stated that the president’s rhetoric “reflects the intellectual contortions required to sustain the illusion that the war in Iraq is central to the war on terrorism” and to protecting America.

    Not only that, Will admitted that the war on terror really is largely police and intelligence work, and that the military — with few exceptions — is fundamentally ill-suited for such a project. This was the precise argument John Kerry got laughed at by conservatives for making during the ’04 presidential campaign. George Will, same column: “F-16s are not useful tools against terrorism that issues from places such as Hamburg, Germany, where Mohamed Atta lived before dying in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.”

    This was all well and good thinking on the part of these conservative grey eminences, but sadly came well after the fact. Sure, there were experts here and abroad who thought Saddam had WMD, but let’s remember that international arms inspectors had largely confirmed — before the invasion — that he didn’t. We went ahead regardless.

  • About the time we were frozen in place in Somalia Mark had an on air snot slinging fit about how we (US) should not only kick some ass in Somalia, we should take out the idiots in North Korea at the same time.

    That inspired a poem for and about Mark.

    Mark Davis from his his perch on high

    Says, “sure American boys will have to die”.

    With the big picture in mind

    It’s easy to be so kind

    Because for his own he won’t have to cry

    As far as me, Harvey Lacey, is concerned Mark Davis put not only the “s”, the “o”, the “y”, he contributed both “r”s in “sorry”.

  • Beda

    Reading this article made me sick to my stomach. What makes me also sick are the number of people who still support our attacking Iraq and who think it was justified. It would be less painful (barely) if I didn’t feel there were so many ideological zealots out there. The man shouting out to a senator, and the senator’s lack of an appropriate slapdown, when he asked “Who’s going to shoot Obama?” exacerbates the ill feelings. I dread a repeat of the personal attacks and frenzy in the upcoming election.

  • Julie

    I would pay good money to be a fly on the wall, watching Davis’s expression as he reads Wick’s words…

  • Neitherparty

    Everyone now knows that Peyton manning was the much better choice over Ryan leaf…but at the time is seemed to be quite a conundrum. The number of people opposed to the invasion at the time could have a meeting inside a 7-11.
    I admit to finding religion on this, and question what our involvement should be anywhere.
    Woodrow wilsons progressive legacy is there for everyone to read and look into yourself ( that requires a bit more than using wikipedia).

  • Bill

    “We’re for freedom of speech everywhere. We’re for freedom of worship everywhere. We’re for freedom to learn for everybody. And because in our time you can build a bomb in your country and bring it to my country, what goes on in your country is very much my business, and so we’re for freedom from tyranny everywhere, whether in the guise of political oppression, Toby, or economic slavery, Josh, or religious fanaticism, C.J. That most fundamental idea cannot be met with merely our support. It must be met with our strength diplomatically, economically and materially. And if Pharaoh still doesn’t free the slaves, than he’s going to meet my cavalry.” – Good screen-writing, but also true.

  • Bill, b.s.

    Keep in mind most of the tyranny in the world is the direct result of past American policies based upon corporate interests, especially in the middle east.

  • Neitherparty

    Your cheesy poetry and blame america first thoughts are hall of fame worthy…not.

  • Jackson

    @Neitherparty, you say the number of people opposed to invading Iraq before it happened could fit into a 7-11. With all due respect, opposition was strong in my orbit, as there was a clear understanding that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

    According to USA Today/Gallup polling from March ’03, just before the Iraq invasion, American support stood at 58% to 40%. Yes, that’s almost 2 to 1, but 40% opposed greatly exceeds your convenience store notions. Indeed, it took time and a lot of work to sell the people up to 58%.

    By September ’02, six months before the invasion and while we were still moving rocks around in Afghanistan, the White House acknowledged a strategy to sway Congress and the public toward Iraq. The “rollout” was delayed until after Labor Day that year, and Bush chief of staff Andrew Card explained why to the New York Times. His most damnable quote: ”From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”

    President Bush held a megaphone at Ground Zero in September ’01, remember? He promised that “the people who knocked down these buildings will hear all of us soon.” Most of us took that to mean al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and the hunt for bin Laden (Tora Bora, anyone?), and most of us strongly supported it. Seventeen months later, however, Bush’s message had carefully morphed into something completely different: Hussein’s mythical mushroom clouds, nonexistent WMD, and the fantastical idea of remaking the Middle East, with our blood and at all cost.

    40% of us knew that was nuts, and our numbers only grew over time.