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Thursday's HOT MIC

Here is your HOT MIC for the day.

Honestly, I find the idea of Trump's past infidelities having a huge impact on our culture nothing short of absurd.

Everywhere I go, I am the most conservative person in the room -- and I mean socially as well as economically conservative. As a devout Catholic, I don't even believe in contraception. I do believe in the concept of mortal sin -- of the kind the president is unfortunately guilty. I, like most adults, can think for myself and will not suddenly be swayed into a life of sin because of a president's past conduct.

People who are inclined to behave immorally will behave as they will, regardless of the president's past behavior -- but certainly not with the approval of American culture -- especially the media culture that has raked Trump over the coals for his past conduct with What'sHerName.

If anything, those who are open to media suggestion/manipulation will be less inclined to behave more immorally after the media's treatment of Trump.

But most Americans didn't even want to know.

We have a winner:

Paraphrasing Bill Clinton: it's the bureaucracy stupid.

From Jon's Op-Ed at azcentral.com:

Before demanding more of Arizonans’ meager paychecks, our education community should reallocate the dollars they already spend.

According to the Arizona Auditor General, districts spent 53.5 percent of available operating dollars on instruction — the other 46.5 percent went to administration, plant operations, food service, transportation, student support and instruction support.

Granted, some of that spending is necessary. But the national average for non-instruction spending is just 39.2 percent.

As I have said and written many times, a bureaucracy exists solely to bloat and perpetuate itself, after a while anyway. As Jon notes, some of it is necessary. That, sadly, gets expanded upon all too quickly and unnecessarily in most bureaucracies (I'm being very generous with the "most" here).

On the rare occasions that I do still indulge liberals in debates, I argue against the bureaucracy rather than "the government." The latter sounds like a boilerplate conservative argument and has lost a lot of its teeth since the GOP has become the party of big bloat too. Everyone, however, hates bureaucracy, even liberals. Your most ardent Democrat isn't going to ever say, "I just had the most lovely trip to the DMV. My, what they've done to the place!"

Bureaucratic bloat is the perfect way to approach all spending increase arguments. Those of us who don't have the luxury of waving a taxpayer wand and having our incomes increase have to find ways to curb spending in order to have more money. It would be super cool if one day we could get the government to do the same.

Here's what Erick Erickson wrote at The Resurgent this morning:

Long term, the defense of Clinton by the left made it far easier for both sides to embrace even more deeply flawed leaders. His character transmitted down. The President was getting orally serviced in his office by someone not his wife. It must be okay for others too. Or look now at the polling suggesting some men think Trump deserves a high five and applause for fulfilling their own fantasy of sex with a porn star. Let's watch the breakup of families over the next generation. Hey, the President did it. Let's watch kids engage in bullying tactics like the President. That's already happening.

Sure, we are getting some short term good policies. We are getting good judges. We are getting tax reform. We are also getting an evangelical movement that no longer thinks morality matters in our leaders. After all, he is not a pastor, just a President.

[...]

There is no guarantee that a moral man will make a good political leader. But there is, I think, a guarantee that the long term consequence of an immoral leader who gives you short term policies you like will be far more devastating long term than the moral man who fails to deliver short term policies you like.

That's been my objection to Trump all along. While he may do some -- even many -- things we agree with during his time in office, the long-term consequences of his morally bereft leadership will be detrimental to the culture and the nation. I know it's a minority opinion on the right these days and that we're all supposed to parrot the "he's a president, not a pastor" line in defense of Trump, but I refuse to be inconsistent in my insistence that we need leaders with a strong moral compass. I said that when Clinton was in office and repeated it when serial adulterer Newt Gingrich was running for president. (I said at the time that if a man's own wife can't trust him, why should the American people?) I understand that many conservatives made their peace in 2016 with the view that personal morality is unimportant for the president of the United States (contrary to what most of them wrote and believed when Bill Clinton was president), but that's a bridge too far for me. (And no, I didn't vote for Clinton, I'm not a liberal, and I don't want the leftist to win.) (And yes, I know that makes me a vile cuck who hates America.)

And who, other than actual progressives, believes "morality is a relic of a bygone area"?

I sure don't -- and I doubt even President Trump believes that.

Every conservative I know who voted for Trump disapproved of his past moral failings and voted for him anyway.  Because obviously,  the alternative was too awful to contemplate.

Most of us have been pleasantly surprised at how conservative he's turned out to be.

Debra, I'm referring specifically to the $4.4 trillion Trump budget, the burgeoning national debt, and the progressive idea that morality is a relic of a bygone area.