Yes, Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump and that might well make a difference. This is part of the politics of resentment and Palin’s supporters can relate to the resentment that Trump is preaching:
Since Donald Trump entered the race, one opponent after another has attacked him as not a real conservative. They’ve been right, too! And the same could have been said about Sarah Palin in 2008. Palin knew little and cared less about most of the issues that excited conservative activists and media. She owed her then-sky-high poll numbers in Alaska to an increase in taxes on oil production that she used to fund a $1,200 per person one-time cash payout—a pretty radical deviation from the economic ideology of the Wall Street Journal and the American Enterprise Institute. What defined her was an identity as a “real American”—and her conviction that she was slighted and insulted and persecuted because of this identity.
That’s exactly the same feeling to which Donald Trump speaks, and which has buoyed his campaign. When he’s president, he tells voters, department stores will say “Merry Christmas” again in their advertisements. Probably most of his listeners would know, if they considered it, that the president of the United States does not determine the ad copy for Walmart and Nordstrom’s. They still appreciate the thought: He’s one of us—and he’s standing up for us against all of them—at a time when we feel weak and poor and beleaguered, and they seem more numerous, more dangerous, and more aggressive.
Of course the writer of the above is using the old “not a real conservative” charge. But this is what they’ve been peddling:
My colleague David Brooks issues an anguished plea for the Republican establishment to get its act together. I feel his pain. But I really wonder when he says this:
There’s a silent majority of hopeful, practical, programmatic Republicans.
Not according to the polls: the average of recent polls shows Trump, Cruz, and Carson with the support of roughly two-thirds of likely Republican primary voters, while all the establishment candidates combined draw barely 20 percent. And do we really imagine that any significant fraction of the overwhelmingly dominant blowhard bloc consists of moderate voters who just don’t realize what they would be getting from Trump or Cruz?
Also worth bearing in mind are the kinds of things even establishment candidates say these days. Not one has anything positive to say about what looks increasingly like highly successful diplomacy in the Persian Gulf. And Marco Rubio, the establishment’s last best hope, says he bought a gun to defend his family from ISIS.
The point is that this primary doesn’t look like an aberration, in which the GOP majority is losing its way; it looks like an outbreak of honesty, with the GOP majority finally going for candidates saying what it always believed.
Be careful what you court.
And now to the Democrats: many love Bernie Sanders because he speaks loudly on the issues that many of us are concerned about. But what ARE this plans anyway?
On finance: Sanders has made restoring Glass-Steagal and breaking up the big banks the be-all and end-all of his program. That sounds good, but it’s nowhere near solving the real problems. The core of what went wrong in 2008 was the rise of shadow banking; too big to fail was at best marginal, and as Mike Konczal notes, pushing the big banks out of shadow banking, on its own, could make the problem worse by causing the risky stuff to “migrate elsewhere, often to places where there is less regulatory infrastructure.”
On health care: leave on one side the virtual impossibility of achieving single-payer. Beyond the politics, the Sanders “plan” isn’t just lacking in detail; as Ezra Klein notes, it both promises more comprehensive coverage than Medicare or for that matter single-payer systems in other countries, and assumes huge cost savings that are at best unlikely given that kind of generosity. This lets Sanders claim that he could make it work with much lower middle-class taxes than would probably be needed in practice.
To be harsh but accurate: the Sanders health plan looks a little bit like a standard Republican tax-cut plan, which relies on fantasies about huge supply-side effects to make the numbers supposedly add up. Only a little bit: after all, this is a plan seeking to provide health care, not lavish windfalls on the rich — and single-payer really does save money, whereas there’s no evidence that tax cuts deliver growth. Still, it’s not the kind of brave truth-telling the Sanders campaign pitch might have led you to expect.
Workout notes: 10 K “run” on the track: 9:59, 9:44, 9:33, 9:32, 9:27. 9:44 then 3:10 walk/jog inner lane 2 laps (58:03 at 6, 1:01:13 for 10K). It was mostly an empty track.
Gads. Though this was not a race effort by any means, IT WAS WORK. Sigh…
Posts: It is the start of Thanksgiving break and so I played hooky and went to a daytime game (no classes). The Bradley women got creamed 72-59 by Western Michigan; WMU lead by 16 before freely substituting.
But hey, it was a game to watch. :-)
Statistics Yes, I know the technical definition of p-value and what “it means”. But attempts to “make it intelligible” to non-experts often fail:
What I learned by asking all these very smart people to explain p-values is that I was on a fool’s errand. Try to distill the p-value down to an intuitive concept and it loses all its nuances and complexity, said science journalist Regina Nuzzo, a statistics professor at Gallaudet University. “Then people get it wrong, and this is why statisticians are upset and scientists are confused.” You can get it right, or you can make it intuitive, but it’s all but impossible to do both.
No fly zones: Turkey shot down a Russian fighter. Ugh. Last I heard, Turkey claimed that the fighter was over Russian airspace and Russia denies that.
Free speech A survey came out about whether it is a good thing to censor speech that “is offensive to minorities”. Not surprisingly, Democrats were more approving of censorship than Republicans (though NOT the majority of Democrats) and the youngest generation (millennials) were strongest in favor of censorship. The good news is that the more educated the person, the less likely that they would approve of censorship. That is good news, given some of the nonsense one hears coming from college campuses these-a-days.
Republicans and Donald Trump
Sure it is still early and most people haven’t started to pay attention to the election. Nevertheless, Donald Trump really is doing well and it should not be that surprising:
Indeed. You have a party whose domestic policy agenda consists of shouting “death panels!”, whose foreign policy agenda consists of shouting “Benghazi!”, and which now expects its base to realize that Trump isn’t serious. Or to put it a bit differently, the definition of a GOP establishment candidate these days is someone who is in on the con, and knows that his colleagues have been talking nonsense. Primary voters are expected to respect that?
And it isn’t a surprise that the terror attacks in Paris helped him:
Conventional wisdom on the politics of terror seems to be faring just as badly as conventional wisdom on the politics of everything. Donald Trump went up, not down, in the polls after Paris — Republican voters somehow didn’t decide to rally around “serious” candidates. And as Greg Sargent notes, polls suggest that the public trusts Hillary Clinton as much if not more than Republicans to fight terror.
May I suggest that these are related?
After all, where did the notion that Republicans are effective on terror come from? Mainly from a rally-around-the-flag effect after 9/11. But if you think about it, Bush became America’s champion against terror because, um, the nation suffered from a big terrorist attack on his watch. It never made much sense.
What Bush did do was talk tough, boasting that he would get Osama bin Laden dead or alive. But, you know, he didn’t. And guess who did?
So people who trust Republicans on terror — which presumably includes the GOP base — are going to be the kind of people who value big talk and bluster over actual evidence of effectiveness. Why on earth would you expect such people to turn against Trump after an attack?
Hey, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh created Donald Trump’s candidacy.
I watched last night’s “varsity” debate. A decent Summary is here. This is another excellent summary which highlights some differences between the candidates.
1. It is as if Republicans have never heard of basic macroeconomics.
2. All of their tax plans have a disproportional benefit to the wealthiest among us.
3. Only Carson mentioned Sanders. All of the rest attacked Hillary Clinton again and again, with Fiorina going after her the hardest.
4. Many of the Republicans don’t understand progressive taxation: 10 percent for someone making 30,000 a year is vastly more important to that individual than 10 percent of someone making 300,000 per year.
5. Some of the candidates actually gave praise to some of what President Obama is doing (Kasich, Carson, Bush)
6.Fiorina and Cruz have mastered either “lying while sounding sincere” or speaking forcefully on matters that they know nothing about. Fiorina got wild praise for saying she’d do stuff that we are already doing (Middle East) and Cruz repeated the “Congress is exempt from Obamacare” lie.
7. There was a huge fault line between Rubio and Paul on defense spending.
8, There is also a division between the “adult immigration” plan and the “send ’em all back” types.
9. Kasich and Bush actually spoke elegantly about banks (having the assets to cover investment risks) that just confused the heck out of the Fox Business News talking (pin)heads.
10. A list of the “new” Republican ideas: mining coal, gold standard, deregulation of business, no minimum wage. Hmmm, it seems as if we tried that. Is the “Gilded Age” a Republican utopia?
11. Republicans are at least mentioning income inequality. But their prescription: LESS regulation! Seriously. They act as if large businesses doing well at the expense of small ones is the result of large governments. I can’t believe it was a Republican (Teddy Roosevelt) that broke up the monopolies.
12. Rand Paul needs to understand correlation vs. causation (that large cities have lots of rich people) and Rubio needs to learn that it is “fewer philosophers”, not “less philosophers”. Philosophers got attacked; not that this is a bad thing.
13. Some hate the TPP; Kasich actually supported it. Paul reminded Trump that China was not a part of this.
14. Trump spoke favorably about PUtin intervening in Syria. Rubio called him a “gangster”. Paul cautioned about “no fly zones” stepping on Russia: do we really want more war?
Of course, given that many of the questions (not all) were larded with GOP-friendly hypothesis, I’d imagine that the Republicans liked this debate. But seriously: it is almost as if Republicans have come from a different planet than I do. Every time I get sick of stupid liberals (there are some, and they are noisy) I think that I might join the Republicans, and then I see this. Oh boy. There is nothing for me here.
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