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Showing posts from July, 2016

The problem with Trump

There are many.

 But after his RNC speech, there are a couple that jump immediately to attention:

 • His use of "I" language. Most presidential candidates — even the most narcissistic — use "we" language, precisely to avoid charges of narcissism and incipient strongmanism. "I alone can fix it" suggests that there aren't any principles that can guide America toward solutions, only the application of Trumpian will. It's very cult-of-personality strongman type stuff. "I am your voice," too, sounds like a way of assuming the people's sovereignty into the Trumpian person.

 This is scary stuff.

 • Too, there's the assumption — the promise — that problems will bend themselves to the Trumpian will. There are no hard problems, no messy and sometimes contradicting ideals. Opposing forces will bow down before him, or be wiped out. Nothing is hard. On Jan. 20, 2017, he promises, the world will go, Wizard of Oz-like, from black-and-white to c…

How Republicans helped cause Hillary's email scandal

The relationship between Republicans and Hillary Clinton is akin to that of the one between Captain Ahab and Moby Dick. One has relentlessly pursued the other across the decades, and in the process things have gotten messy. Should Hillary Clinton win the presidency — an outcome much to be hoped for given the other likely possibilities at this point — the hunt will continue. Republicans have pursued every misstep and unfortunate occurrence by the Clintons as though each and every incident was in and of itself an IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE, a high crime and something almost certainly more than a misdemeanor. Sometimes there was more there than at other times, but it didn't matter: Every bad thing that occurred in proximity to the Clintons became worthy of a years-long Congressional investigation, or inquiries by off-the-reservation independent counsels who exceeded their mandates to find something, anything, that would put a final nail in the coffin. (All of this sprang from a pre-determi…

Charles Kesler's half-baked case for Donald Trump

Charles Kesler is in the Washington Post this morning, making the case for Donald Trump to NeverTrump conservatives. It's a case made with some speculative leaps, some prayers for luck, and a bottom line suggestion that the devil you don't know — Trump — might be better than the devil you do know.

Here's Kesler on Trump's virtues:
Here Trump’s populism, or what Walter Russell Mead calls his Jacksonianism, comes to bear: He trusts the American people, not the special interests or the governing elite. I'd say we're terribly short of evidence on that front. True, Trump's been pretty down on the special interests and governing elite — but his rhetoric isn't that "the American people are smarter than that." It's "I'm smarter than that." This glorification of self doesn't suggest a trust of Americans does it? It really only means that Trump thinks he's smarter than all the folks who already think they're the smartest pe…