The four people you meet in hell

A few years ago I did a post about the three different kinds of conservatives in the media. I decided they were:

  1. “Atlas Shrugged” conservatives: Megan McArdle, the Reasonoids, Larry Kudlow, etc.
  2. “Chronicles Of Narnia” conservatives: Ross Douthat, Peggy Noonan, many other Catholic conservatives.
  3. “300” conservatives: Victor David Hanson, war bloggers, any neoconservatives.

I thought it might be time to revisit this classification in the age of Trump. Enough media conservatives have come out against Trump (and, not surprisingly, many even-the-liberals are busily enabling Trump) that I don’t want to make this about conservatives per se but about Trump supporters and enablers. The front page of Reason was almost all anti-Trump today, and Jen Rubin’s column these days could double as a Daily Kos diary, so to start, I’m not putting neoconservatives or Reasonoids on the list…but Megan McArdle will remain, in a different category. And Narnians will also stay in the classification.

Here we go:

  1. Narnians: Peggy Noonan, Rod Dreher (supporters); Ross Douthat (enabler). These are folks who believe that the United States is first and foremost a magical Christian nation. Therefore, Trump is at best Aslan and at worst a boob who was brought to power by left-wing excesses.
  2. Narcissists: Megan McArdle, Charles Lane, Frank Bruni, Nick Kristof. These self-styled centrists can’t let their beautiful minds be consumed by partisanship, so they have to spend as much or more criticizing impolite protesters and the Oberlin student council as they do criticizing Trump. Show business kids making movies of themself, you know they don’t give a fuck about anybody else. It pains me to leave Ron Fournier off this list, but he’s been very tough on Trump.
  3. Nihilists: Bob Woodward, most Republican elected officials, everyone who works at Axios. The nihilists have no political convictions, they only care about access and power. If you haven’t noticed, B Dub is all the way in the tank for Trump. Republican elected officials would give Satan a rim job if it killed the Great Society. Axios has already run a great deal of Satan-sponsored content.
  4. Neo-Nazis: Marc Thiessen, everyone at Breitbart. Needs no explanation. Say what you want about their tenets…

Different electorates, different results

One of the dumbest arguments of the 2008 Democratic primary season was the extrapolation of primary results to general election results.

“Obama rolls up big margins on the Plains, he can win there in November…”

“Clinton winning the Democratic primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania means she and only she can win the industrial Midwest”

Both sides of that argument are stupid.

And we’re seeing the same stupid on Iowa:


Repeat after me, primary electorates and caucus selectorates are not random samples of the general electorate.

It is perfectly plausible in 2016 for a 23 year old Democratic activist in Iowa to have the following preference order: Sanders>Clinton>Chlamydia>Republican Nominee.

In last night’s contest the only part of the preference order that was under examination was how Sanders and Clinton related.

In November, the relevant preference order is either Sanders and Republican nominee, or far more likely Clinton and Republican nominee.

The same logic applied in 2008.  In Pennsylvania, the primary preference order was usually Clinton-Obama, but the general election preference order was Obama over McCain.

The people who take part in caucuses are highly unlikely to flip parties in the general election.  They are self-identified intense partisans.  Trying to generalize caucus results into general election results is obtuse.

Technically true bullshit

One of the leading lights of the conservative “health wonk” community is peddling bullshit that is technically true if you parse it correctly but designed to mislead anyone but a hyper technical reader.

Last year open enrollment started on November 15th. The 6th week of open enrollment would have been the first week of January.

This year, open enrollment started on November 1st. The 6th week of open enrollment just wrapped up.

Yes, at the six week mark of open enrollment, 2014 enrollment is running higher than 2015 enrollment.  However there is one massive fact that will show 2015 open enrollment 7th week selections running ahead of 2014 7th week selections.  Sometime at the end of this week, and most of the state based exchanges will conduct a massive automatic renewal of plans.  That will move between 3 and 4 million people to new plans by next Monday (plus whatever number of people choosing new plans on the “waiting in line” extension that ends tonight for  So Week 7 2015 will wreck Week 7 2014 plan selection figures.

He knows that, I know that, 80% of the people on my Twitter follow list know that, but 98% of the American public does not know that.  It is pure bullshit of technically true nonsense.


Sunday Night Open Thread: What Are Our Media Betters Up To?

And some people say male menopause is just an old wives’ tale. Speaking of old wives… ‘They would have thought that impolite’

Finally, Roy Edroso at Alicublog shares a message from Jane Galt:

It’s at National Review and it’s by Mona Charen, which is two strikes right off the bat, but I thought you might enjoy the first graf:

“It’s about what these women will let guys get away with.” You may not expect to hear commentary like that at your garden variety think tank panel discussion, but it got pretty lively at the American Enterprise Institute discussion on the topic “Do Healthy Families Affect the Wealth of States?”

Hot stuff indeed! But wait for the punchline:

Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View is author of the above comment.

These women! Oh for the good old days, when the transactional analysis of sexual favors ran “Why buy the cow when milk is so cheap?” Doubt I’m the only Balloon Juice regular who immediately flashed on a certain classic…

Epitaph for an era

McMegan provides it:

People are far too prone to confuse outcomes with good decision-making.

The context is Fiorina’s tenure at HP. You see, it doesn’t matter that Fiorina blew up HP, because she was a serious person with good decision-making skills, outcome be damned!

Likewise, it doesn’t matter that the Iraq War was a disaster, its supporters were serious people with good decision making-skills, while its opponents were unserious hippies who needed to learn from a 2×4 how very effective violence can be when it’s applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner.

When historians look back on this era, this will be amazed by how little elite media cared about reality.

(h/t reader A)

Yes, The Gender Pay Gap Actually Exists

Every year on tax day, we get a reminder of the gender pay gap, and the counter-reminder from the “well, actually” douchebags on the right about “the gender pay gap is a myth“:  That women choose to earn less money by going into less physically demanding, safer, and lower-paying positions, and men choose to go into more physically demanding, dangerous, and higher-paying positions overall.

But that cannot explain the gap when comparing similar positions:

It is well known that in 2013—the most recent year for which data are available—women working full time, year round earned an average of $0.78 for every dollar earned by men working full time, year round. Since this statistic compares all working women and all working men, it does not control for the different types of jobs that individuals hold. In all but one of the occupations for which data are available, however, women earn less than men.



Also note that these are occupations with wildly different percentages of women in each field, ranging from women comprising 17.49% of production and operating supervisors to 84.8% of general office clerks.  There’s not an issue with burly manly strength and size needed to be a personal financial advisor last time I checked, but women earn only 62 cents on the dollar compared to men for that occupation.  The one job where women earn more?  Stock clerk, even though they make up roughly a third of them nationally.

And please take note that three jobs among those with the worst gender pay gap are physician, teacher, and CEO, successful jobs that require education and only one of the three is considered “pink collar”, teacher.  The counter to that is again, “Women choose to have kids and be caregivers, so they’re not working as much.  They’re not working as much, so they have less experience and fewer hours worked. They have less experience and fewer hours worked, so they get paid less.”

But that can’t explain the gap either.  We know women in the US are having fewer children, and waiting longer to get married (if at all) particularly those women who are more educated (you know, like doctors.)  And if anything, as more and more jobs move away from physical work towards information management, working from home is becoming more popular and more feasible for everyone.

Not only does the gender gap still exist, but when you factor in race it gets even worse.  No, the gender gap is not 100% “discrimination”.  But it’s not a myth either, and there are some serious structural problems in society that make this gap persist.  Pretending that it’s something “bitchy liberals made up” doesn’t mean it’s not real, and that people aren’t getting hurt by it.

Giving Out Free Passes

Apparently Dave Weigel feels like he’s been getting a lot of crap from conservatives lately, because he takes to Bloomberg News to give a spirited defense of Rudy Giuliani with a classic “Well, I’m just informing you what conservatives think” angle.

Suddenly, though the calendar reads February 2015, Democrats were in October 2016 gaffe-police mode. Conservatives rolled their eyes at socket-singeing speed. “Raise your hand if you think ‘but they won’t say whether Obama loves America” could really put Hillary over the top in Nov 16,” joked Commentary editor-in-chief John Podhoretz. The Washington Free Beacon compared the media coverage of Giuliani tothe far skimpier coverage of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation’s money to foreign donors. The media seemed to be covering the story Democrats wanted them to cover. There was more at work, though.

The media was lecturing from inside a bubble. All Thursday, the offices of potential Republican candidates were asked to react to Rudy Giuliani. “The gist of what Mayor Giuliani said — that the president has shown himself to be completely unable to speak the truth about the nature of the threats from these ISIS terrorists — is true,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Senator Ted Cruz declined to comment. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said through a spokesperson that he did not “question President Obama’s motives.”

And of course we have this:

This is a deep source of conservative frustration. They want to accuse Obama of radicalism the way that they once accused undergraduate Saul Alinsky-scholar Hillary Clinton of radicalism; the way that they see the media reading into Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand-fandom, or the Koch brothers’ patriarch being a member of the John Birch Society. And when they try, they’re accused of othering, and racism.

They’ll keep trying. Some of the anger at Obama grows out of the belief that, as a candidate, he was sold as more moderate than he was. He was challenged not by a Rudy Giuliani, but by Arizona Senator John McCain, who prevented aides from attacking Obama over the words of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and waited until their final debate to bring up former Weather Underground terrorist and Obama friend Bill Ayers.

At the 2008 Republican convention, one speaker went so far as to argue that Obama had a great, uniquely American life story. McCain and Obama, this speaker said, “they’re both good and patriotic men with very different life experiences that have led them to this moment of shared history.” He mocked Obama, but then he came back around to praise. “His rise is remarkable in its own right. It’s the kind of thing that can happen only in America.”

Now, Weigel thinks he’s being clever here by again presenting this entire thing as “what conservatives believe” rather than it being what he does, but that’s a nice little device that allows him to write 95% of a Daily Caller rant and get away with it.

Nice work if you can get it.  Classic “view from nowhere” stuff.