Before they blow up the world

When I say that professional centrists frighten me much more than wingers, I am being completely serious. Let’s look at this passage by Jim VandeHei that Anne Laurie highlighted this morning:

Exploit the fear factor. The candidate should be from the military or immediately announce someone with modern-warfare expertise or experience as running mate. People are scared. Terrorism is today’s World War and Americans want a theory for dealing with it. President Obama has established an intriguing precedent of using drone technology and intelligence to assassinate terrorists before they strike. A third-party candidate could build on death-by-drones by outlining the type of modern weapons, troops and war powers needed to keep America safe. And make plain when he or she will use said power. Do it with very muscular language—there is no market for nuance in the terror debate…

And let’s remember this David Broder classic:

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

Say what you want about the tenets of wingnuts, at least they don’t suggest starting wars for purely political reasons. It’s one thing to be an honest, earnest bedwetter who thinks we need to bomb the world to be safe, it’s quite another to suggest that presidents, or mythical third-party unicorns, start exploiting fear and killing people for purely political reasons.



We are all strapping young bucks now

A little surprised to see National Review doubling down on this:

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America.

[….]

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets.

A few things. I grew up in hardscrabble upstate New York (albeit in a small, less downscale village), and the “whelping” part is just bullshit. I wish that just for one minute, these right-wing idiots would consider what it’s like to trying to raise kids on one insufficient income or two barely sufficient incomes. If they did, they’d realize that most working class parents, in these downscale communities that deserve to die, are heroes in a way that some talentless douche at a money-losing rag will never be.

Also too: many American industrial jobs did in fact disappear because of globalization. Bringing in workers from other countries — via H1Bs or guest or worker programs or illegal immigration — does depress wages. I favor free trade and comprehensive immigration reform, but there are people who are hurt economically by these policies. It’s ridiculous to pretend otherwise.

Finally, what on earth are working-class voters (of any skin color) doing in a party whose flagship publication talks about them like this?



One day the bottom will drop out

I hope that Trump is the Republican nominee. If I lived in a state with an open primary, I would vote in the Republican primary for Trump. Fifty years of resentment politics from the right created the conditions for Trumpism, and Trump is the candidate the GOP deserves.

In the immortal words of Mister Blonde “I say fuck ’em. They set off the alarm. They deserved what they got.”



We never got it off on that revolution stuff

I’m going to vote for Hillary in the primary. I think she’s smarter than Bernie and that her plans seem better thought out. I guess I’m an incrementalist not a revolutionary.

But there’s really no question that Sandersism is the future:

Among all voters under age 30, Sanders beat Clinton by a huge 84-15 percent margin, another result similar to Iowa.

I think analysts underplayed how much Obama dominated the youth vote the last two general elections. It was completely unprecedented for a candidate in a general presidential election to win the youth vote by 20+ points while losing some other age groups. There’s no way that didn’t herald a new direction for the country politically, in the long term.

And there’s no way that Sanders’ domination of the youth vote in the primaries doesn’t herald a new direction for the Democratic party.



Because that’s where the money is

I realize that in a world where ideology trumps practicality at the ballot box every time this makes for a politically ineffective argument, but my belief in increasing taxes on the rich isn’t based on a concept of fairness or communalism, it’s because that’s the where the money is:

[T]he top 1 percent includes about 1.13 million households earning an average income of $2.1 million.

Raising their total tax burden to, say, 40 percent would generate about $157 billion in revenue the first year. Increasing it to 45 percent brings in a whopping $276 billion. Even taking account of state and local taxes, the average household in this group would still take home at least $1 million a year.



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)



And they said he was a very great man

Even by the low standards of our wretched elite media complex, this is amazing..the NYT had a buddy of Kissinger review Niall Ferguson’s Kissinger hagiography and this is what he wrote:

[I]f Kissinger’s official biographer cannot be accused of falling for his subject’s justifiably famed charm, he certainly gives the reader enough evidence to conclude that Henry Kissinger is one of the greatest Americans in the history of the Republic, someone who has been repulsively traduced over several decades and who deserved to have a defense of this comprehensiveness published years ago.

(via)