Politics

Ross Douthat: Who Are We? – The New York Times

…[L]iberalism, under pressure from the left, has become steadily more anxious about its political and cultural progenitors, with Woodrow Wilson joining Jackson and Jefferson in the dock. Meanwhile the right’s narrative has become steadily more exclusionary — religious-conservative outreach to

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness, Politics, US History

Azzam Tamimi: In anticipation of the next cycle of Arab revolutions – Middle East Monitor

Looking farther into the more distant future, had democratic transition been successful, one could envisage the creation of what might have become known as the United States of the Middle East, a formidable power with enormous resources, both human and

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted, Politics Tagged with:

Jeet Heer: National Review’s Sad Surrender to Trump – New Republic

Forfeiting the ideals of Never Trump, National Review is starting to embrace, slowly and awkwardly, the Republican president out of fealty to the party. This was perhaps an inevitable development. The magazine was born in 1955 as a revolt against

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness, Politics Tagged with: ,

The Data That Turned the World Upside Down – Motherboard

Our smartphone, Kosinski concluded, is a vast psychological questionnaire that we are constantly filling out, both consciously and unconsciously. Above all, however—and this is key—it also works in reverse: not only can psychological profiles be created from your data, but

Posted in Internet, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness, Politics

@MBGlenn: ‘Stand Up Republic’ is exactly that, to the chagrin of Erick Erickson… – The Collision Blog

Erickson is so busy thrusting his arm down into the sewer of this Presidency, in hopes of finding a quarter, that he can’t even see the big picture anymore. The cornerstone of “Never Trump” was the knowledge that the dangerous

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Jason Willick: The Danger of President Obama’s Farewell Address – The American Interest

Why does it matter that President Obama’s defense of open government was framed as an attack on the GOP and couched within a campaign-style celebration of the achievements of the Democratic Party? Because while normal political conflicts within our democratic system—conflicts

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Politics Tagged with: , ,

Andrew Reynolds: North Carolina no longer a democracy – News & Observer

In the just released EIP report, North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Politics Tagged with: ,

Francis Fukuyama: The emergence of a post-fact world – The Strategist

The inability to agree on the most basic of facts is the direct product of an across-the-board assault on democratic institutions—in the US, in Britain, and throughout the world. And this is where the democracies are headed for real trouble.

Posted in Internet, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness, Politics

‘Unpresidented’: Donald Trump invents the Guardian’s word of the year – The Guardian

unpresidented Feeling of loss when a president who has neither the temperament nor the knowledge to actually be president is elected president, causing one to wonder who will actually be running the country and triggering feelings of malaise and dread…

Posted in Books, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness, Politics

Operation American Greatness: Russiagate Links 15 Dec 2016

Posted in notes, Operation American Greatness, Politics, War

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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