penguin2Megan McArdle talks to the #NeverTrump Republicans, and sizes up the Trumpkin response.

Meanwhile, John Podheretz and Matthew Continetti assess the virtues and ludicrosity of taking Trump to the convention and fighting him there. #BanPrimaries

On the vaping front, formaldehyde concerns are out and exploding ecigarette batteries.

Olivia Goodhill wants to know why we’re not researching how to treat period cramps.

Samuel Goldman takes exception to the “social science” of Trumpkins-as-Authoritarians. I nodded with solemnity when I read of the correlation, but I’m pretty sure Goldman is correct here.

I’m not sure how much the world needed Fuller House, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t need a Full House porn parody.

Elizabeth Picciuto reacts to the misportrayal in the media of Microcephaly (the product of the Zika virus).

Somewhere along the way, Taco Bell quietly became healthy.

BBC looks at the gender imbalance in Sweden, which among 16-17yo’s outstrips that of China.

According to a new study, segregated schools mean more crime

I ran across an article on a weird way to hijack cars the other day, and so of course I had to Snopes it, and turns out it’s a myth. This is not as bad as fearmongering Halloween candy, but the drip-drip-drip is really deleterious to the public health.

Here are the things that immigrants were pleasantly surprised about in the US.

If it’s immigrant tolerance that you seek, look not in Denmark but in Texas.

Meet the 500-lb man wanting to bike across the county.

If things don’t go well in 2016, the GOP really needs to do this with just about every demographic. They don’t have to rearrange their agenda to maximize popularity, but they (just as with the Democrats, though it’s less pressing for them) do need to know exactly which stances are hurting them and how much.

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10 Responses to Linkluster Four, Five, Six

    • trumwill says:

      Thanks for sharing. Madrid has his work cut out for him. Due in part to the intractability of the anti-immigration contingent on the party, and due partly to other side (my side, ultimately) of the internal squabble.

  1. Michael Drew says:

    There’s a central contradiction, or at least disconnect, in McMegan’s consideration of the Trumpeters.

    It’s this:

    Trump fans should know that the #NeverTrump Republicans who wrote to me are not rejecting you, or even your issues. They are rejecting Donald J. Trump, because they think he is a bad person, so incompetent, aggressive and shamelessly unprincipled that they do not trust him with the Oval Office, or the helm of their party. You could have chosen any other standard bearer to talk about immigration and trade and national security, and if that person had won the nomination, most of these #NeverTrump types would have fallen in line and voted for the nominee, allowing you a good chance at the White House in 2016.

    Surely she knows that essentially all of the power and a very large part of the votership would never have fallen in line behind that person before being absolutely forced to, just like they are being forced to now. And a more conventional, less attention-grabbing figure simply wouldn’t have forced that. The figure who truly believes he could run in the GOP primary with that issue set and win is someone almost as eccentric as Trump, if not necessaarily as offensive. But Trump was the guy who showed up. He figured out where the policy-political vacuum the party had allowed to develop was, and exploited it. But equally, those who had been unserved by that vacuum were (are) better-served for finding an exponent so able to command interest and allegiance (in his authoritarian, fascistic way).

    If it were the case that the party would have responded to a more conventional Republican politician running on this message, then McArdle’s objection to Trump, from the Trumpkin’s perspective, should have weight. But the fact is that these people justifiably felt that the party was fully unresponsive to their concerns, and had no space for such a conventional politician. Trump’s eccentricity and attention-grabbing offensiveness, in their view, are part and parcel of the policy coup they see themselves as perpetrating on the party.

    From their perspective, what McArdle is saying is that first and foremost they must behave (meaning not back someone as odious as Trump), but if they do, if they then make themselves heard through a more acceptable candidate, then their concerns would be given due consideration. But they consider that a flat-out bait & switch: their experience with the party is that free-marketism (or the GOP version thereof), outsourcing, immigration, and foreign wars will reliably be eventually enforced on anyone who is generally pliant to the norms of the party. So Trump’s social nonconformity becomes a coordinate indicator of his commitment to pushing ideological heterodoxy.

    If McArdle were right about what would happen of they had chosen a more acceptable vessel for their protest, then she would have a valid point about what is and is not being rejected in #NeverTrump. But she’s not right: had it been someone more socially conformist than Trump, the ideological challenge would have been stilled in its crib, and if Trump is defeated (and, honestly, even if he’s not), most likely ideological reform of the party isn;t going to happen. A further indicator that she isn’t right about this is that a cursory examination of the #NeverTrump movement shows that outrage about the ideological shift that Trump could bring to the party is as prominent a motivator and as prominent and objection to Trump as are his social infractions (which s not to disparage the sincerity of the objections to his social conduct). Maybe not in the self-selecting email sample she took, but clearly on Twitter and in the mainstream conservative press and talking world, the objection to Trump as not in any way conservative is as prevalent as objections to his behavior on simple crassness or universal ideological (anti-racism, etc.) grounds.

    • trumwill says:

      Believe it or not, a lot of this conforms to my own thinking. McArdle chose immigration as her example, and that’s a particularly bad one. To some degree, they are the Trumpers I understand. They’re also the ones I’ve spent the most time interacting with.

      The party has been, in essence, betraying them and waiting to betray them for over ten years. As a consequence, they don’t trust the party. Nor would I, if I were in their shoes. And so when the traditional candidates come around on an anti-immigration plank on their platform, they are untrusted. Both when I think their suspicion is kind of valid (Rubio) and when I think they should actually run with it (Cruz).

      Trump’s vulgarity has not only helped him generally politically, but has also served as a sort of insurance policy. The equivalent of a prison gang tattoo that says “He’s in, and he’s not going back.”

      They don’t have good options, and Trump might just have actually been the best one. The problem, I believed then and believe now, is that prison tattoo or no, I believe Trump will in fact betray them and is actually more likely to do so than Cruz would be, or some other candidate (there were cases for Walker or Christie in ’15) would have been had they rallied around him and struck an arrangement.

      • Michael Drew says:

        Yeah, I pretty much agree with that – even that Trump would disappoint them on immigration. Their expectations on immigration are basically not viable. For whatever reason, they chose to believe Trump’s lip service and not Cruz’s.

        I think part of that is the affect-signifying dimension we’ve identified. The nationalism and so forth. But another part is that it comes along with the economic heterodoxy – also packaged in terms of nationalism. So there’s corroboration that Trump intends to violate party orthodoxy in other ways as well (ways that in their minds are complementary to immigration restrictionism). And no one else in the race offers that combination – because they’re not allowed to! And the anti-PC/shock-jock stuff is just kind of clincher: “This guy doesn’t care what anyone thinks, he’s just gonna do what it takes to MAGA.”

        I know we have a disagreement about this, but in my view what is supposed to be happening right now is that there should be a Trump figure railing about an actually-passed comprehensive immigration reform, and the majority of the people on the stage should be hitting him over the head with that accomplishment, arguing for it, and branding the party with it (by shaming the). Yes, that would be essentially cutting this group loose from the party, but the idea is that you’re picking up Latinos and moderates on the other side. That’s what the Roadmap was all about: they just didn’t do it. Where the white nationalist rump ends up, I’m not sure. The party may have been screwed no matter what to a degree, but I think even if a third party had emerged on the right, the GOP would be in better shape in that scenario than where they are now. At some point you just have to say what you’re about as a party and let people decide whether they’re in or out. They trid for both and didn’t get either.

        • Michael Drew says:

          (by shaming those who dissent from it.)

        • Michael Drew says:

          …The white-nationalist right, that is – anti-immigration but against cutting elderly-benefitting social insurance, etc. (I recognize that raises the same old debate whether that’s really the right or not, but I think it traditionally is. We didn’t really dispute that those who opposed Obamacare because it cut Medicare were on the right, at least I wasn’t aware that we did. Clearly that is going to be roughly the same group, or have significant overlap.)

        • trumwill says:

          I know we have a disagreement about this, but in my view what is supposed to be happening right now is that there should be a Trump figure railing about an actually-passed comprehensive immigration reform, and the majority of the people on the stage should be hitting him over the head with that accomplishment, arguing for it, and branding the party with it (by shaming the).

          I actually almost agree with this, or used to. One of the reasons I did want to see CIR pass was that I wanted to put the issue to rest. It wasn’t out of a strong support for the policy, which I am conflicted about.

          I’ve since come to believe that pursuing it as the party leaders tried to do was the wrong strategy, the Autopsy was a complete miscalculation, and it was that, as much as anything, that lead to this. The “that” being pursuit of and openness to the policy. The backlash was too much.

          Could this have been avoided if it had simply passed come-what-may? Yeah, but given the givens at the time that simply wasn’t going to happen. That was something the party leadership and bigwigs (and myself) were in denial about. Come-what-may is simply an unrealistic expectation, and backlash has to be considered.

          My mind is presently going even a step further, and saying simply that these sentiments cannot viably be ignored by both parties in the fashion that Democrats and Republicans in leadership want to. In Europe, the result is a perpetual third party that their system accommodates. In this one, I’m not sure there is any result other than a party being consumed by it.

          Which I do hope I’m wrong about. If worse comes and worse comes, my preference right now is all-out war and a Third Party. I’m not at all confident in its prospects right now, But the next alternative to that, as far as I’m concerned, is that I’m a Democrat now and maybe a bunch of others become Democrats. The Democrats reign supreme for a spell, then we cause a another war in that tent.

        • Michael Drew says:

          We’re very much on the same wavelength. In retrospect, expecting pols to pass something with this bubbling up below them isn’t realistic. (Though I do think that Boehner, we now know one foot out the door, was in a position to do it, and, despite all the craziness I think if he had he’d have been putting his party in a better position, as you say, come what may.)

          But that doesn’t mean that the candidate today would be defending it. But it would nevertheless define he party going forward. I’m likewise not sure what the disposition of these voters are long term – they may just be politically homeless so long as they are animated by essentially racist economic and security nativism. But I do think that if Boehner had acted on the Senate bill, eventually it would be the consensus position of the Republican Psrty, led by Marco Rubio. It’s one thing to say that that didn’t happen because of backlash that couldn’t be ignored, but it’s still I think the case that, for the backlash, almost no matter the extent of it, that’s still the better situation for the GOP to be in. Now they have much more fighting to do to get back to striking distance to that than they ever did before, but that’s still where they’ll need to get themselves to eventually. Backlash was always going to be part of the process.

          But we underestimated it, no doubt of that.

  2. Michael Drew says:

    …I’ll just amend that to say that, from what we now know about Rubio, I think there is reason to doubt that he’d be defending such a law any more than he was strictly forced to do. That to me illustrates (would illustrate) exactly the way in which Rubio turned out to be such a false hope for Republicans. It may be that the generation of GOP leaders who embrace that new party would have been another quarter-turn of the generational wheel down the road.

    OTOH, there may still be a place for Rubio in the more bizarro world we are currently heading into.

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