Sanders Is More Honorable Than His Followers

And he should probably fire his campaign manager. If you’re going to run as the last honest man then you should do what Sanders did and apologize. You should not vent your spleen and deflect the issue on to literally everyone else involved in your misfeasance.

And the worst part is that he (the campaign manager) did that not because he had a legal or principled argument to stand on, but because he knew it was good politics. It fired up Sanders supporters and hauled in a lot of money, some of which is going into the toilet on their Quixotic lawsuit, but never mind that.

That is completely perpendicular to Sanders’s style and message.

And let’s not get into the bleating conspiracy theories from the Regressive Left’s blathersphere on this who are either completely ignorant or are faking the old Polyanna routine. The DNC is political?! Oh. My. God.

The DNC is not a public trust or the federal elections commission. It is made up of elected delegates that vote people into executive positions and set policy. The fact that more of those people support Hillary Clinton is just part of politics. In a democracy, having more support means you get to run things. Clinton is not rigging the system to give a minority candidate majority powers. On the contrary, her almost total support among DNC members has done virtually nothing to harm the chances of any other candidate. The debates the Sanders people complain about have only coincided with his rise in the polls from single digits and irrelevant status to being a competitor in some states. Maybe they should be careful what they wish for. I’m not sure that Sanders’s angry grampa routine would really benefit from all that many appearances, to be honest. Only those drunk beyond sanity on the Kool-Aid honestly believe that anything the DNC has done has stunted the Sanders campaign at all which is considerably outperforming expectations at this point (unless your expectations are winning all 50 states and enacting Sweden unanimously in Congress).

The whole complaint coming from the Sanders campaign (but not so much from Sanders) is that the DNC is supposed to ensure that everyone gets equal time in the time most advantageous for them.

But based on their conduct with the data scandal and its fallout, we know that if Sanders’s supporters were in charge of the DNC there would have been 15 debates about whatever they though Sanders’s strongest issue was whenever and wherever they wanted. And let’s be honest: would a Sanders DNC give equal time to Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley? Please.

If you’re going to take the holier than thou ground, doing it in the wake of your campaign getting caught stealing is not the time to do it and it’s even more ridiculous to do so in a way that’s asking for everyone else to play by rules you wouldn’t play by which is, just to spell it out, not holier.

Sanders has been good, so far, for the Democratic party by keeping the base’s issues in focus and preventing a demoralizing coronation. But if he cannot talk some sense into his own people, if he can’t get them to stop with the conspiracy theories, or at least act and vote in their best interest even if they don’t get exactly everything they DEMAND (like they’re used to in college, I know) then he will have simply been an undetonated Nader (assuming he does not run as an independent).

There will be a reckoning between the far left and it’s Moral Relativism For Me, Authoritarian Identity Politics For Thee bizarro world and the party’s current electoral coalition, but that doesn’t appear to be in this year’s primary season, thank god.

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GOP Nightmare Scenario

I always get a combination of surprise and condescension when people in the national media and pundit corps forget that we live in a democracy. Not that democratic will isn’t easily thwarted in this country on certain issues, but that eventually, you can’t get away from the fundamentals.

So, in the Internet era, which for most people is just barely younger than the Fox News era, it shouldn’t surprise people that men like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz lead in the GOP primary. This is the fruit of 20 years of Rupert Murdoch and his Internet imitators.

They had been buying into “we need someone who can win” until 2010. When the Tea Party wave swept the country, that was the sign that Republicans had bucked their elites. After all, it was Bush, who despite being one of the most conservative presidents ever, screwed up by not being a winner and creating, in their view, Obama’s win, Obamacare, and everything else.

The Internet is doing some of the same damage to the left, where politicians and leaders have ever more and more purity tests put to them. But for right now, the Democratic party nationwide is being very pragmatic. Most Democrats support what Bernie Sanders says but most realize he probably couldn’t have even won in 2008, let alone in 2016 when the fatigue is directed at their own incumbent.

After looking—just quickly—at delegate math, it seems unlikely that the GOP primary will be over in February. The Democratic primary could be over the first week of February if Clinton sweeps Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and, even if she loses New Hampshire, the huge number of primaries on March 1 should effectively end the race.

The GOP race—where Carson is still in it in Iowa—has 4 or 5 candidates that have a good chance of being awarded delegates in all of the early proportional primaries.

And, again, I’m just looking quickly at this stuff, but it looks to me like getting a non-insane Republican candidate will require Marco Rubio to last at least until April to get a head-to-head against either Trump or Cruz, and even then, it might come down to a three-way race.

In other words, unless things start changing fast—and they aren’t likely to change much until after the first week of January due to the holidays—the Republicans are looking at these scenarios being the most likely: Trump, Cruz, or brokered convention in that order.

I think all three scenarios augur a 400EV blowout for Hillary.

If Cruz and Trump are first in second in all of the February primaries and the March 1 super tuesday, Rubio will more or less have to be third in all of them for there to be any chance of an establishment candidate to win. And I think in the end that only gains them 50-70EVs.

The Terrorists Want…

They want us to be scared, they want to suck us into a land war in the Middle East…

The list of things that people who aren’t experts on terrorists tell us they want is almost limitless these days. In fact, you can try to persuade people not to do something just by saying that’s what the terrorists want.

But I don’t understand what we’re supposed to do then. Simply not react? First of all, that’s just humanly impossible. You cannot train millions of people to react to such things with perfect stoicism.

To me this is just more evidence of how badly the invasion of Iraq broke our national discussion about security. It was stupid and pointless, and more or less caused this problem, and now has made it politically complicated to do anything that must be done.

Did Trump Go Too Far This Time?

I doubt it. If the Republican party wants to save itself, running attack ads against Trump, as I’ve read they are planning, isn’t the solution. The solution is to everyone except Rubio to drop out now. There’s my advice, guys. Don’t be mad if you don’t take it.

Trump has made the same error that people are making. Muslims, especially those coming to the United States, aren’t the problem. Islam, the religion, though, is in a crisis. I could write essays and books on why that is, but keeping people from being radicalized is really the issue.

Protestant Islam

The Islam of the “moderate Muslim” as described by most western liberals sounds like a great religion, one that is vastly superior to Christianity or Judaism. The truth, however, is that Moderate Islam doesn’t exist and Moderate Muslims are mostly apostatizing.

In Christianity, starting in the 16th century, there was a Reformation that made Protestant Christianity a personal religion, based on an individual’s personal relationship with god and his personal reading of scripture. Over time, this took on many variations and the pluralism that created led to the notion of religious toleration and then religious freedom. Protestantism’s general distrust of authority and its pluralism led to the separation of church and state, which ultimately led to the liberalization of both church and state.

Even Catholicism eventually was sucked into modernity by the competition from Protestantism. However, even today, Catholicism is more like Islam in that Church doctrine hasn’t changed so much as most of its followers simply ignore its teachings. In Western countries, over 90% of Catholics disagree with the Church about birth control, for example.

In Judaism, the situation is similar. The Jews remained in a medieval timewarp until the Jewish Enlightenment, or Haskala, starting in the late 18th century. Immediately thereafter, Haskala theologians essentially created a Protestant version of Judaism, which eventually led to the liberal streams, to which the vast majority of American Jews belong. In other places, most are either Orthodox or secular.

The main distinction to be made between the Islamic world and that of Christians and Jews is that the latter two have a way to be religious—devout, even—without subscribing to a medieval or quasi-medieval version of the faith. This isn’t to say that some don’t choose the latter; they do. But when there is no moderate version of the faith to speak of, then anyone drawn into a more religious life is drawn towards the older ways.

Certainly, this doesn’t mean that everyone drawn towards Muslim spirituality becomes a terrorist, but it does mean that, for example, they won’t be likely to have modern attitudes towards women, gays, or other western behavior.

Affirmative Action Done For?

Affirmative action supporters are worried about the fate of race-based college admissions programs with the Supreme Court taking another such case up again after only a short break since the last.

Given the Court’s attitude towards the Voting Rights Act, the worry is probably well founded. What can be done?

First, the majority of high-profile Supreme Court cases involving affirmative action involve the fate of students who end up at a slightly worse school, hardly a death sentence. Of course, the reverse is true: the minority student ending up merely one rung down the ladder at one law school instead of the other is still on track to become part of America’s professional elite.

Rearranging deck chairs on the ship of the professional elite is probably not the only end racial equality advocates had in mind when the program began.

Meanwhile, basic education for minorities is hardly better than it was decades ago.

If the Supreme Court stops race-based college admissions, the appropriate response would be to shore up Kindergarten, not law schools, in poor and minority neighborhoods. That, in the long run, would do much more for the fate of far more minorities than moving them one rung up the law school hierarchy.

Can’t Stump Trump

Another poll is out today showing Donald Trump with a commanding lead in the GOP primary race. This seems to be confusing the pundit class. By now, a few have figured out that he isn’t going to be the 2012-style candidate du jour—something that most of the other candidates are apparently counting on. Ben Carson appears to have played that role this time.

But for those who cannot believe Trump is showing persistent support and who can’t believe anyone could vote for him, I’ll just leave this right here:

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