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A few quick notes:

  • Donald Trump’s primary victory is now complete. His opponents wound up being a house of cards. I’m hoping Jesse Ventura becomes his running mate.
  • I’m not sure whether it’s due to her ability to reinvent herself or what, but it’s utterly bizarre that the Democratic primary has seen the (basically uncontested) demise of the New Democrat/DLC tradition, and yet will result in one of the creators of that trend. Admittedly this is going to far: these folks wield quite a bit of institutional power and all. But one by one, major pillars of that legacy have been vilified by Sanders and the left and then were essentially undefended by Clinton herself–the crime bill, financial deregulation, trade. Aside from “good economy” it’s pretty much been picked clean, and in such a way that it’s going to be difficult to go back to the old way of doing business. Definitely not appreciated at this point.
  • As for their style of politics, it’s almost certainly dead. Bernie and Elizabeth Warren–unlike almost anyone else in the Democratic Party–are competent at hitting the gut level and finding effective, simple frames for understanding larger issues. Yesterday’s stars like Al Gore and John Kerry were utterly incompetent at that sort of work, and it showed. On the other hand, it’s really all that Sanders has against Clinton and he’s more than beat the spread. Future candidates will take notice.
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Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor MD on February 26, 2015. (Photo by Jeff Malet)

Aww, Ted.  Did #carlyfail not give you the boost you needed?

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Tuesday night that he was suspending his campaign to be the GOP presidential candidate, potentially ending any real battle for the party’s nomination… “From the beginning I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I’m sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed,” Cruz said during a Tuesday night speech. “The voters chose another path, and so with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”

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I’ll give it 8/10 for framing and physical execution. Though it’s hard to have a better unintentional pratfall than this:

I get the sense that Grammer’s frequent talk about running for public office in California is about the equivalent to George Lucas talking about making smaller, personal movies–i.e. hot air. But man, would that be awesome. And just as a side question: has any creative person’s work actually improved after moving from liberal to right-wing? Admittedly Grammer, Dennis Miller and David Mamet are contemporary examples of this definitely not happening, and Frank Sinatra an older (but even better) example, but has it ever actually happened?

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I plan to vote for Bernie Sanders in the California primary. I do have concerns about whether he’d be up to the job, though it’s mainly Clinton’s atrocious foreign policy record that clinched it, as foreign policy is largely what the job is. All things being equal (i.e. no Sanders revolution, no stampede of moderate Republican women to Clinton), what Congress sends Bernie versus what they send Hillary are going to be pretty minor. What they do with the military would I think be extremely different, and of much greater import than minor differences in domestic policy. Still, Sanders kills me with the lack of self-awareness he can display sometimes. To wage a campaign that indicts the establishment and critiques the fairness of the nominating process, and then to go ahead and argue that he’s going to win with superdelegates? These things are fundamentally opposed. Superdelegates are the establishment, and one of the least fair things of the process. The only way to read this is that Sanders is saying the only legitimate outcome is that I win. I have a bond with the people, I have the enthusiasm, therefore I should win, by any means necessary. The self-righteousness on display here is distasteful. Josh Marshall is right:

Usually in the process of ramping down a campaign or shifting its emphasis to institution building post-campaign, there are ups and downs, some contradictory hints and moves. Maybe this is just one of those. But the only net effect of this is to delay any effort at party unification and force feed supporters with a deeper sense of grievance, continuing the pattern of trying to convince them he’s been cheated or that the system is rigged when in fact the ‘riggedness’ of the system has mainly helped him.

IMO, nothing would be more rigged than superdelegates taking the nomination away from the legitimate winner, and it only makes Sanders look stupid to say that this is either desirable or at all likely.

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No doubt conservative pundits here would see this as France being France, refusing to simply accept the neoliberal magic dust that they know is best for them, but it’s not that simple. It goes to the heart of things. French society does not value homeownership–in fact, getting mortgages there is deliberately difficult. Most people rent. But on the other hand, it’s virtually impossible to fire somebody from a job, and they tend to be well-paying thanks to strong unions. Most societies tend to differ on this question of where to provide stability and where to encourage initiative, and it’s not as though either is a perfect choice. It’s a trade-off, and different cultures find a mix that works for them. But the equivalent to all this would be as if the US government suddenly cancelled the various subsidies it provides for owning a home. You’d probably see something similar to this, enough to make those Tea Party rallies look like afternoon tea. Hollande is no socialist, of course, but it often seems as though he has no identifiable principles at all, and even less political intelligence. I don’t really think the National Front is going to take over after him, but losing in the first round of the next election should be plenty humiliating.

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I’m afraid I’ll be piling on here: it says something about the political intelligence of Carly Fiorina that she jumps aboard the Cruz ship (sorry) the day after Trump essentially scuttled it by winning a handful of primaries by yuuuuge margins and putting himself on track to win the nomination. Unsurprisingly, there was an opening for first mate of the Titanic after it hit the goddamn iceberg.

It also says something about Ted Cruz that he thought she’d be an asset. Her difficulties in running various organizations, as well as her propensity for damaging gaffes, have been well-documented here. As for personality, say something about Sarah Palin, but she was at least upbeat and could be funny, though often unintentionally. Though the choice is brilliant in a way–not many people make Cruz look like a fun, competent, accomplished person by comparison, and she’s one of them.

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urlYou have got to be fucking kidding me:

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, desperate to alter the course of a presidential primary fight in which Donald J. Trump is closing in on victory, will announce Wednesday afternoon that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate if he wins the Republican nomination.

I can hardly imagine a presidential ticket I’d loathe more.  Aside from what, Stalin and Mussolini?

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