Samir’s Selection 01/14/2016 (p.m.)

  • tags: USpolitics conservative liberal thinktank campaign ThomasEdsall

    • What drove the right to invest so heavily at the state and local level, while the left fell behind?
    • Why do trends at the local level contrast with trends at the national level, where Democrats have made substantial gains in the competition for political money?
  • tags: TedCruz USpolitics conservative DavidBrooks

    • The case reveals something interesting about Cruz’s character. Ted Cruz is now running strongly among evangelical voters, especially in Iowa. But in his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace. Cruz’s behavior in the Haley case is almost the dictionary definition of pharisaism: an overzealous application of the letter of the law in a way that violates the spirit of the law, as well as fairness and mercy.
    • But Cruz’s speeches are marked by what you might call pagan brutalism. There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy. Instead, his speeches are marked by a long list of enemies, and vows to crush, shred, destroy, bomb them.
    • Cruz lays down an atmosphere of apocalyptic fear.
    • The fact is this apocalyptic diagnosis is ridiculous. The Obama administration has done things people like me strongly disagree with. But America is in better economic shape than any other major nation on earth. Crime is down. Abortion rates are down. Fourteen million new jobs have been created in five years.

       

      Obama has championed a liberal agenda, but he hasn’t made the country unrecognizable. In 2008, federal spending accounted for about 20.3 percent of gross domestic product. In 2015, it accounted for about 20.9 percent.

       

      But Cruz manufactures an atmosphere of menace in which there is no room for compassion, for moderation, for anything but dismantling and counterattack. And that is what he offers. Cruz’s programmatic agenda, to the extent that it exists in his speeches, is to destroy things: destroy the I.R.S., crush the “jackals” of the E.P.A., end funding for Planned Parenthood, reverse Obama’s executive orders, make the desert glow in Syria, destroy the Iran nuclear accord.

    • The best conservatism balances support for free markets with a Judeo-Christian spirit of charity, compassion and solidarity. Cruz replaces this spirit with Spartan belligerence. He sows bitterness, influences his followers to lose all sense of proportion and teaches them to answer hate with hate. This Trump-Cruz conservatism looks more like tribal, blood and soil European conservatism than the pluralistic American kind.
  • tags: Myanmar Rohingya genocide crime discrimination humanrights childtrafficking NicholasKristof

    • The Rohingya feel abandoned. The United Nations system, with the exception of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has downplayed the problem. Western embassies and governments have been too complacent. And Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner whose party just won elections in Myanmar, has been silent.
    • Multiply Jano’s tragedy by a million and you get the tapestry of the Rohingya suffering today. The horror arises not just from the savagery of human traffickers, but also from a government’s systematic effort to destroy a particular ethnic group, one met by global indifference.

      Genocide? I don’t know. A stain on our collective humanity? Absolutely.

  • “Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, served in the last three Republican administrations and is a contributing opinion writer.”

    tags: DonaldTrump USpolitics conservative

    • There are many reasons to abstain from voting for Mr. Trump if he is nominated, starting with the fact that he would be the most unqualified president in American history.
    • During the course of this campaign he has repeatedly revealed his ignorance on basic matters of national interest
    • Mr. Trump has no desire to acquaint himself with most issues, let alone master them. He has admitted that he doesn’t prepare for debates or study briefing books; he believes such things get in the way of a good performance. No major presidential candidate has ever been quite as disdainful of knowledge, as indifferent to facts, as untroubled by his benightedness.
    • Even more disqualifying is Mr. Trump’s temperament. He is erratic, inconsistent and unprincipled. He possesses a streak of crudity and cruelty that manifested itself in how he physically mocked a Times journalist with a disability, ridiculed Senator John McCain for being a P.O.W., made a reference to “blood” intended to degrade a female journalist and compared one of his opponents to a child molester.
    • Mr. Trump’s legendary narcissism
    • His nomination would pose a profound threat to the Republican Party and conservatism, in ways that Hillary Clinton never could. For while Mrs. Clinton could inflict a defeat on the Republican Party, she could not redefine it. But Mr. Trump, if he were the Republican nominee, would.
    • The nominee, after all, is the leader of the party; he gives it shape and definition. If Mr. Trump heads the Republican Party, it will no longer be a conservative party; it will be an angry, bigoted, populist one. Mr. Trump would represent a dramatic break with and a fundamental assault on the party’s best traditions.
    • If Mr. Trump wins the nomination, the G.O.P. will become the party of anti-reason.
    • I will go further: Mr. Trump is precisely the kind of man our system of government was designed to avoid, the type of leader our founders feared — a demagogic figure who does not view himself as part of our constitutional system but rather as an alternative to it.
    • Donald Trump has altered the political equation because he has altered the moral equation. For this lifelong Republican, at least, he is beyond the pale. Party loyalty has limits.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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