We Shouldn’t Completely Ignore the Next 15 Months

Three months ago, I wrote We Can All Ignore the Next 18 Months, because no sensible person would support a Republican in the presidential race. It was also clear that Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination. That was before Senator Bernie Sanders and you know who showed up. Since Sanders is worth paying attention to, even if he doesn’t get the nomination, I stand corrected. By the way, did you know the tycoon with the orange hair is 69 years old?

While we’re on the subject of our national nightmare, here’s Paul Krugman again:

The point is that while media puff pieces have portrayed Mr. Trump’s rivals as serious men — Jeb the moderate, Rand the original thinker, Marco the face of a new generation — their supposed seriousness is all surface. Judge them by positions as opposed to image, and what you have is a lineup of cranks…. 

It has long been obvious that the conventions of political reporting and political commentary make it almost impossible to say the obvious — namely, that one of our two major parties has gone off the deep end. Or as the political analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein put it in their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” the G.O.P. has become an “insurgent outlier … unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science.” It’s a party that has no room for rational positions on many major issues.

Or to put it another way, modern Republican politicians can’t be serious — not if they want to win primaries and have any future within the party. Crank economics, crank science, crank foreign policy are all necessary parts of a candidate’s resume.

Until now, however, leading Republicans have generally tried to preserve a facade of respectability, helping the news media to maintain the pretense that it was dealing with a normal political party. What distinguishes Mr. Trump is not so much his positions as it is his lack of interest in maintaining appearances. 

The professor’s entire column is here.

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  1. Pingback: On Ignoring the Next Six Months | Whereof One Can Speak

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