Monday, May 4, 2020

Weekend Roundup

This title offers a pretty apt introduction to the week: Adam Cancryn: As death toll passes 60,000, Trump's team searches for an exit strategy. A good second course would be Adam Serwer: Trump is inciting a coronavirus culture war to save himself. Trump doesn't seem to understand much, but his big hedgehog idea is that every day is a campaign day, and issues matter only in that they can be spun as campaign fodder. This mostly means casting them as culture war, using his takes to excite his base, or to offend his enemies (which in turn excites his base). He doesn't have any other interest in solving problems, and never feels the least bit of responsibility when his administration fails. Indeed, he's found that he can usually get away with not mentioning it (or declaring it "fake news" when someone else brings it up). After all, political discourse on the right has been untethered from reality ever since Reagan discovered "morning in America."

As for his minions, they, too, have one hedgehog idea, which is to consolidate as much political power as possible, and use that power to do favors for their donors, seeing that as the way to consolidate even more power. Hence, even with the pandemic dominating the headlines, they keep plugging away at spreading their corrupt favors around.

Some primary returns: Ohio (April 28, postponed from March 17): Joe Biden 72.43%, Bernie Sanders 16.61%; Kansas (May 2): Joe Biden 76.85%, Bernie Sanders 23.15%. Kansas, by the way, used a ranked choice system, which eventually reduced Tulsi Gabbard, Elizabeth Warren, and "uncommitted" to 0 votes. Wikipedia has more: Warren got 7.8% in the first round. Biden gained 6,119 votes when she was eliminated, vs. 5,822 for Sanders.

Some scattered links this week:

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