There’s been a lot of discussion over the past few days concerning Tucker Carlson’s recent monologue. It’s unfocused and hard to follow, primarily because it’s more of an appeal to emotion than reason. It’s like buckshot: some of it hits dead center, but a lot of it hits things that are only tangentially related. Most of the follow-up pieces have been similarly vague and inconclusive. I think Ben Shapiro’s response hits closest to the mark.
America Needs Virtue before Prosperity
Summary: Prosperity cannot exist without freedom, and freedom cannot exist without virtue.
Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro wrote:
A strong Republican Party would never have allowed Donald Trump, an outsider with limited commitment to Republican ideology, to become its presidential nominee. It would not have allowed Roy Moore to have been its nominee for the U.S. Senate from Alabama in 2017. A strong party would not tolerate a rebellious faction like the tea party.
On the Democratic side, it’s unlikely a strong party would have selected the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the nominee for New York’s 14th Congressional District.
Political partisanship is vicious. That’s because political parties are too weak.
Kevin D. Williamson wrote in response:
A few thoughts: It is worth emphasizing that the weakening of the political parties enables radicalization — but radicalization in one direction only: populist, if we are being kind, or demagogic, if we are being honest.
A Kind Word for the Smoke-Filled Room
If the GOP had something akin to Democrat’s superdelegates, we would probably have a president Rubio today. I don’t know if Rubio would have been a great president, but at least he wouldn’t be tweeting like a ten-year-old.
And Ted Cruz? Ted is awkwardly placed: he’s too populist for so-called establishment Republicans, and too closely associated with “the establishment” for populists. Which is too bad; he might have been the best of the lot.
Ronald Reagan unified and strengthened the Republican coalition, but now that it’s been torn apart, I don’t know if it can be put back together again. It’s a lot easier to tear things apart than put them back together.
From National Review:
Longtime Clinton Adviser Guarantees Hillary Will Run in 2020
A lot of Republicans probably think of Hillary as the gift that keeps on giving, but I’m not so sure. All she would have to do is flip Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maine’s 2nd congressional district to squeak a win in the electoral college.
The 2020 primary season is going to be a contentious one for Democrats; similar to what Republicans went through in 2016, but with the volume turned up. My forecast: continuing weltschmerz, with scattered riots.
I’m back. I thought about it for a long time, and I still can’t figure out what to do with this blog, so it looks like it’s going to be politics and religion all the way down. Some things never change.