• The Futility of an Anti-Trump Protest Campaign


    Eliot Cohen has an idea:

    It is time for a third candidate, and probably for a third party.

    Some people will dismiss this notion as absurd. However, only those prescient enough to have forecast Trump’s success have the standing to certify impossibilities. If the Trump candidacy has blown up every other aspect of political conventional wisdom, why not this one?

    If anti-Trump Republicans want to split off and run their own candidate, they are free to do so. However, they should do this with the understanding that their protest will amount to very little, and they will allow Trump and his supporters to blame them for his defeat. It is more than a little amusing that the anti-Trump protest idea is being supported by otherwise reliable Republican partisans who would normally mock and deride third-party voters for wasting their votes. I won’t say that about an anti-Trump protest candidacy, but I will say that they are helping to let to Trump off the hook for what most assume will be a failed general election campaign. Trump’s die-hard Republican opponents don’t need to go to the trouble of running a third-party candidate or taking over an existing third party nomination to keep Trump from being president. They can do that simply by not voting for him. Just by withholding their support, committed anti-Trump Republicans can get what they want while letting Trump take the fall for losing in November. If they go through with a protest candidacy, they will more than likely just embarrass themselves and destroy the political career of whichever hapless person they convince to accept the role of sacrificial lamb. READ MORE...

  • Trump is not the first Republican to campaign against nation-building


    If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we’re going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I’m going to prevent that. I’m going to rebuild our military power.

    Those words could very easily have come from Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech last week. But they were in fact spoken by another Republican presidential candidate who, sixteen years ago, went on to win the presidency: George W. Bush.

    In 2000, Bush campaigned on a promise to end nation-building in far flung corners of the globe so we could rebuild our military and prepare it for missions essential to our national security. READ MORE...

  • Cruz Joins the Surrender Caucus


    Ted Cruz has dropped out of the presidential race:

    Crushed in the Indiana primary he had declared would decide the fate of the Republican presidential campaign, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday night ended his presidential campaign, essentially ceding the nomination to front-runner Donald Trump.

    There would have been no point in continuing to campaign after getting blown out tonight, but it is still a little surprising that Cruz would throw in the towel before the last few primaries are over. Cruz has liked to present himself as a stalwart of movement conservatism, and he has routinely mocked his colleagues for belonging to what he called the “surrender caucus” when they didn’t want to do as he wished. In the end, Cruz was just as ready to surrender when presented with a hopeless situation. He will end the 2016 race as the runner-up to Trump, but he has burned so many bridges along the way that it is doubtful that he has much of a chance in four years. READ MORE...

  • More evidence that the sky is not falling due to student loan debt


    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “student debt is crippling our economy!” It’s a favorite line of argument from free college supporters, who tend to think it’s bad that anybody has to borrow to pay for college, especially because they think it keeps young people from various rites of adulthood: family formation, homeownership, and so on. Some observational research from the New York Fed has added fuel to this fire by purportedly finding a correlation between student debt and homeownership rates and credit scores. READ MORE...

  • Indiana Results


    Like the primaries last week, the Indiana Republican primary was a walkover for Trump. Trump has won the state as expected, and he appears to have won it decisively. With just 12% reporting, he leads Cruz by 20 points, 53-33%. The CNN exit poll suggests that he will end up with more than half the vote. He is very likely to come away with all of the state’s 57 delegates, and if surveys from California are to be believed he is on track to win going away there a month from now. Tonight’s result confirmed that die-hard anti-Trump Republicans are a minority of the GOP. READ MORE...

  • Al Mukalla is not Raqqa


    Yemeni forces supported by the Emirati military reclaimed the city of al Mukalla from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) April 23-24. AQAP had controlled this city since April 2015, using it as a hub to support operations throughout the country. The military operation – largely planned and executed by the Emiratis – was significant. A Sunni Gulf state took the fight to al Qaeda and won. That’s the good news.

    The bad news is that this success will prove transitory. Although analysts like Michael Morell claim that the loss of al Mukalla is “the equivalent of the Islamic State losing Mosul or Raqqa,” that comparison conceals a fundamental difference between al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS). It reflects a misunderstanding of the sources of al Qaeda’s and ISIS’s strength and will lead to a misguided strategy against AQAP. READ MORE...

  • Political Discontent In Our Time


    Interesting column today from Damon Linker, talking about the forms political discontent is taking in our contemporary society. He mentions Your Working Boy here:

    The anti-modern tendency also comes in a more quietistic mode that doesn’t so much seek a total revolution as respond to the impossibility of such a revolution by advocating withdrawal into an insular community that is somehow in but not of the modern world. Blogger Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option” for the religious right (inspired by the work of Catholic philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre) takes this form, holding out hope that traditionalist Christians might manage to overcome their deep dissatisfaction with aspects of modern life by a severing of ties with secular trends they consider the source of their unhappiness. READ MORE...