Trump And Turnbull

Australia and the US are having the similar challenges on the right. Remember that down under the conservative party is correctly identified as liberal and that the Aussies use a parliamentary system with two houses.  Here is Jo Nova:

The issue: Is it better to vote for the lesser of two evils and hope a Turnbull-led party can be reformed after a win, or is it better to think long term, take the medicine and rebuild in opposition — and is there a realistic third choice?

We are unconvinced that losing is good.  Political parties usually make faulty analysis of both winning and losing.  There is a big difference in a parliamentary system where the leader controls both the legislative and executive.  The Donald would only control the latter.  On the other hand, if Turnbull wins he is not term limited and can get more done because he controls the legislature.

Our take is that Turnbull is a bigger danger in Australia than The Donald is in the USA.  We are completely unconvinced by NeverTrump.  We are not familiar with the choices in Australia but we see losing to win in the future as a purer conservative party as always a dangerous gamble.  It is all about risk preferences.  We are risk averse.

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Trump In The General

David French and the never Trumpsters are back at it on NRO:

So, yes, the options are all bad — in the short term. But broaden your view beyond the race against Hillary, and the choice becomes easier: Will you sacrifice your integrity, your moral fiber, and your intellect for the sake of a single election cycle? A person who spends the next several months defending the indefensible, trying to make sense of the senseless, and excusing the inexcusable stands to do permanent damage to his reputation and the reputation of the movement he represents.

We are not with them.  Mark Steyn matches our take with the exception that we think Cruz still has a chance to be the nominee:

Cronyism and populism advance to the Super Bowl. Deal with it. They’re the only two teams left. Pick yours.

We pick The Donald over Herself.  We are not excited about The Donald and not donating to the Republican Party in this go-around.  We are not sacrificing:
Our integrity
Our moral fiber
Our intellect

Never Trump represents the authoritarian right and it is not a pretty thing.  We are not doing any of the things French suggests we are.  It is a vote where we are not happy about the choices.  We will probably have a choice between Herself and The Donald and think that The Donald is a better choice.  We are not arguing that he is a good choice or that we support most of his positions.  If, in the general election, we vote for anyone other than the GOP nominee then we vote for Herself.  We think that is the wrong choice both short-term and long-term.  Vote for Herself if you think she is better than the Donald.  Don’t wimp out and go third party.

Put another way: Nixon was a better choice than McGovern.  We are glad we supported Tricky Dick despite his flaws.  The GOP recovered in four years.

GOP Nominee

We have three thoughts on the recent events in the race for the GOP nomination.

First, what about Carly and Ted?  We love it but we hope it isn’t too late.  Carly is a perfect match for Ted, especially in the battle against Herself.  Carly brings personality, management skills, and the right chromosomes to the election.  She has been our choice for VP for some time.

Second, Governor Walker versus Daniels and Pence in Indiana.  As noted in PowerLine, Scott Walker did the right thing and exhibited leadership in Wisconsin while Daniels and Pence have been AWOL in Indiana.  Unless things change in Indiana we need to remember these actions when ’20 and ’24 come around.

Third, Boehner’s comments on Cruz where Ted was called the Devil incarnate amongst other things.  It seems to be just what Ted needed.  Boehner is the especially hated part of the GOP establishment.  He hates Ted and is buddies with The Donald.  As has been noted, this would seem to be exactly the endorsement that Ted needs to become the anti-establishment choice.

It still looks like The Donald versus Herself but the second item shows that leadership matters, the first item shows that Cruz is trying, and the third item suggests some reason to think that Ted has some ammunition to create some momentum.

Military Uses

Today on Big Bang Theory one of the stories was a comment by Penny’s ex that the guidance system being developed by Sheldon, Raj, Howard, and Leonard might have military uses.  Then the ex says something like I thought you guys were smart.

It is great news for the guys, more buyers, and great news generally because we will have it and our adversaries will not.  Yet the guys are on the stupid side of the moral issue.  They want to stop unilaterally so we don’t have it.  That is getting close to evil.  Other folks will be pursuing technological advantages.  For example, it was to our and the world’s great benefit that the US created and used the first atom bomb.  It is critical that we maintain our technological lead on the battlefield.

We hope that these smart guys can figure out who the good guys are.

Sample Of One

Peter Spiliakos at NRO’s Postmodern Conservative addresses what he sees as the problem in Ted Cruz and the Invisible Plan.  In our sample of one we found it the opposite of convincing.  Spiliakos says:

Ask those people what Trump wants to do. Don’t ask them about their opinion of Trump. Ask them what actual government actions the Trump wants. They will give you answers.

Two points and a sidebar: First we follow the news fairly closely and have no idea what The Donald wants to do.  He has made a big show on immigration but seems to really be an open borders guy.  Perhaps following less closely leads to more certainty.

Sidebar: As the NYT reports back on March 15, Trump had a six-to-one (or $1.585 billion) advantage over Cruz in free media.  So yes, folks have been exposed to much more Trump media.  End sidebar.

Secondly, how important are well documented, specific (seriously, for The Donald?) plans to the average voter?  How did that work out for Mitt?  What did Obama have for specifics?  Candidates are driven by their story.  Mitt’s success was painted as his problem.  One of the things that might drive The Donald’s success is that he is feisty.  Mitt and the rest of the governors were not.  We think that the last candidate has a big impact on the electorate’s choice of the next candidate.  In ’08 and ’12, the GOP candidates were seen as too nice to Obama.  Hence, The Donald.

In short, Cruz has problems but we are not convinced that lack of specificity is a serious one.  Of course we liked the governors who are now out of the race better than Cruz.  And yes, samples of one are highly suspect.

No-Confidence

The University of Wisconsin (UW) Madison Faculty Senate is preparing to have a vote of no confidence on Ray Cross, the UW System President.  For newcomers, the System President oversees all UW campuses including Madison.  Most campuses have a chancellor, Rebecca Blank in Madison’s case, as CEO.  The issue, according to the Capital Times, is implementing the recent changes in tenure policy approved by the state:

[T]he draft no-confidence resolution focuses on the revision and passage of the UW-Madison campus tenure policy earlier this month without adequate involvement of campus representatives.

 The faculty leadership seem to think it is a lost cause.  David Vanness the President of the Madison chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).  AAUP is a nation-wide organization for faculty.  Here is a Capital Times quote from him:

Vanness acknowledged the limited effectiveness a successful no-confidence vote might have.  “Indeed, it is likely that President Cross and the Board of Regents will gain substantial public support from the governor and state legislative leadership for ‘standing up to the faculty,’” he told colleagues.

We know that the vote is a political activity and everybody is trying to spin it.  That said, it is unclear to us how a vote of no-confidence can help the Madison faculty.  It is unlikely that Cross will take any action based on the vote.  It is likely that the vote would buoy the opposition as the faculty leadership acknowledge.
Faculty are our own worst enemy.  We can complain about the mess the electorate have made of the presidential nominations but faculty cause our own problems all the time.  We seem to conspire to make ourselves look bad.  In Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio and many other circumstances our actions and inactions make us look like spoiled children.  We really should be smarter than that since we are the smart folk.

Not Just Brazil

The quote from the WSJ starts with an interesting phrase describing Cardoso.  We assume he is a former leftist and is still an intellectual.

Henrique Cardoso, a former leftist intellectual who sought to reduce the size of Brazil’s government while president from 1995 to 2002. “But you need another springboard for progress, that doesn’t exclude the state but that accepts markets. This just doesn’t sink in in Brazil.”

It is not just Brazil that forgets to accept markets.  With The Donald, Herself, and The Bernie as the presidential final four it is clear that the acceptance of markets is on the wane in the US.  The US hasn’t quite reached the level of corruption that our friends from South American have but it is perhaps a president away.  It would be wonderful if the acceptance of markets would wax.