Donald Trump’s “campaign is based on xenophobia, race-baiting, religious bigotry, bringing out the worst in us. I think it would destroy my party for generations to come. We can afford to lose an election; we can’t afford to lose the heart and soul of who we are.” -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

“She had her chance to do it. She helped create ISIS. I mean, Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS.” -- Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“Nominating Donald Trump will wreck the Republican Party as we know it. Not nominating Trump will wreck the Republican Party as we know it. The sooner everyone recognizes this fact, the better.” -- Jonah Goldberg

"As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance. Which, by the way, the father of Sen. Cruz escaped for America." -- President Obama


‘He’s out there. He fights from the heart. This is who Bernie is. ‘He has put the right issues on the table both for the Democratic Party and for the country in general so I’m still cheering Bernie on.’’ -- Elizabeth Warren 3/24/16

"We have to accept that being a grown-up means hard choices between disgusting options. You have to decide—we all have to decide—so, let me just say, in the choice between Trump and Cruz, I foresquarely choose: Ted Cruz. Here’s the deal breaker with Donald Trump: he’s a lunatic. If a non-rich or non-white person said the things he says, they wouldn’t put him in the White House—they’d put him in Bellevue. We can’t make a crazy person commander-in-chief, there are actual job requirements. It’s not like Mardi Gras parade king.” -- Bill Maher 3.25.16

“We are standing united as San Franciscans to condemn North Carolina’s new discriminatory law that turns back the clock on protecting the rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Effective immediately, I am directing City Departments under my authority to bar any publicly-funded City employee travel to the State of North Carolina that is not absolutely essential to public health and safety." -- Mayor Lee'sStatement on North Carolina's Discriminatory Law Against LGBT Individuals 3/25/2016

“Stopping Trump is a short-term solution. The long-term solution, and it will be more difficult, is fixing the educational system that has created so many people ignorant enough to vote for Trump." -- Andy Borowitz 3/21/16

“Look, they made this bed, they’ve been willingly allowing the Tea Party extremists to take over their party, and so they have only themselves to blame with the likelihood of having a presumptive nominee like Donald Trump, who is the most extreme and vile, misogynistic candidate in modern times.” — DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 3/27/16

"Sanders had a strong week, and this has been a crazy year in politics. But there’s nothing in the recent results to suggest that the overall trajectory of the Democratic race has changed. Clinton was and is a prohibitive favorite to win the nomination." -- Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight.com 3/27/16

“As the world knows, last week, our Republican presidential contenders quit tussling over whose private parts are bigger, and moved on to the equally compelling question of whose wife is hotter.” -- Jennifer Weiner 3/26/15


““Mr. Trump claims he is not an isolationist and wants to “make America great again.” It is hard to see how he achieves that when he describes a completely unhinged view of international engagement that denigrates Muslims and other foreigners and international organizations, including the United Nations. Mostly, his vision of cooperation with allies depends largely on how much they would pay the United States for protection.” -- NY Times Editorial 3/28/16



1. This week in the war on voting: When voter suppression went awry in Arizona
3. “Thank You. Love, ISIS,” a cartoon by MarkFiore
4. The GOP’s war on women (cont.): Indiana Governor Signs New Abortion Ban
5. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
6. Late Night Jokes for Dems
7. The GOP and its big funders scramble to insulate Congress from Trump
8. From the Late Shows
9. The Borowitz Report: Unlocked iPhone Worthless After F.B.I. Spills Glass of Water on It
10. PredictWise Politics 
11. Game the Democratic primary out.


1. Andrew Rosenthal: Republicans Channel the Bundys With Federal-Land Bill
2. LA Times Editorial: Nude photos! Innuendo! Infidelity! Is nothing out of bounds in the GOP primary?
3. Melissa Hillman: Privilege is what allows Sanders supporters to say they’ll “never” vote for Clinton
4. John Avalon: Donald Trump or Ted Cruz: The GOP Loses Its Bearings as the Center Right Picks Its Poison
5. Adam Gopnik: A Walk in Rome in the Days of Trump
6. Gail Collins: The Republicans’ Sin of Endorsement
7. Mayors Rise to the Defense of Free Trade
8. Frank Bruni: Lose With Cruz: A Love Story
9. Jonathan Chait: Why the GOP Elite Hates Trump
10. Jann S. Wenner: Hillary Clinton for President
11. Amy Davidson: Bad Choices 
12. Eugene Robinson: No, the media didn’t create Trump 


1. This week in the war on voting: When voter suppression went awry in Arizona

All the white voters in Maricopa County, Arizona—Republican, Democrat, and independent—got a lesson about voter suppression when their privilege didn't save them from standing in a line for four or five hours along with all the people of color that are usually the victims. Those long lines were a result of the Republican elected officials in Arizona having decided to close 70 percent of the polling places in this county, which just happens to have a significant population of people of color.  How could they get away with it?  Because of the Supreme Court. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/3/26/1505897/-This-week-in-the-war-on-voting-When-voter-suppression-went-awry-in-Arizona


Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife! — Donald J. Trump ✔‎@realDonaldTrump


Pic of your wife not from us. Donald, if you try to attack Heidi, you're more of a coward than I thought. #classless https://t.co/0QpKSnjgnE — Ted Cruz ✔‎@tedcruz


"@Don_Vito_08: "A picture is worth a thousand words"@realDonaldTrump #LyingTed #NeverCruz @MELANIATRUMPpic.twitter.com/5bvVEwMVF8" Donald J. Trump ✔‎@realDonaldTrump


Donald, real men don't attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life. -- Ted Cruz ✔‎@tedcruz



"I would hope very much that as we go into New York State, Secretary Clinton's home state, that we will have a debate, New York City, upstate, wherever, on the important issues facing New York and in fact the country," -- Sen. Sanders to Chuck Todd. MARCH 27, 2016


“Sen. Sanders doesn't get to decide when we debate, particularly when he's running a very negative campaign against us. Let's see if he goes back to the kind of tone he said he was going to set early on. If he does that, then we'll talk about debates." -- Clinton chief strategist Joel Benenson, referring to a Washington Post story on how the Sanders’ campaign is poll testing more negative attacks on Hillary Clinton. MARCH 28, 2016

3. “Thank You. Love, ISIS,” a cartoon by MarkFiore


4. The GOP’s war on women (cont.): Indiana Governor Signs New Abortion Ban

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) “says he believes a bill banning women from getting abortions because of fetal genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome affirms the value of all human life.

“The Republican governor signed the contentious measure into law on Thursday, making Indiana the second state with such a ban.” 3/25/16 Read more at http://bigstory.ap.org/3f39b71dc3b9467c8ecd11187cce14df

5. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)

Bill O'Reilly: "Believe Me, If The Far-Left Had It's Way Here, We'd Be Just Like Belgium" http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/03/24/bill-oreilly-believe-me-if-the-far-left-had-its/209538

Fox Hosts Agree With Rudy Giuliani That Hillary Clinton Created ISIS http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/03/24/fox-hosts-agree-with-rudy-giuliani-that-hillary/209537

Right-Wing Media Lose It After Obama Dances The Tango http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/03/24/right-wing-media-lose-it-after-obama-dances-the/209524

NRA's Ted Nugent On Why Guns Are Better Than Women: "Guns Function Normally Every Day Of The Month" http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/03/25/nras-ted-nugent-on-why-guns-are-better-than-wom/209558

Fox Host Eric Bolling: Obama "Doesn't Believe We Should Be Fighting The War On Terror And Let Alone Winning It" http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/03/25/fox-host-obama-doesnt-believe-we-should-be-figh/209563

Watch Fox & Friends Compare Recipients Of Public Assistance To Criminals http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/03/30/watch-fox-amp-friends-compare-recipients-of-pub/209622

6. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"There's a website called VoteTrumpGetDumped.com that's asking women not to sleep with Trump supporters. Or as Melania put it, 'What is name of this site again?'" –Jimmy Fallon

"Sarah Palin just signed a deal to act as a judge on a new reality court TV show. Sarah said she just wants to get a little legal experience before Trump nominates her to the Supreme Court." –Jimmy Fallon

"Yesterday, an anti-Trump super PAC tweeted a nude photo of Melania Trump, asking if this should be the first lady. The response was an overwhelming 'Hell no, she should be president!'" – Conan O'Brien

"According to a new poll that just came out, a majority of Trump voters believe that white people are losing out to minorities. The poll was taken at an NBA game." – Conan O'Brien

"Yesterday, Donald Trump threatened to reveal a terrible secret about Ted Cruz's wife. Apparently Trump has some damning video of her marrying Ted Cruz." – Conan O'Brien

"At the Arizona primary yesterday, Republican voters had to wait as long as five hours. People in Arizona were furious and said, 'That's time I could have spent deporting my gardener.'" – Conan O'Brien

"Obama also spoke in Cuba yesterday and said that U.S. airlines will start making commercial flights to Cuba this year. But first, Obama said he wants to see a greater respect for human rights — not in Cuba, at LaGuardia." – Jimmy Fallon

"In an interview with CNN last night, Ted Cruz was asked about being Donald Trump's vice president and said, quote, 'I have zero interest whatsoever.' Which is also what Cruz's friends say when he invites them to dinner. 'You could've just said no!'" – Jimmy Fallon

"Bernie Sanders recently spoke at the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and said, 'we don't need a wall.' Then Bernie said, 'But then again, I also told Noah we didn't need an Ark, so who knows?'" – Jimmy Fallon

"Sarah Palin has just signed up to star in her own 'Judge Judy'-style reality show. Palin said she knows how to deal with drunks, deadbeat dads, and barroom brawlers — and that's just her family." – Conan O'Brien

"President Obama today gave a televised address to Cubans. And thousands of citizens eagerly gathered around Cuba's television." – Seth Meyers

"Bernie can get very fired up. I watch him on these debates. But remember, if it seems like he's yelling at you, it's because he is yelling at you and you deserve it." – Jimmy Kimmel

"My favorite part about watching Bernie in debates is how he's always got his finger up like he's trying to flag down a waiter to get the check." – Jimmy Kimmel

"It's a strange thing. People wanting to run the country are now hosting reality shows and people hosting reality shows now want to run the country. We live in a very confusing time." – Jimmy Kimmel

7. The GOP and its big funders scramble to insulate Congress from Trump

Establishment Republicans and their big-money allies are rushing to build a multistate defense system to protect Senate and House candidates, fearing that the party could lose its hold on Congress if Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket in November.

The efforts are being driven by major players such as the Koch brothers’ political network, which has already begun laying groundwork in Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with the Crossroads organizations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The behemoth Koch operation — which aims to spend almost $900 million before the November elections — is now considering abandoning Trump as a nominee and focusing its resources on behalf of GOP congressional candidates.

A key element of the strategy will be a springtime wave of television ads that slam Democratic contenders and tout Republican incumbents as attuned to hometown concerns. Strategists hope the efforts will help inoculate congressional candidates against association with Trump’s incendiary remarks. 3/24/16 Read more at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-gop--and-its-big-funders--scramble-to-insulate-congress-from-trump/2016/03/23/44b7734c-f10c-11e5-85a6-2132cf446d0a_story.html


8. From the Late Shows

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: America reacts to terrorism in Brussels


Jimmy Kimmel Mansplains to Hillary Clinton


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Transgender Rights


The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Stephen Has A Bird, Too


Full Frontal on Samantha Bee: Supreme Court Battle


9. The Borowitz Report: Unlocked iPhone Worthless After F.B.I. Spills Glass of Water on It

Moments after successfully unlocking the San Bernardino iPhone, the F.B.I. rendered the phone permanently useless by spilling a glass of water on it, an F.B.I. spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

Walking reporters through the mishap, Dorrinson said that shortly after the iPhone was unlocked, “There were a lot of high-fives, which led to the unfortunate spilling of the water.”

In a possible thawing of relations between Apple and the F.B.I., Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook offered to replace the damaged iPhone for seven hundred and forty-nine dollars, or two hundred and ninety-nine dollars with a two-year contract. Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/

10. PredictWise Politics

2016 President - GOP Nomination

Donald Trump 79 %
Ted Cruz 12 %
John Kasich 6 %
Paul Ryan 2 %

2016 President – Democratic Nomination

Hillary Clinton 92 %
Barnie Sanders 8 %

2016 President - General Election

Democratic 71 %
Republican 29 %

11. Game the Democratic primary out

Use the delegate interactive from Philip Bump to determine the outcome of the primary elections - it is at http://wpo.st/MyKQ1


1. Andrew Rosenthal: Republicans Channel the Bundys With Federal-Land Bill

Say what you will about Utah’s delegation to the House of Representatives, they don’t negotiate with insurrectionists, terrorists or common criminals. They waited a whole month after a group of armed fanatics seized control of federal lands in Oregon, threatening to kill federal or local law officers, before they gleefully took on the criminal gang’s demands as their own cause.

The four Republicans who represent Utah in the House introduced a bill last week that would stop the federal government from enforcing federal law on federal lands (including those designated as wildlife refuges or national parks) and turn control over to state and local law enforcement. They want to give the local folks federal money to police the federal lands, which is the cause that the Bundy gang claimed to follow when they occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

It’s mind boggling that our elected leaders have time for this sort of nonsense, but no time to raise the federal minimum wage, cut taxes for the middle class, raise taxes on the shockingly wealthy, close the Guantanamo prison camp, reform racist drug laws, protect our civil liberties from needless government intrusion or confirm the president’s appointments to the Supreme Court. That’s just the short list. 3/23/16 Read more at http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/republicans-channel-the-bundys-with-federal-land-bill/?emc=edit_ty_20160323&nl=opinion&nlid=74243604


2. LA Times Editorial: Nude photos! Innuendo! Infidelity! Is nothing out of bounds in the GOP primary?

The contest for the Republican presidential nomination, already beset by personal attacks and vulgarity, hit a new low Friday after the National Enquirer claimed that private detectives had compiled a “dirt file” on Sen.Ted Cruz with reports of five extramarital affairs. Rather than simply ignoring the tabloid, Cruz responded publicly and at length, saying the piece was false and that his GOP rival Donald Trump had planted it.

This melodrama followed a week during which Cruz’s supporters circulated a semi-nude photo of Trump’s wife, and then Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife.  The jabs got under Cruz’s skin — which was almost certainly the point — leading him to denounce Trump as a “sniveling coward,” “sleazy” and, well, worse. Trump sailed along unperturbed, denying any connection to the Enquirer piece on the man he calls “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” and saying he hoped it wasn’t true. Naturally, he also noted that the Enquirer had been “right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards and many others.”

It’s depressing and embarrassing. But this is what happens when voters embrace a demagogic and unqualified candidate who trades in insults more often than ideas, and his opponents wait too long to push back. We’ve watched this campaign take up menstruation, penis sizes, incontinence and now extramarital sex. The mind reels at the prospect of what might be next.3/25/16. Read more at  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-ted-cruz-national-enquirer-donald-trump-20160325-story.html


3. Melissa Hillman: Privilege is what allows Sanders supporters to say they’ll “never” vote for Clinton

Clinton’s stellar record on AIDS is ignored while people indignantly attack her for making an inaccurate statement. I like Bernie Sanders. I really do feel the Bern. But I see Democrats brush aside things that he and other male politicians have done while raining fire on Hillary for the exact same thing–or something much less.

This happens all the time. Clinton is flamed for being a “career politician” and an “insider” when Sanders has been in political office much longer than she has. (Clinton was first elected to political office in 2000; Sanders was elected to his first office in 1981 and his first national office in 1991.) People flame Clinton for speaking in favor of the omnibus crime bill in the 1990s when she was first lady, a position with no political power. But Sanders, as a member of Congress, actually had the power to enact it into law, voting in favor of it despite the fact that many of his colleagues did not.

Vote for whoever you like in the primary. But let’s step away from vicious attacks and hatred. Let’s step away from buying into debunked conservative propaganda about Clinton’s trustworthiness. Let’s look at the candidates’ actual proposals and weigh those proposals’ actual strengths and weaknesses. Let’s respect each other’s choices in the primaries.

And whoever becomes the Democratic nominee, the stakes are far, far too high for us to selfishly stay home because we didn’t get our first choice. I will happily, proudly vote for either Clinton or Sanders, and I hope you will do the right thing and join me. 3/22/16 Read more at http://qz.com/644985/privilege-is-what-allows-sanders-supporters-to-say-theyll-never-vote-for-clinton/


4. John Avalon: Donald Trump or Ted Cruz: The GOP Loses Its Bearings as the Center Right Picks Its Poison

Having RINO-hunted the center right out of electoral existence, the party can no longer rely on them for ballast when crazy comes calling.

So Jeb Bush finally decided to endorse Ted Cruz for president, proving that Neil—who did so two weeks ago—is now the most politically influential Bush brother.

Jeb’s move is part of a broad retreat by leaders of the center right. Mitt Romney got on board the Cruz crew before Utah. Lindsay Graham endorsed Cruz a few days before that—just a few weeks after comparing the choice between Trump and Cruz to the choice between being shot or getting poisoned.

Now, many senior statesmen in the GOP have apparently concluded that getting poisoned is the better option.

The Republican Party this season is reaping what it has sowed. Likewise, changing a culture—which is what Paul Ryan is proposing—takes leadership and time. He has both. But the problem runs deep and Cruz vs. Trump is the result—a contest for the party’s mantle between two unlikeable and un-electable men. By choosing between them, the center right is admitting its impotence under the cloak of political expedience. Instead, they should announce their resistance and focus on broadening their party in the future. 3/24/16 Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/23/donald-trump-or-ted-cruz-the-gop-loses-its-bearings-as-the-center-right-picks-its-poison.html


5. Adam Gopnik: A Walk in Rome in the Days of Trump

Today we find ourselves in the midst of the ascent of a figure right out of Petronius: an orange-colored vulgarian of meretricious display, right down to the trophy wives from Far Elsewhere—with an ambition to dominate, a cunning out of proportion to his wisdom, a contempt for truth coupled with a readiness to manipulate, and a personal arrogance combined with, and indifferent to, a universal understanding that he is utterly unfit to govern. Now that we are in possession of an honest-to-God demagogue of the classical model, old portents of doom seem pertinent. As David Remnick remarked recently, though demagogues have long had their place in America, this is the first time one has come this close to Presidential power. The paralyzed, passive self-persuasion that overcomes ordinary politicians in extraordinary times is proof of this. With Paul Ryan and the rest of the collapsing Republican “leadership” we see the expected response: this will pass, it’s an oddity—and anyway it’s more important to be positioned after the demagogue’s fall than to take the costly action necessary to oppose him. Turn on that same Internet to the conservative press, and one reads frantic denunciations of Trump vying with equally frantic denunciations of Hilary Clinton, the habit of hatred still intact even in extremis. Reporters who know that the demagogue lies as he breathes are too depressed or discouraged or demoralized to say so loudly and repeatedly. And then among the pro-plebeian party there is an unworthy glee at the discomfiture of the patrician “establishment.” Well, they may deserve the demagogue. The rest of us don’t.

The walk ends, and the parallels pass. Our civilization bears little relation to the Roman one. A slave-based, pre-technological society—aqueducts are cool, but they are not jet travel nor the Internet nor neutrino nets—bears no relation to one built on the double Enlightenment gift of secure scientific knowledge and ever-increasing tolerance. But all republics and democracies in history do have something in common. They’re fragile. That’s why Lincoln could speak so solemnly at Gettysburg of government of the people, by the people, for the people perishing from the earth. For him, it wasn’t rhetoric; not at all. Mostly, they had. So themes persist, and the Forum walk instructs. Whether moved by rich men’s recklessness or poor people’s fearfulness—or a little of both—strong social arrangements do fall too easily apart. We hope that it’s our demagogue who’s doomed. But democracy remains more delicate than we imagine. The lesson of the Roman Forum is that everything is more delicate than we can imagine. Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-walk-in-rome-in-the-days-of-trump


6. Gail Collins: The Republicans’ Sin of Endorsement

How can things get worse for Republicans? Jeb Bush turned out to be a terrible candidate. Marco Rubio turned out to be an annoying twit. Donald Trump is a nightmare. Something had to be done, and so the solid, steady moderate elite decided the best strategy was to rally around … Ted Cruz.

Welcome to worse.

They were terrified of Trump, whose short list of foreign policy advisers includes a 2009 college graduate with a résumé that boasts he once took part in a Model United Nations. Far better plan to nominate Cruz, whose list includes a guy who wrote an opinion piece suggesting President Obama is a Muslim, and a woman who thinks Senator Joseph McCarthy’s judgment about communists in the federal government was “spot on.”

They thought Trump would be such an unpopular nominee that the party would face a historic disaster in November. Obviously, the way to improve chances was to support the most actively disliked Republican politician in America. 3/24/16 Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/24/opinion/the-republicans-sin-of-endorsement.html


7. Mayors Rise to the Defense of Free Trade

The nation’s mayors—most of them Democrats, especially in the larger cities— remain overwhelmingly committed to free trade in general and the Trans-Pacific Partnership in particular. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has officially endorsed the Pacific pact, and it has drawn enthusiastic praise from big-city Democratic mayors such as Atlanta’s Kasim Reed, Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel and Tampa’s Bob Buckhorn.

Buckhorn sees TPP as a chance to grow the 80,000 jobs the giant Port of Tampa already provides. The agreement enhances “our ability to sell made in America goods to largely the Far East via the Panama Canal,” Buckhorn says. “It would be foolish not to support that.” Other mayors like Emanuel see opportunities in exporting not only goods but also business services, which tend to cluster in cities—like the young software engineers congregating at 1871. Completing TPP “is essential for the architects who work here, the lawyers, the manufacturers, our software developers,” says Emanuel. “Growth for Chicago’s economy requires more markets to sell into.” Even in places where the statewide debate favors protectionism, mayors and local leaders in such cities as Columbus, Ohio, are investing in aggressive strategies to promote exports and attract foreign talent and investment.

Blocking trade agreements, as Christopher Cabaldon, who chairs the Mayor’s Conference committee on jobs notes, won’t stop the changes powered by the unrelenting forces of technological advance and global competition. “The notion that you can just freeze your metropolitan economy in place right now, or the way it used to be, is just a fiction we [mayors] can’t live with,” Cabaldon says. “So it’s a question of what are the tools we have to make the best of the opportunities, reduce the suffering from the dislocation and then figure out how to compete.” Read more at http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/clinton-sanders-free-trade/475113/

8. Frank Bruni: Lose With Cruz: A Love Story

IT was clear to me weeks ago, even before Marco Rubio threw in the towel, that the G.O.P. was getting ready to cuddle with Ted Cruz.

But I never expected a love quite like this to bloom.

It’s a singularly tortured love, one that grits its teeth, girds its loins and pines for a contested convention.

It’s hate worn down into resignation, disgust repurposed as calculation. Stopping a ludicrous billionaire means submitting to a loathsome senator. And so they submit, one chastened and aghast Republican leader after another, murmuring sweet nothings about Cruz that are really sour somethings about Donald Trump.

Will they still respect themselves in the morning?

I’m not sure we’ve ever witnessed a capitulation this grudging, a cynicism this grotesque, a reversal of regard this fraudulent and flat-out hilarious. While politics is an impure arena in which yesterday’s enemies routinely become tomorrow’s allies, the transmogrification of Cruz goes beyond that, proving that in the right circumstances, with the right motivation, you can see just about anyone in a newly flattering light. 3/25/16 Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/opinion/sunday/lose-with-cruz-a-love-story.html


9. Jonathan Chait: Why the GOP Elite Hates Trump

The schism within the Republican Party over Donald Trump has confounded all attempts to map it out. The Trump-versus-#NeverTrump split does not follow the right-left ideological lines that defined the spats endured by Republicans in 1964 or Democrats in 1972. Oddly enough, the polarizing candidate occupies the center of the remaining presidential field, with one opponent on his right (Ted Cruz) and another on his left (John Kasich). Nor is the party splitting along geographic lines, given that Trump has won states in every region. Instead, the divide runs high-low, splitting conservatism as an idea from conservatism as an instinct.

The policy content of the primary fight has receded almost entirely. Trump may be more effective than other Republicans at harnessing certain conservative impulses — xenophobia, nationalism — but he barely differs from Ted Cruz in the specific proposals in which he expresses them. Trump has attracted the support of themajority of Republican voters who favor higher taxes on the rich, but Trump himself would reduce them. Trump and Cruz oppose comprehensive immigration reform and have postured as tougher than each other without settling any specific disagreement. Trump attacks free trade more viscerally than other Republicans, but both he and Cruz have the same stance (oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership, promise to implement some unspecified better deal). Trump is promising to appoint conventional right-wing jurists to the bench. There is no longer any substantive wedge between the GOP and its front-runner.

Instead, Republican-elite loathing for Trump has three sources. First, they recognize that his deep unpopularity among the general public makes him a historically awful nominee. Second, his egomania, lack of interest in policy, and history of off-the-reservation statements and behavior give them justifiable reasons to doubt he will stay committed to their agenda even if somehow elected. And third, they find his persona repellant. Read more at http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/03/donald-trump-versus-the-republican-brain.html


10. Jann S. Wenner: Hillary Clinton for President

I've been watching the debates and town halls for the past two months, and Sanders' righteousness knocks me out. My heart is with him. He has brought the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations to the ballot box.

But it is not enough to be a candidate of anger. Anger is not a plan; it is not a reason to wield power; it is not a reason for hope. Anger is too narrow to motivate a majority of voters, and it does not make a case for the ability and experience to govern. I believe that extreme economic inequality, the vast redistribution of wealth to the top one percent — indeed, to the top one percent of the one percent — is the defining issue of our times. Within that issue, almost all issues of social injustice can be seen, none more so than climate change, which can be boiled down to the rights of mankind against the oligarchy that owns oil, coal and vast holdings of dirty energy, and those who profit from their use.

Hillary Clinton has an impressive command of policy, the details, trade-offs and how it gets done. It's easy to blame billionaires for everything, but quite another to know what to do about it. During his 25 years in Congress, Sanders has stuck to uncompromising ideals, but his outsider stance has not attracted supporters among the Democrats. Paul Krugman writes that the Sanders movement has a "contempt for compromise."

Every time Sanders is challenged on how he plans to get his agenda through Congress and past the special interests, he responds that the "political revolution" that sweeps him into office will somehow be the magical instrument of the monumental changes he describes. This is a vague, deeply disingenuous idea that ignores the reality of modern America. With the narrow power base and limited political alliances that Sanders had built in his years as the democratic socialist senator from Vermont, how does he possibly have a chance of fighting such entrenched power?

I have been to the revolution before. It ain't happening. 3/23/16 Read more at http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/hillary-clinton-for-president-20160323

11. Amy Davidson: Bad Choices

For years, the G.O.P. has failed to address voters’ concerns about disenfranchisement and inequality, offering only rhetoric about inner-city dependency, Beltway corruption, birtherism, and, in the war on terror, an enemies list that has come to include the President. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, came close to acknowledging this in a speech last Wednesday, in which he pleaded for a political life not built around “playing the identity politics of ‘our base’ versus ‘their base.’ ” This was viewed as a rebuke to Trumpism, but Ryan did not mention Trump by name, and he has said that he will support him if he is the nominee and will find a way to work with him if he is the President.

There are clear stylistic differences between Trump, who tends to call anyone who disagrees with him stupid, weak, or disgusting, and Cruz, who, with a pitying smile, questions dissenters’ motives, decency, and patriotism. On “CBS This Morning,” Cruz was asked about Bill Bratton, the New York Police Department Commissioner’s criticism. “Well, listen, it’s not surprising that the Democratic political henchmen of Mayor de Blasio are coming after me,” he said. He added that de Blasio—who ended a surveillance program that targeted Muslims—and other Democrats “refuse to be serious” about keeping the city safe. Such responses are problems of politics, not just personality. The party that talks loudest about American exceptionalism has given us a cast of characters that would be perfectly unexceptional in any backwater oligarchy. What the G.O.P. offers is a choice between two kinds of demagogues: one who insinuates and one who shouts. 4/04/16 Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/04/trump-and-cruz-the-demagogues-of-the-g-o-p


12. Eugene Robinson: No, the media didn’t create Trump

The news media, it seems to me, are guilty only of reporting the news — which is that a candidate who has never held elective office, and who displays neither the base of knowledge nor the temperament necessary to serve as president, is leading all comers for the Republican nomination. Commentators should spend less time flattering themselves that the news media have the power to make such a thing happen — and more time trying to understand why Trump is succeeding.

With apologies to Marshall McLuhan, in this case the media are merely the messenger, not the message. Blaming ourselves for Trump’s rise is just another way to ignore the voters who have made him the favorite for the GOP nomination. 3/28/16 Read more at http://wpo.st/nE5Q1