Nothing in particular to focus on this morning, so some links:
- Contra me, Matthew Yglesias over at Vox argues that Donald Trump’s performance in Iowa was impressive. Yglesias is right that by historical standards Trump did well in Iowa, where several factors favor a Ted Cruz-type or a Marco Rubio-type. However, doing well in relative terms is not going to help Trump. His supporters are not interested in the nuanced arguments of liberal pundits, nor are they interested in how when you think about it, second place in Iowa is actually pretty good. The premise of Trump’s entire campaign is that he’s a winner and the US is a loser so elect a winner so the country can win again. Losing and then whining about losing complicate Trump’s core message.
- Yglesias has another interesting piece on how Bernie Sanders’s candidacy exposes the Democratic establishment as out-of-touch. Democratic Party power brokers rallied hard around Hillary Clinton, yet Democratic voters are not completely sold. Sanders won younger voters in a landslide, as Martin Longman points out. Longman also argues that Clinton needs to be careful about becoming the “no, we can’t” candidate against Sanders as the “yes, we can” candidate.
- Charlie Pierce on some of the dirty tricks Ted Cruz pulled in Iowa. Pierce again on Donald Trump’s questionable strategic acumen.
- If Cruz and Rubio are going to contend for the nomination, we’re going to need almost daily reminders that these guys agree almost entirely on policy questions. Just because Rubio appears “moderate” or something, remember, he still wants to make you a criminal for having an abortion under any circumstances, take away healthcare from millions of people, blow up the federal budget through tax cuts for the rich, allow people to carry any gun they want wherever they want whenever they want, and ignore climate change just as much as Cruz does.
- Here’s an article about how the Republican Party’s structure for allocating delegates is making it even harder to choose a candidate that can get to the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect a president.
- For a no politics link, although everything about China seems to be political these days, here’s a cool collaboration by photographers working in China.
Have a nice day!