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April 10, 2016


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Krugman is analyzing the Trump case in terms of static protectionism, not the dynamic path needed to reach it. He's also ignoring the ugly political economy, which has never been his strong point.

Agreed. I should probably condense our discussion about the political economy of trade and repost it.

I think Lrugman also takes Cruz's gold standard blather as indicative of an actual policy position, as opposed to a tribal marker. Cruz is signalling that he is a right-thinking person. It serves the same place that renegotiating NAFTA did for Democrats in 2008.

That is not to say that Cruz won't appoint hard money people to the Fed. Nor is to say that hard money isn't damaging. Is to say (a) there's a lot of daylight between "inflation hawk" and "goldbug"; and (b) considering as I don't think Trump cares about monetary policy, Fed appointments are one of the places where I expect he'll pick from the standard GOP lineup.

Is it actually signaling? It's on the Republican Party of Texas's 2012 platform. True, Cruz could probably pivot easily, right after being tackled and put in a headlock by his wife's colleagues at Goldman Sachs, because it's just not that important to his voters.

But it wouldn't be the craziest thing Cruz might believe in. It wouldn't even be the most situationally weird thing.

Point. Cruz probably does believe this stuff, but he doesn't believe that he'll get a chance to implement. He's not lying, but since he knows he can't implement the ultimate effect is signaling.

Unlike Rubio, I've got no read on Cruz beyond what we can all see.

Ted Cruz likes the Princess Bride. He can't be that bad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_mcie4Nasw

Has anyone seen this article?



She is trolling and it's goddamned annoying.

The tell is in the fourth-from-last paragraph. There she doesn't recount Trump's positions. Rather, she switches them out for an entirely different set of positions. Pulling troops out of Germany ≠ ending NATO. Ending the Saudi alliance ≠ demanding more protection money from Saudi.

They are related to Trump's positions the same way as: "I am going to knock on my neighbor's door and ask her to move her car" is related to "I'm going to tell that jerk that unless she starts paying me for the spot I'm gonna rip off her exhaust pipe."

Rosa Brooks is being intellectually dishonest.

We here have been through the vacuousness of claiming that there are appreciable savings from pulling troops back without defense cuts. And arguing for defense cuts is Sanderian, not Trumpist.

She is calling for exactly the sort of attack on Trumpian foreign policy that has been presented over and over again. She just wants to pretend that it some sort of failure to communicate. Why she wants to pretend that, I don't know. I guess it makes her feel superior to her colleagues in the foreign policy establishment.

Who are doing an amazing job of explaining why Trump is full of it, by the way. Even Max Boot is on point. So who specifically is she criticizing? What is the counterargument she claims has not been made?

I suppose she doesn't want to admit that a big chunk of voters thinks that a bullying, angry, functionally isolationist foreign policy is a good thing in-and-of-itself. They don't want it because they haven't heard good counterarguments or because they think it will bring them nice things; they want it either because it makes them feel good about America. No amount of explaining will get them to grok the counterarguments.

Bah. Her piece put me in a bad mood.

Here is an angry cry from the same magazine. I do not agree with it, but unlike Brooks, it's honest:


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