A few takes on next week's election that happened to catch my eye:
~First, the view from The Prussian, a chap who has been very sound when it comes to Fauxbel Laureate Michael E Mann. The Prussian now points his Pickelhaube westward - and bear in mind he wrote this before the FBI re-opened its investigation:
It's what I'm dreading about an upcoming Clinton Two presidency. It won't just be scandals and disasters, it will be the way that those are defended. The way that even the vilest things will be excused and wished away by a supine press and a servile commentariat.
You think I'm exaggerating? Here, look at this VOX article. Specifically, scroll down to the disclaimer at the end:
'This article, as originally posted, inaccurately characterized Trump's guests at the second debate as Bill Clinton's "mistresses." They were women who've accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. We've updated the piece accordingly.'
They actually admit that they called Clinton One's rape and assault victims, "mistresses". That will be the standard for all coverage of Clinton Two, I guarantee it.
~Meanwhile, over on the other side, Michael Brendan Dougherty thinks that "the 2016 election postpones the Republican reckoning on Iraq":
There is no evidence that the top minds among elected Republicans have dedicated even a passing thought to the trust they've lost on foreign policy. Even at the beginning of the campaign, it was astonishing to watch a seasoned governor from America's prominent political family evince no preparation at all for questions about the Iraq War, his brother's mean governing legacy to the world. Jeb Bush even seemed unaware that his brother had voiced regrets for the war.
And because there is no thought, the political instincts of the Republican Party are completely unmodified from the 1970s. The GOP's habit is to kick the Democrats for being feckless doves. But this habit only makes the party seem ever-more disconnected from reality.
Mr Dougherty assumes that Trump will lose and that, when he does so, the GOP's foreign-policy establishment, which is a big chunk of the #NeverTrump crowd, will go back to business as usual. I don't think so. Whatever happens, the post-9/11 era isn't coming back: After 15 years in Afghanistan, a huge percentage of the Republican base now think a "hawk" is a guy who knows how to launch a war but not how to win it. There are few takers for ineffectual interventionism.
~I noted the other day that today's swing states - North Carolina, Arizona - were yesterday's red states. How'd that happen? Tim Alberta takes a crack at the question in a piece headlined "Can The GOP Overcome Demographic Change In Red States?"
Lee Stauffacher and Pam McKinney love their home state of California — its paradisiacal climate, its sublime topography — but they had to leave. The state had been overrun, first by immigrants legal and illegal, their cultures and traditions in tow, and then by liberal politicians who seized control of the government by catering to these constituencies and turning their communities into Democratic garrisons. The state became majority-minority in 2001; whites are now 39 percent of its population and dwindling. In turn, the GOP is essentially extinct, representing conservative enclaves around California but irrelevant in statewide elections.
So Lee and Pam moved to Arizona. I could have told 'em how that was likely to go:
In Arizona, a majority of grade-schoolers are Hispanic: Are you entirely confident AuH2O country will still be red a decade hence?
It's barely red right now. Take it from Tim Alberta:
Over the last 25 years, the state's Hispanic population has tripled, and whites have gone from 74 percent of the population to 54 percent. Minorities will be the majority by 2022.
Maybe Lee and Pam should have cut to the chase and just moved to rural Wyoming, or a shack on the edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Mr Alberta thinks there's no point trying to outrun a demographic tide. You've gotta go with the flow:
The United States is experiencing a sweeping and unprecedented demographic transformation... This isn't lost on Trump's loyal supporters. In dozens of interviews across numerous states, they express uniform disapproval of the change swirling around them. They want a return to the America of their youth. But Trump cannot deliver that; nobody can. The country will soon look very different. And the biggest contributor to that change — the single trend that could propel the GOP toward oblivion — is the ethnic diversification of the electorate.
Hence this year's electoral map:
Several once-safe Republican states now lean Democratic in presidential-election years, when voter turnout, especially among minorities, is higher than in off-years. And barring a dramatic change in voter attitudes, others will soon follow. Two regions in particular, the mountain West and the Middle Atlantic states, are undergoing the speediest transformations.
Tim Alberta's advice is that "Republicans must adapt to a diversifying electorate" - or the Trump Train will be a one-way ticket on the Oblivion Express. In other words, it is for Lee and Pam's Grand Old Party to assimilate with the newcomers.
Mr Alberta appears to regard this "sweeping and unprecedented demographic transformation" is a natural phenomenon. It isn't. From my book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn (personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available from the SteynOnline bookstore):
According to the Census, in 1970 the "Non-Hispanic White" population of California was 78 percent. By the 2010 census, it was 40 percent. Over the same period, the 10 percent Hispanic population quadrupled and caught up with whites.
That doesn't sound terribly "natural" does it? If one were informed that, say, the population of Nigeria had gone from 80 percent black in 1970 to 40 percent black today, one would suspect something rather odd and unnatural had been going on. Twenty years ago, Rwanda was about 14 percent Tutsi. Now it's just under 10 percent. So it takes a bunch of Hutu butchers getting out their machetes and engaging in seven-figure genocide to lower the Tutsi population by a third. But, when the white population of California falls by half, that's "natural," just the way it is, one of those things, could happen to anyone.
The "sweeping and unprecedented demographic transformation" is not natural, but rather the conscious result of government policy enthusiastically supported by one-and-a-half parties in America's two-party state, and accepted with weary fatalism by most of the rest, including Tim Alberta.
As to what "Trump cannot deliver", he certainly cannot reverse the last fifty years. But he can change government policy, and thereby slow down a "demographic transformation" Americans of Lee and Pam's generation never sought. Despite the fetching illustration atop Tim Alberta's piece, immigration is not a tsunami: It is a public policy enabled by the political class and enforced by the bureaucracy. Demography is destiny, but the erasure of the national borders is not demography: it's a political choice.
As to Tim Alberta's alternative to walls and immigration enforcement, the piece tails off into a vague call for Hispanic outreach. Otherwise, as he says, "this is a math problem for the Republican Party". But the math isn't that difficult: among the many mordant details in Lionel Shriver's new novel The Mandibles, set in the America of the day after tomorrow, is that you now "Press 2 for English". That's where the math leads. Can GOP outreach persuade 51 per cent of Hispanics to vote Republican? If not, then the more Hispanic the country gets the less Republican it will be. The GOP can no more outrun mass low-skilled immigration than can Lee and Pam - until you accept that this is the result of government policy, and resolve to change that policy.
The passivity and resignation underpinning this piece is what drove the Republican base to abandon its elite in the course of primary season. If "Trump cannot deliver" a return to the past, gossamer whimsies like "outreach" cannot deliver a future for the GOP.
~Next month I'll be launching a brand new nightly television extravaganza, The Mark Steyn Show, which you can pick up for a low introductory rate that also includes Michelle Malkin's and Mark Levin's shows. Laura Rosen Cohen says she had no idea I could be had so cheap.
You can find out more about my new show here.