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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Lizza’

VAL 2016 | Vad är skillnaden mellan Donald Trump och Ted Cruz? En sak som sticker ut är deras förhållande till religion.

The New Yorker Febuary 1 2016

Trump framstår inte bara som ointresserad av religion utan också direkt obekväm i religiösa situationer.

I The New Yorker ger Ryan Lizza ett exempel när Trump hänvisade till ett avsnitt från ”Two Corinthians” snarare än från ”Second Corinthians”

Cruz däremot kan inte få nog av religion. Han framhäver ständigt religionens betydelse för hans kampanj.

En cyniker skulle säga att detta bara beror på att han är ute efter de väljare som brukar kallas socialkonservativa (d.v.s. troende, konservativa och med ett intresse för sociala frågor).

Men detta ger inte hela bilden av olikheterna mellan de två.

Lizza konstaterar att många av dessa socialkonservativa även verkar tilltalas av Trumps budskap. Och ofta av samma anledning som andra republikaner med mindre intresse för trosfrågor.

De anser ofta att Trump är en person som vågar säga obekväma sanningar.

Han är inte rädd att gå emot partihöjdarnas taktiserande och önskan att alla presidentkandidater bör följa partietablissemangets definition av vad som anses lämpligt för att vinna ett presidentval. Många av de frågor som republikanska politiker brukar driva har inte alltid gynnat deras väljarbas.

Trumps ekonomiska oberoende gör att han dessutom framstår som betydligt hederligare eftersom han inte är beroende av inflytelserika lobbyisters donationer.

Lizza skriver om hur Trump och Cruz förhåller sig till de fyra väljargrupper som utgör Republikanska partiets väljarbas enligt Dante J. Scala och Henry Olsens ”The Four Faces of the Republican Party”.

In “The Party Decides,” published in 2008, the political scientist Hans Noel and three co-authors showed that, since 1980, the best predictor of the Democratic and Republican nominee has been endorsements by elected officials.

Trump—a media-created populist who has no such endorsements and is despised by Party insiders—defies that theory. “If Trump wins, he’d be forcing himself on the Party,” Noel told me. Cruz, too, represents the kind of hostile takeover that Polsby warned about. He is the consummate political insider—a U.S. Senator from Texas with a long history of activism in the G.O.P.—but he is hated by Republican élites, and none of his Senate colleagues are backing him. The two candidates offer visions for the future of the Republican Party that are starkly different from one another and from what the Party seems to envisage for itself.

Pundits have taken to endlessly discussing the different “lanes” the candidates occupy, an idea best articulated in a new book, “The Four Faces of the Republican Party,” by Dante J. Scala and Henry Olsen. They describe a Republican primary electorate that, since the nineteen-eighties, has been divided into four well-defined groups: moderate and liberal voters, who make up twenty-five to thirty per cent of the electorate; somewhat conservative voters (thirty-five to forty per cent); very conservative evangelical voters (about twenty per cent); and very conservative secular voters (five to ten per cent). A successful candidate starts off by appealing to one of the lanes and then absorbs voters from one or more of the others as opponents drop out and their supporters look for someone else. Cruz is assiduously following this road map by presenting himself as the champion of the two “very conservative” voting blocs. He obeys every traffic sign and rarely veers left, hoping that later in the primary season he can expand into the other lanes.

[…]

Trump, though, has effectively ignored the conventional wisdom about Republican lanes. He’s like a snowplow barrelling across the highway. State and national polls consistently show that he draws strongly from all four ideological segments of the party. His strongest supporters are less educated and less well off; his fiercest opponents are Republicans with advanced degrees and high incomes. Trump has turned what is traditionally an ideological fight into a class war.

“The biggest thing to understand about Trump is that he is effectively redefining the G.O.P. by asking a different question than the one the Party has been answering for fifty years,” Henry Olsen told me. Since at least the Goldwater nomination of 1964, he said, every nomination battle has aimed to answer the question “To what extent should the G.O.P. be the vehicle for the conservative movement?” In addressing it, the Republican primary electorate has always sorted along a spectrum based on ideology: moderates and liberals oppose the idea; very conservative voters, the kind that Cruz is courting, champion it; and somewhat conservative ones split the difference. Trump draws from all four factions because he’s uninterested in how conservative the G.O.P. should or shouldn’t be. “He is not trying to answer this question at all,” Olsen said. “Instead, he is posing a new question: to what extent should the G.O.P. be the advocates for those struggling in the modern economy?”

[…]

In the unlikely event that Cruz wins the nomination, he will find it difficult to gain the loyalty of other elected officials and Party leaders, and he will make a poor opponent for Hillary Clinton. His nomination will be akin to Barry Goldwater’s victory in 1964, or, on the Democratic side, McGovern’s victory in 1972. Both Senators were too far outside the mainstream to win in a general election. Cruz would likely lose, but he wouldn’t necessarily destroy the G.O.P. in the process. However much his colleagues dislike him, he’s still one of them.

Trump is not. Some prominent Republicans fear that a Trump nomination would fundamentally alter the identity of the Republican Party, even if he goes on to lose the general election, which seems likely. The Party would become more downscale, a potential asset if it meant drawing in disaffected Democrats, but also more alienating to non-whites, who represent the largest source of potential growth in the electorate. It would be defined by ethno-nationalism at home and an anti-interventionist retreat from America’s obligations abroad. The last major figure in Republican politics who came close to Trump’s brand of nationalism was Pat Buchanan, the former Nixon aide who ran for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996. Buchanan was driven from the Republican Party by mainstream conservatives, who called him an isolationist and an anti-Semite; in 2000, he captured the nomination of the Reform Party. If Trump wins the nomination, it will be his opponents who are driven from the Party.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New Yorker den 1 februari 2016.

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USA | Allt fler talar numera om senator Rand Paul som republikanernas blivande presidentkandidat. Detta säger en del om partiets problem.

The New York Times Magazine August 10 2014

Det har skrivits mycket om senatorn från Kentucky på senare tid. The New York Times Magazine och Time har haft honom på omslaget. The New Yorker har publicerat en längre essay. Time kallade honom t.o.m. för ”The most interesting man in american politics”.

Robert Drapers artikel i The New York Times Magazine fokuserar på de förändringar som republikanska partiet står inför om man vill kunna attrahera fler väljare.

After eight years out of the White House, Republicans would seem well positioned to cast themselves as the fresh alternative, though perhaps only if the party first reappraises stances that young voters, in particular, regard as outdated. Emily Ekins, a pollster for the Reason Foundation, says: “Unlike with previous generations, we’re seeing a newer dimension emerge where they agree with Democrats on social issues, and on economic issues lean more to the right. It’s possible that Democrats will have to shift to the right on economic issues. But the Republicans will definitely have to move to the left on social issues. They just don’t have the numbers otherwise.” A G.O.P. more flexible on social issues might also appeal to another traditionally Democratic group with a libertarian tilt: the high-tech communities in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, whose mounting disdain for taxes, regulations and unions has become increasingly dissonant with their voting habits.

Hence the excitement about Rand Paul. It’s hardly surprising that Paul, in Ekins’s recent survey of millennial voters, came out ahead of all other potential Republican presidential candidates; on issues including same-sex marriage, surveillance and military intervention, his positions more closely mirror those of young voters than those of the G.O.P. establishment. Paul’s famous 13-hour filibuster last year, while ultimately failing to thwart the confirmation of the C.I.A. director John Brennan, lit afire the Twittersphere and compelled Republican leaders, who previously dismissed Paul as a fringe character, to add their own #StandWithRand endorsements. Paul has also gone to considerable lengths to court non-Republican audiences, like Berkeley students and the National Urban League. In a presidential field that could include Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Paul Ryan, Paul — who has called himself “libertarian-ish” — is by far the candidate most associated with the movement.

Pauls önskan om att bli mer relevant i amerikansk politik har inneburit att han har varit tvungen att kompromissa och modifiera sitt politiska budskap för att kunna tilltala fler inom och utanför sitt parti.

Time Oct 27-2014

Det är talande är att Michael Scherers artikel i Time har rubriken ”The Reinventions Of Rand”.

It is a measure of his caution that his positions now take several sentences to explain. He will not say whether he supports bombing Iran if Tehran acquires a nuclear weapon, but also supports sanctions policies to try to prevent that from ever happening. He is against marijuana legalization even as he fights to end prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. He opposed limits on campaign donations but supports a plan to bar federal contractors from donating to politics. He opposes gay marriage but also opposes a constitutional amendment to define marriage, saying that states and Congress should pursue an extensive strategy of decoupling all government benefits from marriage so a ban might pass court scrutiny.

Paul uppfattas, både politiskt och ideologiskt, fortfarande stå i skuggan av sin fars politiska karriär. Kongressledamoten Ron Paul var under många år den tydligaste förespråkaren för de libertarianska idéerna inom det republikanska partiet.

Vid ett tillfälle bröt Ron Paul t.o.m. med partiet när han ansåg partiet hade blivit alltför konservativt. Inför valet 1988 nominerade Libertarian Party honom som sin presidentkandidat.

Ideologiskt har Rand Paul därför, precis som vicepresidentkandidat Paul Ryan under förra presidentvalet, försökt distansera sig från en lång rad nyliberala idéer.

Även om detta rent teoretiskt ökar sannolikheten för att han skall lyckas bli nominerad öppnar det samtidigt upp för attacker från politiska motståndare. Det är bara att fråga Mitt Romney.

När han nu försöker bättra på sin politiska image riskerar han slå knut på sig själv. Romneys motsägelsefulla försök att distansera sig från sin tid som guvernör i delstaten Massachusetts förföljde honom under hela presidentvalskampanjen.

Samma månad som Scherers artikel publicerades i Time publicerade The New Yorker Ryan Lizzas betydligt längre essay “The Revenge of Rand Paul”.

In some respects, Paul is to Republicans in 2014 what Barack Obama was to Democrats in 2006: the Party’s most prized fund-raiser and its most discussed senator, willing to express opinions unpopular within his party, and capable of energizing younger voters. The Republican National Committee, which in 2008 refused to allow his father, Ron Paul, to speak at its Convention, recently solicited donations by offering supporters a chance to have lunch with Rand Paul.

[…]

Yet, also like Obama at a similar stage in his career, Paul could be hobbled by past associations and statements, especially on race and foreign policy. He has questioned government attempts, including a core provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to address discrimination in the private sector. He has proposed dramatically slashing the Pentagon’s budget and cancelling all foreign aid. Ron Paul ran for President as the nominee of the Libertarian Party in 1988 and as an isolationist Republican in the Presidential primaries of 2008 and 2012. Rand has followed his lead in opposing most U.S. military interventions of the past few decades, aside from the war in Afghanistan.

Many members of the Republican establishment see him as a dorm-room ideologue whose politics are indistinguishable from his father’s. Earlier this year, Mark Salter, who helped run John McCain’s 2008 Presidential campaign, wrote that Rand’s “foreign policy views, steeped as they are in the crackpot theories that inform his father’s worldview, are so ill-conceived that were he to win the nomination, Republican voters seriously concerned with national security would have no responsible recourse other than to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

[…]

As with so many aspects of his personal history, Paul approaches the subject of his intellectual influences as though he were defusing a bomb. In his book, he wrote about several libertarian writers he had turned to since high school: Ayn Rand (“one of the most influential critics of government intervention and champions of individual free will”), Hayek (“ ‘The Road to Serfdom’ is a must-read for any serious conservative”), and the Mises disciple Murray Rothbard (“a great influence on my thinking”). In my conversation with him, he shrugged them off.

Ayn Rand was just “one of many authors I like,” he said. “And it’s, like, ‘Oh, because I believe in Ayn Rand I must be an atheist, I must believe in everybody needs to be selfish all the time, and I must believe that Howard Roark is great and Ellsworth Toohey is evil,’ but she’s one of many authors I’ve read. I like Barbara Kingsolver, too.”

Hayek? “I wouldn’t say I’m like some great Hayek scholar.”

Rothbard? “There are many people I’m sure who are more schooled.”

[…]

Rand Paul has spent the past few months often clumsily trying to convince voters that his foreign policy differs from his father’s. Rand is perhaps best known, thus far, for his nearly thirteen-hour filibuster last year to protest the Administration’s use of drones—a tactic that further convinced Republican hawks that he doesn’t share their assessment of the risks posed by terrorism. Over the summer, Paul was under constant attack from rivals, such as Governor Rick Perry, of Texas, who described him as “curiously blind” to the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham. As with the criticisms of his past statements on civil rights, Paul felt that he was the victim of a smear campaign. “Unfair criticism from people who have partisan goals,” he told me.

Kritiken kommer knappast mildras framöver. Ju närmare valrörelsen vi kommer ju mer kommer hans idéer att granskas.

Och skulle han vinna partiets nominering väntar demokraternas attacker. Är det något man kan vara säker på så är det att demokraternas kampanjstrateger har en tjock dossier märkt ”Rand Paul – flip-flopper”.

Läs mer: Rand Paul: The Most Interesting Conspiracy Theorist in Washington” av David Corn i Mother Jones är ett bra exempel på vad demokraterna (och republikanska motståndare) kan komma att fokusera på.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New York Times Magazine, 10 augusti 2014 och Time, 27 oktober 2014.

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KAMPANJ | Det är lätt att drabbas av abstinensbesvär efter en valrörelse. Botemedlet är en rejäl dos av valsanalyser.

The 2013 Campaign” av John Heilemann

New York, 19 november 2012

That the essence of Team Obama’s reelection strategy was to capitalize on his strength with what National Journal’s Ronald Brownstein calls “the coalition of the ascendant” had long been clear. Back in May, I wrote a cover story for this ­magazine laying out Chicago’s plan to focus ­laserlike on four key voting blocs: ­African-Americans, Hispanics, college-educated white women, and voters aged 18 to 29. At bottom, the Obaman theory of the case was that, despite the fragility of the recovery and the doubts many voters had about POTUS’s capacity to put America on the path to prosperity, the deft exploitation of coalition politics, together with the ruthless disqualification of Romney as a credible occupant of the Oval Office, could secure the president a second term. That in 2012, in other words, demographics would trump economics.

Obama’s new majority” av John O’Sullivan

The Spectator, 10 november 2012

‘I’ve come back to Iowa one more time to ask for your vote,’ said President Obama at an emotional ‘last ever’ campaign meeting. ‘Because this is where our movement for change began, right here. Right here.’ And his eyes briefly moistened. The nostalgia was doubtless sincere, and the address correct, but it was misleading to describe his 2012 election campaign as a continuation of his earlier ‘movement for change’. In reality, it has been a smoothly ruthless operation to distract attention from a record that has been disappointingly bereft of change. He triumphed over himself as much as over the hapless Mitt Romney.

The Party Next Time” av Ryan Lizza

The New Yorker, 19 november 2012

When historians look back on Mitt Romney’s bid for the Presidency, one trend will be clear: no Republican candidate ever ran a similar campaign again. For four decades, from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan through the two Bush Presidencies, the Republican Party won the White House by amassing large margins among white voters. Nixon summoned the silent majority. Reagan cemented this bloc of voters, many of whom were former Democrats. Both Bushes won the Presidency by relying on broad support from Reagan Democrats. In that time, Republicans transformed the South from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican, and they held the White House for twenty-eight out of forty years. Last Tuesday, Romney won three-fifths of the white vote, matching or exceeding what several winning Presidential candidates, including Reagan in 1980 and Bush in 1988, achieved, but it wasn’t enough.

Baksmällan i Washington” av Martin Gelin

Fokus, 9-15 november 2012

USA har en lång politisk tradition av att ställa grupper mot varandra så snart ett val närmar sig. Politiska strateger har med denna metod söndrat och härskat sig till knappa majoriteter i delstaterna och struntat i minoriteten som inte fått politisk representation. Det var den vanan Obama skulle bryta. 2008 hade hans kampanj mottot »Respect, empower, include«. I år lade man till ett sista ord: »Win«. Och med den nya förmågan att rikta kampanjer mot enskilda väljare gjorde man allt för att vinna exakt 50,1 procent av väljarna i respektive delstat.

Läs mer: Tidigare inlägg med valsanalyser från tidskriftsvärlden.

Tidskriftsomslagen: Översta är formgivet av konstnären Craig Redman. Tydligen ”all the rage” för närvarande. Mark Ulriksen skapade ”Rhapsody in Blue” för The New Yorker. Hans tankar om omslaget hittar man här.

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IDENTITET | Om Mitt Romney förlorar i november kommer republikanska partiet med all sannolikhet kastas in i en identitetskris.

Vad som slår en när man läser om partiet är hur genuint förvånade många skribenter är över partiets politiska utveckling under senare år.

Även ledande politiker inom partiet är oroade över utvecklingen.

Governör Jeb Bush, George W. Bushs bror, har t.ex. ifrågasatt om hans far George H. W. Bush eller ens Ronald Reagan skulle haft en chans att bli nominerade som partiets presidentkandidat idag.

Här är tre läsvärda artiklar om GOP – the Grand Old Party.

Monika Bauerlein och Clara Jeffery: “WTF, GOP?” (Mother Jones, juni 2012)

Ryan Lizza: “Life of the Party” (The New Yorker, 12 mars 2012)

John Heilemann: “The Lost Party” (New York, 5 mars 2012)

Läs även: David Frums ”When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?” och ”George and Mitt Romney & the Death of Moderate GOP”.

Övrigt: Om tecknaren Bob Staakes tidskriftsomslag ”State by State” och storyn bakom (och en twist på den).

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ÄR MASSMEDIAS SMEKMÅNAD med Barack Obama över? Knappast, även om det nu har börjat dyka upp lite mer balanserat material.

Ryan Lizza har för The New Yorker skrivit en mycket intressant essä som beskriver hur Chicagos politiska kultur formade Obamas karriär.

Chicago är inte Obamas hemstad men det var här som han bestämde sig för att involvera sig politiskt. Det är också till Chicago som Obama har flyttat många av de verksamheter som Democratic National Committee nu skall bedriva under presidentvalskampanjen.

Staden är mest känd för sin traditionellt korrupta politiska kultur under inte minst den (ö)kände borgmästaren Richard J. Daley – ”Boss Daley” – som styrde staden från 1955 till 1976.

Obama kom att dra nytta av att stadens traditionella ”machine politics” fick vika undan för en alltmer mediadriven kultur – TV, radio, direktreklam, telefonbanker och automatiska telefonuppringningar osv. – som gjorde politiken mindre beroende av stadsdelsanvariga som knackar dörr och försöker locka väljare till valurnorna.

En mediestrategi kräver pengar vilket i sin tur kräver kontakter med personer som är villiga att donera. Pengar kom att ersätta de personliga kontakter som tidigare var föutsättningen för politiskt avancemang i staden.

Detta nya system kallades ”pinstripe patronage” eftersom det inte längre handlade om att belöna lojala väljare med jobb utan att belöna gåvogivare med kontrakt.

En annan förändring som kom att gagna Obama var den ”gerrymandering” – politiskt motiverade ändringar av distriktsgränser för att kunna uppnå maximal utdelning i val – som det parti som sitter på makten kan genomföra.

The partisan redistricting of Illinois may have been the most important event in Obama´s early political life. It immediately gave him the two things he needed to run for the Senate in 2004: money and power.

Obamas nya distrikt hade fortfarande en afroamerikansk majoritet och den nya kartan innefattade även några av Chicagos fattigaste delar men;

(…) Obama´s new district was wealthier, whiter, more Jewish, less blue-collar, and better educated. It also included one of the highest concentrations of Republican in Chicago.

Ett av Obamas starka kort i årets valrörelse är just hans dramatiska förmåga att attrahera röster bland vita inom manschettyrken.

Här finns också en förklaring till varför det fortfarande finns misstänksamhet bland afroamerikanska väljarna – Obama har aldrig varit en politiker som primärt har drivit frågor som är skräddarsydda för att vinna denna väljargrupp.

Obama är ingen ny Jesse Jackson eller Al Sharpton, vilket är ett av hans starka kort men skapar också misstänksamhet bland många svarta och inom vänsterflygeln i det demokratiska partiet.

Enligt Ryan Lizza är ett av missförstånd när det gäller Obama är att han skulle vara någon form av ”anti-establisment revolutionary”.

Rather, every stage of his political career has been marked by an eagerness to accommodate himself to existing institutions rather than tear them down or replace them. When he was a community organizer, he channelled his work through Chicago´s churches, because they were the main bases of power (…)

(…)

At Harvard, he won the presidency of the Law Review by appealing to the conservatives on the selection panel. In Springfield, rather than challenge the Old Guard Democratic leaders, Obama built a mutually beneficial relationship with them.

(…)

In Washington, he has been a cautious senator and, when he arrived, made a point of not defining himself as an opponent of the Iraq war.

Att Obama under valrörelsen har positionerat sig mot mitten i en rad frågor som rör t.ex. underrätelseverksamhet och Irak och samtidigt mer mot höger när det gäller att tolka innehållet i Second Amendment har skapat både oro och lättnad inom demokratiska partiet.

Men detta är dock symptomatiskt för Obama – målet är trots allt att vinna Vita huset, inte att ytterligare fyra år låta demokratiska partiet irra runt i den politiska öknen utan något inflytande.

He campaigns on reforming a broken political process, yet he has always played politics by the rules as they exist, not as he would like them to exist. He runs as an outsider, but he has succeeded by mastering the inside game. He is ideologically a man of the left, but at times he has been genuinely deferential to core philosophical insights of the right.

Låter inte detta nästan som en demokratisk variant av John McCain!?

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