Romney and Trump: Venn diagram style

Loved Alexandra Petri’s column, especially this visual representation:

venn diagram

Also reminded me of this tweet I saw:

And from Petri:

You can only tell people for so long that everything that touches Washington, D.C., is hideous and wrong, that the media is lying to you, that the establishment is broken, compromise is weak and unprincipled, Obama is a threat to everything this country stands for, and that only a True Outsider can come riding in on a white horse and solve all our problems — before they will start to believe you.

The GOP is trying to fix the fact that they no longer have a line to voters by shouting more loudly into the telephone. The problem isn’t that you need to shout louder. The problem is that the phone’s not connected any more. You can especially tell how badly this is working because the metaphor is a land-line telephone.

It’s like trying to stop the Titanic from sinking by making the band play louder. “The boat won’t listen to the band! That’s not how boats work?” “Well, have they tried playing louder? Have we sent out Mitt Romney yet?”

That’s not how it works any more.

The Republicans’ college degree divide

Recent Pew take:

Education gaps in white Republicans' views of immigrants, nation's diversity

Big differences also on views on Confederate flag and views of government and politics.  Also, a really good David Wasserman post from 538 late last year:

The latest polls of the Republican presidential primary show a party badly divided by education: Donald Trump’s strong showings are entirely attributable to huge leads among voters without a college degree, while voters with a degree are split among several candidates.

But the Republican Party’s “diploma divide” isn’t new: It was central to the 2012 race, with roles reversed. That year, Mitt Romney’s nomination was attributable to GOP voters with college degrees, while voters without a college degree were split. Ultimately, the 2016 race may come down to which side of the diploma divide unites the fastest and most thoroughly once voting begins…

Quelling an insurgency like Trump’s may require college-educated Republicans, who are currently fractured four ways, to unite behind a single candidate while non-degree-holders splinter.

Well, pretty clear what has happened in this regard.  I think one of the key questions for the general election is just how many educated Republicans decide they just cannot stomach Trump and choose not to vote for him (I would expect more abstentions than votes for Hillary).  In the end, partisanship is a powerful thing and I expect the vast majority will fall in line for Trump, but I also think there’s a good chance that enough of the college-educated GOP voters do not vote for Trump that this could really make a big difference.

People have no idea what they are talking about; but will answer anyway

I suppose I could write this post for a lot of Gallup daily updates, but this one particularly struck me.  Heck, I’m not sure I am in a position to truly evaluate whether the United Nations is doing a good job or a poor job, but that didn’t stop all but 8% of the respondents in a recent Gallup poll from giving an opinion.  For the record, here’s the current and recent breakdown:

Do you think the United Nations is doing a good job or a poor job in trying to solve the problems it has had to face?

I would love to see if these results were followed up with a single question, “what is one reason you answer that way?”  I suspect those results would be far more telling.

The lies, my God, the lies

That’s what kills me about the abortion debate before the Supreme Court yesterday.  It is quite simply blindingly obvious that Texas has enacted it’s abortion regulations for the specific, expressed purpose, of placing substantial obstacles to women obtaining an abortion.  Given that Casey vs. Planned Parenthood says,

Unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right.

the Texas law could not be more clearly unconstitutional when applying existing Constitutional Law.  Sadly, and to their huge discredit, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals pretended otherwise.  Now, the question is will four of the Supreme Court Justices also do so.

I really don’t have a problem with people wanting abortion to be against the law.  I don’t agree with them, of course, but by all means I respect their right to work to elect Republican Presidents and Senators who will appoint Conservative Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe and Casey.  But I so hate the absolute bald-faced lying behind the TRAP laws and their legal defense.  Dahlia Lithwick’s great piece on this yesterday calls them out for it:

The first is that HB 2 was passed exclusively to protect “the highest standard of health care” and to regulate evil abortionists like Kermit Gosnell out of existence. The goal of HB 2, that story goes, is to ensure that women who opt to have abortions are able to do so in safe, sanitary conditions and with options for emergency care as needed. This is the story the state of Texas offers up in its brief to the court in Hellerstedt.

The problem here is that this story is obscured by a second tale, one that anyone looking at this case and the history of TRAP must reckon with. It’s the story of theconcerted effort by anti-abortion groups, including Americans United for Life, to incrementally chip away at the core holding of Roe v. Wade  until, as Mary Ziegler of Florida State University has said, it “was so incoherent and so full of holes that courts would finally get rid of it.” …

What all that means is that the same state of Texas, while paying lip service to Supreme Court precedent and the need to avoid placing “undue burdens” in the path of a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy, is also winking and crossing its fingers behind its back. The entire point of HB 2 was to generate undue burdens, and—as Linda Greenhouse notes this week—sometimes the mask slips, and the truth of that comes out. As Greenhouse explains, “After the bill, originally known as Senate Bill 5, or S.B. 5, cleared the State Senate, David Dewhurst, then the lieutenant governor, tweeted a map that opponents had circulated showing all the abortion clinics that would have to close. ‘We fought to pass S.B. 5 thru the Senate last night, & this is why!’ he exulted.” [emphasis mine]

Opponents of abortion may reasonably come to the court and say that they want to outlaw it because it offends them, they see it as loathsome baby-killing, and they view every women’s health clinic as a filthy abortion mill. But they should not be able to flash their big anime doe eyes up toward the bench and say they are merely concerned about maternal health, simply because that’s the best way to win…

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals fell hook, line, and sinker for the state’s anime doe eyes. That court determined not merely that they were OK with the state legislature’s pretextual reasoning about protecting maternal health but also that it was wildly inappropriate for courts to look at the vast mismatch between asserted goals and outcomes and between the empirical data and the impact of a proposed law

Linda Greenhouse’s linked piece is great, too:

Judge Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down Wisconsin’s admitting-privileges law last year in an opinion that used comparative data to show how singling out abortion made no objective sense. (Wisconsin doesn’t require admitting privileges for any other outpatient procedure, including those demonstrably more dangerous.)…

Courts, he said, should weigh the medical evidence behind a regulation against its impact. When the evidence is “feeble” and the burden substantial, the burden is undue, he concluded.

The Fifth Circuit acknowledged Judge Posner’s approach and rejected it. “In our circuit we do not balance the wisdom or effectiveness of a law against the burdens the law imposes,” the court said in an earlier round in the Texas litigation.

Evidence matters to courts. Courts take evidence all the time. That’s why we have trials, and judges. The notion that when it comes to restricting abortion, facts shouldn’t count, is to give “abortion exceptionalism” a new meaning. It is a meaning the Supreme Court will reject if it is true to its precedents and principles.

Of course, we all know that these matters will matter not to Alito and Thomas (and presumably Roberts).  The big question, of course, is whether Kennedy actually stands by the “undue burden” standard he co-authored in the Casey opinion.  We’ll know later this year.

And, as for the real-world policy outcome, upholding the 5th circuit with a 4-4 split means we will two very sets of abortion laws throughout the country depending upon which Federal Circuit people live in.

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