Friday, March 11, 2016

Weekend Reading: A Sort of Friday Follow Edition

I thought that maybe I'd write this post and just ignore the election, but a couple of times now I've tweeted about how fascinating it is to be following some Republicans on Twitter right now, and people have asked me who I follow, so I decided I'd spend a little bit of time on that.

I don't follow anyone obscure: just David Frum and Ross Douthat. Between them and what gets RTed by the more liberal-leaning journalists I follow (I really like Jamelle Bouie and Matt Yglesias, to name a couple), that is about as much Republican commentary as I can handle in my timeline. Politics isn't my profession, after all. If you're looking for another conservative-leaning American voice, you might try Megan McArdle.

Both Frum and Douthat occasionally tweet out something that makes me want to scream at them, but they at least live in the same fact-based world in which I live, they just interpret it differently. I can't bring myself to follow any of the people who inhabit the part of the Republican world that is less moored in reality. However, from what Frum and Douthat are RTing, I will say that even some of those people are vehemently anti-Trump. We'll see how that holds when we get to the general election, I suppose.

Anyway, here's something Douthat wrote about Trumpism that I'm glad I read and would never have found if I didn't follow him on Twitter.

If you think I'm being mean about there being a portion of the Republican world that doesn't live in the fact-based world, this fact check on this week's supposedly substantive Republican debate from Ezra Klein will show you what I mean. I have no problem with people who accept facts and have a different response to them than I do. We can discuss things and maybe find a compromise. I can even live with political spin. But I don't see how we can get anywhere when one of our two major political parties seems to be veering into "we'll just make things up" territory.

Apparently, the Republicans in the US Virgin Islands looked at the current field of candidates and refused to assign delegates to any of them. Their delegates are going to the convention uncommitted. They may be on to something. I couldn't bring myself to watch the Republican debate, but based on what I read about it, none of these candidates are really qualified to be President. It is a mess, and if the race weren't seeming to settle into a two-way competition between a demagogue who spurs his followers to political and racial violence and a psycopath who seems to be hated by everyone he has ever come into contact with, it would be fascinating to watch. Instead, it is mostly horrifying.

I feel genuine sympathy for the reasonable Republican voters out there. (And this is not the blog to argue there are no reasonable Republican voters: I am a fairly liberal, reliable Democrat, but I have Republican friends and family who I like and do not think are evil or idiots.) What a horrible choice they face. I feel zero sympathy for anyone in the Republican establishment, though- not any senators or representative, and certainly not the party officials. They made this mess.

OK, that's enough politics. Here are some other things:

Given Hillary Clinton's gaffe about the Reagans and HIV/AIDS, it seems a good time to post a link to this story about the men who survived.

The world is designed for men (and largely by men).

Because You're a Man- gender flipping what happens to a lot of women who are speaking on panels in their field of expertise.

Enough depressing things.

I can't remember if I posted this link before, but oh well, it is good enough to post twice: an essay from a very tall blind woman on being herself.

Here's a write up of some cool science about birds using syntax. And here's the original paper, for those so inclined.

And here's a giant rabbit.

That seems like a good place to end. Happy weekend, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Agreed - there are reasonable Republicans. Or at least Republicans in my life who are genuinely good people though they are far more conservative than I have become.

    You did share that link about the extra tall woman, either you or Nicole&Maggie did, and it was good :)


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