Links for 5-17-2016

  • Jonathan Last cautions Republican politicians tempted to give in to the drumbeat that they must endorse Donald Trump:

    To endorse Donald Trump is to make your political career hostage to a man who may, at any random moment, accuse a former president of treason. Or encourage his supporters to physically assault their opponents. Or spin wild conspiracy theories, or tell obvious lies, or praise murderous dictators.

    Later:

    Republicans considering whether to endorse Trump should ask themselves, honestly, whether they possess the same imperviousness as Trump. Because they’re going to need it. Over the next six months, any Republican running for election who is supporting Trump is going to be importuned to defend every insane utterance, every lie, every dangerous idea that emanates from the man. They’re going to be pestered, every day, at every campaign stop, to either endorse or disavow everything noteworthy Trump says.

  • Erick Erickson blows up the “you must vote for Donald Trump because he’s not Hillary Clinton” argument:

    Time and time again, Trump’s supporters in and out of his cult ultimately conclude that any sin committed by Donald Trump is okay because he is not Hillary Clinton. It cannot be that they are both unfit for office. Trump, in every case, is more fit for office because Trump is not Clinton. Never mind the bankruptcies, never mind the endorsement of war crimes, never mind the advocacy of torture, never mind the swindling, never mind the affairs and women and corruption and mob ties and nepotism and repeated failures and the list goes on and on. Trump is not Clinton.

    Later:

    Just four years ago, Reince Preibus rallied Republicans to surrender the Missouri Senate seat to the Democrats because of Republican Todd Akin’s muddled answer on abortions from rape. Now he demands we unite behind Donald Trump because Donald Trump is not Hillary Clinton.

    Erickson concludes with this:

    Hitler is not Hillary Clinton either. The neo-nazis and white supremacists backing Donald Trump fetishize Hitler too. Trump dog whistles to them and the Republican Establishment joins them in howls of delight. One need not stretch beyond Godwin’s law to conclude that the current Republican Party would support Hitler too because Hitler, thanks be to the reich, is not Hillary Clinton.

    Too few Republicans will come out of this with their integrity intact and too many Republicans, thinking they can change Donald Trump, will instead one day find that Trump has changed them instead. But hey, at least he is no Hillary Clinton.

    Hail victory, Republicans. Hail victory.

  • Donald Trump claims he’s expanding the GOP’s voter base, but a Politico analysis suggests Trump is only succeeding at convincing more GOP general election voters to participate in the primaries, which won’t help him much when the Electoral College landscape slants in Democrats’ favor.

  • According to Public Policy Polling, Kelli Ward is polling well against John McCain in Arizona’s GOP primary election for U.S. Senate, even though Ward’s name recognition is only 41%.

  • The Obama administration published a regulation that raises the threshold for overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476. In the future the threshold will be updated every three years and “indexed to ensure the threshold remains at the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest income region of the country.”

  • A military judge delayed Bowe Bergdahl’s court martial to early 2017. Bergdahl’s lawyers want access to classified documents, and sorting that out will take time.

  • Three bombings in Shiite areas of Baghdad killed more than 77 people and wounded more than 140. Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr deployed his militia to Shiite neighborhoods, which will increase the already high tension between Sadr and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.