Quick Takes

Earlier today I referenced an article by Rebecca Traister about Hillary Clinton. If you haven’t read the whole thing already, I highly recommend that you do so. Here is one of the more fascinating nuggets:

Most of the traveling reporters are too young to remember the way Clinton was barbecued by the media from the beginning, labeled too radical, too feminist, too independent, too influential; dangerous, conniving, ugly and unfuckable. But it’s clear that even today she and her campaign feel that they can’t win with the press, that the story lines about her are already written. Case in point: In early May, the New York Times ran a feature about Clinton’s wooing of Republicans turned off by Donald Trump, which sent supporters of Bernie Sanders into a frenzy of I-told-you-so’s about Clinton’s crypto-Republicanism. The paper barely acknowledged that days later Clinton teed up her plan for subsidized child care and raising the wages of caregivers — proposals that would have been understood not long ago as something out of a ’70s feminist fever dream. There was also little media notice of her declaration, that same week, that she would remove bankers from the boards of regional Federal Reserve banks — an announcement that should have pleased left-leaning champions of financial reform.

There is another portion of the Traister article that is getting a lot of attention from pundits:

I asked her whether the time she was spending in Kentucky, a red state, reflected more than her desire to win the primary there the following week (which she did, by a hair). Her eyes lit up; it’s as if she’d been waiting for someone to ask her about the surprising possibilities of the electoral map this year. So which states do you think Trump puts in play? I asked, mentioning the possibility of Georgia, which some think could go Democratic for the first time since her husband won it in 1992.

“Texas!” she exclaimed, eyes wide, as if daring me to question this, which I did. “You are not going to win Texas,” I said. She smiled, undaunted. “If black and Latino voters come out and vote, we could win Texas,” she told me firmly, practically licking her lips.

The typical reaction is: Texas? Nah! But guess who made that same prediction almost four years ago? Anyone remember a guy named Jeb Bush?

Sitting down across from me, he assumes his role as party Cassandra, warning of the day when the Republicans’ failure to tap an exploding Hispanic population will cripple its chances at reclaiming power—starting in Texas, the family seat of the House of Bush.

“It’s a math question,” he tells me. “Four years from now, Texas is going to be a so-called blue state. Imagine Texas as a blue state, how hard it would be to carry the presidency or gain control of the Senate.”

It Traister has penned the article-of-the-day on Clinton, has done the same with regards to what Donald Trump means for the Republican Party.

It Traister has penned the article-of-the-day on Clinton, David Frum has done the same with regards to what Donald Trump means for the Republican Party.

The television networks that promoted Trump; the primary voters who elevated him; the politicians who eventually surrendered to him; the intellectuals who argued for him, and the donors who, however grudgingly, wrote checks to him—all of them knew, by the time they made their decisions, that Trump lied all the time, about everything. They knew that Trump was ignorant, and coarse, and boastful, and cruel. They knew he habitually sympathized with dictators and kleptocrats—and that his instinct when confronted with criticism of himself was to attack, vilify, and suppress. They knew his disrespect for women, the disabled, and ethnic and religious minorities. They knew that he wished to unravel NATO and other U.S.-led alliances, and that he speculated aloud about partial default on American financial obligations. None of that dissuaded or deterred them.

The “economic anxiety” that is so often pointed to as an explanation for the rise of Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be affecting American consumers.

Consumer spending surged in April by the largest amount in more than six years, led by a big jump in purchases of autos and other durable goods…

The strong April showing for consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, is a good sign that the economy is performing notably better this quarter after nearly stalling out at the start of the year. Many economists believe the economy is growing at a 2.5 percent rate, outpacing a 0.8 percent gain in the first quarter.

“American shoppers came racing back to the malls, auto shops and online stores in April,” said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Phillip Bump is on a trolling roll.

Today be brings us this gem:

Can you tell the difference between a Trump University sales tip and one from a pickup artist?

Finally, here are some words of wisdom from the great Molly Ivins that seem perfectly suited to our politics today:

There are three things one must not do in the face of electoral disaster. Whine. Despair. Or fall for that specious old radical crap: ‘Things have to get worse before they can get better.’ The only possible response to that one is, ‘Not with my child’s life.’ Nor is it helpful to sit around hoping that given enough rope, the R’s will hang themselves. They’ll hang us along with them. The only thing to do is to fight harder and smarter.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.