Has the GOP Trump-Palin Era Begun?

If there was any doubt that what is happening in the Republican presidential contest might be the end of the era of Reagan conservatism, it evaporated on Tuesday evening when Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump. The merger of the Palin cult with Trump’s celebrity-driven candidacy is a fascinating political science experiment. It brings together two figures that have gained traction primarily by trading on anger at what they call a Republican establishment, but which is strangely devoid of devotion to actual conservative principles. Even as the mind boggles at the prospect of Trump giving this bitter, brittle and deeply angry person a position of influence in his administration, we must acknowledge that it is a political master stroke with less than one week left before the Iowa Caucus. But what observers should be asking themselves now is how easy it will be for a political chameleon like Trump to shake off the embrace of Palin if he becomes a nominee and must appeal to a broader audience than Iowa evangelicals.

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Has the GOP Trump-Palin Era Begun?

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How Minimum Wage Dogmatism Hurts the Disabled

Good intentions, tragic consequences.

Chicago, Illinois — Andy has little time to chitchat. There are hundreds of hot towels to sort and fold, and when that’s done, there are yet more to wash and dry. The 41-year-old is one of half a dozen laundry-room workers at Misericordia, a community for people with disabilities in the Windy City. He and his colleagues, all of whom are intellectually disabled and reside on the Misericordia “campus,” know that their work has purpose, and they delight in each task and every busy hour.

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The Democratic Party Gets Specific at Its Own Risk

Reminding voters what Democratic governance means.

To paraphrase New York Times columnist Ross Douthat (with apologies), the less Republicans do in office, the more popular they generally become. That is, when the GOP exists solely in voters’ minds as a bulwark against cultural and political liberalism, it can cobble together a winning coalition. Likewise, Democrats regain the national trust when they serve only as an obstacle to Republican objectives. It’s when both parties begin to talk about what they want to do with their power that they get into trouble.

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Capitalism: Bad Again After All These Years

Meritocracy is in the eye of the beholder.

A running theme in Jonah Goldberg’s fantastic new book, Suicide of the West, is the extent to which those who were bequeathed the blessings associated with classically liberal capitalist models of governance are cursed with crippling insecurity. Western economic and political advancement has followed a consistently upward trajectory, albeit in fits and starts. Yet, the chief beneficiaries of this unprecedented prosperity seem unaware of that fact. In boom or bust, the verdict of many in the prosperous West remains the same: the capitalist model is flawed and failing.

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PODCAST: Crossfire Hurricanes Make Us Dizzy

Podcast: Donald Trump Jr. moves the ball forward.

We try, we really do try, to sort through the increasingly problematic “Russian collusion” narrative and establish a timeline of sorts—and figure out what’s real and what’s nonsense. Do we succeed? Give a listen.

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Questions the Press Hasn’t Asked about Violence in Gaza

A conspicuous lack of curiosity.

COMMENTARY’s Sohrab Ahmari has done invaluable work shaming the Western press for patronizing the Palestinian people and robbing them of their agency. We are told that the Palestinian population in Gaza is acting out in response to a blockade around that tiny piece of land, which has transformed the Strip into “an open-air prison.” Less is said about the actions that led to those blockades: Israel’s unprecedented removal of Jews from Gaza, the 2006 election (Gaza’s last election) that led to Hamas’s ascension, and the conflicts the Hamas-led government waged against Israel and Egypt. All of these things yielded the conditions with which Gazans struggle today.

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