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?

Must-Reads from Magazine

Music From Another World

Jóhann Jóhannsson, 1969-2018.

Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson was found dead at his apartment in Berlin over the weekend, and police are still investigating the cause. He was 48. Jóhannsson’s richly textured soundscapes and his tremendous contributions to film will long endure.

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Fawning Over North Korea’s ‘Ivanka’ Isn’t Harmless

Yasss, Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party of Korea!

It’s become a familiar pattern. In the manic pursuit of traffic, accolades, or any number of perverse incentives that have little to do with good journalism, the mainstream political press stumbles into a controversy. The controversy prompts a backlash mostly among, but not limited to, conservatives and is summarily disregarded as bad faith posturing. Pretty soon, we’ve all forgotten what the subject of the controversy was in the first place as we ease into familiar forms of partisan warfare like a warm bath. This was the trajectory of the scandalous coverage of North Korea’s diplomatic presence in South Korea for the Olympics, but the tribal animosities between media creator and consumer must be put aside here. The North Koreans’ are playing a 70-year-old game, and the press would do well to avoid unwittingly advancing North Korean objectives.

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Another Bad Olympic Moment

Podcast: Instability at home and abroad.

The bizarre celebration of North Korea’s regime—through its representative, Kim Jong Yo, and its cheerleading squad—leads the COMMENTARY podcast crew to wonder at the degradation of the U.S. media and the continuing foolishness of the very idea of the “Olympic spirit.” We also consider the White House domestic-abuse mess and the dangers of conflict between Israel and Iran. Give a listen.

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An Orwellian Education Law in Britain

The freedom to follow.

Brexit was supposed to liberate Britons from unaccountable government, PC orthodoxy, and high-handed bureaucracy. But who needs Brussels mandarins when supposed Conservatives in Westminster are beholden to the same orthodoxies?

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The Rob Porter Scandal Is Now the Trump Scandal

A debacle becomes a disaster.

For the last two weeks, Washington has been fixated on a farcically complex issue involving the oversight of federal law-enforcement and intelligence agencies. In the minds of most voters, however, the president’s well-received State of the Union Address probably loomed larger than the squabbling over whose memo was the most scandalous. That’s over.

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