The Dim-Post

July 20, 2016

Other voices

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 10:25 am

I am now obsessed with and addicted to reading about the US election campaign. My favourite commentator at the moment is democratic blogger Josh Marshall – but who else is good? I’d be very interested in reading an intelligent informed right-wing perspective, if that’s even a thing in contemporary US politics.

45 Comments »

  1. I’ve not found any intelligent commentary on the US election as yet – just variants on “Trump is a racist” and “Hilary is a liar”, and pretty much no nuance or thoughtful comment. I find Scott Adams amusing on it, but no idea whether he’s even serious with half of what he says. It’s a viewpoint though. http://blog.dilbert.com/

    Comment by PaulL — July 20, 2016 @ 10:27 am

  2. Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

    Comment by adamm — July 20, 2016 @ 10:44 am

  3. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/ does a great job of rounding up most of the interesting and challenging editorial pieces of the day, from both sides of the US political-spectrum. I’d say that’s the best starting point.
    And, of course, there’s no-one in the political data analysis game better than http://fivethirtyeight.com/

    @PaulL – I gave up on Adams as an informed and intelligent commentator after he hopelessly failed to defend his assertion that all the candidates (including Trump) looked equally qualified and capable of holding office.

    Comment by Phil — July 20, 2016 @ 10:46 am

  4. John Scalzi’s blog had a lot of very good coverage of the primary races on both sides, both in his own blogged opinions, and within the comments section (including a list of insults aimed at Ted Cruz which showcase the benefits of a broad vocabulary). He runs a very tight fist on the commenting, and mallets trolls regularly, so high quality conversations can occur. Í don’t know if you’d call it a right wing blog – he’s a registered independent, and is considered by some people to be somewhat left, by US standards – he, by his own admission, calls himself a Rockefeller Republican, and suggests that “calling him left wing horrifies people who come from countries that have, ya know, ACTUAL left wings”

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/

    Comment by J Bloggs — July 20, 2016 @ 10:47 am

  5. It’s hard enough finding sane right blogging in NZ! The decent ones I read are about 4:1 left, and I’m fairly centre-left leaning, but I’d like more balance in my reading.

    Comment by Jamie — July 20, 2016 @ 10:48 am

  6. Scott Adams basically seems crazy to me: http://blog.dilbert.com/post/146361457021/the-humiliation-of-the-american-male-in-2016

    Comment by danylmc — July 20, 2016 @ 10:49 am

  7. I keep thinking I ought to be interested in the US election. But the whole thing is so depressing I just end up sighing and looking for something more uplifting and inspirational to read about. Maybe Brexit or the war against Islamic State…

    Comment by Nick R — July 20, 2016 @ 10:50 am

  8. Kevin Drum at Mother Jones.

    Comment by Fentex — July 20, 2016 @ 10:53 am

  9. Most interesting ones I have read recently are…
    George Saunder’s peice in the New Yorker:
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/11/george-saunders-goes-to-trump-rallies
    and this Ezra Klein Vox piece on Hillary:
    http://www.vox.com/a/hillary-clinton-interview/the-gap-listener-leadership-quality

    Comment by Richard29 — July 20, 2016 @ 11:14 am

  10. You need to make it clear what you mean by a “right wing perspective”. In NZ that probably means someone who votes National, who believes in the benefits of free market economics, who is more sympathetic to the concerns of (typical) farmers and shopkeepers than (typical) trade union officials and schoolteachers. I would argue that a perspective like that lines up much better with the Democratic party in the US rather than the Republicans. The point is that all of politics is skewed dramatically to the right in the US, relative to other western democracies. In the US business friendly policies are a given – in NZ only ACT and (to a much lesser extent) National are business friendly.

    I always find it bemusing when I see right wing NZ politics nerds who for some reason think that their ‘right wing’ badge means they should sympathise with the Republicans. Over on kiwiblog you can see David Farrar – a fiscal conservative and social liberal – lamenting that the Republicans are going to lose the Supreme Court. He should be celebrating as a Republican Supreme Court is a barrier to all the good progressive socially liberal policies that he likes. That’s my perspective anyway: I am a National voting, fiscally conservative, socially liberal Hillary Clinton fan.

    Comment by Bill Forster — July 20, 2016 @ 11:22 am

  11. Mark Steyn is a good read, plus show tunes and cat videos, but he is currently in hiatus. Should be back by time election gets into full swing.

    http://www.steynonline.com/

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 20, 2016 @ 11:44 am

  12. @Bill I think you’re wrong in characterising Farrar as a social liberal. He’s intolerant when it comes to crime committed by NZ’s poor.

    Comment by Robert Singers — July 20, 2016 @ 11:46 am

  13. Try Kevin Williamson at National Review, the magazine founded by William Buckley.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437967/libertarians-rand-paul-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-donald-trump-nationalism-socialism

    Comment by Tinakori — July 20, 2016 @ 11:51 am

  14. And David Frum at the Atlantic

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/melania-trumps-speech-matters/492038/

    Although a subscriber, i find pretty much everything in the New Yorker is too airless to be enjoyable. I get the feeling the writers are always looking over their shoulders worrying that they’ll be second guessed.These days both Slate and the New Republic suck and the Nation has always sucked.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 20, 2016 @ 11:59 am

  15. Danyl
    You’re right I think – nonesuch exists, but you might try an Englishman on YouTube by the name of Stefan Molyneux. Not as rabid as some, not as hooked into conspiracy as others. Hard to agree with if one’s perspective is left or ‘progressive’, though.

    Comment by Mike King — July 20, 2016 @ 12:04 pm

  16. The NPR Politics podcast is worth a listen. They do a Thursday show, specials around political events (e.g. the Dallas shootings) and they’re doing daily roundups of the conventions http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510310/npr-politics-podcast

    Comment by Ovid — July 20, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

  17. ” …intelligent informed right-wing perspective…”

    Isn’t that an oxymoron? Just joking…

    Comment by D'Esterre — July 20, 2016 @ 12:10 pm

  18. I love Charles P Pierce at Esquire, not very right tho…

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/

    Comment by Mark — July 20, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

  19. Carl Diggler

    Comment by djrobstep — July 20, 2016 @ 1:02 pm

  20. My favourite commentator at the moment is democratic blogger Josh Marshall

    Link?

    Comment by Deborah Russell — July 20, 2016 @ 1:02 pm

  21. Here yer go: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog

    Comment by danylmc — July 20, 2016 @ 1:22 pm

  22. Although a subscriber, i find pretty much everything in the New Yorker is too airless to be enjoyable. I get the feeling the writers are always looking over their shoulders worrying that they’ll be second guessed.

    I totally depends on your perspective I guess.
    I’ve found the NYer coverage really good, certainly in terms of scope, though I get what you are saying re “airless”; I would characterise it more as a combo of alternately diffident and disparaging but the writing is, as ever, excellent.
    They’ve focused a lot on Trump failings (political and personal) but with somewhat of an exasperated “How could this possible be happening?” air.
    Their coverage of Clinton has been preditably weak though. Mostly liberal excuse / lesser evilism pieces rather than serious analysis.

    Comment by Gregor W — July 20, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

  23. I like that Gopnick (?) guy at the NYer. Also George Packer. But for the rest of their political writing, they definitely have a house style, don’t they?

    Comment by danylmc — July 20, 2016 @ 1:51 pm

  24. Yeah, Adam Gopnick is pretty great.
    Also Jane Mayer (though she doesn’t cover politics exclusively). Her most recent piece on Trump is golden, if a bit hang-wringy.

    Comment by Gregor W — July 20, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

  25. If you want informed, trashy right-wing American commentary – it is probably Breitbart. They picked Trump early, whilst rest of the American right didn’t and they seemingly have good sources inside the Trump camp.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 20, 2016 @ 4:53 pm

  26. Scott Adams the guy that created Dilbert has interesting blog, he predicted Trumps rise and explains his appeal to certain groups in the states http://blog.dilbert.com/

    Comment by Cliff Clavin — July 20, 2016 @ 6:48 pm

  27. At 12 Robert Singers,

    @Bill I think you’re wrong in characterising Farrar as a social liberal. He’s intolerant when it comes to crime committed by NZ’s poor.

    Huh? So when someone commits a crime against you or your property and they happen to be poor you’re cool with it?

    Comment by Cliff Clavin — July 20, 2016 @ 6:49 pm

  28. And David Frum at the Atlantic

    I’d recommend The Atlantic’s political coverage overall – and it’s still free access. Also, Chris Cillizza’s The Fix on the Washington Post site – but it is limited access, so use an anonymous browser.

    I wonder if a problem with RoC commentary this election round is that they either have to back Trump as the “lesser of two evils” (which requires ideological and moral contortions that are pretty terrible to witness), or else they essentially echo the critical position of LoC commentators and so the point of difference is lost. David Frum is a bit in the latter camp – albeit that he’s looking beyond 2016 to what the Republican Party needs to become.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 20, 2016 @ 7:17 pm

  29. so many dudes! I recommend Melissa at Blue Nation Review.

    Comment by Amy — July 20, 2016 @ 7:23 pm

  30. “..or else they essentially echo the critical position of LoC commentators and so the point of difference is lost”.

    The .National Review writers loathe him because they think he’s basically a Democrat, which given his track record, views on the role of government and former allegiances is not too much of a stretch. Perhaps he’s a modern version of the Dixiecrats, the Democrats who dominated southern politics for so long and were staunch segregationists.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 20, 2016 @ 7:44 pm

  31. I too like Gopnick in the New Yorker but my favourite is David Owen who writes on the environment and golf, but only the golf is treated with religious zeal.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 20, 2016 @ 7:48 pm

  32. Perhaps he’s a modern version of the Dixiecrats, the Democrats who dominated southern politics for so long and were staunch segregationists.

    Yeah – the “Donald Trump as George Wallace” suggestion has been made: http://www.npr.org/2016/04/22/475172438/donald-trump-and-george-wallace-riding-the-rage

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 20, 2016 @ 10:01 pm

  33. Long time lurker first time comment (well second but it was eaten) but I think I can help as a fellow US politics obsessive (and NZ too I guess seeing I’m here…)

    For left wing with lots of snark there’s the happy bunch at http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com
    For a partisan democrat who would be a very happy member of the NZ National party there’s Jonathan Chait http://nymag.com/author/Jonathan%20Chait/
    For someone who knows how the democrats seem to work (he was an ex convention manager I think) Ed Kilgore http://nymag.com/author/ed%20kilgore/
    I’d agree with the Kevin Drum fans
    Good political scientists- Jonathan Bernstein (he gives really good links) http://www.bloomberg.com/view/contributors/ARq9kPCuG1Y/jonathan-bernstein and Dave Hopkins http://www.honestgraft.com/ both of those guys don’t veer into partisanship (they are slight democrats though)
    I don’t read much of her but Megan McArdle seems sane enough as a republican http://www.bloomberg.com/view/contributors/AQjVOcPejrY/megan-mcardle
    Ross Douthat at NY Times and David Brooks are both also what I would describe as sane enough Republicans. As a result all 3 are stridently anti Trump (currently)

    Have fun

    Comment by Ric O'Shea — July 20, 2016 @ 10:34 pm

  34. David Frum has always been the go to guy for “Right wing blogger most beloved by non right wingers”

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — July 21, 2016 @ 3:19 am

  35. Thanks for all the suggestions. So far Frum and McCardle seem most interesting to me.

    Comment by danylmc — July 21, 2016 @ 8:31 am

  36. Frum is a former speech writer for the devil – aka George Bush the younger – who I think was responsible for the Axis of Evil catchphrase but was an early apostate from the pure version of republicanism and has argued that the party needs to be where most of the people are rather than trying to bring the people to the party. The latter, represented by Ted Cruz, are the US equivalent of the sad and sorry Corbynites, but being Americans have better teeth and dress sense. Frum’s perspective is probably partly determined by his Canadian ancestry which means he does not see state funded health care and stricter gun controls as necessarily signs of the coming apocalypse.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 21, 2016 @ 8:57 am

  37. I think the hard thing is that Trump is actually connecting to a big slice of the US electorate. Maybe not 50%, but polls say maybe 30% or more. Which is a lot of people. And it’s hard to understand what they see in him, so it’s hard to see any commentator that explains that as being serious.

    I get that Scott Adams comes across as a bit crazy – but I think he is actually pointing to what those people see. It’s just that the commentariat (in which group I guess I include myself) don’t agree with those things, so we don’t really get it. I think the core of that is that there are a bunch of people feeling very disaffected and down trodden, and they see “the system” as the cause of much of that. And Clinton is very much part of “the system”. Trump is not, and he’s saying things that resonate – immigrants are the problem, trade is the problem, muslims make us unsafe etc etc.

    Comment by PaulL — July 21, 2016 @ 9:03 am

  38. Meagan McCardle is a multi-tasker. Best I think on business, with politics as a sideline and even if you are not interested in cooking or kitchen gadgetry she’s very entertaining on that too.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 21, 2016 @ 9:39 am

  39. I don’t have much spare time at the moment so I find Elizabeth Drew does a good every week or so commentary on the election swirl a good overview (not right wing though)

    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/07/10/can-candidates-change-clinton-comey-trump-errors-of-judgment/

    Comment by rodaigh — July 21, 2016 @ 9:53 am

  40. Trump is not [part of “the system”]

    Except that is patently and fundamentally false. Trump has made his millions (certainly nothing like the billions he claims) by being very cosy and entangled within a financial and legal system that has allowed him to actively and frequently fuck over almost everyone he has owed money to, be it large banks or small contractors.

    Comment by Phil — July 21, 2016 @ 10:27 am

  41. Truth is what people believe. You know, things like John Key obviously eats babies for breakfast. Facts aren’t good at changing truths.

    Comment by PaulL — July 21, 2016 @ 10:39 am

  42. For those still trying to get their heads around what’s going on in the US, this is worth a listen:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201809104/why-are-working-class-americans-supporting-donald-trump

    And there’s this from the same author:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What%27s_the_Matter_with_Kansas%3F

    Although, as a member of this household points out, the thing he didn’t consider at the time he wrote the book about Kansas was that the proverbial Kansas voter wasn’t voting against his own economic best interests because both parties were offering the same deal on that score. No doubt that’s clear to him now.

    Comment by D'Esterre — July 21, 2016 @ 11:37 pm

  43. I’d be very interested in reading an intelligent informed right-wing perspective,

    William Shirer is good.

    Comment by herr doktor bimler — July 22, 2016 @ 7:26 pm

  44. Trump wouldn’t send troops to Iraq, is against the TPP and would slash immigration.

    Any NZ parties with similar policies?

    Comment by NeilM — July 23, 2016 @ 5:38 am

  45. The dots are tempting though:

    – Trump has business interests in Russia and oddly positive views of Putin

    – recent reports the DNC was hacked by the Russians

    – Wikileaks and the anti-Clinton cult of Greenwald and The Intercept start releasing hacked emails in the hope they will undermine Clinton

    Comment by NeilM — July 23, 2016 @ 7:42 pm


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