The Corner

The GOP Has Something Better Than a ‘Mandate’

Donald Trump’s popular vote deficit is growing. As of today, he’s losing to Hillary Clinton by more than 2 million votes, a massive deficit for an electoral college winner. But should it impact how he governs? Should he be chastened by the deficit and therefore modest in his policy aims? Writing today in The Nation, John Nichols exhaustively chronicles the scale of Trump’s popular vote loss and decries the Republicans’ “delusions of electoral grandeur.” The Republicans, he says, “cannot claim a mandate.” 

Or can they? Trump wasn’t the only Republican on American ballots, and the Republican House currently enjoys a whopping 3.2 million national popular vote majority over their Democratic counterparts (so much for the notion that the House majority depends entirely on gerrymandering). Moreover, a red tide has swept the states, leaving the Democratic Party’s fortunes at their lowest ebb in generations. This chart, from the Washington Post, documents the stunning decline:

In fact, the Republicans have something better than an ephemeral “mandate” (whatever that means), they have legislative votes — lots and lots of legislative votes. While any political party should be wary of triumphalism and overreach, the GOP doesn’t have to make the case for a mandate. It merely has to vote. 

Again, this isn’t an argument for a national conservative ”cramdown,” where the GOP eschews any efforts at compromise and squanders its majorities in the same way the Obama Democrats squandered their own electoral victories. Prudence is necessary, but the GOP has the votes top to bottom in the American electoral system. That’s not a delusion of grandeur, it’s a statement of blunt electoral fact. 

Most Popular

Culture

Thank You, Kanye West

It was “a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high.” So said Kanye West, who recently declared, via Twitter, that he was running for president, on the “Birthday Party” ticket. It’s about the best explanation I’ve heard for the non-coronavirus that plagues us. There’s ... Read More
Culture

Thank You, Kanye West

It was “a plan by the Devil to have our kids committing suicide at an all-time high.” So said Kanye West, who recently declared, via Twitter, that he was running for president, on the “Birthday Party” ticket. It’s about the best explanation I’ve heard for the non-coronavirus that plagues us. There’s ... Read More
Education

The Case for Reopening Schools

On the menu today: My reader who is the head of research for a top-ten hospital weighs in on how to get kids back into classrooms safely this fall, a blathering Biden comment I missed that could have gotten his Twitter account suspended, and California’s state government tries to implement an ambitious ... Read More
Education

The Case for Reopening Schools

On the menu today: My reader who is the head of research for a top-ten hospital weighs in on how to get kids back into classrooms safely this fall, a blathering Biden comment I missed that could have gotten his Twitter account suspended, and California’s state government tries to implement an ambitious ... Read More
Culture

In Defense of Terry Crews

There are many worthy nominees for the craziest moment in the current cultural turmoil, but the controversy over tweets by actor Terry Crews deserves to be high on the list. In one of his offending tweets, Crews said on July 4th: https://twitter.com/terrycrews/status/1279493774679261185?s=21 It wasn’t ... Read More
Culture

In Defense of Terry Crews

There are many worthy nominees for the craziest moment in the current cultural turmoil, but the controversy over tweets by actor Terry Crews deserves to be high on the list. In one of his offending tweets, Crews said on July 4th: https://twitter.com/terrycrews/status/1279493774679261185?s=21 It wasn’t ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Ideological Corruption of Science

Why don't many people “trust the science” anymore? Perhaps because science, as an institution, has fallen prey to the same ideological infection that has invaded and corrupted many other institutions. But it is too rarely discussed, which is why a Sunday Wall Street Journal column by theoretical physicist ... Read More
Science & Tech

The Ideological Corruption of Science

Why don't many people “trust the science” anymore? Perhaps because science, as an institution, has fallen prey to the same ideological infection that has invaded and corrupted many other institutions. But it is too rarely discussed, which is why a Sunday Wall Street Journal column by theoretical physicist ... Read More
Science & Tech

Evaluating Fauci’s Record

The White House is getting a lot of heat by pointing out that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease official, has a spottier record on predicting the course of pandemics than the media would have you believe. “White House officials now want to rein in Fauci by cherry-picking instances in ... Read More
Science & Tech

Evaluating Fauci’s Record

The White House is getting a lot of heat by pointing out that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease official, has a spottier record on predicting the course of pandemics than the media would have you believe. “White House officials now want to rein in Fauci by cherry-picking instances in ... Read More