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Donald Trump is only part of the Republican Party’s long-term problems

    One of my favorite clichés is that demography is destiny when it comes to politics. But demography is not on the side of the Republican Party these days — and therefore, neither is any positive destiny over the long term. Consider this, for example: Barring some huge scandal that renders her utterly unelectable, Hillary Clinton is highly likely to defeat Donald Trump in the national balloting this November. The simple fact of the matter is that Clinton and the Democrats have demographics on their side. Even a less offensive...

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The U.S. Senate is fundamentally undemocratic

  In their so-called infinite wisdom, America’s Founding Fathers decided that each of the states would have equal representation in the U.S. Senate regardless of population differences. I suppose there’s a certain logic to that system, but it doesn’t come readily to my mind. All I know is that it seems strange that a sparsely-populated state like Wyoming has no fewer senators than California, or New York or any other state where many millions of people reside. The practical consequence of this arrangement is that the...

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How do gun nuts control the GOP? The answer is simple

  The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate rejected several modest gun-control bills yesterday despite widespread public support for the measures. Even most gun-owners favored the proposals. How can this be? How can the National Rifle Association, which opposes virtually any and all forms of gun control, be the tail that wags the dog in these matters? Why doesn’t the will of the American majority prevail? Here’s the answer: Firearms fanatics are far more likely to base their decisions at the ballot box solely on the issue of...

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Fanatical devotion to your hometown pro sports teams is weird

      Much of the population of Cleveland, Ohio, is especially happy today because the city’s professional basketball team won the league championship last night. I’m glad for those folks — but only to a point. I, too, am an enthusiastic fan of certain sports teams, mainly those from Chicago — the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks. But I don’t get carried away about it, at least not anymore. Thirty-two years ago this coming October, I let myself become unduly upset when Cubs first-baseman...

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If you don’t see that Trump is finished, you’re more delusional than he is

    After a year of making bad predictions about Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, here’s where I finally get everything right: He’s finished. He’s toast. There is no chance on earth that he’ll ever reside in the White House. He might not even win the Republican nomination. In the past few weeks, and especially in recent hours and days, Trump’s political fortunes have taken a profound, virtually irreversible, turn for the worse. It would take a political miracle unprecedented in American...

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No, guns will not be allowed at the Republican Convention

  Perhaps the most predictable example of hypocrisy we’re likely to hear from the podium at next month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland will be the oratory about the evils of gun control. As I understand it, the Secret Service, under color of its responsibility to protect certain important people,  won’t allow the carrying of firearms in the convention hall. We’ll see whether any of those protected people will be so hypocritical as to complain about the protection. It’s still not clear whether...

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Trump has a sleazy habit of quoting what “a lot of people are saying”

  All through the 12 months Donald Trump has been campaigning for president, he has regularly employed a certain dirty trick with which he passes along scurrilous theories and baseless allegations without actually taking ownership of them. He simply labels such garbage as things “a lot of people are saying.” You may not have noticed this strategy, but a growing number of journalists and pundits are blowing the whistle. Jenna Johnson of The Washington Post, for example, says this: Trump frequently couches his most...

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Are you a real American? A typical American? An average American?

  While digging through my treasure trove of past writings, random clippings and other stuff this morning, I came across some demographics that raise questions about how you might think of yourself and your country. Are you a real American? That is, do you represent the typical or average resident of this country? These are potentially tricky questions in that some people want to think of themselves as admirably representative of the nation’s populace, while some other folks regard themselves as above average in most respects....

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Did Orlando shooter have his own gay urges?

  The father of the guy who shot and killed scores of men at a gay nightclub in Orlando the other night said yesterday that his son became especially enraged a few years ago at the sight of two men kissing. This suggests to me that the shooter perhaps suffered from a certain form of homophobia — a form that’s not uncommon, according to scientific studies. Wikipedia puts it this way: Some studies have shown that people who are homophobic are more likely to have repressed homosexual desires.[ In 1996, a controlled study of 64...

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Liberals who want so much to hate Hillary face difficult challenges

  The news media justifiably declared the other day that Hillary Clinton is now the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, thereby triggering a bitter outpouring of bile from Hillary haters on the political left — never mind the political right. This is an interesting phenomenon on several counts. In one sense, it’s predictable that sore-loser supporters of Bernie Sanders will feel a need to vent for at least a while. If history is any guide, however, most of them will come around long before the November...

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Mark Kirk’s dissing of Donald Trump won’t likely help him at the ballot box

  There doesn’t seem to be any self-serving political calculation in U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s declaration that he “cannot and will not” support the presidential candidacy of the racist Donald Trump. Kirk, an incumbent Republican, won’t win any favor from Democrats in his race against U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth just because he rejects Trump. More importantly, the gesture is certain to alienate at least part of the GOP base. But then, if Kirk stood by Trump, he would be tainted by association — especially in...

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Rule-or-ruin Berniacs should go away and come back when they grow up

  Polls indicate that most of Bernie Sanders’ disappointed supporters will vote for Hillary Clinton in the November election, especially if her Republican opponent is Donald Trump. But there are some Berniacs, especially among those who are young and have never previously been involved in presidential politics, who vow to oppose Hillary — even at the risk of helping elect The Donald. This kind of bitterness is understandable, but only up to a point. It’s perfectly natural, of course, that the sense of disappointment...

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