Guns and Presidential Rhetoric

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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1. At Mischiefs of Faction, Julia Azari examines Barack Obama’s remarks about guns as an example of how presidential rhetoric can work -- or can fail.

2. Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight looks at what happens to the polls for late-entering candidates. As he says, it doesn’t really tell us anything about Joe Biden if the vice president decides to have an officially announced candidacy, but interesting nonetheless.

3. Matt Yglesias argues that Hillary Clinton is ruthless and disregards norms and therefore is perfect for the presidency. I’m not convinced by his argument (and don’t know that I agree with his characterization, at any rate). But worth pondering.

4. Also at Vox: Andrew Prokop wonders what the press would have done to Clinton if she acted as Biden seems to have. He’s certainly correct about authenticity.

5. Excellent analysis of where Marco Rubio stands from Nate Cohn at the Upshot.

6. And Seth Masket says the problem with the Galactic Senate was a failure to develop political parties. As much as I do believe democracy requires parties, I’m not all that convinced. First of all, Masket compares the Galactic Senate to the Nebraska Unicam, but the Galactic Republic actually seems a lot more like the United States under the Articles of Confederation than a U.S. state. I’ll also say that for all the Republic’s seeming flaws, we are told it lasted a thousand generations. That’s not bad! And it wasn’t brought down by its flaws; it was brought down by a monstrous plot by a Sith master. As such, the institution of the Republic to blame has to be the Jedi Council, not the Senate. Besides, everyone knows that when prophecy boy (or girl) shows up, fate is going to win out no matter what you do, so I’d even let the Jedi off the hook for their failures. At least a little bit. All that said: Yes, political parties are good, and you probably don’t get democracy without them, here or far, far away.

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