Trump Cards (and other political links)

A consistent refrain among some right-wing columnists is that somehow Trump is a creation of the left: he’s just like Obama or just like Saunder. Now here’s a new twist: Ben Domenech explains it’s precisely because evangelicals have lost the culture wars that they’ve turned to Trump because he’ll fight political correctness and defend freedom of religion (i.e., he’ll kick Muslim ass, tell chicks their place and adopt a no-homos stance). Because conservative Christians would never support anyone like that otherwise (remember how conservative Christians came out against George W. Bush’s policies of war and torture? Me neither). And young people are flocking to Trump because they hate PC!

Meanwhile, right-bloggers opposed to Trump look at the South Carolina outcomes and freak out (I imagine they’ll be doing even more after Trump’s win in Nevada). In the same vein we have David Brooks conservativesplaining that Rubio is a slam-dunk over those crazies Trump and Cruz, no matter what polls and voters say. Other pundits are desperately insisting everyone but Rubio and Cruz should quit so the party can coalesce around the anti-Trump (forget that Randian self-interest crap! Think of the greater good!).

Of course, Marco Rubio isn’t any saner, whether on economics or promising to shut down mosques and businesses with “ties” to radical Islam. In my experience of the 21st century, the word “ties” can mean almost anything (a radical Muslim visited the mosque, someone who knew a radical Muslim visited the mosque) and in Republican hands probably will. And Rubio (like Ted Cruz) has come out in support of Vanilla Isis and the Malheur wildlife refuge occupation.

And Ted Cruz has come out against the hideous threat of the military offering gluten-free MREs to soldiers. While I’ve heard arguments that gluten-allergy is way, way less common than the number of people avoiding gluten, this has nothing to do with that, it’s some vague attack on (what else?) political correctness. What do the needs of people who do have gluten allergies matter compared to that? Twenty years ago, Cruz would probably have been saying it about vegetarian meals, but vegetarianism’s getting a little too mainstream now.

•While we’re dumping on Republican candidates, here’s John Kasich, right-to-lifer.

•A look at the effect of Scalia’s death on several current court cases. But never fear, one conservative has a solution: count Scalia’s preliminary votes in judicial conferences even though he’s dead.

•The FBI wants a back door through the iPhone’s encryption. Apple says no.

•So a pair of data analysts predict that Chipotle is going downhill because it doesn’t spend as much on data analysis as other chains. I can’t help thinking that in this scenario, data analysts are possibly not unbiased in their analysis.

•”Their anxiety wasn’t about my sex life. Their anxiety was about my existence.” Gay Christian Julie Rodgers recounts how Wheaton College, “the Harvard of Christian schools,” recruited her to work with gays on campus, then fired her when they got criticized for having her on staff.

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