Sunny Side Up

Here’s some reading sure to match your mood this evening, whatever mood you are in. If you are keeping on the sunny side, read the first two. If you are feeling in a dark and troubled mood, skip down.

There’s a Bright and Sunny Side of Life

The Limp Caudillo: How Trump’s incompetent power grabs are actually weaking the imperial presidency

Ross Douthat expatiates on how Trump’s stupidity weakens his hand.

Voting Rights Roundup: How the Electoral College could give way to a national popular vote by 2024

If the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact achieves its objectives, in the national election five years from now, every vote might count, and count equally. What a concept.

There’s a Dark and Troubled Side, Too

The One Trait That Predicts Trump Fever

Politico publishes a long excerpt from a book that will be published this week, ALIENATED AMERICA: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse.

The one trait turns out to be institutional collapse within a given community or region—i.e., institutions like marriage, civic engagement, and the church.

Apparently, when your wife done left you, when you don’t have a religious community to remind you each week how people are supposed to behave, when you don’t belong to any organizations, and when you don’t have any friends, you get pissed off with the world, and you see Trump as a very appealing character.

Who knew?

Aardvark’s Animadversion

Let us grant the general point that like calls out to like. And the specific point that jerkish followers will gravitate toward a leader who is a jerk.

But jerks are not necessarily incompetent. I have known many jerks who had could easily find their ass with both hands. Trump is not one of these.

One of these days, all of these racist loners whose wives done left them may wake up and realize that they need to find a much more competent jerk to support.

That National Popular Vote Interstate Compact cannot come soon enough. We really need to deep six the Electoral College and, instead, count the votes of the progressives in Arkansas and Georgia. Not to mention all those folks in California.